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Human Rights Organizations under Pressure from Cyber-Assaults PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 20 November 2014 08:00

Think Tank Citizen Lab, of Canada which operates under the Munk School of Global Affairs of University-of-Toronto recently released a report that states how human rights activists have been subjected to cyber-attacks employing APTs (advanced persistent threats) that quite similarly strike public and government sector organizations, published, November 11, 2014.

Research conductors at Citizen Lab caution how civil rights enthusiasts have even less provisions compared to governments and corporations in tackling cyber-security and how these assaults can endanger democracy and people's rights.

Human rights activities characteristically neither possess the funding required for buying the services of technical security professionals nor have scope for getting government support in maintenance of digital protection alternatively have general policy with which their confidentiality as well as security can be safeguarded.

The research spanning four years covered ten separate organizations. With its results, Citizen Lab found how prominent cyber-attacks struck human rights gatherings in the same severe manner as they struck governments and industries. These cyber-attacks were like an alleged spying campaign from China named APT1 as also one more alleged Chinese campaign, NetTraveler.

For executing the assaults, considerable resources were used even as hackers deceitfully made the activists load malicious software onto their PCs.

There wasn't any requirement of high-tech cyber-weapons as the hackers knew their target organizations' defenses were truly feeble. The assaults worked out fine with well-designed socially-engineered phishing tactics like pretending to be fund providers, or pretending to be other activists belonging to alliance organizations.

Evidently, hackers receiving support of the People's Liberation Army (Unit 61398) of China targeted a Tibetan organization as also compromised a civil activist group. Mandiant an American cyber-security firm first identified this military unit.

Senior Researcher Nart Villeneuve of FireEye Inc. that of late acquired Mandiant said the hackers were capable of equipping themselves to attack inadequately-defended targets while progressively move towards targets that were adequately-defended big firms. published this, November 11, 2014.

Finally according to the report, getting potential victims to click infected files proved far greater relevance than being technically advanced. Assaults concentrated on particular entities, remained for certain time-periods, and benefited from political motivation.

Read more... - Human Rights Organiz...
Law Enforcement Officials Arrest Man Operating Silk Road 2.0 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 20 November 2014 08:00

Agencies of law enforcement have detained Blake Benthall in San Francisco because the man, aged 26-yrs, allegedly owned Silk Road 2.0 a market of illicit nature running under unidentifiable Tor network, published dated November 7, 2014.

Among different rivals, Benthall's market happened to be the biggest accessible on Darknet. It provided many different types of drugs as well as malware along with tools to launch PC-hacks; the tools being RATs (remote access tools), keyloggers and info-stealers, while supplied bogus documents too.

Referred to as "Defcon" on the Internet, Benthall understandably established Silk Road 2.0 so he could revive the original underground market also called Silk Road, which the officials had seized in 2013.

Reportedly, an agent of Homeland Security managed in gaining admission into Silk Road 2.0 from where he managed to do tasks in customer support and creation pertaining to the website. In the beginning, there was invitation for visiting the forum followed with the undercover entity getting administrator privileges. Soon, a server based within some unspecified foreign country allegedly started harboring Silk Road 2.0. But in that country, authorities managed in tracking the server followed with analyzing its data via forensic experts, which resulted in the detention as also dismantling of the website.

Responding to the above kind of underground markets, Preet Bharara, U.S. Attorney of Manhattan stated that anybody thinking about doing like the alleged online crooks must know that authorities would come back every time, if necessary, for shutting down harmful Internet crime markets without at all getting tired. published this.

Incidentally, Benthall is accused of conniving towards carrying out narcotics trafficking in one instance that merits sentence of up to imprisonment for life along with one necessary least period 10-yrs imprisonment. Moreover, there's accusation he connived towards carrying out PC-hacking in one instance meriting a 5-yrs of imprisonment at the most; connived towards distributing fake identification documents in one instance that merits 15-yrs of imprisonment; while connived to do money laundering meriting imprisonment of 20-yrs.

For investigation into Benthall's case, law enforcement agencies of countries Germany, France, Britain, Holland and Lithuania have also been engaged.

Read more... - Law Enforcement Offi...
Cyber-Criminals Using Codes/Methodologies Typical in APT Assaults, Says Sophos PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Wednesday, 19 November 2014 12:00

One new threat scam, which Sophos the security company has named "Rotten Tomato," indicates how ordinary hackers currently use codes and methodologies that are typical of APT (advanced persistent threat) scams. reported this dated November 7, 2014.

Sophos' label for the assault gets the name from an earlier campaign called 'Tomato Garden' wherein many separate hacker cabals utilized the identical 0-day vulnerability in Microsoft Word; however, the current instance is different in that a few samples haven't been effectively executed hence they're 'rotten.'

The attackers haven't just utilized the long prevalent CVE-2012-0158 security flaw, nevertheless, have utilized the more recent CVE-2014-1761 vulnerability too, abusing these for planting the Zbot Trojan.

According to Gabor Szappanos, Researcher with SophosLabs, Rotten Tomato represents one true personalized attack campaign, executed across Russia, during most of the instances. reported this dated November 7, 2014.

