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October 2012 Cyber Attacks Timeline

November 2, 2012 Leave a comment

Click here for the first part covering the Cyber Attacks from 1 to 15 October 2012.

Here is the timeline for the main Cyber Attacks in October 2012. A month that has been characterized by hacktivism and also by several remarkable cyber crime operations.

For sure the next days will be hard for taxpayers of South Carolina, whose Department of Revenue has been targeted by foreign hackers able to access records of 3.6 million of individuals. But hard days are going to come also for banks: not only the trail of DDoS attack against U.S. Banks has continued even in the second half of the month (although different groups took credit for them), but also, on the cyber crime front, Citigroup has lost 1 million of bucks because of a loophole exploited by a ring of 13 individuals. Different motivations, same lesson: bank security needs a dramatic improvement.

Moving to hactkivism, nothing new under the sun. The pale sun of October has enlightened several operations targeting governments (Greece and Italy above all, to reflect the delicate situation of these two countries) and organization all over the world…

As usual after the jump you will find all the references.

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 and the related statistics (regularly updated), 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).

Read more…
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16-30 September 2012 Cyber Attacks Timeline

October 4, 2012 2 comments

Part One with 1-15 September 201 Timeline Here.

September is over and it’s time to analyze this month from an Information Security perspective with the second part of the Cyber Attack Timeline.

Probably this month will be remembered for the massive outage of six  U.S. Banks (Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo and PNC ) caused by a wave of DDoS attack carried on by alleged Muslim hackers in retaliation for the infamous movie (maybe this term is exaggerated) “The Innocence of Muslims”.

China has confirmed its intense activity inside the Cyber space. Alleged (state-sponsored?) Chinese hackers were allegedly behind the attack to Telvent, whose project files of its core product OASyS SCADA were stolen after a breach, and also behind a thwarted spear-phishing cyber attack against the White House.

Adobe suffered a high-profile breach which caused a build server to be compromised with the consequent theft of a certificate key used to sign two malware strains found on the wild (with the consequent necessary revoke of the compromised key affecting approximately 1,100 files).

Last but not least, the Hacktivism fever has apparently dropped. September has offered some attacks on the wake of the #OpFreeAssange campaign, and a new wave of attacks at the end of the month after the global protests set for September, the 29th, under the hashtag of #29s.

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 and the related statistics (regularly updated), 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).

Read more…

Categories: Cyber Attacks Timeline, Security Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

October 2011 Cyber Attacks Timeline (Part II)

November 2, 2011 Leave a comment

Halloween has just gone and here it is Part II of the October 2011 Cyber Attacks Timeline covering the second half (15-31) of this month.

From an Information Security Perspective, the 10th month of 2011 has been characterized by Duqu, the brand new Advanced Persistent Threat dubbed “The Sun Of Stuxnet”, whose echo is far from being silent (a brand new 0-day vulnerability targeting Windows Kernel has just been discovered in the Malware Installer). Duqu affected the timeline in two circumstances: not only the malware was discovered, but also an Indian Provider called Web Werks had some servers seized from a Data Center in Mumbai because they were discovered to be involved in the C&C communication of the infected endpoints.

Other noticeable events of the month involved:

  • The wave of alleged Cyber Attacks from China against Japan Parliament and Embassies and also against Canadian Finance and Treasury Board. These were not the only Cyber Events allegedly affecting China in October: even if occurred months before, news were reported that the attack against Mitsubishi Heavy Industries led to the theft of sensitive data, moreover other 760 organizations worldwide were attacked with the same methodology used for RSA Breach and originating from China as well.
  • A new tide of Hacktivism by Anonyomous and Antisec, encouraged from the OccupyWallStreet Movement, including a dramatic face-to-face of Anonymous Mexico against Las Zetas one of the most powerful Mexican Drug Cartel.

A particular rank in this month is deserved by Israel and Sweden, the first reported a huge data breach (affecting 9,000,000 users) occurred in 2006, while the latter suffered a Black October with a data leak involving nearly 200,000 users of the social platform bloggtoppen.se including Politicians and Journalists. At this point is clear that the cold Sweden won the Prize for the “Hottest Breach of The Month”.

