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The ShadowBrokers resurface. They've tried with indifferent success to auction off attack tools they claimed (in implausibly broken English) to have obtained by guile or hacking from NSA; they're now holding what Heimdal Security calls a "yard sale." Much of what they've got spread across their virtual front yard consists of Windows malware, especially the unappealingly named "DanderSpritz" remote administration tool.

We saw yesterday that WikiLeaks deleted a Tweet that appeared to indicate its intent to build a database about verified Twitter users. The WikiLeaks Task Force, which describes itself as the "Official @WikiLeaks support account," said it was merely interested in building a database that would display relationships. Many saw instead the beginnings of doxing capability effort. WikiLeaks calls this misperception; it blames the "dishonest press" for scaring people.

The US FDA confirms that St. Jude cardiac devices are vulnerable to cyberattack. St. Jude patches this week.

Verizon may still walk away from its acquisition of Yahoo!'s core assets, but Yahoo! is acting as if it's a done deal, announcing the resignation of several leaders (including CEO Marissa Meyer) and renaming itself "Altaba." The rump company would be an investment firm.

Northrop Grumman sells Blue Vector to LLR Partners.

Germany and the UK are looking at developing better information operations and (in the case of the UK) offensive cyber capabilities.

Russia's Putin decries a US hacking "witch hunt."

California (aided by Mandiant) says a nation-state breached Anthem. The responsible nation isn't named, but most observers think it was China.

Notes.

Today's issue includes events affecting China, Germany, Indonesia, NATO/OTAN, Russia, Syria, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States.

In today's CyberWire podcast we hear from our partners at the University of Maryland, as Jonathan Katz reviews various forms of encryption. Our guest is Uri Sternfeld of Cybereason, who describes RansomFree, the company's free ransomware detection tool.

If you've been enjoying the podcasts, please consider giving us an iTunes review.

A special edition of our Podcast is also available. It covers buying cyber security. Every day there seems to be a new security product on the market, with many of them claiming to provide something that you simply can’t live without. Companies appear and disappear, and businesses are faced with difficult, confusing, and often expensive choices. In this CyberWire special edition, we explore how businesses are navigating the process of choosing products and technologies in a crowded marketplace. We talk to some key stakeholders to find out what drives their purchasing decisions, and what they wished their vendors knew before they came knocking on their doors.

Cyber Attacks, Threats, and Vulnerabilities

Security Alert: The Shadow Brokers are Trying to Push Windows Hacking Tools to Mass Market (Heimdal Security) Find out which tools cybercriminals can buy for 750 Bitcoins to compromise Windows systems

WikiLeaks wants to create a database of verified Twitter users and who they interact with (Terrorism Watch) WikiLeaks tweeted Friday that it wanted to build a database of information about Twitter’s verified users, including personal relationships that might have influence on their lives

Mac malware targets Apple users with denial of service attack (Computing) Internet becomes a jungle for Safari users

MongoDB Attacks Jump from Hundred to 28.000 in Just Days (Threatpost) Security researchers report a massive uptick in the number of MongoDB databases hijacked and held for ransom. On Monday, researcher Niall Merrigan reported 28,000 misconfigured MongoDB were attacked by more than a dozen hacker groups. That’s sharp increase from last week when 2,000 MongoDB had been hijacked by two or three criminals

MongoDB databases suffer huge ransomware attacks (Computing) Over 27,000 servers compromised as hackers steal and delete data from unpatched or poorly-configured systems

LA Valley College Paid $28k Cyber-Ransom to Hackers (KABC (ABC 7)) Los Angeles Valley College paid a cyber-ransom in order to get back online after the school's computer network came under attack, officials confirmed

Ransomware Ascending – Part 2 (Trustifier) Despite a number of wake-up calls, the infosec industry has not provided better defensive capability to businesses

49% of businesses fell victim to cyber ransom attacks in 2016 (Tech Republic) Ransom is the top motivation behind cyber attacks, according to a report from Radware, and IT professionals are most concerned about data loss. Here's what you need to know

