Thursday, July 31, 2014

Put cyber security in your luggage

The last day of July is always a manic day. While some people are working hard to get all the work done before going on vacation, those who return from their deserved rest days are busy packing everything to go back home. Whatever your case, we invite you to take a 5 minutes break and read this summary of today’s most important news on cybersecurity.

The first one is especially relevant for those who are about to go to a hotel whether it is for business or pleasure. You must be very careful when using hotel’s public computers available to guests. They may be infected with malware installed by cybercriminals to obtain your credit card data or the credentials to access the corporate network of your company. It is important to watch out if the hotel has deployed some security measures such as surveillance cameras, a limitation on the information that a user can enter on the system, touch screens, virtual desktops for each of its customers...

Another threat which could spoil a vacation or a millionaire business deal is the malware designed to be spread by USB sticks. In fact, researchers Karsten Nohl and Jakob Lell have developed a proof-of-concept malicious software called "BadUSB", which takes advantage of a vulnerability in the way that these devices are designed. Therefore these problems can’t be fixed. This software is not installed in the device’s flash memory but in its firmware, and lets an attacker take over a PC, invisibly alter the files installed from the USB pendrive, or even redirect the user’s Internet traffic.

In any case, cyberattacks do not respect holiday periods so any organization’s infosec team should remain vigilant during this time. They may have to face a denial of service attack when least expected. In addition, criminals know how to impersonate Google web crawlers and launch such attacks. In fact, it is estimated that 34% of the 50 million fake Googlebots sessions analyzed by Incapsula had malicious purposes and 24% of them were used to perpetrate DDoS attacks.

The Tor network’s team - the most popular online network to maintain your online anonymity -are not going to enjoy a relaxing holiday either. They had to admit that, from 30 January to 4 July this year, anonymity on their network has been broken by the attacks of some malicious actors who have taken advantage of a flaw in the Tor protocol. Do not forget that Tor is in the crosshairs of the intelligence and security forces of countless countries because it is used by many of the suspects pursuing by them.

Meanwhile Russia, which does not want to be targeted by foreign espionage, has requested Apple and SAP to test their software source code for spyware that could be giving access to other countries’ intelligence services.

Finally, looking towards the beginning of the course following the holidays, we should warn you that the popular platform for educational resources sharing Moodle has released 13 new security alerts to fix multiple vulnerabilities.

We insist! Do not forget to put all this news in your suitcase before leaving home and follow us every day. Being well informed is the best way to protect yourself from cyber threats. Please, find the links to our social networks at the right sidebar.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Millionaire uppercut

"Boxing is about respect: getting it for yourself, and taking it away from the other guy". No, we did not get up pugilistic. This is not about donning anti-malware gloves (or not only), but of millions. Because the quote is from film 'Million Dollar Baby'. And we talk about millions today.

First of all, millions of users (more than a billion in fact), of world-wide par excellence social network: Facebook. With so many citizens of Zuck's city, it is conceivable that more than one, than two, even than three people, are here with evil intentions. E.g., to hack somebody's Facebook, like a friend, your couple, your fathers or your boss... you know, it is good fishing in troubled waters. So if anyone send you a trick to hack somebody's Facebook, please DO NOT do it!!! If you do, you will be the hacked one. Give notice to the one who sent it to you, tell him the pity that his Facebook is really broken. And by the way complain him for sinning of grid so naively.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Zero-sum game

"A strange game. The only winning move is not to play. How about a nice game of chess?". These are perhaps the most legendary wordsfrom 'Joshua ', the fictional US DoD computer in the 80s film 'WarGames', starring Matthew Broderick in the role of a 'hacker'.

The 17 year old student David Lightman, the character in the film turning the world on the verge of an unprecedented nuclear conflict is one of the protagonists of the first movies dedicated to the world of computing and cybersecurity. Other epic characters may be Kevin Flynn (Tron) and Richard Pryor (Superman 3). The TechCrunch team has assembled with them all a nice video tribute to those who made ​​us dream of a future made ​​of bytes and programming codes.

Monday, July 28, 2014

When stealing is NOT in the news

There is a phrase in Spanish, no English version: "It's sad (to) beg, but even harder (to) steal". Experience teaches us that cybercriminals do not stop if they have to steal (indeed, that is why they are criminals). However, they are not sad. So if they can get their precious target ('show me the money'), without having to steal, surely they will.