Also Facebook was targeted with an alleged dump of 10,000 accounts, nothing if compared with the 600,000 compromised logins per day that the social network admitted to suffer).

According to my very personal estimate (based on the indications from the Ponemon’s insitute) the cost of the breaches for this months (in all those cases where enough information was available) is around $500 million, excluding the massive data breach in Israel reported today but occurred in 2006.

As usual, this Timeline was compiled with Useful Resources by:

And my inclusion criteria do not take into consideration “simple” defacement attacks (unless they are particularly resounding) or small data leaks.

Date

Author

Description

Organization

Attack

Oct 16

Fatal Error

UNESCO E-Platform Domain

The E-Platform domain of one of the Biggest Organizations: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) gets hacked and defaced by Fatal Error Crew hackers.

Defacement

Oct 17

10,000+ FaceBook accounts

A Hacking Crew From Nepal called TeamSwaStika hacks more than 10,000 facebook accounts. The hacking crew declares next target will be Nepal Government website and e-governance for Freedom. Estimated cost of the breach is $2,140,000.

Account Hacking (Phishing?)

Oct 17

?

Sesame Street’s Youtube Channel

Sesame Street had its YouTube channel hacked on Sunday, and its highly popular child-friendly videos of muppets like Kermit the frog and the Big Bird replaced with hard core porn movies.

Account Hacking

Oct 17

?

NHS Direct Twitter Account

NHS Direct, the UK helpline which provides expert health advice via the telephone and internet, has had its Twitter account taken over by spammers promoting an Acai Berry diet.

Account Hacking

Oct 18

TurkisH -RuleZ

proXPN

proXPN, one of the famous VPN client based on OpenVPN Service, is hacked by TurkisH-RuleZ.

Defacement

Oct 19

?

Gameloft

Gameloft, a Paris-based video game company that’s a leading mobile-game developer, acknowledges that a security breach has prompted it to pull the plug on one of its Web sites, the Order and Chaos online site.

SQLi?

Oct 19

?

Duqu

In a blog post, Symantec explains it came across the first samples of a new malware infecting some computer systems in Europe that appears to be very similar to Stuxnet. More analysis shows the malware is a “simple” keylogger using the same Stuxnet Technology

N/A

APT

Oct 19

?

Lord Of The Rings On Line

A FAQ on the official forum of the Lord Of The Rings Community On Line reveals that the site was breached although no financial data has been obtained by the attackers.

SQLi?

Oct 20

?

Phishing The Phisher

Finally someone decides to give a lesson to a phisherm by hacking the phishing website with a message educating the potential victims.

Phishing

Oct 21

Vikram Pandit (Citigroup CEO)

Mobile phone number and home address of Vikram Pandit, CEO of Citigroup, have been placed on the web by hacking group CabinCr3w in retaliation for the cuffing of protesters at an Occupy Wall Street demo. In their online statement the hackers say that they had accessed the data – which also included family information and some financial figures – and uploaded it online in response to events during the recent anti-bank protests on Wall Street.

N/A

Oct 21

Law Enforcement Agencies

Anonymous and Antisec broke their apparent October silence and renewed the tradition of the Friday Dumps against law enforcement agencies releasing a 600MB data dump of confidential data belonging to Law enforcement agencies. A couple of days later an AntiSec hacker tells police in a phone call that boredom drove him to hack their website.

Defacement

Oct 22

40 Child Porn Websites

As part as what they call #OpDarknet, Anonymous takes down more than 40 darknet-based child porn websites over the last week. They also leak personal details of 1500 users. Detalils on “AnonMessage” and “BecomeAnonymous” YouTube channels.

40 child Porn Websites

SQLi

DDoS

Oct 23

?

Microsoft’s Official YouTube Channel

Hackers take control of Microsoft’s official YouTube Channel (24,000+ subscribers), remove the company’s videos and replace them with videos of their own. Neither Microsoft nor Google (which owns YouTube) have disclosed information on how the security breach was perpetrated.