Will 2017 be the year of ransomworm? (Help Net Security) It’s safe to say that 2016 was the year of ransomware. More specifically, the year of crypto-ransomware, that nefarious variant that encrypts files and holds them captive until a ransom is paid. Since the release of Cryptolocker in late 2013, crypto-ransomware has exploded, and 2016 was a banner year

FDA confirms that St. Jude's cardiac devices can be hacked (CNN) It's official: Hearts can be hacked

Realtors Be Aware: You Are a Target (SAS Internet Storm Center) Real estate transactions are some of the higher value transactions performed by individuals and organizations. They often exceed hundreds of thousands of dollars in value, and for commercial properties, millions of dollars are quite normal. Many buyers and sellers are not familiar with what is normal when it comes to real estate transactions. Over the last few years, we have seen this exploited in a specific form of "Business E-Mail Compromise," where an attacker is injecting e-mails into conversations to trick the victim to transfer money to the wrong account

Hello Kitty database leaked to the web, 3.3 million fans affected (CSO) The incorrectly configured Sanrio database was copied prior to being fixed, a feat that went unnoticed for more than a year

City regulator FCA admits losing thousands of sensitive documents (Computing) Regulator forced to admit to multiple data breaches following Freedom of Information request

iCloud Glitch? Woman buys iPhone, finds contact details of top celebs (HackRead) Those celebrities include Adele, Nick Grimshaw, Emma Bunton and many others

Krebs’s Immutable Truths About Data Breaches (KrebsOnSecurity) I’ve had several requests for a fresh blog post to excerpt something that got crammed into the corner of a lengthy story published here Sunday: A list of immutable truths about data breaches, cybersecurity and the consequences of inaction

Security Patches, Mitigations, and Software Updates

St. Jude Medical Patches Vulnerable Cardiac Devices (Threatpost) St. Jude Medical today released an update for the Merlin@home Transmitter medical device that includes a patch for vulnerabilities made public last year in a controversial disclosure by research company MedSec Holdings and hedge fund Muddy Waters

Abbott releases cyber updates for St. Jude devices after government probe (CNBC) Abbott Laboratories is releasing cyber security updates for its St. Jude heart devices, it said on Monday, some five months after the U.S. government launched a probe into claims they were vulnerable to potentially life-threatening hacks

Cyber Trends

John McAfee’s 3 major cybersecurity predictions for 2017 (CSO) Cybersecurity luminary John McAfee says IoT DDoS attacks will cause even more harm this year

IoT Denial of Service Botnets and SCADA Attacks to Plague 2017 (Infosecurity Magazine) With 2016 now behind us, it’s time to reflect on the security incidents that troubled our year and look to the challenges ahead. Security experts have been issuing some pretty grim predictions for 2017, especially as we prepare for an Internet of Things (IoT) revolution caused by the increased number of devices becoming available on the market

After a terrible year for cybersecurity, will 2017 be any better? (Help Net Security) From a cybersecurity perspective, 2016 was a very devastating year for companies, schools, government agencies, organizations and even presidential campaigns. What we’ve learned from a record year for breaches, hacks, phishing, malware, and ransomware is what we’ve known all along: cyber criminals are clever and they are not bound by any rules or real strategy

KPMG: Cybercriminals Set to Get ‘Creative’ in 2017 (Infosecurity Magazine) IoT threats, new EU data laws and the industrialization of cybercrime are all set to dominate the agenda as we head into 2017, according to professional services giant KPMG

New year, new patches: A look back and what to expect in the future (Help Net Security) As to be expected when ringing in a new year, there are predictions galore flooding social media and that includes the cybersecurity space. Predications are more than just possibilities when it comes to landscape we now know as IoT-based on the trends that ushered out 2016

What is the REAL risk in cyber risk? (Computing) Peter Cochrane worries whether a general news climate for FUD may make our online security difficulties worse in 2017

Marketplace

Information security consulting market to reach $26.15 billion by 2021 (Help Net Security) According to a new report by MarketsandMarkets, the information security consulting market is estimated to grow from $16.12 billion in 2016 to $26.15 billion by 2021, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 10.2%

Cyber security scare stories could sharpen focus at banks (ComputerWeekly) The banking sector is known for a lack of reporting of attempted cyber attacks, so the security industry plays an important role in shedding light on the scope of the challenges and risks faced by banks

