The Syrian Electronic Army returns to media hacking, this time with a bogus story of a nuclear strike on British broadcaster Channel 4's website. A number of Chinese government sites are defaced by "SultanHalkal" hacktivists, who believe themselves to be thereby striking a blow at both Zionism and Shi'ite Islam that will contribute to "free[ing] Syria."
Zimbabwe's election-theater illustrates how cyber attacks on opposition sites have become a new normal for repressive regimes.
Some observers see China's "secure" OS Kylin as an effective counter to US offensive cyber operations. Others mull what the weekend's breach of Tor anonymity reveals about cyber capabilities.
OpenX ad servers are "pre-compromised" with a remote code backdoor. Weaknesses in Windows phones' authentication render them vulnerable to attack, especially through "rogue" Wi-Fi connections. Users find much to complain about in Chrome's password storage functionality, and warn others to stay clear of it. Prodigy email vulnerabilities worry users (particularly those in Mexico). A security flaw is found in HP printers.
Having heard warnings that the human is the weak leak, it's worth remembering the famous Robin Sage catfish exploit. At DefCon Jordan Harbinger (whose name itself sounds a bit catfishy) described how understanding dating and "charm" enabled him to socially engineer security professionals on LinkedIn.
The market continues to sort out the Snowden affair's effect on US cloud vendors and the US Government's ability to recruit newly-shy cyber talent.
The US administration, counting itself embarrassed by Russia's refusal to extradite Snowden, cancels a planned Obama-Putin summit.
Today's issue includes events affecting China, Germany, India, Ireland, Israel, Latvia, Mexico, New Zealand, Russia, Syria, Uganda, United Kingdom, United States, and Zimbabwe..
SIRIUS(IARPA) The goal of the Sirius Program is to create Serious Games to train participants and measure their proficiency in recognizing and mitigating the cognitive biases that commonly affect all types of intelligence analysis. The research objective is to experimentally manipulate variables in Virtual Learning Environments (VLE) to determine whether and how such variables might enable player-participant recognition and persistent mitigation of cognitive biases
Metaphor Program(IARPA) For decision makers to be effective in a world of mass communication and global interaction, they must understand the shared concepts and worldviews of members of other cultures of interest. Recognizing cultural norms is a significant challenge, however, because they tend to be hidden. Even cultural natives have difficulty defining them because they form the tacit backdrop against which members of a culture interact and behave. We tend to notice them only when they are in conflict with the norms of other cultures. Such differences may cause discomfort or frustration and may lead to flawed interpretations about the intent or motivation of others. If we are to interact successfully on the world stage, we must have resources that will help us recognize norms across cultures. The Metaphor Program will exploit the use of metaphors by different cultures to gain insight into their cultural norms
Integrated Cognitive-Neuroscience Architectures For Understanding Sensemaking (ICARUS) Program(IARPA) Sensemaking refers to the remarkable human ability to detect patterns in data, and to infer the underlying causes of those patterns - even when the data are sparse, noisy, and uncertain. The focus of the ICArUS Program is to understand and model how humans engage in the sensemaking process, both during optimal and suboptimal (biased) performance. Of particular interest are cognitive biases related to attention, memory, and decision making
75 Chinese Government Websites Hacked by SultanHaikal and M3QD4D(Hack Read) Two hackers from different hacking groups going with the handle of SultanHaikal and M3QD4D have hacked and defaced 71 websites owned by the government of China. SultanHaikal left a deface page along with a deface message on his half of 38 sites, where the message was expressed in following words: Ahlussunnah Was Here! Anti Shia, Anti Zionist (Jewish) SultanHaikal, Free Syria
Anonymity Smackdown: NSA vs. Tor(Errata Security) In recent news, Tor was hacked -- kinda. A guy hosting hidden services was arrested (with help from FBI), and his servers changed to deliver malware to expose user IP addresses (with help from NSA). This makes us ask: given all the recent revelations about the NSA, how secure is Tor at protecting our privacy and anonymity
Do you save passwords in Chrome? Maybe you should reconsider(ZDNet) Every modern browser lets you save and sync user names and passwords for your favorite websites. Maybe that's not such a good idea. You might want to think twice before you let someone borrow your computer. The most obvious risk of allowing someone else access to your desktop is that they can impersonate you, using any app where you're already signed in. They could send prank messages using your default email client, or profess your undying love for Justin Bieber using your logged-in Twitter account
