Archive for December, 2009

Adobe predicted as top 2010 hacker target

December 30, 2009

Adobe predicted as top 2010 hacker target: “

McAfee’s crystal ball also reveals Google Chrome dangers

Adobe will overtake Microsoft as the primary target for hackers and virus writers in 2010, net-security firm McAfee predicts.…

Web threats: Why conventional protection doesn’t work

(Via The Register.)


Phishing: not just for attacking banks

December 30, 2009

Phishing: not just for attacking banks: “

I’m interrupting my scheduled series on reputation to bring you a public service message. This week on Security Levity, a reminder to beware of all kinds of phishing attack: not just bad guys pretending to be your bank…

read more

(Via Amir Lev’s blog.)

Target Among Firms Hit by Gonzalez

December 30, 2009

Target Among Firms Hit by Gonzalez: “A Reuters newswire article, via, reports that:

Target said it was among the victims of computer hacker Albert Gonzalez, mastermind of the biggest identity theft in U.S. history.

The 28-year-old college dropout pleaded guilty on Tuesday to charges that he stole more than 170 million payment card numbers by breaking into corporate computer systems from businesses including Target.

Gonzalez, under the plea agreement, faces 17 years to 25 years in prison when he is sentenced in March.

Target spokeswoman Amy Reilly said her company was among the victims, having had an ‘extremely limited’ number of payment card numbers stolen by Gonzalez about two years ago.

She declined to say how many card numbers had been stolen, and described the term of the exposure as brief.

More here.

(Via Fergie’s Tech Blog.)

Penn State University Hit in Cyberattack That Potentially Compromised 30,000 Social Security Numbers!

December 30, 2009

Penn State University Hit in Cyberattack

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Another day, another cyberattack! This cyberattack happened at Penn State University and potentially compromised 30,000 social security numbers. Happy New Year to all the returning students!

McAfee 2010 Cyber Threat Predictions

December 29, 2009

2010 Threat Predictions

Adobe to become top hacker target for 2010

New McAfee report predicts next year will see Adobe software supplant Microsoft products for the dubious honour

By Phil Muncaster

Security giant McAfee is warning end users and information security professionals to expect an increase in threats to social networks and the emergence of Adobe products as the number one software target for cyber criminals next year.

McAfee’s new 2010 Threat Predictions report warns that Adobe will supplant Microsoft for the first time next year in terms of the number of desktop PCs being attacked.

“In 2009 McAfee Labs saw an increase in attacks targeting client software. The favourite vector among attackers is Adobe products, primarily Flash and Acrobat Reader,” the report noted.

“Using reliable ‘heap spray–like’ and other exploitation techniques, malware writers have turned Adobe apps into a hot target. Further, Flash and Reader are among the most widely deployed applications in the world, which provides a higher return on investment to cyber criminals.”

The report also warns that as user numbers of social networks continue to grow, these sites are likely to experience ever-more sophisticated attacks, with cyber criminals exploiting the inherent trust that users have in their friends on the sites which makes them more likely to click on malicious links.

“As Google and other providers crack down on search engine poisoning, we expect that Twitter and similar services will increase in appeal for such purposes,” the report added.

But it was not all doom and gloom for 2010, with McAfee maintaining that the tide may finally turn in favour of the law enforcers next year.

“The worlds of law enforcement and justice have had about a decade to deal with highly organised and financially motivated cyber criminals. We finally have nearly universal recognition among global governments of the severity of this problem, and we can see significant progress from these years of relationship building, education, and training among international law enforcement organisations,” the report said.

“This progress has been slow in coming but we now see clearly demonstrated to criminals that engaging in cybercrime has become an activity with a rapidly increasing risk of incarceration, regardless of their country of residence.”

Microsoft Investigating New IIS Zero Day

December 29, 2009

Microsoft Investigating New IIS Zero Day: “

Microsoft is investigating reports of a new zero-day vulnerability in its IIS Web server software, and says that the flaw is a problem mainly on servers that are poorly configured.

Shorten URL: Click to copy to clipboard or post to Twitter

ZeroClipboard.setMoviePath( ‘’ );
var clip = new ZeroClipboard.Client();
clip.setHandCursor( true );
clip.glue( ‘short_url_link’ , ‘short_url_cont’ );

(Via threatpost – The First Stop for Security News.)

