|By Adam Vincent||
|August 14, 2014 12:09 PM EDT||
August 6, 2014
By: Joseph Marks
With help from David Perera, Tal Kopan and Shaun Waterman
MORE THAN 1 BILLION PASSWORDS STOLEN BY RUSSIAN HACKER GANG — Last night’s New York Times scoop that a gang of criminal hackers deep in the Russian hinterlands had amassed more than 1 billion usernames and passwords linked to half-a-billion email addresses demonstrates both that the Web is increasingly dangerous for consumers and that Russia remains a safe zone for hacking networks, analysts told MC. “The untouchables of the internet have developed a robust hacker economy of scale in Russia,” Trend Micro Chief Cybersecurity Officer Tom Kellermann said.
When hackers gather information at that massive scale — this is likely the biggest haul in history — the danger isn’t just the data they have but the data they can deduce from it, CrowdStrike General Counsel Steve Chabinsky told MC. Many people ignore security experts’ advice and don’t vary their passwords, which means attackers that know the password to one account can try the same password — or variations on it — to breach other accounts. “The volume of these records allows hackers to do their own form of big data analytics, scouring passwords and using them in attacks not only against these corporate victims but against others as well,” said Chabinsky, who was previously deputy assistant director of the FBI’s cyber division.
The massive trove of data — stolen from hundreds of thousands of websites — was discovered by the Milwaukee firm Hold Security, which dubbed the gang CyberVor (cyber thief in Russian). The findings were verified by an independent security expert working on behalf of the Times. The list of compromised sites “includes many leaders in virtually all industries across the world, as well as a multitude of small or even personal websites,” Hold Security said. The hacking ring does not appear to be connected with the Russian government and does not appear to have sold many of the records, the Times reported. The story: http://politi.co/1y3H3L0 The Hold Security report: http://bit.ly/1oAdnUy
SECURITY FIRM FACES “CASHING IN” QUESTIONS — Demonstrating that no good deed goes unpunished, Hold Security has faced suggestions that they are “cashing in” on their discovery by offering a low-cost ($120 per year) service to webmasters to determine if their site was among the 420,000 breached by the gang. After questions from reporters, the firm appears to have taken down the page offering the service, reports Forbes blogger Kashmir Hill. The story: http://onforb.es/1opzTuG
HACKER HAUL HIGHLIGHTS PASSWORD PROBLEMS — The massive trove of stolen account credentials highlights the way the ubiquitous password has become one of the weakest links in the online security chain. Every new online account — from the vital like banking to the trivial like pizza delivery — means another different password to remember; or another chance for cybercrooks to steal your favorite one. Easily remembered passwords can generally be easily guessed, even when encrypted — by computers that try thousands of different possibilities a minute. But an Obama administration program exploring ways to make alternatives to the password commercially viable without infringing on privacy is caught in political crossfire on Capitol Hill.
For the third year running, House appropriators voted earlier this year to gut funding for the program, targeting cash for pilot implementation projects. As Dave Perera reports this morning, “the program’s backers say it’s pure politics. The National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace, NSTIC, is a relatively tiny line item in the budget of the government’s technology lab. It comes in at just $16.5 million — a rounding error in the $51.2 billion appropriations bill that funds Commerce, Justice and U.S. scientific agencies.” The full story on NSTIC:http://politico.pro/1lzoXuN
HAPPY WEDNESDAY and welcome to Morning Cybersecurity, where today’s anniversary of the atomic bomb dropping on Hiroshima — whatever else you think about it — is a good opportunity to read the Times’ fascinating obituary of Theodore Van Kirk, the last surviving crew member of the Enola Gay, the plane that dropped that bomb 59 years ago. Van Kirk died last Monday at 93. http://nyti.ms/1pBCeqv Whatever you’re reading today, drop us a line. Send your thoughts, tips and feedback this week to [email protected] and follow @talkopan, @joseph_marks_, @POLITICOPro and @MorningCybersec. Full team info is below.
