Cyber Attacks, Threats, and Vulnerabilities
Germany says 'acute threat' of hack averted after detection (Fifth Domain) Following a report by news agency dpa on Wednesday, the government acknowledged its network had been infiltrated but downplayed the possible harm done.
Kremlin dismisses allegation Russia behind German cyber attack (Business Insider) Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Friday dismissed a suggestion that Russian hackers were behind a cyber attack in Germany, saying that Russia was now being blamed for any such attack and without any proof.
Lamar Smith says Russian bots are trying to cripple US energy production (Ars Technica) Russian bots stirred pipeline trouble. Was it sowing divisions or targeting energy?
Leaked: Secret Documents From Russia’s Election Trolls (The Daily Beast) An online auction gone awry reveals substantial new details on Kremlin-backed troll farm efforts to stir up real protests and target specific Americans to push their propaganda.
Facebook Doesn't Know How Many People Followed Russians on Instagram (WIRED) By leaving Instagram followers off the public record, Columbia researcher Jonathan Albright says Facebook is making the Russians trolls' true audience appear artificially low.
Meet Russia's trolls: From standup comic to a Siberian Jay Z (Fifth Domain) They are the 13 Russians indicted by a grand jury in Washington in a sweeping conspiracy to defraud the United States and its political system, including the 2016 presidential election, via bogus social media posts and other “information warfare.”
McAfee Uncovers Operation Honeybee, a Malicious Document Campaign Targeting Humanitarian Aid Groups (McAfee Blogs) McAfee Advanced Threat Research analysts have discovered a new operation targeting humanitarian aid organizations and using North Korean political topics as bait to lure victims into opening malicious
New LTE attacks open users to eavesdropping, fake messages, location spoofing (Help Net Security) Researchers have uncovered ten new 4G LTE attacks that be used to achieve things like impersonating existing users, spoofing the location of the victim device, delivering fake emergency and warning messages, eavesdropping on SMS communications, and more.
Security researchers identify new vulnerability affecting Pivotal Spring projects (Computing) Researchers imaginatively dub the new vulnerability Spring Break
CERTs warn on botnets, kernel bugs (FCW) Separate cybersecurity alerts from DHS indicate new botnet attack vectors and updates the list of industrial control system vendors facing Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities.
Fake DHL Shipment Notification delivers a password stealer keylogger (My Online Security) Following on from this earlier password stealer, keylogger malware campaign we are now seeing a slightly different campaign but looks like the same sort of malware, although not an auto it trojan this time.
Inside a New DDoS Amplification Attack Vector via Memcached Servers (Blog | Imperva) We recently saw a new DDoS amplification attack vector via memcached servers that culminated in two massive DDoS amplification attacks on February 28. Both attacks were mitigated successfully. Here’s how memchached servers work and how the attacks unfolded. Memcached servers Unless updated within the last two days, memcached servers listen on UDP port 11211 by …
DDoS Amplification Attacks are Ransom Notes (KoDDoS Blog) Memcached servers have been exploited in creating the largest ever DDoS attack. Now, researchers say that traffic was embedded with ransom notes, requesting Monero.
Cryptocurrency ransom demands popped up in recent cyberattacks (Mashable) Monero is an appealing form of cryptocurrency for cyberattackers due to the privacy it affords.
North Korea Obtained 11,000 bitcoins in 2017, Expert Says (Bitcoin News) North Korea may have made over $200 million USD from cryptocurrency transactions last year, according to a former NSA official.
The Vulnerability Nobody Wants to Fix (Medium) On the dangers of In Browser Cryptocurrency Mining, and how I got 1000s of computers to mine for me.
Malicious Bash Script with Multiple Features (SANS Internet Storm Center) It’s not common to find a complex malicious bash script. Usually, bash scripts are used to download a malicious executable and start it.
Number of Sites Hosting Cryptocurrency Miners Surges 725% in 4 Months (Dark Reading) The dramatic increase in cryptocurrency prices, especially for Monero, is behind the sudden explosive growth, says Cyren.
Cryptomining Gold Rush: One Gang Rakes In $7M Over 6 Months (Threatpost) Report outlines lucrative rise of nefarious cyrptoming groups and their complex new business models.
