|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
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!
Jan. 28, 2015 10:30 AM EST Reads: 4,586
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...
Jan. 28, 2015 10:30 AM EST Reads: 3,897
Software AG and Wipro Ltd. have announced a joint solution platform for streaming analytics that provides real-time actionable intelligence for the Internet of Things (IoT) market. “The key to successfully addressing the IoT market is the ability to rapidly build and evolve apps that tap into, analyze and make smart decisions on fast, big data”, said John Bates, Global Head of Industry Solutions and CMO, Software AG. To address the huge market potential created by streaming analytics in conj...
Jan. 28, 2015 10:15 AM EST Reads: 1,437
Cloud services are the newest tool in the arsenal of IT products in the market today. These cloud services integrate process and tools. In order to use these products effectively, organizations must have a good understanding of themselves and their business requirements. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Brian Lewis, Principal Architect at Verizon Cloud, outlined key areas of organizational focus, and how to formalize an actionable plan when migrating applications and internal services to the ...
Jan. 28, 2015 10:15 AM EST Reads: 3,694
“We are a managed services company. We have taken the key aspects of the cloud and the purposed data center and merged the two together and launched the Purposed Cloud about 18–24 months ago," explained Chetan Patwardhan, CEO of Stratogent, 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.
Jan. 28, 2015 10:00 AM EST Reads: 3,138
The 4th International DevOps Summit, co-located with16th International Cloud Expo – being held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY – announces that its Call for Papers is now open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's large...
Jan. 28, 2015 10:00 AM EST Reads: 5,025
Disruptive macro trends in technology are impacting and dramatically changing the "art of the possible" relative to supply chain management practices through the innovative use of IoT, cloud, machine learning and Big Data to enable connected ecosystems of engagement. Enterprise informatics can now move beyond point solutions that merely monitor the past and implement integrated enterprise fabrics that enable end-to-end supply chain visibility to improve customer service delivery and optimize sup...
Jan. 28, 2015 10:00 AM EST Reads: 4,794
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 a...
Jan. 28, 2015 10:00 AM EST Reads: 3,749
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...
Jan. 28, 2015 09:30 AM EST Reads: 3,389
It's time to face reality: "Americans are from Mars, Europeans are from Venus," and in today's increasingly connected world, understanding "inter-planetary" alignments and deviations is mission-critical for cloud. In her session at 15th Cloud Expo, Evelyn de Souza, Data Privacy and Compliance Strategy Leader at Cisco Systems, discussed cultural expectations of privacy based on new research across these elements
Jan. 28, 2015 09:15 AM EST Reads: 3,617
SAP is delivering break-through innovation combined with fantastic user experience powered by the market-leading in-memory technology, SAP HANA. In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Thorsten Leiduck, VP ISVs & Digital Commerce, SAP, discussed how SAP and partners provide cloud and hybrid cloud solutions as well as real-time Big Data offerings that help companies of all sizes and industries run better. SAP launched an application challenge to award the most innovative SAP HANA and SAP HANA...
Jan. 28, 2015 09:00 AM EST Reads: 3,906
Recurring revenue models are great for driving new business in every market sector, but they are complex and need to be effectively managed to maximize profits. How you handle the range of options for pricing, co-terming and proration will ultimately determine the fate of your bottom line. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Brendan O'Brien, Co-founder at Aria Systems, session examined: How time impacts recurring revenue How to effectively handle customer plan changes The range of pricing a...
Jan. 28, 2015 09:00 AM EST Reads: 4,167
More and more file-based and machine generated data is being created every day causing exponential data and content growth, and creating a management nightmare for IT managers. What data centers really need to cope with this growth is a purpose-built tiered archive appliance that enables users to establish a single storage target for all of their applications - an appliance that will intelligently place and move data to and between storage tiers based on user-defined policies. In her session a...
Jan. 28, 2015 09:00 AM EST Reads: 4,072
The Industrial Internet revolution is now underway, enabled by connected machines and billions of devices that communicate and collaborate. The massive amounts of Big Data requiring real-time analysis is flooding legacy IT systems and giving way to cloud environments that can handle the unpredictable workloads. Yet many barriers remain until we can fully realize the opportunities and benefits from the convergence of machines and devices with Big Data and the cloud, including interoperability, ...
Jan. 28, 2015 09:00 AM EST Reads: 4,135
MapR Technologies on Tuesday announced the availability of free Hadoop On-Demand Training for developers, analysts and administrators which represents a $50M in-kind contribution* to the broad Hadoop community. The Hadoop training program is a multi-course curriculum designed to expand worldwide adoption of Hadoop technology. The curriculum provides engaging and interactive video lessons, hands-on exercises, labs and quizzes, enabling professionals to acquire valuable Hadoop skills and knowledge...
Jan. 28, 2015 09:00 AM EST Reads: 1,056
Over the last few years the healthcare ecosystem has revolved around innovations in Electronic Health Record (HER) based systems. This evolution has helped us achieve much desired interoperability. Now the focus is shifting to other equally important aspects - scalability and performance. While applying cloud computing environments to the EHR systems, a special consideration needs to be given to the cloud enablement of Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA), i.e....
Jan. 28, 2015 09:00 AM EST Reads: 4,086
Things are being built upon cloud foundations to transform organizations. This CEO Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo, moderated by Roger Strukhoff, Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo conference chair, addressed the big issues involving these technologies and, more important, the results they will achieve. Rodney Rogers, chairman and CEO of Virtustream; Brendan O'Brien, co-founder of Aria Systems, Bart Copeland, president and CEO of ActiveState Software; Jim Cowie, chief scientist at Dyn; Dave Wagstaff, VP ...
Jan. 28, 2015 09:00 AM EST Reads: 4,128
"SAP had made a big transition into the cloud as we believe it has significant value for our customers, drives innovation and is easy to consume. When you look at the SAP portfolio, SAP HANA is the underlying platform and it powers all of our platforms and all of our analytics," explained Thorsten Leiduck, VP ISVs & Digital Commerce at SAP, 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.
Jan. 28, 2015 09:00 AM EST Reads: 3,685
"Desktop as a Service is emerging as a very big trend. One of the big influencers of this – for Esri – is that we have a large user base that uses virtualization and they are looking at Desktop as a Service right now," explained John Meza, Product Engineer at Esri, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Jan. 28, 2015 09:00 AM EST Reads: 3,336
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.
Jan. 28, 2015 07:00 AM EST Reads: 10,255 Replies: 1