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February 2012 Cyber Attacks Timeline

March 5, 2012 1 comment

Find here February 2012 Cyber Attacks Timelime Part I.

With a small  delay (my apologies but the end of February has been very busy for me and not only for Cybercrooks as you will soon see), here it is the second part of my compilation with the main Cyber Attacks for February 2012.

Easily Predictable, the Hacktivism is still the main concern for System Administrators, in particular for the ones of Stratfor who suffered a huge leak of 5 million of emails.

On the same front, the threats of the Anonymous for the Friday actions have come true and as a matter of fact Law Enforcement Agencies suffered other remarkable breaches in this month: Infragard for the second time and also Interpol (a new entry) that was taken down after the arrest of 25 members of the collective. Anti ACTA protest also continue to shake Europe as also the delicate economical and social situation in Greece.

Last but not least, this month has also seen an unforgettable leak, affecting potentially more than 1.000.000 Youporn users.

As usual, the chart does not include the events related to Middle East Cyber War Timeline, that you may find at this link, as they “deserve” a dedicated timeline.

After the jump you find all the references, follows @paulsparrows for the latest updates on a regular basis and also have a look to the 2012 Cyber Attacks Timeline Master Index.

Read more…

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February 2012 Cyber Attacks Timeline (Part I)

February 16, 2012 1 comment

February 2012 brings a new domain for my blog (it’s just a hackmaggedon) and confirms the trend of January with a constant and unprecedented increase in number and complexity of the events. Driven by the echo of the ACTA movement, the Anonymous have performed a massive wave of attacks, resuming the old habits of targeting Law Enforcement agencies. From this point of view, this month has registered several remarkable events among which the hacking of a conf call between the FBI and Scotland Yard and the takedown of the Homeland Security and the CIA Web sites.

The Hacktivism front has been very hot as well, with attacks in Europe and Syria (with the presidential e-mail hacked) and even against United Nations (once again) and NASDAQ Stock Exchange.

Scroll down the list and enjoy to discover the (too) many illustrious victims including Intel, Microsoft, Foxconn and Philips. After the jump you find all the references and do not forget to follow @paulsparrows for the latest updates. Also have a look to the Middle East Cyberwar Timeline, and the master indexes for 2011 and 2012 Cyber Attacks.

Addendum: of course it is impossible to keep count of the huge amount of sites attacked or defaced as an aftermath of the Anti ACTA movements. In any case I suggest you a couple of links that mat be really helpful:

Read more…

Categories: Cyber Attacks Timeline, Cyberwar, Security Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

October 2011 Cyber Attacks Timeline (Part I)

October 16, 2011 2 comments

October has come and here it is, also for this month, the first part of my Cyber Attacks Timeline covering the cyber events occurred in the first half of the current month.

Three events in particular have marked this month: The German Trojan R2-D2 (that is raising many questions and concerns inside the infosec community), the keylogger hitting U.S. Drones and a new cyber attack to Sony involving this time “only” 93,000 accounts (oops! They did it again).

Except for a couple of isolated occurrences (in Austria and UK), the Cyber Attacks by Anonymous and Antisec had a break, maybe because hacktivism efforts are being focused on the #OccupyWallStreet operation that is rapidly spreading all over the World (I wonder why in here in Rome yesterday it has not been possible to have peaceful protests as happened in all the other Capitals). Besides, albeit not directly related with Anonymous, several Syrian log files were leaked showing the control of the Government on the Internet.

Other events of the month: a couple of fashion related websites were hacked, the Cyber-Guerrilla between India and Pakistan was particularly active with the cyber armies of the two nations facing themselves in the cyber space with continual mutual defacements, @SwichSmoke was also particularly active against Venezuela Government Web Sites. Other “minor” leaks were performed by @FailRoot and @ThEhAcKeR12 but one of the victims of the latter was Camber Corporation, an U.S. Contractor.

Anyway, Camber Corporation was not the only targeted Contractor, also Raytheon Corporation (a survivor of the RSA Breach) was targeted with a cloud based spear-phishing campaign, again the attack was thwarted but, in my opinion, has deserved a mention as well. Chronicles also reports of a claimed hack to Infragard (again).

Moreover the aftermaths of the RSA breach are not completely over: this month the security firm’s CEO claimed that a couple of different Cyber Crews, under the flag of an enemy nation (and the suspects were immediately directed to China), are behind the Cyber Attack in March and acted to perform it.

But a very special mention for this month (and the consequent lowly desiderable prize), is undoubtedly deserved by Mr. Oliver Letwin, Her Majesty’s Cabinet Minister, who was caught by The Daily Mirror  in the habit of dumping private correspondence and sensitive documents detailing Al-Qaeda activities and secret service operations into park bins in St James’s Park, Westminster, close to Downing Street. Security, logical and physical, may have many unpredictable implications…

From a technical point of view SQLi and defacements were the most used lethal weapons for this month, even if a massive ASP.NET based attack, targeting 300,000 web sites,  is also worth mentioning.

This Timeline was compiled with Useful Resources by:

And my inclusion criteria do not take into consideration simple defacement attacks (unless they are particularly resounding) or small data leaks.

Last but not least: you may find all the timelines for 2011 in my Master Index. Enjoy the list(s) and share and retweet to encourage me to keep it up2date!

