Posts Tagged ‘ cyber warfare ’

Jeb Bush is a smart man, but his views on cybersecurity depress me

January 15, 2016
posted by

Business Insider
by John McAfee  

"Jeb Bush recently penned an article about cybersecurity for Business Insider. My reaction at first was horror, then lethargy and finally depression. The first serious candidate to speak out about their cybersecurity platform shows an utter lack of understanding of what is really happening in the cybersecurity world. I am depressed, because Jeb Bush is a smart man -- more clever than perhaps the front runners in both parties. If his understanding of our position is as described in his policy statement, then our best move is to immediately surrender to the Chinese or the Russians and hope for mercy." (01/13/16)

http://www.businessinsider.com/john-mcafee-jeb-bush-doesnt-understand-cybersecurity-2016-1  

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EU: Suspected members of Bitcoin extortion group DD4BC arrested

January 13, 2016
posted by

ZDNet ZDNet    

"European law enforcement has arrested and detained two alleged members of a hacking group linked to DDoS attacks and Bitcoin extortion, DD4BC. Europol says the investigation, under the name Operation Pleiades, led to the arrest of one main target and another suspect being detained. ... DD4BC -- otherwise known as Distributed denial-of-service for Bitcoin -- is a group dedicated to extorting virtual currency from companies. Emerging in the middle of 2014, DD4BC used the threat of DDoS attacks and held companies to ransom unless they agreed to pay a fee in Bitcoin." (01/13/16)

http://www.zdnet.com/article/suspected-members-of-bitcoin-extortion-group-dd4bc-arrested/  

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Teen who hacked CIA email is back to prank US spy chief

January 13, 2016
posted by

Motherboard    

"One of the 'teenage hackers' who broke into the CIA director's AOL email account last year hasn't given up targeting government intelligence officials. His latest victim is the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, Motherboard has learned. ... One of the group's hackers, who’s known as 'Cracka,' contacted me on Monday, claiming to have broken into a series of accounts connected to Clapper, including his home telephone and internet, his personal email, and his wife's Yahoo email. While in control of Clapper's Verizon FiOS account, Cracka claimed to have changed the settings so that every call to his house number would get forwarded to the Free Palestine Movement." (01/12/16)

http://motherboard.vice.com/read/teen-who-hacked-cia-email-is-back-to-prank-us-spy-chief  

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Microsoft pledges to inform users of state surveillance, account hacking

December 31, 2015
posted by

ZDNet ZDNet    

"Microsoft has pledged to inform users if their online communications are being targeted and monitored by government entities and state actors. Following the trail blazed by Facebook, Twitter and Google, the Redmond giant says the firm will notify users if any part of their Microsoft account -- including Outlook.com email and OneDrive [--] has been 'targeted or compromised by an individual or group working on behalf of a nation state.'" [editor's note: Every time I see these claims, I wonder if the warnings will include US state actors, especially "National Security Letter, we will hurt you if you tell" tactics - TLK] (12/31/15)

http://www.zdnet.com/article/microsoft-pledges-to-inform-users-of-state-surveillance-account-hacking/  

1 Comment »

Report: Iranian hackers breached controls of dam near New York

December 21, 2015
posted by

Newsweek    

"Iranian hackers breached the control system of a dam near New York City in 2013, an infiltration that raised concerns about the security of the country's infrastructure, The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing former and current U.S. officials. Two people familiar with the breach told the newspaper it occurred at the Bowman Avenue Dam in Rye, New York. The small structure about 20 miles from New York City is used for flood control. The hackers gained access to the dam through a cellular modem, the Journal said, citing an unclassified Department of Homeland Security summary of the incident that did not specify the type of infrastructure." (12/21/15)

http://www.newsweek.com/iran-hackers-breached-controls-dam-near-new-york-report-407601  

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FBI said to probe breach of Juniper Networks VPN software

December 20, 2015
posted by

USA Today USA Today    

"U.S. officials are investigating a recent breach of Juniper Networks software over concerns the 'backdoor entry' allowed a foreign government to tap into communications of the U.S. government, news reports said. On Thursday, Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Juniper said it found unauthorized code had been inserted into its ScreenOS software, which runs its firewalls. The rogue code could potentially compromise the whole system and decrypt VPN devices, without leaving a trace of the party behind the breach. ... Juniper Networks makes communications equipment and software for large customers, including the U.S. government. Both groups have been vulnerable to large-scale hacks over the past year, and the Obama administration has expressed increased concern that foreign governments are involved in some of the attacks." (12/19/15)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/news/2015/12/19/fbi-investigates-juniper-networks-breach-hack-vpn-encrypted/77642450/  

