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Anonymous Attacks Spanish Government Sites

Hacktivist group Anonymous has been firing up its DDoS cannon again, this time aiming it at Spanish government websites, in support of Catalan independence. The group claimed to have taken offline the website of the constitutional court, which ruled the Catalonian referendum illegal last week. It also defaced the website of the Spanish Ministry of Public Works and Transport with a “Free Catalonia” message. A statement from the group had the following: “In the name of all the Catalan independence and democracy, Anonymous Catalonia asks all the Anons of the world who are in favour of the freedom of expression […] and peaceful dialogue to persist in the #FreeCatalonia operation until 29 October 2017.” Various accounts associated with the disparate group have been tweeting messages with #opCatalunya and #FreeCatalonia, claiming “big attacks are coming”, although the government sites in question appear to be back to normal now. “We wish to state that the Catalan people’s desire to express their will via a referendum is the majority view and cuts across all strata of society and is in keeping with the civic, peaceful and democratic determination expressed in the multitudinous demonstrations held by organised society in favour of its right to decide,” noted another Anonymous branded video. Stephanie Weagle, VP at Corero Network Security, argued that DDoS attacks continue to function as an effective disrupter of businesses and in some cases help to distract IT teams while information is stolen. “In order to effectively protect their networks, prevent disruptions to customer operations, and better protect against service outages, downtime and potential data theft, companies need real-time visibility and mitigation of all DDoS attack traffic targeting their networks, regardless of size or duration,” she added. “Traditional security infrastructure will not stand up to these service interrupting attacks—a dedicated layer of DDoS mitigation is required to eliminate the DDoS threat. Source: https://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/news/anonymous-attacks-spanish/

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Anonymous Attacks Spanish Government Sites