‘Fear factor pushing up cyber-insurance premiums’ (Naked Security) Awareness of the risks attached to technology is generally held to be a good thing, and indeed Naked Security is among those publications that would promote it. There’s a downside, however: according to CFC Underwriting, the fear of security incidents is driving cyber-insurance premiums up in the UK – and contacts have suggested it will go further than that

Yahoo! Is Dead, Will Now Be Called ‘Altaba' (Motherboard) Say goodbye to Yahoo

Mayer, others to resign from Yahoo board; company to be named Altaba (USA Today) Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, co-founder David Filo and others plan to resign from the company's board when it completes its $4.8 billion sale to Verizon

Yahoo to change name as chief executive Marissa Mayer resigns (CRN) Yahoo chief executive Marissa Mayer will resign from the board of directors once its sale to communications giant Verizon is complete

Northrop divests commercial cyber business to LLR Partners (Washington Technology) Northrop Grumman has sold BluVector, a next-generation machine learning threat detection and cyber hunting solution, to LLR Partners. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed

LLR Partners Acquires BluVector from Northrop Grumman (Yahoo! Finance) LLR Partners today announced the acquisition of BluVector, an advanced, next-generation machine learning threat detection and cyber hunting solution, from Northrop Grumman Corporation (NOC). Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. BluVector will operate as a standalone business led by CEO Kris Lovejoy, who previously served as president of the business unit within Northrop Grumman. LLR Partners has committed $50 million to BluVector to support the acquisition and future growth plans

Exclusive: Ex-NSA Cyber Boss Named Fortinet Information Security Chief (Fortune) Philip Quade, former special assistant for cyber to the director of the National Security Agency, has joined the network security company Fortinet as its first chief information security officer

Products, Services, and Solutions

Denim Group Announces Enhanced ThreadFix Platform (Businesswire) Superior features provide holistic view of application security posture; enables companies to hone in on critical vulnerabilities across shared components

The Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted, but the Revolutionary’s Release Might Be (Foreign Policy) Twitter couldn't overthrow authoritarian governments. Can it at least help those they put in prison?

What’s the Value of Threat Intelligence? Actual Customer-Reported Metrics (Recorded Future Blog) Threat intelligence is now a staple for information security teams looking to be proactive, leaving many analysts pressured to demonstrate its real value

Onion Browser goes free for privacy-conscious iOS users, citing 'recent events' (Graham Cluley) One less excuse not to protect your browsing online

CISSP Planning Kit: Your guide to CISSP certification and beyond (Help Net Security) Studying for the CISSP exam can seem overwhelming, which is why (ISC)2 developed this quick guide. Download this planning kit for a CISSP overview, study tips, preview of how to maintain your certification, and more

Technologies, Techniques, and Standards

This tool can help weed out hard-coded keys from software projects (CSO) Truffle Hog can find access tokens and keys that are 20 characters or longer inside source code repositories

5 cyber resolutions for 2017 (Orlando Business Journal) As we jump into the new year, here are five key resolutions to add to your list to have a cyber-secure 2017

Design and Innovation

The Limitations Of Phishing Education (Dark Reading) Human nature means that education will only go so far. Technology needs to take up the slack

Academia

Cybersecurity Law Initiative (GW Law) GW Law is a premier institution for the study of cybersecurity law. The Cybersecurity Law Initiative was launched in January 2017 to bring together the law school's nationally recognized strengths with expertise from across the university. The Initiative hosts regular events on cybersecurity law and technology that are open to GW students as well as members of the public

UNH students battle cyber crime, fighting new war waged online (WTNH) Collecting evidence from seized drones. Helping law enforcement determine who the owner is and if they’ve been illegally flown

Legislation, Policy, and Regulation

Russian propaganda, cyber security, Trump - inside NATO's comms operation (PRWeek) PRWeek UK heads to Brussels to meet NATO's principal spokesperson, Oana Lungescu, to discuss the US president elect, Russia's propaganda machine and the rising cyber-security threat

Germany's plan to fight fake news (Christian Science Monitor Passcode) Warning that Russian disinformation campaigns are the new normal, German officials have proposed efforts to hunt down and eradicate fake news and other defamatory information from the internet

