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Posts Tagged ‘Facebook’

Flambé! U.S. used Facebook and Flame to hack the French President’s Network

November 22, 2012 1 comment

According to the French Magazine “L’Express” earlier in May some computers in the offices of former France’s president Nicolas Sarkozy have been victims of a targeted attack carried via a Flame variant.

What is surprising is not (only) the fact that this is the first known case of a Flame infection out of the Middle East, but most of all the fact that the malware was allegedly implanted by U.S. Hackers.

The attack was successful and, according to the French magazine, the attackers were able to get to the heart of French political power, harvesting the computers of close advisers of Nicolas Sarkozy and obtaining “secret notes” and “strategic plans”.

The attack model resembles a spy story: the attacker crafted a false profile on Facebook (a bogus friend of someone who worked for the president’s office) and successfully used that profile to contact (and compromise) personnel working at the President’s Office (The Elysèe).

After contacting the unaware victims, the attacker sent them a malicious link to a fake Elysée webpage, where they entered their real login and password details that the attacker used to hack into the network and spread the Flame variant.

The reasons of the attack are unknown.

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DDoS and SQLi are the Most… Discussed Attack Techniques

October 30, 2012 Leave a comment

Imperva has just published the results of its annual analysis on one of the largest-known hacker forums counting approximately 250,000 members.

The research (also made on other smaller forums) used the forum’s search engine capabilities to analyze conversations by topic using specific keywords. Unfortunately no details have been provided about the methodology used to collect the data, however the results show that SQL Injection and DDoS are the most discussed topic, both of them with the 19% of discussion volume (I am glad to see that the results are coherent with the findings of my Cyber Attack Statistics).

Of course the data must be taken with the needed caution since the analyzed sample could not be entirely consistent. As Imperva admits: “The site we examined is not a hardcore crime site, but it’s not entirely softcore. New hackers come to this site to learn and,on the other hand, more experienced hackers teach to gain “street cred” and recognition […]. Typically, once hackers have gained enough of a reputation, they go to a more hardcore, invitation-only forum.” This probably means that the incidence of the two attack techniques is overrated since one should expect a beginner hacker to approach the easiest and most common attack methods for which there are many tools available.

Anyway the events of the last months show that an attack does not deserve less attention only because it is carried on by a beginner, nor a beginner worries too much if he uses automated tools without full knowledge and awareness. A look to the infosec chronicles of the last period is sufficient to verify that DDoS and SQLi attacks are always in the first pages.

Sadly, Imperva estimates that only the 5% of the security budget is spent on thwarting SQL Injection attacks.

Other interesting findings of the research are: the fact that social networks pose a major interest for hackers since they are becoming a prominent source of information and potential monetary gain (Facebook was the most discussed social media platform, with 39%, immediately followed by Twitter at 37%), and also the fact that E-whoring is becoming one of the most common methods for beginner cyber criminals to gain easy money (more than 13,000 threads observed).

Middle East Cyberwar Update (Part VI)

February 28, 2012 2 comments

Looks like Israel has approached a “wait and see” strategy, as these last days of cyber war have seen almost exclusively actions against that country without any appreciable response. In a certain sense, most of all at the Israeli site, the cyber conflict seems to have fallen into a rest, even if new actors have entered the scene, as is the case of the Mauritania Hacker Team, who opened with the leak of 2500 Israeli emails and claimed to have hacked the Central Bank of Israel. Despite these events the number and intensity of the attacks is no longer that of the early days.

The frequency of the attacks has drastically fallen, even because the early cyber fighters seem to have disappeared, apart from the AlienZ who, every now and then reappear with some dumps against arab sites (and not only).

In the meantime, Iran is suffering several sparse attacks from the Anonymous, targeting that country in the name of #OpIran, and in contemporary attacks its Azerbaijani neighbors considered close to Israel.

Interesting to notice I also found evidence of internal attacks in Iran against reformist websites considered close to former President Mohammad Khatami. The storyboard follows the same line both in real and virtual world.

Apparently Israel seems not to respond to attacks. A temporary truce or a real turnaround?

(At this link you can find the complete Middle East Cyber War Update and follows @paulsparrows for the latest updates.)