CERT issues cyber attack warning for India

Malware Reaper is acquiring internet-connected devices for coordinated attack, say State Cyber Police Mumbai: The Maharashtra Cyber Department is in the process of issuing a State-wide advisory outlining steps to prevent potential targets from falling prey after the New Delhi-based Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) said it has received intelligence inputs about a massive cyber attack on several countries, including India. The CERT is the country’s central cyber security agency. Maharashtra Cyber Police officers confirmed to The Hindu that the attack would be similar to the Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attack that hit the State last year. In July 2016, The Hindu had reported how small and medium Internet Service Providers were under attack from unknown parties, who were pinging their servers incessantly to the point where the servers crashed, denying service to their clients and causing loss of revenue. According to sources, the imminent DDOS attack, which is believed to be on a much larger scale, is being readied using malware known by two names, Reaper and IoTroop, and is currently taking over thousands of machines connected to the internet to be used for a synchronised attack on the target servers. Maharashtra IG (Cyber) Brijesh Singh said, “Mirai had acquired five lakh devices. The Reaper malware has already affected two million devices worldwide, and is acquiring 10,000 devices per day. It seems to be targeting CCTV camera systems and Digital Video Recorders connected to the internet.” Bot attack A Cyber Police officer said, “It’s difficult to say at this point exactly who the targets are, but we have enough information to indicate that machines connected to the internet, including cell phones, laptops, CCTV cameras and other devices, are susceptible. A large number of such machines are being hacked and turned into bots as we speak. Our cyber intelligence network indicates a lot of abnormal behaviour on the internet, consistent with hacking of devices.” A bot, or robot, is an automated programme. In this kind of cyber attack, hackers use malware to infect devices to turn them into bots that do their bidding. Sources said the perpetrators of Reaper are currently creating a huge network of bots, called a botnet in cyberspeak. In October 2016, a malware known as Mirai had executed multiple DDOs attacks on servers of Dyn, a leading domain name service provider, affecting several popular websites including Twitter, Netflix and Reddit. Cyber Police officers said Reaper is amassing bots on a much larger scale than Mirai. “Once the botnet is ready as per the perpetrators’ requirements, they simply have to command the bots to ping servers of the target all at once, resulting in a server crash. Depending on the size of the company or industry targeted, it will result in massive losses of revenue.” A possible way to execute the attack would be that the bots are pre-programmed to strike on a particular day. This possibility is also being probed, officers said. Superintendent of Police Balsing Rajput, Maharashtra Cyber Police, confirmed that intelligence inputs about Reaper have been received. “We are working on the information and will soon be coming out with an advisory regarding the same.” Source: Malware Reaper is acquiring internet-connected devices for coordinated attack, say State Cyber Police Mumbai: The Maharashtra Cyber Department is in the process of issuing a State-wide advisory outlining steps to prevent potential targets from falling prey after the New Delhi-based Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) said it has received intelligence inputs about a massive cyber attack on several countries, including India. The CERT is the country’s central cyber security agency. Maharashtra Cyber Police officers confirmed to The Hindu that the attack would be similar to the Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attack that hit the State last year. In July 2016, The Hindu had reported how small and medium Internet Service Providers were under attack from unknown parties, who were pinging their servers incessantly to the point where the servers crashed, denying service to their clients and causing loss of revenue. According to sources, the imminent DDOS attack, which is believed to be on a much larger scale, is being readied using malware known by two names, Reaper and IoTroop, and is currently taking over thousands of machines connected to the internet to be used for a synchronised attack on the target servers. Maharashtra IG (Cyber) Brijesh Singh said, “Mirai had acquired five lakh devices. The Reaper malware has already affected two million devices worldwide, and is acquiring 10,000 devices per day. It seems to be targeting CCTV camera systems and Digital Video Recorders connected to the internet.” Bot attack A Cyber Police officer said, “It’s difficult to say at this point exactly who the targets are, but we have enough information to indicate that machines connected to the internet, including cell phones, laptops, CCTV cameras and other devices, are susceptible. A large number of such machines are being hacked and turned into bots as we speak. Our cyber intelligence network indicates a lot of abnormal behaviour on the internet, consistent with hacking of devices.” A bot, or robot, is an automated programme. In this kind of cyber attack, hackers use malware to infect devices to turn them into bots that do their bidding. Sources said the perpetrators of Reaper are currently creating a huge network of bots, called a botnet in cyberspeak. In October 2016, a malware known as Mirai had executed multiple DDOs attacks on servers of Dyn, a leading domain name service provider, affecting several popular websites including Twitter, Netflix and Reddit. Cyber Police officers said Reaper is amassing bots on a much larger scale than Mirai. “Once the botnet is ready as per the perpetrators’ requirements, they simply have to command the bots to ping servers of the target all at once, resulting in a server crash. Depending on the size of the company or industry targeted, it will result in massive losses of revenue.” A possible way to execute the attack would be that the bots are pre-programmed to strike on a particular day. This possibility is also being probed, officers said. Superintendent of Police Balsing Rajput, Maharashtra Cyber Police, confirmed that intelligence inputs about Reaper have been received. “We are working on the information and will soon be coming out with an advisory regarding the same.” Source: http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/cert-issues-cyber-attack-warning-for-india/article19920037.ece

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CERT issues cyber attack warning for India

