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Keeping You Informed. Keeping You Aware.

Survey: Most Hackers Break In Within Six Hours

A recent survey of 70 professional hackers and penetration testers found that 60% of them take a maximum of just six hours to compromise a target. The research titled The Black Report, was done at the 2016 Black Hat USA and Defcon by Australian technology company Nuix.

Is A Hacking Victim? They Lost 55K Records Somehow..., the online learning unit of LinkedIn, has reset passwords for some of its users after it discovered recently that an unauthorized external party had accessed a database containing user data.

The passwords of close to 55,000 affected users were reset as a precautionary measure and they have been notified of the issue, LinkedIn said in a statement over the weekend.

The professional network is also notifying about 9.5 million users who “had learner data, but no protected password information,” in the breached database. “We have no evidence that any of this data has been made publicly available and we have taken additional steps to secure accounts,” according to the statement. Here is the email that was sent: 

The 7 Levels Of Hackers

Eric Chabrow over at the Government Info Security blog found an interesting post by Stuart Coulson, who is a director of a hosting provider in the U.K. Coulson wrote a somewhat longish post where he identifies seven levels of hackers, the higher the number, the greater the threat they pose. Eric summarized the levels, and provided a link to the original longer article. Here they are:

Uh oh, Yahoo May Have Been COMPLETELY Pwned

We predicted that this would happen on September 23rd when the news broke that Yahoo lost "at least" 500 Million credentials. Just for a change I'm quoting myself here:   :-D

"Right, that is how it usually goes. This whole disclosure smells like a professional crisis-handling exercise.  Later, after more breach-investigation, they disclose that more credentials were stolen and that more data (credit cards) was exfiltrated than was known at the time of the discovery."

Well, as expected it's worse. Much worse. 

InfoArmor: The Yahoo Hackers Were Not State-sponsored

Eastern European organized crime, not state-sponsored hackers, were behind the record breaking 2014 Yahoo data breach that exposed information about hundreds of millions of Yahoo user accounts, InfoArmor said Wednesday.

The security firm found the stolen database while investigating into "Group E," a team of five professional hackers. 

InfoArmor's claims dispute Yahoo's claim that a "state-sponsored actor" was behind the 500 million-record data breach. Day one, several security experts (including yours truly) were skeptical of Yahoo's claim and were disappointed that the company isn't offering more details.

PAYCHEX: 60% Of Hacked SMBs Are Out Of Business 6 Months Later

Paychex wrote a great article about the urgency of creating a cyber security culture in your business. This is excellent ammo to send to your C-level execs:

"Creating a cyber security culture in your business involves more than providing tools like firewalls and virus protection software. Experts uniformly agree that educating employees about the threats of data breaches and cyber theft is a critical step in protecting your company's invaluable data.

But while most small businesses understand the need for a comprehensive data security program, many still believe hackers are only interested in going after big companies, and therefore may not take all the precautions that they should.

In fact, statistics compiled by the National Cyber Security Alliance paint a disturbing portrait of small business vulnerability:

TalkTalk Hackers Demanded $122K in Bitcoin

TalkTalk, a British phone and broadband provider with more than four million customers, disclosed Friday that intruders had hacked its Web site and may have stolen personal and financial data. Sources close to the investigation say the company has received a ransom demand of approximately £80,000 (~USD $122,000), with the attackers threatening to publish the TalkTalk's customer data unless they are paid the amount in Bitcoin. Recently Ashley Madison was also hit with a ransom demand after a hack.

Much more at Brian Krebs' excellent blog:

[VIDEO] Hacking the Chip & Pin card technology is easy

The banks are promoting that the so called new "Chip & Pin" cards are much safer. They are also called the EMV chip system and touted to be secure. However, this technology is 15 years old and the U.K. has has this in widespread use since 2003 — so cyber criminals have had more than a decade to figure out how to hack these cards and steal your money. 

In this video from Professor Ross Anderson from the Computer Labs at the University of Cambridge explains the different ways how the Chip & PIN can be hacked. You might think that these cards are harder to defeat, but technology can be used for good and for bad. The "evil" pin card machine is the scariest of them all. 

The Meaning Of The U.S. and China Hacking Agreement

Last Friday, after years of data breaches by Chinese hackers, many months of negotiations and occasional threats from the White House, while China's President Xi was in DC, the U.S. and China announced an agreement not to launch or support cyberattacks that steal corporate records for economic benefit. 

But what does that really mean? China is famous for paying lip service and in the meantime do what it wants to. How is this going to be enforced? Also, China already has most of the data it set out to get, so it's easy to agree to something like this.

Expert Russians Hackers Use Satellites To Hide Amazing Exploits

Ouroboros, one of the world’s most sophisticated hacking groups with close ties to the Russian government, has been accused of hijacking unencrypted commercial satellite communications. They use hidden receiving stations in Africa and the Middle East to hide their Control & Command servers and mask attacks on Western military and governmental networks.

The group which created the advanced malware known as “Snake” or “Turla” was exposed last year as having mounted aggressive cyber espionage operations against Ukraine and a host of other European and American government organizations over nearly a decade.

In a report by Kaspersky released on Wednesday, they said they had identified a new “exquisite” attack channel being used by the group that was virtually untraceable. The need for hackers to communicate regularly with machines they have compromised allows security researchers to trace back the hackers' Command & Control servers. 

This method makes it almost impossible to discover the physical location of these C&C servers,” said Stefan Tanase, senior security researcher at Kaspersky. “Safe to say this is the ultimate level of anonymity that any cyber espionage group has reached in terms of hiding its origins.Here is the Video

The Ouroboros satellite hack exploits the fact that most satellite communications being sent from satellites back to earth are unencrypted, and so can be spoofed. The process is laid out by Kaspersky in a large illustration and follows a number of steps.

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