The first half of November 2012 has been undoubtedly characterized by Hacktivism. Not only the month has begun with the ProjectBlackStar by the infamous Team Ghostshell (2.5 million accounts leaked belonging to different Russian sectors), but also the long-awaited November 5 has brought an unprecedented wave of Cyber Attacks against organizations all over the world, including Symantec and the UK Ministry Of Defence (more than 3,000 accounts leaked in both cases).
Moreover, after the dramatic event of the 14th of November (the killing of Ahmed Al-Jaabari, the commander of the military wing of Hamas by an Israeli missile and the consequent Operation “Pillar Of Defense”), the Anonymous have started a massive campaign of Cyber Attacks against Israel sites and in support of Palestine. This campaign is still ongoing even if it is really impossible to track all the attacks (nearly 700 defaced web sites so far), and hence, as far as possible, only a general overview is provided.
Of course these events have shadowed the other attacks, including the ones to LG (3,300 accounts leaked in two different cyber attacks) and Adobe (150,000 records allegedly compromised).
The chronicles also report of an alleged cyber attack against Telecom Italia (30,000 accounts allegedly leaked), even if there several doubts about the real authenticity of this attack.
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).
October 2012 has deserved a bad surprise for the members of the famous rock band Garbage, who had their official Twitter account hacked from an unknown cybercrook who enjoyed posting bogus messages to their nearly 60k followers.
Unfortunately, among the music stars, they are not the only ones who have suffered this sad fate, and actually, since 2009 to present, the list is quite long.
Britney Spears opens this special chart, which also includes high-profile singers such as Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and Kesha. Brit currently holds the unwelcome record to have been hacked twice, but the group of the victims is quite varied and covers different genres: pranksters and cybercrooks, at least from this point of view, have proven to be impartial.
The accounts have been hacked for different motivations: scam, hacktivism, or simple fun, and accessed via lost phones or by mean of brute-force or password-guessing techniques.
Famous singers are used to be on top of selling charts.I believe they willingly avoid to rank at the top of this unwelcome chart (after the jump you will find the related links).
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 (regularly updated), at the Cyber Attack Statistics, and follow @paulsparrows on Twitter for the latest updates.
During Summer we always try to spend our free time in a more profitable manner, for instance reading gossip chronicles.
From this point of view, July 2012 has not been a particularly lucky month for Carly Rae Jepsen. On July the 7th, her website has been the target of a DDoS attack by a member of the infamous collective @TheWikiBoat. During the second half of July, she has joined the (not so) exclusive club of celebrities who had compromising pictures and video stolen from their computers and mobile devices. This is not an isolated episode since celebrities have shown an insane predilection to make (possibly) XXX photos and store them with few or no precautions at all. With the consequence that it is not so uncommon that the private material gets stolen with the purpose to blackmail the victims or simply to sell it.
Unfortunately the experience has shown that, almost always, both ideas end up in a miserable failure and the photos get usually leaked, causing fans to run to their search engines in the hunt for the private snaps.
Honestly speaking, I do not understand how it feels to take photos of oneself in compromising positions (but I am not a celebrity, at least so far). For sure, if I were a celebrity I would be aware of my level of exposition and its consequent capability to attract the unwelcome attentions of stalkers (and addicted hackers). That level of exposition, alone, justifies the need to pay more attention for private material, most of all if it contains XXX shots. But maybe celebrities have not time for complex passwords…
To let you understand how often these events occur, I browsed the chronicles of the last years compiling the following gallery. Even if most of the leaks came from the so-called hacker ring targeting more than 50 celebrities, you will find many surprising (sometimes recurring) victims, before coming to the disappointing conclusion that “the leopard does not change his spots”.
I am afraid that this chart will soon need an update.
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.
This awful infosec July is over, and finally we can sum up the Cyber Attacks reported during this month. I collected all the available information and inserted it inside the following chart. Where possible (that is enough information available) I tried to estimate the cost of the attacks using the indications from the Ponemon’s insitute according to which the average cost of a Data Breach is US $214 for each compromised record. The total sum (for the known attacks) is around $7.6 billion, mainly due to the “National Data Breach” of the South Korean Social Network Cyworld.