Chrome's insane password security strategy(Elliott Kember) Chrome does something interesting when you first run it. The other day, I was using Chrome in development for an Ember.js app. I use Safari for day-to-day browsing, but it has a habit of aggressively caching files when I least expect it, so from time to time I switch to Chrome
HP Printer security flaw allows hackers to extract passwords(Graham Cluley) Owners of certain HP LaserJet Pro printers are being advised to protect themselves against a security vulnerability "as soon as possible", after researchers found it was possible to remotely access admin passwords and other information
The Malware Archives: PDF Files(MalwareBytes) Chances are you've probably used Adobe Reader before to read Portable Document Format (PDF) files. Adobe Reader--formerly Acrobat Reader--remains the number one program used to handle PDF files, despite competition from others
Reveton Malware Replaces Locked Desktops with Fake AV(ThreatTrack) Here's something a little bit different (okay, entirely different). Reveton is a nasty and well known piece of Ransomware, typically hijacking the desktop with a locked screen and asking victims to pay up "or else". The "or else" usually involves fictitious threats of law enforcement related justice being brought down upon their heads unless they pay up $200 via the scammer's chosen payment method
Medical–Device Flaws Will Take Time To Heal(Dark Reading) Manufacturers are slow to patch up security issues, despite increasing pressure from patients, researchers and federal agencies. Jay Radcliffe takes medical-device security personally. As a senior security analyst for security firm InGuardians, Radcliffe is frequently called upon to give advice on how best to secure medical systems. Radcliffe is also a diabetic and a user of a portable insulin pump. He became interested in medical device security when he discovered that his current pump had a significant safety issue: Replacing the batteries resets the pump, causing data on how much insulin a user has administered to be lost
What Are the Risks of Geo-Location?(McAfee) Using your mobile's built-in global positioning system (GPS) functionality allows location-based services (or geo-location) to locate and publish information about your whereabouts. Applications like Foursquare, Facebook and Yelp allow you to "check in" at places using your mobile phone, and then share your location with friends or on social networks. The application knows where you are because it taps into your phone's GPS longitude and latitude data
Dating guru resurrects Robin Sage by social engineering TS/SCI holders on LinkedIn(CSO) LinkedIn is still the "safest," most-trusted social media site to connect with people, right? One DEF CON presentation proves it could be the riskiest network of all. Jordan Harbinger, co-founder of The Art of Charm, a dating and social dynamics instruction school, isn't a hacker. But he used his basic knowledge of the social scene in order to social engineer people with Top Secret / Sensitive Compartmentalized Information (TS/SCI) clearances on LinkedIn
Cybercrime as a Service(Infosec Institute) Reading about cybercrime, it is very easy to find terms such as attacks-as-a-service, malware-as-a-service and fraud-as-s-Service, that are commonly used to describe the practice of facilitating illegal activities for cybercriminals through the provisioning of services. Security experts working for principal security firms have observed a radical change in the way cybercriminals monetize their activities; instead of earning directly from the sale of illegal products such as malware and exploit kits, the cybercriminals are evolving to respond to a demand in rapid and constant growth
Twitter's Killer New Two–Factor Solution Kicks SMS to the Curb(Wired) When Twitter rolled out two-factor authentication back in May, it hinted that the SMS authentication would be merely a first step in a more robust security solution. Today, WIRED got a better look at the company's just-announced new system that relies on application based authentication-which means it can provide a complete end to end security without relying on third parties or codes sent via SMS
Twitter adds two-step verification to iOS app with latest update(The Verge) After Twitter finally offered its users a more secure way for users to log into their accounts on the web, the social network has updated its iOS app today with two-step verification. The security mechanism requires two different passwords for a user to login: both a traditional password as well as a temporary code sent to your verified mobile phone number. As reputable institutions have embraced Twitter, they've become an attractive target for hackers hoping to deceive the public with malicious or erroneous tweets. High-profile hacks of accounts like The Guardian, AFP, and the Associated Press have occurred in the past
NZ slow to respond to 'industrialised' hacking(New Zealand Herald) The automation of cyber attacks means New Zealand businesses are definitely on the radar. New Zealand businesses have been slow to respond to the worldwide trend in automated cybersecurity attacks, says a US expert. Those views have been endorsed by a local security consultant, who said being far away from the rest of the world was no longer a safety guarantee for New Zealand. Mark Kraynak, senior vice president of Imperva, said modern hacking tools meant cyber criminals can quickly and easily scan the internet for vulnerable websites and launch attacks