INTEL OFFICIALS PREPARE TO GO AFTER SECOND SNOWDEN — Intelligence officials are considering asking the Justice Department to open a criminal investigation into the leak of documents related to the government’s terrorist watchlist to Glenn Greenwald’s The Intercept, Reuters reported late yesterday. The documents were dated August 2013, two months after Edward Snowden bolted the NSA and passed a trove of documents to Greenwald and other journalists. The investigation threat would seem to confirm the intelligence community has a second leaker on its hands, but the community would not confirm that fact to Reuters. The story:http://reut.rs/1stSKuR
And some background: There have been rumors rumbling since early July that a second intelligence community source was feeding leaks to reports. That’s when German broadcaster ARD published an unsourced story about XKeyscore targeting users who visit anonymizing sites such as Tor. “I do not believe that this came from the Snowden documents … I think there’s a second leaker out there,” security researcher Bruce Schneier wrote at the time (http://bit.ly/1jO8F08) Greenwald responded by tweeting, “seems clear at this point.” (http://bit.ly/1v7YAWa).
But, even if The Intercept’s August 2013 documents are genuinely from a different source, that doesn’t mean a second leaker on the unprecedented scale of Snowden, a senior law enforcement official cautioned MC. “The unfortunate reality is some people leak information or provide information to those not entitled to receive it, but that’s not anything new,” the source said. “It’s certainly something we take seriously, but I don’t think anybody’s at the point where they think there’s another Edward Snowden.” Background from CNN, which broke the second leaker story: http://cnn.it/1y2AjwU and The Intercept report: http://bit.ly/1qVpsXQ
IN OTHER SURVEILLANCE NEWS, TOR — The Defense Department did not receive personal data about Tor users through a government-funded project to detect vulnerabilities, a DOD spokeswoman told Reuters yesterday. The project was conducted by researchers at Carnegie-Mellon University’s Software Engineering Institute with funding from DOD. The researchers had planned to describe their work at the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas this week but the university canceled the talk amid the controversy, Reuters reported. In a note on Tor’s website last week, project leader Roger Dingledine said the service had identified computers on its network that had been quietly altering Tor traffic for five months in an attempt to unmask users connecting to “hidden services,” which include drug bazaars and whistleblower sites. Details from Reuters: http://reut.rs/V0viYM
FEDS FAIL EMAIL HYGIENE TEST — Most organizations are not doing enough to prevent their email domains from being forged by hackers and federal agency websites are especially failing — so much so that the government ought to mandate they put their house in order, a new report recommends. Just 4 percent of top federal sites qualified for the nonprofit Online Trust Alliance’s email honor roll, well below the 8.3 percent average for websites generally. Social media sites topped the list with 28 percent qualifying. Major financial institutions were next at 17 percent. To make the honor roll, organizations had to implement best practices for authenticating email that help prevent spearphishing and other malware attacks. Tal has the story http://politico.pro/1kmk6Ss
POSSIBLE IRANIAN CONNECTION IN ISRAELI DDOS ATTACKS — Security firm Arbor Networks spotted sharp upticks in DDoS attacks against Israel starting days after the Hamas-attributed deaths of three Israeli teenagers sparked the latest round of fighting. Attacks went from an average of 30 per day in June to an average of 150 per day in July, peaking at 429 attacks on July 21st, the firm said in a blog post. The attack pattern “bears a striking resemblance” to the “Itsoknoproblembro” botnet attacks launched against U.S. financial firms in 2013, Arbor adds. The Qassam Cyber Fighters, an Islamist hacking group with possible official Iranian ties, took responsibility for the financial industry attacks. Arbor says they don’t know who controls the “Brobot” botnet today, but it’s “being used to attack Israeli civilian governmental agencies, military agencies, financial services and Israel’s cc TLD DNS infrastructure.” The blog post: http://bit.ly/1kDe14s
OPERATION ARACHNAPHOBIA STILL GOING STRONG IN PAKISTAN: A Pakistani APT group has remained active even after it was outed by ThreatConnect’s Intelligence Research Team in August, 2013, launching malware attacks aimed at Indian military and government targets, according to a joint report from ThreatConnect and FireEye released yesterday. Since the first report, the group dubbed Operation Arachnophobia has embedded Bitterbug malware in phony news articles about the arrest of an Indian diplomat and about the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight 370 which the “lure” article casts as a Pakistani attack. Details:http://bit.ly/1ssTrDL
– Sixty percent of companies plan to spend their IT funds on improving cybersecurity over the next two years, and 88 percent said IT investments overall will be important or critical, according to a PwC survey of more than 200 private company leaders in the second quarter of this year: http://pwc.to/1ooEc9R
– Former NSA Chief Keith Alexander is defending the profits of his new cybersecurity firm again — this time to the Associated Press. AP: http://bit.ly/1ATkuwQ
– Smart building technology could open up a new breed of cyberattacks. TechCrunch:http://bit.ly/XBcUYy
– Boston University researchers have been awarded a $10 million grant from the National Science Foundation to test a new cloud-based modular cybersecurity system. GCN:http://bit.ly/1y3Wdjp
– The Veterans Affairs Department launched a new campaign yesterday to educate veterans about identity theft prevention. VA: http://1.usa.gov/1kFwMUV
– Blackphone and Signal have different business philosophies but hit the same post-Snowden privacy concerns. Reuters: http://reut.rs/1sdaLLV
That’s all for today. Have a great Wednesday!
