In-brief: Cisco Vice President Scott Harrell says that small and mid-sized organizations are in the crosshairs of sophisticated cyber criminals. Unfortunately, such firms often lack the tools and skills to identify and contain such threats.
A group representing the Uyghurs,a persecuted religious minority in China, faces unrelenting, targeted cyber attacks that appear aimed at stealing sensitive data and otherwise undermining the group’s activity, according to a new study by researchers at Northeastern University in Boston as well as the Max Planck Institute for Software Systems and the National University of Singapore. A study of more than 1,400 suspicious email messages sent to members of groups representing the Uyghur minority found that more than three quarters of the messages contained malicious attachments. The messages targeted 724 individuals at 108 separate organizations. Moreover, researchers found overlap between the individuals associated with the Uyghur World Contress (UWC) and western targets such as the New York Times and U.S. embassies. The study, “A Look at Targeted Attacks Through the Lense of an NGO” is being presented at the UNENIX Security Conference in San Diego on August 21. (A copy of the full paper is […]
Cisco Systems is warning that Silverlight exploits are being used in a rash of drive-by-download attacks, many tied to malicious advertising (or ‘malvertising’) campaigns. Writing on Cisco’s blog, Levi Gundert of Cisco’s Threat Research Analysis and Communications (TRAC) team said that Silverlight exploits are the “flavor of the month” and have been added to the popular Angler exploit kit since late April. “Since April 23rd we have observed substantial traffic (often from Malvertising) being driven to Angler instances partially using Silverlight exploits,” Gundert wrote. Attacks leveraging vulnerable instances of Silverlight are actually outstripping attacks against Java and Adobe Flash – the two platforms that have long been the preference of cyber criminal groups and exploit kit authors. Silverlight was the subject of a patch in March, MS04-014, to fix a vulnerability that could allow remote attackers to bypass a security feature. The vulnerability would allow an attacker who controls an attack website to launch specially […]
A string of reports in recent weeks has focused a spotlight on rising attacks against an often-overlooked piece of equipment that can be found in almost every home and business: the wireless router. Just this week, the security firm Team Cymru published a report (PDF) describing what it claims is a widespread compromise of small office and home office (SOHO) wireless routers that was linked to cyber criminal campaigns targeting online banking customers. Cymru claims to have identified over 300,000 SOHO devices (mostly in Asia and Europe) that were compromised. According to the report, the compromises first came to light in January, after Team Cymru analysts noticed a pattern of SOHO routers with overwritten DNS settings in central Europe. The affected devices are from a range of manufacturers, including well-known brands like D-Link, Micronet, Tenda and TP-Link. The devices were vulnerable to a number of attacks, including authentication bypass and cross-site […]
Visitors to the web site of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) are being targeted in an attack that exploits a previously unknown hole in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 10 web browser, according to warnings Thursday by security firms. Some visitors to the web site of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), vfw[dot]org, were the victim of a ‘watering hole’ attack that takes advantage of a previously unknown ‘use-after-free’ vulnerability in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 10 web browser. The VFW site was hacked and then altered to redirect users, silently, to a malicious website programmed to exploit vulnerable versions of IE 10 on systems running 32 bit versions of the Windows operating system. The VFW did not immediately respond to e-mail and phone requests for comment. According to a write-up by the security firm FireEye, the vulnerability allows the attacker to “modify one byte of memory at an arbitrary address” stored […]