Expect more Android security issues in 2013(Help Net Security) Android vulnerabilities, increased online banking threats and availability of sophisticated, inexpensive malware toolkits are among the growing concerns cited in Trend Micro's Q2 2013 Security Roundup Report
Cyber crime costs firms 2.7% of turnover(Irish Times) One incident cost an estimated €135,000, Deloitte survey claims. Digital crime costs Irish organisations an average of 2.7 per cent of their turnover for the year, with a single incident costing an estimated €135,000, a new survey has claimed
Mobile threats and other new directions from Black Hat(GCN) Mobile computing seems to be the new frontier in cybersecurity, edging out the cloud as a fruitful area for research and hacking at last week's Black Hat Briefings. But stealthy persistent threats remain a serious concern and the emerging Internet of Things offers new challenges to privacy
California Breachin'(RSA Speaking of Security) When I first started doing security consulting at the turn of the century, there was a sense among my colleagues (probably apocryphal) that encryption was one of the few things that our least savvy customers knew how to do. As in: "What are you doing to protect your organization and data?" "Well, we use encryption". "What else?" "We use encryption." It seemed as though encryption was one of the things that most people understood, and we instead spent our time uncovering issues in cross site scripting, SQL injection, patch management and server configuration
Report: NSA spying deals billion dollar knockout to US cloud prospects(The Register) Fourth Amendment? Meh. Privacy? Yawn. Corporate profits? PANIC! Sustained violations of civil liberties at home and abroad? Yawn. The manifestation of Orwell's nightmares? Snooze. The potential loss of scads and scads of money? Egad, we should really do something about this
Top destinations for cyber security pros(Help Net Security) Semper Secure announced the results of its Cyber Security Census. Based on a survey of 500 cyber security professionals from 40 different industries across 43 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, and underwritten by Northrop Grumman, NetApp, and MeriTalk's Cyber Security Exchange, the census reveals what motivates today's cyber security professionals as well as how to train and recruit the next generation
Calculate your cyber salary(Nextgov) Wired Workplace wrote Monday about a new report finding cybersecurity professionals on average earn $116,000 per year. But is that an accurate reflection of what you should be earning based on your education and experience
CACI Selected for GSA Mobile Device Program(GovConWire) CACI International (NYSE: CACI) has been selected as a vendor for a General Services Administration program that works to help federal agencies acquire mobility services. The company will work to help federal agencies engineer mobile devices, develop applications and build applications hub, CACI said Tuesday
Former DHS Deputy Undersecretary and ICE Assistant Director for Intelligence Joins SE Solutions(Fort Mill Times) Strategic Enterprise Solutions, Inc. (SE Solutions) announced today the addition of former Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Senior Executive, James M. Chaparro, to the company's management team. As Executive Vice President of Strategy, Mr. Chaparro will be assisting the company with its strategic direction and focus on supporting a wide range of homeland security missions
Dell buyout drama could drag on a while(FierceFinance) As expected, Carl Icahn, the activist investor, has taken his fight against the approved Dell buyout proposal to court. He has asked for an expedited proceeding in Delaware, arguing that the Dell board has breached its duties to shareholders by approving a dividend-sweetened offer by Michael Dell and private equity concern Silver Lake
Rising From the Abyss?(GovConWire) As industry dealmakers know, government services and defense deal closings during first half of this year were hollowed out by the double whammy of higher capital gain taxes and advent of sequestration that occurred earlier this year
On the Edge of failure: Ubuntu smartphone looks unlikely to reach crowdfunding goal(The Verge) The Edge, a smartphone that runs a mobile edition of the popular desktop OS Ubuntu, will only get made if would-be users pledge $32 million via the crowdfunding site Indiegogo. With a strict time limit of 30 days, this ambitious campaign needs to average more than $1 million per day, however the first half of that period has seen great initial momentum slow down to a crawl. In its 15 days on Indigegogo, the Edge project has attracted $8.3 million in pledges, leaving it nearly $24 million short
Start–up Defense.Net debuts with anti-DDoS service(NetworkWorld) Co-founder Barrett Lyon says anti-DDos service would serve both enterprise and cloud providers. Start-up Defense.net makes its debut today with the aim of stopping distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks aimed by attackers against both enterprises and cloud service networks
