Most of us have broadband at home. It’s always there. It works and, for the most part, we don’t think about it until it goes down. Our amnesia extends to the humble home gateway or broadband router that is our connection to the global Internet. That piece of CPE (or customer-premises equipment) probably sits on our desk, or down in our basement gathering dust. Strong password? Meh. Firmware update? Hey, ‘if it ain’t broke…don’t fix it!” But all those small, insecure devices could add up to a major security crisis for users and their Internet Service Provider (ISP), according to researchers at the firm IOActive. Writing on the IOActive blog, researchers Ehab Hussein (@_obzy_) and Sofiane Taimat (@_sud0) say that millions of vulnerable home routers and gateways are vulnerable to trivial attacks. Those devices could be harnessed by cyber criminal groups, state-backed actors or hacktivists for malware distribution, spam or […]
One Reason Security Is So Hard? Really Bad Reports.
Security is hard. Everyone knows that. The question is: why? After all, our understanding of cyber threats improves with each day. The tools we use to secure our systems have also improved over time – antivirus software, firewalls, application firewalls, intrusion detection, data leak prevention, and so on. And yet, when we look at the data, there’s not much evidence that better understanding and better tools are leading to better security. According to Jonathan Grier, an independent security consultant, the answer to the question ‘Why aren’t we getting better at stopping attacks and protecting data?’ is that we’re not doing a good job of learning from the data we have. In a conversation with The Security Ledger, Grier, the founder of Grier Forensics, said that, despite a wealth of security data, the security industry’s approach to analyzing it is immature. Grier likes working on the cutting edge of computer forensics and application security. […]
DPRKurious: Is North Korea Really Behind Cyber Attacks On The South?
The news keeps coming out of South Korea, where a mysterious rash of hacks and virus infections early Thursday compromised tens of thousands of machines running at banks, broadcasters and other firms, erasing data and causing widespread disruption. Here’s the latest: South Korean Officials “Strongly Suspect” North Korea South Korean government officials made their most direct statements to date (albeit anonymously) on the possible source of the attack, saying that they had a “strong suspicion” that the government of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) was responsible. Speaking to the YonHap News Agency, the official, identified as a “high ranking official in the office of President Cheong Wa Dae,” refused to elaborate. However, he may have been referring to the preliminary results of the Korea Communications Commission (KCC) which traced the malicious code responsible for crippling computers at broadcasters and banks to an IP address in China. South Korean […]
Update: Destructive Hacks Hit South Korean Media, Banks
Editor’s Note: Updated to include information from AlienVault on the attacks. – PFR 3/20/2013 Destructive cyber attacks against media outlets and banks in South Korea have ratcheted up tensions on the Korean Peninsula, with charges that the government of reclusive North Korea was behind the hacks. According to a report in South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency, the attacks began at 2:00PM local time in South Korea and affected the computer networks of three broadcasters and two banks. Broadcasters KBS, MBC and YTN all reported that their computer networks were “halted” at that time. Shinhan Bank and Nonghyup made similar reports to the National Police Agency (NPA), according to Yonhap. Unlike past distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks that are believed to have been launched by the DPRK against the South, the latest incursions come at a time of extreme military tension on the peninsula, and caused damages to South Korean […]
With $Pi Million At Stake, Chrome Withstands Hacker Assault
With $3.14159 million in prize money at stake, Google’s Chrome OS has withstood attempts to hack it in the company’s semi-annual Pwnium contest in Vancouver, a Google spokeswoman told The Security Ledger. In a statement Thursday, Google spokeswoman Jessica Kositz said that the company did not receive any winning entries during the day-long contest, but that the company is evaluating work that may qualify for a partial prize: a potentially infinite series of Google Wallet transfers in the amounts: $1 followed by $.50 followed by $.25 followed by $.125 and so on. OK – We made that last part up. Pwnium runs alongside the better known pwn2own contest at CanSecWest. This year, Google is providing funding for both contests. However, in 2012 the company pulled its support for pwn2own, objecting to the lack of a requirement of “responsible disclosure” – in which entrants must disclose the details of their exploits to the […]