OpIsrael returns as 71 Israeli websites are hacked. OpPetrol, targeting mainly Middle Eastern oil producers, is expected to resurface around June 20.
A hack that gets to webcams via browsers is demonstrated. Android malware evolves better obfuscation. Software companies race to close a newly discovered cross-platform zero-day browser vulnerability.
The US FDA warns of medical device cyber vulnerability and proposes new regulation of the device and hospital IT sectors.
Reports suggest that US Government cyber threat information sharing with companies may have involved a metadata sharing quid pro quo.
As the US Congress continues to discuss NSA electronic surveillance, several Senators express doubts over General Alexander's testimony that the program deflected terrorist attacks. It remains unclear how Congress will ultimately respond to the PRISM affair, but observers (and members of Congress) are questioning the efficacy of legislative intelligence oversight.
Among laws under consideration is one that would restrict contractor access to classified information. (Since policy tends to be debated on Aesopian as opposed to analytical grounds, one might note that Bradley Manning was no contractor.) As details of the leak emerge—thumb drives, much online foreshadowing of leaks—analysts wonder why standard security measures seem to have failed.
PRISM has increased cyber tensions between the US and the EU, and hasn't helped with China, either. Observers also see a baleful impact on what's loosely called "Internet freedom." The case raises other questions, including that of corporate liability for leakers.
"Hacking back," some say, could prompt the return of letters of marque.
Today's issue includes events affecting Australia, Canada, European Union, India, Israel, Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom, United States..
Anonymous' #OpPetrol: What is it, What to Expect, Why Care?(TrendLabs Security Intelligence) Last month, the hacker collective Anonymous announced their intention to launch cyber attacks against the petroleum industry (under the code name #OpPetrol) that is expected to last up to June 20. Their claimed reason for this attack is primarily due to petroleum being sold with the US dollar instead of currency of the country where petroleum originates. However, some chatter indicates there was a desire to launch new attacks due to both #OpIsrael and #OpUSA being regarded as ineffective
Cybercriminals Improve Android Malware Stealth Routines with OBAD(TrendLabs Security Intelligence) We have been seeing apps that exploit vulnerabilities in Android, with most of them attempting to gain higher privileges on user devices. In recent days, a stronger and a far more advanced Android malware named ANDROIDOS_OBAD has come into play. What seems to be a product from the same malware authors behind ANDROIDOS_JIFAKE, ANDROIDOS_OBAD is found to be equipped with ability to avoid being uninstalled from devices and triggers more malicious code
Malware Redirects South Korean Users To Phishing Sites(TrendLabs Security Intelligence) Online banking threats have been prevalent for many years, but recently they seem to be determined to expand beyond their usual targets. In the past few weeks and months, we've seen various attacks target Korean banks using various techniques
Microsoft misses Google-found flaw in Patch Tuesday updates(ZDNet) He made the zero-day flaw public, citing Microsoft as being "often very difficult to work with," and "treat[ing] vulnerability researchers with great hostility." The software giant said it was not aware of any attacks and had not issued an advisory
US swaps data with thousands of firms: sources(Sydney Morning Herald) Along with the NSA, the CIA, the FBI and branches of the US military have agreements with such companies to gather data that might seem innocuous but could be highly useful in the hands of US intelligence or cyber warfare units, according to the people
iOS 7 Beta Bug Enables Lockscreen Bypass(Threatpost) An iPhone user in Spain who downloaded the beta version of Apple iOS 7, which was made available Monday, was able to bypass its screen-lock security feature
Obama Appointee Who Heads U.S. Nuclear Security Agency Is Hacked By "Guccifer"(The Smoking Gun) The Obama administration official who heads the agency responsible for maintaining the country's nuclear stockpile as well as securing "loose nukes" worldwide is the latest victim of "Guccifer." Neile Miller, acting administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) recently had her Facebook account breached by the notorious hacker, who also apparently illegally accessed one of Miller's personal e-mail accounts
