Monday, June 23, 2014

Cyber threats becoming a plague

The arrival of a locust plague in the natural world would be the closest thing to a denial of service (DDoS) in the online world, something completely devastating! Unfortunately, lately we're used to see such events too often.


One of the most extreme consequences that a DDoS attack can cause is to drive a business into bankruptcy, as it happened to Code Spaces. The beginning of the end of this source code hosting company began with an attack of this type. The cyber ​​criminals who perpetrated it demanded a large sum of money to stop it. Meanwhile, they gained access to the service administration console and ended up deleting most of the data, backups, server configurations, etc. Code Spaces has finally been forced to close its business for the tremendous financial blow and its loss of credibility brought by this incident.

Some other DDoS assaults appear to have a more ideological than economic nature, regarding the one suffered by Popvote.hk. This is a website on which hundreds of thousands of Hong Kong residents were asked to vote in an unofficial democracy poll. However, Cloudflare, the company responsible for mitigating any incident on such website, had to deal with the largest and most sophisticated DDoS attack they have been seen to date.

If a DDoS attack is like a plague of locusts, fraud involving stolen credit card data is similar to the way that a mosquito bites different victims here and there. But rather than sucking your blood, what these criminals do is to clean your pocket. In fact, an individual has been recently arrested in possession of gift cards which had been re-encoded with credit card details stolen from several car wash businesses across U.S.

To fight this type of organized cybercrime, FBI has formed a task force with the New York Police Department and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The main objective of this new task force will be to investigate high-level financial cybercrimes located New York.

We also have fresh news related to the protection of our communications. On one hand, the U.S. House of Representatives has approved an amendment that may forbid funding for NSA or any other state agency’s attempt to enforce or request a manufacturer or a service provider to include a "backdoor" for electronic surveillance. On the other hand, Google has introduced its own version of OpenSSL encryption protocol, which recently underwent a major vulnerability called Heartbleed. Its name is BoringSSL and is intended to be implemented it in all Google’s services.

Anyway, if you were a farmer you would fumigate your fields to prevent pests, right? And if you traveled to the jungle, you would not forget the bug spray, right? So if you're interested in keeping yourself informed about cyber threats and how to combat them, we invite you to follow us on any of our social channels (find the links at the right sidebar) or here on our blog.

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