[ISN] French Hacker Legion is west’s foremost snoop squad says Robert Gates

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/05/30/france_a_cyberespionage_threat_says_robert_gates/ By Richard Chirgwin The Register 30 May 2014 Former spook and defense department secretary Robert Gates has identified France as a major cyber-spying threat against the US. In statements that are bound to raise eyebrows on both sides of the Atlantic, Gates (not Bill) nominated French spies as being number two in the world of industrial cyber-espionage. “In terms of the most capable, next to the Chinese, are the French – and they’ve been doing it a long time” he says in this interview at the Council on Foreign Relations. Rather than a precis, The Register will give you some of Gates’s (not Bill) words verbatim, starting just after 21 minutes in the video, when he answers a question about America’s recent indictment of five Chinese military hackers. […]




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[ISN] Vessel-tracking system vulnerable to denial-of-service, other attacks, researchers say

http://news.techworld.com/security/3522313/vessel-tracking-system-vulnerable-to-denial-of-service-other-attacks-researchers-say/ By Lucian Constantin Techworld.com 29 May 2014 Inexpensive equipment can be used to disrupt vessel-tracking systems and important communications between ships and port authorities, according to two security researchers. During the Hack in the Box conference in Amsterdam Thursday, Marco Balduzzi, a senior research scientist at Trend Micro, and independent security researcher Alessandro Pasta described three new attacks against the Automatic Identification System (AIS), which is used by over 400,000 ships worldwide. AIS supplements information from marine radar systems and sends a ships’s identity, type, position, course, speed, navigational status and safety-related information to other ships, shore stations and aircraft. Port and coastal authorities also use the system to send important traffic information and other data back to the ships. Balduzzi and Pasta warned last year that the lack of authentication and integrity-checking in the AIS communication protocol could allow pirates, terrorists or other attackers to create ghost vessels or spoof information received by the ships. […]


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[ISN] Monsanto Data Security Breached at Precision Planting

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-05-29/monsanto-data-security-breached-at-precision-planting.html By Jack Kaskey bloomberg.com May 29, 2014 Monsanto Co. (MON)’s data security was breached at its Precision Planting unit, exposing employees and customers to potential misuse of credit card information and tax identification numbers. Fewer than 1,300 farmer customers were affected by the breach, Christy Toedebusch, a spokeswoman for the St. Louis-based company, said in an e-mail yesterday. Monsanto discovered on March 27 that an outside party had accessed Precision Planting servers, the company said in a May 14 letter to the Office of the Attorney General in Maryland, where 14 state residents may have been affected. The breach comes as Monsanto and competitors such as DuPont Co. (DD) begin to offer data services to help farmers boost yields with advice on issues such as seed spacing and chemical applications. The aggregation of farmers’ data by multinational agricultural companies is stirring concern about privacy and business risks. Monsanto, the world’s largest seed company, doesn’t believe the breach was an attempt to steal customer information, Toedebusch said. While the company isn’t aware of any misuse of the information, it notified affected customers and is offering them complimentary credit monitoring services for a year, she said. […]


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[ISN] Hackers put security tool that finds payment card data into their arsenal

http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9248693/Hackers_put_security_tool_that_finds_payment_card_data_into_their_arsenal By Jeremy Kirk IDG News Service May 30, 2014 Like a crowbar, security software tools can be used for good and evil. Bootleg versions of a powerful tool called “Card Recon” from Ground Labs, which searches for payment card data stored in the nooks and crannies of networks, have been appropriated by cybercriminals. This month, the security companies Trend Micro and Arbor Networks published research into point-of-sale malware, which has been blamed for data breaches at retailers such as Target and Neiman Marcus, sparking concerns over the security of consumer data. Both companies found that unauthorized copies of Card Recon had been incorporated into a malware program and a toolkit designed for finding and attacking POS terminals. […]