Approximately 16 attacks were directly or indirectly related to Antisec or Anonymous, they promised an hot summer and unfortunately are keeping their word…
Useful resources for compiling the (very long) chart were taken from:
- 2011 Cyber Attacks (and Cyber Costs) Timeline (Updated) (paulsparrows.wordpress.com)
- 2011 CyberAttacks Timeline (paulsparrows.wordpress.com)
- 50 Days of Hunt (paulsparrows.wordpress.com)
- LulzSec hacking: a timeline (telegraph.co.uk)
- Anonymous Denies Paternity For the CNAIPIC Hack (paulsparrows.wordpress.com)
The Pwnie Awards is an annual awards ceremony celebrating the achievements and failures of security researchers and the security community.
The awards are given out once an year. The fifth annual ceremony will take place on Aug 3rd, 2011 in Las Vegas at the BlackHat USA security conference.
In 2011 there will be nine award categories:
- Pwnie for Best Server-Side Bug
- Pwnie for Best Client-Side Bug
- Pwnie for Best Privilege Escalation Bug
- Pwnie for Most Innovative Research
- Pwnie for Lamest Vendor Response
- Pwnie for Best Song
- Pwnie for Most Epic FAIL
- Pwnie for Lifetime Achievement
- Pwnie for Epic Ownage
Do you remember the hacking matrix I posted several days ago, emphasizing impact and innovation as two key factors in hacking? Well, it looks like the panel of the judges did recognized the value of these two factor (together with a certain amount of shallowness in case of Sony).
(Nearly) all the events drawn in the matrix, which happened in 2011 deserved a nominee for the prize, with the exception of Epsilon Data Breach, whose likely category, Most Epic Fail, has been literally monopolized by Sony with 5 nominations.
RSA deserved a nomination as well in the category “Lamest Vendor Response”, while the category Epic Ownage has been monopolized by LulzSec. Even if LulzSec has been appointed only once for “hacking everyone”, there is also a nomination for Anonymous for “hacking HBGary Federal”, probably this is a mistake since it looks clear that HBGary Federal was hacked by the Lulz Boat as well (as also ironically stressed by the LulzSec group itself).
The other two nominations for the Epic Ownage? Bradley Manning and Wikileaks (but I would also have inserted Lady Gaga since a fake Lady Gaga CD was used to perform the leak, and… most of all Stuxnet, who ranked at the top for impact an innovation in this matrix. Stuxnet is considered the first of a new generation of Cyber-weapons even if, so far, no other malware of similar sophistication has been detected (but U.S. Department of Homeland Security fears a modified Stuxnet variant could soon attack U.S. Infrastructure).
Interesting to notice, as suggested by Network World, whoever will win the Epic Ownage prize will be, in theory, a criminal for the law, consequently Law enforcement could be seriously interested to see if anyone actually shows up to this year to accept the prize for Epic Ownage at Black Hat, since all the nominees will face possible criminal charges.
At this link a complete list of the nominations.
This sunny July morning begins with another resounding hacking notification.
This time is Lady Gaga’s turn, whose U.K. Web Site, according to Daily Mirror, has been hacked and thousands of her fans’ personal details consequently stolen during the attack and made public.
The attack has been performed by the Hacker Group Swagsec, on June 27, but was made public only this week. The reasons are probably related to the claims according to which she uses the gay community to sell records.
Universal said yesterday:
“The hackers took a content database dump from http://www.ladygaga.co.uk and a section of email, first name and last name records were accessed. There were no passwords or financial information taken.
“We take this very seriously and have put in place additional measures to protect personally identifiable information. All those affected have been advised.”
SwagSec have also targeted other Universal artists recently including Amy Winehouse and Justin Bieber.
In an unrelated incident, an 18-year-old German hacker who leaked tracks by Gaga in 2009 was recently jailed for 18 months.
I must confess that these vacations are proving to be very interesting from my information security professional perspective. In the last weeks. each night I go to sleep wondering what further data breach will be notified the morning after… (un)luckily my expectations have almost never been unattended…