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...
Network Security
Gartner's #1 for endpoint backup
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
NY Times, Twitter Hit in Syrian Electronic Army DNS Attacks

NY Times, Twitter Hit in Syrian Electronic Army DNS Attacks
By Jennifer LeClaire

Share
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Share on Google Plus

These attacks are not the same as having actual servers managed and run by the New York Times hacked. "The fundamental gap in security appears to have been around a DNS reseller account, which was used to gain access to the DNS records hosted out of Melbourne," said Kevin O'Brien, enterprise solution architect at CloudLock.
 


The Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) is at it again. The hactivist group targeted nine websites, including the New York Times, Twitter and Twimg, Twitter's image service. Redirects to servers the hackers controlled aimed to launch drive-by malware attacks on victims.

The SEA's high-profile media hacking spree began earlier this year. Among the victims of the group that supports Syrian President Bashar al-Assad are The Financial Times, The Guardian, and the Associated Press. Most recently, the Washington Post got hit. The common running theme: the papers reported stories SEA didn't like.

No Hacking Here

We asked Ken Pickering, the director of engineering at CORE Security, for his reaction to the attacks. He told us saying the Times was directly hacked is a bit of a fallacy.

"Realistically, their DNS provider was hacked. The end result is the same: The website being unavailable -- or serving up malware -- but there's not a whole lot the New York Times can do if their third party DNS provider was hacked," Pickering said.

"This points out one of the weaknesses of Internet architecture: blind trust on a DNS architecture. If they report the server IP has changed for a domain, most of us blindly trust going to that new IP," he added. "The system is only really failsafe if DNS providers are unhackable, which obviously isn't the case. And this is the resultant outcome: A story that the New York Times was hacked with very little they could do aside from picking a better service provider."

An IT Security Object Lesson

We also asked Kevin O'Brien, enterprise solution architect at CloudLock, for his views on the latest in a growing string of attacks against mainstream media. He told these attacks are not the same as having actual servers managed and run by the New York Times hacked. "The fundamental gap in security appears to have been around a DNS reseller account, which was used to gain access to the DNS records hosted out of Melbourne," he said.

If anything, O'Brien noted, these attacks are one more example of why companies need to implement properly layered defense strategies. Again, the issue with the DNS compromise was that a single point of failure -- the domain record company hacked, in this case -- resulted in "real-world" damages.

"Any time a single point of failure exists, one should assume that it will be the target of concerted effort on the behalf of criminals who wish to exploit, destroy, or compromise an organization," Brien said. "The coming days will tell for certain, but it's probably safe to assume that the Gray Lady's staff had not considered whether or not their DNS host was properly auditing and securing their environment. In turn, the DNS host was probably not doing the same for their resellers."

As O'Brien sees it, there is an object lesson in these attacks: As connections and access grows, the threat radius for an organization expands with it. If there is any consolation to be had, he said, it is that this is an incredibly unsophisticated form of attack.

"There is a high likelihood that the reseller account in question was compromised through either social engineering or poor password policy," he explained, "both of which can be addressed through end-user training and more sophisticated end-point security systems."
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:



IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there's a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know by accessing the white paper, "5 Things You Didn't Know About Cloud Backup". Access the White Paper now.


 Network Security
1.   Gmail Hackable by Android Apps
2.   UPS Stores Hit by Data Breach
3.   Target Data Breach Cost: $148 Million
4.   Aruba Handles Black Hat with Aplomb
5.   Chinese Hackers Steal Patient Data


advertisement
UPS Stores Hit by Data Breach
Biz must adopt better security measures.
Average Rating:
Target Data Breach Cost: $148 Million
Better customer data protection needed.
Average Rating:
FBI Cybersquad To Add Agents
Rewarded for recent security successes.
Average Rating:
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Researchers Find Malicious Android Apps Can Hack Gmail
A new study shows that a weakness in the Android mobile operating system can be used to steal sensitive, personal info from unwitting users. Gmail proved to be the easiest app to attack; Amazon, the hardest.
 
UPS Stores in 24 States Hit by Data Breach
Big Brown has been breached. UPS said that about 105,000 customer transactions at 51 of its UPS Store locations in 24 states could have been compromised between January and August.
 
Cost of Target Data Breach: $148 Million Plus Loss of Trust
The now infamous Target data breach is still costing the company -- and its shareholders -- plenty. In fact, the retailing giant forecast the December 2013 incident cost shareholders $148 million.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Acer's New Desktop Box Rides the Chrome OS Wave
Filling out its Chrome OS line, Acer is following the introduction of a larger Chromebook line earlier this month with a new tiny $180 desktop Chromebox and also a smaller Chromebook.
 
Feds OK $2.3 Billion IBM-Lenovo x86 Server Deal
IBM and Lenovo are celebrating U.S. approval of their x86-based server deal, having cleared some major security hurdles. The deal makes Lenovo a major player for enterprise data centers.
 
Three New Lenovo PCs Aimed at Business Users
With businesses wanting computing solutions that do more for less money, Lenovo has unveiled three new desktop PCs that it says offer solid computing at a budget-minded price.
 

Mobile Technology Spotlight
Screen Shortage Briefly Puts Brakes on iPhone 6
RAM? Check. Antenna switch? Check. Screen? Oops. Parts suppliers for Apple have found themselves facing a shortage of screens for the new iPhone 6 as next month's release date for the new smartphone looms.
 
Bounty Offered to Coders for Oculus Rift Bugs
Coders who find bugs in software for the Oculus Rift VR immersive headset could receive a reward of at least $500 under Facebook's White Hat bounty program. Facebook acquired Oculus in March.
 
Google Glass Adds Voice Access to Phone Contacts
The latest update to Google Glass will let users access their top 20 phone contacts with voice commands alone. A user can then choose a phone call, Google hangouts, e-mail or text messaging.
 

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.