Facebook and Twitter executives defended recent efforts to stop the use of their platforms by Russia, Iran and other countries to influence U.S. elections.
A report from the security firm FireEye claims that hacking crews based in Iran have become more sophisticated in recent years. They are now linked to malicious software campaigns targeting western corporations and domestic actors who attempt to circumvent Internet filters put in place by the ruling regime. The report, dubbed “Operation Saffron Rose,”(PDF) was released on Tuesday. In a blog post accompanying the research, FireEye researchers say that it has identified a group of hackers it is calling the “Ajax Security Team” that appears to have emerged out of Iranian hacker forums such as Ashiyane and Shabgard. Once limited to website defacements, the Ajax team has graduated to malware-based espionage and other techniques associated with “advanced persistent threat” (APT) style actors, FireEye said. The researchers claim that the group has been observed using social engineering techniques to implant custom malware on victims’ computers. The group’s objectives seem to align with those […]
A popular plug-in for sharing blog content on social networks was discovered to have hidden code that was injecting WordPress blogs with links to phony Pay Day Loan offers and other spam, according to the firm Sucuri. The plug-in, named Social-Media-Widget (SMW) was compromised with malicious code 12 days ago, in concert with an update of the widget. The new version of the plug-in contained a hidden call to a remote PHP script that inserted “Pay Day Loan” spam text and links into WordPress web sites running the plugin. The goal was to infect as many web sites as possible with text that would increase the web reputation and visibility of a web site run by the spammers, according to the post on Tuesday, by Daniel Cid, Sucuri’s CTO. SMW is among the most popular add-ons for Wordpess sites. It allows bloggers who use WordPress to configure sharing buttons that will […]
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 […]