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Posts Tagged ‘GlobalSign’

One Year Of Lulz (Part II)

December 26, 2011 1 comment

Christmas has just gone and here it is my personal way to wish you a Happy New Year: the second part of my personal chart (first part here) of Main 2011 Cyber Attacks covering the time window from August to November 2011 (December is not yet finished, and featuring remarkable events, so expect an update very soon). This memorable year is nearly over and is time, if you feel nostalgic, to scroll down the second part of the list to review the main Cyber Events that contributed, in my opinion, to change the landscape and the rules of the (information security) game. Many events in this period among whom, IMHO, the most noticeable is the one carried on against Diginotar. Since then our trust in conventional authentication models is not (and will not be) the same anymore.

Of course this is my personal selection. Suggestions are well accepted and if you need more details about the cyber events in 2011, feel free to consult my 2011 Cyber Attacks Master Index. As usual after the page break you find all the references…

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Another Certification Authority Breached (the 12th!)

December 10, 2011 1 comment

2011 CA Attacks Timeline (Click To Enlarge)This year is nearly at the end but it looks like it is really endless, at least from an Information Security Perspective. As a matter of fact this 2011 will leave an heavy and embarassing heritage to Information Security: the Certification Authority authentication model, which has been continuously under siege in this troubled year; a siege that seems endless and which has shown its ultimate expression on the alleged compromise of yet another Dutch Certification Authority: Gemnet.

Gemnet, an affiliate of KPN, has suspended certificate signing operation after an intrusion on its publicly accessible instance of phpMyAdmin (a web interface for managing SQL Database) which was, against any acceptable best practice, exposed on the Internet and not protected by password. As in case of Diginotar, another Dutch Certification Authority which declared Bankrupt few days after being compromised by the infamous Comodo Hacker, Gamnet has  the Dutch government among its customers including the Ministry of Security and Justice, Bank of Dutch Municipalities and the police.

After the intrusion, the attacker claimed to have manipulated the databases, and to allegedly have been able to gain control over the system and all of the documents contained on it, although KPN, claims the documents contained on the server were all publicly available. Moreover the attacker claimed the attack was successful since he could obtain the password (braTica4) used for administrative tasks on the server. As a precaution, while further information is collected about the incident, Gemnet CSP, KPN’s certificate authority division, has also suspended access to their website.

The breach is very different, in purpose and motivations, from the one occurred to Diginotar, at the end of July, which led to the issuance of more than 500 bogus Certificates (on behalf of Google, Microsoft, and other companies). In case of Diginotar the certificates were used to intercept about 300,000 Iranians, as part of what was called “Operation Black Tulip“, a campaign aimed to eavesdrop and hijack dissidents’ emails. For the chronicles, the same author of the Diginotar hack, the Infamous Comodo Hacker, had already compromised another Certification Authority earlier this year, Comodo (which was at the origin of his nickname). In both cases, the hacks were performed for political reasons, respectively as a retaliation for the Massacre of Srebrenica (in which the Comodo Hacker claimed the Dutch UN Blue Helmets did not do enough to prevent it), and as a retaliation for Stuxnet, allegedly developed in a joint effort by Israel and US to delay Iranian Nuclear Program.

But although resounding, these are not the only examples of attacks or security incidents targeting Certification Authorities: after all, the attacks against CAs started virtually in 2010 with the infamous 21th century weapon Stuxnet, that could count among its records, the fact to be the first malware using a driver signed with a valid certificate belonging to Realtek Semiconductor Corps. A technique also used by Duqu, the so called Duqu’s son.

Since then, I counted 11 other breaches, perpetrated for different purposes: eavesdropping (as is the case of the Infamous Comodo Hacker), malware driver signatures, or “simple” compromised servers (with DDoS tools as in case of KPN).

At this point I wonder what else we could deploy to protect our identity, given that two factor authentication has been breached, CAs are under siege, and also SSL needs a substantial revision. Identity protection is getting more and more important, since our privacy is constantly under attack, but we are dangerously running out of ammunitions.

(Click below for references)

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September 2011 Cyber Attacks Timeline (Part I)

September 15, 2011 5 comments

So here it is, also for this month, the first part of My Cyber Attacks Timeline covering the first half of September.

Apparently It looks like the wave of the Anonymous attacks that characterized August has stopped. Even if several isolated episodes occurred, their impact was slightly lower than the previous months.

