Tag: phishing

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

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 […]

Spammers Using Yahoo, Google To Whitewash Links

Spammers Using Yahoo, Google To Whitewash Links

If the gigantic distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks against the spam blacklisting operation Spamhaus wasn’t proof enough: spammers have trouble steering around blacklists and other reputation-based filters. Even if the language in their message is generic enough to avoid detection, dropping a link to a known, malicious- or compromised domain is plenty to get an entire message dropped. Spammers without a legion of 100,000 bots at their fingertips have to get creative about getting their message into the target’s inbox. Lately, a method that’s drawing attention is to leverage low-security redirection services to whitewash a link to a ‘known-malicious’ or merely suspicious sites. Barracuda Networks said that it has captured spam attacks that are combining a Yahoo based URL shortening service with Google’s free Translate service to whitewash links in spam e-mail messages and evade automated detection. The message, which was sent to a Barracuda “honeypot” system  includes a […]

Messy And Loud Hack In South Korea Doesn’t Look State Sponsored

A researcher who has studied the malicious software used in the attacks on media outlets and banks in South Korea this week said the attacks were coordinated, but messy and loud, without many of the hallmarks of a state sponsored hacking operation. Richard Henderson, a Security Strategist at Fortilabs at Fortinet Inc. said that the malware used in the attack was programmed to begin operating at 2:00pm local time, suggesting that those behind it had planned their operation for weeks or months before launching it. Still, Henderson said many details of the attack make it dissimilar from so-called “advanced persistent threat” or APT-style hacks that are carried out by foreign governments or groups working on their behalf. Henderson said that Fortinet analysts first obtained a copy of the malware on March 19, a day before the attacks. Researchers there had already identified the “time bomb” hidden in the code, which was […]

Twenty ISPs Responsible For Half Of All Spam

Twenty ISPs Responsible For Half Of All Spam

One of the lessons we’ve learned in recent years is that online attacks can come from anywhere. Viruses and spyware were more common to pornography and pirate download web sites five years ago. Today, even the most reputable web sites might be the source of online mayhem. In fact, so-called “watering hole” attacks that exploit legitimate web sites and use them as honey pots to lure the intended victims are all the rage among sophisticated attackers. (For evidence of this, see our recent story on the compromise at the web site of The National Journal, a publication for Beltway policy wonks.) But the Internet still has its dark alleys and bad neighborhoods. And they’re still the source of a lot of malicious activity – especially in connection to run of the mill crimes like spam and phishing attacks. That’s the conclusion of research done by students at the University of Twente’s […]

Many Watering Holes, Targets In Hacks That Netted Facebook, Twitter and Apple

Many Watering Holes, Targets In Hacks That Netted Facebook, Twitter and Apple

The attacks that compromised computer systems at Facebook, Twitter, Apple Corp. and Microsoft were part of a wide-ranging operation that relied on many “watering hole” web sites that attracted employees from prominent firms across the U.S., The Security Ledger has learned. The assailants responsible for the cyber attacks used at least two mobile application development sites as watering holes in addition to the one web site that has been disclosed: iPhoneDevSDK.com. Still other watering hole web sites used in the attack weren’t specific to mobile application developers – or even to software development. Still, they served almost identical attacks to employees of a wide range of target firms, across industries, including prominent auto manufacturers, U.S. government agencies and even a leading candy maker, according to sources with knowledge of the operation. More than a month after the attacks came to light, many details remain under tight wraps. Contacted by The Security […]