Imperfect Cybercrimes

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  • Post last modified:May 24, 2015
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Law Enforcement Agencies are taking their revenge against the Hacktivists who mostly targeted them during the last months. In a deadly and unexpected sequence, the last 40 days have seen the heads of three infamous hacking crews falling under the blows of FBI and Scotland Yard.

One after the other, the key members of LulzSec, CabinCr3w and Team Poison have been arrested and in all but one case (that is the arrest of the alleged members of Team P0ison for which no details are known so far), the events have unveiled some surprises and unexpected details. Moreover, at least three arrests have been possible since the hackers left behind them a trail of mistakes which allowed the investigators to connect the dots and link their twitter accounts to their real identities.

The following table depicts the facts which may be better summarized from the Criminal Complaints which are reported below for:

As you may notice, in two cases, W0rmer and ItsKahuna, the hackers were betrayed by two familiar technologies which are commonly considered dangerous for users’ privacy and identity: social networks and mobile devices. Sabu was the one who really did a “technical mistake” by connecting to an IRC without protecting his IP address with TOR.

Interesting to say is also the different approach of FBI and Scotland Yard. Once discovered the real identities of the hackers the Feds tried to “enroll” them as informants, at least in one case (Sabu) this strategy was winning. At the opposite the Britons immediately caught the alleged culprits without giving any detail about their identity, maybe hoping the arrest could act as a deterrent for the other hackers. Apparently it looks like this latter strategy was not completely successful since the CabinCr3w survivors are threatening authorities, inviting other Blackhats to join them for the revenge.

Last but not least, I cannot help but notice the tweet below for which I remember to have been particularly impressed when I first saw it since, at that time, I considered it a too much imprudent. Consequently I was not that surprised when I saw it quoted in the Criminal Complaint.

[tweet https://twitter.com/ItsKahuna/status/163423280278159360]

At the end we are becoming more and more familiar with mobile phones and Social Network, so familiar to forget their level of intrusiveness and the related dangers for our privacy. As an example try to verify how many of you and your friend toggle Geo-Tagging off from their phone cameras. (Un)fortunately, it looks like not even the bad guys are immune from this.

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April 2012 Cyber Attacks Timeline (Part I)

As usual, here is the list of the main cyber attacks for April 2012. A first half of the month which has been characterized by hacktivism, although the time of the resounding attacks seems so far away. Also because, after the arrest of Sabu, the law enforcement agencies (which also were targeted during this month, most of all in UK), made  two further arrests of alleged hackers affiliated to the Anonymous Collective: W0rmer, member of CabinCr3w, and two possible members of the infamous collective @TeaMp0isoN.

In any case, the most important breach of the first half of the month has nothing to deal with hacktivism, targeted the health sector and occurred to Utah Department of Health with potentially 750,000 users affected. According to the Last Ponemon Study related to the cost of a breach ($194 per record) applied to the minimum number of users affected (250,000), the monetary impact could be at least $ 55 million.

Another interesting event to mention in the observed period is also the alleged attack against a Chinese Military Contractor, and the takedown of the five most important al-Qaeda forums. On the hacktivist front, it worths to mention a new hijacked call from MI6 to FBI, but also the alleged phone bombing to the same Law Enforcement Agency. Both events were performed by TeamPoison, whose two alleged members were arrested the day after.

For the sample of attacks I tried to identify: the category of the targets, the category of the attacks, and the motivations behind them. Of course this attempt must be taken with caution since in many cases the attacks did not target a single objective. Taking into account the single objectives would have been nearly impossible and prone to errors (I am doing the timeline in my free time!), so the data reported on the charts refer to the single event (and not to all the target affected in the single event).

As usual the references are placed after the jump.

By the way, SQL Injection continues to rule (the question mark indicates attacks possibly performed by SQL Injection, where the term “possibly” indicates the lack of direct evidences…).

If you want to have an idea of how fragile our data are inside the cyberspace, have a look at the timelines of the main Cyber Attacks in 2011 and 2012 (regularly updated), and follow @pausparrows on Twitter for the latest updates.

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Continue ReadingApril 2012 Cyber Attacks Timeline (Part I)

March 2012 Cyber Attacks Timeline (Part II)

First Part: March 2012 Cyber Attacks Timeline (Part I)

It is time for the second part of the March 2012 Cyber Attacks Timeline, a month that will probably be remembered for the breach occurred to Global Payments, a credit card processor, whose aftermath may potentially affect up to 10 million credit card holders belonging, among the others, to Visa and MasterCard.

