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''HOMELAND' WARNING ON RUSSIAN MALWARE

Discussion in 'Windows - Virus and spyware problems' started by ireland, Nov 6, 2014.

  1. ireland

    ireland Active member

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    ''HOMELAND' WARNING ON RUSSIAN MALWARE


    Trojan Horse' Bug Lurking in Vital US Computers Since 2011

    A destructive “Trojan Horse” malware program has penetrated the software that runs much of the nation’s critical infrastructure and is poised to cause an economic catastrophe, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

    National Security sources told ABC News there is evidence that the malware was inserted by hackers believed to be sponsored by the Russian government, and is a very serious threat.

    The hacked software is used to control complex industrial operations like oil and gas pipelines, power transmission grids, water distribution and filtration systems, wind turbines and even some nuclear plants. Shutting down or damaging any of these vital public utilities could severely impact hundreds of thousands of Americans.

    Hackers Breach White House's Unclassified Computer Network

    DHS said in a bulletin that the hacking campaign has been ongoing since 2011, but no attempt has been made to activate the malware to “damage, modify, or otherwise disrupt” the industrial control process. So while U.S. officials recently became aware the penetration, they don’t know where or when it may be unleashed.

    DHS sources told ABC News they think this is no random attack and they fear that the Russians have torn a page from the old, Cold War playbook, and have placed the malware in key U.S. systems as a threat, and/or as a deterrent to a U.S. cyber-attack on Russian systems – mutually assured destruction.

    The hack became known to insiders last week when a DHS alert bulletin was issued by the agency’s Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team to its industry members. The bulletin said the “BlackEnergy” penetration recently had been detected by several companies.

    DHS said “BlackEnergy” is the same malware that was used by a Russian cyber-espionage group dubbed “Sandworm” to target NATO and some energy and telecommunications companies in Europe earlier this year. “Analysis of the technical findings in the two reports shows linkages in the shared command and control infrastructure between the campaigns, suggesting both are part of a broader campaign by the same threat actor,” the DHS bulletin said.

    The hacked software is very advanced. It allows designated workers to control various industrial processes through the computer, an iPad or a smart phone, sources said. The software allows information sharing and collaborative control.

    http://abcnews.go.com/US/trojan-horse-bug-lurking-vital-us-computers-2011/story?id=26737476
     
  2. ireland

    ireland Active member

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    Hackers Devise New Simplified Phishing Method

    Researchers identify a technique that makes it easier for attackers to launch phishing campaigns.

    Just in time for the holiday season, phishers have devised a more efficient way to get unwary online shoppers to part with their personal data and financial account information.

    The new technique, dubbed Operation Huyao by the security researchers at Trend Micro who discovered it, basically lessens the time and effort needed for attackers to mount a phishing campaign while also making such attacks harder to spot.

    For conventional phishing attacks to work, attackers have to typically create a realistic looking copy of the website they are targeting so that would-be victims have no idea they are actually on a malicious page.

    It is a process that requires attackers to capture, copy and modify the code of a target organization's website and then host the malicious code on their own site, Trend Micro senior threat researcher Noriaki Hayashi wrote on the Security Intelligence Blog on Wednesday.

    The new technique allows phishers to skip some of these steps by inserting a proxy program between a would-be victim and the target website, he said.

    "The proxy relays traffic between the website and the victim and controls what the victim sees regardless of the device they are using. "So long as the would-be victim is just browsing around the site, they see the same content as they would on the original site," Hayashi said.

    It is only when the user actually attempts to make a purchase that the proxy program serves up a modified page that walks the victim through a checkout progress designed to extract personal information and payment card or bank account information, he said.

    Trend Micro observed the new technique being used to steal information from customers of a department store in Japan. In that particular instance, the malicious payments page served up by the web proxy asked users for their full names and addresses, email and phone numbers, website password, and detailed payment card information along with expiration dates and card verification codes.

    For the attack, the phishers employed various blackhat SEO techniques to ensure that people doing specific product-related searches online were served up with results containing malicious links to the targeted store. Users who clicked on the links were then routed to the department store's website via the malicious proxy.

    "This really is like a standard phishing attack from the [victim's] point of view," said Christopher Budd, threat communications manager at Trend Micro via email.

    "The attacker lures the target to a bogus site under the attacker's control. The key difference here is that the attacker is proxying back to the legitimate site on the backend to increase the believability of the bogus site."

    If the attack technique catches on, it could become a very worrisome development, Hayashi wrote.

    "This makes phishing harder to detect by end users, as the phishing sites will be nearly identical to the original sites," he said. In addition, attackers will no longer have to exert effort on duplicating entire shopping sites because all they need to do is duplicate a target website's payment page.

    Operation Huyao shows that phishers are devising new ways to resist attempts at stopping them.

    According to the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG), the average and median "uptimes" for phishing attacks remain near historic lows, suggesting that efforts to stop them are proving successful.

    In the first half of 2014 for instance, the median uptime for phishing attacks was 8 hours and 42 minutes, meaning that half of all phishing attackers were active for less than nine year, the APWG has noted.

    Even so, phishing continues to be a major problem. In the first six months of 2014, the industry group counted more than 123,700 unique phishing attacks which was the highest since the second half of 2009. A total of 756 institutions were specifically targeted in these attacks, the largest number ever during a six-month period.

    Of these companies, Apple was the most phished brand.

    Jai Vijayan is a seasoned technology reporter with over 20 years of experience in IT trade journalism. He was most recently a Senior Editor at Computerworld, where he covered information security and data privacy issues for the publication. Over the course of his 20-year ... View Full Bio

    http://www.darkreading.com/attacks-...phishing-method/d/d-id/1317242?_mc=RSS_DR_EDT
     

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