Cyberespionage Operators Work In Groups, Process Enormous Data Workloads(Dark Reading) A group of Taiwanese researchers peer into the operations center of a group behind one large espionage campaign. In a study of the lifecycle of cyberespionage attacks, a group of researchers at a Taiwanese security startup have found that the nation's major government agencies encounter a dozen such attacks each day and that the operators behind the attacks have virtual data centers that appear to be processing enormous workloads
Zeus is hiring money mules - just get infected first(Infosecurity Magazine) For cyber criminals, Zeus is the complete package: not only will it steal your money, it now helps the gangs recruit the money mules to get stolen money out of the country and into their own accounts
How cybercriminals apply Quality Assurance (QA) to their malware campaigns before launching them(Webroot Threat Blog) In 2013, the use of basic Quality Assurance (QA) practices has become standard practice for cybercrininals when launching a new campaign. In an attempt to increase the probability of a successful outcome for their campaigns — think malware infection, increased visitor-to-malware infected conversion, improved conversion of blackhat SEO acquired traffic leading to the purchase of counterfeit pharmaceutical items etc. — it has become a common event to observe the bad guys applying QA tactics, before, during, and after a malicious/fraudulent campaign has reached its maturity state, all for the sake of earning as much money as possible, naturally, through fraudulent means
State-level data governance efforts 'shaky at best'(FierceHealthIT) State level governance efforts for storing and exchanging citizen data--including health information--are "shaky at best," according to Chad Grant, a senior policy analyst with the National Association of State Chief Information Officers
'US infrastructure highly vulnerable to cyber attack'(Business Standard) "On a scale of one to 10, with 10 being strongly defended, our critical infrastructure's preparedness to withstand a destructive cyber attack is about a three based on my experience," Alexander, also in charge of the US military's Cyber Command, wrote
Cyber attacks top banking risk, says Bank of England(ComputerWeekly.com) Reporting on meetings with the UK's top five banks six months ago, Haldane said four had told him cyber attack was their biggest threat, according to Reuters. The fifth bank had since added cyber threats to its list of top risks, Haldane told the
News Analysis: Cyber security - prudence or paranoia?(B&T Marketing & Media) Late last month, Commonwealth Bank chief exexutive Ian Narev told the Group of 100 congress of leading finance executives that the threat of a cyber attack is one of his biggest fears. "The security of our perimeter and our ability to understand what
Top 10 Security Myths: Misconceptions and Exaggerations About Threats and Technologies(Security Week) Information security is peppered with several misconceptions and exaggerations about threats facing businesses and the technologies to combat those threats, according to a Gartner analyst. The misconceptions have become "security myths" which are widely held among senior management, business managers, and even among security professionals, Jay Heiser, a Gartner analyst, told attendees at the Gartner Security & Risk Management Summit on Tuesday. Risk perspective is "not rational" and based on information at hand, people can misunderstand or overemphasize risk, Heiser said. This is why people may wind up emphasizing the wrong ideas, worrying over exotic issues instead of thinking about the common-and more likely-risks
0-Day The (Bug) Bounty Hunter(Dark Reading) Companies increasingly offer bug bounties to help find vulnerabilities and threats. This is an opportunity for those looking to get into security. Whenever I go to a conference, inevitably I'll meet a college student or a younger kid interested in security. They want to know how I got to--well, wherever I am--and how they can sit in coffee shops all day. Once I get over the shock that I had already graduated from college before these kids were born, they usually want some guidance on how to get started in the business
Talking cyber security with the UK government(SC Magazine) It is easy to be critical of the government when it comes to cyber security, but the truth is that up against attacks, a lack of funding and an increasingly able adversary, what it is achieving is not all that bad
NASA CIO unable to implement effective IT governance(FierceGovIT) The position of NASA chief information office has limited visibility and control over the agency's information technology investments, resulting in ineffective governance over its 550 IT systems and more than $1.5 billion annual IT spending, finds a June 5 Office of Inspector General report. "NASA's current IT governance model weakens accountability and does not ensure that IT assets across the Agency are cost effective and secure," writes the OIG
