Reports

Report Warns of Growing ‘Dark Side’ of Cyberspace

The head of a prominent human rights groups has warned that increased state involvement in cyberspace, including surveillance, censorship, propaganda campaigns and offensive cyber operations threatens the future of the Internet as much as endemic problems like cyber crime – part of a growing “dark side” to cyberspace. Writing in the Penn State Journal of Law and International Affairs,  Ronald Deibert, Director of Citizen Lab and Canada Centre for Global Security Studies said that threats to human rights and individual liberties come from a variety of states – from authoritarian regimes, to Latin American narco-states to liberal democracies in the West, as governments increasingly leverage the power of the Internet to monitor citizens’ behavior and impose limits on free expression. Citizen Lab, part of the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto, has played a key role in high-profile investigations of cyber espionage including the now-infamous Ghost Net attacks on […]

Update: New 25 GPU Monster Devours Passwords In Seconds

Editor’s note: I’ve updated the article with some new (and in some cases) clarifying detail from Jeremi. I’ve left changes in where they were made. The biggest changes: 1) an updated link to slides 2) clarifying that VCL refers to Virtual OpenCL and 3)  that the quote regarding 14char passwords falling in 6 minutes was for LM encrypted – not NTLM encrypted passwords. Long (8 char) NTLM passwords would take much longer…around 5.5 hours. 😉  – Paul There needs to be some kind of Moore’s law analog to capture the tremendous advances in the speed of password cracking operations. Just within the last five years, there’s been an explosion in innovation in this ancient art, as researchers have realized that they can harness specialized silicon and cloud based computing pools to quickly and efficiently break passwords. A presentation at the Passwords^12 Conference in Oslo, Norway (slides available here – PDF), has […]

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 […]

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 […]

Profile Poisoning the Next Frontier for Hackers

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 […]