Pay us bitcoin or never see your files again: Inside the highly profitable underworld of ransomware (The Denver Post) Ransomware is one of the most lucrative criminal enterprises in the U.S. and internationally, with the FBI estimating total payments are nearing $1 billion. Experts at Broomfield’s Webroot sh…
Psychology of Ransomware: How Extortionists Use Fear, Anger and Humor to Hold Your Data Hostage (Infosecurity Magazine) Examining the psychology of ransomware attacks and how cyber-criminals prey on our intrinsic human emotions to get what they want.
Amazon scrambles to fix cloud networking issue affecting companies like Atlassian, Twilio (CNBC) The biggest public cloud in the world found itself facing networking issues in its major Virginia region of data centers.
UK charities vulnerable to hackers, says National Cyber Security Centre (Times) Charities who help to carry out government initiatives in foreign countries are susceptible to hackers hired by rogue states, according to the arm of GCHQ which protects against the cyber threat.
One in Eight Open Source Components Contain Flaws (Infosecurity Magazine) One in Eight Open Source Components Contain Flaws. Sonatype research claims number downloaded in UK has soared 120%
Equifax breach could be most expensive hack in history (CRN Australia) Costs expected to grow by another US$275 million this year.
Little progress following Equifax breach fallout (Atlanta Journal Constitution) It's been nearly six months since the Equifax hack was first exposed, and Congress has done little to strengthen
Security Patches, Mitigations, and Software Updates
New stable Tor releases, with security fixes and DoS prevention: 0.3.2.10, 0.3.1.10, 0.2.9.15
() Today, we made several new stable Tor releases. Together, they fix an issue in directory authorities, and backport a feature to improve relays' resistance denial-of-service attacks. In addition, the 0.3.2.10 release fixes a security bug affecting relays running earlier 0.3.2.x versions.
Red Hat Releases Security Guidance for Memcached (US-CERT) Red Hat has released security recommendations to address potential Distributed Denial of Service attacks using Memcached. This misconfiguration could allow an attacker to exploit Memcached services as a reflection and amplification vector, causing unexpected volumes of traffic to be sent to targeted systems and networks.
Ethereum fixes serious “eclipse” flaw that could be exploited by any kid (Ars Technica) Hole made it possible to trick users into double spending and hack smart contracts.
How Google’s ‘Project Zero’ task force races hackers to snuff out bugs (Yahoo) Project Zero is Google’s task force, given the responsibility of keeping all the internet safe. They may have discovered the Spectre and Meltdown security flaws first, but they aren’t the only people on the hunt for bugs that could be exploited.
Acalvio Executive to Moderate Panel on Deception Technology at SINET 2018 (PR Newswire) Acalvio™ Technologies, an innovator in Advanced Threat Defense,...
Telos Corporation Awarded $108M NETCENTS-2 Task Order to Support Air Combat Command (Telos) Cyber operations and infrastructure support to augment defensive cyber operations.
New South Wales government blasted over weak contracts with IT security providers (CRN Australia) Most providers not obliged to report incidents.
Palantir, the company that knows too much (New York Daily News) Am I my cousin’s keeper?
SecuLore Solutions’ Alex Lorello Recognized as a Next-Generation Leade (PRWeb) SecuLore Solutions today announced Alex Lorello, Chief Engineer, has been named to the IWCE Young Professionals Awards list which showcases the next-generation
Smart contract experts Ilya Sergey and Evan Cheng join Zilliqa as advisors (International Business Times UK) Third generation sharded blockchain from University of Singapore has added two of the world's foremost experts in smart contracts to its advisory team.
Products, Services, and Solutions
Cybersecurity Analytics and Insights Helping Government Agencies (Forcepoint) Digital transformation has driven unprecedented connectivity throughout government agencies. Users want to work in dynamic applications that might reside on premises, in the cloud or in a hybrid environment. They also expect to access data, including Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI), from anywhere – and from any type of device.
UK and Australian governments now use Have I Been Pwned (TechCrunch) Troy Hunt is turning Have I Been Pwned into an essential pwning monitoring service. The service monitors security breaches and password leaks so that you and..
New Tools Make Checking for Leaked Passwords a Lot Easier (BleepingComputer) The work that Australian security researcher Troy Hunt has done with the Have I Been Pwned project is yielding useful tools that developers and webmasters can now use to make sure users stop using silly and easy to guess passwords.