Date Author Description Organization Attack
Oct 1 Neatstuffs

Filmradar.com

NeatStuffs hacks filmradar.com a movie review and information site/community and releases on Mediafire a 6mb txt file containing 95167 accounts with hashed passwords. Estimated cost of the breach is $ 20,365,738.


SQLi?
Oct 2
Venezuela National Statistics Institute

SwichSmoke crew hacks the Venezuela National Statistics Insitute during the 2011 Census.


SQLi?
Oct 2

Camber Corporation (US Contractor)

Once again a US Government contractor is target of cyber crime. This time is the turn of Camber Corporation, targeted by a small hack by @ThEhAcKeR12, which releases 3 admin accounts with encrypted passwords. and admin full name.

  ?
Oct 2

wrestlegame.co.uk

Again @ThEhAcKeR12, this time the crew dumps 1500+ accounts (in encrypted format) and a database from wrestlegame.co.uk. Estimated cost of the breach is around $321,000.

wrestlegame SQLi?
Oct 2
A student arrested few days later
Thailand Prime Minister

Thailand’s Prime Minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, had her Twitter account hacked flooding her followers with a stream of messages criticising her leadership with statements like this: The final post read: “If she can’t even protect her own Twitter account, how can she protect the country?

Account Hacking
Oct 4 Austrian Economy Chamber (WKO)

WKO confirms that its webserver was infiltrated by unidentified cyber criminals. More than 6,000 data sets of customers of the chamber were published on the internet. Although Anonymous Austria leaked the data, they stressed they had not carried out the attack on WKO themselves, but had been provided with the records by someone else, adding that the security leak was exposed by using online search engine Google. Estimated cost of the Breach is around $1,284,000.

  Vulnerability on The Target Platform
Oct 5

funniestvideosonline.com

@ThEhAcKeR12 does not stop here and dumps 3300 accounts from funniestvideosonline.com and are all encrypted passwords. Estimated cost of the Breach is around $706,200.

SQLi?
Oct 5 www.xvidonline.com

@FailRoot hacks and leaks  several accounts from www.xvidonline.com putting the websits offline.

xvidonline.com SQLi?
Oct 5 Optik Fiber Gmail (Claimed)

Optik Fiber releases several gmail accounts claimed to have been hacked via a known security flaw in gmail. It is not sure if this is real or not but it is meaningful as well of the global level of (in)security, real or psychological.

Known Security Flaw in Gmail (N/A)
Oct 5 ? Fashion TV India

Unknown hackers hacks Fashion TV India with the injection tool havij and obtain a list of accounts dumping usernames and passwords in clear text.

SQLi via havij
Oct 6
Syrian Internet Log Files

Internet activists from Telecomix release 54 GB of log files allegedly created by Syrian internet censors between 22 July and 5 August 2011. The data were found on a third party server.

?
Oct 7

unijobs.com.au

An Australian University website that lists jobs is hacked by @BlackHatGhosts and has data dumped, included user logins and passwords.

SQLi?
Oct 7 Several Hackers

Department of Public Enterprises South Africa

Department of Public Enterprises, south Africa is hacked and had its database dumped

SQLi
Oct 7 Same authors above

Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Republic of Indonesia

Another day, another government website hacked, (and its data leaked).

Indonesia SQLi
Oct 7  ? University Of Georgia

The University of Georgia discovers a data file on a publicly available Web server that contained sensitive personnel information on 18,931 members of the faculty and staff employed at the institution in 2002. The file included the social security number, name, date of birth, date of employment, sex, race, home phone number and home address of individuals employed at UGA in 2002. Estimatec Cost of the Breach is around $4,051,234.


Internal Accidental Error
Oct 8 ?
U.S. Military Drones

Wired reports that a computer virus has infected Predator drones and Reaper drones, logging pilots’ keystroke during their fly missions over Afghanistan and other warzones. The virus was detected nearly two weeks ago at the Ground Control System (GCS) at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada and has not prevented drones from flying their missions, showing an unexpected strength so that multiple efforts were necessary to remove it from Creech’s computers.


USB Stick?
Oct 8 German law Author. and Customs Dep.
German Citizens

A very strange (un)lawful Cyber Attack, against German Citizens. Chaos Computer Club discloses a “state malware”: a backdoor Trojan horse capable of spying on online activity and recording Skype internet calls. They declare the malware is used by the German police force. The malware was allegedly installed onto the computer as it passed through customs control at Munich Airport.

Germany Flag
Troian Horse
Oct 9 Turkish Energy Team
Several Government Websites

Turkish Energy Team performs (and keeps on to perform) a massive defacement against several governments websites (in certain cases some sub domains). The list (in continuous growth) is published on Zone-H.

Defacement
Oct 9 MCA-CRB
Other Government Websites

Different Crew, same result: a massive defacement against several governments websites. Also in this case the list (in continuous growth) is published on Zone-H.

Defaced Domains 2 Defacement
Oct 9
justonehost.com

Another Web site hosting company defaced: this time it is the turn of justonehost.com that is hacked by @FailRoot, that also dumps its Database online. The leak contains all users informations, emails, paypals and much more is 11.86mb and has been uploaded to megaupload.


Defacement SQLi
Oct 10
 

Congress of the State of Chihuahua

Another government website hit and leaked by @FailRoot: Congress of the state of Chihuahua Mexico. The leak contains administration usernames and (easy guessable) passwords.

