Archive for November, 2012

Web Attacks Target Foreign Exchange, Payment Processing Sites

November 29, 2012 13:361 comment
Web Attacks Target Foreign Exchange, Payment Processing Sites

A currency trading web site was compromised and used to serve malicious java applications to unwitting visitors, according to researchers at the security firm Websense- part of what might be a larger trend. Websense said in a blog post on Wednesday that the site tradingforex.com, which is used by foreign currency traders, was infected with a malicious Java applet that, when installed, key logging and screen capture software. Tradingforex.com (@Tradingforexxx) is a Cyprus-based online trading web site. It allows individuals to trade on the global foreign exchange market (or Forex). Users can trade everything from foreign currencies to precious metals, commodities and other financial instruments. According to an investigation by Websense researcher Gianluca Giuliani, the site was pushing a back door program to visitors using a malicious Java plugin to exploit known Java vulnerabilities on the victims’ computers. Further investigation by Websense and Giuliani revealed that the malware being pushed […]

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Uncle Sam Wants To Stop Healthcare Fraud, But Smart Cards Are No Panacea

November 28, 2012 12:421 comment
Uncle Sam Wants To Stop Healthcare Fraud, But Smart Cards Are No Panacea

Medical fraud is a huge issue in the U.S. Depending on whose numbers you use, fraud stemming from false medical claims and reimbursements range from $65 billion a year (a figure generated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Studies) to more than ten times that: $750 billion a year (according to the Institute for Medicine). To stem the losses, government and law enforcement have been cracking down on fraud. In October, for example, the U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced charges against 91 individuals believed to be behind a huge, interstate Medicare fraud scheme responsible for some $430 million in false billing charges. Increasingly, though, the U.S. government is turning to technology to help it identify and root out fraud within the system for medical reimbursements. Chief among the ideas under consideration is a beefed up system for identifying health consumers […]

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Chrome 0Day A No-Show At Security Con

November 27, 2012 02:30Comments Off
Chrome 0Day A No-Show At Security Con

A planned talk that was to unveil a new and previously unknown (or “zero day”) vulnerability in Google’s Chrome web browser was cancelled on Saturday after the researcher, Ucha Gobejishvili, backed out, citing difficulties obtaining a visa to travel to New Dehli, India, where the Malcon hacking conference was held. The organizer of Malcon, Rajshekhar Murthy, confirmed in an email to Security Ledger that Gobejishvili cancelled his talk at the last minute. “(Ucha) did not come at (sp) the conference due to visa issues in the last minute,” Rajshekhar Murthy wrote in an e-mail to Security Ledger on Monday. “The issue stated was he was called in last minute (sp) by the military for compulsory service which conflicted with our event dates.” Gobejishvili did not respond to e-mail and instant message requests for comment. In a conversation with Security Ledger last week, he said he would use his talk at […]

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Latest Iranian Malware Targets Financial Software

November 26, 2012 17:10Comments Off
Latest Iranian Malware Targets Financial Software

There appears to be some professional differences of opinion about the latest super malware targeting the nation of Iran.  Just days after Symantec Corp. warned about a new piece of malware, W32.Narilam,  researchers at the Russian anti-virus firm Kaspersky Lab threw cold water on the report, saying their analysis suggests that Narilam is two to three years old and probably targeted financial software packages, rather than high value government or industrial systems. The back and forth started with Symantec’s Nov. 22nd blog post on Narilam, which claimed the malware had recently been found circulating in the “Middle East” – and particularly in Iran. Narilam was programmed to infect systems running Microsoft’s SQL database software, spreading through removable drives and network shared folders. It was designed to corrupt data, not to steal information, Symantec said. Though the Cupertino company made no attestation as to Narilam’s origins, Symantec did say the worm […]

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Questions, Doubts greet Researcher’s Claim to have Chrome Zero Day

November 21, 2012 12:058 comments
Questions, Doubts greet Researcher’s Claim to have Chrome Zero Day

Google says that it will wait to see what transpires at a New Delhi hacking conference this week before responding to a researcher’s claim that he has discovered a remotely exploitable vulnerability in its Chrome web browser. Speaking with Security Ledger, Google spokeswoman Jessica Kositz said that the company was aware of claims by Georgian researcher Ucha Gobejishvili that he has discovered a previously unknown (zero day) security hole in Chrome and will demonstrate it at this week’s MalCon hacking conference. Gobejishvili described the security hole in Chrome as a “critical vulnerability.” “It has silent and automatically (sp) download function…and it works on all Windows systems” he told Security Ledger in an online chat session. While the Tbilisi-based researcher won’t say much about the hole, he told Security Ledger that he discovered it in July. The vulnerability is in a DLL (dynamic link library) that is part of the browser […]

