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Hacking & Security Posts - Page 76

Apple hacked by same people who hacked Facebook, issues Mac software update

Reports surfaced today stating that a small number of Apple's systems were hacked through the same zero-day Java exploit that Facebook's systems fell victim to in January. The source of the exploit is said to be the same as the one that managed to infect some of Facebook's systems. In the case of Apple, there is no evidence that any data was transmitted from Apple's systems.


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"Apple has identified malware which infected a limited number of Mac systems through a vulnerability in the Java plug-in for browsers," the company said in a statement. "The malware was employed in an attack against Apple and other companies, and was spread through a website for software developers. We identified a small number of systems within Apple that were infected and isolated them from our network."


Apple has released an update to Mac OS X that will help protect customers from the malware. The update can be installed from the Software Update panel in the Mac App Store or downloaded directly from Apple's website.


The source of the Facebook and Apple hacks is said to be a mobile development website known as iPhoneDevSDK. It's likely that the site didn't know that they were infected as it is a fairly reputable site when it comes to mobile development.

Continue reading 'Apple hacked by same people who hacked Facebook, issues Mac software update' (full post)

Security firm releases evidence of alleged military-backed Chinese hacking group at work

Security firm Mandiant has come out with quite the startling report titled "APT1: Exposing One of China's Cyber Espionage Units", which has tracked the alleged military-backed Chinese hacking group dubbed as Advanced Persistent Threat 1 all the way back to 2006.



Mandiant have written "Our analysis has led us to conclude that APT1 is likely government-sponsored and one of the most persistent of China's cyber threat actors." The group is also believed to be the 2nd Bureau of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) General Staff Department's (GSD) 3rd Department, otherwise known as Unit 61398.


The New York Times have written about it, where they worked off an advance copy of the report, which led them to buildings in Shanghai which they believe is where the unit is based. The Times then encountered persistent attacks from Chinese hackers last year, where they worked with Mandiant to monitor and block the intrusions into their network.

Continue reading 'Security firm releases evidence of alleged military-backed Chinese hacking group at work' (full post)

Burger King gets its Twitter account hacked, posts that they have been bought by McDonalds

Burger King has had its Twitter account hacked today. It promptly tweeted out that the company had been purchased by McDonalds. The Profile picture and cover photo were changed out to make this more believable. Twitter accounts are hacked all the time, but they usually aren't the high profile brand profiles.


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Twitter sells itself as a brand-friendly social network. With a high-profile hack such as this, some of the brands could start to rethink their reliance on the site. With the potential implications aside, let's take a look at some of the hilarious tweets pushed out while it was hacked.


The account was suspended by Twitter around 1:35p.m. EST. The hack appears to have been orchestrated by someone in the Anonymous collective, though why they would go after Burger King isn't immediately clear. Whatever the reason may be, we're glad they were making funny tweets instead of vulgar ones.

Continue reading 'Burger King gets its Twitter account hacked, posts that they have been bought by McDonalds' (full post)

'Weak passwords' blamed for the fake zombie EAS message that went out Monday

Proving that everyone is susceptible to weak passwords, the hoax zombie alert that went out across multiple stations' emergency alert system is being blamed upon the stations not changing the default password to the system. This allowed the still-unnamed prankster to hack into the system and send out the fake alert.


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Most people weren't too concerned with the fake alert. In fact, it seems that the stations are more concerned with the fact that the system was able to be compromised. According to Cynthia Thompson, station manager for Michigan's ABC 10 affiliate, "the nature of the message Monday night was not necessarily dangerous, but the fact that the system was vulnerable to outside intrusion IS a danger."


If the prankster had wanted to cause more panic, a fake terrorist attack message or natural disaster message would have likely proved more effective. This is where the real concern comes into play as someone wanting to cause real issues could display a message such as that. Reportedly two products from one of the main EAS vendors is susceptible to compromise even after the default password has been changed.

US Federal Reserve confirms hackers stole data from their systems

Officials from the United States Federal Reserve have confirmed that hackers stole information from its servers. The information, which was released by Anonymous, was gleaned from a security vulnerability in a website vendor product. The hole has since been patched and never gave access to any critical data.


