16-30 September 2014 Cyber Attacks Timeline

And finally we can complete the September 2014 Cyber Attacks Timeline (Part I here), with the second part covering the most important events between the 16th and the 30th.

A very fruitful month for Cyber Criminals, since there are several events that will be remembered. For sure the Shellshock vulnerability will spoil the troubled sleeps of many System Administrators. In any case this is not the only remarkable event, the chronicles report of an (un)expected tail of the Celebrity Leak scandal (the so-called Fappening), with other two rounds of leaked pictures occurred on the 20th and the 26th, and a couple of massive breaches against TripAdvisor subsidiary Viator (1.4 million users affected) and Japan Airlines (750,000 users affected). Last but not least, it is also worthwhile to mention the group of teen hackers charged for hacking into Microsoft, the US Army and several game companies, stealing $100 million in Intellectual Property, and the so-called Operation Harkonnen, the longest cyber crime campaign ever.

Regarding the Cyber Espionage, the timeline reports the discovery of yet another Chinese Operation against US contractors, and a coordinated state-sponsored mobile malware aimed to intercept protesters in Hong Kong.

At least for once… Nothing particular interesting for Hacktivism…

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).16-30-september-2014-cyber-attacks-timeline

(more…)

Continue Reading 16-30 September 2014 Cyber Attacks Timeline

July 2012 Cyber Attacks Timeline (Part II)

Click here for Part I.

The Dog Days are nearly here. Weather forecast are announcing for Italy one of the hottest summers since 2003, and the same can be said for the Infosec temperature, although, July 2012 has been very different from the same month of 2011, which was deeply characterized by hacktvism.

Instead looks like that hacktivists have partially left the scene in favor of cyber criminals who executed several high profile breaches also in the second part of the month: Maplesoft, Gamigo, KT Corporation and Dropbox are the most remarkable victims of cyber-attacks, but also other important firms, even if with different scales, have been hit by (improvised) Cyber Criminals. One example for all? Nike who suffered a loss of $80,000 by a 25-year improvised hacker, who decided that exploiting a web vulnerability was the best way to acquire professional merchandise.

But probably the prize for the most “peculiar” cyber-criminal is completely deserved by Catherine Venusto, who successfully changed her sons’ grade for 110 times between 2011 and 2012.

As far as the Hacktivism is concerned, although we were not in the same condition of one year ago (a leak every day kept security away), this month has offered the massive leak of the Australian Provider AAPT, with 40 gb of data allegedly stolen by the Anonymous.

Last but not least, a special mention for the cyber espionage campaigns, that had an unprecedented growth in this month: Israel, Iran, Japan, the European Union and Canada, are only few of the victims. Iran gained also an unwelcome record, the first nation to be hit by a malware capable of blasting PC speakers with an AC/DC song…

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…)

Continue Reading July 2012 Cyber Attacks Timeline (Part II)

Another Certification Authority Breached (the 12th!)

  • Post author:
  • Post last modified:December 10, 2011
  • Post category:CyberwarSecurity
  • Post comments:1 Comment
  • Reading time:4 mins read

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)

(more…)

Continue Reading Another Certification Authority Breached (the 12th!)

Stuxnet, Duqu, Stars And Galaxies…

  • Post author:
  • Post last modified:October 21, 2011
  • Post category:Security
  • Post comments:3 Comments
  • Reading time:3 mins read

In few circumstances I happen to deal with my old (and short) career of Astrophysical. Except when I enjoy to…

Continue Reading Stuxnet, Duqu, Stars And Galaxies…

Finally I Saw One!

  • Post author:
  • Post last modified:August 26, 2011
  • Post category:Security
  • Post comments:1 Comment
  • Reading time:2 mins read

Update: F-Secure posted in their blog the complete description on how the patient 0 was found: And here it is…

Continue Reading Finally I Saw One!

Sometimes They Come Back

  • Post author:
  • Post last modified:June 6, 2011
  • Post category:MobileSecurity
  • Post comments:1 Comment
  • Reading time:3 mins read

Not even a week after the light version of DroidDream, a new nightmare rises from the Android Market to menace…

Continue Reading Sometimes They Come Back

La Sindrome Cinese

  • Post author:
  • Post last modified:February 17, 2011
  • Post category:Security
  • Post comments:0 Comments
  • Reading time:4 mins read

Nel giorno in cui anche alla RSA Conference 2011 è stato ribadito che "E' ora di prepararsi per le minacce…

Continue Reading La Sindrome Cinese