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Profile Poisoning the Next Frontier for Hackers

November 20, 2012 00:25Comments Off

Google and Facebook already know everything about you – your interests, friends, tastes and even your movements. That’s already a privacy nightmare, but researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Information Security Center (GTISC) think it could soon be a security nightmare, also. Automated information systems already determine what version of the news most of us see. But researchers at Georgia Tech warn that the power of such systems to shape what each of us see online could soon become a powerful tool in the hands of sophisticated attackers, who might look for ways to manipulate victims’ online profile to steer them to certain sites, according to the report “Emerging Cyber Threats Reports 2013.” Researchers at Georgia Tech said attacks that manipulate a victim’s search history, part of their online profile, using cross-site request forgery are already technically feasible. In practice, they would allow for a kind of super-search engine […]

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U.S. Government also Targeted by Malware Used In Attacks on Israelis, Palenstinians

November 16, 2012 12:29Comments Off
U.S. Government also Targeted by Malware Used In Attacks on Israelis, Palenstinians

The recently reported malicious software attacks against Israeli and Palestinian targets have expanded to hit other targets, including individuals working within the U.S. Congress, the UK government and government workers in countries ranging from Turkey to Slovenia and New Zealand, according to a report from security firm Trend Micro. In a blog post on Wednesday, Trend Senior Threat Researcher Nart Villenueve wrote on the company’s Security Intelligence blog that  those attacks are ongoing and involve a much wider list of targets that initially reported. The attacks first came to light after a Times of Israel report revealed on October 28 that computer systems used by that country’s police departments were taken offline following a virus infection. Subsequent analysis by Trend and others (PDF) revealed that the malware used in the attacks was a variant of the common Xtreme Remote Access Trojan (Xtreme RAT) – an information stealing program that can be […]

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Adobe Acknowledges Hack of User Forum For Connect Service

November 14, 2012 17:03Comments Off
Adobe Acknowledges Hack of User Forum For Connect Service

Software giant Adobe on Wednesday confirmed claims by a self-proclaimed “Egyptian” hacker to have compromised a user support forum frequented by customers of its Connect web conferencing technology, stealing user account information and posting some of it online. Adobe’s Director of Connect, Guillaume Privat, acknowledged in a blog post on Wednesday that the compromise of the Connectusers.com forum by an “unauthorized third-party” was for real and that the company has disabled the forum while it investigates the incident. The breach was first disclosed on Tuesday when a hacker calling himself “ViruS_HimA” posted what appeared to be account e-mail and password information online through web sites like pastebin.com and sendspace.com. The hacker claimed to have compromised a database server used to maintain the Connnectusers.com forum and downloaded information on 150,000 account holders, including the users names, login IDs, hashed password values, employer and e-mail address. The motive for the hack was […]

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Report: Insecure SEC Laptops Toted To Black Hat

November 12, 2012 18:02Comments Off
Report: Insecure SEC Laptops Toted To Black Hat

What’s worse than neglecting to encrypt the data on the government-issue laptop you use to handle sensitive data related to the workings of U.S. equities markets? How about hopping on a plane and bringing said laptop with you to the Black Hat conference in Las Vegas, one of the world’s largest gatherings of hackers. That’s just one of the allegations in an as-yet unreleased Inspector General report on irregularities at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), according to a report on Friday by Reuters. The Inspector General’s report, a copy of which was reviewed by Reuters, found evidence of widespread lapses in information security within the agency that acts as a watchdog over stock markets and exchanges within the U.S. Among other errors, staff at the SEC failed to encrypt laptops containing sensitive stock exchange data or even install antivirus software on those systems, Reuters reported. The Inspector General […]

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Support Forums Reveal Soft Underbelly of Critical Infrastructure

November 11, 2012 07:461 comment
Support Forums Reveal Soft Underbelly of Critical Infrastructure

We hear a lot about vulnerabilities in industrial control system (ICS) software. In fact, that’s all we seem to hear about these days. The truth is: there’s a lot to write about. In just the last month, the Department of Homeland Security’s ICS-CERT warned its members about the ability of  sophisticated – and even unskilled – attackers to use tools like the Shodan and ERIPP search engines to locate and attack vulnerable industrial control systems (PDF) that are accessible from the public Internet. In the meantime, every couple of weeks brings revelations about serious and remotely exploitable software holes. Most recently, ICS-CERT warned about a critical vulnerability EOScada (PDF), a Windows-based Energy Management System that is used to configure and manage intelligent electronic devices (IEDs) used in electrical, water, sewage and gas applications. But what about real evidence of compromised SCADA and industrial control systems? That’s a taller order. After all: most […]

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