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Posts Tagged ‘Rupert Murdoch’

July 2011 Cyber Attacks Timeline

August 2, 2011 5 comments

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:


1 http://www.zeropaid.com/news/94099/abhaxas-dumps-details-of-the-internal-florida-voting-database-online/
2 http://www.pcworld.com/article/235016/hackers_claim_apple_online_data_was_compromised.html
3 http://www.thehackernews.com/2011/07/fox-news-twitter-account-hacked-by.html
4 http://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2011/07/05/sony-music-ireland-hackers/
5 http://news.cnet.com/8301-27080_3-20077268-245/sophisticated-attack-targets-two-energy-dept-labs
6 http://paulsparrows.wordpress.com/2011/07/08/dump-up-the-kids/
7 http://www.zeropaid.com/news/94250/abhaxas-hacks-floridas-voting-system-again/
8 http://www.v3.co.uk/v3-uk/news/2086749/anonymous-boasts-takedown-turkish-sites
9 http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/07/08/patriotic_portuguese_hackers_hit_moody/
10 http://paulsparrows.wordpress.com/2011/07/09/another-fbi-contractor-hacked/5
11 http://www.h-online.com/security/news/item/German-Federal-Police-servers-compromised-1276115.html
12 http://www.hackersbay.in/2011/07/anonymous-shuts-down-ministry-of.html
13 http://www.kiplinger.com/securityfaq/
14 http://paulsparrows.wordpress.com/2011/07/12/another-one-bytes-the-dump/
15 http://paulsparrows.wordpress.com/2011/07/12/monsanto-hack-info-of-2500-employees-leaked/
16 http://www.thehackernews.com/2011/07/toshiba-database-hacked-and-user.html
17 http://paulsparrows.wordpress.com/2011/07/15/the-mother-of-all-breaches/
18 http://www.mirror.co.uk/celebs/news/2011/07/16/lady-gaga-website-hacked-and-fans-details-stolen-115875-23274356/
19 http://paulsparrows.wordpress.com/2011/07/19/the-lulzsec-boat-is-back-and-sails-under-the-sun/
20 http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-20081405-83/anonymous-claims-to-have-breached-nato-security
21 http://www.cyberwarnews.info/2011/07/24/philippians-congress-hacked-by-bashcrew/
22 http://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2011/07/22/anonplus-anonymouss-social-network-is-hacked/
23 http://paulsparrows.wordpress.com/2011/07/24/anonplus-hacked-again-by-syrian-group/
24 http://paulsparrows.wordpress.com/2011/07/25/italian-cyber-police-hacked/
25 http://austrianindependent.com/news/Business/2011-07-26/8537/ORF_hack_attack_worse_than_feared
26 http://www.koreaherald.com/national/Detail.jsp?newsMLId=20110728000881
27 http://paulsparrows.wordpress.com/2011/07/29/anonymous-claims-another-fbi-contractor-hacked/
28 http://paulsparrows.wordpress.com/2011/07/29/italian-anonymous-owned/
29 http://paulsparrows.wordpress.com/2011/07/31/its-a-cruel-summer/
30 http://www.thehackernews.com/2011/07/italys-police-it-network-vitrocisetit.html

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The Two Faces of Hacking

July 20, 2011 1 comment

My colleague Massimo Biagiotti suggested me this interesting matrix from IEEE which originally indicated some of the biggest and best stories assessed along two dimensions: innovation and impact.

Actually I cleaned it up a little bit in order to show only some of the events happened in 2011, which were inserted in the original matrix. As a reference I left some events of the previous years (inserted in the original matrix as well) in order to have a kind of normalization. They include the infamous Ufo Hacker, the Greek Cellphone Caper, and finally the Palin’s Email Hacking.