DDoS Attack Pulls Down Bitcoin Gold Website

Ever since the initiation of the hard-fork resulting into a new cryptocurrency – Bitcoin Gold (BTG) – from the bitcoin blockchain, the BTG website has been constantly under DDoS attacks and has not resumed operations ever since. Earlier in the day, a new hard fork in the Bitcoin blockchain network gave rise to a new cryptocurrency Bitcoin Gold (BTG) and ever since then the official website has been constantly under DDoS attacks. This new hard-fork which resulted into a derivative cryptocurrency of the popular Bitcoin, has been aimed for establishing a fair platform different from the Bitcoin network which is alleged to have been dominated by large companies. The existing bitcoin mining process requires high-end powerful computing hardware which is quite a lot expensive and certainly not affordable to ordinary miners. As a result the mining process is said to have got centralised into the hands of large companies. With Bitcoin Gold, the miners aim to democratise the mining process by bringing Bitcoin’s inherent value proposition of having a decentralised mode of operation. The first step of the Bitcoin Gold initiation was to take a “snapshot” of the bitcoin blockchain while creating a replica with new set of rules. Moreover, the BTG technical team has decided to release the cryptocurrency absolutely free for all those who are holding bitcoins at the time of fork. Soon after the process was initiated the BTG developer team had started reporting issues pertaining to DDoS attacks on the website. And even hours after the initiation process the attacks seem to have stopped nowhere denying enthusiasts to keep any track of the newly generated BTG cryptocurrency. Adding to the woes, the additional fact is that the new blockchain hasn’t turned public yet and the explorer and tracking tools have not been released yet. Owing to the controversial and divisive nature of cryptocurrency projects such as the Bitcoin Gold, the denial-of-service attacks have been a common phenomenon in occurrence. Jack Liao, LightningAsic CEO, who is said to be the brain behind the BTG’s creation has been quite vocal and critical about the existing mining process of Bitcoins targeting several companies which are profiting from the mining process. His open criticism could possibly be a reason for such attacks. However, in addition to this, there are other reasons attributed to the cause of criticism for Bitcoin Gold. Few developer channels are quite skeptical about BTG using a process in which the BTG will be privately created before being publicly available as an open-source project. Another cause of concern with the Bitcoin Gold is that it has not solved the risk of a “replay attack” which could possibly increase transaction complications when two completely incompatible version of the bitcoin blockchain will be unable to distinguish from each other. At the press time Bitcoin Gold (BTG) is trading at $262, according to the CoinMarketCap Index. The price of Bitcoin (BTC) took a slight hit after the hard fork, losing more than $300 of its all-time max value of  $6,000 per-coin. The Bitcoin Gold is still in the development process and we have yet to hear any official from its developer technical team regarding the future plans and its modus operandi. Source: https://www.coinspeaker.com/2017/10/24/ddos-attack-pulls-bitcoin-gold-website/

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DDoS Attack Pulls Down Bitcoin Gold Website

Czech Parliamentary Election Websites Hit by Cyberattacks

The Czech statistical office has reported DDoS (Distrubuted Denial of Service) attacks on websites related to the recent parliamentary elections during the vote count. A number of websites of the Czech statistical office (CZSO) have been subject to cyberattacks during the counting of votes in the Czech parliament’s lower house election, Petra Bacova, the CZSO spokeswoman, told Sputnik Sunday. “The websites related to the parliamentary elections — volby.cz and volbyhned.cz — have temporary failed to function due to DDoS attacks [Distributed Denial of Service] during the vote count on Saturday. These attacks have not affected the overall progress of the election,” Bacova said. The police along with the Czech National Cyber and Information Security Agency have already launched an investigation into the attacks. “Thanks to the rapid response, the attacks on the both aforementioned servers have been neutralized, while the work of the websites has been resumed,” Bacova said. The Czech Republic held an election to the lower house of the parliament on Friday-Saturday. The centrist ANO political party won the election, receiving 29.64 percent of votes. Czech President Milos Zeman stated that he was ready to appoint Andrej Babis, ANO’s leader, as Czech prime minister. Source: https://sputniknews.com/europe/201710231058456317-czech-election-hit-cyberattack/

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Czech Parliamentary Election Websites Hit by Cyberattacks

