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1-15 April 2014 Cyber Attacks Timeline

And here it is the timeline reporting the Cyber Attacks happened during the first half of April 2014, a month probably long remembered within the Infosec Chronicles for the discovery of the terrible Heartbleed bug (two attacks have been recorded, so far, related to this devastating vulnerability).

Besides the infamous Heartbleed, the most important events of this timeline are related to Cyber Crime. Germany in particular had a bad surprise, with the discovery of a list of 18 million compromised e-mail accounts and passwords, affecting all major German Internet service providers. The list of the remarkable targets also includes Lacie, victim of a malware putting at risk the users who performed on-line purchases from the company web site, the Harley Medical Group (500,000 accounts potentially compromised) and, once again, South Korea where unknown hackers were able to steal the personal information of about 200,000 credit card users, racking up fraudulent charges of about $115,ooo.

The feared wave of cyber attacks against Israel, promised by several Anonymous affiliated hacktivists for the 7th of April, did not happen. The impact of the attacks was limited and in many cases several old leaks were ‘recycled’.

Last but not least, Germany’s Space Research Center in Cologne, was the victim of a targeted attack. Suspects point to China.

As usual, if you want to have an idea of how fragile our data are inside the cyberspace, have a look at the timelines of the main Cyber Attacks in 2011, 2012 and now 2013 (regularly updated). You may also want to have a look at the Cyber Attack Statistics, and follow @paulsparrows on Twitter for the latest updates.

Also, feel free to submit remarkable incidents that in your opinion deserve to be included in the timelines (and charts).

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16-31 March 2014 Cyber Attacks Timeline

And here we are with the second part of the Cyber Attacks Timeline (first part here).

The prize for the most noticeable breach of the month goes in Korea, where a 31-year-old man has been arrested for infiltrating the account of 25 million users of Never, a local Internet Portal (actually it happened several months ago but was unveiled in this month). Other noticeable events include the trail of attacks against several Universities (Maryland, Auburn, Purdue, Wisconsin-Parkside), the compromising of personal information of 550,000 employees and users of Spec’s, the leak of 158,000 forum users of Boxee.tv and 95,000 users of Cerberus and, finally, a breach targeting the California Department of Motor Vehicles. Last but not least, even the infamous Operation Windigo has deserved a mention in the timeline.

Moving to Hacktivism, chronicles report of a couple of hijackings performed, as usual, by the Syrian Electronic Army, a couple of operations carried on by the Russian Cyber Command and a (probably fake) attack by someone in disguise of Anonymous Ukraine, claiming to to have leaked 7 million Russian Credit Cards. Probably a recycle of old leaks.

As usual, if you want to have an idea of how fragile our data are inside the cyberspace, have a look at the timelines of the main Cyber Attacks in 2011, 2012 and now 2013 (regularly updated). You may also want to have a look at the Cyber Attack Statistics, and follow @paulsparrows on Twitter for the latest updates.

Also, feel free to submit remarkable incidents that in your opinion deserve to be included in the timelines (and charts).

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1-15 March 2014 Cyber Attacks Timeline

March 31, 2014 2 comments

And here we are with the timeline of the main Cyber Attacks happened during the first half of March.

Even if globally the number of attacks seems to keep on its decreasing trend, one event in particular will probably be remembered in the chronicles of 2014: definitely the breach to KT Corp. in Korea (12 million customers compromised) deserves a special mention (despite this is not the only one in this first half of the month), even if, apparently, the authors have been immediately busted.

Other interesting trends include the long trail of attacks against Bitcoin Exchange sites (the equivalent of $700.000 has been vaporized by hackers in this two weeks) and an anomalous number of attacks against Universities (North Dakota, Johns Hopkins and Central Oklahoma).

Moving to hacktivism, the landscape has been predictably influenced by the events happening in Ukraine (chronicles report of several attacks in Ukraine, Russia, Poland and also a DDoS against some NATO web sites).

The temperature on the Cyber Espionage front remains high, most of all in India where a local newspaper has unveiled some details related to an operation compromising 50 computers belonging to the Defense Research and Development Organization.

As usual, if you want to have an idea of how fragile our data are inside the cyberspace, have a look at the timelines of the main Cyber Attacks in 2011, 2012 and now 2013 (regularly updated). You may also want to have a look at the Cyber Attack Statistics, and follow @paulsparrows on Twitter for the latest updates.