Congreso del Estado de Chihuahua SQLi?
Oct 10 Q!sR QaTaR

Turkish Government Websites

A cybercriminal from Quatar defaces a large number of websites belonging to the Ankara government, leaving them non-operational.

Margent
Oct 10

40 Zimbabwe Government Websites

A crew called ISCN hacks and defaces 40 Zimbabwe government based websites leaving a polical message.

Zimbabwe Defacement
Oct 10
UKGraffiti.com

UKGraffiti is hacked by Anonymous_DR (Anonymous Dominicana) who also dumps usernames, emails and encrypted passwords.


SQLi?
Oct 11 ?
RSA

RSA reveals that it believes two groups, working on behalf of a single nation state, hacked into its servers during the infamous Breach of March and stole information related to the company’s SecurID two-factor authentication products used to attack some defense contractors. Although people are likely to assume that China might have been involved in the attack, they did not reveal the name of the nation involved.

RSA
APT
Oct 11 ?
Sony (Playstation Network, Sony Entertainment Network and Sony Online Entertainment)

Back tho the future! Sony under cyber attack… Again! The Company reports of unauthorized attempts to verify valid user accounts on Playstation Network, Sony Entertainment Network and Sony Online Entertainment. A total of 93,000 accounts have been affected (PSN/SEN: approximately 60,000 accounts; SOE: approximately 33,000). In these cases the attempts succeeded in verifying valid sign-in IDs and passwords, so the accounts were temporalily locked.


SQLi?
Oct 11 ?
blueHOMES.com

Unknown Hackers hack the European property Dealers website blueHOMES.com . About 500,000 Users data claim to be hacked including database with customer passwords in plaintext, full addresses, skype account, and mailboxes of bluehomes. Specified data leaked on pastebin with sample data of some users.


SQLi
Oct 11 ?
Find2Trade.com

Another website hit by Havij. This time is the turn of Find2Trade, an internet portal whose goal is to help small and medium enterprises to reach much higher profits while reducing costs. UserID, email and passwords, which are encrypted, were leaked.


Havij
Oct 12 ?
Raytheon

The U.S. Defense Contractor reveals that it was the victim of a cloud-based attack for the first time, with the incident occurring one week before. Nothing new but the fact that this was the first cloud based attack. The firm usually blocks 1.2 billion attacks a day in addition to four million spam emails each day.


N/A
Oct 12 ? WineHQ

Another Linux Project hacked! Jeremy White, Codeweavers Founder announces that access to the WineHQ database has been compromised. It looks like attackers have used phpMyAdmin to access the WineHQ project’s database and harvest users’ appdb and bugzilla access credentials.

WineHQ SQLi
Oct 13 ?
300,000 Websites

Google reveals another mass infection which affected hundreds of thousands of sites that relied on ASP or ASP.NET: A malicious script got injected into several locations targeting English, German, French and other language speakers surfers.

Asp.Net ASP Vulnerability
Oct 13 ?
Genentech

The biotechnology company suffered a data breach on August, 17 which may have resulted in the theft of information belonging to 3,500 of the million patients who utilize the company’s support programs. Estimated Cost of The Breach is around $750,000

Unlegitimate Access
Oct 14 ?
Chili’s Grill & Bar Restaurant

Ok a Chili Breach is not a big deal, except the fact that the computer server Hackers broke into, is placed at Yokosuka Naval Base. According to Navy officials, hackers stole credit card information and run up erroneous charges.

Credit Card Thieft
Oct 14 ?
Fedora Project

This is not a direct cyber attack but a consequence of the hacks to Linux projects (Kernel.org and Linux). ThreatPost reveals that Fedora Project contacted users to change their password and SSH public key before November 30 to avoid having their accounts marked as inactive.

Fedora Logo N/A
Oct 14
Barinas State, Venezuela

Another dump of sites from @SwichSmoke coming from the state “Barinas” and the government for that state. The release note, in Spanish states that the original password is 123456, fairly lame for a government website.

Barinas SQLi
Oct 14 Vicky Singh
Pakistan Embassy in China

Another episode of the Cyberware between Pakistan and Indian Crew: Vicky Singh defaces the Pakistan Embassy in China.

?
Oct 14 Team Dexter
Contrexx.com

An European Content Management System provider is hacked and has a dump of administration details leaked online.

  N/A
Oct 14 Oct 15 Several Authors
Club Music CPPS

Club Music CPPS is hacked: the leak contains account emails, usernames and decrypted passwords. Note: on Oct 16 the site is still defaced :(

SQLi Defacement
Oct 14
Venezuela National Graduate Advisory Council

Another cyber attack by @SwichSmoke, this time they leak the Venezuela National Graduate Advisory Council and release the leaked data on pastebin.

SQLi
Oct 14 ?
Infragard Atlanta (claimed)

It seems that Infragrad has been hacked again and had a dump of accounts leaked and decrypted even if there is no source or reason or even proof that this is 100% real in anyway. Anyway it still shows that Infragard is still in the eyes of some people. The alleged leak contains emails, usernames, encrypted passwords and the decryption of the password as well.

Infragard N/A
Oct 14 ?
NSEC (Netaji Subhash Engineering College)

The Netaji Subhash Engineering College NSEC is hacked and has a fair amount of member accounts dumped on pastebin. This comes from an unknown source and unknown reasons. The leak contains full user information, emails and passwords in clear text.

