Browsing Category: Hacks

The United States Department of Homeland Security cried foul yesterday morning, debunking claims from both the Illinois Statewide Terrorism and Intelligence Center (STIC) and Applied Control Solutions that a water station in Illinois was hacked earlier this month.

A flurry of reports late last week described an attack on an unnamed Springfield, Ill. water treatment facility where the plant’s supervisory control and data acquisition software (SCADA) were compromised by Russian computers.

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Siemens said on Tuesday that it is working with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to investigate a cyber intrusion into a water treatment plant in South Houston, Texas, but couldn’t confirm that a default, three digit password hard coded into an application used to control the company’s SCADA software played a role. 

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Duqu has been called the spawn of Stuxnet, or maybe some sort of stepchild or second cousin. That initial analysis came from some similarities in the [img_assist|nid=10273|title=Costin Raiu|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=100|height=100]code of the two attack tools, and now that researchers have had more time to pull Duqu apart and see how it works, it seems more and more likely that the two were written by the same group. In the second part of an interview with Costin Raiu, who has done a lot of research on Duqu, Threatpost editor Dennis Fisher talks with Raiu about the similarities to Stuxnet, the targets for Duqu and why the authors may have made a key mistake.

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Categories: Cryptography, Hacks

Calling it a form of “electronic civil disobedience,” hacktivist group Anonymous took aim at a special agent from the California Department of Justice on Friday. The group spilled 38,000 e-mails containing “computer forensics techniques, investigation protocols as well as highly embarrassing personal information,” according to a press release on Pastebin.

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Stuxnet has become the bogeyman of Internt security and cyberwar, showing up in marketing pitches, PowerPoint presentations and press releases from Washington to Silicon Valley to Tehran. But while Stuxnet has been garnering headlines for more than a year now, the far more serious threat in terms of [img_assist|nid=10273|title=Costin Raiu|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=100|height=100]potential long-term damage has turned out to be Duqu. The malware first came to light in September, but it may have been circulating four or five months before that. Its customizable, modular architecture has been a challenge for researchers seeking to understand its operation and its creators’ intentions. Threatpost editor Dennis Fisher spoke with Costin Raiu, one of the main researchers working on Duqu at Kaspersky Lab, about the relationship between Stuxnet and Duqu, the possible identity of the attackers and the investigation into its architecture.

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In an e-mail interview with Threatpost, the hacker who compromised software used to manage water infrastructure for South Houston, Texas, said the district had HMI (human machine interface) software used to manage water and sewage infrastructure accessible to the Internet and used a password that was just three characters long to protect the system, making it easy picking for a remote attack.

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Categories: Government, Hacks, Web Security

When most people think of the Great Firewall of China, they think of government censors black holing the comments of political dissidents or conversations related to the long list of topics the governing Communist Party finds disruptive to political harmony. But in testimony before Congress, the head of a U.S.-based technology industry group said that the censorship is also taking an economic toll on Western Internet firms, as China steers Chinese consumers away from Western Web based services including Facebook, Google, Twitter, Yahoo and Foursquare and toward domestic competitors.

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