Other News

Researchers: Hole In TLS Encryption Could Expose Secure Web Sessions

Researchers at the University of London are going public with a paper that claims to have found a flaw in the specification for Transport Layer Security (TLS) that could leave supposedly secure Web, IM, VoIP and other online sessions exposed to prying eyes. The researchers, Nadhem Al Fardan and Kenny Patterson of the Information Security Group at Royal Holloway, University of London said that the security hole stem from a flaw in the TLS specification, rather than a bug in how TLS is implemented. The two researchers have developed proof of concept attacks that take advantage of the flaw, and that could be used to recover a complete block of TLS-encrypted plaintext, the researchers said. Al Fardan is a Ph.D student in the Information Security Group. Patterson is a professor of Information Security there. The two have  discovered other, serious holes in TLS before. Notably: the two discovered a critical […]

Friday Night Massacre: Twitter Hacked, Info on 250k Exposed

What better time to drop some really bad and embarrassing news than late on a Friday afternoon, as everyone is heading out the door? So it was with social media giant Twitter, which dropped a bombshell late Friday: revealing that it had been compromised in an “extremely sophisticated” attack that yielded the account credentials for around 250,000 users. A blog post by Twitter Security Team member Bob Lord on Friday said that the company has been investigating the breach all week long, after detecting unusual patterns of account access across its network. After stopping an attack that was in progress, the company’s investigation revealed that the attackers “may have had access to limited user information – usernames, email addresses, session tokens and encrypted/saltedversions of passwords – for approximately 250,000 users,” Lord wrote. Twitter did not discuss the circumstances of the breach, but reiterated guidance from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for users to disable Java […]

Weekend Security Reads – Our Picks

This was another eventful news week in the security world – stories about hacks on two, prominent newspapers, and a widespread hole in UPnP, a technology that all of us use, but never pay much attention to. (Always a dangerous combination.) Let’s face it, Friday is a time for decamping from the office, not taking on some weighty new mental project or thought provoking issue. But, come Sunday morning over coffee, you might just be ready to switch your higher cognitive functions on again. If so, here are some Security Ledger picks for good weekend reads: Hacking the Old Gray Lady – Slate.com The top security story this week was the string of revelations about sophisticated, targeted attacks against leading U.S. newspapers, including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. The Washington Post may also have been infiltrated, according to a report on Krebsonsecurity.com. The attacks by so-called […]

New York Times Hack Puts Antivirus on Defensive

The big news this morning is the New York Times’ scoop on…well…itself. According to a report in today’s paper, the Times’s computer network was compromised for more than four months by attackers believed to be located in China. The attacks followed a Times exposé on the wealth accumulated by family members of China’s prime minister, Wen Jiabao – one of a series of reports in Western media outlets that raised questions about corruption and influence peddling in China’s ruling Communist Party. Attackers planted 45 pieces of information-stealing malware on Times systems, despite the presence of antivirus software from Symantec Corp. protecting those systems before, during and after the hack. The story is fueling debate about the value of anti-virus software and prompted Symantec to issue a statement defending its technology, but warning that signature-based antivirus is not enough to stop sophisticated attacks. According to the Times report, the attacks used compromised systems on […]

School Shooters May Tip Their Hand In Facebook Rants

School shootings have occurred with sickening regularity in the United States in the last decade. The shootings happen in all types of communities, while the shooters come from all different backgrounds. But almost all of them have one thing in common: they used social media to vent their anger and, often, declare their murderous intentions ahead of time. An analysis of common trends in school shootings by the New Jersey Fusion Center  said social media sites like Facebook are a common element in the majority of school shootings, with students who have conducted or planned attacks against their schools publicizing their anger and or intentions on sites like Facebook. The “Situational Awareness Report” (PDF) on “School Shooting Commonalities” is dated November 15, 2012, predating the horrific shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut that killed 26. In that case, the shooter, Adam Lanza, was described as a loner who spent hours […]