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G20 2014 Summit Lure used to target Tibetan activists

APT actors trying to use big events as a lure to compromise their targets is nothing new. Tibetan NGOs being targeted by APT actors is also nothing new. Thus, surrounding the upcoming G20 2014 summit that is held in Brisbane, Australia, we were expecting to see G20 themed threats targeted at Tibetan NGOs. A Win32/Farfli (alias Gh0st RAT) sample ultimately confirmed our suspicions.

Offensive / Proactive tactics, will they really work? Blackhat day 1

Blackhat keynote speaker Shawn Henry, the former executive assistant director of the FBI’s Criminal, Cyber, Response and Service Branch, started off the day after opening remarks from Jeff Moss, founder of Blackhat. Moss wondered if now was the time for the cyber-security sector to take a more aggressive/offensive approach. Jeff mentioned working for a former

You've Got (Nation State Hacked) Mail

We read in the New York Times that Google is rolling out a service that will attempt to alert users when it thinks their accounts might be subject to hacking by a government, hoping the user will take precautions after getting a notice that says “Warning: We believe state-sponsored attackers may be attempting to compromise

Anonymous and the Megaupload Aftermath: Hacktivism or Just Plain Ugly?

Yesterday’s announcement by the US Department of Justice that the operators of file-sharing site Megaupload had been indicted for operating a criminal enterprise that generated over $175 million by trafficking in over half a billion dollars of pirated copyrighted material has sent shockwaves across the Internet. The accuracy of those figures may be questionable, but

How secure is TSA? Congress isn’t impressed

In a scathing and far-reaching US Congressional report released recently the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was characterized in these unflattering terms: “Since its inception, TSA has lost its focus on transportation security. Instead, it has grown into an enormous, inflexible and distracted bureaucracy, more concerned with human resource management and consolidating power, and acting reactively

U.S. Government – Security incidents up 650% over 5 years

Citing weaknesses in security controls at 24 major agencies, a new report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) charts the stellar rise in incidents, and tries to highlight what went wrong. Just today my colleague Stephen Cobb also posted a government-related incident in the health care sector. The timeframe of the study, starting in

Britain to ISP’s: speed up blocks on pirate sites

Following the recent landmark Newsbin2 ruling requiring ISP’s to take a more active role in policing pirate websites, UK ISP’s are working to speed the court ordered actions though to block pirated sites. The implementation details haven’t been finalized between the creative industries and ISP’s, but copyright-owners seem to be optimistic. The goal is to

Online Poker, Real Fraud

The United States Attorney Office for the Southern District of New York received a flurry of attention in April, 2011 when they unsealed an indictment against the three largest Internet poker companies in the United States—Absolute Poker, Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars—for fraud, gambling and money laundering.  Today, the USAO upped the ante with an

Social-networking to blame for social unrest?

We see this morning a post about British Prime Minister Cameron’s assertion yesterday during a Parliament presentation that, “Free flow of information can be used for good. But it can also be used for ill. And when people are using social media for violence, we need to stop them.” Sort of hearkens back to the

Stuxnet: Broke Iranian nuclear centrifuges?

Or so the latest report from DEBKAfile states, claiming the Stuxnet worm broke numerous Iranian centrifuges by forcing them to overspeed, causing damage and prompting the replacement of some 5,000-6,000 units. They cite “intelligence sources” as the source of information. Whether or not this will be confirmed, it seems malware authors clearly are targeting political

‘Anonymous’ NATO data breach?

2 days ago, the FBI announced a series of raids resulting in arrests of alleged members of the hacking group ‘Anonymous’. Hoping to deal a critical blow to the organization, they swept up more than a few potential members, and a tidy stash of computers to boot. So we’re done with ‘Anonymous’, right? Today, we

Arizona DPS: hacked again – still – really?

On Wednesday we heard additional documents had been leaked from the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS). “Will this ever end?” has to be the most commonly-asked question in Arizona nowadays at the DPS. The original attacks last week were claimed by the group LulzSec, which was making the rounds exposing private information through hacking

Government hackers hit al-Qaida?

Al-Qaida appears to have had its web communications hit by hackers, thwarting its continued effort at updating the world about its activities. It appears that a good portion of their global web presence has been affected. A year ago a similar style attack halted their web communications. According to Evan Kohlmann from Flashpoint Global Partners,

EU to urge shorter data breach notification times

Following a string of data breach notifications which seem to be less than forthcoming, the EU is urging much stricter guidelines for data breach reporting timelines. It a recent article, European Commissioner Viviane Reding was shocked “that companies needed two or three weeks to inform people that their personal data had been stolen.” Recently I