That's the conclusion from two researchers who will show at the next Black Hat conference how to use free cloud services, mainly for storage, to place into them automated networks (botnets), specializing in mining virtual coins. The two researchers, Rob Ragan and Oscar Salazar, commented in a previous note to the conference that their tools allow them access to a "vast amount of cloud computing, storage and pre-made hacking environments", and that they had to "violate the hell out of some terms" of these cloud services. Please, understand the irony.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Top 5 Infosec links of the week (XXXV)

"Educational resources for security professionals, digital supernovae, ransomware script, why attacks on companies and the power of friendship". The five top post this week, directly in the Sunday compilation.

If you like security and have a summer without many worries, what better way to pass forming with the OxWord publisher. 8 books recommended us Yago Jesus, editor of the blog Security By Default, which would allow us to go from 0 to security professional in two months.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

From Russia from love

"The project is infallible because I have already provided all the possible variations and imponderables"The fictional character Kronsteen demonstrated with these words the feeling of superiority that only an chess champion world-class could be in the second installment of James Bond, From Russia with Love. A production that is more alive than ever in the figure of the third environment and fierce competition for and against privacy.

25 years have passed since the creation of the first firewall, and just two days ago in the CIGTR we echoed an infographic on its evolution. We return to the issue with an article, this time by the guys at ESET, which remind us of the value of these tools, and how today still provide essential protection in the first line of our devices.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Fruit of everybody's labor

"A civilization is only sustained when many people offer their collaborative effort. If everyone prefers to enjoy the fruit, civilization collapses". This quote belongs to Spanish philosopher and essayist José Ortega y Gasset, and is in the day-to-day of Information Security. Governments and companies always call to collaboration to identify risks and deal with threats. But watch out: the other side is also collaborating.

Of course, who seeks to give the maximum knowledge available to everyone, is someone who works in a joint effort. The renowned Spanish researcher Yago Jesus, editor of the blog Security By Default, proposes an ambitious challenge: eight books, one each week on average, to refocus career during the summer and go from 0 to 100 in computer security. Do you dare?

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Digital supernovae

15 years ago Chandra X-ray Observatory satellite became operational with the vast mission to "explore the universe." For this reason, NASA has released four impressive supernovae images. Like celestial panorama, cybersecurity is also full of supernovae, stars that have just exploded and that may form new galaxies.

Today's first supernova is represented by a serious vulnerability for WordPress plugin MailPoet, specialized in newsletters for subscribers. There is already a constellation of 50.000 affected blogs, and millions of "bloggers planets" called to cover themselves by immediately applying the patch.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Bytes war, seconds war

"In a not-too-distant future when the aging gene has been switched off, people must pay to stay alive. To avoid overpopulation, time has become the currency and the way people pay for luxuries and necessities. The rich can live forever, while the rest try to negotiate for their immortality". Cybersecurity is like the film starring Justin Timberlake 'In Time': who does have time wins; who does not, runs to not die. And whoever hits the first, wins time: the bad guys to continue extorting; researchers to going on ahead.

It's just a matter of time that both major threats and the most strategic defenses end up being overcomed. The safest level user authentication goes today through two-factor (2FA). But it is not invulnerable. A group of attackers suspected of residing in Russia have are raiding Swiss banks combining malware, DNS changes and stealing SMS from client. Today some complexity is needed, based on social engineering and scams, to get access to other 2FA. But sooner or later this technique will be a 'black hat' industry standard.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Friends of my friends are...

Friendship. Who can doubt about friendship? Masters of poetry as Jorge Luis Borges have written devoted words to it (, and musical geniuses like Freddie Mercury sang about it, eg epic 'Friends will be Friends' shown in this post. Allances merge in friendship, it gives credibility and is the bargaining chip in such a universal network like Facebook.