A Cure Worse than the Disease?(Trend Micro) I was phoned by our PR manager, Funda, to help out with a PR opportunity with Channel 4 News, one of the 3 big national UK broadcasters. A lady living near Birmingham in the English midlands had been caught up in a scam related to her hacked Yahoo account. I was invited to come along to her house where the television crew would interview the lady about her experiences, and me, for the Trend Micro expert view
Fighting Spam and Web Site Spoofing Attacks: Lessons Learned from the Traffic Light(Security Trends) An interesting timeline involving the colors red, yellow and green: August 5th, 1914 - the first electric traffic light is installed in Cleveland, OH. driven by the chaos at intersections in cities caused bythe explosion in the number of automobiles on the roads. The system was based on the convention used on railroad signals where red meant danger and green meant safe
Defending Against Pass-the-Hash (PtH) Attacks(Secure Ideas) Pass-the-Hash (PtH) attacks have become probably the most common form of credential attacks used in the hacking community. Especially in Microsoft Windows environments, PtH tools are so popular and easy to use, that many attackers no longer even bother to crack passwords anymore. Why waste the time when an administrator's hash is just as convenient, if not more so, to expand the scope of a breach
Dependability through Assuredness Standard released(Help Net Security) The Open Group announces the publication of the Dependability through Assuredness Standard (O-DA), which will benefit organizations relying on complex systems to avoid or mitigate the impact of failure
SaaS Service Agreements Can Leave Security on the Table(SecurityWeek) Ambiguity often abounds when it comes to the security requirements contained in contracts with software-as-a-service [SaaS] vendors, but there are minimum steps users can take to get what they want, according to industry analyst firm Gartner Inc
Penn State program to boost federal cyber security receives more funding(Penn State) Anna Squicciarini, an assistant professor in Penn State's College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST), and John Hodgson, a project manager in the Applied Research Laboratory (ARL) say they are committed to nurturing students in who are interested in protecting the U.S. government's information infrastructure. A program that they initiated in 2011 to accomplish that goal was recently given a boost by the National Science Foundation (NSF)
Uganda sets up unit to fight cyber crime(New Vision) The Uganda Communications Commission has set up a Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) to improve and secure communication services in the country
India to Outsource Spying on Indians to the Israelis(NewsClick) At a time when the entire world is outraged to find out about USA's secret mass surveillance program run by the NSA, the Indian government is openly and unabashedly contracting a foreign private company to design and implement a mass surveillance program to spy on its own 1.2 billion citizenry. According to a recent news report, 1Verint Systems, an Israeli cyber intelligence solutions provider closely linked to Israeli intelligence services, is soon to get a contract from the Indian government to aid and abet the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) in intercepting encrypted electronic communications in India
If Bruce Schneier ran the NSA, he'd ask a basic question: "Does it do any good?"(Ars Technica) Ars asks a tech and legal all-star team how to fix America's security state. For the last two months, we've all watched the news about the National Security Agency and its friends over at the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), which approves secret orders on behalf of the NSA and other spy agencies. But more often than not, a lot of these articles take the same basic structure: documents provided by NSA leaker Edward Snowden show X, and then privacy advocates and civil libertarians decry X for Y reason
How Obama Can Say "We Don't Have A Domestic Spying Program" Without Lying(TechCrunch) President Obama found himself defending the practices of the National Security Agency to comedian Jay Leno Show last night. "We don't have a domestic spying program," said the Commander-in-Chief. "What we do have is some mechanisms that can track a phone number or an email address that is connected to a terrorist attack. That information is useful." If Obama's denial
Fitting cyber attacks to jus ad bellum — Consequence–based approach Part II(Infosec Institute) The focus of this contribution is placed on two tests which employ the consequence-based approach that, in turn, aims to categorize cyber attacks as a use/threat of force or an armed attack pursuant to UN Charter. Interestingly, such a method within the method reminds me ace little of the Russian matryoshka, where with each opening of a wooden doll the chance to snatch the final surprise is either getting bigger (while the dolls are decreasing in size) or vanishes thunderously at the end
Expose Russia's Intelligence Network(USA Today) Last Thursday, Russia granted temporary asylum to NSA leaker Edward Snowden, freeing him from his five weeks of limbo in a Moscow airport. The move was humiliation for the United States. It deserves a proportionate response, but that's not what we've done so far
