Cyber security analysts often predict catastrophic cyber attacks on businesses. On Tuesday one such catastrophe hit code-hosting and collaboration platform Code Spaces. The episode began with a denial-of-service attack, followed by an extortion demand. Code Spaces declined to pay, and — discovering that intruders had gained access to its Amazon EC2 control panel — changed EC2 passwords and began recovery operations. The attackers, who had created backup logins, began deleting data as soon as they noticed recovery operations underway. Within twelve hours they succeeded in destroying most of the company's data, backups, machine configurations, and offsite backups. Code Spaces announced yesterday that it would cease operations, and "concentrate on supporting our affected customers in exporting any remaining data they have left with us."
The Code Spaces hack is a disturbing example of how cyber extortion has advanced in sophistication and ferocity. Another disquieting report comes from BAE, which describes a 2013 attack on one of its clients: an unnamed (but "large") hedge fund, hit by a cyber attack that proved both technically advanced and constructed with a high level of business knowledge.
State-sponsored hacking continues. The Syrian Electronic Army reappears in its familiar mode: defacements of media websites who offense is insufficient enthusiasm for Syria's Assad regime.
Password-protected Zbot malware has been found in the wild. CryptoLocker's massive resurgence hasn't materialized, but a ransomware successor to CryptoLocker — CryptoWall — has become widely active.
The US Department of Homeland Security IG finds significant security flaws — mostly failures to patch — in USCIS RFID card production.