|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
With the arrival of the Big Data revolution, a data professional is expected to master a broad spectrum of complex domains including data processing, mathematics, programming languages, machine learning techniques, and business knowledge. While this mastery is undoubtedly important, this narrow focus on tool usage has divorced many from the imagination required to solve real-world problems. As the demand for analysis increases, the data science community must transform from tool experts to "data...
May. 23, 2015 04:30 AM EDT Reads: 2,707
The 3rd International @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 – is now accepting Hackathon proposals. Hackathon sponsorship benefits include general brand exposure and increasing engagement with the developer ecosystem. At Cloud Expo 2014 Silicon Valley, IBM held the Bluemix Developer Playground on November 5 and ElasticBox held the DevOps Hackathon on November 6. Both events took place on the expo fl...
May. 23, 2015 04:00 AM EDT Reads: 3,359
The explosion of connected devices / sensors is creating an ever-expanding set of new and valuable data. In parallel the emerging capability of Big Data technologies to store, access, analyze, and react to this data is producing changes in business models under the umbrella of the Internet of Things (IoT). In particular within the Insurance industry, IoT appears positioned to enable deep changes by altering relationships between insurers, distributors, and the insured. In his session at @Things...
May. 23, 2015 04:00 AM EDT Reads: 4,795
15th Cloud Expo, which took place Nov. 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, expanded the conference content of @ThingsExpo, Big Data Expo, and DevOps Summit to include two developer events. IBM held a Bluemix Developer Playground on November 5 and ElasticBox held a Hackathon on November 6. Both events took place on the expo floor. The Bluemix Developer Playground, for developers of all levels, highlighted the ease of use of Bluemix, its services and functionalit...
May. 23, 2015 04:00 AM EDT Reads: 6,209
The truth is, today’s databases are anything but agile – they are effectively static repositories that are cumbersome to work with, difficult to change, and cannot keep pace with application demands. Performance suffers as a result, and it takes far longer than it should to deliver new features and capabilities needed to make your organization competitive. As your application and business needs change, data repositories and structures get outmoded rapidly, resulting in increased work for applica...
May. 23, 2015 03:30 AM EDT Reads: 2,740
Enthusiasm for the Internet of Things has reached an all-time high. In 2013 alone, venture capitalists spent more than $1 billion dollars investing in the IoT space. With "smart" appliances and devices, IoT covers wearable smart devices, cloud services to hardware companies. Nest, a Google company, detects temperatures inside homes and automatically adjusts it by tracking its user's habit. These technologies are quickly developing and with it come challenges such as bridging infrastructure gaps,...
May. 23, 2015 02:45 AM EDT Reads: 6,646
A new definition of Big Data & the practical applications of the defined components & associated technical architecture models This presentation introduces a new definition of Big Data, along with the practical applications of the defined components and associated technical architecture models. In his session at Big Data Expo, Tony Shan will start with looking into the concept of Big Data and tracing back the first definition by Doug Laney, and then he will dive deep into the description of 3V...
May. 23, 2015 02:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,955
We’re no longer looking to the future for the IoT wave. It’s no longer a distant dream but a reality that has arrived. It’s now time to make sure the industry is in alignment to meet the IoT growing pains – cooperate and collaborate as well as innovate. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, will examine the key ingredients to IoT success and identify solutions to challenges the industry is facing. The deep industry expertise be...
May. 23, 2015 02:30 AM EDT Reads: 4,905
NuoDB just introduced the Swifts 2.1 Release. In this demo at 15th Cloud Expo, Seth Proctor, CTO of NuoDB, Inc., discussed why scaling databases in the cloud is challenging, why building your application on top of the infrastructure that is designed with this in mind makes a difference, and what you can do with NuoDB that simplifies your programming model, your operations model.
May. 23, 2015 02:15 AM EDT Reads: 4,364
You use an agile process; your goal is to make your organization more agile. But what about your data infrastructure? The truth is, today's databases are anything but agile - they are effectively static repositories that are cumbersome to work with, difficult to change, and cannot keep pace with application demands. Performance suffers as a result, and it takes far longer than it should to deliver new features and capabilities needed to make your organization competitive. As your application an...
May. 23, 2015 02:00 AM EDT Reads: 3,378
Hovhannes Avoyan, CEO of Monitis, Inc., a provider of on-demand systems management and monitoring software to 50,000 users spanning small businesses and Fortune 500 companies, has surpassed 1.5 million page views on the SYS-CON family of online magazines, which includes Cloud Computing Journal, DevOps Journal, Internet of Things Journal, and Big Data Journal. His home page at SYS-CON can be found at Montis.SYS-CON.com
May. 23, 2015 02:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,900
SYS-CON Events announced today that Liaison Technologies, a leading provider of data management and integration cloud services and solutions, 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. Liaison Technologies is a recognized market leader in providing cloud-enabled data integration and data management solutions to break down complex information barriers, enabling enterprises to make sm...
May. 23, 2015 01:30 AM EDT Reads: 5,290
The 17th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. 17th International Cloud Expo, to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, Microservices, Security, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding bu...
May. 23, 2015 01:15 AM EDT Reads: 4,260
Due of the rise of Hadoop, many enterprises are now deploying their first small clusters of 10 to 20 servers. At this small scale, the complexity of operating the cluster looks and feels like general data center servers. It is not until the clusters scale, as they inevitably do, when the pain caused by the exponential complexity becomes apparent. We've seen this problem occur time and time again. In his session at Big Data Expo, Greg Bruno, Vice President of Engineering and co-founder of StackI...
May. 23, 2015 01:00 AM EDT Reads: 4,414
As enterprises engage with Big Data technologies to develop applications needed to meet operational demands, new computation fabrics are continually being introduced. To leverage these new innovations, organizations are sacrificing market opportunities to gain expertise in learning new systems. In his session at Big Data Expo, Supreet Oberoi, Vice President of Field Engineering at Concurrent, Inc., discussed how to leverage existing infrastructure and investments and future-proof them against e...
May. 23, 2015 01:00 AM EDT Reads: 3,059
Hadoop as a Service (as offered by handful of niche vendors now) is a cloud computing solution that makes medium and large-scale data processing accessible, easy, fast and inexpensive. In his session at Big Data Expo, Kumar Ramamurthy, Vice President and Chief Technologist, EIM & Big Data, at Virtusa, will discuss how this is achieved by eliminating the operational challenges of running Hadoop, so one can focus on business growth. The fragmented Hadoop distribution world and various PaaS soluti...
May. 23, 2015 12:30 AM EDT Reads: 3,741
Cryptography has become one of the most underappreciated, misunderstood components of technology. It’s too easy for salespeople to dismiss concerns with three letters that nobody wants to question. ‘Yes, of course, we use AES.’ But what exactly are you trusting to be the ultimate guardian of your data? Let’s face it – you probably don’t know. An organic, grass-fed Kobe steak is a far cry from a Big Mac, but they’re both beef, right? Not exactly. Crypto is the same way. The US government require...
May. 23, 2015 12:00 AM EDT Reads: 3,860
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo in Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading in...
May. 22, 2015 11:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,618
All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades. With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo, June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enter...
May. 22, 2015 11:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,950
The true value of the Internet of Things (IoT) lies not just in the data, but through the services that protect the data, perform the analysis and present findings in a usable way. With many IoT elements rooted in traditional IT components, Big Data and IoT isn’t just a play for enterprise. In fact, the IoT presents SMBs with the prospect of launching entirely new activities and exploring innovative areas. CompTIA research identifies several areas where IoT is expected to have the greatest impac...
May. 22, 2015 09:00 PM EDT Reads: 4,773