Recent Posts

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 […]

Chrome 0Day A No-Show At Security Con

A planned talk that was to unveil a new and previously unknown (or “zero day”) vulnerability in Google’s Chrome web browser was cancelled on Saturday after the researcher, Ucha Gobejishvili, backed out, citing difficulties obtaining a visa to travel to New Dehli, India, where the Malcon hacking conference was held. The organizer of Malcon, Rajshekhar Murthy, confirmed in an email to Security Ledger that Gobejishvili cancelled his talk at the last minute. “(Ucha) did not come at (sp) the conference due to visa issues in the last minute,” Rajshekhar Murthy wrote in an e-mail to Security Ledger on Monday. “The issue stated was he was called in last minute (sp) by the military for compulsory service which conflicted with our event dates.” Gobejishvili did not respond to e-mail and instant message requests for comment. In a conversation with Security Ledger last week, he said he would use his talk at […]

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 […]

Questions, Doubts greet Researcher’s Claim to have Chrome Zero Day

Google says that it will wait to see what transpires at a New Delhi hacking conference this week before responding to a researcher’s claim that he has discovered a remotely exploitable vulnerability in its Chrome web browser. Speaking with Security Ledger, Google spokeswoman Jessica Kositz said that the company was aware of claims by Georgian researcher Ucha Gobejishvili that he has discovered a previously unknown (zero day) security hole in Chrome and will demonstrate it at this week’s MalCon hacking conference. Gobejishvili described the security hole in Chrome as a “critical vulnerability.” “It has silent and automatically (sp) download function…and it works on all Windows systems” he told Security Ledger in an online chat session. While the Tbilisi-based researcher won’t say much about the hole, he told Security Ledger that he discovered it in July. The vulnerability is in a DLL (dynamic link library) that is part of the browser […]

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 […]