It's known by friends themselves, it's known by the business and it's known too... by cybercriminals. If you want to set a trap for someone, it is best that he get it from a friend, someone he trusts, someone who would give its money for, even its life for. And that's what Facebook scams are engaged, taking advantage of the concept of "friendship" joining this network contacts. The latest example is the alleged video of a half-naked woman, which redirects to a YouTube clone website, all along with a high degree of sophistication in terms of social engineering. The fake page prompted to upgrade the version of Flash Player... and the rest is a breeze. No fault of your friend: he fell into the trap before you, because another friend "said him" that he must see that video.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Day by day little victories

Victory and defeat have in common that neither is forever. Portuguese author José Saramago sentenced in other words: "The defeat has something positive: it is never definitive. However, victory has something negative: it is never definitive." If in addition the adversary to be defeated (or that has been defeated) constantly changes shape, we can be sure that war can never end.

U.S. claims they have beaten Cryptolocker, the "cryptographic kidnapping software" responsible for the biggest headaches of recent times, and lethal to any user either particular or belonging to a large corporation. Rather, the victory has been against Gameover Zeus botnet, which was chosen for its massive distribution. So said the Justice Department on Friday, and quickly security experts have already clarified that this victory can not be definitive, as they have detected new malware samples flowing through the same botnet.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Top 5 Infosec links of the week (XXXIV)

"Attacks on Nasdaq, innate rarity of technology, using a single password, cybersecurity main topic of any conversation and the danger of public health data". The five top post this week, directly in the Sunday compilation.

Some Russian hackers attacked the Nasdaq in 2010, with the intention of bringing down the entire global economy. A handling system trading which would have meant a real destabilization of the whole economic framework that underpins our society. Since then, the system has been strengthened, one of the most interesting targets to cause global chaos.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Sophistication and human error

"Sophisticated code like Gyges was created for a specific purpose by, what appears to be a government agency, and it should have remained within the control of that agency". It concluded Brandom Hoffman, CTO of RedSeal Networks, the analysis of a new modularized and sophisticated malware, recently found for sale in underground forums.

Gyges, which is the name by which it is known, provides stakeholders a suite of tools that handle to obfuscate the attack, either by generating several sand-box that pose as system services, or dodging, quite rightly, most heuristics defense systems. The way it operates, and the many variations that are beginning to appear (bank fraud, key logging, stealing personal data, ...), it seems that this is one of the weapons from a government spy who has decided release in order to outsource any attacks directed at specific targets surely, a technique of cyberwar threatening not only the "enemy" but any technology user, and is welcomed by the domes of cybercrime.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Better safe than rich

“I'm talking about liquid. Rich enough to have your own jet. A player. Or nothing.” Gordon Gekko, the wolf of finance, was so clear when talking to his pupil, Bud Fox, on the 'Wall Street' (1987) memorable scene in the limo. 

Almost 30 years later, if a security expert took the role of Bud Fox, could answer mr. Gekko that before becoming a player, he better think of "protected or nothing." An expert such as Pierluigi Paganini, editor of Security Affairs blog, describes in one of his last posts the attack carried out by some Russian criminals against Nasdaq, aimed to knock down the global economy. This operation took place in 2010... so imagine all the things they must have tried in the past four years.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

If aliens visited us today

Are we alone in the universe or not? We’ve had this question in mind for a long time, but NASA hopes to find proof of extraterrestrial life in coming years. The discovery of some planets with similar characteristics to ours has precipitated NASA’s optimism.

(Credits: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Caltech/P.Ogle et al; Optical: NASA/STScI; IR: NASA/JPL-Caltech; Radio: NSF/NRAO/VLA)

Can you imagine what those creatures from other planets would think of us if they saw how we behave on Earth? In the UK, 660 suspected pedophiles and pederasts have been arrested under charges that range from possession of indecent images of children to serious sexual assault. Meanwhile in Germany they are considering the use of non-electronic typewriters to prevent U.S. surveillance. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Technology is weird

The world of technology is exciting and... weird, very weird. How many times has an unbelievable idea made up by an engineer made you feel as astonished as the cat on this photo?

Smart contact lenses for diabetics? You have to be endowed with a prodigious imagination to think that a lens can measure the level of glucose from a person’s tear and show it on his mobile phone or computer. This is such an innovative project that Google has agreed with Novartis to develop it. However, you have to wonder how this technology could pose some risks to patient’s safety.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Cyber threats also travels by satellite

On July 15, 2004, NASA launched its third satellite of its Earth Observing System called Aura. Its mission was to measure ozone concentration, air quality and climate in our planet. Ten years later, O3B has sent four satellites to 8,000 miles away from Earth. However, in this case, the function of these spacecraft is to expand the Internet coverage for about 3,000 million people.

