Google Warning About More State-Sponsored Attacks

When Google told users in June that it was going to start warning them about attacks on Gmail accounts that the company believed were coming from state-sponsored groups, it looked like an announcement that only would affect a tiny percentage of the company’s users. Journalists, activists and dissidents seemed like the target base. Now, Google officials say that they have seen a new wave of attacks and has issued warnings to more users as a result.

Swedish Sites Attacked in Retaliation for Police Raid on Web Host

Several Web sites in Sweden, including the nation’s central bank and two government affiliates, were hit with attacks this week, supposedly in retaliation for a police raid on an Internet company tied to The Pirate Bay, the world’s largest file sharing site.That site also was offline until Wednesday, but its officials say it was due to broken Power Distribution Unit.

The news yesterday that Adobe had been compromised and that the attackers were able to get valid Adobe signatures on a pair of malware utilities is one of the more worrisome and troubling stories in what has become a year of huge hacks and historic change in the security industry. Adobe was forthcoming with many of the details of the attack, but the ones that were omitted are the ones that really make a difference in this instance.

Adobe announced today it was the victim of an APT-style attack after two malicious utilities commonly used in targeted attacks for privilege escalation and pivoting within a network were discovered signed by a valid Adobe digital certificate. Adobe said it will revoke the certificate next week.

Adobe products and services senior director of security Brad Arkin said in a statement that a build server with access to the Adobe code signing infrastructure was compromised and is the source of the issue.

Telvent, the maker of a SCADA product used in a number of critical industries, said that its corporate network has been compromised by attackers and that some of the files used by customers on their own networks were changed. This attack is the latest in what looks to be a series of incidents of varying severity that have occurred at companies involved in either the production or use of SCADA systems in recent months.

It’s been a rough couple of years for the security of fundamental Internet infrastructure technologies such the domain name system (DNS), SSL and digital certificates. Hackers are taking aim at these core technologies at the heart of ecommerce and online communication, and are more often than not, hitting their mark with devastating accuracy.

People in the security industry often criticize the federal government for being woefully behind the times on information security, not understanding the current threat landscape and not having enough trained law enforcement agents who can handle sophisticated computer crimes. Steven Chabinsky doesn’t want to hear it. A longtime FBI lawyer and former chief of the bureau’s Cyber Intelligence Section, Chabinsky believes that the government is doing a better job at security than ever before, as is the private sector. But, he also believes the attackers are still gaining ground every day.

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