The hacker collective known as “Anonymous” has always been controversial. With the massive effort to retaliate for the takedown of file-sharing site MegaUpload.com, though, it may have cross the line from “hacktivist” to common cyber criminal.
In response to the United States government takedown of MegaUpload.com, Anonymous has joined the cause with distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks aimed at knocking sites like the FBI, DOJ, White House, Universal Music, MPAA, RIAA, and others offline. In and of itself, the activity is not unusual for Anonymous.
One of the redeeming qualities of Anonymous has always been that it is a volunteer army of hacktivists -- emphasis on the word “volunteer”. There there are signs, though, suggesting that Anonymous may have crossed the line and turned to forced conscription to enlist new recruits in the DDoS attacks to retaliate for the MegaUpload.com takedown.
Good to Know is a Google site that provides an overview on how to keep your personal information safe while online. While Good to Know is was designed with personal Web browsing in mind, you can use the tools Google offers on to help your employees better understand online privacy to protect both themselves and your clients.
Good to Know: An Overview
Good to Know is a collection of resources offered by Google that aims to educate the public about online privacy and security in a clear, easy-to-read manner. It succeeds at this with a fresh, easy-to-follow look and jargon-free writing.
Research in Motion may have improved its overall experience on the PlayBook with its recent update, but security researchers recently revealed that the device leaves corporate email and user information open to potential hackers. Researchers Zach Lenier and Ben Nell of Intrepidus Group uncovered a vulnerability in the PlayBook's Bridge application that leaves the authentication token for the Bridge application somewhere anyone could dig it up.
Vulnerability Lies in PlayBook Bridge Application
The Bridge application lets you connect the PlayBook to a BlackBerry smartphone via Bluetooth. It is currently necessary to connect to your BlackBerry with Bridge if you want to access your corporate email and calendars using the PlayBook. While the connection itself remains secure, the .ALL file contains access to the BlackBerry Bridge token, your BBM user name and information, your bookmarks, and other information specific to the device and its user.
Zappos.com – the online source for shoes – was the victim of an attack that compromised account information for millions of customers. Zappos customers need to understand what is at stake, and be on alert for suspicious or malicious activity resulting from the attack.
In a letter to Zappos customers, CEO Tony Hsieh explains that the site was hacked, and that information including names, email addresses, billing and shipping addresses, phone numbers, the last four digits of credit card numbers, and encrypted passwords may have been exposed. The good news, according to Hsieh, is that the database storing actual credit card and payment data was not breached.
Microsoft has had a great deal of success taking down botnets in recent years. A fringe benefit of those takedowns is that Microsoft gets to collect oodles of very valuable data. Now, Microsoft is preparing to offer that threat intelligence as a real-time feed that partners can use to evaluate threats and develop better defenses.
A post on the Kaspersky Labs Threat Post blog explains, “Microsoft collects the data by leveraging its huge Internet infrastructure, including a load-balanced, 80gb/second global network, to swallow botnets whole -- pointing botnet infected hosts to addresses that Microsoft controls, capturing their activity and effectively taking them offline.”
Microsoft is reportedly conducting internal beta tests using data gathered from the Kelihos botnet. Microsoft is able to collect IP addresses of infected nodes, as well as Autonomous System (AS) number and reputation data from Microsoft’s Smart Network Data Services (SNDS), and share that information with third parties such as ISPs, CERTs, government agencies, and private organizations.
Happy New Year! We are already at the second Tuesday of 2012, and that means it’s time for the first Patch Tuesday of the year. Microsoft has released a total of seven security bulletins – one ranked as “critical”, with the remaining 6 designated merely as “important”.
Of the six bulletins this month, there are two that stand out: MS12-004 and MS12-006. MS12-004 is a “critical” security bulletin that addresses a vulnerability in Windows Media Player, and MS12-006 patches the flaw exploited by BEAST attacks. MS12-006 was originally slated for the December 2011 Patch Tuesday, but was pulled at the last minute due to conflicts.
As much attention as Beast has gotten, the lack of any attacks with teeth supports Microsoft’s finding that zero day exploits are not the threat they are perceived to be. Paul Henry, security and forensic analyst with Lumension, explains, “It’s interesting to note that despite all of the hype over “The Beast”, attacks have simply never materialized and the issue has retained its “important” classification from Microsoft.”
Privacy and security concerns come with the territory when you use a social network like Facebook. Avira is partnering with secure.me to deliver protection that extends beyond traditional malware, and helps defend your personal information and reputation as well.
Avira and secure.me announced at CES 2012 in Las Vegas that they are joining forces to deliver broader, more comprehensive security for users. The Avira Internet Security 2012 bundle will include Facebook security services from secure.me.
Security awareness and tools are still playing catch up with the evolving threat posed by social networking. Christian Sigl, founder of secure.me, explains, “Today, basically everybody protects their PC with antivirus software. With the use of social networks and extensive online sharing, a new type of vulnerability has evolved, in fact the violability of your own and your children‘s personal data, privacy and identity.”