Tag: China

You’ve Been Hacked By APT! (The Video)

The whole APT – or “Advanced Persistent Threat” – meme has received a lot of attention in the media. This site and others have written about APT-style hacks, such as the recent compromise at The New York Times. But what does an APT hack look like? And what would it mean if you or your employer were in the crosshairs of an APT-type actor? The SANS Institute’s Securing The Human project has put together a nice training video that helps answer some of these questions, and to explain how APT-style attacks work. This is good stuff – explaining the difference between cyber crime and APT, and generic enough that any organization could use it as a training video. SANS says that it will produce one of these a month, and post them on the first of each month. My only criticism here is that, after they do a solid job describing […]

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 […]

Council of Foreign Relations Hackers Also Hit US-based Turbine Maker

The web site of the Council of Foreign Relations (CFR) may not have been the only target of sophisticated attackers who used a previously unknown (“zero day”) vulnerability in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer web browser to compromise the computers of those who visited the site, a new report claims. Eric Romang, a Luxembourg-based security expert at the firm Zataz.com said that he has discovered an almost identical compromise to the CFR hack on the web site of Capstone Turbine Corporation, a California-based manufacturer of small, energy-efficient power turbines. His investigation uncovered malicious files similar to those used on the CFR site that were used to launch a so-called “heap spray” attack against visitors using the Internet Explorer web browser, triggering the zero day vulnerability. Romang was among the first to isolate the script used to launch the drive by download attack used on the CFR web site. Writing on Wednesday, he said […]