Probably the most important security incident for this month was the Diginotar Hack, not only because the Dutch Certification Authority has been banned forever by the main browsers and OSes but also because all the authentication model based on CAs is under discussion. Moreover once again a cyber attack has been used as a mean of repression. This incident is a turnkey point for information security but in my opinion also the DNS hacks by Anonymous Sri Lanka and Turkguvenligi are noticeable since they reinforce the need for a quick adoption of DNSSEC.

For the first time not even the Linux Operating System (an open world) was immune from hackers: both the Linux Kernel and the Linux Foundation Web Sites were hacked during this month, two episodes that Penguin Lovers will remember for a long time.

Easily predictable an attack recalling 9/11 carried on against the Twitter Account of NBC News was also reported.

Other noticeable events: three huge data breaches were reported, four attacks with political motivations targeting India, Nigeria, Colombia, and the Russia Embassy in London were perpetrated and another security vendor (Panda Security) was indirectly targeted.

The remainder of the month was characterized by many smaller attacks (mostly defacements and data leaks) and an actress (Scarlett Johansson) was also victim of data leaks.

Useful Resources for compiling the table include:

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
Sep 1

?

Kernel.org

The site of Kernel.org suffered a security breach leading which caused the server to be rooted and 448 credential compromised. Although it is believed that the initial infection started on August the 12th, it was not detected for another 12 days.


rootkit (Phalanx)
Sep 1
Apple, Symantec, Facebook, Microsoft, etc.

The Sri Lankan branch of Anonymous claims to have hacked into the DNS servers of Symantec, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, and several other large organizations over the past few days,  posting the news and records of its exploits on Pastebin.


DNS Cache Snoop Poisoning
Sep 1 ?
Birdville Independent School District

Two students hack into their school district’s server and accessed a file with 14,500 student names, ID numbers, and social security numbers. Estimated cost of the breach is around $3,000,000.

?
Sep 2 Texas Police Chiefs Association

As usual happens on Fridady, Texas Police Chiefs Association Website is hacked by Anonymous for Antisec Operation. Hacker defaced their website and posted 3GB of data in retaliation for the arrests of dozens of alleged Anonymous suspects. According to Hackers the site has been owned for nearly one month.

SQLi?
Sep 2
EA Game Battlefield Heroes

One of the most famous games over the world Battlefield Heroes developed by EA Games is hacked by a hacker named “Why So Serious?” who leaks the User Login passwords on pastebin

SQLi?
Sep 2
vBTEAM Underground

Vbteam.info, the underground vBulletin Hacking website is hacked by “Why So Serious?“, who leaks 1400+ accounts of the Vbteam.info forum in pastebin.

SQLi?
Sep 3 Nomcat
Indian Government

An Indian Hacker named “nomcat” claims to have been able to hack into the Indian Prime Ministers Office Computers and install a Remote Administration Tool) in them. He also Exposes the Vulnerability in Income Tax website and Database Information.

SQLi?
Sep 4

Popular Websites: : Daily Telegraph, The Register, UPS, Vodafone

Popular websites including The Register, The Daily Telegraph, UPS, and others fall victim to a DNS hack that has resulted in visitors being redirected to third-party webpages. The authors of the hack, a Turkish group called Turkguvenligi, are not new to similar actions and leave a message declaring this day as World Hackers’ Day.


DNS Hijacking
Sep 5
Mobile App Network Forum

Mobile APP Network Forum is Hacked by “Why So Serious?”. He leaks over 15.000 accounts of the community (Forum) on Pastebin in two parts (Part 1 and Part 2).

SQLi?
Sep 5

European Union Institute For Energy and Transport

One of the Sub domain of European Union (Institute for Energy) is hacked and Defaced by Inj3ct0r. Hackers deface the web page, release some internal details and leave a message against Violence in Lybia and Russian influence in Ukraine.

http://ie.jrc.ec.europa.eu
Defacement
Sep 5  Cocain Team Hackers United Nations Sub Domain of Swaziland

United Nations Sub-Domain of Swaziland is hacked and defaced by Cocain Team Hackers. 

UN Logo
Defacement
Sep 5
Uronimo Mobile Platform

The Uronimo Mobile platform is hacked by Team Inj3ct0r. They leak the web site database and release on Pastebin internal data including Username, Hash Password, emails and Phone Numbers of 1000 users. Estimated Cost of the Breach is $214,000.


SQLi?
Sep 6 Comodo Hacker
Diginotar

The real extent of the Diginotar breach becomes clear: 531 bogus certificates issued including Google, CIA, Mossad, Tor. Meanwhile in a pastebin message Comodo Hacker states he own four more CAs, among which GlobalSign which precautionally suspends issuance of certificates.


