An attempt by "Darkshadow — an Arab Security Team" to bring travel in the Western world to a standstill fizzled last week, but it did succeed in disrupting a bus timetable in Bristol (that's Bristol, England, not Bristol, Rhode Island).
That white-hat security-testing tool LizardSquad released last week? Lizard Stresser? It's now shown up in a black-hat denial-of-service attack: 4Chan was the victim.
Friday the US imposed sanctions on North Korea, citing (in an allusive, orotund way) the Sony hack. Three North Korean business and agencies, and ten named individuals, are now prohibited from dealing with US financial institutions. US authorities are sticking to their attribution of the attack to North Korea, and say they have the intelligence to support it (but won't release such intelligence due to its sensitivity). The Feds do say they've been tracking the DPRK group responsible for years, and CrowdStrike says (in effect) us too — we call them "Silent Chollima."
On the sanctions themselves, some wonder how the Sony hack could merit additional sanctions on top of those already imposed on the DPRK, and imposed in response to what would appear to be considerably more depraved and outrageous activity. Other observers discuss the prospects of cyber deterrence and find them generally dim.
MWR InfoSecurity warns of hidden dangers of third-party apps.
UAE authorities caution against using free email accounts for financial transactions.
Microsoft tells users to beware malicious macros.
Slovenian Bitcoin exchange Bitstamp suspends operations after an apparent hack.
Two banks in Finland sustain denial-of-service attacks.
Today's issue includes events affecting Australia, Canada, China, Côte d'Ivoire, Finland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Japan, Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Slovenia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States.
4Chan DDoSed by Lizard Squad's DDoS Rent-A-Tool Lizard Stresser(TechWorm) The infamous band of hackers, Lizard Squad, which brought down the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live servers through Christmas with DDoS attack, are in the news again. This time the target is 4Chan.org, the popular image boarding website and tool used is the DDoS on rent, Lizard Stresser
The Real Cybercrime Geography(TechCrunch) When Sony Pictures was the target of a recent cyber attack, computer experts were quick to speculate that North Korea was behind the digital infiltration. Things happen quickly in the digital world, and now many experts are doubting the original idea that North Korea walked around inside Sony servers in reprisal for "The Interview"
Sony Case Among Growing Number of Cyber Ransoms: Benner(Bloomberg via Insurance Journal) Just three days before cyber-attackers crippled Sony Pictures, the hackers sent an e-mail to executives Michael Lynton and Amy Pascal that said they would do great damage to the company if they weren't paid off
Pilgrim Station's Cyber Security Plan(Wicked Local Plymouth) If the recent hacking attack on Sony hasn't grabbed your attention, it should, especially if you live in Plymouth or close to the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station
Brit Proves Google's Eric Schmidt Totally Wrong: Super Cookies Can Track Users Even When In Incognito Mode(Forbes) It was either ignorance or disingenuousness. Or it could have just been a stupid mistake. In mid-December, Google GOOGL -0.26% chairman Eric Schmidt gave some unsound advice during an interview at the Cato CATO -0.5% Institute in Washington D.C, upon being quizzed about the potential for his employer to pass on information to intelligence agencies. "If you're concerned, for whatever reason, you do not wish to be tracked by federal and state authorities, my strong recommendation is to use [Google Chrome's] incognito mode, and that's what people do," he said. Many a facepalm was landed soon after his comments were transmitted to the wider world over Twitter TWTR +1.92%
Google researcher exposes unpatched Windows 8.1 security flaw(WinBeta) A Google researcher by the name 'forshaw' found and reported a privilege escalation bug in Windows 8.1. Forshaw even reveals a PoC (Proof of Concept) program for the Windows 8.1 weakness. In it, forshaw details how to take advantage of the Windows 8.1 bug
Scandinavian banks hit with DDoS attacks(Help Net Security) The new year started poorly for Finnish bank OP Pohjola Group and its customers: the latter have been prevented from executing their online banking transactions by a DDoS attack that targeted the bank's online services starting on the last day of 2014
