There’s a fascinating article on TechCrunch that cites a current (anonymous) Sony Pictures Entertainment employee talking about life at the company in the wake of a crippling November 24th cyber attack that wiped out thousands of computer systems and stole terabytes of data from the company. According to the story, Sony employees have resorted to using circa 1990s fax machines to transmit documents and – horror – having face to face communications in lieu of texting, e-mail or social networking, all of which are disabled within Sony’s environment. [Read more Security Ledger coverage of the Sony Pictures hack here.] “We had barely working email and no voicemail so people talked to each other,” the source tells TechCrunch. “Some people had to send faxes. They were dragging old printers out of storage to cut checks…It was crazy.” “That is what a major corporate security breach sounds like,” TechCrunch writes. “The squeal […]
The U.S. Government’s Industrial Control System CERT (ICS-CERT) said on Thursday that a campaign targeting industrial control system (ICS) software began in January, 2012 and targeted industrial systems that were directly connected to the public Internet. ICS-CERT said in an alert published on Wednesday that “HMI” (or Human-Machine Interfaces) products from vendors including GE, Advantech/Broadwin and Siemens may have been infected with variants of the BlackEnergy malware since January, 2012. Infected firms were running versions of the GE’s Cimplicity, Advantech/Broadwin’s WebAccess or Siemens’ WinCC with what ICS-CERT called a “direct Internet connection.” In some cases, as with the GE Cimplicity attacks, hackers exploited a known vulnerability in the Cimplicity software to gain access. In others (as with WebAccess and WinCC) the method by which the software was compromised isn’t known, ICS-CERT said. CERT said it hasn’t documented any cases of control processes being modified by the malware. However, BlackEnergy is typically used […]
Bloomberg has a story on the collaborative, private sector effort to thwart an industrial hacking campaign linked to Chinese intelligence. The effort, which involved firms like FireEye and iSight Partners “demonstrates for the first time a private-sector model that they believe can move faster than investigations by law enforcement agencies,” the report said. From the article: The take-down largely bypassed traditional law enforcement tools, relying instead on cooperation between companies that are normally fierce competitors. Coalition members — which include Microsoft Corp., Cisco Inc. and Symantec Corp. — say they can act faster than governments because they operate global Internet systems and have business relationships with tens of thousands of companies. Read more via China-Linked Hacking Foiled by Private-Sector Sleuthing – Businessweek.
We like to construct Hollywood friendly plots around a lot of the seminal moments in our collective history. For Civil Rights, we like to picture the integration of Little Rock High School, Rosa Parks’ courageous protest on a Montgomery bus or the March on Washington. For environmentalism, we talk about Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring or, maybe, the burning Cuyahoga River in Cleveland. (This vintage news footage of the 1969 fire calls it the fire that “sparked the environmental movement” without any apparent irony.) For automobile safety, we imagine Ralph Nader and the image of a 1972 crash test that shows the gas tank of the Ford Pinto exploding in a rear impact collision, engulfing both cars in flames. But those memories are often way oversimplified. Little Rock and the Montgomery bus boycott were just two battles in a fight for civil rights that went back to the end of the Civil War. Likewise, the Cuyahoga […]
A group representing the Uyghurs,a persecuted religious minority in China, faces unrelenting, targeted cyber attacks that appear aimed at stealing sensitive data and otherwise undermining the group’s activity, according to a new study by researchers at Northeastern University in Boston as well as the Max Planck Institute for Software Systems and the National University of Singapore. A study of more than 1,400 suspicious email messages sent to members of groups representing the Uyghur minority found that more than three quarters of the messages contained malicious attachments. The messages targeted 724 individuals at 108 separate organizations. Moreover, researchers found overlap between the individuals associated with the Uyghur World Contress (UWC) and western targets such as the New York Times and U.S. embassies. The study, “A Look at Targeted Attacks Through the Lense of an NGO” is being presented at the UNENIX Security Conference in San Diego on August 21. (A copy of the full paper is […]