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 […]
Adobe Pushes Fix For Flash Player, Cites Attacks On Windows, Mac, Android
Adobe released an urgent fix on Thursday for recent versions of Flash Player, citing ongoing attacks against both Windows, Apple Mac, Linux and Android systems. Adobe released the security updates to fix a vulnerability, CVE-2013-0633 in Flash Player, noting that the vulnerability is being exploited “in the wild” (that is: on the public Internet) in targeted attacks. The attacks involve both web based attacks via malicious or compromised web sites and e-mail based attacks. The web based attacks use malicious Flash (SWF-format) content and target vulnerable versions of the Flash Player for the Firefox and Safari web browsers. The e-mail attacks use a malicious Microsoft Word document delivered as an e-mail attachment. The document contains malicious Flash (SWF) content and the email tries to trick the recipient into opening it. The vulnerability in question, CVE-2013-0633 is described as a buffer overflow in Adobe Flash Player that “allows remote attackers to execute […]
You’ve Been Hacked By APT! (The Video)
The whole APT – or “Advanced Persistent Threat” – meme has received a lot of attention in the media. This site and others have written about APT-style hacks, such as the recent compromise at The New York Times. But what does an APT hack look like? And what would it mean if you or your employer were in the crosshairs of an APT-type actor? The SANS Institute’s Securing The Human project has put together a nice training video that helps answer some of these questions, and to explain how APT-style attacks work. This is good stuff – explaining the difference between cyber crime and APT, and generic enough that any organization could use it as a training video. SANS says that it will produce one of these a month, and post them on the first of each month. My only criticism here is that, after they do a solid job describing […]