Crime

U.S. Weather Systems Victims of Cyber Attack

The Washington Post is reporting that hackers from China breached the network of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in September, forcing cyber security teams to seal off data vital to disaster planning, aviation, shipping and scores of other crucial uses. The article cites sources within the government and Congress. The intrusion occurred in late September. However, NOAA officials gave no indication that they had a problem until Oct. 20, according to three people familiar with the hack and the subsequent reaction by NOAA, which includes the National Weather Service. According to the report, NOAA officials believe that actors based in China are responsible for the attack. The report also claims that efforts to respond to it resulted in an interruption in some key services, including NOAA’s National Ice Center Web Site, a partnership with the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard to monitor conditions for navigation. That two-day outage skewed the accuracy […]

Discrete Malware Lures Execs At High-End Hotels

Kaspersky Lab has a fascinating write-up of malware it is calling “DarkHotel.” The information-stealing software is believed to target traveling executives. Curiously, Kaspersky says the malware may be almost a decade old and is found only on the wireless networks and business centers of select, high-end hotels. Reports about targeted attacks on traveling executives are nothing new. However, the Kaspersky report (PDF version here) may be the most detailed yet on a specific malicious software family that is devoted to hacking senior corporate executives. According to Kaspersky, the DarkHotel malicious software maintained a presence on hotel networks for years, with evidence of its operation going back as far as 2007. The malware used that persistent access to target select hotel guests, leveraging check-in/check-out and identity information on guests to limit attacks to high value targets. Targeted guests were presented with iFrame based attacks that were launched from the hotel’s website, […]

FBI Mules

FBI Seizes Dozens of Online ‘Dark Markets’

The news yesterday was that the FBI arrested a 26 year-old San Francisco man responsible for operating Silk Road 2.0 – an anonymous, online marketplace for illicit goods. The news on Friday is that Silk Road was just the tip of the iceberg. On Friday, the FBI and announced that it has seized dozens of other so-called “dark market” websites offering a range of illegal goods and services for sale on the “Tor” network. The coordinated take downs are the “largest law enforcement action to date against criminal websites operating on the ‘Tor’ network,” the FBI said in a statement. “We shut down the original Silk Road website and now we have shut down its replacement, as well as multiple other ‘dark market’ sites allegedly offering all manner of illicit goods and services, from firearms to computer hacking,” said  Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara The take-downs were part of a coordinated law enforcement action […]

Dusting For Malware’s Bloody Prints

Podcast: Play in new window | Download ()Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Email | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | TuneIn | RSS | https://www.securityledger.com/subscribeMalicious software is nothing new. Computer viruses and worms have been around for decades, as have most other families of malware like remote access tools (RATs) and key loggers. But all our experience with malware hasn’t made the job of knowing when our organization has been hit by it any easier. In fact, recent news stories about breaches at Home Depot, Target, Staples and other organizations makes it clear that even sophisticated and wealthy corporations can easily overlook both the initial compromise and endemic malware infections – and at great cost. That may be why phrases like “dwell time” or “time to discovery” seem to pop up again and again in discussions of breach response. There’s no longer any shame in getting “popped.” The shame is in […]

Obama Uses Executive Order To Push Chip and Pin

Add data security to the long list of issues on which U.S. President Barack Obama has resorted to unilateral action in order to push the government forward on a crucial matter. On Friday, President Obama signed an Executive Order directing the government to require the use of so-called “chip and PIN” technology for any newly issued or existing government debit and credit cards. The Order was intended to make the federal government “lead by example in securing transactions and sensitive data,” the White House said in a statement. The new BuySecure Initiative will provide consumers with more tools to secure their financial future by assisting victims of identity theft, improving the Government’s payment security as a customer and a provider, and accelerating the transition to stronger security technologies and the development of next-generation payment security tools. The Order launches a new initiative dubbed “BuySecure” intended to “drive the market towards more secure payment systems” […]