Undoubtedly, the fact that a larger population has an enhanced Internet connection presents endless opportunities, but also poses a number of negative consequences. For example, cybercriminals will be able to significantly increase the number of their victims. Fresh meat for the new banking Trojan Kronos - sold on the black market by the tight price of $ 1,000 - which takes advantage of many of the features of the infamous Zeus malware and can bypass several security systems.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Let's talk about cyber security even at the hairdresser

A lot of people consider information security a tedious topic, others think it is too complex and some others do not even know what it exactly means. Surely it is not the most common subject in a conversation at the hairdresser, for example. But the truth is that in a world in which Internet-connected devices have become an extension of our body, it is essential to be aware of the risks we face.

It is completely common to hear a hairdresser and his client talking about how they are training for a marathon. They could even mention that they are using social network Endomondo for recording their routes, their time or their heart rates. But surely they would not be aware that all Endomondo profiles are public and indexed in Google, by default. Therefore, their routes and times may be giving a clever thief too many clues about where they live and how much time they spend away from home.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Top 5 Infosec links of the week (XXXIII)

4th of July malware, real-time cyberwar, iOS-Gmail security, Tor net anonymity and UK censorship. The five top posts this week, just for another Sunday compilation.

Do you imagine those vacation you have been thinking about for a long time and now it it time to enjoy it? Do you imagine searching a good deal, and besides the rates you get a web exploit in your computer? OK, so imagine no more, because that is what fiends of Internet have just done for holyday season in US, started on its Big Day July 4th.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Malware back to life

“Life is a constant process, a continuous transformation in time, it’s a birth, a death and a rebirth" This quote is attributed to German philosopher and scientist Hermann Keyserling, the most notable figure in contemporary nonacademic German philosophy and founder of the "School of Wisdom", closed years after by the Nazi Regime.

Following this quote, malware evolves. It is born, it dies and it is reborn. Take a look at the GameOver Zeusbotnet, which has come to life from the depths after being considerated eradicated. An improved version, discovered by Malcovery Security, is designed to send spam for stealing financial information from infected devices.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Soccer and cyber security champions

Holland, Brazil, Argentina and Germany. Those are the four most successful countries in this World Cup. Whatever the results are for the next matches, they are at the top four. We take advantage of their popularity in soccer to approach their cybersecurity environment. Are countries also champions behind the screens as they are in the field?

Let's start with Holland. The country of tulips is an good example in terms of industrial cybersecurity. At least that is what Auke Huistra, project manager at the Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research and speaker at the First Congress of Industrial Cyber ​​Security organized by the Industrial Cyber ​​Security Centre last year. In its pursuit of excellence, Huistra is always seeking professionals who have a comprehensive understanding in the field. He warns, "if you find a professional like this, you better put him a chain to the ankle and do not let him ever leave the company."

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Cybercrime has bad karma

“I used to steal a lot. But I don't do that anymore, because I believe in karma.” Whether you share or not the opinion of actor Andy Dick on karma, it is clear that if you act in a harmful way to others, sooner or later  you will end up confronting the consequences.

So if you participate in a fraud scheme compromising 4,000 credit and debit cards and causing estimated losses of $ 650,000, you can expect to be punished sooner than later. A Florida woman has been sentenced to seven years in prison for this crime.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Vulnerable fortresses

These stunning glass fortresses seem impregnable, but the truth is that the greatest threats for them are not at their door but on the Internet. Therefore, cyber security has become mandatory for any organization, regardless if it is settled on the top floor of the tallest skyscraper in the city.

An online business not protecting its computer systems, is like a jewelry without a security door to prevent theft. In some cases, it could even lead to its permanent closure, as it happened to HotelHippo booking website. The website suffered a number of serious security issues that left the personal details of 24 customers exposed. In this situation, its owners decided to shutter their business and not reopen it.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Cyber Security, a daily war

“Americans love to fight. All real Americans love the sting of battle.” If these words said by famous General Patton are true, U.S. citizens must be very happy because their country is constantly fighting small battles, at least on the Internet.

