Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Cyber Security News For The Week of September 5, 2011

Cyber Security News For The Week of September 5, 2011
From our friends at Citadel Information Group, Inc.

This Week's Top Story

A real world story of a major security breach that might have been prevented with improved employee awareness training. A valuable lesson.

Hackers used 'Job offer' email to breach RSA's security: 'Very sophisticated attack', as RSA had called the March hack attack, turned out to be a targeted email to EMC employees, says computer security firm. ... Hackers working for a "nation state" used a targeted 'job offer' email to EMC employees to breach the security of RSA to steal military secrets from US arms supplier Lockheed-Martin, according to F-Secure. CBR, August 29, 2011

Alerts and Warnings

US warns of 9/11, Hurricane Irene cyber scams: Homeland Security officials are warning the public to beware of email scams and possible cyberattacks related to Hurricane Irene and the upcoming 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. ... New bulletins issued in recent days by the Homeland Security Department's cybersecurity center said computer users should be wary of emails with subject lines referring to the recent hurricane or 9/11, even if they appear to come from reputable sources. Associated Press, September 1, 2011

Information at Risk

Hacking exposes holes in officers Web security: A cyber-attack on the email accounts of Texas police chiefs revealed the vulnerability even of the state's top cops and appears to have prompted a new investigation into a notorious hacking group. ... The stealthy group known as Anonymous claimed responsibility for "Texas Takedown Thursday." The email accounts of 25 members of the Texas Police Chiefs Association were compromised and their contents posted online. Houston Chronicle, September 3, 2011

How a LinkedIn notice could empty your bank account: We see a lot of spam at Barracuda Labs. Sometimes they're as simple and straightforward as a Viagra ad, but just as often they can be as serious and as devastating as an urban mugging. We've been watching one of those muggings play out over the past few days, and it has reminded us that spam is nothing to take lightly. ... Early on the morning of August 23 the spam monitors at Barracuda Labs started detecting a large number of emails claiming to be from LinkedIn. The quantities were significant, tens of thousands an hour, and these were pretty convincing messages. BarracudaLabs, August 27, 2011

Information at Risk - State-Sponsored

In Latest Breach, Hackers Impersonate Google to Snoop on Users in Iran: Hackers passed themselves off as the Internet giant Google with the apparent goal of snooping on people using Google services in Iran, the company said.... It was the latest in a string of breaches that call into question the reliability of certificates that are supposed to verify the authenticity of Web sites. Such breaches make dissidents and human rights workers particularly vulnerable because they can allow repressive regimes, or supporters of those regimes, to spy on their online activities. New York Times, August 30, 2011

Suspected North Korean cyberattack on a bank raises fears for S. Korea, allies: After nearly half of the servers for a South Korean bank crashed one day in April, investigators here found evidence indicating that they were dealing with a new kind of attack from an old rival: North Korea. Washington Post, August 30, 2011

Cyber Security Management

Hackers used 'Job offer' email to breach RSA's security: 'Very sophisticated attack', as RSA had called the March hack attack, turned out to be a targeted email to EMC employees, says computer security firm. ... Hackers working for a "nation state" used a targeted 'job offer' email to EMC employees to breach the security of RSA to steal military secrets from US arms supplier Lockheed-Martin, according to F-Secure. CBR, August 29, 2011

Top cybersecurity concerns: Malicious code, employees run amok: When 3,300 information-technology professionals were asked about cybersecurity, they said malicious code attacks accounted for the main type of cyberattack their organizations suffered during the past year, although "internal unintentional actions" by well-meaning insiders also wreaked havoc. ... While about three-quarters of respondents to the "2011 State of Security Survey" sponsored by Symantec said cyberattack incidents were minimal, 21% said they happened "on a regular basis," and 6% indicated they have suffered "a large number" during the past year. Network World, August 31, 2011