SQLi
Oct 14

Chinese Government

Barbaros-DZ hacks over 1,700 sites belonging to the Chinese Government defacing them and leaving a message against the Goverment itself. THe list of the sites is available on Zone-H.

 Defacement
Oct 14

UK Government

Special mention this month for Her Mayesty’s Cabinet Minister Oliver Letwin, who has got himself into hot water, after The Daily Mirror reported him in the habit of dumping private correspondence and sensitive documents detailing Al-Qaeda activities and secret service operations into park bins in St James’s Park, Westminster, close to Downing Street. The documents contained the personal details of the minister’s constituents, including names, phone numbers, email contacts and postal addresses.

UK Flag Defacement
Oct 15 SA3D HaCk3D
16,000+ websites

SA3D HaCk3D shows on Zone-H the results of his work of the past years: a total of 16,000+ websites defaced.

SA3D HaCk3D Defacement
Oct 15 p0xy
iCPPS

For an alleged personal revenge, a hacker called p0xy leaks usernames, emails and hashed passwords from the iCPPS online platform.

icpps SQLi
Oct 15 iolaka
World Miss Photogenic

This time is the turn of a fashion/model based website, which is attacked and suffers a dump of accounts leaked containing 1000+ accounts including usernames, emails and encrypted passwords by iolaka.

SQLi
Oct 15
India Cyber Crime Investigation Cell

Another episode of the Cyber-Guerrilla between India and Pakistan: Pakistani hacker Shadow008 hacks and defaces India’s Most Important website of Cyber cell located at Mumbai.

Defacement
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September 2011 Cyber Attacks Timeline (Part II)

October 2, 2011 5 comments

Here it is the second part of my traditional monthly Cyber Attacks Timeline (Part I available here). From an information Security Perspective the main events of this month were the infamous Diginotar breach which led to Bankrupt for the Dutch Company and also the BEAST attack to SSL, two events which, together, thumbed the Infosec Community in its stomach.

Of course these events did not divert the attention of hackers who kept on to carry on attacks against different targets.

The Anonymous continued their campaign: although mainly focused on the #OccupyWallStreet Operation (in which a Senior Officer who used pepper spray against protestors was “doxed”, they targeted several governments including Mexico, Austria, (where they also performed an unconfirmed hack against an health insurance Firm targeting 600,000 dumped users) and Syria. In particular the latter attack triggered a retaliation by Syrian Electronic Soldiers against the prestigious Harvard University.

Chronicles also report a Japan defense contractor hit by hackers, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, (China denied its involvement on the attack), another Twitter Account hacked by The Script Kiddies (this time against USA Today), an indirect attack perpetrated against (through) Oracle by infecting its MySQL.com domain with downloadable malware and, last but not least a massive defacement of 700,000 sites hosted by Inmotion.

US Navy was also victim of defacement.

As far as the prize for the “Most Expensive Breach of the Month” is concerned, the laurel wreath is undoubtedly for SAIC (Science Applications International Corp.) which lost a tape database backup containing data of 4,900.000 users with an estimated cost of approximately 1 billion of bucks…

As usual, useful Resources for compiling the table include:

My inclusion criteria do not take into consideration simple defacement attacks (unless they are particularly resounding) or small data leaks.

Update: On 09/30/2011, Betfair reported a 3.15 million records breach with a total estimated cost of 1.3 billion USD winning the laurel wreath of the most expensive breach of the month.

Date Author Description Organization Attack
Sep 16


Websites of several Mexican government ministries

As part of OpIndipendencia, websites of several Mexican government ministries, including Defense and Public Security, are teared down in the same day of the symbolic beginning of Mexico’s independence from Spain.


DDoS
Sep 16 Mikster
Clubmusic.com

Clubmusic.com, a worldwide dj website. is hacked and the leak dumped on pastebin.


SQLi
Sep 16 Sec Indi Security Team
Official Website of The United States Navy

An hacker crew called Sec Indi Security Team Hacker uploads a custom message on the server to warn a WebDav vulnerability.

WebDav Vulnerabilty
Sep 16 ? California State Assembly

More than 50 employees of the California State Assemby, including some lawmakers, have been warned that their personal information might have been obtained by a computer hacker.


?
Sep 17 ?
Intelligence And National Security Alliance

Names and email addresses of hundreds of U.S. intelligence officials have been posted on an anti-secrecy website. On Monday Sep 10 INSA published a major report warning of an urgent need for cyberdefenses. Within a couple of days, in apparent retaliation, INSA’s “secure” computer system was hacked and the entire 3,000-person membership posted on the Cryptome.org website

  N/A
Sep 17 ?
Fake FBI Anonymous Report

A Fake FBI Psychological profile of the Anonymous group is published. Although not a direct cyber attack, this event can be considered an example of psychological hacking and a “sign of the times” of how information and counter information may play a crucial role in hacking.

  SQLi?
Sep 18
Texas Police

Anonymous/Anti-sec releases a document containing a list of about 3300 members of the Texas Police Association

  N/A
Sep 19

?

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Japan’s biggest defense contractor, has revealed that it suffered a hacker attack in August that caused some of its networks to be infected by malware. According to the firm,  45 network servers and 38 PCs became infected with malware at ten facilities across Japan. The infected sites included its submarine manufacturing plant in Kobe and the Nagoya Guidance & Propulsion System Works, which makes engine parts for missiles.


APT
Sep 19
City Of Rennes

TeaMp0isoN takes responsibly to hack the official website of The City Of Rennes (France) via a tweet. They also publish the reason of hack on the defacement page.

