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Posts Tagged ‘Cyber Attack’

1-15 July 2014 Cyber Attacks Timeline

It’s time for the first cyber attacks timeline of July reporting the main cyber events happened (or discovered) during the first half of the month.

In a short summary: if even the number of recorded attacks remains moderate, the most important events of this period are related to Cyber Espionage: eight sophisticated campaigns have been discovered, a number remarkably high for this category.

On the cyber crime front, the most important event of this period is undoubtedly the massive attacks against Boleto, the Brazilian payment system ($ 3.5 billion is the amount of money stolen by the criminals), but also the purported leak of CNET’s database (subsequently offered on sale by the criminals at the symbolic price of 1 Bitcoin) deserves a special mention. Also the African continent is on the spot with the discovery of a repeated fraud against a couple of Nigerian banks.

Nothing particularly remarkable by hacktivists, with the partial exception of the Syrian Electronic Army, back with the Specialty of the House (the account hijacking, this time against the official Twitter account of the Israel Defence Force). The hacktivistic landscape also offered some attacks against Israel, related to the events in Gaza. Nothing particularly relevant so far, but everything suggests that the number of these attacks will dramatically increase in the next timeline.

If you want to have an idea of how fragile our electronic identity is inside the cyberspace, have a look at the timelines of the main Cyber Attacks in 2011, 2012, 2013 and now 2014 (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 July 2014 Cyber Attacks Timeline Read more…

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Jan-Apr 2014 Cyber Attacks Statistics

I have been quite busy in the last few months, so, unfortunately, I was not able to keep the pace with the statistics derived from my Cyber Attacks Timelines. However, thanks to the ISMS Forum Spain (Asociación Española para el Fomento de la Seguridad de la Información), I have been invited to take part at the XV Jornada Internacional de ISMS Forum: La Sociedad Digital, entre Confianza y Ciber-riesgos (to be held on May, the 28th in Madrid).

Taking advantage of this awesome opportunity, I have been able to reorganize the data collected so far for the events recorded in 2014.

What I show below, is a synthesis of this work. Further information will be presented in Madrid, and later in my blog. Meanwhile, I hope the information provided will satisfy the readers who kindly asked for an update of the stats.

Let us start with the Daily Attack Trend Chart.

Daily Attack Trend Jan-Apr 2014

Needless to say, the crooks have started this infosec year with the brakes on. Apart from few noticeable examples (for instance the peak on the 20th of April due to the NullCrew collective), the activity is quite low in comparison with the past years (again a full analysis will be shown in Madrid).

Drilling down the Daily Attack Trend:

Daily Attack Trend Drill Down Jan-Apr 2014

Shows a constant ‘bias’ of events related to Cyber Crime with some isolated peaks of Hacktivism. This is also evident from the Motivations Behind Attacks Chart.

Motivations Jan-Apr2014

Here the Cyber Crime dominates the chart, accounting for the 61% of the total events. Nearly twice more than Hactkivism, stuck to a ‘modest’ 31%. On the other hand Cyber Espionage and Cyber Warfare are quite stable at the values of 2013 when they were respectively at the 5% and 4% (but do not get carried away, the end of the year is far away and there is time to change along the way).

And the fall of Hacktivism finds another indirect confirm in the Distribution of Attack Techniques Chart:

Attack Techniques Jan-Apr2014Apparently fewer and fewer information is disclosed, so nearly one fifth of the recorded attacks if of uncertain origin. However both DDoS and SQLi confirmed the decreasing trend. On the other hand Account Hijacking maintains its growing trend (was 9% in 2013).

Last but not least, the Distribution of Targets chart:Targets Jan-Apr2014Targets belonging to industry rank at number one with the nearly 30% of occurrences, well ahead of governmental targets (at number two with nearly 19%) and organizations (at number three with nearly 12%). The others are behind (luckily for them).