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Middle East Cyber War Timeline Part III

February 4, 2012 4 comments

Jan 22: Middle East Cyber War Timeline Part I

Jan 29: Middle East Cyber War Timeline Part II

Feb 12: Middle East Cyber War Timeline Part IV

The more  I look inside the Middle East Cyber War between Israel and the Arab Hackers, the more I realize that it follows exactly the same shape than the real conflict.

In particular this last week has seen a strong reduction of the cyber events between the involved parties, although it is not clear if this was due to stronger cyber defenses enforced, or it was rather a kind of “calm before the storm”.

Among the reported events I considered particularly meaningful the attack of InLightPress, a Palestinian news website, of whom I did not find any other report except the one quoted in the Infographic which comes from a Pro-Israeli Website (this is the reason why this event must be considered with the necessary caution). Maybe it is not directly related to the Middle East Cyber War, anyway it looks like this attack was not originated by Israeli hackers, but had rather been “commissioned” by the Palestinian Authority. In the real world political parties or movement have different wings (typically hawks and doves), it looks like this is true for the cyber world as well. On the other hand, some believe that also the attack carried on last week against the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, considered close to Pro-Palestinian movements, has an internal origin, that maybe explains the subsequent excuses by the alleged authors of the attack (BTW at the above link there is an interesting list of the hack published in pastebin by the Israeli Hackers).

Do you believe the descending trend of the cyber events will be confirmed in the next period, or it is rather a temporary cyber truce before the digital storm?

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Middle East Cyber War Timeline

January 22, 2012 13 comments

Feb 19 2012: Middle East Cyber War Timeline Master Index

I tried to summarize the chain of events that is characterizing the Cyber Escalation in the Middle East. I collected the information from several sources in order to provide a detailed picture of what is happening between Israel and the Arab Countries since the initial claim of 0xOmar. Observing the evolution of the chart, the Cyber conflicts seems to follow the same rules than real wars: innocent victims, propaganda and psyops, different paths of escalation and guerrilla tactics. This Cyber Conflict in Middle East is probably crossing the line: from now the landscape will not be the same anymore.

From the initial action of 0xOmar to the Israeli reaction, passing through the declaration of Cyber Jihad (the chart is updated to Sunday, the 22nd of January), (too) many events have happened, involving different hacking crews, different countries (also some French and Canadian web sites have been defaced) and different kind of attacks. What was started as an endless chain of massive leaks seems to be evolving as isolated actions typical of guerrilla.

Follow the line of a Cyber conflict that, similarly to the real one occurring in the Middle East, appears far from being solved…

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January 2012 Cyber Attacks Timeline (Part 1)

January 15, 2012 2 comments

Click here for part 2.

New year, new Cyber Attacks Timeline. Let us start our Information Security Travel in 2012 with the chart of the attacks occurred in the first fifteen days of January. This month has been characterized so far by the leak of Symantec Source Code and the strange story of alleged Cyber Espionage revolving around it. But this was not the only remarkable event: chronicles tell the endless Cyber-war between Israel and a Saudi Hacker (and more in general the Arab World), but also a revamped activity of the Anonymous against SOPA (with peak in Finland). The end of the month has also reserved several remarkable events (such as the breaches to T-Mobile and Zappos, the latter affecting potentially 24,000,000 of users). In general this has been a very active period. For 2012 this is only the beginning, and if a good beginning makes a good ending, there is little to be quiet…

Browse the chart and follows @paulsparrows to be updated on a biweekly basis. As usual after the jump you will find all the references. Feel free to report wrong/missing links or attacks.

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December 2011 Cyber Attacks Timeline (Part II)

December 30, 2011 2 comments

This infamous 2011 is nearly gone and here it is the last post for this year concerning the 2011 Cyber Attacks Timeline. As you will soon see from an infosec perspective this month has been characterized by two main events: the LulzXmas with its terrible Stratfor hack (whose effects are still ongoing with the recent release of 860,000 accounts), and an unprecented wave of breaches in China which led to the dump of nearly 88 million of users for a theoretical cost of nearly $19 million (yes the Sony brech is close). For the rest an endless cyberwar between India and Pakistan, some hactivism and (unfortunately) the usual amounts of “minor” breaches and defacement. After the page break you find all the references.

Last but not least… This post is my very personal way to wish you a happy new infosec year.