Read the full article at: http://www.politico.com/morningcybersecurity/0814/morningcybersecurity14903.html
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential.
Dec. 18, 2014 06:45 PM EST Reads: 779
“In the past year we've seen a lot of stabilization of WebRTC. You can now use it in production with a far greater degree of certainty. A lot of the real developments in the past year have been in things like the data channel, which will enable a whole new type of application," explained Peter Dunkley, Technical Director at Acision, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 18, 2014 11:30 AM EST Reads: 847
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, phone and digital TV services to consumers primarily in rural areas.
Dec. 18, 2014 11:00 AM EST Reads: 2,095
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com), moderated by Ashar Baig, Research Director, Cloud, at Gigaom Research, Nate Gordon, Director of T...
Dec. 18, 2014 10:30 AM EST Reads: 2,228
The Internet of Things is not new. Historically, smart businesses have used its basic concept of leveraging data to drive better decision making and have capitalized on those insights to realize additional revenue opportunities. So, what has changed to make the Internet of Things one of the hottest topics in tech? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Gray, Director, Embedded and Internet of Things, discussed the underlying factors that are driving the economics of intelligent systems. Discover how hardware commoditization, the ubiquitous nature of connectivity, and the emergence of Big Data a...
Dec. 18, 2014 10:15 AM EST Reads: 2,059
"BSQUARE is in the business of selling software solutions for smart connected devices. It's obvious that IoT has moved from being a technology to being a fundamental part of business, and in the last 18 months people have said let's figure out how to do it and let's put some focus on it, " explained Dave Wagstaff, VP & Chief Architect, at BSQUARE Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 18, 2014 10:00 AM EST Reads: 1,753
ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is bringing a greater level of control, security and flexibility to cloud-based application development and delivery with a single-tenant version of Bluemix, IBM's platform-as-a-service. The new platform enables developers to build ap...
Dec. 18, 2014 10:00 AM EST Reads: 1,877
SYS-CON Events announced today that IDenticard will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. IDenticard™ is the security division of Brady Corp (NYSE: BRC), a $1.5 billion manufacturer of identification products. We have small-company values with the strength and stability of a major corporation. IDenticard offers local sales, support and service to our customers across the United States and Canada. Our partner network encompasses some 300 of the world's leading systems integrators and security s...
Dec. 18, 2014 09:30 AM EST Reads: 1,862
"People are a lot more knowledgeable about APIs now. There are two types of people who work with APIs - IT people who want to use APIs for something internal and the product managers who want to do something outside APIs for people to connect to them," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 18, 2014 09:00 AM EST Reads: 1,192
Nigeria has the largest economy in Africa, at more than US$500 billion, and ranks 23rd in the world. A recent re-evaluation of Nigeria's true economic size doubled the previous estimate, and brought it well ahead of South Africa, which is a member (unlike Nigeria) of the G20 club for political as well as economic reasons. Nigeria's economy can be said to be quite diverse from one point of view, but heavily dependent on oil and gas at the same time. Oil and natural gas account for about 15% of Nigera's overall economy, but traditionally represent more than 90% of the country's exports and as...