Cyber Security Management - Infrastructure Security

LDAP flaw in OS X Lion opens major authentication security hole: Apparently a major security hole has been found in OS X Lion systems that are set up to accept authentication through LDAP servers, where users may be allowed to log in to the system without providing a password. For networked systems that uses LDAP-based authentication for managing users and restricting network resources, this may be a fairly severe security risk. MacFixIt, August 29, 2011

Internet Badlands

Life After Anonymous - Interview with a Former Hacker: The hacker group Anonymous has been in the news recently for a variety of reasons, including WikiLeaks, the HBGary breach, and other things. One recent item was a relatively high-profile defection from the organization, the departure of SparkyBlaze for a variety of reasons, including being "fed up with anon putting people's data online and then claiming to be the big heroes." Cisco Blog, August 30, 2011

Experienced Money Mule, Will Travel: I've written a great deal about "money mules," people looking for part-time employment who unwittingly or willingly help organized cyber thieves launder stolen funds. The most common question I get about money mules is: "Do any of them ever get prosecuted?" The answer is generally "no" because it's hard to prove that these mules weren't scammed. But recently, I encountered a mule who made it abundantly clear that he understood exactly what he was doing. KrebsOnSecurity, August 29, 2011

Mobile Security

Android Devices Exposed: 7 Ways to Thwart Hackers: Hackers are in hot pursuit of Google's popular Android OS, according to recent reports. And although mobile security threats are tiny compared to PCs, you still need to protect your smartphone, even more so if  it runs Android. Here are seven tips for staying safe. CIO, August 30, 2011

Privacy Matters

Reminder: The Embarrassing Naked Photos On Your Stolen Laptop May Not Belong To The Thief: Many a lost laptop has been recovered thanks to tracking software like BackBlaze, LoJack and Hidden that tech-savvy computer owners install in case their machines should fall into the wrong hands. The tales of these recoveries tend to be dramatic ones, with the rightful owner of the computer using location-tracking to see where the computer is when it's turned on or intercepting browser activities and webcam photos to figure out who the dastardly thief is. Forbes, August 30, 2011

Rays of Sunshine

Police hunt scares hackers offline: The freewheeling online activities of the hacker groups Anonymous and Lulz Security appear to have been curtailed after a concerted international effort led to what could prove the most significant arrests yet. Financial Times, September 2, 2011

Man Gets Six Years for Hacking Girls to Extort Photographs: A 32-year-old paraplegic was sentenced to six years in prison for infecting more than 100 computers in a quest for financial information, nude photographs and thrills. ... Luis Mijangos worked as a freelance computer consultant in Santa Ana, California, earning about US$1,000 per week writing programs and building websites. But he lived a double life, also earning as much as $3,000 per day hacking and stealing financial information from his victims. PC World, September 1, 2011

Two charged in identity theft scheme: Kenneth C. Osbourne, Jr., age 35, and Sheldon Hylton, age 22, were charged Wednesday by indictment, filed on August 25, 2011, with conspiracy to commit bank fraud and aggravated identity theft, bank fraud, aggravated identity theft, and aiding and abetting, according to authorities. Westmoreland Times, September 1, 2011

British court hears cases of two suspected teenage hackers: A British court on Tuesday heard the cases of two teenagers accused of being key players in the LulzSec computer hacking group, which has claimed responsibility for a wave of high-profile cyber-attacks. Google News, August 30, 2011

Facebook Pays $40G to Hackers in New 'Bug Bounty' Scheme: Since launching its "bug bounty" program three weeks ago, Facebook has forked out $40,000 to hackers who detected security flaws on the social networking site. ... About fifty people who have successfully identified problems have been acknowledged on Facebook's "whitehat" - geek-speak for a hacker who is a good guy - site, and to date, Facebook has paid one individual $7,000 for flagging six issues and $5,000 for a particularly bad flaw, the Financial Times reported Wednesday. Fox News, August 31, 2011

National Cyber Security

Energy Grid: Safe From Cyber Attack?: Its smarter, but not perfect. Experts forecast more attacks amid evolving defenses. Discovery News, September 1, 2011

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