Hack Hack Hack Hack It Apart

Why Stick a Gun in a Teller’s Face When You Can Rob Banks From Your Sofa?

Honestly who needs the bother? (Photo: screencap)

Seems the uptick in cyber crime has some benefit, at least: The Wall Street Journal reports that as criminals discover the beauty of electronic exploits like credit card theft, there’s far less incentive to stroll into a bank, fire off a couple of rounds into the ceiling and demand all the cash you can carry.

Our condolences to anyone who saw Public Enemies and decided  to make his name as a modern-day John Dillinger. We’ll always have Ocean’s Eleven. Read More

Things About Which We Are Unsure

We’ve Got One Year Before The Internet Kills Us All

(flickr/mjtmail)

Firms specializing in technology security make it their business to scare potential customers, but that doesn’t make an Internet Identity (IID) report predicting cyber doom in 2014, highlighted today by Ray Kurzweil’s Accelerating Intelligence, any less spooky.

According to IID, looming cybersecurity threats in 2013–more mobile malware, increasingly aggressive hacktivism, attacks on the cloud–are “well-anticipated and mundane.”

Those “mundane” threats are nothing next to the bleak wasteland of death and destruction IID expects in 2014: Read More

Hack Hack Hack Hack It Apart

Hackers in The Vents: Cyber Intruders Could Access HVAC Systems Via Big Security Holes

This guy is everywhere now. (Image Devdsp on Flickr

Sometime last summer, hackers invaded a New Jersey company’s web-accessible heating and air-conditioning systems using a gaping security hole in the system’s supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) software.

Ars Technica reports that an IT contractor who works with the business informed F.B.I. agents investigating the breach that controls for the HVAC system were “directly connected to the Internet” and there was no “interposing firewall.”

The backdoor into the controls is found in some versions of the Niagara AX Framework, software that controls similar systems at the Pentagon and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. An F.B.I. memo issued in July said any hacker who found their way into the nameless New Jersey company’s Niagara controls would have been able to learn the same information available to a systems administrator, such as “a floor plan layout of the office, with control fields and feedback for each office and shop area.” The web interface wasn’t even password-protected. Read More

Hack Hack Hack Hack It Apart

The Qassam Cyber Fighters Return, Warning of Phase 2 in ‘Operation Ababil’ [Updated]

Bank of America, one of the victims of Operation Ababil (Screengrab)

The Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Cyber Fighters published a new message on their Pastebin profile late Monday, warning of a new round of cyber attacks against U.S. financial institutions, beginning this week.

In their lengthy post, titled “Phase 2 Operation Ababil,” the Qassam Cyber Fighters announced that they plan to attack websites owned by J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America, U.S. Bancorp, PNC Financial Services and SunTrust Banks. Read More

SPAM LOVELY SPAM

Spammers Now Phishing via Google Docs

Not government sanctioned.

In a new SecureList blog post, Kaspersky Lab researcher Vicente Diaz has described a new frontier in a relatively old online scam. Phishers, tired of building fake websites to lure victims into unintentionally giving away email addresses, passwords or even financial information are beginning to use Google Docs to siphon data from the unwary. Read More

Hackers Beware

Gucci Hacker Gets Prison Time

Hackers having fun, unlike Sam Yin.

Manhattan’s district attorney has slapped Gucci hacker Sam Chihlung Yin with up to six years in state prison for hacking the corporate network of Gucci American, Inc. In a press release from the office of Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., the D.A. noted that Mr. Yin pleaded guilty in mid-July to one felony count of computer tampering in the first degree and 10 felony counts of “criminal possession of computer related material.”

Mr. Vance’s announcement regarding Mr. Yin’s sentence included a quote from the D.A. that could be read as a none-too-veiled warning to anyone else tempted to follow the former Gucci network engineer’s example: Read More

Anonymous

#OpPedoChat: Anonymous Tackles Pedophile Websites

You'd think this was expected.

Websites devoted to positive discussion of pedophilia have long flouted the Internet’s love of “free speech” and provided backends for pedophiles to trade child pornography. Among those who study cyber crimes this isn’t a new phenomenon at all–what may be surprising is that it took this long for Anonymous to overtly target pedophile-interest websites the way they’ve targeted large corporate interests and oppressive governments. With #OpPedoChat, Anonymous has jumped in the frayRead More

When Hackers Attack

Report: Hacktivists Continue to Worry the Hell Out of IT

anonymous pirates

Anonymous and its ilk continue to scare the bejesus out of the Internet. Judging from this research report from cyber security firm Bit9, IT pros are braced for all kinds of hacktivist havoc.

The firm surveyed 1,861 IT and security pros, the majority from organizations bigger than 500 employees. 64 percent expect to face cyber attacks in the next six months, and 61 percent point to Anonymous and its hacktivist fellow travelers as the most likely attackers. More generally, a solid two-thirds of respondents believe we’re really seeing an uptick in the rate of attacks, thanks to more hackers, stronger state-sponsored efforts, and so forth. They’re not exactly pulling that out of thin air, either. For one thing, attacks on financial companies tripled year-over-year in the first quarter of 2012. Read More

When Hackers Attack

F.B.I.: Hacking Is The New Terrorism

These guys want to help. Really.

Speaking to a cyber-security professionals in San Francisco, F.B.I. director Robert Mueller named what the feds see as America’s emergent number 1 threat: cyber-terrorism. Mr. Mueller first sounded this warning note in testimony given in January to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

In his remarks at the R.S.A. Conference Thursday, the A.P. reports Mr. Mueller listed losses to cyber-criminals: “We are losing data, we are losing money, we are losing ideas and we are losing innovation,” he said. Mr. Mueller also told attendees that together they “must find a way to stop the bleeding.” Read More