Sub-domain of EC-Council Website Defaced(HackRead) The Indonesian based group of hackers known from the handle of Gantengers Crew targeted the official website of The International Council of Electronic Commerce Consultants (EC-Council) and defaced one of its sub-domains two days ago
The Wild, Wild Web: How To Catch Cybercrooks(Newsweek) When cybercriminals can easily buy cheap hacking programs with exotic names like Fiesta, Lucky, Nuke, Siberia, Sploit, Tornado, Sweet Orange and Cool, what chance that anything online can remain safe? Lillian Ablon and Martin C. Libicki offer ideas for how to close down Web thieves
Overseas hacking tools find market in Japan(Japan Times) The number of overseas websites trading in hacking tools, including software for launching distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks and making remote-control viruses, is on the rise, authorities say
Bulletin (SB15-005) Vulnerability Summary for the Week of December 29, 2014(US-CERT) The US-CERT Cyber Security Bulletin provides a summary of new vulnerabilities that have been recorded by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) National Vulnerability Database (NVD) in the past week. The NVD is sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) / United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT). For modified or updated entries, please visit the NVD, which contains historical vulnerability information
Security Patches, Mitigations, and Software Updates
Security bolstered on myGov website after dire warnings(The Age) Your highly personal government records are now just that little bit safer. The federal government's online myGov portal — which allows millions of Australians to access their private government tax, health and other records — has finally introduced a long-awaited security measure experts have previously said was urgently required
PayPal Complete Account Hijacking Bug Gets Fix, No Award Given(Softpedia) A security researcher presenting his findings about a new method for stealing sensitive information from a PayPal account received no reward through the Bug Bounty Program, although security experts at the company fixed the bug the moment they checked the proof-of-concept
Cyber Security Professionals Predict Their Biggest Concerns For 2015(Forbes) With 2014 in the rear view mirror, it is fun to look forward to the year ahead and see if we can predict what may happen over the next twelve months. At the same time, predictions can prove to be very useful for businesses that are planning budgets and spending. So every December, cyber security experts begin to make their predictions on the future of information and network security
Number of cyber attacks on retailers drops by half(Help Net Security) Despite an 50 percent decline in the number of attacks against U.S. retailers, the number of records stolen from them remains at near record highs. IBM Security researchers report that in 2014, cyber attackers still managed to steal more than 61 million records from retailers despite the decline in attacks, demonstrating cyber criminal's increasing sophistication and efficiency
One billion more cyber threats in 2014(iolscitech) Online security company Kaspersky Lab's experts report considerable growth in the number of malicious attacks on user computers and mobile devices, further development of financial malware and a change in the vectors of web attacks
Sony Attack: an Australian Perspective(CSO) The cyber-attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment in late November is not the first time that the Sony Corporation has been a target for cyber-criminals and if anything can be learned from the attacks, it is that corporations are not taking cyber-security seriously
Kansas faces stream of cyber threats, official says(Kansas City Star) Sony is the latest example of a big organization getting hacked, including (possibly) by a nation-state like North Korea. But everybody gets attacked now, and nearly every day. Including the state government of Kansas
Wilson's 2015 predictions: Tech stocks, wearables, cybersecurity, Bitcoin(Seeking Alpha) "Safety used to mean gold, US treasuries, and blue chip stocks. Now it means Google, Apple, Amazon, and Facebook," says high-profile VC Fred Wilson while offering his 2015 predictions. Though believing rising interest rates and low oil prices will trigger "a noticeable flight to safety," he sees major tech firms continuing to have easy access to capital
Fortinet: How To Ride The Cyber Security Wave Into 2015(Seeking Alpha) Cyber Security has gained attention in the last year but the attention is not over, especially with the cloud and Internet of Things becoming central to our every day lives. Fortinet Inc. is a solid midcap company with zero debt and rising revenue. Although the company is trading at a higher price than others of the same sector, a recent buy signal has materialized on its trend upwards in 2014