Well, that’s all folks… At least so far… As I said before further data will follow…

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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16-30 September 2013 Cyber Attacks Timeline

October 7, 2013 Leave a comment

It’s time for analyzing the main cyber Attacks happened in September.

From an information security perspective, the second half of September has been characterized by the discovery of three operations related to targeted attacks against different countries and sectors. Two in particular, DeputyDog and IceFrog, targeting have a common denominator: Japan.

In the same period. despite the numerous members brought to court, the Anonymous have continued their operations all over the World (Cambodia and New Zealand have been the hottest fronts).

Considering Cyber Crime, this month has raised the attention to the risks posed by fake KVM switches. With a similar device, a gang of cyber-thieves was able to steal £1.3 M from a Barclays Computer. Unfortunately for them this magic box was not able to avoid them to get busted (in any case they deserved a mention in the timeline). For sure you will remember that a similar cyber-plot has also been tried against Santander.

On the cyber warfare front, the temperature of the virtual battlefield among India, Pakistan and Bangladesh remains quite hot. On the other side of the World, US officials have unveiled an escalation of cyber attacks from Iran. Curiously this admission was done few days before Mojtaba Ahmad, the head of Iran’s cyber warfare programme, has been shot dead (although Iranian officials are denying similar claims).

Last but not least the Belgium Government has admitted to have been the victim of a targeted attack. Unfortunately, in this case the suspects are directed to NSA!

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).

16-30 September 2013 Cyber Attacks Timeline Read more…

1-15 January 2013 Cyber Attacks Timeline

January 17, 2013 4 comments

So here we are with the first Cyber Attacks Timeline for 2013 covering the first half of January.

Apparently the new year has begun with an intense activity by Cyber Crooks. Hacktivists and Cyber Criminals had many time to spend in front of their keyboards during the holiday break, and as a consequence the number of breaches with more than 10.000 accounts compromised is incredibly high. WWF China, the City of Steubenville, Ohio and The German Chamber of Commerce are only three examples of institutions that suffered massive breaches during the beginning of this year.

But the massive breaches are not the only remarkable events of this period: the waves of DDoS Attacks against US banks continued (and promise to extend also in the next weeks), Kaspersky Lab discovered a new massive Cyber Espionage Campaign dubbed “Red October”, and also the Japan Farm Ministry was hit by yet another Cyber Attack, allegedly originating from China…

If this is only the beginning… 2013 promises to be pretty much troubled for system administrators…

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). To do so, you can use this form.

1-15 January 2013 Cyber Attacks Timeline Read more…

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1-15 December 2012 Attack Statistics

December 22, 2012 Leave a comment

Let us gave a look to the landscape of Cyber Attacks, during the first half of December 2012. Apparently cybercrooks are taking a break for Christmas, since, according to my selection Criteria, the number of attacks has shown a small decrease in comparison with the previous months.

The Daily Trend shows an inconstant trend with two peaks around respectively the 3rd December and the 11th and 12th (the latter due to the peak of Cyber Attacks against the US Banks).

Daily Trend 1-15 December 2012The Motivations Behind Attacks chart shows, for the first time since August, the overtake of Hacktivism against Cyber Crime. Let us see if this trend will be confirmed until the end of the year.

Motivations 1-15 December 2012

The Distribution Of Attacks chart confirms that SQL Injection confirms to be the weapon preferred by Cyber Attackers with nearly one third of the occurrences (the value reaches nearly the 40% if one sums also the cases in which the attack seems to have been carried on with this technique but no enough evidences have been collected). In my opinion it is also important to notice the presence in the chart of several attacks perpetrated exploiting application vulnerabilities, but also the growing presence of targeted attacks (as usual you can find the details on the corresponding Cyber Attack Timeline.

Distribution 1-15 December 2012

Instead, at least for the first half of the month, the Distribution of Targets chart seems quite fragmented. Governmental targets lead the chart, but Financial, Industrial and Organizational targets are very close. Maybe the fragmentation depends from the partial sample. The second half of December will tell us if cybercrooks will concentrate their attacks against a specific sector.