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November 2011 Cyber Attacks Timeline (Part I)

November 17, 2011 5 comments

Update 12/01/2011: November Cyber Attacks Timeline (Part II)

This first half of November has been very hard for Steam. The Valve Online Gaming Platform suffered a security breach putting at risk a potential sample of 37 million of users and hence wins the crown for the Major Breach of the First Half of November.

Also a sportswear giant like Adidas fell among the victims of cybercriminals, with a “sophisticated attack” targeting 500,000 users.

This month was also hot for the Cold Finland which has suffered two security breaches involving more than 30,000 users (a third breach also happened on November, the 16th, affecting 16,000 users but of course will be reported in the next report).

Two other CAs (KPN and Digicert Sdn Bhd Malaysia, not to be confused with Digicert US-based CA) were compromised. Also F-secure discovered a sample of malware signed with a valid certificate stolen from a Malasyan company.

On a larger scale, after 2 years of hunt, FBI uncovered a huge Botnet in Estonia, which stole $14 million from 4 million users worldwide, while on the other side of the Globe, Brazilian ISPS were targeted by a massive DNS Poisoning attack.

Not even Facebook was safe this month, whose (too) many users were targeted with a malware posting pornographic images on their wall exploiting an Internet Explorer Vulnerability.

As far as hactivism is concerned, the political events in the real world had a predictable echo in the Cyber space, with an attack to Palestine the day after the nation was admitted as a full member of UNESCO.

As a retaliation, some Israeli Government web sites were targeted with a wave of DDoS attacks by the infamous Anonymous hacking group. In any case the Anonymous were active also in other Cyberwar fronts acting a couple of defacements and DDoS (in one case they targeted the Muslim Brotherhood) and were also the authors to one of the two attacks in Finland (the one towards a right-wind party).

A group of Hackers called TeaMp0isoN claimed to have hacked more than 150 Email Id’s of International Foreign Governments even if this statement is controversial.

What is not controversial is the Cyberwar declared against Mexico which was targeted, in November, by a massive waves of Cyber Attacks.

Besides these noticeable events, the month was characterized by many other minor attacks and dumps among which, particularly noticeable are: the attacks to a couple of banks (DDoS and defacements) and Universities (UCLA and Standford hit by data breaches), and the Fox Business Twitter Account Hacking (Oops they did it again!).

The month ends with the first example of malware targeting ambulance.

Please notice that I decided henceforth not to insert attacks targeting a limited amount of users and most of all, claimed without clear evidence: in this month I discovered a claimed fake attack to Italian Police announced recycling old data.