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The information apparently came from a contact database that was kept in case of a natural disaster. A breach of the Federal Reserve servers will certainly shine a spotlight on the agency and cause the public's trust in the Federal Reserve to decline. Furthermore, this should cause the public to question security measures of other top agencies.


The Federal Reserve has actually been compromised before this occasion. Back in 2010, Malaysian hacker Lin Mun Poo hacked into the US Reserve and stole data with the intent to use it to steal money.

Anonymous target bank executives in their latest attack, unleash personal information of over 4000 executives

Anonymous have struck again, this time into the hearts of US banking executives - over 4000 of them. These 4000+ bankers have had their personal information leaked in Anonymous' latest campaign dubbed Operation Last Resort.


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Anonymous' campaign is designed to provoke computer crime law reform after the suicide of Internet activist and Reddit co-founder Aaron Swartz. Anonymous have reportedly hacked into the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center's website over the weekend, where they used the site to host the spreadsheet of the executives' information. This spreadsheet includes the information of bankers' names, phone numbers, computer log-in credentials and IP addresses.


The Twitter account of Anonymous talked about getting the information from Federal Reserve computers, and when contacted for a comment by the Huffington Post, a spokesperson refused to comment on Anonymous' claims, nor would they confirm if a statement was on its way.

US Department of Energy was hacked, hundreds of employees affected

In another example of the future being cyber terror and cyber warfare, the US Department of Energy has announced that it was hacked mid-January. The hack reportedly affected several hundred employees, though the agency says that "no classified data was compromised."


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This story comes on the heels of The New York Times announcing that they had been the target of Chinese hackers after running a story about the new president of China. The hack appears to have only provided the hackers with personal data of employees, though there is cause for concern as the Department of Energy oversees the US's nuclear research.


The hackers have not been identified, though it appears that they may not be connected with any countries that have previously been accused of hacking.

Twitter announced they were hacked this week, up to 250,000 accounts could have been compromised

Just over 24 hours ago we reported that Twitter was experiencing a global outage, but more information has been released by Twitter where they've announced that they were actually victims of some attacks this week.


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Twitter took to their company blog where they said during the week they had detected "unusual access patterns" that led them to see that unauthorized attempts to access users' data was made. Twitter actually discovered one attack as it was happening, where they were able to quickly shut it down shortly after.


The social networking site said that the attackers may have had access to information for close to 250,000 different users. Twitter added "usernames, email addresses, session tokens and encrypted/salted versions of passwords" would have been available.


Twitter have since reset the passwords and revoked session token for all affected accounts, with affected users to expect an email notifying them of the reset. Because of the hack, Twitter have taken the time to "echo" the recent advisory by the Department of Homeland Security, who have told users to disable Java on their systems for the best security.

Kim Dotcom offers $13,500 for the first person to break into Mega

We hope you're brushed up on your hacking skills, as Mega founder (we can't really keep saying MegaUpload founder now, can we?) is offering up a bounty for the first person to break into Mega.


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Dotcom is offering a very tidy 10,000 euros (or roughly $13,580) for the first person to break into Mega, where he has offered up the prize for enterprising hackers after the site was criticized for the way it handles security. Mega launched just under two weeks ago now and has since taken 50 million files from users.


Dotcom's bounty offer is a good way to get hackers to break through their security so that they know what to patch up, but we should expect this from a 'beta' of a cloud storage site.

Pentagon approves 5x increase in cyber security staff, planning for future

The Pentagon has approved an increase in cyber security staff that would see an increase in the number of staff from around 900 to roughly 4,900. The 4,900 staff members would be composed of both military and civilian personnel and is possibly in response to events such as Anonymous' attack on the US DOJ or the finding of malware on power plants' computers.


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Future wars are likely to be conducted in cyber space rather than on the ground with traditional troops and weapons, so it will be important for the US to have a large enough security force that is well trained to protect itself from these future threats. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta acknowledges that the US hasn't invested enough in cyber security:


"We've got good people that are involved in it, but, very frankly, if we're going to stay on the cutting edge of what's happening with regards to the chances that are occurring, we have to invest more in that area," Panetta said in a speech last November.

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