Media

Cyber Resilience? Sony Employees Back To Faxes and Face to Face

There’s a fascinating article on TechCrunch that cites a current (anonymous) Sony Pictures Entertainment employee talking about life at the company in the wake of a crippling November 24th cyber attack that wiped out thousands of computer systems and stole terabytes of data from the company. According to the story, Sony employees have resorted to using circa 1990s fax machines to transmit documents and – horror – having face to face communications in lieu of texting, e-mail or social networking, all of which are disabled within Sony’s environment. [Read more Security Ledger coverage of the Sony Pictures hack here.] “We had barely working email and no voicemail so people talked to each other,” the source tells TechCrunch. “Some people had to send faxes. They were dragging old printers out of storage to cut checks…It was crazy.” “That is what a major corporate security breach sounds like,” TechCrunch writes. “The squeal […]

Malicious or Obnoxious? Chinese Mobile Vendor CoolPad Uses Secret Backdoors

CoolPad, an up-and-coming Chinese mobile phone maker, is shipping high-end, Android smart phones with so-called “back door” access built into the phone’s software. That, according to research by the firm Palo Alto Networks. Palo Alto researchers Claud Xiao and Ryan Olson released a report identifying the suspicious remote access software, which they dubbed “CoolReaper” on Wednesday. According to the report, the so-called “backdoor” program was shipped with stock operating systems (or ROMs) used by Coolpad’s “high end” phones in China and Taiwan. The software, which appears to have been created and managed by Coolpad, runs on top of the Android operating system and allows the company to remotely manage the phone independent of the wishes of its owner: pushing applications to the device without the user’s consent or notification, wiping data and applications, sending over-the-air (or OTA) updates to the phone, transmitting device data and sending arbitrary phone calls and SMS […]

Clues Point to Long-Duration Hack at Sony

With each passing day, evidence mounts that the attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment was a long-duration hacking event that gave malicious actors extensive access to the company’s network and data. The hack started out looking like a particularly nasty example of hacktivism – with thousands of SPE systems wiped of all data. Going on two weeks after revelations of the hack, however, the incident appears to be something much more dire: a massive breach of corporate security that gave malicious attackers access to gigabytes – and possibly terabytes- of sensitive data. With only a fraction of the allegedly stolen data trove released, the ripple effects of the incident are already washing up against other Sony divisions and firms with direct or indirect ties to the company. The latest developments in the saga include publication of some 40 gigabytes of internal files. As described by buzzfeed.com, the files include: “email exchanges with employees regarding specific […]

Sony Pictures Entertainment

Report: Sony Fits Pattern of other Destructive Hacks

At a time when companies are warned to be on the lookout for “low and slow” attackers who studiously avoid notice, the Sony breach will be remembered for its unusual ferocity. On Nov. 24, the assailants declared their presence by decorating employee desktops with a belligerent message before erasing the hard drives of computers and servers they compromised as a parting shot. Destructive hacks such as the one on Sony are atypical. But they are not unknown. In fact, the attack on Sony shares many similarities with at least two other recent, destructive cyberattacks: from the methods used to carry out the strike to the software used to compromise Sony’s computer systems. Those earlier hacks also suggest that attackers had access to Sony’s network long before they played their hand. Read more over at The Christian Science Monitor.

DPRK Mum as Hackers Dump Sony Pictures Data Online

The hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment has taken a turn for the worse, as evidence has turned up that suggests hackers have ransacked the networks of the high-profile studio, dumping everything from unreleased films to detailed business and employee records online. A spokesman for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) did not explicitly deny or take responsibility for the attack when contacted by the BBC, telling the British news agency that “the hostile forces are relating everything to [North Korea]. I kindly advise you to just wait and see.” Sony Pictures’ network was attacked using destructive “wiper” malware last week that stole and exfiltrated data from the company, then erased data on infected PCs and servers. An FBI FLASH alert sent to U.S. firms provided details on the malware, including its use of a hard-coded list of IP addresses and hostnames, and the inclusion of configuration files created on computers […]