Nice-Systems Ltd Downgraded to Neutral at Zacks (NICE)(Midesat Times) Zacks lowered shares of Nice-Systems Ltd (NASDAQ:NICE) from an outperform rating to a neutral rating in a research report released on Friday morning. Zacks currently has $54.70 price objective on the stock
Tangible Security Just Raised $6 Million(DCInno) McLean, Va.-based cybersecurity company Tangible Security has raised $6 million in equity according to an SEC filing on Thursday. The company specializes in cybersecurity contracts for the U.S. defense and intelligence agencies. The company is headquartered in Columbia, Md. but has its operations office in McLean
Mighty morphin' exfiltrators(Fortune) A novel approach to cyber security may allow Shape Security to use the architecture of the Web to protect a company's employees
EU Research Group Names G DATA most Innovative Cyber Security Company(IT Business Net) EU community project IPACSO (Innovation Framework for Privacy and Cyber Security Market Opportunities) honoured IT security companies and technologies from all over Europe for the first time this year. In the "Innovative Cyber Security Company" category, the jury consisting of researchers and companies named G DATA as the most innovative IT security provider in Europe
AVG AntiVirus 2015 Review: Lightweight Security for Your PC(JBG News) A lot of antivirus programs available these days tend to have a lot of extra features that make them more like computer security suites than just straight-up antivirus software. While they may be enticing due to their purported Swiss knife style versatility, they could also make the system run sluggishly. Due to this, many customers have turned to more lightweight security solutions that won't bog computers down while still catching anything and everything malicious that may try to get in
Triaging a System Infected with Poweliks(Journey Into Incident Response) Change is one of the only constants in incident response. In time most things will change; technology, tools, processes, and techniques all eventually change. The change is not only limited to the things we rely on to be the last line of defense for our organizations and/or customers. The threats we are protecting them against change too. One recent example is the Angler exploit kit incorporating fileless malware. Malware that never hits the hard drive is not new but this change is pretty significant. An exploit kit is using the technique so the impact is more far reaching than the previous instances where fileless malware has been used (to my knowledge.) In this post I'm walking through the process one can use to triage a system potentially impacted by fileless malware. The post is focused on Poweliks but the process applies to any fileless malware
Defensible network architecture(Internet Storm Center) For the nearly 20 years since Zwicky, Cooper and Chapman first wrote about Firewalls the firewall has been the primary defense mechanism of nearly every entity attached to the Internet. While perimeter protection is still important in the modern enterprise, the fact is that the nature of Internet business has vastly changed and the crunchy perimeter and squishy inside approach has long since become outdated. You can't deny what you must permit and the primary attack vectors today appear to be email and browser exploits; two aspects of your business model that you cannot do without and which can give the bad guys a foothold inside your perimeter protections
Lock your cloud backups away with an encryption key(Macworld) It's generally easier to keep safe the files we have under our control, on our internal and external drives, than those that waft far away from us on cloud-storage backup systems. Different backup services handle how they send data for storage and how they encrypt it once it arrives
3 Lessons Startups Can Learn from the Sony Hack(Tech Cocktail) Recently, the world watched a drama fit for Hollywood unfold before its eyes. There was espionage, dangerous threats, embarrassing revelations, ultimatums, and of course, a rogue nation state behind the sinister plot. And like any great movie, the good guys triumphed in the end
The Cybersecurity Tipping Point(TechCrunch) As we bear witness to the aftermath of major attacks this year against the likes of Target, Home Depot, Neiman Marcus and most recently, Sony, it becomes clear that we are entering an entirely new "war" against cyber crime. Those who do not change their approach will lose
Who’s Attacking Whom? Realtime Attack Trackers(KrebsOnSecurity) It seems nearly every day we're reading about Internet attacks aimed at knocking sites offline and breaking into networks, but it's often difficult to visualize this type of activity. In this post, we'll take a look at multiple services for tracking online attacks and attackers around the globe and in real-time