Also, feel free to submit remarkable incidents that in your opinion deserve to be included in the timelines (and charts).

1-15 Mar 2014 Cyber Attacks Timeline

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16-28 February 2014 Cyber Attacks Timeline

Here is the list of the main Cyber Attacks happened during the second half of February 2014 (Part I here). As you will soon discover, unlike the previous months, the activity in this second half of February has shown a sensible decrease both in number and in size in comparison with the previous months.

One of the few exception to this decreasing trend is  the University of Maryland, that was the victim of a cyber attack that led to the compromising of more than 300,o00 records.

Apparently even the hacktivists have slowed down their attacks with few exceptions (the Syrian Electronic Army and some sporadic actions executed by hackers affiliated to Anonymous.

Interestingly the cyber espionage front has been the more interesting with a couple of remarkable events (a cyber attack against a French aerospace engine maker and the revelation of further details concerning the Iranian attack against a US Navy Computer Network.

As usual, if you want to have an idea of how fragile our data are inside the cyberspace, have a look at the timelines of the main Cyber Attacks in 2011, 2012 and now 2013 (regularly updated). You may also want to have a look at the Cyber Attack Statistics, and follow @paulsparrows on Twitter for the latest updates.

Also, feel free to submit remarkable incidents that in your opinion deserve to be included in the timelines (and charts).

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1-15 February 2014 Cyber Attacks Timeline

And here we are with the timelines of the main Cyber Attacks happened during the first half of February.

It is very hard to summarize these days from an Infosec perspective, considering the noticeable number of massive breaches: Kickstarter (potentially 5.6 million of records affected), Forbes (1 million records leaked), Orange (800,000 users impacted) and St. Joseph Health System (400,000 users affected) are the main examples, but they must not overshadow other ‘minor’ events such as the the attack against Bell.ca (‘only’ 40,000 users affected).

15 days in which Cybercrime and Hacktivism dangerously overlapped, ‘thanks’ mainly to the infamous Syrian Electronic Army, author of the hack against Forbes but also of several account hijacking attacks that have become their unique fingerprint, but also ‘thanks’ to the RedHack collective who, once again, targeted (directly or indirectly) the Turkish Government with three noticeable attacks.

Last but not least, the Cyber Espionage: the first half of February has brought us the discovery of “The Mask” (AKA Careto), a massive Operation targeting 31 countries around the world, but also the revelation of an alleged attack carried on by Huawei against the Indian provider BSNL and a further purported Chinese attack against some bio-medic industries in the U.S.

Finally, the Cyber War between India and Pakistan deserves a special mention, despite only defacements have been reported, the end of the fight is far from being reached.

As usual, if you want to have an idea of how fragile our data are inside the cyberspace, have a look at the timelines of the main Cyber Attacks in 2011, 2012 and now 2013 (regularly updated). You may also want to have a look at the Cyber Attack Statistics, and follow @paulsparrows on Twitter for the latest updates.

Also, feel free to submit remarkable incidents that in your opinion deserve to be included in the timelines (and charts).

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16-31 January 2014 Cyber Attacks Timeline

February 17, 2014 Leave a comment

Even if with several days of delay, it is time for the second Cyber Attacks Timeline of June January 2014 (Part I here).

Unfortunately the trail of massive breaches has continued even in the second half of the month with the two remarkable events of the 16 million of records scraped by a German botnet and also the discovery of the ChewBacca malware by RSA. Cyber Crime Chronicles also report a global password reset issued by Yahoo! after the discovery of a coordinated effort to compromise accounts.

Cyber Espionage Chronicles report of an attempted malware attack against the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Israeli Defense Ministry and, most of all, the discovery of an operation allegedly orchestrated by Russian hackers against Western energy interests.

Looking at the attacks motivated by Hacktivism, the Syrian Electronic Army were behind the most noticeable events.

As usual, if you want to have an idea of how fragile our data are inside the cyberspace, have a look at the timelines of the main Cyber Attacks in 2011, 2012 and now 2013 (regularly updated). You may also want to have a look at the Cyber Attack Statistics, and follow @paulsparrows on Twitter for the latest updates.

