1-15 April 2014 Cyber Attacks Timeline

And here it is the timeline reporting the Cyber Attacks happened during the first half of April 2014, a month probably long remembered within the Infosec Chronicles for the discovery of the terrible Heartbleed bug (two attacks have been recorded, so far, related to this devastating vulnerability).

Besides the infamous Heartbleed, the most important events of this timeline are related to Cyber Crime. Germany in particular had a bad surprise, with the discovery of a list of 18 million compromised e-mail accounts and passwords, affecting all major German Internet service providers. The list of the remarkable targets also includes Lacie, victim of a malware putting at risk the users who performed on-line purchases from the company web site, the Harley Medical Group (500,000 accounts potentially compromised) and, once again, South Korea where unknown hackers were able to steal the personal information of about 200,000 credit card users, racking up fraudulent charges of about $115,ooo.

The feared wave of cyber attacks against Israel, promised by several Anonymous affiliated hacktivists for the 7th of April, did not happen. The impact of the attacks was limited and in many cases several old leaks were ‘recycled’.

Last but not least, Germany’s Space Research Center in Cologne, was the victim of a targeted attack. Suspects point to China.

As usual, 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, 2012 and now 2013 (regularly updated). You may also want to have a look at the Cyber Attack Statistics, and follow @paulsparrows on Twitter for the latest updates.

Also, feel free to submit remarkable incidents that in your opinion deserve to be included in the timelines (and charts).

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16-30 April 2014 Cyber Attacks Timeline

It’s time for the report of the cyber activity in April. As usual this post summarizes the main events between 16 and 30 April, whereas the first part covering the attacks between 1 and 15 April 2014 can be found here (ok, actually there’s one attack I had to include in this timeline, dated 10 April).

Apparently this second half has shown a decreasing trend (who knows, maybe the Easter has brought good intentions), nonetheless there have been some noticeable events such as the breach to AOL Mail affecting potentially 50 million users, the breach to Eircom and the interesting trend of attacks against educational institutions (Universities of Virginia, Iowa, North Carolina Wilmington).

In this general decreasing trend, even the attacks motivated by hacktivism have shown a consistent reduction in volume and impact (the Syrian Electronic Army has admitted to be in vacation).

Nothing else of particularly significant to mention but the continual cyber skirmishes between India and Pakistan. Although interesting from an analytic  perspective, the attacks were ‘limited’ to defacements, and hence the overall impact was modest.

As usual, 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, 2012 and now 2013 (regularly updated). You may also want to have a look at the Cyber Attack Statistics, and follow @paulsparrows on Twitter for the latest updates.

Also, feel free to submit remarkable incidents that in your opinion deserve to be included in the timelines (and charts).

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1-15 May 2014 Cyber Attacks Timeline

Here we have with the list of the most significant Cyber Attacks happened in the first half of April (according to my very own point of view).

There are few doubts about the fact that Orange is the winner of the unwelcome prize for the most noticeable breach after the theft of the information of 1.3 million users.

Other interesting events related to Cyber Crime include the breach of Bitly, the famous URL shortening service and a new heist against a virtual currency wallet (this time the victim is Doge Vault, one of the most popular online repositories for the cryptocurrency Dogecoin).

Moving to Cyber Espionage, this month reports two interesting events, the theft of Data related to the Ukraine crisis from the Belgian Foreign Ministry, and the discovery of Operation Saffron Rose, a long-term campaign against western defense contractor carried on by a team of Iranian hackers dubbed Ajax Security Team.

Last but not least, among the hacktivists, chronicles report of  a new action of the infamous Syrian Electronic Army (against four accounts of The Wall Street journal) and the usual skirmishes between Pakistani and Indian hackers (but is questionable in my opinion to determine if those events can be classified as part of a harmless cyber war or are rather mutual actions between hactivists acting on opposite sides).

As usual, 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, 2012 and now 2013 (regularly updated). You may also want to have a look at the Cyber Attack Statistics, and follow @paulsparrows on Twitter for the latest updates.

Also, feel free to submit remarkable incidents that in your opinion deserve to be included in the timelines (and charts).

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16-31 May 2014 Cyber Attacks Timeline

Here we are with the second part of the timeline of May (first part here).

Summer is coming here, and looks like attackers prefer to spend more  time in the beach rather than in front of their keyboards. In fact the number of reported attack is confirming its decreasing trend, at least for this part of the year.

Nonetheless, the second part of may has brought some noticeable events, such as the attack to Ebay (potentially 145 million accounts compromised), the attack against the Avast! Forum (400,000 records compromised) and the Arkansas State University (“only” 50,000 records). Other noticeable (and funny) event includes the hack of a San Francisco road sign by a prankster announcing the attack by Godzilla!

