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Krebs on Security
  • The Democratization of Censorship

    Krebs on Security
    John Gilmore, an American entrepreneur and civil libertarian, once famously quipped that “the Internet interprets censorship as damage and routes around it”. This notion undoubtedly rings true for those who see national governments as the principal threats to free speech.

    However, events of the past week have convinced me that one of the fastest-growing censorship threats on the Internet today comes not from nation-states, but from super-empowered individuals who have been quietly building extremely powerful cyber weapons with transnational reach.
  • KrebsOnSecurity Hit With Record DDoS

    Krebs on Security
    On Tuesday evening, KrebsOnSecurity.com was the target of an extremely large and unusual distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack designed to knock the site offline. The attack did not succeed thanks to the hard work of the engineers at Akamai, the company that protects my site from such digital sieges. But according to Akamai, it was nearly double the size of the largest attack they've seen previously, and was among the biggest assaults the Internet has ever witnessed.
  • DDoS Mitigation Firm Has History of Hijacks

    Krebs on Security
    Last week, KrebsOnSecurity detailed how BackConnect Inc. -- a company that defends victims against large-scale distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks -- admitted to hijacking hundreds of Internet addresses from a European Internet service provider in order to glean information about attackers who were targeting BackConnect. According to an exhaustive analysis of historic Internet records, the BackConnect appears to have a history of such "hacking back" activity.
  • Ransomware Getting More Targeted, Expensive

    Krebs on Security
    I shared a meal not long ago with a source who works at a financial services company. The subject of ransomware came up and he told me that a server in his company had recently been infected with a particularly nasty strain that spread to several systems before the outbreak was quarantined. He said the folks in finance didn't bat an eyelash when asked to authorize several payments of $600 to satisfy the Bitcoin ransom demanded by the intruders: After all, my source confessed, the data on one of the infected systems was worth millions -- possibly tens of millions -- of dollars, but for whatever reason the company didn't have backups of it.

    This anecdote has haunted me because it speaks volumes about what we can likely expect in the very near future from ransomware -- malicious software that scrambles all files on an infected computer with strong encryption, and then requires payment from the victim to recover them.
  • Adobe, Microsoft Push Critical Updates

    Krebs on Security
    Adobe and Microsoft on Tuesday each issued updates to fix multiple critical security vulnerabilities in their software. Adobe pushed a patch that addresses 29 security holes in its Flash Player software. Microsoft released some 14 patch bundles to correct at least 50 flaws in Windows and associated software, including a zero-day bug in Internet Explorer.
  • Secret Service Warns of ‘Periscope’ Skimmers

    Krebs on Security
    The U.S. Secret Service is warning banks and ATM owners about a new technological advance in cash machine skimming known as "periscope skimming," which involves a specialized skimming probe that connects directly to the ATM's internal circuit board to steal card data.
  • Alleged vDOS Proprietors Arrested in Israel

    Krebs on Security
    Two young Israeli men alleged to be the co-owners of a popular online attack-for-hire service were reportedly arrested in Israel on Thursday. The pair were arrested around the same time that KrebsOnSecurity published a story naming them as the masterminds behind a service that can be hired to knock Web sites and Internet users offline with powerful blasts of junk data.
  • Israeli Online Attack Service ‘vDOS’ Earned $600,000 in Two Years

    Krebs on Security
    vDOS -- a so-called "booter" service that has earned in excess of $600,000 over the past two years helping customers coordinate more than 150,000 so-called distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks designed to knock Web sites offline -- has been massively hacked, spilling secrets about tens of thousands of paying customers and their targets.

    The vDOS database, obtained by KrebsOnSecurity.com at the end of July 2016, points to two young men in Israel as the principle owners and masterminds of the attack service, with support services coming from several young hackers in the United States.

    The vDOS database, obtained by KrebsOnSecurity.com, points to two young men in Israel as the principle owners and masterminds of the attack service, with support services coming from several young hackers in the United States.

    The vDOS database, obtained by KrebsOnSecurity.com, points to two young men in Israel as the principle owners and masterminds of the attack service, with support services coming from several young hackers in the United States.
  • The Limits of SMS for 2-Factor Authentication

    Krebs on Security
    A recent ping from a reader reminded me that I've been meaning to blog about the security limitations of using cell phone text messages for two-factor authentication online. The reader's daughter had received a text message claiming to be from Google, warning that her Gmail account had been locked because someone in India had tried to access her account. The young woman was advised to expect a 6-digit verification code to be sent to her and to reply to the scammer's message with that code.
  • Congressional Report Slams OPM on Data Breach

    Krebs on Security
    The massive data breach at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) that exposed background investigations and fingerprint data on millions of Americans was the result of a cascading series of cybersecurity blunders from the agency's senior leadership on down to the outdated technology used to secure the sensitive data, according to a lengthy report released today by a key government oversight panel.

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