Tag Archives | Hacking

Unraveling The Stuxnet Virus

From Patrick Clair a year ago, a quick and excellent look at the troubling Stuxnet virus. It has since been confirmed that the United States and Israel were behind its use against Iran's nuclear facilities. The question is now, what have we unleashed?
An infographic dissecting the nature and ramifications of Stuxnet, the first weapon made entirely out of code. This was produced for Australian TV program HungryBeat.  
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All Charges Dropped Against British ‘UFO Hacker’ Gary McKinnon

Gary McKinnon can now be referred to as “the man who hacked NASA and the Pentagon and got away with it all.” Via the Daily Mail:

Gary McKinnon’s ten-year nightmare was finally over yesterday after police and prosecutors decided he will not stand trial in Britain. The computer hacker won his fight against extradition two months ago when Theresa May blocked US demands to send him there. Now Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer has announced that the 46-year-old Asperger’s sufferer will not face criminal charges in this country either.

His mother Janis Sharp said: ‘This will be the 11th Christmas since his arrest and it is the first time we can celebrate. If extradited, Mr McKinnon, from Wood Green, North London, faced up to 60 years behind bars for hacking into Pentagon and NASA computers looking for the existence of ‘little green men’.

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Anonymous Versus Westboro Baptist Church

A worthy target of Anonymous's ire, methinks. Via BetaBeat:
The Westboro Baptist Church, widely reviled for its homophobic beliefs and protests of veteran funerals, announced on Saturday that it would picket at Sandy Hook Elementary School following the tragic shooting there Friday that took the lives of 27 people. Members of Anonymous began an operation against the Church to discourage them from protesting at the school and compounding the misery already experienced by Newtown residents. In a video uploaded by KY Anonymous, the hacker collective states: We will not allow you to corrupt the minds of America with your seeds of hatred...
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Bank Hackers Deny Being Iranian Agents

In short, to the U.S. government, anything anomalous is an Iranian conspiracy. Wired writes:

A slew of American officials have blamed Iran for attacks on the servers of Bank of America, Well Fargo, HSBC, and other western banks. But the hackers taking credit for the sophisticated distributed denial-of-service strikes say that’s all wrong; they claim they hit the financial institutions because they were pissed off about “The Innocence of Muslims,” the infamous viral video making fun of the Prophet Muhammad. Tehran didn’t have a thing to do with it.

“We are not dependent on any government. We merely wanted to protest against the insulting movie,” people claiming to be part of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Cyber Fighters [said].

Some security researchers believed the attacks to be so sophisticated, they could’ve only been pulled off with government help. ”This isn’t consistent with what hacktivists are capable of,” Michael Smith, a security specialist at Akamai, said in September.

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Man Arrested For ID Theft Of Most Of Greece

It’s reaching the point where we probably should give up even trying to have identities. Via the Toronto Star:

Greek police have arrested a man on suspicion of stealing the personal data of roughly two thirds of the country’s population, police officials in Athens said on Tuesday.

The 35-year old computer programmer was also suspected of attempting to sell the 9 million files containing identification card data, addresses, tax ID numbers and licence plate numbers. Greece’s population is 11 million.

Police were also looking into whether the man had obtained the data files by hacking into a government server and whether he had an accomplice, officials said. The files were discovered after police raided his home.

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British ‘UFO Hacker’ Gary McKinnon Will Not Be Extradited To United States

Curiosity about UFOs is what inspired McKinnon, who has Asperger’s syndrome, to engage in what American officials have called the “biggest military computer hack of all time.” The Guardian reports:

The home secretary, Theresa May, defied the American authorities on Tuesday by halting the extradition of British computer hacker Gary McKinnon, a decision criticised by the US state department but welcomed with delight by campaigners and politicians across parties in the UK.

McKinnon was first indicted by an American grand jury in November 2002 for hacking into US military computers, including the Pentagon and NASA, from his north London bedroom while he was looking for UFOs. He could have faced a prison sentence of up 70 years under US law.

May told Members of Parliament she had taken the quasi-judicial decision on human rights grounds because of medical reports warning that McKinnon, who has Asperger’s syndrome and suffers from depressive illness, could kill himself if sent to stand trial in the US.

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The Government Thinks You Should Focus On The Adversary, But Who Is The Adversary?

Meghan Kelly reports from the Black Hat security conference for VentureBeat:

After 9/11, the FBI needed to change the way it operated. It switched its focus and looked toward identifying the enemy — a change former FBI assistant executive director Shawn Henry says needs to translate to the information security world.

Henry spoke at the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas today and explained that one of the main problems with the security industry is the lack of focus on the enemy, with most of the focus on the networks themselves. Corporations, according to Henry, only pay attention to the bullets flying by their heads, not the people shooting the bullets.

“In the FBI since 9/11, we made significant changes in our organization,” said Henry. “You’ve got to assume that the adversary is on the network. I assume there are terrorists in this country… I know there are spies in this country… they’re here, what do you do?”

Henry suggests companies start dedicating resources toward intelligence gathering.

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Anonymous Hacks U.S. Department of Justice

AnonAlex Fitzpatrick writes on Mashable:

Anonymous is taking credit for a confirmed breach of security at the U.S. Department of Justice, although the exact contents of the data bounty are not yet known.

“Today we are releasing 1.7 GB of data that used to belong to the United States Bureau of Justice, until now,” reads an Anonymous press release, referring to the Department of Justice. “Within the booty you may find lots of shiny things such as internal emails, and the entire database dump.”

The hacktivist collective has been known to make bold claims, but a Department of Justice spokeswoman confirmed to Reuters that Anonymous members did indeed access a server that hosts the Department’s statistical data, including cybersecurity records…

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Anonymous Claims Access to Every Secret Government Database

AnonymousWrites Sam Biddle on Gizmodo:

Anonymous has been meek and quiet since the great Sabu treachery, failing to even threaten much of anything. But in a new interview, one of the group’s last remaining leaders says Anon has a nuclear card up its sleeve.

Christopher “Commander X” Doyon, whose name is public because he’s been busted for hacking a California government website, sat for an interview with the National Post. The exchange circles mostly around Doyon’s exile in Canada, where he’s hoping to dodge the wrath of American feds. But he ends on one particularly ominous and/or laughable note:

Q. What’s next for Anonymous?

A: Right now we have access to every classified database in the U.S. government. It’s a matter of when we leak the contents of those databases, not if. You know how we got access? We didn’t hack them. The access was given to us by the people who run the systems.

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