UK launches inquiry into national cyber security following alleged US DNC hacking by Russia (First Post) The UK has announced that it has launched an inquiry into cyber security, following the alleged interference by Russian intelligence agencies in the US presidential election of 2016. The UK has announced that it will treat any cyber attacks with the same severity as conventional attacks. A comprehensive cyber security strategy is being formulated, with a budget of £1.9 billion (roughly Rs 190 cr) allocated till 2021

Parliament Inquiry to Tackle Growing Cyber Threat (Infosecurity Magazine) Parliament has launched a new inquiry into the UK’s cybersecurity posture as fears mount over the threat to critical infrastructure, businesses and the democratic process posed by foreign hackers

Opinion: The same government that brought you the Snoopers' Charter now wants to control the press - all of it (Computing) If you don't support the IP Act, why support what amounts to press censorship from the same people?

Obama Uses Executive Order Authority to Respond to Malicious Russian Cyber Activity - President Amends EO 13964 From April 2015 in Answer to Attacks on U.S. Electoral System (JDSupra) President Barack Obama used the Cybersecurity Executive Order (EO) 13964 for the first time ever and amended it to include the U.S. electoral system as part of critical infrastructure. The EO was issued in response to intelligence community findings that the Russian government engaged in malicious cyber activity with respect to the U.S. electoral system. Under the new provisions, the President sanctioned nine Russian entities and individuals: two Russian intelligence services, four individual officers of the intelligence services and three Russian companies that provided "material support." U.S. companies and persons doing business in Russia will need to carefully review the underlying parameters of the original and amended EO to ensure that any business with the sanctioned entities and individuals ceases

In the world of cyber global security, is the United States still at the top? (Kansas City Star) After decades of being an overwhelming force in all global security matters, there seems to be growing evidence that at least in the cyber world, the United States is now facing a somewhat leveled playing field

McCaul on U.S. Cyber Security: ‘The Enemy Is Winning’ (CNSNews) House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) said at a press conference in the nation’s capital on Thursday that when it comes to U.S. cyber security, the country is on the losing end

The DNC Hack Demonstrates the Need for Cyber-Specific Deterrents (Lawfare) Nearly half a year after the DNC hack, the United States finally took action. Citing the role of the Russian government in cyber operations apparently intended to affect the U.S. presidential election, as well as harassment of U.S. officials abroad, the Obama Administration imposed sanctions on five Russian entities (including Russia’s two leading intelligence services) and four individuals, expelled 35 suspected Russian intelligence operatives, shut down two U.S.-based Russian compounds, and released information on Russian cyber practices

Former DHS head urges Trump to see economic dangers from cyberattacks (CSO) Ridge says Russian meddling in U.S. election is a reminder of the cybersecurity risks to government and private sector

John Kelly’s Homeland Security Hearing: 3 Questions Congress Must Ask (Wired) Marine General John Kelly, President-elect Donald Trump’s pick to head the Department of Homeland Security, has his confirmation hearing with the Senate Homeland Security Committee today. Kelly is a four-star general who served in the Persian Gulf War and the Iraq War, worked alongside Defense Secretaries Leon Panetta and Robert Gates, and led US Southern Command, which oversees US military action in South America and Central Asia. Now he’s being tasked with defending the US and its citizens from harm at home

Rules complicate the execution of cyberattacks (C4ISRNET) Despite the recognition five years ago of cyberspace as an operational domain of warfare, the military and U.S. government as a whole are still experiencing growing pains; one in particular surrounds the rules for cyber effects

How the Pentagon is shaping cyber tool use (C4ISRNET) One critique of the way in which cyber operations are managed is that it limits the responsiveness and overall options for a commander. Part I of this two-part series focused on the underlying dilemma surrounding the cyber authorities question. Here, we consider how the White House and the Department of Defense could shape the discussion surrounding the effects of cyber capabilities

No more excuses: Army secretary orders shutdown of hundreds of data centers (Federal News Radio) Saying the Army has dragged its feet for too long in implementing its share of the now seven-year-old Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative, Army Secretary Eric Fanning has issued highly detailed orders to three-and-four star generals in the Army’s headquarters and functional and geographic commands, telling them precisely what must be done to close 60 percent of the service’s 1,200 data centers by the end of 2018 and 75 percent by 2025

