Newsletters
News & Information for Technology Purchasers NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
This ad will display for the next 20 seconds. Click for more information, or
Home Enterprise I.T. Cloud Computing Applications Hardware More Topics...
World Wide Web
24/7/365 Network Uptime!
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
Washington Post Latest Victim of Syrian Hackers
Washington Post Latest Victim of Syrian Hackers

By Jennifer LeClaire
August 15, 2013 12:44PM

    Bookmark and Share
Cyber-terrorists including the Syrian Electronic Army want to instill fear in the infrastructure by compromising trusted entities like the Washington Post and using their platforms . . . to gain access to information or credentials that will allow them to conduct their nefarious business, according to 41st Parameter's David Britton.
 



The Washington Post is writing about itself in the wake of an attack by the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA). The D.C. paper is the latest media outlet targeted by the hacker group sympathetic to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The Post reported that the SEA briefly infiltrated its website and redirected readers of some stories to its own site. The attack lasted about 30 minutes and targeted foreign news stories specifically.

"We've taken defensive measures, and at this time there are no other issues affecting the site," said Emilio Garcia-Ruiz, The Post's managing editor-digital, in an article the paper wrote on Thursday afternoon.

Wreaking Havoc on Trust

We asked David Britton, vice president of industry solutions at 41st Parameter, about the attack against the Washington Post. He told us it's another example of how vulnerable the Internet ecosystem is when it comes to trust.

"We have long known that the Internet affords anonymity, but we are also learning more about how that anonymity can actually be used to leverage trusted relationships to wreak havoc," he said. "In a basic phishing scheme, attackers exploit the standing trust between large brand entities and their consumers, to convince them to divulge information, either willingly, or by using the phishing emails as a method of distributing malware, which will remotely capture data from the consumer's device."

In the case of spear-phishing attacks, Britton said trust is exploited to gain access to individuals with higher sensitivity information and credentials, such as CFOs, controllers, and C-level executives. In the case of a trusted media outlet, attackers are aiming to damage the reputation, and the trust between the media outlet and its readers.

"While these types of 'hacktivist' attacks seem like simple annoyances on the surface, they carry with them an underlying sense of instability in a trusted entity, which is exactly the goal these attackers have in mind," Britton said. He also pointed to the breach of the Associated Press' Twitter account, when a tweet falsely claimed an attack on the White House.

Instilling Fear in the Infrastructure

"The trust between the government and its citizens was leveraged to cause financial damage with a drop in the stock market, based on an assumption that there was national instability," he said. "It is critical that the security community recognize that there are a variety of attackers using cyberspace as the battlefield, with different objectives in mind."

As Britton sees it, cyber-terrorists want to instill fear in the infrastructure by compromising trusted entities and using their platforms for their own messaging. The purported Chinese-backed attacks seem to be focused on both intellectual theft and on attempts to control the flow of information, he said, while the Eastern European gangs tend to be focused on financial gain.

"In all of these cases, however, the groups are using the Internet, websites, blog sites, message boards, email, SMS messaging, mobile malware to leverage the standing trust between an organization and its consumers, in order to gain access to information or credentials which will allow them to conduct their nefarious business," Britton said.

"As a result, it is more imperative than ever that every agency, business or entity that has a connected presence, find a way to ensure that they have the best possible tools at their disposal to recognize their digital consumers -- so that they can effectively prevent the unauthorized access to their environments," he added.
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:





 World Wide Web
1.   Facebook To Force Use of Messenger
2.   OkCupid Experiments with Daters
3.   Zillow Buys Trulia for $3.5 Billion
4.   Competition Spurs Ultra-Fast Internet
5.   Google Buys Streaming Site Twitch


advertisement
Radical.FM's Freemium Biz Model
Online radio startup asks for donations.
Average Rating:
Facebook Social Experiment Irks Us
Secretive test was legal, but ethical?
Average Rating:
OkCupid Experiments with Daters
Unethical without user consent?
Average Rating:
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Researchers Working To Fix Tor Security Exploit
Developers for the Tor privacy browser are scrambling to fix a bug revealed Monday that researchers say could allow hackers, or government surveillance agencies, to track users online.
 
Wall Street Journal Hacked Again
Hacked again. That’s the story at the Wall Street Journal this week as the newspaper reports that the computer systems housing some of its news graphics were breached. Customers not affected -- yet.
 
Dropbox for Business Beefs Up Security
Dropbox is upping its game for business users. The cloud-based storage and sharing company has rolled out new security, search and other features to boost its appeal for businesses.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Apple Updates MacBook Pros, Cuts Prices Up to $100
The popular MacBook Pro laptop line just got an update and a price cut of as much as $100. The MacBook Pro with Retina display now includes faster processors and double the memory.
 
Watson Gets His First Customer Service Gig
Since appearing on Jeopardy, IBM's Watson supercomputer has been making a living using his super-intelligent knowledge base for business verticals. Now, Watson's been hired for his first customer service job.
 
Tablet Giants Apple and Samsung Feel the Heat
When a company saturates its home market with a once-hot product, expect it to pump up efforts elsewhere. Apple, for its part, is now pushing iPads to big corporations and the enterprise market.
 

Mobile Technology Spotlight
Android 'Fake ID' Puts Millions of Users at Risk
Having this fake ID is nothing to brag about, even if you are a minor. The “Fake ID” Android flaw drops malware into smartphone apps. It can steal credit card data and even take over your device.
 
FTC Wants Fix for 'Perfect Scam' of Mobile Cramming
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has issued new guidelines to curb “mobile cramming,” a troublesome practice that adds unauthorized third-party charges to mobile phone bills.
 
Facebook: You Will Use Messenger, and You Will Like It
Starting this week, Facebook users with Android and iOS phones will be forced to use the separate Messenger app to send Facebook messages. Pending messages will still be visible in the main app.
 

Navigation
NewsFactor Network
Home/Top News | Enterprise I.T. | Cloud Computing | Applications | Hardware | Mobile Tech | Big Data | Communications
World Wide Web | Network Security | Data Storage | CRM Systems | Microsoft/Windows | Apple/Mac | Linux/Open Source | Personal Tech
Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.