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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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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1-15 September 2012 Cyber Attacks Timeline

Here it is the usual compilation for the Cyber Attacks in the first half of September, a period which has apparently confirmed the revamping of hacktivism seen in August.

Several operations such as #OpFreeAssange (in support of Julian Assange), #OpTPB2 against the arrest of The Pirate Bay Co-Founder Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, and #OpIndipendencia in Mexico have characterized the first half of September. Curiously the hacktivists have also characterized this period for a couple of controversial events: the alleged leak of 1 million of UDIDs from FBI (later proven to be fake) and the alleged attack to GoDaddy (later proven to be a network issue, that is the reason why I not even mentioned it in this timeline). Other actions motivated by hacktivists have been carried on by Pro-Syrian hackers.

From a Cyber Crime perspective, there are two events particularly interesting (even if well different): the alleged leak of Mitt Romney’s tax returns and yet another breach against a Bitcoin Exchange (Bitfloor), worthing the equivalent of 250,000 USD which forced the operator to suspend the operations.

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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1-15 December 2012 Cyber Attacks Timeline

Christmas is coming quickly, we have just passed the first half of December, and hence it’s time for the first update of the Cyber Attacks Timeline for December.

The Team GhostShell has decided to close the year with a clamorous Cyber Attack, and hence,as part of the project ProjectWhiteFox, has leaked 1.6 million of accounts from several organizations all over the world. This is the most important event for this first part of the month that apparently has shown a decreasing trend. Hacktivists are still focusing their attention (and their keyboards) to Israel, and Cyber Criminals are maybe preparing for the Christmas attacks.

However, the main events of the first half of December, are related to hacktivism, besides the above mentioned cyber attack, it worth to mention the new wave of massive DDoS attacks against US Banks (up to 60 Gbps of peak according to Arbor Networks), but also the leak of a ITU document on the future of Deep Packet Inspection and the attacks in Egypt, Mexico and India.

Last but not least: this two weeks also offered a giant attack to the famous Social Platform Tumblr and also the warning of the Switzerland’s national security agency (NDB) that a huge amount of secrets may have been leaked by a disgruntled IT Administrator.

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 December 2012 Cyber Attack Timeline (more…)

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16-28 February 2013 Cyber Attacks Timeline

It is time for the summary of the second half of February, two weeks of remarkable cyber attacks against high-tech giants, massive breaches and Twitter Account Hijackings.

Probably the most resounding events of this period (maybe more for the high profile of the victims than for the actual effects) are the two attacks, allegedly originating from China, (with a common root cause, the compromising of an iPhone developer forum) carried on against Apple and Microsoft.

But not only the two high-tech giants, other illustrious victims have fallen under the blows of hacktivists and cyber criminals. The list is quite long and includes Bank of America, American Express, Casio, ZenDesk, cPanel, Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation, etc.).

Last but not least, the unprecedented trail of Cyber attack against Twitter Profile belonging to single individuals (see Donald Trump) or Corporations (Burger King and Jeep). Maybe it is time to change the passwords…

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).

A special thanks to Kim Guldberg AKA @bufferzone for continuously advising me about significant cyber events through the Submit Form! Much Appreciated!

16-28 February 2013 Cyber Attacks Timeline

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1-15 November 2013 Cyber Attacks Timeline

It’s time for the summary of the main cyber attacks occurred in the first half of November and reported on the news.

These fifteen days have been particularly troubled from an information security perspective, having left to the records several remarkable breaches: LoyaltyBuild, affecting potentially 1.12 million individuals, CorporateCarOnline.com (850,000 individuals), MacRumors (850,000 individuals) and, last but not least, vBulletin (860,000 users affected). A damage report which appears really devastating.

But even hacktivists have been particularly active: several operations have been carried on by the Anonymous all over the world (Italy, UK, Singapore, Japan, Philippines and Ukraine). One in particular (by Indonesian hacktivists against Australian targets) has apparently created a fracture inside the collective.

Last but not least, the chronicles report the latest hack of the Syrian Electronic Army against VICE and a new wave of attacks of Pakistani hackers against Indian targets.

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).1-15 November 2013 Cyber Attacks Timeline

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16-31 January 2014 Cyber Attacks Timeline

Even if with several days of delay, it is time for the second Cyber Attacks Timeline of June January 2014 (Part I here).

Unfortunately the trail of massive breaches has continued even in the second half of the month with the two remarkable events of the 16 million of records scraped by a German botnet and also the discovery of the ChewBacca malware by RSA. Cyber Crime Chronicles also report a global password reset issued by Yahoo! after the discovery of a coordinated effort to compromise accounts.

Cyber Espionage Chronicles report of an attempted malware attack against the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Israeli Defense Ministry and, most of all, the discovery of an operation allegedly orchestrated by Russian hackers against Western energy interests.

Looking at the attacks motivated by Hacktivism, the Syrian Electronic Army were behind the most noticeable events.

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).

16-31 Jan 2014 Cyber Attacks Timeline

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