Posts tagged “Espionage”

Chinese cyber spying

Source: The Washington Times

Chinese computer hackers, some linked to the military, engaged in an aggressive international campaign of electronic espionage through the Internet from 2003 through at least 2009, according to documents obtained by Inside the Ring. The electronic spying campaign targeted large amounts of data and information from U.S. government and private sector networks, as well as from the French and German governments, other states and international organizations.

Leaked “RSA dump” appears authentic

Source: Patrick Gray, Risky Business

A massive Pastebin dump of domain names and IP addresses supposedly linked to a cyber espionage ring appears to be the real deal. The Pastebin dump, dated August 15, lists around 850 entries containing domain names and IP addresses, supposedly leaked by “RSA Employee #15666”. The dump asserts the IP addresses and domain names listed are used in command and control operations by a cyber-espionage ring.

A rash of high-profile thefts reveals just how unsafe the Internet we depend on has become

Source: Chris Sorensen , Macleans

It’s not only state secrets that can yield big returns for cybercrooks. A 2010 report by the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs explored one St. Petersburg gang that earned about $2 million a year with a simple but effective scheme called Koobface (an anagram for Facebook). It involved setting up fake social networking accounts and then sending links to unwitting “friends,” promising a video of the recipient captured naked by a hidden webcam. “One click leads down a Kafka-esque rabbit hole of viruses and Trojan horses,” according to the report. How did the gang make money? The compromised computers engaged in thousands of micro-transactions in multiple countries around the globe, often for less than a penny each. The transactions included things like clicking on online ads or downloading fake anti-virus software packages, with each hit generating a small cut for the gang.

A similar approach could also yield big returns in stock or currency trading schemes, according to Rafal Rohozinski, a principal at the Ottawa-based security firm the SecDev Group, which was involved in the Koobface report. Hackers could also team up with white-collar crooks looking to make money off of stock price movements—selling shares short after a major data breach has been revealed and the stock price plummets, only to buy them again before the shares recover. “It’s a perfect example of how cybercrime is much bigger and more commonplace than a pimply-faced teenager in the basement eating pizza,” says Rohozinski.

For full original article, click here.

China linked to new breaches tied to RSA

Recent attacks on three U.S. defense contractors could be tied to cyberespionage campaigns waged from China, several security experts told CNET.

“The reality is, part of the basis of U.S. hegemony…has been the ability to leverage command of signals intelligence to have perspective on the motivations and activities of others. Cyberspace has equalized that, so all of a sudden we’re in a competitive intelligence environment,” said Rafal Rohozinski, a principal at SecDev who did research on targeted attacks on Tibet and others with supposed links to China. Those attacks were detailed in a “GhostNet” report in 2009.

“China has made no secret that they see cyberspace as the domain that allows them to compete with the U.S.,” Rohozinski said.

For full original article, see here

Western firms face growing emerging spy threat

Cyber espionage is not solely in the interest of national military security. As the Globe and Mail’s Peter Apps writes, there is an increasing trend of state-based cyber espionage for commercial interests. Security experts say that many Western enterprises have experienced economic shortfall as a result of electronic surveillance conducted by states seeking to bolster the profit of their nationally-aligned corporations. The article points the finger at developing nations with rapidly emerging economies: such as Russia and China.

But it’s not the first time that states have interfered with the affairs of companies outside of their own jurisdiction. In the realm of cyber espionage, states have involved themselves in the affairs of foreign companies for some time. Examples include allegations of China’s involvement in cyber attacks against Google Inc., and India’s request to Canadian-owned Research in Motion to encrypt the Blackberry. Though the work does not feature any input or research from the Citizen Lab, it includes a photograph of Citizen Lab staff.

From The Globe and Mail

New IWM Report: Shadows in the Cloud

The Information Warfare Monitor/ (Citizen Lab, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto and the SecDev Group, Ottawa) and the Shadowserver Foundation announce the release of Shadows in the Cloud: An investigation into cyber espionage 2.0.FULL REPORT. The report documents a complex ecosystem of cyber espionage that systematically targeted and compromised computer systems in… Read more »

Are we risking an Internet arms race?

Ron Deibert is featured here regarding his comments at a panel discussion, dubbed the Role of Internet Giants in Totalitarian States, at York University’s Toronto-based Schulich School of Business on Tuesday, March 16, 2010. He discusses the shift from criminal to political espionage that constitutes the current “arms race in cyberspace.”