Targets December 2012

As usual, no need to remind that the sample must be taken very carefully since it refers only to discovered attacks (the so-called tip of the iceberg), and hence it does not pretend to 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 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). To do so, you can use this form.

1-15 December 2012 Cyber Attacks Timeline

December 17, 2012 2 comments

Christmas is coming quickly, we have just passed the first half of December, and hence it’s time for the first update of the Cyber Attacks Timeline for December.

The Team GhostShell has decided to close the year with a clamorous Cyber Attack, and hence,as part of the project ProjectWhiteFox, has leaked 1.6 million of accounts from several organizations all over the world. This is the most important event for this first part of the month that apparently has shown a decreasing trend. Hacktivists are still focusing their attention (and their keyboards) to Israel, and Cyber Criminals are maybe preparing for the Christmas attacks.

However, the main events of the first half of December, are related to hacktivism, besides the above mentioned cyber attack, it worth to mention the new wave of massive DDoS attacks against US Banks (up to 60 Gbps of peak according to Arbor Networks), but also the leak of a ITU document on the future of Deep Packet Inspection and the attacks in Egypt, Mexico and India.

Last but not least: this two weeks also offered a giant attack to the famous Social Platform Tumblr and also the warning of the Switzerland’s national security agency (NDB) that a huge amount of secrets may have been leaked by a disgruntled IT Administrator.

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). To do so, you can use this form.

1-15 December 2012 Cyber Attack Timeline Read more…

New Waves of Cyber Attacks in Middle East

October 9, 2012 Leave a comment

The infosec chronicle has offered many interesting events in this first part of October. Upon all, the massive leak against top 100 universities by the infamous Team GhostShell, the Skype worm, and, last but not least, the U.S. congressional report accusing China’s leading telecom equipment makers, Huawei and ZTE, of being a potential security risk.

Inevitably these events are obfuscating what’s going on in Middle East where Iran, on one hand, is facing the latest wave of Cyber Attacks against its internal assets, and on the other hand, claims to have infiltrated the “most sensitive enemy cyber data”.

This hot autumn for the Middle East has begun on September 30 (approximately one week after Iran connected all its government agencies to its secure autarchic domestic internet service). In that circumstance Iranian Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi announced a clamorous cyber strike of his navy’s cyber corps, being able to “infiltrate the enemy’s most sensitive information” and successfully promote “cyberwar code,” i.e. decrypt highly classified data.

Ali Fadavi did not specify the name of any particular enemy, but simply referred to “imperialistic domination,” a clear reference to Iran’s “enmity with America.”

Maybe is a coincidence, or maybe not, but on October 3 Iran has suffered a massive outage of its Internet infrastructure, at least according to what Mehdi Akhavan Behabadi, secretary of the High Council of Cyberspace, has declared to the Iranian Labour News Agency. An outage that the Iranian official has attributed to a heavy organized attack against the country’s nuclear, oil, and information networks, which forced to limit the usage of the Internet.

The latest (?) episode a couple of days ago, on October 8, when Mohammad Reza Golshani, head of information technology for the Iranian Offshore Oil Company, told Iran’s Mehr news agency that an unsuccessful (i.e. repelled by Iranian Experts) cyber attack had targeted the company platforms’ information networks in the past few weeks. I wonder if we are in front of a new Flame. In any case, according to Mr. Golshani there were few doubts about the authors of the attack.

“This attack was planned by the regime occupying Jerusalem (Israel) and a few other countries”.

Few hours later Iran has officially blamed Israel and China for planning and operating the attack.

It is not a mystery that the Stuxnet attack forced Iran to tighten its cyber security, a strategy culminating on the creation of a domestic Internet separated from the outer world (a way to control the access to the Web according to many observers).

For sure it is not a coincidence that the same network separation is the main reason why Iran was able to repel the latest attacks.

My sixth sense (and half) tells me that other occasions to test the cyber security of the Iranian domestic Internet will come soon!

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