As you may easily notice, Stuxnet deserves the Top of the Rock for Innovation and Impact. The infamous malware (the terror the nuclear power plants) has divided the infosec community in different factions: those who consider the malware as the first example of next-gen cyber-weapons developed (maybe by Israel and the U.S.) to seriously damage and delay the Iranian nuclear program (whose development took at least ten years of work), or those who consider it the work of an amateur, a script kid, possibly an astronomer with knowledge of the Holy Bible. Regardless of the real origin, because of its huge exploitation of 0-day vulnerabilities (which make it really contagious) the malware has established a new level, and probably a new standard for the information security landscape.

The RSA breach ranks in a considerable position as well. As known, compromised seeds were used to attack several main contractors of U.S. Defense (L-3, at the beginning of April but disclosed at the end of May, Lockheed Martin, on May, the 22nd, and Northrop Grumman on May, the 26th). As I told in one few posts ago I am afraid that also the Mother of All Breaches, that is the breach of 24,000 files by a Contractor, happened in March but disclosed by Pentagon last week, may be somehow related to the RSA Breach. As a consequence of the latter breach, a classified US military weapons system will have to be redesigned. Because of the impact, this breach should also be included in the matrix.

Probably the effects of the Epsilon Data Breach have been underestimated, since it is likely that security concerns, in terms of phishing, for the owners of breached e-mail addresses will last for years.

Obviously the matrix could not miss the infamous Anonymous and LulzSec Hacking groups. Their actions are considered quite simple with a major impact for the Lulz Boat. The Anonymous group is perhaps unfairly considered only for DDoS, and probably the matrix was drawn before the events of the last days such as the Monsanto Hack performed by Anonymous (whose impact is quite huge and denotes a growing interest of the group towards social problems), or the Sun Hacking (at this link some technical details on the hack).

Finally a quick consideration, of course it is a coincidence, but I could not help noticing that the author of the Ufo Hack, Gary McKinnon, has been diagnosed with the Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of Autism. Curiously the same disease has been diagnosed to Ryan Cleary, the alleged LulzSec member arrested in U.K. on June, the 21st. Probably some individuals suffering of autism spectrum disorders establish with machines the links and relationships they are not able to establish with the other human beings. This explains in part why they are so able with hacking…

Again, thanks to Massimo for reporting this really interesting (and enjoying) link.

The LulzSec Boat is Back (and sails under The SUN)

July 19, 2011 5 comments

The storm which hit the media empire of Rupert Murdoch has rapidly spread over the web. Yesterday night I was fighting against my summer insomnia, when the silence of a quiet July summer night has been broken by a storm of tweets from the LulzSec boat (immediately followed by a predictable bunch of Anonymous echoes).

I could not help typing http://www.thesun.co.uk, but when I detected this first storm of tweets and consequently went to SUN Home page, the defacement was already completed, so I missed the bogus story on Rupert Murdoch’s death, which the hacker group posted on the home page of the SUN.

Bogus Murdoch Death (nakedsecurity.sophos.com)

But this does not mean that I was not able to taste the the hacking ability of the LulzSec boat as well: with great surprise I noticed that the front page was only apparently correct, since after few sconds I was redirected to the LulzSec Twitter account. Few after a new storm of tweets from the Lulz Boat flooded the Internet:

I also was able to capture some wireshark traces, showing the redirect to the LulzSec Twitter account.

Not satisfied with the defacement, the Hacker Group also decided to divulge the email, password info and phone numbers for one Rebekah Wade—Brooks’ maiden name—along with many others from Murdoch’s tabloid crew.

So it looks like the #antisec wave has hit the shores of the Murdoch Media Empire under the new declination of #MurdochMeltdownMonday. This is probably due both to the huge echo raised by the phone hacking scandal involving News Of The World, another piece of the Murdoch Empire, but another possible reason may rely on the critical and ironical position held by Murodoch’s tabloids against the hacking group: see for instance the article describing Ryan Cleary’s arrest from The Sun perspective.

Probably the group did not like the excessive use of terms such as geek or nerdy teenager, and hence decided to have a memorable revenge…

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