Defacement
Sep 19
?

Hana SK

Hana SK Card Co., a South Korean credit card firm, announces that Sep 17, some 200 of its customers’ personal information has been leaked. Total cost of the breach is $42,800.

Hana SK Card
SQLi?
Sep 20
? Former USSR Region

Source report that at least 50 victim organizations ranging from government ministries and agencies, diplomatic missions, research institutions, and commercial entities have been hit in the former Soviet Union region and other countries in an apparent industrial espionage campaign that has been going on at least since August 2010.The advanced persistent threat (APT)-type attacks — dubbed “Lurid” after the Trojan malware family being used in it — has infected some 1,465 computers in 61 countries with more than 300 targeted attacks.


APT
Sep 20
 Shad0w Fox Sports Website

Fox Sports website, on of the most visited Websites in the world (rank 590 in Alexa) gets hacked. An Hacker named “Shad0w” releases SQL injection Vulnerability on one of the sub domain of Fox Sports and exploit it to extract the database. Leaked database info posted on pastebin. Vulnerable link is also posted together admin password hashes.


SQLi?
Sep 22
Core Security Technologies

Another security Firm target of hacking: Core Security Technologies is hacked by an hacker called Snc0pe, who defaces some websites belonging to the firm. Mirror of the hack can be seen here.


N/A
Sep 24 ?
UKChatterbox

Popular IRC service UKChatterbox advises users to change their passwords following a series of hacks which culminated in an attack that may have compromised user details. The password reset follows on from a succession of outages previously attributed to maintenance upgrades, back to the start of the summer. In a notice to users, UKChatterbox advises users to change their passwords and not to re-use them on other sites. The number of hacked account is unknown.


N/A
Sep 25

Seven Major Syrian Cities and Government Web Sites

The Anonymous unleash a chain of defacement actions against the Syrian Government, hacking and defacing the official sites of seven major Syrian cities, which stayed up in their defaced version for more than 16 hours. The defacement actions kept on the following day in which 11 Syrian Government Sites were defaced as part of the same operation.


Defacement
Sep 25 ?
Indira Gandhi International Airport

Although happened three months ago, it turns out that a ‘technical snag’ hittinh operations at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) T3 Terminal was caused by a “malicious code” sent from a remote location to breach the security at the airport.


APT
Sep 26
Inmotion Hosting Server

700,000 websites hosted on InMotion Hosting network are hacked by TiGER-M@TE. The hackers copied over the index.php in many directories (public_html, wp-admin), deleted images directory and added index.php files where not needed. List of all hacked 700,000 sites here.

Defacement
 Sep 26
Austrian Police

The Austrian Anonymous branch publishes the names and addresses of nearly 25,000 police officials, raising fears for officers’ personal security. An Austrian Interior ministry spokesman said the information came from an “association closely related with the police”. Estimated cost of the breach is around $ 5,400,000.


SQLi?
Sep 26
USA Today Twitter Account

The USA Today Twitter account is hacked and starts to tweet false messages mentioning the other accounts hacked by the authors of the action: the Script Kiddies (already in the spotlight for hacking the FoxNews Twitter Account at the Eve of 9/11 anniversary)


Account Hacking
Sep 26
?
MySQL.com

MySQL.com website is struck by cybercriminals, who hacked their way in to serve up malicious code to visiting computers with a Java exploit that downloaded and executed malicious code on visiting Windows computers. Brian Krebs reports that just few days before, he noticed on a Russian underground website that a hacker was offering to sell admin rights to MySQL.com for $3000. MySQL.com receives almost 12 million visitors a month (nearly 400,000 a day).


Java Exploit to install malware
Sep 26
Harvard University

In retaliation for the defacements performed by the Anonymous targeting Syria, Syrian Electronic Soldiers deface the website of the prestigious Harvard University. The same group came in the spotlight during July and August for defacing Anonoplus engaging a “de facto” cyberwar against The Anonymous.


Defacement
Sep 26 ?
#Occupywallstreet

The month of September is characterized by the OccupyWallStreet Operation, started on September, the 17th and still ongoing. Although not directly configurable as an hacking action, it may rely on the support of the Anonymous who “doxed” a senior police who controversially usec pepper spray against a group of female protesters.


N/A
Sep 27
COGEL, Council On Governmental Ethical Law

Once again in this month,Snc0pe claims another resounding action. This time the alleged target is the official website of The Council on Governmental Ethics Laws (COGEL). He posts a message on pastebin, along with the database download link.


SQLi?
Sep 28
Tiroler Gebietskrankenkasse (TGKK)

AnonAustria in the spotlight again after the resounding hack against Austrian Police. This time the victim is an health insurance firm Tiroler Gebietskrankenkasse (TGKK) whose database of some 600,475 medical records AnonAustria claims to have hacked. The databse includes some celebrities. The total cost of the breach is around $128,500,000.00.


SQLi?
Sep 29 ?
SAIC (Science Applications International Corp.)

SAIC, one of the Pentagon‘s largest contractors reveals to have discovered a data breach occurred a couple of weeks before, affecting as many as 4.9 million patients who have received care from military facilities in San Antonio since 1992. The breach involved backup computer tapes from an electronic health care record. Some of the information included Social Security numbers, addresses, phone numbers and private health information for patients in 10 states. Statement of the data breach here Estimated cost of the breach is around $ 1 billion.