New ‘Hack-Proof’ Security-Centric Phone Features Built-In Bitcoin Wallet (Bitcoin News) Mobile cybersecurity firm Sikur has unveiled “the first fully encrypted, hack-proof smartphone that can safely store cryptocurrencies.” The phone’s hardware and software were built from the ground up with a dedicated bitcoin wallet and a custom app store for high-security apps.
Technologies, Techniques, and Standards
A Sneak Peek at the New NIST Cybersecurity Framework (Dark Reading) Key focus areas include supply chain risks, identity management, and cybersecurity risk assessment and measurement.
Future Fights (Foreign Affairs) Predicting the future of war is difficult, but history may still have some useful lessons for strategists.
What role does HR play in cybersecurity? (HR Online) Employees are often the weakest link when it comes to security breaches and this is the space where HR plays a part
How to Ditch the News Feed Algorithm and Take Back Facebook (Motherboard) Facebook is better if you completely ignore the News Feed.
#GartnerIAM: Common Privilege Pitfalls Are Easily Overcome (Infosecurity Magazine) There has never been a greater need for PAM
Design and Innovation
Thinking about identity management for the RSA Security Conference (CSO Online) Password elimination, software-defined perimeter, and the need for security to “own” identity should be highlighted at the RSA Conference.
Machine learning self defence: how to not shoot yourself in the foot (Naked Security) Our machine learning series starts with arguably the biggest threat you face: yourself.
A $5 Billion Cryptocurrency Has Enraged Cryptographers (Motherboard) Leaked emails between IOTA developers and researchers have landed the cryptocurrency in hot water.
Uber co-founder Garrett Camp is creating a new cryptocurrency (TechCrunch) Garrett Camp, best known for being a co-founder of Uber and founder of the accelerator/venture fund Expa, is launching his own cryptocurrency. The currency..
Experts: stealing ideas is key to government IT (Federal Times) Replicating and adapting ideas from other agencies means that feds won't be repeating work and mistakes while developing innovative IT, according to government officials at the AFCEA Bethesda Innovation in Technology Symposium.
From SpankChain to Bigbbscoin, Startups Keep Trying to Get People to Pay for Sex on the Blockchain (Motherboard) I reviewed the cryptocurrencies that want you to buy sex toys and "dates."
Research and Development
Microsoft's co-founder wants to teach AI common sense (TechWorm) Paul Allen wants to make AI more sensible by teaching them common sense Microsoft co-founder, Paul Allen, who had founded the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence (AI2) in 2014 on Wednesday pledged an additional $125 million into his Seattle-based nonprofit research lab to teach “artificial intelligence” some
PhishLabs Launches Future of Cybersecurity Scholarship Program (Security Boulevard) Today, PhishLabs is proud to announce the launch of our new annual scholarship program that is focused on furthering professionals interested in the growing world of cybersecurity. Dubbed the Future of Cybersecurity Scholarship Program, we will be able to help fuel student’s growth into one of the most in-demand industries.
Legislation, Policy, and Regulation
Will OECD cybersecurity initiative be successful? (New Times) Following last year’s worldwide worst cyber-attack that hit nearly 150 countries, the momentum to look for international cybersecurity regulation has been a mind-boggling issue.
International Law and Cyberspace: Evolving Views (Lawfare) Perspectives on cyber operations outside of the context of armed conflict and the applicability of international law.
US Cyber Command: An Assiduous Actor, Not a Warmongering Bully (The Cipher Brief) My take away from the U.S. Cyber Command symposium was somewhat different from Jason Healey's, recently published in The Cipher Brief.
China ratchets up online censorship with AI tools to remove posts using subtle code words and images to send political messages (V3) China is using AI-driven censorship tools to remove posts subtle code words and images used to oppose its government,Privacy,Security,Communications,Social Networking ,State censorship,China,censorship,WeChat,AI,social network,Johannes Ullrich,Sans Institute
Hyperbole won’t help us address cyberthreats (The Globe and Mail) It’s a serious and growing problem. We need to focus on concrete goals and objectives, balancing our need for risk-taking for innovation with securing our critical systems.