The 2009 Data Breach Hall Of Shame

December 29, 2009

The 2009 Data Breach Hall Of Shame: “The 2009 Data Breach Hall Of Shame”

(Via I’ve Been Mugged.)

Microsoft loses appeal on Word injunction • The Register

December 26, 2009

Microsoft loses appeal on Word injunction • The Register: ”
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Operating Systems Applications Developer Microbite Virtualisation Lab
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Microsoft loses appeal on Word injunction
Alert Print Post comment
Must remove XML tech by January 11
By Austin Modine in San Francisco • Get more from this author

Posted in Applications, 22nd December 2009 19:10 GMT
Free whitepaper – Best practices for optimizing performance and availability in virtual infrastructures
Microsoft must remove custom-XML editing from Word or face a permanent injunction barring the company from selling recent versions of the software, a federal appeals court on Tuesday ruled.

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed a $290m patent infringement judgment against Microsoft, won by Toronto-based software company i4i in Texas. It alleges Microsoft’s software infringed on its patents that cover extensible markup language technology.

Microsoft ha”

(Via .)

Amazon EC2 cloud service hit by botnet, outage | Security – CNET News

December 26, 2009

Amazon EC2 cloud service hit by botnet, outage | Security – CNET News: ”

December 11, 2009 2:07 PM PST
Amazon EC2 cloud service hit by botnet, outage
by Lance Whitney
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The folks who run Amazon’s EC2 cloud service must be happy the week is nearly over.

The cloud-based EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) was kept jumping this past week by two incidents: a compromised internal service that triggered a botnet, and a data center power failure in Virginia.
On Wednesday, security researchers for CA found that a variant of the infamous password-stealing Zeus banking Trojan had infected client computers after hackers were able to compromise a site on EC2 and use it as their own C&C (command and control) operation.
Don DeBolt, Director of Threat Research for CA Internet “

(Via .)

The Curious Case of Cybercrime at Citigroup

December 22, 2009

The Curious Case of Cybercrime at Citigroup: “

On the same day that the Obama administration is finally expected to appoint a new cybersecurity coordinator, it came to light that the FBI was investigating a possible theft of tens of millions of dollars from Citigroup’s Citibank subsidiary. Information about the breach is sparse at the moment, but it seems to have happened several months ago and could be tied back to the ‘Russian Business Network’, a Russian gang of cybercriminals. The details are so murky that Citigoup won’t even admit it has occurred:

Joe Petro, managing director of Citigroup’s Security and Investigative services, said, ‘We had no breach of the system and there were no losses, no customer losses, no bank losses.’ He added later: ‘Any allegation that the FBI is working a case at Citigroup involving tens of millions of losses is just not true.’

If it is true, and the numbers of dollars stolen prove to be accurate, then there has been nearly $300 million stolen in the U.S. alone last year by cybercriminals. And this includes only the losses banks and other organizations have actually reported. The number is certainly much higher. Cyberattacks against U.S. businesses has gotten so bad that former White House cybersecurity director Melissa Hathaway has declared it an epidemic.

We could keep spouting out depressing numbers and the fact that attacks like this will be commonplace in 2010. But we are in the middle of the holiday season, so let’s bring some of that optimistic spirit to the table. Reading The Wall Street Journal’s report of the Citibank attack one line seemed to be the silver lining:

The FBI and the National Security Agency, along with the Department of Homeland Security and Citigroup, swapped information to counter the attack, according to a person familiar with the case.

Obviously none of these agencies are publicly commenting on this attack, therefore we can’t be sure how closely they worked together, how quickly information was shared and what they did to ‘counter the attack’. But this is a bright spot in our fight against cybercriminals. In July of this year I wrote, ‘Four Critical Priorities for USCYBERCOM‘, in which I spent much of the post urging more communication across agencies. Not only to help counter any attacks, but to help prevent attacks from spreading throughout our critical infrastructure. In this case it seemingly happened.

Many folks might be surprised to see DHS and NSA working on a bank robbery. But today’s bank heists not only mean millions of dollars stolen, but may also be a harbinger to broader attacks. Get into the door at Citibank and you can conceivably connect to other banks and organizations, including government agencies, doing business with the bank. Makes sense to get DHS and NSA working with the FBI right away.

Should be an interesting first day for Howard Schmidt.

(Via BreakingPoint Labs Blog.)