Car Burglary
Sep 30 ?
Laptop Virus Repair

Although not resounding as the one which targeted MySQL.com, here it is another example of a website infected with malicious code targeting a free antivirus cloud based service.

Laptop Virus Repair
Malicious Code
Sep 30 ?
Betfair

Betfair reports a leak including not only the payment card details of most of its customers but also “3.15m account usernames with encrypted security questions”, “2.9m usernames with one or more addresses” and “89,744 account usernames with bank account details”. The incident occurred on 14 March 2011 but was announced only 18 months later. Estimated cost of the breach is around $1.3 billion.


?

Anonymous vs Syrian Electronic Soldiers

September 28, 2011 2 comments

Hactivism is making possible to bring wars and revolutions on the cyberspace, the fifth domain of war. In particular the Arab Spring has given the definitive consecration to politically driven hacking actions that have proven to be a key factor inside the protests that are changing the political landscape in the Middle East: non conventional weapons used together with “traditional” methods by both parties involved on revolutions: cyber-opponents vs cyber-supporters.

Tunisia has been the first example of this new way to provide backing to social protests: at the beginning of 2011 the Anonymous activists targeted Tunisian government sites. It was the 4th of January and this action (or Operation quoting the same term used by the Anonymous) showed to the world the real, political and social power of the Cyber warfare.

Few days later (June, 26th 2011) the same fate befell to Egypt: government sites were targeted with DDOS attacks which contributed to draw attention to ongoing protests which led to the fall of President Mubarak.

Following the wake of the Arab spring, the Anonymous also took position in the Libyan Revolution declaring their engagement with the rebels. Although, from an information security perspective, no practical consequence followed this statement, it had a huge symbolic significance, since in a clear and decisive manner, an hacker crew crossed the boundary of the cyberspace and took position on a social and political event even before performing any hacking acton.

But in Syria the revolution fought in the fifth domain has reached its “bloody” peak. On August, the 7th 2011 the Anonymous targeted the Syrian Ministry of Defense with a resounding defacement. A couple of days later, in retaliation of the previous defacement, the Syrian Electronic Soldiers defaced Anonplus, the Anonymous Social Network, that had already been, a couple of weeks before, the target of a defacement performed by the same Syrian Crew.

But the “war inside the war” fought between the two groups does not stop here: following the bloody events in Syria, on Sunday, 25th of September, the Anonymous decided to open again the hostilities unleashing a chain of defacement action, against the Syrian Government, hacking and defacing the official sites of seven major Syrian cities, which stayed up in their defaced version for more than 16 hours. The defacement actions kept on the following day in which 11 Syrian Government Sites were defaced as part of the same operation.

Of course a retaliation of the Syrian Electronic Soldier was predictable (and close in time) and targeted, in an unexpected manner, one of the most important US Universities, the University of Harvard which was victim of a resounding defacement on Monday, the 26th of September.

So far the two Cyber Armies have shown an unprecedented impetus in countering their respective acts of cyberwar. Probably the story will not end up here and, most of all, we will have to get used to watch the wars and the revolutions on a double perspective involving real battlefields and virtual battlefields. The problem here is that information security professionals and system administrators are not likely to be mere spectators, but the real soldiers of this non conventional war.

AnonPlus Hacked Again By Syrian Hackers

August 9, 2011 6 comments

The overlapping between Real Wars (and revolution) and Cyber Wars (or better to say Cyber Revolutions) is getting stronger and stronger. The last example, once again, in Syria with a sparring match between Anonymous and a group of Syrian Hackers.

Anonymous did the first move: following the bloody events in Syria, a couple of days ago Anoymous decided to deface the Syrian Ministry of Defense, leaving a note in support of the rioters.

Few hours later, in retaliation of the previous act, a Syrian Group of hackers has defaced (for the third time), Anonplus, the alternative Social Network in phase of deployment by Anonymous, posting several gruesome images.

Suspects are directed to Syrian Electronic Soldiers, which already defaced a previous domain of Anonplus, although it looks like  Anonymous claimed, by mean of a tweet from LulzSec Leader Sabu, that AnonPlus is not their any Official site.

Another further confirmation that Cyber War is really becoming the fifth domain of war…

AnonPlus Hacked (Again) by Syrian Group

July 24, 2011 8 comments

Update August 9: Anonplus defaced once again by Syrian Hackers!

There is no peace for AnonPlus the alternative Social Network established by the Infamous Hacking Group. Only a couple of days after the defacement made by a Turkish Hacking Group, Anonplus, the alternative Social Network established by Anonymous after their account was banned from Google+ has been defaced again by a couple of Syrian Hackers (Th3 Pr0 & SaQeR Syria) in name of the Syrian Electronic Army:

A group of enthusiastic Syrian youths who could not stay passive towards the massive distortion of facts about the recent uprising in Syria, and this distortion is carried out by many Facebook pages that deliberately work to spread hatred and sectarian intolerance between the peoples of Syria to fuel the uprising.

In this moment, Surfing to Anonplus, returns the following page:

Which contains a link to a Facebook Page backing the Syrian Regime (in opposition to the Syrian Revolution Facebook Page).

Clearly the numerous Anonymous hactivism campaings nare attracting the unwelcome attentions not only by police squads of all five continents, but also from rival hacking grouops divided by ideological barriers.