As we can see on the real-time map of cyber attacks developed by security firm Norse, USA is the most attacked target in the Internet. Most of the blows that it receives come from China, which is one of the most belligerent regions in cyberspace.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Marriage is a commitment, cybersecurity too

“Commitment is an act, not a word” (French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre). How many weddings are you invited to this summer? A few weeks ago, it starts the wedding season. But a marriage ceremony is nothing but an act that symbolizes the commitment of two people beyond the words to stay together and become a family.

In this sense, marriage is one of the biggest commitments for a human. But it is the only one. There are people who daily demonstrate their determination to fight cybercrime. Therefore, they work to discover and warn of malicious actors seeking to perform all kinds of scams on the Internet. For example, by compromising several websites of travel agencies in the U.S. in order to use them to distribute malware among those users looking for a trip on July 4th.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Top 5 Infosec links of the week (XXXII)

"TOR outlawed in Austria, exploits that are timeless, week of celebration for the cybersecurity sector, universities training future hackers and mobile applications that publish your IP". The five top post this week, directly in the Sunday compilation.

The Tor network does not pass its best moment. Austria declared illegal use by considering one of the most common tools for trafficking child pornography. A drastic measure for all citizens who lawfully used. To this we can add the discovery that applications from the likes of "Orweb: Private Web Browser", "Anonymous Browser Connect TOR" and "Onion iOS Browser", available on Android and iOS, and that make it easier to connect with this technology, set the IP's to their users when they display video.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Weak security chain

"There seems to be something rotten in the state of Denmark". They are words that Dave Lewis, editor of Forbes, began his article.

More than 900,000 social security numbers Danish have been uncovered along with their respective names and addresses thanks to a security breach in Robinson List, one of the lists managed by the Ministry of Economy of the country and all those who join do not want to receive junk mail. And Dave Lewis article began this way because unfortunately is not the only recent case relating to Denmark with data leakage social security numbers. 91 policemen had a similar situation by a hacktivist protest a few weeks ago. In May, there was one in which both police and celebrities were involved, reaching affect even close members of the royal family.

Friday, July 4, 2014

The waving flag of malware

"O say can you see by the dawn's early light, What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming." They possibly are two of the most sung phrases in history, they are the first beats of the U.S. national anthem. Today, 238 years ago, one of the key texts of history was printed: the Declaration of Independence of which is still the first world power.

The founders of this country could not imagine that eventually it would be an element called "cybersecurity" among the priorities of the national political agenda. It is worth remembering today, July 4, the words that President Barack Obama addressed the nation about such subject a year ago. It is a video of just over a minute, but it is a statement of intent.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Your personal data, a coveted treasure

Are you one of those who leave their personal information in anyone's sight or those who keep it locked in the drawer? In both cases, this post is dedicated to you.

In case you are not aware, let us tell you that your personal data is highly valuable. Companies, governments and cybercriminals are constantly looking for new ways to gather them. Sometimes they infect your ISP with malware, as the British Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) has allegedly done. Therefore seven telecom companies from different countries have already lodge formal complaint to court about this.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Cybersecurity is living a celebration

Yesterday was an occasion to celebrate that the fight against cybercrime and threats in the digital environment is in the right track.

As a matter of fact, last Tuesday, Europol turned 15. Among its many functions, the European police agency aims to combat Internet crime. So in 2013 it open its European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) which investigates cybercrime in relation with organized crime , with harmful activities to victims and with attacks to EU’s critical infrastructures and information systems. Happy Birthday, Europol!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Cybercrime is not going on vacation

A week in an exotic hotel in the Maldives, a trip to a natural paradise, a bike ride through the mountains or just a nap on the couch. July has just started and it’s the time to enjoy a few days relaxing for many people. But cybercrime and cyber threats do not rest, so the CIGTR does not close for holidays. We will keep reporting daily all the news about the world of cybersecurity.

It seems that Microsoft is not going to have a peaceful holiday. Yesterday the corporation seized 22 domains from the dynamic domain name provider No-IP that were allegedly being used by cybercriminals to distribute “Bladabindi” and “Jenxcus” malware. However, this measure has affected many legitimate users and has raised a host of criticism against Microsoft.