The best digital security is analog: expert(The Age) Richard Danzig, vice chairman of the global security think tank RAND Corporation and a former secretary of the United States Navy, says it is time to incorporate analog systems into cybersecurity
Israel Seeks Space, Cyber Cooperation with Japan(Defense News) The Israeli Cabinet on Sunday approved an investment plan aimed at strengthening trade ties with Japan across a spectrum of sectors, including space- and cyber-related research and development
Offshoring Data Won't Protect It From The NSA(TechCrunch) The United States is the physical hub of the global Internet. Data from around the globe crosses gateways and servers in the United States. This basic fact, obscured by hazy visions of a borderless Internet cloud, is part of what accounts for global dismay at the revelations of extensive spying by the National Security Agency
Sony hack could be game changer(The Hill) The high-profile hack at Sony Pictures has injected new urgency into the years-old push for cybersecurity legislation, with a broad spectrum of lawmakers suddenly vowing to take action in the new Congress
Coburn report: Department of Homeland Security is failing in all of its missions(Examiner) On January 3, 2015, Senator Tom Coburn released the report that outlines his findings pertaining to the efficacy of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in executing its primary missions. Senator Coburn has been a member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee since 2005. The report finds that the DHS is failing miserably in every one of its stated missions. Since criticizing the DHS is an unspoken taboo for most of the mainstream media, this report was released on Saturday and received very little press coverage. Traditional reporting typically defends the DHS by telling the viewing audiences that the agency is comprised of "our best," all of whom are risking their lives to protect the nation. In reality, neither of those statements holds water
Cyber spies on the rise in U.S. technology(Herald and News) Dangers are growing in cyberspace. Not only are thieves learning to siphon off millions of credit card numbers and email addresses but elaborate pieces of malware are capable of spying on whole organizations for long periods of time, capturing computer screens, keystrokes and data, transmitting it all to distant servers without being detected
For a complete running list of events, please visit the Event Tracker on the CyberWire website.
Cybersecurity World Conference(New York, New York, USA, January 9, 2015) Welcome to Cyber Security World Conference 2015 where renowned information security experts will bring their latest thinking to hundreds of senior business executives and officials focused on protecting...
California Cybersecurity Task Force Quarterly Meeting(Walnut Creek, California, USA, January 20, 2015) The California Cyber Security Task Force serves as an advisory body to California's senior government administration in matters pertaining to Cyber Security. Quarterly Cybersecurity Task Force meetings...
FIC 2015(Lille, France, January 20 - 21, 2015) The International Cybersecurity Forum (FIC) forms part of a thinking and exchange process that aims at promoting a pan-European vision of cybersecurity and strengthening the fight against cybercrime, a...
Data Privacy Day San Diego — The Future of IoT and Privacy(San Diego, California, USA, January 28, 2015) Join the Lares Institute, Morrison & Foerster, and the National Cyber Security Alliance for Data Privacy Day in San Diego. DPD San Diego will bring together privacy luminaries to discuss fundamental issues...
SPONSOR & SUPPORT
Grow your brand and reach new customers.
Grow your brand and increase your customer base by educating our audience about your products, services, and events by advertising on The CyberWire. We’ve built trust with an influential (and often hard to reach) audience of CISOs, CSOs, and other senior execs in the security space, across a wide array of industry verticals. Learn more.
Be a part of the CyberWire story.
People ask us (a lot) how they can support what we do. We have our sponsorships and services, of course, but those are not always within every supporter's financial reach, or it might just not be the right time for you to do those things. That's why we launched our new Patreon site, where we've created a wider variety of support levels, each with some new benefits. Our patrons are important to our future, and we hope you'll consider becoming one. We invite you to become part of the CyberWire story. Become a patron today.