As a matter of fact, at the beginning of July, Anonymous performed some DDoS attacks against Syrian Embassies all around the world as part of their Operation Syria. A similar action, Operation Turkey was declared at the beginning of June, which probably explain the above quoted previous defacement, which occurred at the AnonPlus Social Network on July the 22nd.

The Anonymous Tide is changing the world of hacking and hactivism: at the beginning of 2011, hactivism was included among the Top Security Concerns for 2011 from the leading security vendors. Afer seven months, it looks like that (actually easy) prediction was correct. Not only many would-be hackers have been enrolled (perhaps in a reckless and superficial manner) in hactivism campaigns (and often get stuck in the mesh of justice as it never happened in the last years, see for instance the FBI raids), but, most of all, the cyberspace is really becoming the fifth domain of war, used not only for propaganda, but also to carry on bombastic attacks with social, political, and military scopes.

Moreover, it looks like this is a further consequence of what I defined Consumerization of Warfare, that is the growing use of Consumer Technologies such as Social Networks for Military and Political Operations: the “declaration of war” of the Syrian Group starts from a Facebook page built up to stop the use of Facebook from their adversaries as a mean of communication with the Syrians inside and outside Syria “to spread their destructive ideas” (quoted litterally).

In this context a sentence is particularly meaningful:

So let’s fight them using their weapon

Probably at the beginning the Syrian group wanted to use the so called “their (same) weapon” exclusively against internal enemies. Once realized the latter were not the only to use the social weapons against their cause (Hacking groups, even if not motivated by hactivism make extensive use of Social Media to spread their Word), decided to expand the scope of their campaign, including anonymous among their targets.

Now it’s up to the Anonymous to place their move on the Cyberwar chessboard.

Switch Off The Revolution (With An Infrared Sensor)

Just a couple of months ago, in writing the first post about Mobile Warfare (which should have later become Consumerization of Warfare) I expressed some considerations about the growing need for illiberal government to prevent the use of mobile devices as preferred media for the rioters to capture live images of the events, and to spread the information all around the Globe by mean of Social Networks.

Cutting off the Internet has been the first clumsy countermeasure applied by Egypt and Syria, but it is really unlikely that this kind of massive preventive block will be applied again by other countries because of the huge dependence of Internet, which characterizes our epoch, and consequently, as a collateral damage, would stop other vital activities.

As a consequence, I hypothesized that possible future countermeasures will aim to make unusable directly the source of information (read mobile devices), and the media for sharing them (read social networks), relying upon a new generation of Cyber-warfare among which:

A massive Denial of Service for mobile devices through massive exploit of vulnerabilities (more and more common and pervasive on this kind of devices), through massive mobile malware deployment or also by mean of massive execution of mobile malware (as, for instance, Google did in order to remotely swipe the DroidDream malware). Honestly speaking I consider the latter option the less likely since I can easily imagine that no manufacturer will provide cooperation on this (but this does not prevent the fact that a single country could consider to leverage this channel).

No manufacturer will provide cooperation on this? Maybe… Too many times reality surpasses imagination, and when it comes to reality that surpasses the imagination, then surely it comes from Apple. This time, unfortunately, not in the sense that we’re used to (admiring products years ahead of the competition, which previously did not exist not even in our imagination), but in the sense that a patent recently filled by Apple could implicitly provide cooperation for illiberal governments to prevent smartphones to take live images of protests.

It looks like that Apple is Apple is developing software that will sense when a smartphone user is trying to record a live event, and then switch off the device’s camera (only the camera, the other functions will not be affected) by mean of infrared sensors directly installed on the device. The real reason is probably the need to prevent concertgoers to post footage of events on YouTube or other similar sites (at the expense of the organizers which sometimes sell sell their own recordings of the events), which could potentially allow Apple to negotiate better conditions with labels when dealing for placing music on sale on iTunes (and could also potentially provide another source of revenue by charging people to film live events).

But besides commercial considerations, there is another important aspect (a collateral damage I would say). The events of recent months have shown us that the concerts were not the only places where the phones have been used to capture live images. In North Africa and Middle East they have been used to document repression and illiberality. But what would have happened if this technology had really been developed? Probably it would have limited the effect of the winds of change in Tunisia, Egypt, Syria and Libya, since Mobile Devices (and their cameras) played (and are playing) an important role to witness the real entity of the events.

Imagine if Apple’s device had been available to the Mubarak regime earlier this year, and Egyptian security forces had deployed it around Tahrir Square to disable cameras just before they sent in their thugs to disperse the crowd.

Would the global outcry that helped drive Mubarak from office have occurred if a blackout of protest videos had prevented us from viewing the crackdown?

This is more than speculation. since thousands of cellphone cameras in the Middle East and North Africa have been used to document human rights abuses and to share them with millions via social media. I went in Libya approximately a month before the beginning of the revolution and I was astonished by the number of iPhones noticed over there.

This is more than speculation also because the role of mobile technologies for the above mentioned events has been recognized also by Mr. Obama during his speech on Middle East.

As correctly stated, Smartphones like the iPhone and Droid are becoming extensions of ourselves. They are not simply tools to connect with friends and family, but a means to document the world around us, engage in political issues and organize with others. They literally put the power of the media in our own hands.

Apple’s proposed technology would take that power away, that is the reason why the community is moving in order to urge Steve Jobs to pull the plug on this technology.