Cyber Spies were indeed pretty active in this period. Chronicles report of the Operation Clandestine Fox, a cyber attack against several industries in Australia, an undisclosed utility attacked in the US, a three year social network poisoning campaign sponsored by Iran and, last but not least, the alleged attack against the $12.7 million supercomputer in New Zealand from Chinese attackers.

Instead the operations from Law Enforcement Agencies against Hacktivists seem to be effective, the number of attacks motivated by hacktivism is dramatically reducing.

As usual, 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, 2012 and now 2013 (regularly updated). You may also want to have a look at the Cyber Attack Statistics, and follow @paulsparrows on Twitter for the latest updates.

Also, feel free to submit remarkable incidents that in your opinion deserve to be included in the timelines (and charts).

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16-30 November 2014 Cyber Attacks Timeline

The Cyber Monday has just gone, and here we are with the second Cyber Attacks Timeline of November (Part I here).

Even if no massive breaches against retailers have been discovered so far (however do not get carried away since they will probably need several weeks to surface!), this month equally shows some remarkable events for Cyber Crime, Hacktivism and Cyber Espionage.

Actually I just really did not know where to begin, since each sector shows at least one noticeable events. However, after scrolling down the list, I believe that the crown of the month is all for the powerful Regin, the brand new cyber weapon discovered by Symantec. If you believed that the complexity of Stuxnet, Flame and Duqu was a closed page, you will have to change your mind.

This event has overshadowed the massive attack against Sony Pictures Entertainment, allegedly traced to North Korea, in the wake of the release of the comedy “The Interview”, which has been deemed discriminatory against the country and inciting to terrorism. This attack, which has more then one similarity with the infamous Dark Seoul, has completely blocked the Sony internal IT network and is making happy many individuals worldwide, since several Gigabytes of unreleased material are being leaked in these hours.

Last but not least the hacktivists are back! Not only the Syrian Electronic Army has exited stealth mode, with an attack to Gigya, an identity management platform, which has affected many illustrious victims worldwide, but also the Anonymous have been the authors of several attacks, just like the good old days, in the wake of the controversial decision of the Ferguson grand jury decision.

If you want to have an idea of how fragile our electronic identity is inside the cyberspace, have a look at the timelines of the main Cyber Attacks in 2011, 2012, 2013 and now 2014 (regularly updated). You may also want to have a look at the Cyber Attack Statistics, and follow @paulsparrows on Twitter for the latest updates.

Also, feel free to submit remarkable incidents that in your opinion deserve to be included in the timelines (and charts).

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1-15 December 2014 Cyber Attacks Timeline

It’s time for the first Cyber Attacks Timeline of December (and the last for 2014).

Of course the attention of the infosec professionals is still concentrated on the devastating cyber attack against Sony happened in November (and the world as we know it, won’t be the same again), nonetheless this first 15 days have shown some remarkable events, not least the news of a breach happened earlier this year to Sony (once again), which went unreported.

At least for once, let us start from hacktivism. The hacktivists seem to be back in action: the Anonymous have taken part, directly or indirectly to several operations motivated by the racial tensions in the US (DDoS attacks against Oakland and Ontario), the raids against the Pirate Bay (leaks of Governmental emails), and the protests against the new High Speed Train line connecting Turin and Lyon (the defacement of  Official website of the Rhône-Alpes region).

A different form of hacktivism (but the border with Cyber Warfare in this case is really blurred) hit Sands Casinos earlier this year. Bloomberg has revealed that an apparent innocuous defacement happened in February was actually the mark of a more devastating attack perpetrated by Iranian hackers, who were able to wipe out all the internal clients and servers.

The Cyber Crime landscape (again maybe it should be more correct to call it Cyber Warfare) is still dominated by the outcome of the Infamous attack to Sony. Other interesting events concern the attack to an unnamed steel industry in Germany, causing physical damages, yet another wave of DDoS attacks against Sony (again!) and XboX Live, and the alleged compromise of Ars Technica requiring the registered users to change their passwords.

Last but not least, the level of state-sponsored operations is always high: at least three of them deserve to be mentioned: Operation Cleaver (allegedly backed by Iran), the resurrection of the Red October Group (Cloud Atlas or Inception) and also the discovery that the ISIS is active also in the Cyber Space, targeting a group of Syrian activists.

If you want to have an idea of how fragile our electronic identity is inside the cyberspace, have a look at the timelines of the main Cyber Attacks in 2011, 2012, 2013 and now 2014 (regularly updated). You may also want to have a look at the Cyber Attack Statistics, and follow @paulsparrows on Twitter for the latest updates.

Also, feel free to submit remarkable incidents that in your opinion deserve to be included in the timelines (and charts).

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16-31 December Cyber Attacks Timeline

Despite still related to December 2014, here is the first timeline for 2015 covering the main events occurred between the 16th and 31st December 2014 (first part here).

