Tag Archives: cyber warfare

FCC claims it was hit by DDoS attack after John Oliver segment

Source: Gizmodo

“Last night, John Oliver told his viewers to go to the FCC via a domain they bought, gofccyourself.com, and submit comments in favor of net neutrality. It was funny. A larf. A light-hearted jape with a serious point. Even funnier: Not long after the segment aired, the FCC’s website crashed. Many believed that the Oliver segment was to blame—not an unreasonable thought, given what happened last time the British comedian covered net neutrality. But now, the FCC is claiming it was the target of multiple distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.” (05/08/17)


Microsoft mysteriously fixed security gaps allegedly used by US spies a month before they leaked

Source: Quartz

“On Friday, a cache of hacking tools allegedly developed by the US National Security Agency was dumped online. The news was explosive in the digital security community because the tools contained methods to hack computers running Windows, meaning millions of machines could be at risk. Security experts who tested the tools, leaked by a group called the Shadow Brokers, found that they worked. … But just hours later, Microsoft announced that many of the vulnerabilities were addressed in a security update released a month ago.” (04/16/17)


Bitcoin wallets under siege from “Large Collider” attack

Source: Fortune

“A group called the ‘Large Bitcoin Collider’ claims it can smash open bitcoin wallets by using a so-called brute force attack, which directs mass amounts of computer power at individual wallets in order to guess their private keys. The project, which has been underway for months, relies on a distributed network of computers (similar to bitcoin itself), and invites anyone to participate — those who do could potentially share in the proceeds of the wallets cracked open. A ‘trophy list’ on the home page of Collider (an apparent reference to the Hadron Collider) suggests the group has successfully opened over a dozen wallets, though only three had any bitcoin in them. It’s unclear if the group is motivated by financial gain or the cryptographic challenge of smashing wallets — the answer is probably both based on the site’s webpage and outside observers.” (04/15/17)


UK: Anti-Brexit pols ape US “maybe Putin did it” propaganda

Source: Newsweek

“Foreign hackers may have targeted the British government’s voter registration site before the Brexit referendum last June, a committee of MPs has said. On June 7, 2016, the ‘register to vote’ website was temporarily inaccessible due to technical problems. This was the last day people could register to have a vote in the June 23 referendum and authorities blamed a surge in demand as Brits scrambled to sign up. But on Wednesday, a report from a committee of MPs will say that they cannot rule out that the website went down due to intervention by foreign hackers. … In December, the British Labour MP Ben Bradshaw said that it is ‘highly probable’ Russia sought to influence the result of the Brexit referendum and called on the government to investigate interference from Moscow. Many believe Brexit was the desired outcome of Russian President Vladimir Putin, particularly given the Russian support for anti-EU politicians such as Marine Le Pen.” (04/12/17)


Microsoft Word zero day vulnerability used to push dangerous Dridex malware on millions

Source: Ars Technica

“Booby-trapped documents exploiting a critical zero-day vulnerability in Microsoft Word have been sent to millions of people around the world in a blitz aimed at installing Dridex, currently one of the most dangerous bank fraud threats on the Internet. As Ars reported on Saturday, the vulnerability is notable because it bypasses exploit mitigations built into Windows, doesn’t require targets to enable macros, and works even against Windows 10, which is widely considered Microsoft’s most secure operating system ever. The flaw is known to affect most or all Windows versions of Word, but so far no one has ruled out that exploits might also be possible against Mac versions.” (04/11/17)


US DoJ plans to disrupt global spam network after Russian hacker’s arrest

Source: CNN

“The US Department of Justice announced an ‘extensive effort to disrupt and dismantle’ a network of thousands of compromised computers under the control of an alleged cybercriminal, a statement released Monday said. The ‘botnet’ was responsible for the sending of hundreds of millions of spam e-mails, intercepting users’ online and financial credentials and ‘installing ransomware and other malicious software,’ according to the statement. … The move to dismantle the Kelihos botnet comes on the heels of the arrest on Friday of Russian hacker Peter Levashov in Spain …. Levashov is one of the web’s most notorious spammers, says spam-tracking non-profit Spamhaus Project and is ‘one of the longest operating criminal spam-lords on the internet.'” [editor’s note: Initial rumors — now looking a lot like attempts to plant “fake news” — suggested that Levashov’s arrest was related to the (so far evidenceless) claims of “Russian hacking” of the 2016 US elections – TLK] (04/11/17)


CIA tools exposed by Wikileaks linked to hacking across 16 countries

Source: ZDNet

“Security researchers have confirmed that the CIA hacking tools exposed by Wikileaks have been used against targets in at least 16 different countries. Last month WikiLeaks published a over 8,000 documents — apparently internal CIA files — detailing the intelligence agency’s hacking programmes. And now security company Symantec said it has tied the documents to the activities of a sophisticated cyberespionage operation it has been tracking for some time, which it dubs ‘Longhorn.’ … Longhorn has been active since at least 2011, using a variety of backdoor Trojans and zero-day vulnerabilities to infiltrate governments and international organisations, as well as targets in the financial, telecoms, energy, aerospace, information technology, education, and natural resources sectors.” (04/10/17)


TX: Hacker sets off emergency alarms, frightening Dallas residents

Source: CNN

“Dallas residents were jolted out of bed late Friday evening after a hacker triggered all the city’s emergency sirens, setting off a wave of panic and confusion. All 156 emergency sirens were activated around 11:40 p.m. in what appeared to be a hacking incident that ‘woke up a lot of people,’ Sana Syed, managing director of public information for the city of Dallas, said at a news conference on Saturday.
The Office of Emergency Management was able to turn off all the sirens by 1:20 a.m., said Syed.” (04/09/17)


Four charged in mass Yahoo security breach

Source: Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

“Two Russian intelligence agents and two hackers have been charged in a devastating breach at Yahoo that affected at least a half billion user accounts, the Justice Department said Wednesday in bringing the first case of its kind against Russian government officials. The hack targeted the email accounts of Russian and U.S. officials, Russian journalists, and employees of financial services and other businesses, officials said.” (03/15/17)


Twitter confirms it was hacked as handles tweet swastikas

Source: New Indian Express [India]

“Several top Twitter accounts, including those of a German football club, a French ministry and BBC North America, were defaced Wednesday by pro-Turkish hackers with a message slamming ‘Nazi Germany’ and ‘Nazi Holland.’ … The message also featured a swastika and was followed by a video showing extracts of speeches by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Twitter confirmed the attack. … The cyberattack comes after Turkish politicians were last week banned by The Netherlands and several German towns from holding rallies to woo expatriate support for an April 16 constitutional referendum on boosting Erdogan’s powers.” (03/15/17)