New Mirai-Like Malware Targets IoT Devices

Security researchers are warning about malware that’s been enslaving routers, webcams and DVRs across the world to create a giant botnet capable of disrupting the internet. The malware, called Reaper or IoTroop, isn’t the first to target poorly secured devices. But it’s doing so at an alarmingly fast rate, according to security firm Check Point, which noticed the malicious code last month. The malware has infected “hundreds of thousands” of devices, said Maya Horowitz, threat intelligence group manager at Check Point. Reaper brings up memories of malware known as Mirai, which formed its own giant botnet in 2016 and infected over 500,000 IoT devices, according to some estimates. It then began launching a massive distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack that disrupted internet access across the US. Reaper could be used to launch a similar attack, Check Point researchers said. The good news is the infected bots haven’t launched any DDoS campaigns. Instead, they’re still focused on enslaving new devices. Researchers at security firm Qihoo 360 also noticed the Reaper malware, and found evidence it was trying to infect at least 2 million vulnerable devices. Reaper even borrows some source code from Mirai, though it spreads itself differently, Qihoo said. Unlike Mirai, which relies on cracking the default password to gain access to the device, Reaper has been found targeting around a dozen different vulnerabilities found in products from D-Link, Netgear, Linksys, and others. All these vulnerabilities are publicly known, and at least some of the vendors have released security patches to fix them. But that hasn’t stopped the mysterious developer behind Reaper from exploiting the vulnerabilities. In many cases, IoT devices will remain unpatched because the security fixes aren’t easy to install. Who may have created the malware and what their motives are still isn’t known, but all the tools needed to make it are actually available online, Horowitz said. For instance, the source code to the Mirai malware was dumped on a hacking forum last year. In addition, data about the vulnerabilities Reaper targets can be found in security research posted online. “It’s so easy to be a threat actor when all these public exploits and malware can be just posted on GitHub,” she said. “It’s really easy to just rip the code, and combine, to create your own strong cyber weapon.” Unfortunately, little might be done to stop the Reaper malware. Security experts have all been warning that poorly secured IoT devices need to be patched, but clearly many haven’t. “This is another wakeup call” for manufacturers, Horowitz said. Source: https://www.pcmag.com/news/356926/new-mirai-like-malware-targets-iot-devices

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New Mirai-Like Malware Targets IoT Devices

Android malware on Google Play grows botnets, launches DDoS attacks

The Sockbot malware has made its way into at least eight Apps in the Google Play Store with the intent of adding devices to botnets and performing DDoS attacks. Symantec researchers said the malicious apps have each been downloaded between 600,000 and 2.6 million times respectively and has primarily targeted users in the United States although infections have been spotted in Russia, Ukraine, Brazil, and Germany, according to an Oct 18 blog post. One of the malicious apps poses as an app that will allow users to modify their Minecraft characters. The app uses a SOCKS proxy mechanism and is commanded to connect to an ad server and launch ad requests. “This highly flexible proxy topology could easily be extended to take advantage of a number of network-based vulnerabilities, and could potentially span security boundaries,” the post said. “In addition to enabling arbitrary network attacks, the large footprint of this infection could also be leveraged to mount a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack.” Researchers contacted Google Play on Oct. 6 and the malicious apps have since been removed from the store. To prevent downloading similar malicious apps users should keep software updated, refrain from downloading apps from unfamiliar sites, only install apps from trusted sources, and pay close attention to the permissions requested by an app. Users should also install mobile security apps and make frequent backups of data. Source: https://www.scmagazine.com/sockbot-malware-adds-devices-to-botnets-executes-ddos-attacks/article/701189/

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Android malware on Google Play grows botnets, launches DDoS attacks

DOSarrest releases new API

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Oct. 18, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) —  Internet Security announced today that they have released a new Application Programming Interface(API) for their latest generation of Internet Security Services Software, enabling NSPs, ISPs and Security as a Service companies to directly access any and all of DOSarrest’s cloud based Security Services. This allows any organization to integrate into their existing customer portals any of DOSarrest’s services which include DDoS protection, CDN, best of breed WAF, global load balancing as well as any future services on their aggressive roadmap. Some of the features of the API allow subscribers to auto provision, dynamically spin up/down instances and capacity as required and pick and choose whatever components they need from DOSarrest’s numerous DDoS and WAF elements. This is a new “restful” API, making integration as easy as it gets. Subscribers can also leverage DOSarrest’s Big data analytics engine to manipulate and display logging data as they see fit. Brian Mohammed Director of Sales and Marketing states, “We have had many enquiries from large telcos, especially in Europe, who like and want our service but need an API. We listened and here it is.” Mohammed adds, “This allows virtually anyone to use our services to ensure their customers’ websites are secure from any attack be it large volumetric or a small sophisticated layer 7 attack, all the while it looks like it’s their own service, on-demand.” Mark Teolis, CEO of DOSarrest explains, “We are also willing to build a custom portal for companies that don’t have an in house programming staff to use the new API; why not use our in house development group to help you make it?”  In addition, Teolis states, “Once you subscribe to the new API you will have access to all future services, and there are some good ones on the way.” About DOSarrest Internet Security: DOSarrest founded in 2007 in Vancouver, B.C., Canada is one of only a couple of companies worldwide to specialize in only cloud based DDoS protection services.  Additional Web security services offered are Cloud based W eb A pplication F irewall (WAF) , V ulnerability T esting and O ptimization (VTO) , DataCenter Defender – GRE as well as cloud based global load balancing . Source: https://globenewswire.com/news-release/2017/10/17/1148970/0/en/DOSarrest-releases-new-API.html