Several Vulnerabilities
Sep 7 ?
Beaumont Independent School District

The superintendent of schools for Beaumont Independent School District announces that letters are being mailed to parents of nearly 15,000 of its 19,848 students to inform them of a potential breach of data that occurred recently. Inadvertently, private information including the name, date of birth, gender, social security number, grade and scores on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) exam of students who were in the third through 11th grades during the 2009-2010 school year–were potentially exposed.  Estimated cost of the breach is $3,210,000.


Human Mistake
Sep 7 ?
Stanford Hospital, Palo Alto, Calif.

A medical privacy breach leads to the public posting on a commercial Web site of data for 20,000 emergency room patients at Stanford Hospital in Palo Alto, Calif., including names and diagnosis codes. The information stayed online for nearly a year from one of its vendors, a billing contractor identified as Multi-Specialty Collection Services, to a Web site called Student of Fortune, which allows students to solicit paid assistance with their schoolwork. Estimated Cost of The Breach is $4,280,000.

Human Mistake
  Sep 9 Comodo Hacker
GlobalSign

After suspending issuing certificates, GlobalSign finds evidence of a breach to the web server hosting the www website. The breached web server has always been isolated from all other infrastructure and is used only to serve the http://www.globalsign.com website.


?
Sep 9
 Comodo Hacker
Google

As consequence of the infamous Diginotar Breach Google advises its users in Iran to change their Gmail passwords, and check that their Google accounts have not been compromised. Google also indicates that it is  directly contacting users in Iran who may have been hit by a man-in-the-middle attack.


Man In The Middle
Sep 9
NBC News

The NBC News Twitter account is hacked and starts to tweet false reports of a plane attack on ground zero. The account is suspended and restored after few minutes.


Trojan Keylogger  via Email
Sep 9 ?
Samsung Card

Data of up to 800,000 Samsung Card clients may have been compromised after an employee allegedly extracted their personal information. The Breach was discovered on Aug. 25 and reported to police on Aug. 30. It is not clear what kind of information has been leaked, maybe the first two digits of residence numbers, the names, companies and mobile phone numbers were exposed. Estimated cost of the breach is $171,200.000.


Unauthorized Access
Sep 10 ?
BuyVIP (Amazon Owned)

Although not officially confirmed, BuyVIP users received an e-mail informing that their database had been hacked. Apparently, the website had been offline for a couple days and it looks like that not only names and email addresses were retrieved, but also birth dates, real shipping addresses as well as phone numbers.


SQLi
Sep 11 ?
Linux Foundation

Few weeks after the kernel.org Linux archive site suffered a hacker attack, the Linux Foundation has pulled its websites from the web to clean up from a security breach. A notice posted on the Linux Foundation said the entire infrastructure including LinuxFoundation.org, Linux.com, and their subdomains are down for maintenance due to a security breach that was discovered on September 8, 2011.

Linux Foundation
SQLi?
Sep 11
AryansBook.com

Anonymous leaks the complete database from a well known nazi website AryansBook.com and posts the content on The Pirate Bay. This is a fight towards racism of any kind.

AryansBook
SQLi?
Sep 12 ?
Bitconitalk Forum

An unknown hacker uses a zero day flaw to steal email addresses, hashed passwords and read personal messages from the bitcointalk.org forum. Forum administrators said the attacker gained root access on 3 September and was able to run arbitrary PHP code not detected until the attacker injected “annoying JavaScript” into the forum pages a week later: the Javascript splashed actor Bill Cosby across the forums and replaced all references to BitCoin with CosbyCoin.

Bitcoin
0-day exploit in SMF
Sep 12 ?
Nigerian Government Website

Nigerian Government Website is hacked and defaced by Brazilian Hackers that leave a message in the main page.


Defacement
Sep 12 ?
Vacationland Vendors

A hacker gains unauthorized access to the card processing systems at Wilderness Waterpark Resort  and improperly acquires 40,000 credit card and debit card information. Estimated Cost of the Breach is $8,560,000.


N/A
Sep 12 X-Nerd Panda Security

Another Security Company Hacked: a hacker going by the name of X-Nerd hacks and defaces the Pakistan Server of a very well known security software website:  Panda Security.


SQLi?
Sep 12 ?
Russian UK Embassy

Just before Prime Minister David Cameron’s first visit to Moscow, the website belonging to the Embassy Of The Russian Federation in London was taken down by hackers. It seems as the attack was launched in sign of protest to the upcoming visit after a 5-year break in which no British leader went to Moscow.

DDoS
Sep 13 Cyb3rSec
thetvdb.com

Cyb3rSec dumps a list of 3500+ Accounts from the forum thetvdb.com.

