INTELDROP 06 March 2016 [Cyber]


IO General Correspondent – Sam Rosenthal

Microsoft invests in Greater Cyber Security Measures

29 February 2016

Wall Street Journal (REDMOND) – Microsoft constructed a new cyber security facility in November in an effort to revamp its focus on security.  The Cyber Defense Operations Center combines the skills of several other research units in order to improve results.  The company is investing in the creation of machine learning technology that will detect attacks and automatically respond to threats.  Microsoft is utilizing a hacking “red team” to test this software and to improve upon its defensive responses.  Source: (Reliability: High)

Utilities Warned of Potential Cyber Threats

29 February 2016

New York Times (WASHINGTON) – U.S. officials are warning utilities providers of potential cyber-attack threats after concluding that the December blackout in Ukraine was caused from a cyber-attack.  Researchers discovered that the malware used could affect a broad range of critical infrastructure targets including train networks and water supply systems.  The attack utilized a wiper malware to destroy data and shut down breakers.  Researchers stated that US is at a higher risk because many power systems do not have manual switches to restore power as Ukraine was able to use. Source: (Reliability: High)

Chinse ISPs Injecting Ads and Malware into Web Pages

27 February 2016

The Hacker News ­– Israeli researchers discovered that two Chinese internet service providers (ISPs) were injecting content illegally into network traffic.  China Telecom and China Unicom rerouted users to sites and ads that contained malware.  The companies used several methods of data injection that are difficult for systems to detect.  In these methods the ISPs would send infected data to user’s systems along with legitimate data to mask the attack.  The injected data increased the companies’ ad revenue by increasing traffic.  Source: (Reliability: High)

Pirates Hack Shipping Company

02 March 2016

Fox News ­–  Pirates conducted several organized attacks on shipping vessels only targeting specific cargo.  In these events the pirates boarded the vessels and forced the crew into safe rooms for only short periods of time before leaving with specific goods.  A research team from Verizon discovered that the pirate group had hacked into the shipping company’s cargo records and pinpointed specific crates with desired cargo.  The pirates boarded the vessels with the desired cargo and simply found the crates with barcodes previously identified from the company’s shipping records.  Source: (Reliability: High)

DoD Invites Hacking in Bounty Program

02 March 2016

DarkReading ­– U.S. Department of Defense officials have begun a new bounty program to discover backdoors into government systems.  Defense Secretary Ash Carter said this program is an attempt to mimic a “best practice” from private industry.  To participate in this program, hackers must sign up and go through a background investigation.  Experts in the cyber security industry expect the program will also be used as a means to identify talent.  This is the first time such a program has been used by the Department of Defense. Source: (Reliability: High)

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