Privacy legislation reintroduced for mail older than 180 days (CSO) The bill would require law enforcement to get a warrant to read mails older than 180 days

State election systems to get more federal aid for security (Federal Times) Citing increasingly sophisticated cyber bad actors and an election infrastructure that's "vital to our national interests," Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson is designating U.S. election systems critical infrastructure, a move that provides more federal help for state and local governments to keep their election systems safe from tampering

How businesses should prepare for China’s new Cyber Security Law (Information Age) On 10 October 2016, the second draft of China's new Cyber Security Law was released. On 7 November 2016, the draft became law. It will come into effect on 1 June 2017

A New Cyber Agency for Indonesia? (Diplomat) Indonesia stands on the cusp of setting up a cyber agency amid grown threats

Litigation, Investigation, and Law Enforcement

California: A Foreign Government Responsible for Massive Anthem Breach (Infosecurity Magazine) The massive data breach of health insurance giant Anthem, which affected 78.8 million consumer records, was carried out by a “foreign government,” according to the California Department of Insurance

Snoopers' Charter to be challenged by crowdfunded legal action (Computing) Investigatory Powers Bill set for additional scrutiny as Liberty attempts to raise £10,000 to fight 'sweeping state spying powers'

Former CIA director says hackings are "a Russia problem" more than cyber issue (CBS News) Former CIA and NSA director Gen. Michael Hayden joins "CBS This Morning" from Washington to discuss the recent intelligence report on how Russia tried to influence the U.S. elections. Hayden says the Obama administration was "too timid" in responding to the cyberattacks, and he wants to know what the Trump administration will do about Russia

Russia: US fueling 'witch hunt' with election hacking claims (CSO) Incoming U.S. President Donald Trump has been skeptical over claims that Russia was involved

Advisors: Trump Now Accepts that Russia Hacked the Election (Infosecurity Magazine) In a major reversal of rhetoric, top advisors now say that Donald Trump no longer denies that Russia orchestrated the cyber-attack against the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign

Cyber-Security: There’s No Disputin’ that Old Vlad Putin (American Thinker) Recently we’ve heard a lot of loose talk about how the November election was “hacked” by the Russians. If one Googles “election,” “hack,” and “Russians” without quotation marks, one is liable to get 20,100,000 hits. So, the president ordered up an investigation, and our intelligence agencies have assured us that there is “no evidence” that vote tallies were affected. These are the same agencies that assured us that the existence of WMD in Iraq was a “slam dunk"

Stock-tanking in St. Jude Medical security disclosure might have legs (CSO) Security firm MedSec and St. Jude Medical are in legal battle over suspected flaws in medical devices

North Carolina Man Pleads Guilty To Hacking Senior Govt. Officials (Dark Reading) Justin Liverman, known online as D3F4ULT, allegedly breached a government database and publicized confidential information

NHS IT director jailed for taking bribe to award IT contracts (Computing) Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust director of infomatics took £80k in return for awarding a £950,000 IT contract

For a complete running list of events, please visit the Event Tracker on the CyberWire website.

Newly Noted Events

Insider Threat Program Development Training For NISPOM CC 2 (Aberdeen, Maryland, USA, August 10 - 11, 2016) Insider Threat Defense will hold a two-day training class on Insider Threat Program Development (National Insider Threat Policy-NISPOM Conforming Change 2). For a limited time the training is being offered...

Insider Threat Program Development Training For NISPOM CC 2 (Aberdeen, Maryland, USA, August 10 - 11, 2016) Insider Threat Defense will hold a two-day training class on Insider Threat Program Development (National Insider Threat Policy-NISPOM Conforming Change 2). For a limited time the training is being offered...

CanSecWest (, January 1, 1970) CanSecWest, the world's most advanced conference focusing on applied digital security, is about bringing the industry luminaries together in a relaxed environment which promotes collaboration and social...

Hack In the Box Security Conference (Amsterdam, the Netherlands, April 10 - 14, 2017) Back again at the NH Grand Krasnapolsky, HITB2017AMS takes place from the 10th till 14th of April 2017 and features a new set of 2 and 3-day technical trainings followed by a 2-day conference with a Capture ...

