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Hackers Steal Millions of Social Security Numbers From South Carolina Taxpayers

Hackers were likely not ski-masked in this case.

Hackers from outside the United States recently penetrated the website for South Carolina’s Department of Revenue and reportedly made off with 3.6 million Social Security numbers and 16,000 unencrypted credit and debit card numbers.

South Carolina has a population of approximately 4.5 million, meaning the compromised Social Security numbers could affect most of state.

South Carolina’s governor held a press conference about the breach on Friday: Read More

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Researchers Discover Software Controlling Solar Power Plants Is Totally Hackable

The Sun. Totally hackable. (Flickr/DBduoPhotography)

On the heels of Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta scaring the crap out of everyone regarding cyberattacks, SophosLabs’ NakedSecurity blog linked to a Homeland Security alert which warns that hackers could take control of solar energy plants.

Plant administrators use the vulnerable software to control energy-generating solar plants. However the programming wasn’t written with security in mind; it’s a swiss cheese of SQL injection holes: Read More

SOPA Opera

SOPA Virus Kidnaps Computers for Ransom [Video]


Virus makers sometimes create what amount to digital versions of the creepy guy on the corner in a trenchcoat trying to convince kids to get in his ‘police van.’ The SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) virus is just the latest and worst example of this. It’s called ransomware, and it will lock down a victim’s computer and give them an ugly scare in the process.

TorrentFreak explains how the SOPA virus works: Read More

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After Hack Attack, Carnage Sweeps Like Death’s Scythe Through World of Warcraft


Is no Internet community safe from the outrageous depredations of the hackers? The latest victims of their villainy: World of Warcraft. Forbes reports that, on Sunday morning, a mysterious attack swept through the game, slaying thousands of avatars.

It was as swift and terrible as the coming of Ringwraiths.

Forbes reports on the terror: Read More

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Hacker Hides Handheld Hotel Lock-Picking Gadget in Dry Erase Marker [Video]

(Matthew Jakubowski)

Recently Cody Brocious discovered that the program controlling Onity brand hotel room door locks was weak enough he could crack it and open any room secured with one. Building on Mr. Brocious’s work, ethical hacker Matthew Jakubowski has taken hotel room lock hacking into James Bond territory, hiding his own lockpicking device inside an innocuous Dry Erase marker.

Mr. Jakubowski refers the curious hacker or technologically sophisticated burglar to Mr. Brocious for the fine details regarding the actual hacking of the locks and then describes creating his “Hotel Pen Test Pen” in detail. He has also uploaded a video of his pen unlocking a hotel door lock purchased on eBay, which you can watch below. Read More

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Security Experts Warn Hackers Could Hijack Satellites

SpaceX's Dragon. Probably won't fall on you. (SpaceX.com)

An alarming report in The Independent may serve as a warning to satellite operators and a challenge to hackers: cyber security experts attending a conference in the United Kingdom say our satellites face more dangers than ever, including hijacking and sabotage by skilled and malicious hackers.

The Independent‘s Jerome Taylor reports that experts attending the Royal United Services Institute for Defense and Security Studies conference believe the world’s dependence on space-based tech could render many “acutely vulnerable”: Read More

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Hackers ‘Team GhostShell’ Leak 120,000 Records From 100 Major Universities


Team GhostShell returned late Monday with Project WestWind: a leak of 120,000 records from 100 major universities around the world.

Team GhostShell is the hacking group behind Project Hellfire, which launched in August this year. Project Hellfire lifted 1 million accounts from 100 websites around the world, compromising data from the CIA and from Wall Street.

The hacked data leaked in Project WestWind does indeed appear to come from a who’s who of major learning institutions. They include Harvard, Cambridge, Princeton, Tokyo University, Cornell and New York University.

In their Pastebin announcement, Team GhostShell said Project WestWind was a serious effort to jump-start a dialogue on the state of higher education today. Apparently this hack wasn’t pranksterism for the lulz, but hacktivism for the greater good: Read More

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White House Admits it Was Targeted by Hackers

Screenshot from http://zone-h.org/archive

In response to a right wing website’s allegation they sustained a cyber attack from Chinese hackers, the White House has admitted to Politico that the attack occurred. However, the Obama Administration insists no data was stolen and classified systems were not compromised.

An unnamed official told Politico that the attempted hack was essentially an isolated incident in which a staffer received an email carrying a malware attachment. To be clear, everything is cool now and rogue Chinese hackers won’t be taking control of the suitcase containing nuclear launch codes any time soon: Read More

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Chinese Hackers Targeting Major Energy Companies

Chinese flag

Telvent, which provides services that facilitate remote control and monitoring of large sections of the energy industry, may have recently fallen prey to Chinese hackers. While notifications about the Sept. 10 systems intrusion were distributed by Telvent Canada, Ltd., the cyber attack was “sophisticated” and targeted operations in the U.S. and Spain as well as Canada.

Security experts believe the culprits are a group of Chinese hackers who have attacked Western companies in the past.

Krebs on Security explains more about the hack: Read More