Hiring digital 007s(The Economist) A new cyber-industrial complex is rising. Should you worry? "AT BOOZ ALLEN, we're shaping the future of cyber-security," trumpets a recruiting message on the website of Booz Allen Hamilton, a consulting and technology firm. It is hard to argue with that blurb right now. Edward Snowden, the man who revealed he was responsible for leaks about surveillance of American citizens by the National Security Agency (NSA), was a contractor working for Booz Allen. That has turned a spotlight on the extensive involvement of private firms in helping America's spooks to do their jobs. The affair could lead to changes in the way these relationships work
NSA Leaks Suggest Microsoft May Have Misled Public Over Skype Eavesdropping(Slate) Revelations about the Internet spying system PRISM have put the international spotlight on the extent of the U.S. government's secret surveillance. But the disclosures also raise important questions about the role the world's largest Internet companies played in hoodwinking the public over the controversial spying
Before Edward Snowden, Intel Chief Warned Of Contractor Perils(Huffington Post) As the Edward Snowden leak case reminds us, the United States government has increasingly outsourced its intelligence operations to private firms like Snowden's erstwhile employer, Booz Allen Hamilton, which raked in $1.3 billion from its intelligence
Special Ops Command Extends Booz Allen's IT Management Deal(Nextgov) The folks in the Special Operations Command's contracting shop evidently have no intention of letting the largest leak of top secret intelligence in history keep it from extending a contract with Booz Allen Hamilton, the employer of the now on-the-lam
Sourcefire CEO — Cyber Attacks And The New Cyber Security Model(Forbes) Cyber attacks not only are growing in volume, but in the last year they have hit major companies like Google, Bank of America, Northrop Grumman, Microsoft, Yahoo, AOL, LinkedIn, Tumblr, the Reuters news service and the BBC to name a few. Simply put, the situation is a cause for alarm and in my experience that usually spells an opportunity for investors. That's one of the reasons why the threat of cyber attacks sits in the crosshairs of my Safety & Security PowerTrend, one of my Great 8 PowerTrends that shapes how we invest in my PowerTrend Profits newsletter
TP-LINK announces Archer C7 Wi-Fi router(Help Net Security) TP-LINK released the AC1750 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router, Archer C7, that support the 802.11ac standard. Archer C7 operates over both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands to give users two dedicated
Log analysis and alert management platform(Help Net Security) RandomStorm has released its new integrated log analysis, HIDS and file integrity platform, StormAgent. StormAgent automates protective monitoring of network hosts, reducing the time needed to sift
Automated password management for privileged accounts(Help Net Security) BeyondTrust announced the release of PowerBroker Password Safe, including integration with Retina CS, the company's vulnerability management platform. PowerBroker Password Safe is an automated
HP Gets Its Big Data Act Together(InformationWeek) Hewlett-Packard's 'HAVEn' ecosystem unites Hadoop, Autonomy, Vertica and enterprise security, backed by management software and consulting services
Can You Completely Secure Linux?(eSecurity Planet) Top Linux security engineers address whether complete security can ever be achieved with the open source operating system
Letter Of (Cyber) Marque And Reprisal(Dark Reading) The past couple of years have seen a growing base of "hack back" supporters -- with several new businesses around the globe now presenting their services in a similar vein, each advocating more forceful responses to breaches, such as launching denial-of-service attacks against the attackers, hacking botnet command-and-control servers, embedding exploits in pilfered documents, etc., in an effort to mitigate ongoing threats
Whose data is it anyway?(FierceBigData) In light of the recent revelation that the NSA is using big data in its surveillance efforts, it is a good time to remember that it is not the only government agency to use this strategy. It's also a good time to ask the burning question of the day: "Whose data is it anyway?" Last year, the TechAmerica Foundation's Federal Big Data Commission report titled "Demystifying Big Data: A Practical Guide To Transforming The Business of Government" revealed multiple use cases from several U.S. government agencies
Cloud data security: Customers and providers share responsibility(TechTarget) The amount of control customers have over public cloud computing services increases as you move down the computing stack, with Software as a Service (SaaS) offering little or no control and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offering the most control. The same goes for security responsibilities in the cloud: With SaaS, the responsibility to secure the platform and infrastructure clearly falls on the provider