Dec. 18, 2014 06:00 AM EST Reads: 702
The Internet of Things is a misnomer. That implies that everything is on the Internet, and that simply should not be - especially for things that are blurring the line between medical devices that stimulate like a pacemaker and quantified self-sensors like a pedometer or pulse tracker. The mesh of things that we manage must be segmented into zones of trust for sensing data, transmitting data, receiving command and control administrative changes, and peer-to-peer mesh messaging. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ryan Bagnulo, Solution Architect / Software Engineer at SOA Software, focused on desi...
Dec. 17, 2014 11:15 PM EST Reads: 1,257
"At our booth we are showing how to provide trust in the Internet of Things. Trust is where everything starts to become secure and trustworthy. Now with the scaling of the Internet of Things it becomes an interesting question – I've heard numbers from 200 billion devices next year up to a trillion in the next 10 to 15 years," explained Johannes Lintzen, Vice President of Sales at Utimaco, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 17, 2014 11:00 PM EST Reads: 1,332
"For over 25 years we have been working with a lot of enterprise customers and we have seen how companies create applications. And now that we have moved to cloud computing, mobile, social and the Internet of Things, we see that the market needs a new way of creating applications," stated Jesse Shiah, CEO, President and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 17, 2014 08:00 PM EST Reads: 1,295
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built to optimize Microsoft workloads, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Gridstore™ is the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built for Microsoft workloads and designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Gridstore’s hyper-converged infrastructure is the industry’s first all flash version of HyperConverged Appliances that include both compute and storag...
Dec. 17, 2014 06:30 PM EST Reads: 1,204
Today’s enterprise is being driven by disruptive competitive and human capital requirements to provide enterprise application access through not only desktops, but also mobile devices. To retrofit existing programs across all these devices using traditional programming methods is very costly and time consuming – often prohibitively so. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO, President, and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., discussed how you can create applications that run on all mobile devices as well as laptops and desktops using a visual drag-and-drop application – and eForms-buildi...
Dec. 17, 2014 11:45 AM EST Reads: 1,438
We certainly live in interesting technological times. And no more interesting than the current competing IoT standards for connectivity. Various standards bodies, approaches, and ecosystems are vying for mindshare and positioning for a competitive edge. It is clear that when the dust settles, we will have new protocols, evolved protocols, that will change the way we interact with devices and infrastructure. We will also have evolved web protocols, like HTTP/2, that will be changing the very core of our infrastructures. At the same time, we have old approaches made new again like micro-services...
Dec. 16, 2014 11:45 PM EST Reads: 1,275
Code Halos - aka "digital fingerprints" - are the key organizing principle to understand a) how dumb things become smart and b) how to monetize this dynamic. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Brown, AVP, Center for the Future of Work at Cognizant Technology Solutions, outlined research, analysis and recommendations from his recently published book on this phenomena on the way leading edge organizations like GE and Disney are unlocking the Internet of Things opportunity and what steps your organization should be taking to position itself for the next platform of digital competition.
Dec. 15, 2014 11:45 PM EST Reads: 1,641
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
Dec. 15, 2014 10:30 AM EST Reads: 6,858
As the Internet of Things unfolds, mobile and wearable devices are blurring the line between physical and digital, integrating ever more closely with our interests, our routines, our daily lives. Contextual computing and smart, sensor-equipped spaces bring the potential to walk through a world that recognizes us and responds accordingly. We become continuous transmitters and receivers of data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Bolwell, Director of Innovation for HP's Printing and Personal Systems Group, discussed how key attributes of mobile technology – touch input, sensors, social, and ...
Dec. 15, 2014 10:00 AM EST Reads: 1,943
In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect at GE, and Ibrahim Gokcen, who leads GE's advanced IoT analytics, focused on the Internet of Things / Industrial Internet and how to make it operational for business end-users. Learn about the challenges posed by machine and sensor data and how to marry it with enterprise data. They also discussed the tips and tricks to provide the Industrial Internet as an end-user consumable service using Big Data Analytics and Industrial Cloud.
Dec. 15, 2014 10:00 AM EST Reads: 1,618