Rotten Tomato, which belongs to the Plugx malware group, was created to be one dual weapon assault where though, one weapon proved unsuccessful. Despite that, there still is real threat from the malware even as it raises the possibility of contamination inside computers within which previous flaws are already patched, stresses the security company.

Szappanos has been watching Plugx since the last 2-yrs and based on this malware variants' evolution during that period, the researcher lately issued one study paper, which explains the details of the campaign, and thereby reports how plentiful variants had been noticed which exploited the security flaws referred to above.

In addition, Szappanos states that these malware developers happen to be highly active APT gangs and they've been executing several personalized assaults which probably enjoyed the China government's backing. published this dated November 3, 2014.

According to the researcher, a variant called SHA1: c3a7cb43ec13299b758cb8ca25eace71329939f7 features one encoded Zbot sample3 prefixed to the RTF, while he bets the various malware developers utilized the variant like a template.

Szappanos further observes that while ordinary developers of malicious software copy APTs more and more, the fine line that separates ordinary malware assaults and APTs is getting more difficult for outlining. published this dated November 5, 2014.

Read more... - Cyber-Criminals Usin...
Kaspersky - ‘Darkhotel’ Espionage Attack Targets Executives Using Hotel Internet PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Wednesday, 19 November 2014 12:00

Kaspersky, a computer-security firm, recently said that travelling business executives have been victimized by an espionage attack known as Darkhotel which is a malware targeting guests of high-profile hotels via their networks.

According to the report, most of the infected machines seem to be located in Taiwan, Japan, Russia, China and Korea but there are many more victims in other countries like Germany, Indonesia, United States, India and Ireland.

Kaspersky Labs explains the modus operandi of the Darkhotel attack: When users connect to the network, they are presented with a dialog box asking them to install a fake update which looks authentic like Google Toolbar, Flash or Windows Messenger. If the victim agrees to install the fake update, he receives a digitally signed piece of malware by courtesy of attackers. The malware has keylogging and other capabilities which steal information and then sent back to the attackers.

The attackers need all these and then they can infect systems with keyloggers, Trojans and other software to embezzle passwords, watch keystrokes and gather private information. The main purpose of the attack seems to be to steal sensitive corporate details or gain entry into corporate networks.

Kaspersky says that once hacking is complete, all signs of the hack are erased and the innocent victims continue work without knowing that their sensitive data and their corporation's data have been stolen. Apparently, hackers never target the same person twice.

The hackers also distribute Darkhotel malware randomly along with these targeted attacks. published a report on 10th November, 2014 quoting Kurt Baumgartner, Principal Security Researcher of Kaspersky Lab, as saying "The blend of both targeted and random attacks is gradually getting more ordinary in the (Advanced Packaging Tool) landscape. Targeted attacks are employed to hijack high-profile users and botnet-style operations are employed for mass surveillance or to execute other tasks like (distributed denial-of-service attacking) adversaries or just to advance interesting victims to more chic espionage tools."

Kaspersky warned that the Darkhotel malware is still active and has advised business travellers to use a VPN and ensure that security solutions can defend any new threats and treat software updates as suspicious.

Read more... - Kaspersky - ‘Darkh...
Facebook Hit with Phishing Scam Designed for Stealing Account Credentials PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Tuesday, 18 November 2014 06:00

According to security researchers, cyber-criminals are running one new phishing e-mail scam that tries to grab the Facebook credentials of a large number of users, reported dated November 10, 2014.

The phishing e-mail that poses as a formal notification from Facebook tells the recipient that he'll be unable to access his account for sometime.

The message elaborates that the social networking website, in an effort for making sure every Facebook accountholder utilizes his/her true identity, requires the user for following a web-link and performing one security check. It then states that once the security verification is complete the user will get back his account fully operational.

Unsurprisingly, there's use of the usual Facebook logo and the website's color combination of white and blue in the e-mail.

But, neither has Facebook sent the e-mail nor has the recipient's account been made inaccessible as claimed.

Actually, it's one phishing scam whose related e-mail is crafted for filching the users' Facebook login credentials.

Anybody who clicks the web-link followed with typing in his data on the spoofed login web-page will lose his information to cyber-criminals perpetrating the scam. These criminals may subsequently utilize the information for compromising the user's account and this'll be even more possible incase the security program 2FA (dual-factor validation) isn't enabled.

The 2FA works as one supplemental code to substantiate users' login details as well as confirm their identity.

Meanwhile, considering how popular Facebook is, its user accounts are always valuable and this induces cyber-criminals to forever attempt at deceitfully making unwitting end-users to surrender their credentials. For, by compromising any Facebook profile, crooks can utilize it for spreading malevolent schemes.

Moreover, although the current e-mail is fraudulent, security researchers note that an alert message -"A/C temporarily made inaccessible" may get displayed from Facebook incase the company actually requires a user towards confirming his identity alternatively incase the website's security system doubts the user's PC is infected with malware.

Lately, publication of a study about 5 scams, among others, used the maximum number of times against Facebook reveals the worst of those scams as offering certain tool which discloses who the profile viewers are.

Read more... - Facebook Hit with Ph...
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