20 Critical Security Controls: Control 13–Boundary Defense(Tripwire) Today's post is all about Control 13 of the CSIS 20 Critical Security Controls - Boundary Defense (the last post pertained to Control 12). Here I'll explore the (29) requirements I've parsed out of the control (I used the PDF version, but the online version is here) and offer my thoughts on what I've found
Design and Innovation
Hey Silicon Valley, The British Are Coming (To Learn Your Startup Secrets)(TechCrunch) Doing a startup in Europe is challenging for many reasons. The can-do attitude of Silicon Valley is undoubtedly fuelled in part by the amount of investor money flying around. But that's not the only reason. Failing in the U.S. isn't seen as an end point in the way it can be in Europe. A new U.K. internship programme is aiming to pass that attitude on to 15 grads via Valley startup work placements
Legislation, Policy, and Regulation
Sen. Chambliss: No Intel Reform Likely After NSA Leak Scandal(DefenseNews.com) Congress is unlikely to overhaul the US intelligence community after a Booz Allen Hamilton employee disclosed several highly classified national security programs, says one key senator. Asked Thursday morning by Defense News whether
Surveillance And Its Discontents(Wall Street Journal) In our age of proliferating nuclear weapons and genetically engineered biotoxins, a country serious about self-preservation must detect potential threats and prevent attacks before they occur, not prosecute them as crimes after the fact. The architecture to protect civilians must therefore include signals intelligence, or surveillance, to obtain actionable information about the plans, actions and capabilities of the decentralized and lethal networks that are al Qaeda and its franchises
Look who's listening(The Economist) America's National Security Agency collects more information than most people thought. Will scrutiny spur change
Pushing The Envelope, NSA-Style(Washington Post) The National Security Agency's recording of U.S. phone data does basically that with the telephone. It records who is calling whom the outside of the envelope, as it were. The content of the conversation, however, is like the letter inside the envelope
The NSA's Big Data Problem(Time) It's still unclear exactly how the National Security Agency (NSA) is carrying out digital surveillance on us. But we know one thing for sure: the government is collecting a whole lot of data
A Promise Of Changes For Access To Secrets(New York Times) If Congress enacted such limits it would force a widespread change in the way many of the country's most delicate intelligence operations are run, and would most likely require the intelligence agencies to hire more staff members of their own to do work that in recent years has increasingly been outsourced. It is unclear how broadly Congress would endorse such changes
Oppose PRISM-like programs today or lose you privacy tomorrow(Help Net Security) I used to work for a telecommunication company. The government had access to call records, although the process for obtaining any information required manual requests and processing. That is why I am not surprised by recent news related to PRISM, an NSA-led initiative to gather intelligence related information from internet providers and communication services providers
The best answer to PRISM's abuses is strong cryptography in the hands of the public(AmericaBlog) Trying to make sense of the official pronouncements about the National Security Agency's PRISM program is like trying to nail Jello to a wall. First, a quick primer. PRISM is a highly classified NSA program whereby the computer servers of nine Internet companies, including Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, Skype and YouTube, are tapped by the US government. We now know that the disclosure of PRISM's existence came from disgruntled NSA contractor Edward Snowden
Opening the Surveillance State's Secret Courts(Bloomberg) Are we ready now for that discussion about secrecy? In December, in a holiday-season rush to reauthorize the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the U.S. Senate shot down several amendments intended to limit the powers the act grants to the government and to scale back the near-total secrecy that it authorizes
Congress Won't Defund PRISM-Style Snooping(Slate) It was largely ignored yesterday, but the House Rules Committee had two chances to strike a blow at the NSA. Both Rep. Alan Grayson and Rep. Tim Huelskamp, a Democrat and a Republican both at the edges of their party conferences, introduced amendments that would have effectively cut the purse strings for--and made it illegal to fund--anything like PRISM