Also, feel free to submit remarkable incidents that in your opinion deserve to be included in the timelines (and charts).

16-31 Jan 2014 Cyber Attacks Timeline

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1-15 January 2014 Cyber Attacks Timeline

February 5, 2014 2 comments

It’s time for the Cyber Attacks Timeline for the first half of January 2014. I wish we had a better start for this Infosec year. Not even a month has passed (actually this timeline covers the first two weeks) and we have already seen several massive breaches (Snapchat) and other resounding events, maybe less relevant from a mere numeric perspective, but equally meaningful for the high profile of the victims involved (Microsoft).

Besides Snapchat, other important organizations have been targeted by Cyber crooks with very bad consequences: World Poker Tour (175,333), Staysure (93,000 individuals involved) and OpenSUSE (79,500 victims) are the most noticeable examples. On the cyber crime front other meaningful events include a wave of attacks against Video Games industries, and the hacking of Yahoo advertise network, infecting, potentially 27,000 users per hour.

Hacktivists of the Syrian Electronic Army are back with the result that even Microsoft is now part of the list of their victims (however their web site was also hacked in the same period). Other hacktivists very active in the same period include the infamous RedHack collective.

Last but not least, the control room of the Nuclear Plant of Monju in Japan was found infected with a malware capable of allegedly exfiltrate 42,000 emails.

As usual, if you want to have an idea of how fragile our data are inside the cyberspace, have a look at the timelines of the main Cyber Attacks in 2011, 2012 and now 2013 (regularly updated). You may also want to have a look at the Cyber Attack Statistics, and follow @paulsparrows on Twitter for the latest updates.

Also, feel free to submit remarkable incidents that in your opinion deserve to be included in the timelines (and charts).

1-15 Jan 2014 Cyber Attacks Timeline

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2013 Cyber Attacks Statistics (Summary)

January 19, 2014 4 comments

This post has been possible thanks to the contribution of @piz69, who kindly (and patiently) took care to aggregate the data for 2013!

Finally we can consolidate the data related to 2013 and draw some global stats summarizing the infosec landscape for the past year. Of course this data cannot absolutely pretend to be exhaustive, but rather we could define the charts  as macro-indicators of the threat landscape and the corresponding trend, since the sources of the timelines (from which the stats are derived) are open and therefore only show cyber attacks that were discovered and gained space in the news.

Before drilling down into the data for the past year, it’s worth to have a look to the trend of the last three years (with the caveat that data for 2011 are incomplete as it was consolidated into a form comparable with 2012 and 2013 only starting from September).

Apparently 2012 and 2013 have a very different shape: 2012 shows a constant trend (with a high activity between May and June), while, after an initial peak, the line for 2013 experiences a progressive decrease, reaching a stable state. This is probably due to the minor influence of attacks motivated by hacktivism throughout the year (see the next chart).

2011-2012-Summary

2011-2013 Data Trend (data for 2011 consolidated starting from September)

A closer look to 2013 allows to understand the influence of the motivations throughout the different months. The initial part of the year is characterized by hacktivism. Cyber Crime is quite constant and ends up dominating the second half. This trend does not mean a decrease of hacktivism, but rather a different connotation throughout the year: the global-scale operations executed by the Anonymous have progressively been replaced by local phenomena (for instance the cyber attacks in India and Pakistan). Also the first months of the year are influenced by the DDos attacks of Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Cyber Fighters against US Banks.

2013-Summary

2013 Attack Trend with the Drill-down of Motivations

Exploring the motivations shows a slight advantage of Cyber Crime (47%) over Hacktivism (44%), well above Cyber Espionage (5%) and Cyber Warfare (4%).

2013-Motivations

Motivations Behind Attacks (2013)

DDoS leads the chart of known Attack Techniques (23%) ahead of SQLi (19%) and Defacements (14%). It’s also worth to mention the rank number five achieved by Account Hijacking (with 9%) and the growing influence of Targeted Attacks ranking at number six with 6%.

2013-Attacks

Top 10 Attack Techniques (2013)

Governments and Industries have been the most preferred targets for Cyber Attackers with similar values (respectively 23% and 22%). Targets belonging to finance rank at number three (7%), immediately ahead of News (6%) and Education (5%).

