Connect with us

Cybersecurity

China Has “Penetrated Every Major Corporation,” Says Intelligence Expert

Published

on

John Michael McConnell was the director of the NSA under Bill Clinton and later the Director of National Intelligence under George W. Bush, and during a speech in Missouri on Thursday, he said that the Chinese have systematically infiltrated organizations in the US, from the Department of Defense to major corporation US Steel.

// -- Discuss and ask questions in our community on Workplace.

Also read: China Forcing Computer and Phone Buyers to Report ID to Police Sounds All Too Familiar

“We’ve never, ever not found Chinese malware,”

he said, noting that the malware enables America’s greatest frenemies to extract sensitive information whenever they want.

// -- Become a yearly Platinum Member and save 69 USD and get access to our secret group on Workplace. Click here to change your current membership -- //

Magnitude of Chinese Intelligence Spelled Out in Numbers

One of the things that McConnell outlined in his speech which should put any corporate security technician on edge is that by the end of the Bush administration, China had amassed an army of 100,000 network-oriented hackers. By comparison, the total number of US spies is roughly that much, those engaged in computer intelligence being only a fraction of those.

Terrorists a Bigger Problem

China is, however, not McConnell’s greatest concern. His greatest concern is that the malware being developed by China winds up in the hands of terrorist organizations or states with greater potential and motive for harm of American citizens and corporations. While the financial implications of companies being robbed of trade secrets are immediately apparent to any thinking person, it can take as long as two decades for such thefts to have a real impact on US markets. However, if major defense contractors are vulnerable to data theft, then it can greatly aid specifically terroristic actors in the construction of nuclear weapons and the like.

McConnell wrote about the China problem back in 2012 for the Wall Street Journal with Michael Chertoff and William Lynn. Their opinion piece pulled no punches and laid some of the responsibility on the corporations at risk themselves:

Corporate America must do its part, too. If we are to ever understand the extent of cyber espionage, companies must be more open and aggressive about identifying, acknowledging and reporting incidents of cyber theft. Congress is considering legislation to require this, and the idea deserves support. Companies must also invest more in enhancing their employees’ cyber skills; it is shocking how many cyber-security breaches result from simple human error such as coding mistakes or lost discs and laptops.

Since that article’s publication, the Obama administration has expressed specific support for a bill called the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA. Numerous corporations have pushed back against CISPA, saying that it violates essential liberties in the United States and is largely a push by certain forces within the government to further centralize authority over online activities. There is a feeling that if CISPA gets through, then other, even more draconian laws will follow.

McConnell’s statements about Chinese hackers are anything but unfounded, even if focusing on China specifically can be perceived as a radical move. The Chinese were implicated in the major data breach at Insurance provider Anthem earlier this year, but other high-profile attacks in recent memory were attributed to other regions. Another fact to note is that the Department of Defense claims to be recently dealing largely with Russian-based hacks and attempted hacks.

Here is a 2009 speech McConnell gave about intelligence innovation:

Important: Never invest money you can't afford to lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here.



Feedback or Requests?

Breaches

Uber Is Paying Hackers to Keep Quiet

Published

on

Uber Technologies Inc. has reportedly paid hackers to delete scores of private data stolen from the company in a security breach that was concealed for over a year. The revelation provides further confirmation that, when it comes to cyber security, crime does pay.

// -- Discuss and ask questions in our community on Workplace.

Massive Data Breach

According to Bloomberg Technology, hackers retrieved the personal data of 57 million Uber customers and drivers at some point last year. Nobody heard about it because the rideshare company paid the hackers $100,000 to keep quiet. A purge at the front office of Uber also ensured that the massive cyber breach was kept under wraps.

The compromised data was from October 2016 and included the names, phone numbers and addressed of 50 million Uber riders globally. About seven million drivers had their personal information accessed as well.

At the time of the cyber attack, Uber was inundated with a slew of legal issues stemming from alleged privacy violations. Rather than shine even more negative spotlight on the company, Uber executives decided to pay hackers to stay quiet.

// -- Become a yearly Platinum Member and save 69 USD and get access to our secret group on Workplace. Click here to change your current membership -- //

“None of this should have happened, and I will not make excuses for it,” Dara Khosrowshahi, who took over as CEO in September, said in a statement that was published by Bloomberg. “We are changing the way we do business.”

Hackers have done a masterful job infiltrating companies and governments in recent years. As a reminder, recent cyber attacks levied against Yahoo!, Target Corp and Equifax Inc. dwarf Uber’s 57 million compromised accounts.

Various reports indicate that cyber attacks are bleeding the global economy dry. One report, issued by the World Economic Forum, suggests that cyber crime cost the world economy $445 billion in 2016. If cyber crime were its own market cap, it would exceed Microsoft Inc., Facebook Inc. and ExxonMobil Corp

The Fall of Uber?

Uber revolutionized the ride-hailing business over the span of seven years by giving more power to the consumer. Several missteps later, the company finds itself in legal hot water, with its future appearing less certain than it did just one year ago.

The rideshare company faces at least five U.S. probes ranging from bribes to illicit software and right up to unethical pricing schemes. According to another Bloomberg report, Uber is under investigation for violating price transparency regulations, not to mention the alleged theft of documents for Google’s autonomous cars.