What the NSA got right(FierceBigData) Edward Snowden's revelation about the NSA's daily harvest of cell phone metadata from Verizon upset many Americans. Government officials attempted to soothe the public by explaining that the data would be used to track terrorists and not everyday people. By and large that tactic worked. According to a Washington Post--Pew Research Center poll, 56 percent of Americans consider the NSA's actions acceptable
NSA Surveillance May Have Dealt Major Blow To Global Internet Freedom Efforts(Forbes) The internet has never been a perfect tool for advancing democracy and human rights. Despite the most optimistic techno-utopian projections, the internet has yet to set us free and rid the world of dictators. Critics have been right to warn us of the dangers of a single-minded approach — we should be careful not to overlook the deep historical, economic, and cultural factors that shape the world we live in today. At the same time, it is true that the internet has revolutionized the way we are able to connect with each other. We are no longer limited to our culture and geography, we can now unite around shared interests and values
What's Worse: China Hacking Vs. Pentagon Whacking?(Eurasia Review) As the Obama administration imposes gouging cuts on fundamental social spending, the White House is allocating $13 billion for the US Cyber Command, tasked with waging 'offensive cyber strikes' to defend the homeland. In 'Pentagonese' that translates
China deserves explanation of PRISM(GLobal Times) Edward Snowden, the man who blew the whistle on the American National Security Agency's PRISM project, has claimed that the US has been hacking servers in the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong for years. The Chinese diplomatic department should explicitly demand a reasonable explanation from the US government
Short-Circuiting China's Cybersnooping(Washington Times) Persistent activity by Chinese cyberspies reveals just how vulnerable America remains to digital security breaches. In the cyberworld, the playing field has leveled, and the United States, without the fortified cyberprotections to match the threat, remains target No. 1
China's Silence Is Golden On Washington Snooping(Financial Times) But now, for once, silence is golden for Beijing. In a matter of days, the Snowden leaks have turned the dynamics between China and the US over cyber security upside down. If Beijing plays it right, it could look like the victim of a US smear campaign
Keep The Focus On China Cyber Threat(Financial Times) One point must not be lost, however. The great danger of the furore over the NSA in recent days is that it will distract attention from the immense threat from China that US companies face. Yes, the US government must be accountable and transparent when it comes to the surveillance of its own citizens. But the scale of cyber espionage by China against western companies is on an altogether different scale
What we know about CSEC, Canada's eavesdropping agency(CBC.ca) Revelations about the extent of surveillance by the National Security Agency (NSA) in the U.S. have spark interest in the activities of Canada's own, highly secretive agency. Last week, media reports revealed that the NSA collected hundreds of millions
FDA wants tighter cybersecurity for medical devices(FierceMedicalDevices) As concerns about the hackability of medical devices mount around the world, the FDA is proposing tighter regulations for manufacturers, suggesting that companies include cybersecurity information along with clinical data when seeking approval
Govt rolls out new cyber security framework(I Government) "As India becomes more networked, we will become more vulnerable to cyber attack. Today, we are protected by virtue of being under-networked. As a networked country, coordinating between multiple agencies will becomes a growing challenge," says an
Litigation, Investigation, and Law Enforcement
Why does the public now listen to an U.S. government whistleblower?(Help Net Security) This is not the first time that a government whistleblower has come forward and tried to warn the U.S. public about the surveillance overreach of government agencies, but it was the first time that such revelations had such a global impact and response
Manning Case Challenges Definition of "Whistleblower"(PBS NewsHour) The court martial for Army Pfc. Bradley Manning began on June 3 in Fort Meade, Md. Manning was arrested three years ago for leaking 700,000 classified U.S. government documents to the website WikiLeaks. Manning has pled guilty to some of the lesser
Snowden Used Thumb Drive For Data(Los Angeles Times) Former National Security Agency contract employee Edward Snowden used a computer thumb drive, a portable data storage device that is supposedly barred inside the spying agency, to smuggle highly classified documents out of an NSA facility in Hawaii, according to U.S. officials