N/A

Oct 23

One Hit Play

@DiabloElite dumps 1008 accounts from onehitplay.com, with no other reason beside to show the need of a stronger security. All the accounts have been stored as plain text. Estimated cost of the breach is around $214,000.

SQLi?

Oct 23

Xbox A new hackers’ crew @DestructiveSec dumps some Xbox Live accounts.

SQLi?

Oct 24

?

cheaptickets.nl

The database of CheapTickets.nl (containing 715,000 customers) is leaked. Stolen information include 1,200,000 tickets and 80,000 passport numbers. Total cost of the breach might exceed $153 million.

SQLi?

Oct 24

Intra Web Security Exploit Team

LG Australia Web Site

One of the Australian websites belonging to global electronics giant LG (lge.com.au) is hacked by a collective calling itself the Intra Web Security Exploit Team. The attackers replaced the site with some lightly-obfuscated JavaScript pretending to be conducting an injection attack.

Defacement,

Simulated SQli

Oct 24

Malicious Employee

Israely Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare

Employee with access to the Population Registry has been discovered to steal the details of over 9 million residents and then passed them to someone else. Estimated cost of the breach is nearly $2 billion.

Malicious Access

Oct 24

760 Organizations Worldwide

Brian Kerbs publishes in his blog a list of companies whose networks were shown to have been connecting to the same control infrastructure that was used in the attack on RSA. The first victims appear to have begun communicating with the attacker’s control networks as early as November 2010. According to the list 760 other organizations had networks compromised with some of the same resources used to hit RSA and almost 20 percent of the current Fortune 100 companies are on this list.

760 Organizations Worldwide

APT

Oct 25

?

bloggtoppen.se

The usernames and passwords of around 90,000 accounts at Bloggtoppen.se have been made public after a hacker attack against the website. Several journalists and politicians are among the bloggers whose log-in details have been published. On Oct 26, the Aftonbladet newspaper reported that a further 57 other websites had also been hacked, and the login details of up to 200,000 people are at risk. Estimated cost of the breach is around $42 million.

SQLi?

Oct 25

Chinese Hacker?

Japanese Parliament

According to local media reports, hackers were able to snoop upon emails and steal passwords from computers belonging to lawmakers at the Japanese parliament for over a month. PCs and servers were infected after a Trojan horse was emailed to a a Lower House member in July. The Trojan horse then downloaded malware from a server based in China – allowing remote hackers to secretly spy on email communications and steal usernames and passwords from lawmakers.

APT

Oct 25

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, a high-tech military contractor, which suffered an attack from hackers earlier this year, is reported to have lost sensitive data related to defence equipment including fighter jet planes and nuclear power plant plans, according to The Ashai Shimbun. Once again suspects are directed to China.

APT

Oct 25

Inside Error

United States Department Of Education

Highly sensitive information (including SSN) belonging to around 5,000 students was exposed after a computer error causing a federal government student loan website to reveal the data: a glitch in the website allowed students who were logged in to freely view the data of other scholars. Fortunately, the site was compromised only for 7 minutes at most, but it is possible that some users were able to steal sensitive information. Estimated cost of the breach is around $ 1 million.

Inside Error

Oct 26

?

awurval.se

314 job seekers’ e-mail addresses and clear-text passwords acquired and dumped. Estimated Cost of the breach is around $67,000.

SQLi?

Oct 26

?

Mobile Tele Systems

MTS is a primary Mobile Operator in Russia with more than 70 million subscribers. Personal data of 1.6 million mobile phone users appeared online in the second such leak in three months. The database, posted on Zhiltsy.net, included the full names and phone numbers of MTS subscribers in St. Petersburg and Bashkortostan, as well as residential addresses and passport data for some of them. According to MTS the database goes back to 2006 and most numbers are no longer valid. Estimated cost of the breach could potentially achieve $300 million.

N/A

Oct 26

@_V4ND

nationmultimedia.com

@_V4ND dumps what they say is a teaser of accounts obtained from nationmultimedia.com in what appears to be another havij or similar SQLi vun tool based attack. The leak contains user emails and passwords in clear text.