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UK: Hackers trace Islamic State Twitter accounts back to Department of Work and Pensions

December 16, 2015
posted by

Mirror [UK]    

"Hackers have claimed that a number of Islamic State supporters' social media accounts are being run from internet addresses linked to the Department of Work and Pensions. A group of four young computer experts who call themselves VandaSec have unearthed evidence indicating that at least three ISIS-supporting accounts can be traced back to the DWP's London offices." (12/15/15)

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/technology-science/technology/hackers-trace-isis-twitter-accounts-7010417  

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Twitter warns some users of possible government hacking

December 14, 2015
posted by

CNet News CNet News    

"Twitter is warning some users that they may be the target of security breaches by 'state-sponsored actors.' The microblogging service sent emails to an unknown number of users warning that hackers may be trying to obtain phone numbers, email addresses and IP addresses, according to Twitter users who have received the emails. The emails warn that while Twitter is not certain recipients' personal information was obtained, it has reason to believe they were intended targets." (12/13/15)

http://www.cnet.com/uk/news/twitter-warns-users-of-possible-government-hacking/  

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The sorry tale of the PECB, Pakistan’s terrible electronic crime bill

November 24, 2015
posted by

Electronic Frontier Foundation Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Nighat Dad  

"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a government, in the wake of a national security crisis -- or hostage to the perceived threat of one -- will pursue and in many cases enact legislation that is claimed to protect its citizens from danger, actual or otherwise. These security laws often include wide-ranging provisions that do anything but protect their citizens' rights or their safety. We have seen this happen time and time again, from the America's PATRIOT Act to Canada's C-51. The latest wave of statements by politicians after the Paris bombing implies we will see more of the same very soon. Not keen to be left out, Pakistan has now joined the ranks of countries using 'cybercrime' and terrorism to rewrite the protections for their nationals' privacy and right to free expression." (11/23/15)

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2015/11/sorry-tale-pecb-pakistans-terrible-electronic-crime-bill  

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UK: Regime to build cyber attack forces

November 18, 2015
posted by

Reuters Reuters    

"British spies are building elite cyber offensive forces to strike at Islamic State fighters, hackers and hostile powers, finance minister George Osborne said on Tuesday after warning militants wanted to launch deadly digital attacks. Islamic State was trying to develop the capability to attack British infrastructure such as hospitals, power networks and air traffic control systems with potentially lethal consequences, Osborne said. In response, Britain will bolster spending on cyber defences, simplify its state cyber structures and build its own offensive cyber capability to attack adversaries." (11/17/15)

http://in.reuters.com/article/2015/11/17/britain-security-cybersecurity-idINKCN0T601B20151117  

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Hackers who targeted Samsung Pay may be looking to track individuals

October 7, 2015
posted by

PC World    

"The security breach at Samsung subsidiary LoopPay was probably more about spying than about gathering consumer data for profit, and the worst could be yet to come, a security analyst said Wednesday. Samsung acknowledged the attack on LoopPay, which it acquired in February for technology that it uses in its Samsung Pay service. It said hackers only breached LoopPay's office network, not systems used by Samsung Pay. The affected servers have been isolated and no personal payment information was put at risk, according to Samsung. However, if the breach was carried out by the notorious Codoso Group in China, as The New York Times reported, it probably wasn't intended to steal consumer data for sale, said Ken Westin, a senior security analyst at threat-detection software company TripWire." (10/07/15)

http://bit.ly/1N0JJCS  

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Linux-powered botnet generates giant denial-of-service attacks

September 30, 2015
posted by

ZDNet ZDNet    

"Malware that has hijacked Linux systems for the past year has been recorded flooding targeted websites at speeds of over 150Gbps. The Linux botnet, known as XOR DDoS or XOR.DDoS, is orchestrating attacks on around 20 targets a day, according go Akamai, which in late August blocked two attacks against customers that measured 50 Gbps and 100 Gbps, respectively. ... Akamai warns that this particular example is just part of a wider trend that may have been made possible because Linux was seen as more secure than Windows, causing companies to adopt Linux. So today there are enough Linux systems to make it worthwhile to pick low-hanging Linux fruit, namely poorly configured systems." (09/30/15)

http://zd.net/1j0KuSJ  

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Syria: British computer hacker killed in US drone strike

