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Posts Tagged ‘Targeted Attack’

1-15 December 2012 Cyber Attacks Timeline

December 17, 2012 2 comments

Christmas is coming quickly, we have just passed the first half of December, and hence it’s time for the first update of the Cyber Attacks Timeline for December.

The Team GhostShell has decided to close the year with a clamorous Cyber Attack, and hence,as part of the project ProjectWhiteFox, has leaked 1.6 million of accounts from several organizations all over the world. This is the most important event for this first part of the month that apparently has shown a decreasing trend. Hacktivists are still focusing their attention (and their keyboards) to Israel, and Cyber Criminals are maybe preparing for the Christmas attacks.

However, the main events of the first half of December, are related to hacktivism, besides the above mentioned cyber attack, it worth to mention the new wave of massive DDoS attacks against US Banks (up to 60 Gbps of peak according to Arbor Networks), but also the leak of a ITU document on the future of Deep Packet Inspection and the attacks in Egypt, Mexico and India.

Last but not least: this two weeks also offered a giant attack to the famous Social Platform Tumblr and also the warning of the Switzerland’s national security agency (NDB) that a huge amount of secrets may have been leaked by a disgruntled IT Administrator.

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). To do so, you can use this form.

1-15 December 2012 Cyber Attack Timeline Read more…

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Another Wiper Malware Discovered in Iran?

December 16, 2012 Leave a comment

Yet another Sunday, yet another attack in Middle East.

Iran Wiper StatementMaher Center, the Iranian Computer Emergency Response Team / Coordination Center has just released a scant report concerning another (alleged) cyber attack targeting Iran.

Few information is available so far regarding this new targeted attack. The malware, simple in design and hence apparently unrelated to the other sophisticated cyber attacks targeting the same area, seems to have an efficient design and wiping features. According to the statement, the malware “wipes files on different drives in various predefined times. Despite its simplicity in design, the malware is efficient and can wipe disk partitions and user profile directories without being recognized by anti-virus software“. However, it is not considered to be widely distributed. The report also publishes the MD5s of the five identitified components.

Wiper malware samples are becoming increasingly common in Middle East. Of course the most known example so far is the massive cyber attack targeting Saudi Aramco, occurred in August 2012 and targeting 30,000 internal workstations. Few days ago, the final results of the investigations were unveiled, suggesting that the attack was carried on by organized foreign hackers, and aimed “to stop pumping oil and gas to domestic and international markets” with huge impacts on the national economy of the kingdom.

The next hours will tell us if we are in front of a similar scenario, or the statement is rather an attempt of propaganda aimed to emphasize Iranian defensive capabilities.

16-30 September 2012 Cyber Attacks Timeline

October 4, 2012 2 comments

Part One with 1-15 September 201 Timeline Here.

September is over and it’s time to analyze this month from an Information Security perspective with the second part of the Cyber Attack Timeline.

Probably this month will be remembered for the massive outage of six  U.S. Banks (Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo and PNC ) caused by a wave of DDoS attack carried on by alleged Muslim hackers in retaliation for the infamous movie (maybe this term is exaggerated) “The Innocence of Muslims”.

China has confirmed its intense activity inside the Cyber space. Alleged (state-sponsored?) Chinese hackers were allegedly behind the attack to Telvent, whose project files of its core product OASyS SCADA were stolen after a breach, and also behind a thwarted spear-phishing cyber attack against the White House.

Adobe suffered a high-profile breach which caused a build server to be compromised with the consequent theft of a certificate key used to sign two malware strains found on the wild (with the consequent necessary revoke of the compromised key affecting approximately 1,100 files).

Last but not least, the Hacktivism fever has apparently dropped. September has offered some attacks on the wake of the #OpFreeAssange campaign, and a new wave of attacks at the end of the month after the global protests set for September, the 29th, under the hashtag of #29s.

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).

Read more…

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Adobe Persistent Threat

September 28, 2012 Leave a comment

Adobe is the latest victim of a targeted attack. The news has been reported in a blog post by Brad Arkin, Director of product security and privacy at Adobe.

According to Mr. Arking the company has recently received two malware strains in disguise of malicious utilities that appeared to be digitally signed using a valid Adobe code signing certificate and has identified the possible reason for the illegitimate code signing in a compromised build server with access to the Adobe code signing infrastructure as part of the build server.

The first malicious utility is called pwdump7 v7.1 and extracts password hashes from the Windows OS as a single file that statically links the OpenSSL library libeay32.dll.  The second malicious utility, dubbed myGeeksmail.dll, is a malicious ISAPI filter.

Of course the forensic investigation is ongoing. To date Adobe has identified the presence of malware on the build server (although the details of the machine’s configuration were not to Adobe corporate standards for a build server, this was not caught during the normal provisioning process”) and the likely mechanism used to first gain access. Although the forensic investigation has found evidence linking the build server to the signing of the malicious utilities, it appears that the private key required for generating valid digital signatures was not extracted from the HSM, which is kept in physically secure facilities. Even, so far there is no evidence that the source code was compromised or stolen.

As a natural consequence the company has changed the signing process and has deployed an interim solution including an offline human verification to ensure that all files scheduled for signature are valid Adobe software. Furthermore the company is also designing and deploying a new, permanent signing solution.

All the certificates signed with the impacted key since July 10, 2012 will be revoked on Thursday October 4, 2012 (does this means that the build server has been compromised, undetected, for more than two months?). Potentially there could be 5127 applications signed with the compromised key.

According to the available information, we are in front of a typical targeted attack:

We believe the threat actors established a foothold on a different Adobe machine and then leveraged standard advanced persistent threat (APT) tactics to gain access to the build server and request signatures for the malicious utilities from the code signing service via the standard protocol used for valid Adobe software.

Moreover “Targeted Attacks generate Targeted Attacks” since the malware samples discovered (most of all in case of the pwdump7 “utility”) show the typical features used by Advanced Persistent Threats: compromise one machine, extract information to escalate privileges (see password) and use the initial entry point as a bridgehead to harvest the target network.

So at the end Adobe is the latest high-profile target to join the group of the companies hit by targeted attack: “Through this process we learned a great deal about current issues with code signing and the impact of the inappropriate use of a code signing certificate. We plan to share our lessons learned as well as foster a conversation within the industry about the best way to protect users and minimize the impact on users in cases where the revocation of a certificate becomes necessary (as in this example).”

“Please stay tuned for more details in the coming weeks.”

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