SQLi

Oct 26

Robert Delgado

Massive Identity Theft

Robert Delgado, a 40 years old California man, was sentenced to eight years in prison for identity theft after federal police GPS-tracked his phone and discovered a hard drive with over 300,000 victim profiles during a raid of his home. Estimated Cost of the thiet (not including purchases made with stolen data) is around $65 million.

300,000 frauded users

Bank Fraud

Oct 26

Pakistani Hacker

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL)

Another occurrence of the Cyberwar between Pakistan and India: A Pakistani hacker “KhantastiC haX0r” hacks into the official website of India’s leading telecom Company Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL).

Defacement

Oct 27

Law Enforcement Authorities

@_f0rsaken a member of @TeaMp0isoN publishes a list of websites utilized by law enforcement authorities that are supposed to be vulnerable to MSAccess SQL injection attacks. A number of six sites that are listed are supposedly utilized by the police for their updates, the cybercriminals urging Occupy Wall Street supporters to take them down.

Law Enforcement Authorities

MSAccess SQLi

Oct 27

Oakland Police Department Web Site

Cyber activists associated with Anonymous target the Oakland Police Department (OPD) and other law enforcement agencies that participated in a controversial crackdown against OccupyOakland protestors with a DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attack against the department’s website. Moreover According to TG Daily, the infamous collective is offered a $1,000 reward for anyone who can provide information on an officer that allegedly injured a war veteran that was taking part in the protest.

DDoS

Oct 27

?

Clarinda Bank Iowa

In a letter dated Tuesday, Oct. 25, bank vice president Jon Baier notifies specific customers of a data breach. The letter states the bank was not provided details of the security compromise, but to protect the impacted debit card accounts, replacement cards with new numbers were ordered. The number of affected users is unknown.

N/A

Oct 27

Japanese Embassies

There are new reports that dozens of diplomatic computers Japanese embassies abroad were infected with malware this Summer. The news comes on the heels of recent news about malicious software attacks on Japanese defense contractors and the Japanese Parliament. A report in a local Japanese publication, The Daily Yomiuri, places the infected diplomatic computers in Canada, China, France, Myanmar, the Netherlands, South Korea, and the United States. Again China is suspected since a China Link is found on the malware.

APT

Oct 27

U.S. Government Satellites

Bloomberg reports that Computer hackers, possibly from the Chinese military, interfered with two U.S. government satellites four times in 2007 and 2008 through a ground station in Norway, according to a congressional commission.

N/A

Oct 28

Canadian Finance and Treasury Board

Ottawa Citizen reveals that, in Jan 2011, the Canadian Finance and Treasury Board’s networks were targeted by hackers in an attempt to steal sensitive information about the potash industry even though Finance and Treasury Board representatives denies it. It looks that the hackers were actually foreign, the first clues indicating that the attack originated from China.

APT

Oct 28

PayFail

PayPal Executives’ Contact Information

In what looks to be the first of a number of “name and shame” postings, an individual or individuals posting as “PAYFAIL” upload some personal information on dozens of former and current PayPal executives. The dumped data do not seem to be particularly sensivite, nevertheless, although deleted three times so far, the original statement keeps on appearing on pastebin.

N/A

Oct 28

?

Again on Duqu

Two workers at an Indian web-hosting company called Web Werks tell Reuters that last week officials from India’s Department of Information Technology seized several hard drives and other components from a server hosted on a Mumbai Data Center, that security firm Symantec Corp indicated as communicating with computers infected with Duqu.

APT

Oct 29

El Paso County Community College

@DestructiveSec hacks the El Paso Country Community College, defacing the web site and dumps some data.

SQLi?

Oct 29

Las Zetas (Mexican Drug Cartel)

Anonymous Mexico faces one of the most dangerous criminal organizations in the World, the Las Zetas Mexican Drug Cartel. In a video they warn the Cartel to release one of their members kidnapped during a street protest, otherwise the hacker group will disclose (or dox) the identities of members of the cartel including corrupted politicians and policeman. Another example of an hacking action with huge real aftermaths in terms of possible deadly retaliations.

