FBI warns hacking spree on government agencies is a “widespread problem”

The FBI is warning that members of the Anonymous hacking collective have breached computers belonging to multiple government agencies and made off with sensitive information in a series of attacks that started almost a year ago, according to a published report.

The warning is linked to the case of a British resident indicted two weeks ago on charges that he hacked databases belonging to the Department of Energy, the Department of Health and Human Services, the US Sentencing Commission, and other US agencies, Reuters reported Friday, citing an FBI memo. Lauri Love, prosecutors have alleged, exploited a flaw in Adobe's ColdFusion Web application development software and used his access to install backdoors that allowed him to return on subsequent occasions.

"The majority of the intrusions have not yet been made publicly known," Thursday's FBI memo stated. "It is unknown exactly how many systems have been compromised, but it is a widespread problem that should be addressed."

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Security exploits for Android and iOS fetch hackers $117,500 in bounties

A hacking contest that makes sport out of serious security bugs paid $117,500 this week for exploits that compromised handheld devices powered by both Apple's iOS and Google's Android mobile operating systems.

The biggest of the three cash prizes was $50,000, paid to "Pinkie Pie," a pseudonymous hacker not yet past his 21st birthday, who already has collected at least two major bug bounties in the past 19 months. His previous hacks exploited vulnerabilities in Google's Chrome browser that gave him complete control of the underlying computer when it did nothing more than visit a booby-trapped website. At the Mobile Pwn2Own 2013 contest that wrapped up this week in Tokyo, he used similar drive-by attacks against Chrome to commandeer both a Nexus 4 and a Samsung Galaxy S4, which both run Android.

Like most modern browsers, Chrome is endowed with security mitigations designed to minimize the damage that can be done when hackers identify buffer overflows and other types of software bugs that are inevitable in just about all complex pieces of software. The security measures—which include "sandboxes" that contain Web content inside a carefully controlled perimeter—significantly increase the amount of work that attackers must put into developing working exploits. Also including address space layout randomization and data execution prevention, the mitigations require hackers to stitch together two or more attacks that exploit multiple vulnerabilities in the targeted device.

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Linux Backdoor Fokirtor Injects Traffic Into SSH Protocol

Earlier this week we wrote about an Internet Explorer 0-day which used an in-memory drive by attack, which was pretty smart. Now another new type of malware (a backdoor in this case), this time targeting Linux known as Fokirtor. There is no real discussion of the exploit used to plant this backdoor (if it was [...] The post Linux Backdoor Fokirtor...

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Estonia to extradite 3 men for “Operation Ghost Click” malware scheme

The suspects will likely be shipped out from Tallinn, Estonia's capital city.

On Thursday, the Estonian government announced that it would extradite three of its citizens to the United States: Dmitry Yegorov, Timur Gerasimenko, and Konstantin Poltev. Another suspect, Anton Ivanov, was extradited and appeared in US court last year.

All four men are accused of taking part in "Operation Ghost Click,” a massive malware scheme. The FBI added one of the suspects to its “Cyber Most Wanted List” earlier this month.

Back in 2011, the United States government indicted seven alleged Estonian and Russian hackers for hijacking over 4 million computers worldwide—many at government agencies and large companies—using a trojan. The government accused the group of making over $14 million from traffic they drove to legitimate advertisers through contracts for paid traffic.

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