16-30 September 2012 Cyber Attacks Timeline

Part One with 1-15 September 201 Timeline Here.

September is over and it’s time to analyze this month from an Information Security perspective with the second part of the Cyber Attack Timeline.

Probably this month will be remembered for the massive outage of six  U.S. Banks (Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo and PNC ) caused by a wave of DDoS attack carried on by alleged Muslim hackers in retaliation for the infamous movie (maybe this term is exaggerated) “The Innocence of Muslims”.

China has confirmed its intense activity inside the Cyber space. Alleged (state-sponsored?) Chinese hackers were allegedly behind the attack to Telvent, whose project files of its core product OASyS SCADA were stolen after a breach, and also behind a thwarted spear-phishing cyber attack against the White House.

Adobe suffered a high-profile breach which caused a build server to be compromised with the consequent theft of a certificate key used to sign two malware strains found on the wild (with the consequent necessary revoke of the compromised key affecting approximately 1,100 files).

Last but not least, the Hacktivism fever has apparently dropped. September has offered some attacks on the wake of the #OpFreeAssange campaign, and a new wave of attacks at the end of the month after the global protests set for September, the 29th, under the hashtag of #29s.

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 and the related statistics (regularly updated), 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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October 2012 Cyber Attacks Timeline

Click here for the first part covering the Cyber Attacks from 1 to 15 October 2012.

Here is the timeline for the main Cyber Attacks in October 2012. A month that has been characterized by hacktivism and also by several remarkable cyber crime operations.

For sure the next days will be hard for taxpayers of South Carolina, whose Department of Revenue has been targeted by foreign hackers able to access records of 3.6 million of individuals. But hard days are going to come also for banks: not only the trail of DDoS attack against U.S. Banks has continued even in the second half of the month (although different groups took credit for them), but also, on the cyber crime front, Citigroup has lost 1 million of bucks because of a loophole exploited by a ring of 13 individuals. Different motivations, same lesson: bank security needs a dramatic improvement.

Moving to hactkivism, nothing new under the sun. The pale sun of October has enlightened several operations targeting governments (Greece and Italy above all, to reflect the delicate situation of these two countries) and organization all over the world…

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 and the related statistics (regularly updated), 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).

(more…)

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1-15 January 2013 Cyber Attacks Timeline

So here we are with the first Cyber Attacks Timeline for 2013 covering the first half of January.

Apparently the new year has begun with an intense activity by Cyber Crooks. Hacktivists and Cyber Criminals had many time to spend in front of their keyboards during the holiday break, and as a consequence the number of breaches with more than 10.000 accounts compromised is incredibly high. WWF China, the City of Steubenville, Ohio and The German Chamber of Commerce are only three examples of institutions that suffered massive breaches during the beginning of this year.

But the massive breaches are not the only remarkable events of this period: the waves of DDoS Attacks against US banks continued (and promise to extend also in the next weeks), Kaspersky Lab discovered a new massive Cyber Espionage Campaign dubbed “Red October”, and also the Japan Farm Ministry was hit by yet another Cyber Attack, allegedly originating from China…

If this is only the beginning… 2013 promises to be pretty much troubled for system administrators…

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 and the related statistics (regularly updated), 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). To do so, you can use this form.

1-15 January 2013 Cyber Attacks Timeline (more…)

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The Quassam Group Stops the Cyber Attacks Against US Banks

Finally it looks like the DDoS attacks against US Banks, carried on by the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Cyber Fighters in name of the infamous Operation Ababil, have been temporarily suspended. The decision is a consequence of the removal of the controversial video “The innocence of Muslim” from Youtube.

Actually only one copy has been removed (the one which collected more views) and a dozen of copies are still available to visitors. Nevertheless the hacktivists have appreciated this action and have consequently suspended the cyber attacks.

The sudden stop came in the moment of maximum peak: in the last two weeks the wave of DDoS has reached an unprecedented level, with 35 attacks against 25 banks. An apparently unstoppable storm that has dramatically shown the fragility of the system. Here the details of the banks impacted (of course you will find them in the forthcoming Cyber Attack Timeline.

Date

Target

Details

Jan 22

image1The seventh week of Operation Ababil 2 begins with the following banks taken down:

Jan 23

image2Other US banks are targeted:

Jan 24

 image3Again, other DDoS attacks against US Banks. The wave is unprecedented and the list of the targets is very long, including:

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Another Certification Authority Breached (the 12th!)

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  • Post last modified:December 10, 2011
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2011 CA Attacks Timeline (Click To Enlarge)This year is nearly at the end but it looks like it is really endless, at least from an Information Security Perspective. As a matter of fact this 2011 will leave an heavy and embarassing heritage to Information Security: the Certification Authority authentication model, which has been continuously under siege in this troubled year; a siege that seems endless and which has shown its ultimate expression on the alleged compromise of yet another Dutch Certification Authority: Gemnet.

Gemnet, an affiliate of KPN, has suspended certificate signing operation after an intrusion on its publicly accessible instance of phpMyAdmin (a web interface for managing SQL Database) which was, against any acceptable best practice, exposed on the Internet and not protected by password. As in case of Diginotar, another Dutch Certification Authority which declared Bankrupt few days after being compromised by the infamous Comodo Hacker, Gamnet has  the Dutch government among its customers including the Ministry of Security and Justice, Bank of Dutch Municipalities and the police.

After the intrusion, the attacker claimed to have manipulated the databases, and to allegedly have been able to gain control over the system and all of the documents contained on it, although KPN, claims the documents contained on the server were all publicly available. Moreover the attacker claimed the attack was successful since he could obtain the password (braTica4) used for administrative tasks on the server. As a precaution, while further information is collected about the incident, Gemnet CSP, KPN’s certificate authority division, has also suspended access to their website.

The breach is very different, in purpose and motivations, from the one occurred to Diginotar, at the end of July, which led to the issuance of more than 500 bogus Certificates (on behalf of Google, Microsoft, and other companies). In case of Diginotar the certificates were used to intercept about 300,000 Iranians, as part of what was called “Operation Black Tulip“, a campaign aimed to eavesdrop and hijack dissidents’ emails. For the chronicles, the same author of the Diginotar hack, the Infamous Comodo Hacker, had already compromised another Certification Authority earlier this year, Comodo (which was at the origin of his nickname). In both cases, the hacks were performed for political reasons, respectively as a retaliation for the Massacre of Srebrenica (in which the Comodo Hacker claimed the Dutch UN Blue Helmets did not do enough to prevent it), and as a retaliation for Stuxnet, allegedly developed in a joint effort by Israel and US to delay Iranian Nuclear Program.

But although resounding, these are not the only examples of attacks or security incidents targeting Certification Authorities: after all, the attacks against CAs started virtually in 2010 with the infamous 21th century weapon Stuxnet, that could count among its records, the fact to be the first malware using a driver signed with a valid certificate belonging to Realtek Semiconductor Corps. A technique also used by Duqu, the so called Duqu’s son.

Since then, I counted 11 other breaches, perpetrated for different purposes: eavesdropping (as is the case of the Infamous Comodo Hacker), malware driver signatures, or “simple” compromised servers (with DDoS tools as in case of KPN).

At this point I wonder what else we could deploy to protect our identity, given that two factor authentication has been breached, CAs are under siege, and also SSL needs a substantial revision. Identity protection is getting more and more important, since our privacy is constantly under attack, but we are dangerously running out of ammunitions.

(Click below for references)

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