Mexican Droug Cartel

SQLi?

Oct 29

Dominican Republic Police

As part of their Spanish Solidarity Saturday Anonymous release a pastebin document containing a list of finds and vulnerabilities on the Dominican Republic Police system and some other sites too. They also left a website defaced.

Several Vulns,

Defacement

Oct 31

3xp1r3 cyber army

hi5ads.com

A hacker group going by the name of 3xp1r3 cyber army dumps two separate pastes with respectively 5,065 and 3,149 account details to www.hi5ads.com. The leaks contain emails and plain text passwords. Estimated cost of the breach is around $680,000.

SQLi

Oct 31

3xp1r3 cyber army

Bangla TV

The Same group hacks Bangla TV and releases 1,517 usernames and clear-text password. Estimated cost of the breach is around $320,000.

SQLi

Oct 31

ScreamDevz

Penguin Elite

A group or individual dubbed ScreamDevz hacks Club Penguin Elite Database and dumps nearly 400 usernames, emails and MD5 hashed passwords. Estimated cost of the breach is around $80,000.

SQLi

Oct 31

Chinese Government Web Site

@TehMaskz, a member of @ChaoticSec defaces a web site belonging to Chinese Government (at the time of writing http://www.wfaic.gov.cn/index.html is still defaced). In the same circumstance other 9 sites all over the World are defaced.

Defacement

Oct 31

One Hit Play

@ChaoticSec hacks One Hit Play (once again) and releases more than 1000 User information, including emails, passwords, and usernames. Estimated cost of the breach is around $214,000.

SQLi

Oct 31

comitet.ru

@DeleteSec attacks comitet.ru and dumps more than 2000 records with email and passwords. Estimated cost of the breach is around $420,000

SQLi

Oct 31

plusline.org

@DeleteSec attacks plusline.org and dumps more than 1000 records with email and passwords. Nearly in contemporary the same group dumps 700+ accounts from several sites. Estimated cost of the breach is around $420,000.

SQLi

Oct 31

Mr. DarkCoderz

Adult Site

Another occurrence of hackers dumping data from adult sites. Estimated cost of the breach is around $43,000.

Adult Site

SQLi?

Application (In)Security in the Citi

Today some more details about the Citi breach were revealed and it looks like it is not connected with the RSA breach.

The investigation is still in place, but data collected so far show the kind of attack performed is pretty much more “traditional” then a SecureID clonation: the attackers were able to bypass the perimeter security systems by logging on the site reserved for credit card customers (but no one has explained so far how) were they were able to exploit some vulnerabilities on the Home Banking Web Site.

Probably they performed an SQL Injection or XSS attacks, (Interesting the non-technical description by NYT):

Once inside, they leapfrogged between the accounts of different Citi customers by inserting vari-ous account numbers into a string of text located in the browser’s address bar. The hackers’ code systems automatically repeated this exercise tens of thousands of times — allowing them to capture the confidential private data.

It looks like application and database security is a curse and a bless for the infosec arena. Although not fully mature in my opinion, it is one of the most promising sectors (in which there are grand maneuvers under way by the vendors), but in the same way, application in(security) has been the indirect reasons for several events this year: Sony (in some of the suffered breaches) and Epsilon have been victims of SQL Injection, and if for a moment we forget the breaches (real leading actors of this 2011) and pass to consider malware, we must necessarily mention LizaMoon which has flooded an impressive number of databases all over the world with SQL Injection, infecting more than 1,500,000 URLs.

Unfortunately these kinds of attacks are not simple exercises in style but are often the first stage of more complex Cybercrime operations. If the stolen Data immediately usable (such as Credit Card Numbers and corresponding CVV codes), they are sold in the Black Market Bazaar. In other circumstances, when the stole information is not enough to gain immediate profit, the targets become victims of tailored spear-phishing campaigns (which could potentially last for several years) aimed to gain the missing pieces of the puzzle (read information) necessary to perform the malicious actions.

