Sharing Threat Intelligence To Sort Out Targeted Attacks

Headlines about “advanced persistent threats” and targeted attacks have organizations of all sizes concerned. Barely a week goes by without news of a new, stealthy campaign targeting executives, government leaders or platforms used by prominent organizations. But while APT-style and targeted attacks may have the attention of the boardroom, organizations still face a Herculean task determining when an attack they’ve detected is targeted, and when it is merely indiscriminate. To help answer that question, I “hung out” with two experts in detecting and analyzing malicious threats to enterprises. Anup Ghosh is the CEO and co-founder of Invincea, which makes malware detection tools that isolate threats on endpoints. Matt Hartley is the Senior Director, Intelligence Lab Services at iSIGHT Partners, a cyber threat intelligence firm. Both told me that, while targeted attacks are on the rise, awareness about them is also at an all time high. That can, sometimes, result in organizations […]

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D.C. Media Sites Found Hacked, Serving Fake AV

Websites operated by media outlets in the Washington D.C. area were the targets of widespread hacks this week, with web sites for two major radio stations among those found serving up malicious links that installed fake antivirus software on victims’ machines. Researchers at two security firms, Invincea and zScaler, identified compromises on the web sites of the two stations – WTOP, the D.C. areas largest FM station, and a sister site, FedNewsRadio, 1500 AM, which caters to government employees. The compromises were part of a string of almost identical attacks that redirected visitors to the web sites that push malicious software to victims’ machines. Only visitors using versions of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer web browser were targeted with the attack, zScaler said. In a related post, researchers at Invincea said the attacks were similar to one they had investigated a breach at, a web site operated by technology blogger John […]


Update: Hack Investigation At Dept. of Labor Turns Up Internet Explorer 8 Zero Day Hole

A hack of the U.S. Department of Labor web site that was revealed late last week is being described as a “watering hole” style attack aimed at compromising the systems of other government workers, in part using an exploit for a previously unknown (or “zero day”) security vulnerability in some versions of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer web browser.(*) Multiple reports last week indicated that a security breach of the Department of Labor web site had occurred. Accounts indicated that visitors to the site using versions of Internet Explorer were being attacked using exploits for a known vulnerability. Over the weekend, however, researchers analyzing the attacks say that it used an exploit for a zero day hole in IE8, and that details of the attack tie it to a China-based hacking group known as “DeepPanda.” In a blog post on Friday, researchers at the security firm Invincea said that they believed that the […]