  1. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/nov/01/palestinians-hit-cyber-attack-unesco
  2. http://www.cyberwarnews.info/2011/11/02/dump-of-steam-accounts/
  3. http://www.symantec.com/content/en/us/enterprise/media/security_response/whitepapers/the_nitro_attacks.pdf
  4. http://thehackernews.com/2011/11/fraud-communities-owned-and-exposed-by.html
  5. http://www.cyberwarnews.info/2011/11/03/opdarknet-official-and-last-release/
  6. http://www.cyberwarnews.info/2011/11/03/accounts-dumped-from-hiphopinstrumental-net/
  7. http://www.cyberwarnews.info/2011/11/03/peru-government-websites-defaced-by-challenges-hackers/
  8. http://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2011/11/03/another-certificate-authority-issues-dangerous-certficates/
  9. http://www.cyberwarnews.info/2011/11/04/bayareaconnection-net-defaced/
  10. http://www.cyberwarnews.info/2011/11/04/yet-another-pointless-account-dump-hundreds-dumped-from-www-jjs2-com/
  11. http://threatpost.com/en_us/blogs/another-dutch-ca-kpn-stops-issuing-certificates-after-finding-ddos-tool-server-110411
  12. http://thehackernews.com/2011/11/capitalone-bank-taken-down-by-anonymous.html
  13. http://www.networkworld.com/news/2011/110411-hacker-selling-access-to-compromised-252771.html?source=nww_rss
  14. http://www.phiprivacy.net/?p=8227
  15. http://thehackernews.com/2011/11/anonymous-attack-on-israeli-government.html
  16. http://www.itworld.com/security/222033/fake-threat-against-facebook-dwarfs-anonymous-real-attacks-israel-finland-portugal
  17. http://pplware.sapo.pt/informacao/site-freeport-pt-foi-atacado-entre-outros/
  18. http://www.databreaches.net/?p=21359
  19. http://www.itworld.com/security/222033/fake-threat-against-facebook-dwarfs-anonymous-real-attacks-israel-finland-portugal
  20. http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T111105002386.htm
  21. http://www.cyberwarnews.info/2011/11/08/massive-amount-of-accounts-dumped-from-adidas-com/
  22. http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/11/07/adidas_hack_attack/
  23. http://www.cyberwarnews.info/2011/11/08/massive-amount-of-accounts-dumped-from-adidas-com/
  24. http://thehackernews.com/2011/11/international-foreign-government-e.html
  25. http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/11/09/teamp0ison_publishes_stupid_password_list/
  26. http://news.softpedia.com/news/16-000-Finns-Affected-by-Data-Breach-232851.shtml
  27. http://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2011/11/08/anonymous-attacks-el-salvadoran-sites/
  28. http://www.smh.com.au/business/privacy-of-millions-at-mercy-of-a-usb-device-20111107-1n3wm.html
  29. http://thehackernews.com/2011/11/ump-french-political-party-got-hacked.html
  30. http://www.cyberwarnews.info/2011/11/08/premierleaguepool-co-uk-accounts-dumped-by-sen/
  31. http://www.cyberwarnews.info/2011/11/08/60k-accounts-dumped-from-ohmedia-by-teamswastika/
  32. http://www.cyberwarnews.info/2011/11/08/dump-of-accounts-from-beachvolley-se/
  33. http://www.cyberwarnews.info/2011/11/08/khadraglass-com-hacked-and-accounts-dumped-by-inj3ct0r/
  34. http://www.cyberwarnews.info/2011/11/09/scamming-email-account-dumpers-are-surfacing-50k-french-accounts-dumped/
  35. http://thehackernews.com/2011/11/possible-credit-card-theft-in-steam.html
  36. http://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2011/november/malware_110911/malware_110911
  37. http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/11/10/it_manager_charges/
  38. http://thehackernews.com/2011/11/bangladesh-supreme-court-website-hacked.html
  39. https://twitter.com/#!/igetroot/status/134865652543520768
  40. http://thehackernews.com/2011/11/operation-brotherhood-shutdown-by.html
  41. http://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2011/11/14/ambulance-service-disrupted-by-computer-virus-infection/
  42. http://www.cyberwarnews.info/2011/11/12/ucla-department-of-psychology-hacked-by-inj3ct0r/
  43. http://www.ehackingnews.com/2011/11/social-network-site-findfriendzcom.html
  44. http://www.cyberwarnews.info/2011/11/13/dump-of-information-by-inj3ct0r/
  45. http://www.f-secure.com/weblog/archives/00002269.html
  46. http://www.cyberwarnews.info/2011/11/14/dump-of-accounts-from-congress-of-sonora/
  47. http://www.cyberwarnews.info/2011/11/14/2-more-government-dumps-by-metalsoft-team/
  48. http://www.cyberwarnews.info/2011/11/14/another-big-dump-of-accounts-from-sec404-mexican-hackers/
  49. http://www.cyberwarnews.info/2011/11/14/another-mexican-government-congress-hacked-canaldelcongreso-gob-mx/
  50. http://www.cyberwarnews.info/2011/11/14/dump-of-data-from-another-mexican-congress-sinaloa-state-congress/
  51. http://www.cyberwarnews.info/2011/11/14/ministry-of-economy-mexico-hacked-by-sec404/
  52. http://www.cyberwarnews.info/2011/11/14/unit-of-transparency-and-access-to-public-information-website-hacked/
  53. http://www.cyberwarnews.info/2011/11/14/national-commission-of-physical-culture-and-sport-hacked-and-accounts-leaked/
  54. http://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2011/11/14/hacked-sky-news-twitter-account-james-murdoch-arrested/
  55. http://news.softpedia.com/news/Anonymous-Attacks-Anonymous-For-Being-Trolls-234949.shtml
  56. http://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2011/11/16/facebook-explains-pornographic-shock-spam-hints-at-browser-vulnerability/
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