Threats

Security Hole in Samsung Smart TVs Could Allow Remote Spying

The company that made headlines in October for publicizing zero day holes in SCADA products now says it has uncovered a remotely exploitable security hole in Samsung Smart TVs. If left unpatched, the vulnerability could allow hackers to make off with owners’ social media credentials and even to spy on those watching the TV using compatible video cameras and microphones. In an e-mail exchange with Security Ledger, the Malta-based firm said that the previously unknown (“zero day”) hole affects Samsung Smart TVs running the latest version of the company’s Linux-based firmware. It could give an attacker the ability to access any file available on the remote device, as well as external devices (such as USB drives) connected to the TV. And, in a Orwellian twist, the hole could be used to access cameras and microphones attached to the Smart TVs, giving remote attacker the ability to spy on those viewing […]

FBI Issued Alert over July Attack on HVAC System

The FBI issued an alert to businesses in July after unknown attackers breached a computer used to control the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system of a New Jersey company, accessing a graphical user interface for the system, including a floor play layout of the company’s office. The attacks came after an Anonymous affiliated hacker, using the handle @ntisec, published links to vulnerable ICS systems running software from the firm Tridium online. The links included the address of an administrative system that controlled the HVAC system used by US Business 1, a New Jersey company that installs air conditioning systems for other companies, according to a copy of the July, 2012 Situational Information Report (PDF), issued by the Newark Division of the FBI. The alert concerning the February and March, 2012 attack was released by the web site Public Intelligence on Saturday. The FBI did not respond to a request for comment from Security […]

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 […]

Web Attacks Target Foreign Exchange, Payment Processing Sites

A currency trading web site was compromised and used to serve malicious java applications to unwitting visitors, according to researchers at the security firm Websense- part of what might be a larger trend. Websense said in a blog post on Wednesday that the site tradingforex.com, which is used by foreign currency traders, was infected with a malicious Java applet that, when installed, key logging and screen capture software. Tradingforex.com (@Tradingforexxx) is a Cyprus-based online trading web site. It allows individuals to trade on the global foreign exchange market (or Forex). Users can trade everything from foreign currencies to precious metals, commodities and other financial instruments. According to an investigation by Websense researcher Gianluca Giuliani, the site was pushing a back door program to visitors using a malicious Java plugin to exploit known Java vulnerabilities on the victims’ computers. Further investigation by Websense and Giuliani revealed that the malware being pushed […]

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 […]