Archive for 2012/02/27
Movie making is in the news right now, and one theater that harks back to the ‘Golden Age’ of cinema resides inside the walls of the White HousePosted: 2012/02/27 in Education / Awareness
What’s happening on the battlefield
Over the past 18 months, Anonymous began a new age of hacktivism. Although the results are well known – publicly exposed data and interrupted web services – the methods are much less clear. Our findings show:
› Anonymous hackers are real people with real techniques – but they use conventional black hat methods and technologies. In fact, Anonymous’ hacking methods very much mirror what profiteering hackers do daily. For example, Anonymous hackers use many of the same tools for hacking, such as Havij, a SQL injection tool (probably invented in Iran) designed to penetrate applications and steal data. In other words, they are able to take advantage of common application vulnerabilities found in many websites, the same thing that fuels today’s black market, data-driven cyber crime economy. The main innovation seen from Anonymous is the creation of many websites that perform denial of service attacks.
› Anonymous will try to steal data first and, if that fails, attempt a DDoS attack. The first major attack by Anonymous in December 2010, Operation Payback, was a DDoS attack targeting PayPal, Visa, MasterCard and others. Though the attack attracted a lot of attention, it failed to disrupt these companies’ operations. Other attacks, such as Sony (and whether that was the work of Anonymous is not clear), succeeded because data was exposed. The impact? Sony suffered a public relations debacle in the period following the data exposure. The lesson was not lost on Anonymous who continued with data-centric attacks on PBS, BART, and other organizations.
› The Anonymous hackers are comprised of two types of volunteers:
• Skilled hackers – In this campaign, we witnessed a small group of skilled hackers. In total, this group numbered no more than 10 to 15 individuals. Given their display of hacking skills, one can surmise that they have genuine hacking experience and are quite savvy.
• Laypeople – This group can be quite large, ranging from a few dozen to a few hundred volunteers. Directed by the skilled hackers, their role is primarily to conduct DDoS attacks by either downloading and using special software or visiting websites designed to flood victims with excessive traffic. The technical skills required range from very low to modest.
Police told the Sun’s editor in 2006 its phone-hacking inquiry would not extend beyond a sole News of the World (NoW) reporter, an inquiry has heard.
The Leveson Inquiry into media ethics heard Scotland Yard told Rebekah Brooks it would end with Clive Goodman, the NoW’s royal editor, later jailed.
The information in an email was also passed to then NoW editor Andy Coulson.
The Met has been criticised for limiting its investigation despite evidence of thousands of victims.
Dutch language site & article:
On Tuesday a 2.4 million petition against ACTA will be presented to the petitions committee at 1230 CET. That same day the industry committee will discuss the agreement, while the trade committee will debate it on WednesdayPosted: 2012/02/27 in Copyright, Education / Awareness, Legislation, Public Policy
This is the committee that will have to make a formal recommendation to the Parliament. In addition academics, civil society bodies and EU officials will have a discussion about ACTA on Thursday.
Analyst firm Point Topic has today joined with the European Commission (EC) to launch “the most detailed broadband coverage mapping survey ever made across Europe,” which will be used to monitor any progress by telecoms operators towards the EU’s Digital Agenda goals.
Europe’s Digital Agenda project seeks to deliver “basic” and “competitively-priced” broadband internet access to all Europeans by 2013. But most importantly it aims for everybody within the EU to have access to superfast broadband speeds of 30Mbps+ by 2020 (with 50% or more households subscribing to an internet connection of 100Mbps+).
Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom is due to appear in Auckland High Court on Tuesday morning as representatives of the US government appeal a ruling that set him free on bail last weekPosted: 2012/02/27 in Copyright, Education / Awareness, Enforcement, Illegal File Sharing, Litigation
Representatives of the US government fought the new application, implying that Dotcom might have access to secret funds. Dotcom has prior convictions, was found with an illegal firearm when he was arrested and has bank cards in several different names, they argued.
But the judge disagreed, writing in a ruling that Dotcom would face losing all of his considerable assets if he decided to become a fugitive.
“We’re going for this and we’re confident we’re going to win. It [the heavy handedness] went way too far, it was out of all proportion,” Kim told TorrentFreak. “We feel that the action taken against us was political.”
Over the next four years, the wireless industry will invest nearly $800 billion and contribute $2.3 trillion in public funding around world. Yet the industry continues to face stiff regulations from governments around the worldPosted: 2012/02/27 in Education / Awareness, Mobile tech, Public Policy, Stats / reports, Tech Evolution
Wireless CEOs warn of industry challenges, call for openness
Being given a jail sentence for posting something on your Facebook Wall is one thing, but having the option to apologize on your Facebook Wall to avoid a jail sentence is something elsePosted: 2012/02/27 in Education / Awareness, Jurisprudence
Security through obscurity: Belgian Police is now switching back to 20-year-old IT infrastructure with Word 6.0 (license dates back to 1993).