SQLi?
Sep 13
top100arena.com

Albanian hackers belonging to Albanian Cyber Army exploit one of the biggest Game Arena site “Top100″ database using SQL injection attack. They leak the database on mediafire.

SQLi
Sep 14
President of Bolivia (presidencia.gob.bo)

SwichSmoke crew hacks the site belonging to President of Bolivia and dumps the leaked data on pastebin.

Various Exploits
Sep 14 ?
uTorrent.com

The uTorrent.com Web servers has been compromised and consequently the standard Windows software download was replaced with a type of fake antivirus “scareware” program.

  SQLi
Sep 14 ?
Bright House Networks

Bright House Networks, the sixth largest owner and operator of cable systems in the U.S., has sent a letter to customers warning that they may have been exposed after servers used to process Video on Demand (VOD) were breached.

  ?
Sep 14 ?
Scarlett Johansson

Also an actress may be victim of hackers: The FBI investigate reports that nude photos of a famous celebrity (allegedely Scarlett Johansson) have been leaked onto the web. The day before Twitter was flooded with messages claiming to link to naked pictures of her, which were allegedly stolen from her iPhone by a hacker earlier this year.

  ?
Sep 15 Stohanko
Various Sites

More than 101 sites, with huge amount of data and personal information which ranges from emails, phone numbers, to full names and addresses, have been hacked by an hacker dubbed Stohanko. At this link a list of the hacked sites and the links to dumped data.

?

An Industry Wide Attack

September 9, 2011 3 comments

9/9/2011: Globalsign admitted evidence of a breach to the web server hosting the www website:

Today we found evidence of a breach to the web server hosting the www website. The breached web server has always been isolated from all other infrastructure and is used only to serve the http://www.globalsign.com website. At present there is no further evidence of breach other than the isolated www web server. As an additional precaution, we continue to monitor all activity to all services closely. The investigation and high threat approach to returning services to normal continues.

Starting from March 2011, one might say that the authentication bastions have been crumbling one after another. In hindsight, one event in particular occurred during March 2011 has been mostly underestimated. Of course I am not referring to the RSA affair, but to the Comodo Hack, whose only blame was to happen too close in time to the RSA Breach, which ended up obfuscating its impact for the Information Security Landscape … At least until August 2011.

As a matter of fact when, immediately after the Comodo Hack, the so called Comodo Hacker published on pastebin his declaration of Cyberwar, no one considered the hypothesis that other Certification Authorities could have been equally compromised. Consequently, although the hack was classified as a serious cyberattack, driven by a political matrix and capable to establish a new (unwelcome) record, it was considered an isolated episode, mainly due to the scarce attention to application security by the targeted Comodo partner. Moreover the final target (Google) and the political reasons behind the attack deserved much more attention than the means used to perpetrate the attack itself: the first-time compromission of a Certification Authority, a completely inedited attack vector.

Nearly four months later, the Diginotar hack (again an attack with alleged political reasons behind although according to Trend Micro it targeted Iranian Internet users) has shown to the world the weaknesses of our authentication model and its chain of trust. Not only the hacker was able to forge more than 500 fake Code Sign and SSL certificates, but he also claimed to have access to other four CAs, quoting explicitly GlobalSign, and indirectly another one StartCom, which was able to avoid the hack since its CEO was sitting in front of the HSM during the attack, although the Comodo Hacker claims to own email, DB Backup and Customer data.

Trust in Diginotar Certificate Authority has been revoked from all browsers and OSes, permanently from all Mozilla Products, but not from Smartphones, with heavy consequences for the Dutch government’s PKIoverheid (PKIgovernment) program. Of course, easily predictable, the assertions from Comodo Hacker triggered panic between cert providers. On September the 6th GlobalSign decided to temporary cease issuance of all certificates as a precautionary measure and appointed Fox-IT to perform an intensive audit (Fox-IT is the same Dutch Cybsersecurity Company which performed the audit on Diginotar); on September the 7th Symantec released a statement to reassure their customers their infrastructure has been audited and it is not compromised. A similar announcement has been published by Thawte after an erroneous report from a Dutch Government agency according to which the Security firm had been breached. Unfortunately the story does not end here and although the Comodo Hacker promises further disclosures.

If I can spend few words on the question, the best way to describe it is to quote a statement from GlobalSign: “these claims (from Comodo Hacker) represent an industry wide attack”. Said in simple words: the aftermaths of the Diginotar hack will force to rethink the current authentication model and chain of trust (even because authentication technologies and vendors are increasingly tied) even if we seriously risk to run out of ammo: in this year we lost tokens and CAs… Now What Else?

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