How Do Hackers Infiltrate Systems?

February 26, 2015

The accounts of tens of millions of Anthem members are stolen.  $1 billion are stolen from banks. Sony Pictures is compromised. The Chinese steal US military aircraft plans. The President of the United States decries the losses and appoints someone to fix the problem.  Yet, what is the problem?  Professor Arun Vishwanath, writing in  The Conversation tells us that the system resource being exploited over and over and over again isn’t some router or disk drive or program — it is you, the person operating the machine.

It's You!

It’s You!


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Three Months Later, State Department Hasn’t Rooted Out Hackers

February 20, 2015

Three Months Later, State Department Hasn’t Rooted Out Hackers. This headline from yesterday’s Wall Street Journal speaks volumes about cyber security.  Back in November of 2014, it was discovered that someone had compromised the unclassified email system of the U.S. State Department. Since that time, a process which Iconix calls “The Chase” has played out in which the good guys try to remove the bad guys from systems while the bad guys undertake to maintain their evil presence.  In this case, the National Security Agency is chasing Russian? infiltrators.

NSA Director Adm. Rogers

NSA Director Adm. Rogers


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Spearphishers Steal $1 Billion From Banks

February 15, 2015

The Telegraph is reporting that Kaspersky labs has uncovered “what is thought to be the biggest ever cybercrime with more than £650 million going missing from banks around the world.” The article relates a number of methods the attackers used to steal $1 billion from more than 100 financial institutions. Our favorite was instructing ATM machines to spit out cash.


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Anthem Breach – More Info, More Bad News

February 12, 2015

Brian Krebs, the author of the must-read Krebs on Security Blog, has reported new information about the Anthem breach. Krebs reports two new facts:

  1. The breach actually started in April 2014, not December 10, 2014, as previously reported. Thus, the January 27, 2015, discovery represented a breach of many months instead of a few weeks.
  2. The method of intrusion was spearphishing.

This diagram from Crowdstrike is reproduced on Krebs on Security:

Anthem attack network

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Anthem Breach – Good Luck Finds Attack

February 6, 2015


The recently disclosed attack on Anthem was discovered by good luck!  Learn more at our new blog.

Mata Hari 2.0

February 4, 2015

It is hard to defeat technical system security. However, it is easy to trick system operators into compromising system security. People are the weakest link in cybersecurity. Realizing that even rebel fighters need love, cyberwarriors supporting the Syrian regime used the oldest trick in the book — feminine allure — for cyberespionage.

Mata Hari 2.0

Mata Hari 2.0


In a modern update of Mata Hari, Syrian cyberwarriors created a fake online persona and used it to trick a rebel fighter into compromising his system.

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