No doubt, this Christmas will be remembered for the unwelcome surprise of the DDoS attack performed by the infamous Lizard Squad against the online services of Sony and Microsoft. An attack that has shattered the dreams of many players, just few minutes after unwrapping their brand new consoles under the Christmas Tree. However, the light that burns twice as bright burns half as long, and inevitably two members of the collective have allegedly been arrested (not before having attempted a Sybil Attack against Tor).

But the latter was not the only attack targeting the Tor anonymity service in this period, which also suffered an unexplained outage affecting a cluster of Tor Directory Authority Servers in a Rotterdam data center.

Other noticeable events concern the outage of the Internet connection in North Korea (despite it is not completely clear if caused by a cyber attack or a fault), a malware detected in a South Korea power plant, the attacks targeting the ICANN and the ISC Consortium, two among the most important organizations for the Internet, and (yet another) breach targeting NVIDIA.

Moving to a different topic, all in all the hacktivists decided to enjoy the Christmas vacations with the exception of the Syrian Electronic Army who were back, and defaced an online magazine, the International Business Time, for an article against the Syrian regime.

Last but not least, with regard to  Cyber Espionage, there have been two operations discovered in this period: an alleged attack perpetrated by Chinese hackers against an Afghan CDN targeting directly many local governmental sites, and indirectly many foreign institutions, and also the discovery of the Anunak group, a well-organized crew able to steal USD $25 Million with a long lasting cyber espionage operation against targets in Europe and the US.

If you want to have an idea of how fragile our electronic identity is inside the cyberspace, have a look at the timelines of the main Cyber Attacks in 2011, 2012, 2013 and now 2014 (regularly updated). You may also want to have a look at the Cyber Attack Statistics, and follow @paulsparrows on Twitter for the latest updates.

Also, feel free to submit remarkable incidents that in your opinion deserve to be included in the timelines (and charts).

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November 2011 Cyber Attacks Timeline (Part II)

The second half of November has confirmed the trend seen in the previous report covering the first half of the month. The period under examination has confirmed a remarkable increase in Cyber Attacks from both a quality and quantity perspective.

Although the month has been characterized by many small attacks, several remarkable events have really made the difference.

Among the victims of the month, Finland deserves a special mention in this unenviable rank: the second half of the month has confirmed the emerging trend for this country, which suffered in this period two further breaches of huge amounts of personal data, for a global cumulative cost, computed on the whole month, around $25 million.

But Finland was not the only northern European country hit by cybercrookers (maybe the term cyberprofessionals would be more appropriate): Norwegian systems associated with the country’s oil, gas and energy sectors were hit with an APT based cyber attack resulting in a loss of sensitive information including documents, drawings, user names and passwords.

But once again the crown of the most remarkable breach of the month is placed upon the head of South Korea which suffered another huge data dump affecting users of the popular MMORPG “Maple Story” affecting theoretically 13 million of users, nearly the 27% of the Korean population, for an estimated cost of the breach close to $2.8 billion.

The list of affected countries this month includes also 243,089 Nigerian users, victims of the hack of Naijaloaded, a popular forum.

Microsoft has been another victim in this November, with a phishing scam targeting Xbox Live users. Details of the scam are not clear, although each single affected user in U.K. might have lost something between £100 and £200 for a total cost of the breach assimilable to “million of Pounds”.

November will make history for showing for the first time to information security professionals the dangers hidden inside the SCADA universe (and not related to Nuclear Reactors). The echo of Stuxnet and Duqu is still alive, but this month was the the turn of SCADA water pumps, that have suffered a couple of attacks (Springfield and South Houston), the first one allegedly originated from Russia and the second one from a “lonely ranger” who considered the answer from DHS concerning the first incident, too soft and not enough satisfactory. My sixth sense (and one half) tells me that we will need to get more and more used to attacks against SCADA driven facilities.

The Anonymous continued their operations against governments with a brand new occurrence of their Friday Releases, targeting a Special Agent of the CA Department and leaking something like 38,000 emails. Besides from other some sparse “small” operations, the other remarkable action performed by the Anonymous collective involved the hacking of an United Nations (old?) server, that caused personal data of some personnel to be released on the Internet.

November Special mentions are dedicated (for opposite reasons) to HP and AT&T. HP for the issue on their printers discovered by a group of Researchers of Columbia Univerity, which could allow a malicious user to remotely control (and burn) them. AT&T deserved the special mention for the attack, unsuccessful, against the 1% of its 100 million wireless accounts customer base.

In any case, counting also the “minor” attacks of the month, the chart shows a real emergency for data protection issues: schools, e-commerce sites, TVs, government sites, etc. are increasingly becoming targets. Administrators do not show the deserved attention to data protection and maybe also the users are loosing the real perception of how much important is the safeguard of their personal information and how serious the aftermaths of a compromise are.

As usual, references for each single cyber attack are reported below. Have a (nice?) read and most of alle share among your acquaintances the awareness that everyone is virtually at risk.

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