Canada in ‘pretty good shape’ against cyber infrastructure attacks: Goodale (IT World Canada) Canada is in “pretty good shape” to withstand a major attack on its infrastructure, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale has told a
State Dept. Was Granted $120 Million to Fight Russian Meddling. It Has Spent $0. (New York Times) The delay reflects President Trump’s largely passive response to the interference and doubts by Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson in his department’s ability to spend its money wisely.
Officials support cyber battalion (The Republic) Indiana’s federal lawmakers are urging the Army National Guard to award a cyber battalion to the Hoosier state to aid in the protection of the U.S. from computer-generated threats. U.S. Sens. Todd Young, R-Ind., and Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., and the state’s nine members of the U.S. House of Representatives signed a letter of support for
SEC's new cybersecurity guidance falls short (CSO Online) Post Equifax, those who hoped that the US Securities and Exchange Commission would impose tougher rules (and consequences for breaking them) around reporting breaches will be disappointed.
Litigation, Investigation, and Law Enforcement
Putin tells U.S. to send evidence of vote meddling (Reuters) Russian President Vladimir Putin told Washington to send him hard evidence that his citizens meddled in U.S. elections, mocking accusations to date as "yelling and hollering in the United States Congress".
The Russia Investigations: Is 'FISA Abuse' Out Of Steam? Intel Committees On Edge? (NPR.org) President Trump may have lost his patience with the "FISA abuse" defense, leading him to spar publicly with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who is definitely Team DOJ. And big cyber-questions remain.
'This is off the charts': Intelligence veterans sound the alarm over the House Intelligence Committee's partisan war (Business Insider) The House Intelligence Committee has devolved into an unprecedented level of partisan bickering, and the national security apparatus is worried.
Special counsel wants documents on Trump, numerous campaign associates (NBC News) In addition to the president, the subpoena seeks documents involving Corey Lewandowski, Steve Bannon, Hope Hicks and Paul Manafort, among others.
Editorial: We must clarify all this Russian subterfuge (Sarasota Herald) Ambrose Bierce, in his work “The Devil’s Dictionary,” defined the vote, when used as a noun, as the “instrument and symbol of a
McDonough blames McConnell for inaction on 2016 meddling response (CNN) Former White House chief of staff Denis McDonough on Sunday defended the Obama administration's response to suspected Russian interference in the 2016 election, blaming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for what he called a "dramatically watered down" joint statement on election security in September 2016.
Denis McDonough says Mitch McConnell ‘watered down’ Russia election meddling response (The Washington Times) Denis McDonough, President Obama’s former chief of staff, on Sunday blamed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for a ‘watered down’ congressional response to reports of foreign election interference in September 2016.
SEC Issues Subpoenas to Crypto-Currency Firms (Infosecurity Magazine) SEC Issues Subpoenas to Crypto-Currency Firms. US regulator getting serious about nascent industry
Google and Facebook among giants ‘making profits’ from pop‑up brothels (Times) Internet giants were accused of profiting from sex trafficking in Britain last night as security chiefs warned of a new wave of “pop-up brothels” sweeping the country. The National Crime Agency...
Chinese Police Are Demanding Personal Information From Uighurs in France (Foreign Policy) Officials have threatened to detain relatives of those who don’t comply.
Isis extremist trained army of children for terror attacks (London) An Islamic State extremist found guilty of grooming an “army of children” to carry out terrorist attacks was able to infiltrate the schools system despite having no qualifications. Umar Ahmed Haque...
Stolen: 600 Bitcoin Mining Computers in Iceland & 153 from Malaysia (HackRead) Everyone wants Bitcoin but it is difficult and expensive to mine so why not steal Bitcoin mining computers? That's what happened in Iceland and Malaysia.
Bitcoin heist: 600 powerful computers stolen in Iceland (NBC News) Some 11 people were arrested, including a security guard, in what Icelandic media have dubbed the "Big Bitcoin Heist."
Should we permit child grooming, asks Facebook (Times) Facebook has been criticised over a “stupid and irresponsible” survey in which it asked whether child grooming should be allowed on its site. The social network asked several thousand users what...
Why the roots of patent trolling may be in the patent office (Ars Technica) Trolls love patents from examiners who are “lenient” about patent vetting.