On the hacktivism front, not even three weeks after the arrest of several LulzSec members, a new hacking crew has appeared whose name, LulzSecReborn, clearly reminds the infamous collective and its Days of Lulz. They entered the scene with a noticeable, albeit discussed, leak: more than 170.000 records from a military dating site.

Other remarkable hacktivism-led cyber attacks include the so called #OpFariseo, a wave of Cyber Attacks targeting websites related to the visit of the Pope in Mexico, and a new cyber attack to PBS. It is also important to notice the debut of the Anonymous in China, a debut characterized by a massive wave of defacements.

Last but not least, among the events of this month there is one which in particular deserves a mention, and is the leak which targeted Vector Inc., a Japanese computer selling firm, potentially affecting more than 260,000 users.

As usual after the jump you will find all the references.

If you want to have an idea of how fragile our data are inside the cyberspace, have a look at the timelines of the main Cyber Attacks in 2011 and 2012 (regularly updated), and follow @pausparrows on Twitter for the latest updates.

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Continue ReadingMarch 2012 Cyber Attacks Timeline (Part II)

Middle East Cyber War Update

Another week of Cyber War in the Middle East…

Another week in which pro Israeli hackers seem to have disappeared, and hence have apparently left the scene to Pro Palestine hackers, although not so many high-profile actions have been reported in this period. The only exception to this schema is represented by Mauritania Hacker Team who dumped 4000 login accounts from Microsoft Israel Dynamics CRM Online website. This action is particularly significant… Not because it targeted a Cloud service, and not even because it targeted a Microsoft Cloud Service, but most of all because on the wake of the multiple dumps performed by Pro Arab hackers against Israel (among which the dump to the Microsoft Cloud Service was only the latest), the Israel’s Justice Ministry has releases guidelines forbidding unnecessary collection of personal national identification numbers. This is the first time in which the aftermath of a Cyber War has direct implications on everyday life.

From this point of view the wars fought on the cyber domain are completely different from the wars fought on the real world… In the cyber battlefield the civilians are the primary targets (since they have their personal data dumped) and not collateral victims…

Read the complete timeline of the Middle East Cyber War at this link and follow @paulsparrows on Twitter for the latest updates.

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Timeline of Cyber War Between Bangladesh and India (Part II)

Part I: The list of Cyber Attacks Carried On by Bangladesh Hackers against India

The second part of this post covers the cyber attacks carried on by Indian hackers against Bangladesh. Apparently their number is smaller but a deeper analysis shows a sharper strategy focused on paralyzing the financial system of Bangladesh.

In this first quarter of 2012, the cyber war between the two countries went through two different phases: until the beginning of March, the two opposite factions faced themselves with sparse defacement and DDoS actions (unchained after the attacks following the India Republic Day). After March we entered the Cyber War 2.0 characterized by High Profile actions, most of all suffered by Bangladesh, that led to the takedown of the Stock Exchange and one important Bank.

Again, thanks to Catherine for collecting the data.

Of course do not forget to follow @paulsparrows for the latest updates on the (too many) Cyber Wars, being fought on the underground of our planet.

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Timeline Of Cyber War Between Bangladesh and India

Update 03/26/12: List of Cyber Attacks Carried on by Pro-India Hackers against Bangladesh

Several days ago I tweeted a request of help to my tweeps for building a timeline of India and Bangladesh Cyber War Timeline.

Unexpectedly the day after I received a complete and detailed timeline from Catherine Anita. I was nearly risking to loose it since my Gmail account had marked the message as spam. As I do not completely trust the antispam engines and regularly check my Spam folder, fortunately I was able to retrieve her e-mail and the precious content.

Catherine did a complete review that I formatted according to my consolidated model, adding a couple of events for the last days.

Since the timeline of the mutual Cyber Attacks  is quite long, I decided to divide it into two parts, the first one covering the cyber attacks carried on by pro-Bangladesh hacking crews against India (I used a rigorous alphabetical Order). Expect for tomorrow the update with attacks carried on from the other side.

As usual after the Jump you find all the references.

If you want to have an idea of how fragile our data are inside the cyberspace, have a look at the timelines of the main Cyber Attacks in 2011 and 2012 (regularly updated), and follow @pausparrows on Twitter for the latest updates.

(more…)

Continue ReadingTimeline Of Cyber War Between Bangladesh and India