One Year Of Lulz (Part II)

Christmas has just gone and here it is my personal way to wish you a Happy New Year: the second part of my personal chart (first part here) of Main 2011 Cyber Attacks covering the time window from August to November 2011 (December is not yet finished, and featuring remarkable events, so expect an update very soon). This memorable year is nearly over and is time, if you feel nostalgic, to scroll down the second part of the list to review the main Cyber Events that contributed, in my opinion, to change the landscape and the rules of the (information security) game. Many events in this period among whom, IMHO, the most noticeable is the one carried on against Diginotar. Since then our trust in conventional authentication models is not (and will not be) the same anymore.

Of course this is my personal selection. Suggestions are well accepted and if you need more details about the cyber events in 2011, feel free to consult my 2011 Cyber Attacks Master Index. As usual after the page break you find all the references…

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Middle East Cyberwar Timeline Part II

The #OpMegaupload and its subsequent Cyber Attacks all over the world, are diverging the attention from what is happening in the Middle East where the Cyber Conflict between Arab and Israeli Hackers is proceeding at an apparently unstoppable pace which forced me to post an update for the events occurred in the last week.

The rapid escalation of personal information leaks which characterized in the first two weeks of January has slightly changed shape, being replaced in the third week by Defacements and DDoS campaigns (targeting also the web sites of two Israeli Hospitals, as to say that a Cyber Geneva Convention is needed). Other dumps has also occurred, but not of the same scale as the first two weeks of January.

Besides the mutual DDoS and defacements to each other web sites, so far a quick calculation shows that since the beginning of this cyber war Arab Hackers have dumped more than 410,000 Credit Cards and 170,000 accounts, while the Israeli Counterparts have published approximately 11,000 Credit Cards, details of 140,000 individuals and 105,000 emails. Even if these data have to be taken with attention since many records have proven to be duplicated or fake, one consideration is clear: even Cyber Wars have their digital casualties.

The worst is yet to come?

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January 2012 Cyber Attacks Timeline (Part 2)

Click here for part 1.

The second half of January is gone, and it is undoubtely clear that this month has been characterized by hacktivism and will be remembered for the Mega Upload shutdown. Its direct and indirect aftermaths led to an unprecedented wave of cyber attacks in terms of LOIC-Based DDoS (with a brand new self service approach we will need to get used to), defacements and more hacking initiatives against several Governments and the EU Parliament, all perpetrated under the common umbrella of the opposition to SOPA, PIPA and ACTA. These attacks overshadowed another important Cyber Event: the Middle East Cyberwar (which for the sake of clarity deserved a dedicated series of posts, here Part I and Part II) and several other major breaches (above all Dreamhost and New York State Electric & Gas and Rochester Gas & Electric).

Chronicles also reports a cyber attack to railways, several cyber attacks to universities, a preferred target, and also of a bank robbery in South Africa which allowed the attackers to steal $6.7 million.

Do you think that cyber attacks in this month crossed the line and the Cyber Chessboard will not be the same anymore? It may be, meanwhile do not forget to follow @paulsparrows to get the latest timelines and feel free to support and improve my work with suggeastions and other meaningful events I eventually forgot to mention.

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Middle East Cyber War Timeline Part III

Jan 22: Middle East Cyber War Timeline Part I

Jan 29: Middle East Cyber War Timeline Part II

Feb 12: Middle East Cyber War Timeline Part IV

The more  I look inside the Middle East Cyber War between Israel and the Arab Hackers, the more I realize that it follows exactly the same shape than the real conflict.

In particular this last week has seen a strong reduction of the cyber events between the involved parties, although it is not clear if this was due to stronger cyber defenses enforced, or it was rather a kind of “calm before the storm”.

Among the reported events I considered particularly meaningful the attack of InLightPress, a Palestinian news website, of whom I did not find any other report except the one quoted in the Infographic which comes from a Pro-Israeli Website (this is the reason why this event must be considered with the necessary caution). Maybe it is not directly related to the Middle East Cyber War, anyway it looks like this attack was not originated by Israeli hackers, but had rather been “commissioned” by the Palestinian Authority. In the real world political parties or movement have different wings (typically hawks and doves), it looks like this is true for the cyber world as well. On the other hand, some believe that also the attack carried on last week against the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, considered close to Pro-Palestinian movements, has an internal origin, that maybe explains the subsequent excuses by the alleged authors of the attack (BTW at the above link there is an interesting list of the hack published in pastebin by the Israeli Hackers).

Do you believe the descending trend of the cyber events will be confirmed in the next period, or it is rather a temporary cyber truce before the digital storm?

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Continue Reading Middle East Cyber War Timeline Part III

February 2012 Cyber Attacks Timeline (Part I)

February 2012 brings a new domain for my blog (it’s just a hackmaggedon) and confirms the trend of January with a constant and unprecedented increase in number and complexity of the events. Driven by the echo of the ACTA movement, the Anonymous have performed a massive wave of attacks, resuming the old habits of targeting Law Enforcement agencies. From this point of view, this month has registered several remarkable events among which the hacking of a conf call between the FBI and Scotland Yard and the takedown of the Homeland Security and the CIA Web sites.

The Hacktivism front has been very hot as well, with attacks in Europe and Syria (with the presidential e-mail hacked) and even against United Nations (once again) and NASDAQ Stock Exchange.

Scroll down the list and enjoy to discover the (too) many illustrious victims including Intel, Microsoft, Foxconn and Philips. After the jump you find all the references and do not forget to follow @paulsparrows for the latest updates. Also have a look to the Middle East Cyberwar Timeline, and the master indexes for 2011 and 2012 Cyber Attacks.

Addendum: of course it is impossible to keep count of the huge amount of sites attacked or defaced as an aftermath of the Anti ACTA movements. In any case I suggest you a couple of links that mat be really helpful:

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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 Reading March 2012 Cyber Attacks Timeline (Part II)

Philippines and China, on The Edge of a New Cyber Conflict?

05/11/12: Updated timeline. The tension between Philippines and China escalates and new cyber attacks target both sides.

The month of April has suddenly revealed a new unexpected Cyber Conflict between two very different countries: Philippines and China.

Of course the Chinese Cyber Activity is not that surprising, differently from the Philippines which had not shown any bellicose intention in the Cyber Domain. At least until these days when the cyber peace between the two countries has been broken because of a dispute concerning the sovereignty on the Scarborough Shoal and the Spratly Islands claimed from both countries. As often happens, the dispute has crossed the boundaries between the real and the cyber worlds and has hence unleashed an endless and unexpected trail of mutual cyber attacks.

According to Roy Espiritu, spokesman of the government’s information technology office, all the attacks came after Philippine ships faced off with Chinese patrol vessels in April 8 in the disputed Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea. Before that, there had been no such eventsm at least until April 2o, when some hackers, identifying  themselves as Chinese, attacked to the University of the Philippines. In that circumstance they defaced the UP website (up.edu.ph) with a map, labeled with Chinese characters, showing the Scarborough Shoal (Panatag as called by the Philippines and Huangyan by China).

Needless to say, the latter episode has started an endless line of mutual attacks that are still continuing despite the calls to end the attacks from Manila.

Will the cyber conflict be limited to “simple” defacements, or will it take the shape of the first phase of the Middle East Cyber War when both parties faced themselves leaking credit card details of innocent individuals? Moreover, are critical infrastructure really in danger as suggested by Filipino IT professionals?

Based on the current events, maybe this latter scenario is exaggerated, in any case once again, the upsetting evidence shows that the Cyber World has become a consolidated further battlefield for the disputes inflicting the real world.

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

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