Tag: hacks

Obama Lays Down The Law On Cyber Espionage

The Obama Administration on Wednesday released a report detailing new Administration measures to protect U.S. trade secrets and intellectual property. The report: “Administration Strategy on Mitigating the Theft of U.S. Trade Secrets” (PDF) establishes a new foundation for cooperation between the U.S. government and the private sector. It comes just days after a bombshell, 60-page report by the security firm Mandiant that described the activities of “APT1” – a hacking group that Mandiant claims is actually a cyber warfare unit of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA). In a post on the Whitehouse blog, the Administration said the Strategy is a continuation of Obama Administration policy to protect U.S. companies from the theft of trade secrets. Under the new Strategy, the Administration will take a “whole government” approach, using diplomatic pressure via the State Department, coordinated, international legal pressure through the Department of Justice and FBI. The U.S. will tap the […]

Report Exposes Links Between Chinese Govt., Hacking Group

If you read one story today (besides this one, of course!) it should be The New York Times’ write-up of a just-released, 60-page report (PDF) on a Chinese hacking group known as APT1 by the security firm Mandiant. At a one level, the report doesn’t tell us anything we didn’t already know: APT1 is a professional, hacking crew that operates from within China and with the full knowledge and support of the Chinese Government. Most of us already suspected that. The report is worth reading for the depths of Mandiant’s research into APT \1 and the revelations of just how close the ties are to the Chinese government and, particularly, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). Specifically: Mandiant is able to parse the findings of around 150 intrusions it has analyzed that are attributable to APT 1 – which is probably some small fraction of all the attacks the group has carried out. […]

Are Mobile App Developers Prey In A Massive Watering Hole Attack?

Say you’re a “bad guy” and what you really want to do is compromise the systems of some high value targets – like software developers working a prominent, Silicon Valley firms like Facebook and Twitter.   Breaking through the front door isn’t easy – these companies mostly have the technology chops to protect their networks and employees. Phishing e-mails are also a tough sell: the developer community is heavy on Apple Mac systems and – besides – application developers might be harder to phish than your average Fortune 500 executive. A better approach might be to let your prey come to you – attacking them passively by gaining control of a trusted third party web site – a so-called “watering hole.” That’s a scenario that has played out in a number of recent, high profile attacks, such as the so-called “VoHo” attacks documented by Symantec and RSA. It may also be […]

UPDATE: Vulnerability In EAS To Blame For Fake Zombie Apocalypse Warning?

Editor’s Note: Updated to include information on the brand of EAS device that was compromised. – PFR 2/14/2013 OK – the good news is that the dead aren’t rising from their graves and the Zombie Apocalypse hasn’t begun (yet…). The bad news: a phony EAS (Emergency Alerting System) warning about just such a cataclysm earlier this week may have been the result of a hack of what one security researcher says are known vulnerabilities in the hardware and software that is used to distribute emergency broadcasts to the public in the U.S. The warning from Mike Davis, a Principal Research Scientist at the firm IOActive, comes just days after unknown hackers compromised EAS systems at television stations in the U.S. and broadcast a bogus emergency alert claiming that the “dead were rising from their graves” and attacking people. Published reports say that at least four television stations were the victims […]

Whitelist Goes Black: Security Firm Bit9 Hacked

Application “whitelisting” offers an alternative to signature based malware protection. Rather than trying to spot the bad guys, the thinking goes, just identify a list of approved (whitelisted) applications, then block everything else. But what happens when the whitelist, itself, becomes compromised? That’s the scenario that’s playing out with customers of whitelisting firm Bit9, which acknowledged a breach of its corporate network that allowed unknown assailants to gain control of an application code signing server. The acknowledgement came after Bit9 was contacted regarding the breach by Brian Krebs of Krebsonsecurity.com, which broke the news Friday. Little is known about the incident. In a blog post, Bit9’s CEO, Patrick Morley, said that only three of the company’ s customers were affected. Those customers identified malware on their networks that had been signed by one of Bit9’s code signing servers. The lapse was the result of a breach on Bit9’s own network. […]