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. Please click for more information, or scroll down to pass the ad, or Close Ad.
Home Enterprise I.T. Cloud Computing Applications Hardware More Topics...
Neustar, Inc.
Protect your website & network
using real-time information & analysis

www.neustar.biz
Network Security
Fiercely productive scanners
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
August 28, 2013 10:24AM

    Bookmark and Share
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:



Salesforce.com is the market and technology leader in Software-as-a-Service. Its award-winning CRM solution helps 82,400 customers worldwide manage and share business information over the Internet. Experience CRM success. Click here for a FREE 30-day trial.


 Network Security
1.   Michaels: Nearly 3M Cards Breached
2.   Heartbleed Could Cost Millions
3.   Google Street View Unravels CAPTCHAs
4.   Teen Arrested for Heartbleed Hack
5.   IBM Adds Disaster Recovery to SoftLayer


advertisement
Michaels: Nearly 3M Cards Breached
But the hack has been contained.
Average Rating:
Heartbleed Could Cost Millions
But it could have been prevented.
Average Rating:
Don't Reset Passwords for Heartbleed?
Added caution needed to ensure security.
Average Rating:
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Michaels Says Nearly 3M Credit, Debit Cards Breached
Arts and crafts retail giant Michaels Stores has confirmed that a data breach at its POS terminals from May 2013 to Jan. 2014 may have exposed nearly 3 million customer credit and debit cards.
 
Heartbleed Could Cost Millions, Could Have Been Prevented
Early estimates of Heartbleed’s cost to enterprises are running in the millions. The reason: revoking all the SSL certificates the bug leaked will come at a very hefty price.
 
Google's Street View Software Unravels CAPTCHAs
The latest software Google uses for its Street View cars to read street numbers in images for Google Maps works so well that it also solves CAPTCHAs, those puzzles designed to defeat bots.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Vaio Fit 11A Battery Danger Forces Recall by Sony
Using a Sony Vaio Fit 11A laptop? It's time to send it back to Sony. In fact, Sony is encouraging people to stop using the laptop after several reports of its Panasonic battery overheating.
 
Continued Drop in Global PC Shipments Slows
Worldwide shipments of PCs fell during the first three months of the year, but the global slump in PC demand may be easing, with a considerable slowdown from last year's drops.
 
Google Glass Finds a Home in Medical Education, Practice
Google Glass may find its first markets in verticals in which hands-free access to data is a boon. Medicine is among the most prominent of those, as seen in a number of Glass experiments under way.
 

Mobile Technology Spotlight
Google Releases Chrome Remote Desktop App for Android
You're out on a sales call, and use your Android mobile device to grab a file you have back at the office on your desktop. That's a bit easier now with Google's Chrome Remote Desktop app for Android.
 
Amazon 3D Smartphone Pics Leaked
E-commerce giant Amazon is reportedly set to launch a smartphone after years of development. Photos of the phone, which may feature a unique 3D interface, were leaked by tech pub BGR.
 
Zebra Tech Buys Motorola Enterprise for $3.45B
Weeks after Lenovo bought Motorola Mobility’s assets from Google for $2.91 billion, Zebra Technologies is throwing down $3.45 billion for Motorola’s Enterprise business in an all-cash deal.
 

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 | Small Business | 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 | XML/RSS Feed

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.