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DOSarrest releases new API

400 attacks per day: Behind Australia’s growing DDoS attack surface

There is no denying that the number of DDoS attacks has been increasing everywhere around the world, new variants of attacking tools and techniques have been made available to the attackers much faster than we have seen in the past. Based on the statistics we have collected for Australia, the number of DDoS attacks have been increased roughly 25% each year, and we believe that number could become around 30,000 attacks per month by end of 2020. The largest DDoS attack targeting Australia in 2017 is around 228 Gbps in June, although these kinds of multi-gigabit attacks always catch our attention, they don’t really happen very often. Almost 80% of the DDoS attacks seen in Australia are under 2 Gbps, but still could possibly overwhelm the bandwidth of the internet connection for a lot of enterprises. Another interesting observation is that the number of DDoS attacks between 10 to 50 Gbps has been steadily increasing from last year. Given the fact that the attackers are getting more weapons in their arsenal – for example, IoT and mobile devices, this means the size and frequency of the DDoS attacks will keep growing. When we look at the countries where most of the DDoS attacks were being sourced, we have observed that countries such as the US, China, Korea, UK and Germany are usually at the top of the list. As DDoS attacks are typically sourced from infected computer devices (notnets), countries with a high computer population may also have a high infected rate, particularly if pirated software is being used to a large extent in that country. In recent years, with the arrival of IoT botnets, such as Mirai, some Asian countries with a high deployment rate of IoT devices have also been seen as major sources of DDoS attacks. If we turn our focus from the source country to the destination country being attacked most often, we then find the countries which are on the top of the list of the attacking sources, are also high on the list for the receiving side. A possible reason could be that the high computer population and adoption rate in the country also means a lot of business is being conducted over the network, such as the financial sector, consumer sector, government and so on, giving the attackers more targets to aim for. Source: https://securitybrief.com.au/story/400-attacks-day-behind-australias-growing-ddos-attack-surface/

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400 attacks per day: Behind Australia’s growing DDoS attack surface

What is cyber terrorism?