2013-Targets

Top 10 Targets (2013)

And, last but not least, the Top 10 Countries chart is lead by US which suffered nearly 1 attack on 2, well ahead of UK (5%) and India (3%).

2013-Countries

Top 10 Countries (2013)

As usual, bear in mind that the sample must be taken very carefully since it refers only to discovered attacks, published in the news, and included in my timelines. The sample cannot be exhaustive but only aims to provide an high level overview of the “cyber landscape”.

If you want to have an idea of how fragile our data are inside the cyberspace, have a look at the timelines of the main Cyber Attacks in 2011 and 2012. You may also want to have a look at the Cyber Attack Statistics, and follow @paulsparrows on Twitter for the latest updates.

Also, feel free to submit remarkable incidents that in your opinion deserve to be included in the timelines (and charts).

December 2013 Cyber Attack Statistics

January 15, 2014 Leave a comment

It’s time for the statistics derived from the Cyber Attacks Timelines of December (Part I and Part II).

As a consolidated tradition, the first chart to be shown is the Daily Attack Trend, which shows quite a constant trend with two peaks just at the beginning and at the end of the month.

December 2013 Daily Attack Trend

The Country Distribution Chart is quite monotonous: as usual the United States lead the chart (with nearly one half of the recorded attacks), well above UK (at rank number two with 8%). The other countries are quite far this month…

December 2013 Country Distribution

The Motivations Behind Attacks chart shows a clear predominance of Cyber Crime (62%) against Hacktivism (34%), a sharp increase of the first in comparison with the previous month when the values were respectively 53% and 45%.

December 2013 Motivations

Well, 28.4% of attacks into the Distribution of Attack Techniques chart are without a known origin (a sharp increase in comparison to 23.1% of the previous month). Defacements plummeted at 18.9% in comparison to 29.7% of the previous month), while DDoSes are in slight increase with 17.9% (was 15.4 one month ago). It is also interested to notice the growth of SQLi, at 12.6% against 4.4% of November.

December 2013 Distribution

Last but not least, the Distribution of Target chart, where a change at rank number one happened. In practice industry and government targets swapped their positions (with similar values in comparison to the previous month). Financial targets close the podium, leaving behind the other categories.

December 2013 Targetspng

As usual, please bear in mind that the sample must be taken very carefully since it refers only to discovered attacks, published in the news, and included in my timelines. The sample cannot be exhaustive but only aims to provide an high level overview of the “cyber landscape”.

If you want to have an idea of how fragile our data are inside the cyberspace, have a look at the timelines of the main Cyber Attacks in 2011, 2012 and now 2013 (regularly updated). You may also want to have a look at the Cyber Attack Statistics, and follow @paulsparrows on Twitter for the latest updates.

Also, feel free to submit remarkable incidents that in your opinion deserve to be included in the timelines (and charts).

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16-31 December 2013 Cyber Attacks Timeline

January 12, 2014 Leave a comment

Let’s give the welcome to this new infosec year with the first timeline of 2014 (or better the last of 2013) summarizing the main events occurred in the second half of December 2013.

With no doubt, this holiday season has been characterized by the Target breach, whose size is constantly growing (110 million the number of potential victims according to recent estimates). This massive incident has somehow shadowed another massive breached occurred in Turkey, were Russian hackers have allegedly been able to obtain 54 million citizens’ ID Data. With similar numbers, the 300.000 users potentially affected by the Cyber Attack involving Affinity Gaming appear risible.

Other considerable events include a Christmas Intrusion on a BBC server (with the author possibly selling the backdoor access on the underground) and yet another possible intrusion by Chinese hackers on a US target, specifically the Federal Election Commission.

Nothing particularly significant on the hacktivism front characterized by the consolidated “background noise” of events whose sizes are well far from the levels of the recent years.

As usual, if you want to have an idea of how fragile our data are inside the cyberspace, have a look at the timelines of the main Cyber Attacks in 2011, 2012 and now 2013 (regularly updated). You may also want to have a look at the Cyber Attack Statistics, and follow @paulsparrows on Twitter for the latest updates.

Also, feel free to submit remarkable incidents that in your opinion deserve to be included in the timelines (and charts).

16-31 December 2013 Cyber Attacks Timeline Update2 Read more…

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