Recent Posts

Digi Serial Servers

Update: Serial Server Flaws Expose Critical Infrastructure

A survey conducted by the firm Rapid 7 has found evidence that widespread vulnerabilities and insecure configuration of ubiquitous networking components known as serial port (or “terminal”) servers, may expose a wide range of companies and critical assets – including point of sale terminals, ATMs and industrial control systems – to remote cyber attacks.(*) The vulnerable devices connected hardware like retail point-of-sale systems at a national chain of dry cleaners, providing direct access to employee terminals from which customer payment information could be accessed. Other exposed systems were used to monitor the location of cargo containers, train cargo as well as HVAC and industrial control systems, Rapid7 said. In the Rapid7 survey, over 114,000 unique IPs were identified in a scan using the Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), the vast majority manufactured by one company: Digi International. If left unaddressed, the vulnerable devices give remote attackers direct, administrative access to hardware devices […]

Data Breach For Dummies: Simple Hacks, Hackers Are The Norm

In spite of widespread media attention to the problem of “advanced persistent threats” and nation-backed cyber espionage, most cyber attacks that result in the theft of data are opportunistic and rely on unsophisticated or non-technical means, according to Verizon’s 2013 Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR). Verizon said that its analysis of 47,000 security incidents and 621 confirmed cases of data loss showed that three-quarters were “opportunistic” – not targeted at a specific company or individual – and financially motivated. Around 20 percent of attacks were linked to what Verizon termed “state affiliated actors” conducting cyber espionage. Verizon’s annual Data Breach Investigations Report presents the results of investigations conducted by Verizon’s RISK investigators, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, US-CERT as well as by law enforcement agencies globally. In its sixth year, it is a highly regarded and oft-cited benchmark of malicious activity and threats to organizations. In a press release […]

BadNews Android Applications

BadNews: Mobile Attackers Pivot To Malicious Ads

The identification over the weekend of a large-scale outbreak of mobile malware dubbed “BadNews” is bad news, indeed for millions of Android device users, who downloaded applications from the official Google Play application store that connected their devices to a malicious advertising network, dubbed “BadNews.” The discovery of the malware-infected apps, which were downloaded between two- and nine million times, suggests a new wrinkle in the mobile malware space, with attackers turning to honest-seeming mobile ad networks to push out malicious links and collect information on compromised devices. “This is one of the first times that we’ve seen a malicious distribution network clearly posing as an ad network,” wrote Lookout’s Marc Rogers on the company blog. He speculated that the new tactic may reflect improved security on the Google Play app store following the introduction of the Bouncer malware scanner. Lookout said that the company notified Google, which removed the […]

CrowdOptic - London Olympics

Meet The Software That Helped Catch The Boston Bombers

With one suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings dead and another on the run IN CUSTODY!  the global, collective effort to identify those responsible for the crime has ended, and focus shifted to apprehending PROSECUTING Dzhokhor A. Tsarnaev, 19. He and his older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26,  were the subject of a massive manhunt, culminating in a firefight in the suburb of Watertown, Massachusetts, that killed the older Tsarnaev brother and set of a massive, daylong manhunt that shut down the metropolitan Boston area.(*) So how did crowdsourcing fare in the effort to catch the two? You’d have to say: not too well. High-profile collaborative efforts to crowdsource public images of the Boston Marathon bombing site, like those organized by the group 4Chan, assembled intriguing collections of material and clocked impressive pageviews (3.4 million and counting). In the end, those efforts yielded some clues: the type of clothing worn by the suspects, […]

Cap Worn By Suspect 1?

Will Reddit Get Its Man? New Clues Come Fast As FBI Releases Boston Suspect Photos

The collective energies of a lot of pissed off people were given focus on Thursday, after the FBI released photos and a video of two men – identified as Suspect #1 and #2 – who were identified as the only suspects in the horrific bombing of The Boston Marathon on Monday. Within hours of releasing the photos, new clues to the identities of the suspects emerged on web sites like Reddit. Astute viewers flocked to the popular website Reddit.com to crowd source clues, with a special area or “subreddit,” dubbed “findbostonbombers” created to collect tips and analysis from the sea of fervent users. Their efforts paid off in short order, as contributors identified the brand of cap worn by both suspects (the white cap worn by Suspect #2 is believed to be by Ralph Lauren, while the black cap worn by Suspect #1 is believed to be a Bridgestone golf cap […]