August 28, 2015
posted by

Irish Examiner [Ireland]    

"A British computer hacker accused of being a prominent member of the so-called Islamic State (IS) terror group has been killed in a US drone strike in Syria. Junaid Hussain, 21, from Birmingham, is thought to have died in a coalition air strike that targeted him as he was travelling in a vehicle in Syria, US sources were quoted as saying. Hussain, who was married to former punk rocker Sally Jones, is thought to have fled to Syria in 2013 while he was on bail in the UK." (08/27/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pe8dtwo  

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Impact Team: Ashley Madison “blackmailed” users, not us

August 24, 2015
posted by

ZDNet ZDNet    

"Hackers Impact Team says Ashley Madison became a target for the group after making $100m a year fraudulently by blackmailing users. ... The hacking group took on Avid Life Media's Ashley Madison domain after claiming the "Paid Delete" function, which permanently removed user account details for a fee, did not perform as advertized. Instead, there are 'many accounts' which prove the feature duped users into handing over additional money for no return, according to Impact Team." (08/24/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nd2nndg  

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Purported Islamic State militants post list of 1,400 US “targets”

August 13, 2015
posted by

CNN CNN    

"A group calling itself the Islamic State Hacking Division this week posted online a purported list of names and contacts for Americans it refers to as 'targets,' according to officials. Though the legitimacy of the list is questionable, and much of the information it contains is outdated, the message claims to provide the phone numbers, locations, and 'passwords' for 1400 American government and military personnel as well as purported credit card numbers, and excerpts of some Facebook chats." (08/13/15)

http://www.cnn.com/2015/08/13/world/isis-militants-american-targets/  

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America’s already-failed cyber war

July 23, 2015
posted by

Kelley B Vlahos The American Conservative
by Kelley Vlahos  

"This spring, upwards of 22 million people -- including all government workers and their families -- were affected by the largest data breach of government computers ever, putting their personal histories ... at risk. In a seeming moment of candor, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said in July that the two separate hacks of the Office of Personnel management first discovered in June were a 'wake up call' for the federal government regarding the urgency of the cybersecurity threat .... After spending two decades and untold billions in taxpayer dollars on federal cyber priorities, not to mention the dedication of new agencies, programs, departments, task forces, a czar, and a cyber command under the U.S. military, the idea that the DHS needed an 'a-ha' moment to put the threat into perspective is absurd, even bordering on cheap sentiment considering the circumstances. " (07/23/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nhfxtwd  

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The terrorism pretext: Mass surveillance is about money and power

July 20, 2015
posted by

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Bill Blunden  

"For years public figures have condemned cyber espionage committed against the United States by intruders launching their attacks out of China. These same officials then turn around and justify America's far-reaching surveillance apparatus in terms of preventing terrorist attacks. Yet classified documents published by WikiLeaks reveal just how empty these talking points are. Specifically, top-secret intercepts prove that economic spying by the United States is pervasive, that not even allies are safe, and that it's wielded to benefit powerful corporate interests." (07/20/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ot5fr5o  

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International cyber criminals steal, deface another gang’s web site

July 16, 2015
posted by

Newsweek    

"U.S. law enforcement, in coordination with more than a dozen international authorities, recently shut down Darkode -- a secretive online bazaar for exploits, malware, botnets and stolen personal information, like credit cards. 'Of the roughly 800 criminal Internet forums worldwide, Darkode represented one of the gravest threats to the integrity of data on computers in the United States,' said U.S. Attorney David Hickton. It is not clear when authorities shut down the site. But on Wednesday, darkode.com displayed a notice saying that the FBI seized the domain." [editor's note: That Hickton guy says Darkode was "one of" the gravest threats to data integrity. Not nearly the threat that the US government itself is by a damn site, though - TLK] (07/15/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ntammh6  

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Mozilla blocks all Flash in Firefox after third zero-day