Atlantic Security Conference (Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, April 27 - 28, 2017) Atlantic Canada's non-profit, annual information security conference. AtlSecCon, the first security conference in Eastern Canada focusing on bringing some of the worlds brightest and darkest minds together...

Northsec Applied Security Event (Montreal, Québec, Canada, May 18 - 21, 2017) The conference will feature technical and applied workshops hosted in parallel for the most motivated attendees. Topics include application and infrastructure (pentesting, network security, software and/or...

Sector (Toronto, Ontario, Canada, November 13 - 15, 2017) Illuminating the Black Art of Security. Now entering its 11th year, SecTor has built a reputation of bringing together experts from around the world to share their latest research and techniques involving...

Upcoming Events

SANS Security East 2017 (New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, January 9 - 14, 2017) Start the year off right by choosing from outstanding, cutting-edge courses presented by our top-rated instructors. SANS is looking forward to an exciting kickoff of 2017 with SANS Security East 2017 in...

S4X17 ICS Security Conference (Miami Beach, Florida, USA, January 10 - 12, 2017) Three Days of advanced ICS cybersecurity on three stages with the top 500 people in ICS security. Main Stage - The big names (Richard Clarke, Renee Tarun, ...) and forward looking topics (ICS certification,...

Suits and Spooks DC 2017 (Arlington, Virginia, USA, January 11 - 12, 2017) “What we are creating now is a monster whose influence is going to change history, provided there is any history left.” (John von Neumann) When John von Neumann said those words in 1952, he didn’t mean...

Global Institute CISO Series Accelerating the Rise & Evolution of the 21st Century CISO (Scottsdale, Arizona, USA, January 11 - 12, 2017) These intimate workshops address the challenges that Board of Directors are placing on security and risk executives, and how to successfully manage and communicate today’s enterprise and organizational...

Cybersecurity of Critical Infrastructure Summit 2017 (College Station, Texas, USA, January 11 - 13, 2017) An inaugural event to convene thought-leaders, experts, and strategic decision makers from government, industry, and academia to discuss the technology and policy implications of the ever-evolving cyber-threats...

ShmooCon 2017 (Washington, DC, USA, January 15 - 17, 2017) ShmooCon is an annual east coast hacker convention hell-bent on offering three days of an interesting atmosphere for demonstrating technology exploitation, inventive software and hardware solutions, and...

SANS Las Vegas 2017 (Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, January 23 - 28, 2017) Attend SANS Las Vegas 2017, where SANS will provide outstanding courses in IT security, forensics, and security management presented by the best cybersecurity teachers in the country. At SANS events you...

BlueHat IL (Tel Aviv, Israel, January 24 - 25, 2017) Announcing BlueHat IL – a special edition of Microsoft's leading cyber security conference for top professionals, to be held for the very first time in Tel Aviv, Israel. Over the past 10 years, BlueHat conferences have drawn the brightest minds in security to discuss key industry challenges. And now, BlueHat IL is here to crank it up by exploring and creating new cyber security thoughts and boundaries. This exclusive, by invitation only, single track event will host top cyber security professionals from around the world, who will come together to tackle the present and peek into the future. It will feature brilliant speakers and focus on breakthrough research, key trends and emerging threats in the field. Registration closes December 28.

SANS Cyber Threat Intelligence Summit & Training 2017 (Arlington, Virginia, USA, January 25 - February 1, 2017) Join SANS at this innovative Summit as we focus on enabling organizations to build effective cyber threat intelligence analysis capabilities. Most organizations are familiar with threat intelligence, but...

Blockchain Protocol and Security Engineering (Stanford, California, USA, January 26 - 27, 2017) This conference will explore the use of formal methods, empirical analysis, and risk modeling to better understand security and systemic risk in blockchain protocols. The conference aims to foster multidisciplinary...

National Credit Union - Information Sharing & Analysis Organization - 2017 Tech Conference (Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA, January 31 - February 2, 2017) Join us for three days of Cyber Security topics that are pertinent to Credit Union cyber resilience, real-time security situational awareness information sharing, and coordinated response in the global...

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