How is cyber terrorism defined and how likely is an attack? Everyone is familiar with what “terrorism” means, but when we stick the word “cyber” in front of it, things get a bit more nebulous. Whereas the effects of real-world terrorism are both obvious and destructive, those of cyber terrorism are often hidden to those who aren’t directly affected. Also, those effects are more likely to be disruptive than destructive, although this isn’t always the case. Cyber terrorism incidents One of the earliest examples of cyber terrorism is a 1996 attack on an ISP in Massachusetts. Cited by Edward Maggio of the New York Institute of Technology and the authors of Internet: A Historical Encyclopedia, Volume 2 , a hacker allegedly associated with the white supremacist movement in the US broke into his Massachusetts-based ISP after it prevented him from sending out a worldwide racist message under its name. The individual deleted some records and temporarily disabled the ISP’s services, leaving the threat “you have yet to see true electronic terrorism. This is a promise” While this is a clear example of a cyber-terrorist incident carried out by a malicious, politically motivated individual that caused both disruption and damage, other frequently listed examples fit less clearly into the category of “terrorism”. For example, while attacks that have taken out emergency services call centres or air-traffic control could be considered cyber terrorism, the motivation of the individuals is often unclear. If a person caused real-life disruption to these systems, but had no particular motivation other than mischief, would they be classed as a terrorist? Perhaps not. Similarly, cyber protests such as those that occurred in 1999 during the Kosovo against NATO’s bombing campaign in the country or website defacements and DDoS attacks are arguably online versions of traditional protests, rather than terrorism. Additionally, in the case of civil war, if one side commits a cyber attack against the other then it can be said to be more of an act of war – or cyber war – than one of cyber terror. Again, where there is a cold war between nations, associated cyber attacks could be thought of as sub-conflict level skirmishes. Indeed, the FBI defines cyber terrorism as “[any] premeditated, politically motivated attack against information, computer systems or computer programs, and data which results in violence against non-combatant targets by sub-national groups or clandestine agents”. Under this definition, very few of the tens-of-thousands of cyber attacks carried out every year would count as cyber terrorism. The future of cyber terrorism As the number of connected devices increases, the likelihood of a more destructive cyber terrorist incident – something on a par with an attack in the physical world – becomes increasingly possible. The security industry is full of stories and proofs of concept about hacking medical devices, with two particularly famous demonstrations being given by New Zealander Barnaby Jack. This opens up the possibility for targeted assassinations or mass-scale killings carried out remotely and potentially across borders. Similarly, there are concerns self-driving vehicles could be turned into remote-controlled missiles and used in an attack, although the counter argument is that such vehicles will make the roads safer in the face of terrorists driving conventional vehicles into crowds. Another possible style of cyber terrorism is disruption of infrastructure in a way that could potentially endanger life. For example, in 2016 an unknown actor caused a disruption that saw two apartment buildings in Finland lost hot water and heating for a week in the dead of winter. In locations as cold as Finland, actions like this could cause illness and death if widespread and sustained. Nevertheless, the likelihood is most serious cyber attacks will be acts of cyber warfare, rather than cyber terrorism, as nation states have larger and more sophisticated resources at hand. Source: http://www.itpro.co.uk/security/29726/what-is-cyber-terrorism

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What is cyber terrorism?

More than half of businesses fell victim to DDoS attacks in the past year, survey shows

CDNeworks research shows 54% of businesses were hit by distributed denial of service attacks in the last year, and many feel they are underinvesting in cyber defences. More than half of businesses (54%) have been victims of successful distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks over the past 12 months, according to research from cloud security firm CDNetworks. The company surveyed 305 organisations in the UK, Germany, Austria and Switzerland about the technologies that protect them from cyber attacks. Some 83% of the respondents felt either confident or very confident about their cyber defences, but 44% felt they were currently underinvesting in anti-DDoS technologies. Chris Townsley, Emea director for CDNetworks, told Computer Weekly that this mix of opinions was strange. “Not only is there widespread complacency – the overwhelming confidence in DDoS protection, undermined by the high proportion of businesses suffering successful attacks – but there is also a significant number of businesses that are worried that they have not invested enough,” he said. “It is odd to see so much confidence alongside such doubt about whether enough is being done.” The survey also found that 64% of organisations said they would be investing more in such technology over the next year, and in terms of expectation of an attack, 79% rated the likelihood of an attack as between “likely” and “almost certain”. This attitude is reflected in the frequency of incidents, with 86% saying they had suffered a DDoS attack in the previous 12 months. The size of attacks is also growing. In the first half of 2015, the largest DDoS attack recorded was 21Gbps, but during the equivalent period in 2016, it was 58.8Gbps. Also, 31% of attacks in the first half of 2016 were 50Gbps or more, but there were no attacks of that size in the first half of 2015. Townsley added: “As the size of attacks increases, businesses need to look more at protection from the edge and not at the origin or datacentre. “As the size of traffic increases, so does the likelihood that the bandwidth of the origin server will be saturated, no matter what protection is in place to keep it up and functioning. “Also, with the frequency of attacks increasing, businesses should move to a mindset of ‘when’ and not ‘if’ an attack will occur.” When asked whether the number of successful attacks was due to businesses buying the wrong security products, Townsley said: “It could be that the type of protection was not suitable, or was suitable for some types of attack but not all. As the types of attack are changing all the time, products can become obsolete.” Source: http://www.computerweekly.com/news/450428288/More-than-half-of-businesses-fell-victim-to-DDoS-attacks-in-the-past-year-survey-shows

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More than half of businesses fell victim to DDoS attacks in the past year, survey shows