Internet In A Suitcase

June 13, 2011 2 comments

According to a NYT article, this is exactly what the Obama Administration is doing, leading a global effort to deploy a “shadow” Internet and an independent mobile phone network that dissidents can use against repressive governments that seek to silence them by censoring or shutting down telecommunications networks (as happened in Egypt and Syria).

More in detail the above mentioned effort include secretive projects to create independent cellphone networks inside foreign countries, as well as an “Internet in a suitcase” prototype, financed with a $2 million State Department grant, which could be secreted across a border and quickly set up to allow wireless communication over a wide area with a link to the global Internet. In a sort of 21st century version of Radio Free Europe relying on a version of “mesh network” technology, which can transform devices like cellphones or personal computers to create an invisible wireless web without a centralized hub

If one puts together the pieces of the puzzles of the last events, one clearly realizes that the ingredients were already on the pot and now are being mixed in the right dosage for a recipe of freedom.

On the other hand the importance of the Internet Connectivity (in terms of presence or absence) in War Zones is unquestionable. And this is brilliantly shown from the fact that we are getting more and more familiar with the shutting down of Internet connectivity as a clumsy attempt carried out by some governments for preventing the spreading of unwelcome information and the consequent use of Social Networks for propaganda, PsyOps or real War Operations. Of course I already talked about special groups of US Army, which I dubbed “Corps of (Networks and Security) Engineers” dedicated to maintain Internet connectivity in war zones by mean of 3G or Wi-Fi drones. It looks like I was only partially right since the reality seems much closer to a spy novel featuring special agents equipped with Internet suitcases rather than soulless drones equipped with antennas.

Same speech for mobile technologies: United States officials said, the State Department and Pentagon have spent at least $50 million to create an independent cellphone network in Afghanistan using towers on protected military bases inside the country in order to offset the Taliban’s ability to shut down the official Afghan services. More recently, a similar action was performed in Libya, with the hijacking of the Libyana Mobile Operator Network to be used by rebels groups to communicate between them. Clearly these were not episodic cases but the first examples of a real mobile warfare strategy aimed to maintain mobile connectivity (videos shot with mobile phones are a point in common of all the protests in Maghreb and Middle East) without clumsy actions such as the smuggling of Satellite Phones in Syria.

In light of these facts, Mr. Obama’s speech on the Middle East on May, the 19th assumes a new meaning and a deeper analysis shows that some prodromes of this strategy were already announced, even if in a hidden form:

Cell phones and social networks allow young people to connect and organize like never before. A new generation has emerged. And their voices tell us that change cannot be denied…

And again:

In fact, real reform will not come at the ballot box alone. Through our efforts we must support those basic rights to speak your mind and access information. We will support open access to the Internet.

Open support to Internet… Even if closed inside a suitcase…

Tweets Of Democracy

May 19, 2011 7 comments
Official presidential portrait of Barack Obama...

Image via Wikipedia

Today President Obama held his speech on the Middle East announcing a new strategy (and new investments) for the Middle East aimed to encourage the process of Democratization in place. I gave a look to the entire speech and noticed some assertions particularly meaningful which implicitly admit the crucial role that new technologies played in the past months (and will probably play into this kind of new Middle East Mashall Plan) as triggers (and drivers) for backing the fights for human rights.

I used the term Mobile Warfare to stress the role that (consumer) mobile technologies and social networks played in the events that changed the social and political landscape in the Mediterranean Africa and more in general in the Middle East, coming to conclusion that the impact of these new technologies is defining a new democracy model which will have to be taken seriously into consideration by all those governments which still put in place severe limitations to human rights.

So, I was definitively not surprised when I noticed this assertion on Mr. Obama’s speech:

… But the events of the past six months show us that strategies of repression and diversion won’t work anymore. Satellite television and the Internet provide a window into the wider world – a world of astonishing progress in places like India, Indonesia and Brazil. Cell phones and social networks allow young people to connect and organize like never before. A new generation has emerged. And their voices tell us that change cannot be denied…

Which implicitly admits the role of Mobile Warfare: strategies of repression and diversion will not work anymore and the weapons to fight repression are just Cell Phones and Social Networks with which young people (usually most involved in the protests) can connect and not only organize life like never before but also realize that there is a world  outside the window…  On the other hand, particularly in case of Egypt, Social Network literally played a primary role in the protest, since one of the leaders was Mr. Wael Ghonim (expressly quoted by Mr. Obama’speech), a young Google Executive.

And the freedom is not only a matter of elections but also of access to new technologies:

In fact, real reform will not come at the ballot box alone. Through our efforts we must support those basic rights to speak your mind and access information. We will support open access to the Internet, and the right of journalists to be heard – whether it’s a big news organization or a blogger. In the 21st century, information is power; the truth cannot be hidden; and the legitimacy of governments will ultimately depend on active and informed citizens.

This implies that the plan that U.S. and E.U. are going to deploy for the Middle East (a comprehensive Trade and Investment Partnership Initiative in the Middle East and North Africa) will also involve funding aimed to promote the access to new technologies for facilitating the sharing of information (and the conseguent hactivism and psyops operations), a factor which the recent events have shown to become synonym of democracy. Also because, according to Cisco predictions, if in 2010 there were 12.5 billion devices connected to the Internet, there will be 25 billion by 2015, and 50 billion by 2020, and consequently it is really hard to think that filters, blocks and any other form of (social, political and technological) repression in the Middle East will stop this tide.

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