U.S. Officials Fear Leaker Has More Classified Files(Washington Post) A broad assessment of the damage caused by disclosure of documents on classified intelligence programs has concluded that the former National Security Agency contractor who claimed responsibility for the leaks probably obtained dozens of other sensitive files, U.S. officials said Thursday
Leaker's Ties To China Probed(Wall Street Journal) U.S. lawmakers briefed Thursday on the recently revealed NSA surveillance programs trained their fire on the self-described source of the leaks, Edward Snowden, suggesting he may be cooperating with the Chinese government
Hong Kong to Handle Leaker Extradition Based on Law(Bloomberg Law) Hong Kong will deal with any U.S. request to extradite Edward Snowden, the former U.S. government contractor who disclosed secret information, according to the city's legal system, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said
Leak from the National Security Agency Prompts Risk Managers to Ask New Questions(Wall Street Journal) News reports on the leak of confidential information from the NSA by a government contractor may cause Risk Managers to ask themselves a new question: What happens when your employee acts as a whistleblower to either the government or another company with whom you have a contract? Until now, the potential claim scenarios often involved an unintentional mistake or random human error
Anonymous Hacker 'ItsKahuna' Pleads Guilty to Hacking into Salt Lake City Police Website(Hack Read) An Anonymous hacker going with the handle of @ItsKahuna on Twitter from Ohio is all set to confess the cyber crime for which he was arrested few days back. He breached the security of one of the websites, which belonged to salt lake police. This site operated for five different cities namely: Utah, California, New York and Missouri. So, at the court he was charged for five different crimes
For a complete running list of events, please visit the Event Tracker on the CyberWire website.
Digital Forensics and Incident Response Summit(Austin, Texas, USA, July 9 - 10, 2013) The 6th annual Forensics and Incident Response Summit will again be held in the live musical capital of the world, Austin, Texas. The Summit will focus on high quality and extremely relevant content as...
Suits and Spooks La Jolla 2013(LaJolla, California, USA, June 15 - 16, 2013) Exploring Cyber Warfighting and Threat Mitigation for Corporations and Governments. The original concept for this event was to look at what special operations forces and corporate CERTs or SOCs have in...
25th Annual FIRST Conference(Bangkok, Thailand, June 16 - 21, 2013) The annual FIRST conference provides a setting for conference participants to attend a wide range of presentations delivered by leading experts in both the CSIRT field and from the global security community.
Hack in Paris(Paris, France, June 17 - 21, 2013) This five day event will examine forensics, malware analysis, and corporate hacking techniques, and what could be better, it is held at the Euro Disney conference center outside of Paris. It has attracted...
2013 ICAM Information Day and Expo(Washington, DC, USA, June 18, 2013) This day provides a forum for the Identity, Credential and Access Management (ICAM) community to get first-hand information on current identity management and related technologies.
Buzzword Forensics: Mobile is the Future…and the Future is Now(Laurel, Maryland, Sioux Falls, June 18, 2013) Digital forensics is evolving, as all forensic sciences must evolve. With the explosive growth of the Internet as context, the discipline of digital forensics has evolved significantly since the last millennium.
NASA National Capital Region Industry Days(Washington, DC, USA, June 25 - 27, 2013) This dedicated Information Technology Expo - sponsored by the Office of the Chief Information Officer - will serve as a focal point for NASA personnel to learn about the latest products and advances in...
AFCEA International Cyber Symposium 2013(Baltimore, Maryland, USA, June 25 - 27, 2013) Cyber threats and challenges grow every day. Successfully defending our networks requires a team approach. With this in mind, the Cyber symposium will engage the key players, including the U. S. Government,...
ShakaCon(Honolulu, Hawaii, USA, June 25 - 28, 2013) This is the fifth year this "laid back security conference in paradise" is being held. Some solid presentations and training on malware analysis and penetration testing. After all, what could be better...
American Technology Awards Technology and Government Dinner(Washington, DC, USA, June 30, 2013) TechAmerica Foundation hosts its Eleventh Annual Technology and Government Dinner at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington DC. The dinner continues to serve as the premier Washington, DC technology...
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