That is the reasons why, if not already done, Enterprises need to make application security a key foundation for the development of secure business application and services: educating the developers with secure development guidelines, implementing adequate countermeasures with Web Application/Database Firewall, periodically probing the security level of the infrastructure with Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Test and, last but not least, performing a constant patching.

This corresponds to implement an application oriented modern form of the Deming Cycle, more poetically summarized by the expression “performing Application Housekeeping”.

Citigroup Breach and RSA Breach: A Possible Connection?

June 9, 2011 1 comment
Citigroup Center Building - New York

Image via Wikipedia

Today Citigroup revealed that the company has been victim of a breach of its online banking platform, which might have exposed sensitive data belonging to about hundreds of thousands of Citi customers.

Citigroup owns approximately 21 million card customers, which means, in turn, that data of 200.000 cardholders have been impacted.

According to Sean Kevelighan, head of communications and public affairs for Citigroup: “A limited number – roughly 1 percent – of Citi North America bankcard customers’ account information [such as name, account number and contact information, including e-mail address] was viewed, the customer’s Social Security number, date of birth, card expiration date and card security code [CVV] were not compromised. We are contacting customers whose information was impacted.”

Apparently the credit cards and Social Security Numbers are safe, but this will not prevent the Cardholders from the real risk  of scams, phishing and fake phone calls from Citibank or its subsidiaries…

At first glance Citigroup is only the last breach following the notorious similar events occurred to RSA, Sony, Epsilon, so definitively nothing new under the sun of this really troubled (from an infosec perspective) 2012.

However, the more (scant so far) information I read, the stronger the suspicion became that the Citigroup and RSA breaches could somehow be linked.

Of course it is right to emphasize that what follows is a mere personal speculation (I would rather say a personal curiosity) based on the few information unleashed so far.

My concern comes from the fact that, according to the original statement, the breach was originated by an unauthorized access to the systems of Citi Account Online discovered during routine monitoring in early May. Citigroup is one of the main RSA customers, and most of all has been one of the first (together with Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo) to immediately ask to replace the tokens as soon as RSA declared the direct involvement of compromised SecurIDs in the Lockheed Martin breach (and consequently offered to replace SecurID tokens). Since I am not a Citigroup Customer, I do not know how the Citi Account Online Service works (in this moment the site is not completely visible, at least from Italy, but from what I have understood OTP is used only for transactions),  so I cannot definitively trace a direct a connection between the unauthorized access and the use of compromised seeds (OK this is the weak point of my theory J), nevertheless if the coincidence of factors appears quite strange. For sure, to compromise data of 200.000 users it is likely (I would say obvious) that the attackers exploited other vulnerabilities.

Also the timeline of the breach is clearly noteworthy: it looks like the Citigroup breach happened at the early May, nevertheless the customers were notified Sunday JUne the 5th : said in few words, a month later. Maybe Citigroup has decided not to warn its customers of too many breaches at the same time (I wonder how many owners of SecurID or PSN members there are between them). Anyway few hours after  the notification to Citigroup customers, RSA would have officially announced the evidence of a direct connection between its breach and the one to Lockheed Martin (and the consequent decision to replace the tokens); equally curiously, according to RSA, this evidence was obtained on June the 2nd, that is approximately three days before the notification by Citigroup to replace the cards to its customers. It is possible (but I repeat this is only a mere personal speculation) that at the moment of notifying its customers, Citigroup was already aware of the direct involvement of the compromised seeds on the Lockheed Martin affair (if I were in RSA’s shoes I would have immediately advised the affected customers), and probably also aware of the RSA offer to replace the compromised tokens. Consequently at that point the Bank realized the true extent of the breach and decided it was the right moment to take adequate countermeasures, first of all notifying the customers, and then finally replacing the tokens, but only after the official RSA statement.

Why Citigroup did not decide to replace the tokens before? The answer is pretty much simple: RSA security breach might cost banks $100 million, so who knows what would have been the cost if Banks should have purchased the new tokens from their own?

In the coming days I will try to follow developments closely, since I am really curious to see it a real involvement of compromised seeds will be identified. For sure we will have to face other similar events in the near future, and I do not exclude other “sons of a (RSA) breach” to come (or better to be unleashed).

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