terrorism

The Syrian Electronic Army took responsibility for attacks on Western news sites.

Europol Warns of Internet of Things Risk

In a newly released report, Europol’s European Cybercrime Center (EC3) warns that the growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) threatens to strengthen the hand of organized cyber criminal groups and make life much more difficult for police and governments that wish to pursue them. EC3’s latest Internet Organized Crime Threat Assessment (iOCTA) says the “Internet of Everything” will greatly complicate the work of law enforcement creating “new opportunities for everything from cyber criminals to state actors to child abusers. The growing numbers of connected devices will greatly expand the “attack surface” available for cyber criminal activity, the EC3 warns. Cyber criminals may co-opt connected devices for use in common criminal activity (like denial of service attacks and spam campaigns). However, advancements like connected (“smart”) vehicles and infrastructure create openings for large scale and disruptive attacks. The report, which was published late last months, is a high level position paper and pulls data mostly […]

An article in a publication for corporate general counsel provides guidance on securing IoT products.

Cyber Insurance Is Sexy

So bland is the insurance business perceived to be, that it’s the stuff of Hollywood comedy. In the 2004 film Along Came Polly, Ben Stiller played a skittish, risk averse insurance adjuster with actuarial data on bathroom hygiene at his fingertips (no pun). Woody Allen famously depicts his hapless criminal Virgil Starkwell locked in solitary confinement with an eager insurance salesman in the 1969 mocumentary Take the Money and Run. Cruel and unusual punishment, indeed. Boring though they may be, insurance markets are incredibly important in helping society manage risks of all sorts. Insurance markets also have a funny way of shaping behavior – both personal and commercial – in ways that serve the public interest. Take the response to Hurricane Sandy as just one example. Law makers in Washington D.C. may never agree on whether that storm was a product of a warming climate. In fact, they may debate the […]

Silicon Valley firms are re-evaluating their taste for data acquisition in light of government requests and fears of data theft.

How The UK’s HACIENDA Program Targeted Entire Countries

The folks over at Heise/c’t Magazin revealed leaked, classified documents to report on HACIENDA, a GCHQ program to deliver country-wide Internet reconnaissance for so-called “five eyes” nations, including the US (NSA), Canada and Australia. And, as Bruce Schneier points out – its not clear that these documents were from Edward Snowden’s trove of classified NSA materials. HACIENDA involves the large-scale use of TCP “port” scans to profile systems connected to the Internet, in addition to profiling of enabled applications. According to Heise, which published a classified slide deck. GCHQ claimed to have canvassed 27 countries through the program. A list of targeted services includes ubiquitous public services such as HTTP and FTP, SSH (Secure Shell protocol) and SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol). The Heise report, prepared by Julian Kirsch, Christian Grothoff, Monika Ermert, Jacob Appelbaum, Laura Poitras and Henrik Moltke claim that HACIENDA’s goal was to perform active collection and map vulnerable services across […]

A CIA official speaking at the Aspen Institute's Forum last week said the agency is worried about the threat posed by Internet of Things devices.

Report: CIA Fears the Internet of Things | Nextgov.com

A story by Patrick Tucker over at Nextgov.com picks up on some comments from Dawn Meyerriecks, the deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency’s directorate of science and technology regarding the agency’s thinking about the Internet of Things. Meyerriecks was speaking at The Aspen Institute’s Security Forum on Thursday of last week in a panel on “The Future of Warfare.” Speaking about the topic of cyber warfare, she said that current debates about the shape of cyber war don’t address the “looming geo-security threats posed by the Internet of Things.” Meyerriecks cited the now-debunked Proofpoint report about smart refrigerators being used in spam and distributed denial of service attacks.” She also mentioned “smart fluorescent LEDs [that are] are communicating that they need to be replaced but are also being hijacked for other things.” Those might be some sensational (and dubious) examples, but Meyerriecks main point was more pedestrian: that we’re on the cusp of disruptive […]

Google's Project Zero pulls together its security research talent to investigate common platforms for security holes and possible attacks.

Google Unveils Project Zero Hacking Team

Google has unveiled an all-star team of hackers and security researchers it is calling “Project Zero.” According to a post on Google’s security blog, the company is hoping to use its security research muscle to investigate the security of “any software depended upon by large numbers of people, paying careful attention to the techniques, targets and motivations of attackers.” Research like Google employee Neel Mehta’s, which helped expose the “Heartbleed” vulnerability in OpenSSL is a good example of the kinds of stuff Project Zero will do. Researchers will devote their time to finding and reporting software vulnerabilities and researching new exploits, mitigations and “program analysis.” The company said it plans to disclose any vulnerabilities it finds to the vendor first, then to the public in an external database. The public can monitor “time to patch” (given that the vulnerability is disclosed ahead of a patch). Project Zero brings Google’s elite hackers under […]