'Look, give us Snowden' — this Friday's top US–Russia talks revealed(The Register) Obama's highest lieutenants to meet Putin's top brass in military co-op confab. America will hold high-level talks on political and military teamwork with Russia this Friday - despite the latter country's offer of temporary asylum to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden
Digital Detectives Key to Stopping Internet Crimes(Digital Forensic Investigator) In a locked room on Des Moines Area Community College's Ankeny campus, the state of Iowa stores hundreds of computers, cellphones, tablets and other devices used in criminal activity
Keeping Secrets Secret(Los Angeles Times) NSA surveillance data obtained without a warrant shouldn't be used in criminal prosecutions
Manning's Potential Sentence Cut(Washington Post) Army Pfc. Bradley Manning's possible sentence for disclosing classified information through WikiLeaks was trimmed from 136 years to 90 years Tuesday by a military judge who said some of his offenses were closely related
Latvia to extradite cyber theft suspect to US(Global Post) Latvia agreed Tuesday to extradite a programmer to the United States to stand trial for his alleged role in a global cyber theft ring that broke into a million computers
$1.5 million Cyberheist Ruins Escrow Firm(Krebs on Security) A $1.5 million cyberheist against a California escrow firm earlier this year has forced the company to close and lay off its entire staff. Meanwhile, the firm's remaining money is in the hands of a court-appointed state receiver who is preparing for a lawsuit against the victim's bank to recover the stolen funds
For a complete running list of events, please visit the Event Tracker on the CyberWire website.
International Conference on Cyber Security(New York, New York, USA, August 5 - 8, 2013) The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Fordham University will host the fourth International Conference on Cyber Security (ICCS 2013) on August 5 - 8, 2013 in New York City. ICCS, the White Hat Summit,...
3rd Annual Cyber Security Training Forum(Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA, August 6 - 7, 2013) The Information Systems Security Association (ISSA) - Colorado Springs Chapter and FBC, Inc. will once again host the 3rd Annual Cyber Security Training Forum (CSTF). Formerly known as the Cyber Security...
AFCEA Tinker AFB Information Technology & Cyber Security Expo(Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA, August 8, 2013) Commercial vendors are invited to Tinker Air Force Base on Thursday, August 8th to exchange information and provide products demonstrations to the military and civilian personnel on base. IT and Information...
AIAA Aviation 2013(Los Angeles, California, USA, August 12 - 14, 2013) Leading cybersecurity experts will speak at AIAA AVIATION 2013, being held August 12-14 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, Los Angeles, Calif. Hosted by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics,...
Security in Government (SIG) (Canberra, Australia, August 12 - 14, 2013) The 25th annual Security in Government (SIG) conference is to be held from 12-14 August 2013 at the National Convention Centre in Canberra. Assistant Director for the National Security Resilience Policy...
A Cloud Computing Introduction for Manager(Columbia, Maryland, Sioux Falls, August 13, 2013) Cloud computing is becoming popular. More and more Technical Managers and Project Managers will be interacting with cloud computing, either developing clouds, using clouds, or selecting among cloud and...
Resilience Week 201(San Francisco, California, USA, August 13 - 15, 2013) 2013 Resilience Week brings together colleagues across government, academia and industry to facilitate an exchange of ideas dedicated to promising research in resilient systems that will protect cyber-physical...
Kirtland AFB/Sandia/DOE Cyber Security Seminar & IT Expo(Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA, August 15, 2013) This expo is designed to stimulate exchanges of information between industry partners and Kirtland AFB Information Management Officers', Information Technology personnel, Contracting Officers' as well...
National SCADA Conference(Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, August 15 - 16, 2013) The 12th Annual National SCADA Conference, Australia's largest and longest running SCADA conference, will bring together many of the luminaries of the Australian and International SCADA community to evaluate...
SANS Thailand 201(Bangkok, Thailand, August 19 - 31, 2013) SANS hands-on advanced Information Security training is coming to Thailand this August! SANS is bringing our Web App Penetration Testing course to the Crowne Plaza Bangkok Lumpini Park in Bangkok, Thailand.
Defense Logistics Agency Tech Expo(Fort Belvoir, Virginia, USA, August 20, 2013) Industry exhibitors are invited to showcase and discuss the latest information services and technology to the personnel at the McNamara HQ Complex.
Human Cyber Forensics Forum(Washington, DC, USA, August 21, 2013) This forum brings together subject matter experts to discover and share new means of recognizing the human indicators related to cyber intrusions, and the evolution of these human indicators in the coming...
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