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[ISN] Iranian Hackers Target U.S. Military Officials With Elaborate Social Media Scam

http://www.defenseone.com/technology/2014/05/iranian-hackers-target-us-military-officials-elaborate-social-media-scam/85417/ By Marina Koren National Journal May 29, 2014 It was the “most elaborate social-engineering campaign” these security researchers had ever seen. A new report from iSight Partners, a Dallas-based computer-security firm, exposed on Thursday a three-year cyberespionage campaign carried out by Iranian hackers. The digital attacks, which infected about 2,000 U.S. personal computers since 2011, targeted members of the U.S. military and Congress, as well as diplomats, lobbyists, and Washington-based journalists. The long-term campaign, dubbed “Newscaster” by the security firm, employed a dozen fake social-media accounts on sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Hackers sent targets links that, when accessed, would unleash malware. They directed people to fake login screens to steal their user names and passwords. They impersonated journalists and defense contractors, and even set up a fake news website to lure victims. All signs pointed to Iran as the source. Nicole Perlroth writes in The New York Times: […]


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[ISN] DUDE, WHERE’S MY CAR? New leccy BMWs have flimsy password security – researcher

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/05/27/bmw_password_security_shortcomings/ By John Leyden The Register 27 May 2014 Exclusive New BMW cars have security shortcomings that could allow thieves to pop open a victim’s flash motor from a smartphone. Ken Munro, a partner at Pen Test Partners, uncovered security issues in the systems that pair the latest generation of beamers with owners’ mobiles. By stringing together the flaws, a crook could open doors, windows and the boot, and leave the lights on for an added headache. Preliminary findings from the ongoing research – which El Reg passed onto BMW last month – suggest it may be possible to determine the usernames of drivers through social networks, and then use a mix of social engineering and other techniques to gain access to vehicles – or trick BMW into suspending security protections, clearing the way for other attacks. The car manufacturer said it had passed Munro’s research onto its people in Germany, and played down any risk. “If it was an issue then it’s solved now,” a spokesman told The Register. It’s understood the company has added an extra layer of protection: a new check for a PIN when accessing the mobile application. […]


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[ISN] How IT security experts handle healthcare network access

http://healthitsecurity.com/2014/05/27/how-it-security-experts-handle-healthcare-network-access/ By Patrick Ouellette Health IT Security May 27, 2014 Healthcare network security has become more complicated over the years because of the explosion of mobile device connectivity. And because it’s so difficult for healthcare organizations to have a firm grasp on where their perimeters begin and end, they must look for new ways to ensure networks are secure both internally and externally. Panelists who took part in a talk titled “Data Security in the Cloud: Leveraging the Low-Cost Advantages while Managing Risk” at the recent iHT2 conference in Boston discussed how they perceive healthcare network security and access controls. John Meyers, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine and Director of Technology, Department of Medicine, Boston University Medical Center, sparked the talk by explaining how there’s occasionally there’s going to be some protected health (PHI) out there that shouldn’t be. But if an organization limits the number of users who have access to the data, it can help mitigate those risks. David Reis, PhD, CISO, VP of IT Governance, PMO and Security at Lahey Health explained how Lahey essentially stopped trusting its inside network two years ago in the same way it doesn’t trust everyone externally. When asked what this change in trust measures meant, Reis said there were a few different considerations involved, starting with no longer trusting internal users. […]


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[ISN] Hacker Who Helped Disrupt Cyberattacks Is Allowed to Walk Free

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/28/nyregion/hacker-who-helped-disrupt-cyberattacks-is-allowed-to-walk-free.html By Benjamin Weiser The New York Times May 27, 2014 The New York man whose cooperation helped the authorities infiltrate the shadowy world of computer hacking and disrupt at least 300 cyberattacks on targets that included the United States military, courts and private companies was given a greatly reduced sentence on Tuesday of time served and allowed to walk free. Federal prosecutors had sought leniency for the hacker, Hector Xavier Monsegur, citing his efforts in helping the Federal Bureau of Investigation take down an aggressive group of hackers who were part of the collective Anonymous, with which he had been involved, and its splinter groups, which had taken credit for attacking government and corporate websites. Mr. Monsegur’s information, the authorities said, led to the arrest of eight “major co-conspirators,” including Jeremy Hammond, whom the F.B.I. had called its top “cybercriminal target” and who was sentenced to 10 years in prison in November. The judge, Loretta A. Preska of Federal District Court, gave Mr. Monsegur time served, calling his cooperation “truly extraordinary”; he had spent seven months in custody in 2012. […]


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