July 14, 2015
posted by

Computer World    

"Mozilla on Monday began blocking all versions of Adobe Flash Player from running automatically in its Firefox browser, reacting to news of even more zero-day vulnerabilities unearthed in a massive document cache pilfered from the Italian Hacking Team surveillance firm. ... With the block in place, any attempt to play Flash content in Firefox displays a message at the top of the browser display window that reads, 'Firefox has pre[v]ented the unsafe plugin 'Adobe Flash' from running on the target URL.' Users can sidestep the block by clicking an 'Allow' button at the far right of the message." (07/14/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ncx79b3  

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Hacking the Hacking Team: The innards of the surveillance industry

July 8, 2015
posted by

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Binoy Kampmark  

"What goes around can come around with inexorable force. An Italian hackers-for-hire company called the Hacking Team, selling software to facilitate surveillance, has been, in turn, hacked. In this self-assuming ecology, such companies will have to expect that what they allow others to do will be used on them in time. ... The surveillance industry has no codes of fidelity or borders of control. It is simply a business over nourished by peeping tom patrons. Caught in this tawdry mix are users of such technologies who simply want that rather frayed liberty of privacy to be protected. Not all who use encryption tools seek to trick the law and its suspicious officials." (07/08/15)

http://tinyurl.com/puqyhff  

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Hacking Team hacked: firm sold spying tools to repressive regimes, documents claim

July 6, 2015
posted by

The Guardian The Guardian [UK]    

"The cybersecurity firm Hacking Team appears to have itself been the victim of a hack, with documents that purport to show it sold software to repressive regimes being posted to the company's own Twitter feed. The Italy-based company offers security services to law enforcement and national security organisations. It offers legal offensive security services, using malware and vulnerabilities to gain access to target's networks. According to the documents, 400GB of which have been published, Hacking Team has also been working with numerous repressive governments -- something it has previously explicitly denied doing." [editor's note: If Hacking Team works for governments, and it does work for governments, it works for "repressive" governments - TLK] (07/06/15)

http://tinyurl.com/p5qlbkl  

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Hackers installed sophisticated malware on US computers. Why doesn’t anyone care?

July 6, 2015
posted by

Reason Reason
by Andrea Castillo  

"Duqu 2 is noteworthy for the unparalleled number of victims it intentionally infected, having compromised computer systems owned or used by Western heads of state, European telecommunications providers, American corporations, and Kaspersky Labs itself. During that time, hackers could freely explore comprised systems for a pervasive surveillance operation on the multilateral nuclear negotiations. Yet the scant and nonactionable details gleaned from this paranoid bugging scheme are surely not worth the tremendous geopolitical cost that comes with it. By targeting a trusted security research center and U.S. computer systems, the Duqu 2 attackers have dangerously crossed an unspoken barrier preventing an all-out global cyber war." (07/04/15)

http://reason.com/archives/2015/07/04/hackers-installed-duqu-2-malware  

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Why cyber war is dangerous for democracies

June 25, 2015
posted by

The Atlantic The Atlantic
by Moises Naim  

"[W]hile it is important that democracies not spy on their citizens, it is as important that democracies have ways to defend themselves and their citizens from the dangerous cyber world that is emerging. This new world is significantly imbalanced in favor of non-democratic nations -- not because authoritarian states are more technologically sophisticated than their democratic counterparts, but because they are more institutionally flexible, opaque, unaccountable, and often corrupt." (06/25/15)

http://tinyurl.com/phbp4ue  

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US: Swedish abductee sentenced to five years for writing software

June 24, 2015
posted by

Computer World    

"The creator of a tool that was used to steal data from a half-million computers will go to prison for close to five years, the U.S. Department of Justice said Tuesday. Alex Yucel, 25, of Sweden, pleaded guilty in February in federal court in New York to one count of distributing malicious software. He was sentenced to four and three-quarter years in prison and fined $200,000 .... Yucel was accused of creating and managing the sale of Blackshades, a remote access tool that was widely used by the criminal underground." (06/24/15)

http://tinyurl.com/qd8vlcf  

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Spies are cracking into antivirus software, Snowden files reveal

June 23, 2015
posted by

The Hill The Hill    

"American and British spy agencies have been working together to exploit flaws in popular antivirus software to conduct surveillance, according to documents published by The Intercept from the cache of government leaker Edward Snowden. Together, the National Security Agency (NSA) and its British equivalent, Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), have worked to reverse engineer these products, study them for weaknesses, and even track emails coming into top security companies that might be alerting them to new viruses and vulnerabilities, The Intercept reported." (06/22/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nzwwndh  

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