Some governments are sensing weakness in the ride-hailing service, and are moving toward banning the Uber app entirely. London is the most prominent example of a city that has taken definitive steps to outlaw the service over a “lack of corporate responsibility.”

Even with its legal troubles, Uber is a revolutionary technology that has influenced a bevy of other innovations aimed at improving the human experience.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. 

Important: Never invest money you can't afford to lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here.



Feedback or Requests?

Continue Reading

Cybersecurity

The Pirate Bay is Hijacking PCs to Stealth-Mine Cryptocurrency

Published

on

For the second time in as many months, The Pirate Bay has been caught mining cryptocurrency on your computer without consent. The torrent platform was actually test-driving cryptocurrency mining in your browser – no doubt a lucrative revenue stream.

// -- Discuss and ask questions in our community on Workplace.

The Pirates Are At It Again

The Pirate Bay has been caught using software called Coinhive, a JavaScript library that essentially serves as a cryptocurrency miner. It basically connects to visitors’ computers to mine Monero, one of the world’s most profitable cryptocurrencies.

The news was later confirmed by Bleeping Computer, which reported that,”The Pirate Bay, the internet’s largest torrent portal, is back at running a cryptocurrency miner after it previously ran a short test in mid-September.”

Estimates indicate that the scheme has earned the pirates a total of $43,000 over a three-week period.

// -- Become a yearly Platinum Member and save 69 USD and get access to our secret group on Workplace. Click here to change your current membership -- //

Users had no way to opt their computers out of being test-driven by the torrent network. Back in September, The Pirate Bay got away by telling people it was just a test. The site’s owners cannot use the same excuse this time around.

CoinHive advises websites to let their visitors  know their browser is being used to mine cryptocurrency.

“We’re a bit saddened to see that some of our customers integrate CoinHive into their pages without disclosing to their users what’s going on, let alone asking for their permission,” the company said.

The good news is most ad-blockers and antivirus programs will block CoinHive, given its recent abuses. That means not all visitors of The Pirate Pay were being used as a conduit for mining Monero.

Monero Joins Global Crypto Rally

The value of Monero (XMR) shot up nearly 8% on Friday, and was last seen trading at $94.17. With more than 15.2 million XMR tokens in circulation, the total market cap for Monero is $1.4 billion, according to CoinMarketCap. That’s enough for ninth on the global cryptocurrency list.

Twelve cryptos have now crossed the $1 billion valuation mark. A handful of others have made their way north of $500 million.

Important: Never invest money you can't afford to lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here.



Feedback or Requests?

Continue Reading

Breaches

Ethereum Notches Two-Month High as Bitcoin Offspring Triggers Volatility

Published

on

Digital currency Ethereum climbed to a two-month high on Monday, taking some of the heat off Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash, which have slumped since the weekend.

// -- Discuss and ask questions in our community on Workplace.

Ethereum Forges Higher Path

Concerns over Bitcoin created a favourable tailwind for Ethereum (ETH/USD), which is the world’s No. 2 digital currency by total assets. Ether’s price topped $340.00 on Monday and later settled at $323.54. That was the highest since June 20.

At its peak, ether was up 10% on the day and 70% for the month of August.

The ETH/USD was last down 2.2% at $315.02, according to Bitfinex. Prices are due for a brisk recovery, based on the daily momentum indicators.

// -- Become a yearly Platinum Member and save 69 USD and get access to our secret group on Workplace. Click here to change your current membership -- //

Fractured Bitcoin Community

Bitcoin and its offshoot, Bitcoin Cash, retreated on Monday following a volatile weekend. The BTC/USD slumped at the start of the week and was down more than 3% on Tuesday, with prices falling below $3,900.00. Just last week, Bitcoin was trading at new records near $4,500.00.

Bitcoin Cash, which emerged after the Aug. 1 hard fork, climbed to new records on Saturday, but has been in free-fall ever since. The BTH was down another 20% on Tuesday to $594.49, according to CoinMarketCap. Its total market value has dropped by several billion over the past two days.

Analysts say that a “fractured” Bitcoin community has made Ethereum a more attractive bet this week. The ether token has shown remarkable poise over the past seven days, despite trading well shy of a new record.

Other drivers behind Ethereum’s advance are steady demand from South Korean investors and growing confidence in a smooth upgrade for the the ETH network. The upgrade, which has been dubbed “Metropolis,” is expected in the next several weeks. Its key benefits include tighter transaction privacy and greater efficiency.

Ethereum Prices Unaffected by ICO Heist

Fin-tech developer Enigma was on the receiving end of a cyber-heist on Monday after hackers took over the company’s website, mailing list and instant messaging platforms. The hack occurred three weeks before Enigma’s planned Initial Coin Offering (ICO) for September 11.

In addition to defacing the company’s website, the hackers pushed a special “pre-sale” ahead of the ICO. While many users realized it was a scam, 1,492 ether tokens – valued at $495,000 – were directed into the hackers’ cryptocurrency wallet by unsuspecting backers.

The irony in all this is that Engima is a cryptography company that prides itself on top-notch security protocols. The company issued a statement that its servers had not been compromised.

ETH/USD (Bitfinex)

Important: Never invest money you can't afford to lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here.



Feedback or Requests?

Continue Reading

Trending