In Belgium, 22.75 million EUR has been spent on crappy IT.
In The Netherlands, 326 million EUR has been spent on potential vaporware (will become clear in 2014).
Dutch language news article:
Like computer hackers who crack digital networks and surreptitiously take control of key machines, members of UX carry out clandestine missions throughout Paris’ supposedly secure underground tunnels and rooms. The group routinely uses the tunnels to access restoration sites and stage film festivals, for example, in the disused basements of government buildings.
WikiLeaks’ spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson claiming “we have a document that shows the close relationship between Carl Bildt and Washington insiders”Posted: 2012/02/27 in Education / Awareness
Mr Bildt “will have to step down. This will be the end of his political career,” an unnamed person with access to the unpublished diplomatic cable was quoted as saying.
The private intelligence firm Stratfor called the release of 5 million of its e-mails by WikiLeaks a “deplorable, unfortunate and illegal breach of privacy”Posted: 2012/02/27 in Cybercrime, Education / Awareness, Privacy / Data Protection
“Some of the e-mails may be forged or altered to include inaccuracies; some may be authentic,” the Texas-based firm said. “We will not validate either. Nor will we explain the thinking that went into them.”
The firm, in a statement released early Monday morning, said that thieves compromised its data systems in December and stole a large number of company e-mails, along with private data about its subscribers, employees and readers.
“Having had our property stolen, we will not be victimized twice by submitting to questioning about them,” the company said about the leaked e-mails.
It said the release was “another attempt to silence and intimidate the company, and one we reject.”
“Stratfor will not be silenced and will continue to publish the geopolitical analysis our friends and subscribers have come to rely upon,” the statement said.
Describing the e-mails as private property, Stratfor said they were written casually, with no expectation anyone outside the communication chain would ever see them.
“They should be read as such,” the company said. “Stratfor understands that this hack and the fallout from it, including the disclosures by Wikileaks, have created serious difficulties for our subscribers, friends and employees.”
Members of Anonymous with direct knowledge of the hack and transfer of data to WikiLeaks told Wired that the group decided to turn the information over to WikiLeaksPosted: 2012/02/27 in Cybercrime, Education / Awareness, Privacy / Data Protection
Veritate est inaestimabilis res
“…because the site was more capable of analyzing and spreading the leaked information than Anonymous would be.”
WikiLeaks has great means to publish and disclose,” the anon told Wired. “Also, they work together with media in a way we don’t.”
“Basically, WL is the ideal partner for such stuff,” the anon continued. “Antisec acquires the shit, WL gets it released in a proper manner.” Antisec is the arm of Anonymous that is known for hacking into servers.
When WikiLeaks received the documents on a server it controlled, it acknowledged the successful transfer with a coded, public Tweet, according to an anon with direct knowledge of the collaboration.
A document provided to Wired that could not be authenticated indicated that the media partners of WikiLeaks agreed to parcel out stories on the leaks over the coming week and a half. Those media partners do not include previous partners such as the Guardian and U.S. partners The New York Timesand the Washington Post.
The collaboration between WikiLeaks and Anonymous is an odd couple pairing. WikiLeaks has largely crumbled over the last 18 months, due to internal disagreements over the management style and legal problems of its outspoken leader Julian Assange. By contrast, Anonymous is an amorphous group with no leadership structure.
If Anonymous continues feeding WikiLeaks with documents, the secret spilling site could return to a prominence that seemed lost due to technical difficulties, legal troubles, in-fighting and public fallings out with media partners in the wake of the site’s publication of a massive trove of U.S. documents in 2010 and 2011.
As for how the collaboration between the two groups went, an anon with direct knowledge of it indicated that the new relationship had some tough moments.
“There were some natural tensions as usually can happen inside partnership,” the anon said. ”I hope this was only the beginning of a beautiful relationship.”
WikiLeaks begins publishing The Global Intelligence Files – more than five million emails from the “global intelligence” company Stratfor as obtained by AnonymousPosted: 2012/02/27 in Cybercrime, Education / Awareness, Privacy / Data Protection, Public Policy, Stats / reports
The emails date from between July 2004 and late December 2011. They reveal the inner workings of a company that fronts as an intelligence publisher, but provides confidential intelligence services to large corporations, such as Bhopal’s Dow Chemical Co., Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and government agencies, including the US Department of Homeland Security, the US Marines and the US Defense Intelligence Agency. The emails show Stratfor’s web of informers, pay-off structure, payment-laundering techniques and psychological methods.
WikiLeaks has built an investigative partnership with more than 25 media organisations and activists to inform the public about this huge body of documents.