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Russian Hackers Used Flash Vulnerability Against Foreign Governments

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Security firm FireEye recently published a blog post detailing the use of two zero-day vulnerabilities against foreign government targets. According to FireEye, the attackers are most likely a state-sponsored group from Russia. The security firm first detected a pattern of attacks on April 13th, 2015, shortly after news broke that Russian hackers had breached White House security. These new attacks took advantage of previously unknown vulnerabilities in Windows and (unsurprisingly) Adobe Flash Player.

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Operation RussianDoll

Russian Hackers Used Flash Vulnerability Against Foreign Governments“Operation RussianDoll,” as it has been dubbed by FireEye, is a highly sophisticated and targeted attack. As long as the target is running Windows and has Adobe Flash Player installed, he or she simply needs to click on a malicious link. The link takes the victim to the attacker’s website where the Flash exploit is served. From there, the website can download and run malicious code on the victim’s computer.

FireEye has declined to offer specific details about the victim organizations, simply referring to the target as a “specific foreign government,” which may be the United States. The attacks are similar to those previously seen by FireEye’s recently-exposed APT 28, further suggesting U.S. targets.

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Fortunately, Adobe released a patch for the Flash vulnerability last Tuesday, and Microsoft is working on a fix. However, this incident may serve as yet another reminder of Flash’s numerous security issues and why more and more websites are ditching Flash for HTML5.

“To protect yourself you need to be agile, adaptive and resilient. You can’t just sit back and protect yourself from the attack that happened last week. You need to be prepared for the attack that’s coming next week, which may use new techniques, exploits, technologies, approaches, etc.”

“Adaptive organizations will deal with this threat as a normal course of business, quickly identify any potential breaches, and respond in minutes (not days, or months), returning their organization back to a normal operating cadence. Sound like your organization? If it’s not you have some work to do.”

-FireEye

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Guest

    April 21, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    That’s nice… what about the hack you mentioned?

  2. Jim Brown

    April 21, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    This is nothing but propaganda.
    Do You really think all our top secret
    gov. computers have Flash installed on them?
    Come on, gimmy a break.
    Ask any IT guy who works for a large corporation,
    he’ll look at you like your crazy for even asking.

    The propaganda line here is that
    WE’RE BEING ATTACKED BY RUSSIA
    THIS MEANS WAR !!!
    As if the whole concept of one country trying to
    spy on another one is a brand-new development.

    It’s also an excuse that will be used to justify
    gov. control and censorship of the internet.

    You will see many more stories like this,
    with various subjects and scenarios so that
    there will be plenty of good reasons to go to war,
    and plenty of good reasons why it’s necessary
    for You to give-up more of your rights.

    The real story here is that Putin won’t “play-ball”
    with the big banksters.
    He’s actually trying to stop World War-III.

    He’s actually a straight-up good guy.
    The scum-bags who control the sock-puppet politicians

    in our gov. are the real enemy.
    .
    ………Jim
    .
    .
    .

    • SententiaeDeo

      April 21, 2015 at 5:53 pm

      Let us true hackers (not crackers) unite against Russophobia!

    • englishvinal

      June 28, 2015 at 3:02 pm

      I keep up with what is going on with Russia, China, BRICs … banking and the chasm that is rapidly widening between the decaying west.. and the vital growing east…
      The world is splitting in half, almost literally…
      ….. the old scheme of “one world order” under the iron fist of the Vatican, City of London, IMF, World Bank, NON-federal reserve, the Zionists enforced by the US military might… is what the “Five Eyes” nations and their adherents are about…. IS beginning to stink like a dead whale washed up on a lonely beach.

      It is just a matter of time, but the never ending LIES that come drizzling out of the press-ti-tute zombie western media just go on and on.

  3. englishvinal

    June 28, 2015 at 2:57 pm

    Unadulterated US govt. sponsored Bull-c**p~! Of COURSE its “China”… or of COURSE its Russia…
    is “it” every anybody else…
    Oh, I forgot it might be South Korea……………….

    Bah!

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Breaches

Uber Is Paying Hackers to Keep Quiet

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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.

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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.

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“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. 

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Ethereum Notches Two-Month High as Bitcoin Offspring Triggers Volatility

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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.

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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.

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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)

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Ethereum Prices on Track for 35% Monthly Drop

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It has been a difficult month for ethereum. The world’s No. 2 digital currency has lost a third of its value over the past 30 days following a series of cyber breaches targeting vulnerable wallets and ICOs.

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Ethereum Struggles to Regain Momentum

Ethereum (ETH/USD) was trading near $197.00 Sunday at 6:30 BST, according to Bitfinex. That represents a decline of around 5%. At current values, ethereum’s market cap was $18.4 billion.

The ETH/USD exchange rate has struggled throughout July, with prices briefly falling below $160.00. The decline, which amounted to a 60-day low, lured bargain-hunters back into the market. After surging back toward $250.00, the ETH/USD has consolidated below the $220-mark, which continues to offer strong resistance. On the opposite side of the spectrum, major support is located at $180.00.

A price recovery may prove elusive in the short-term, with the Relative Strength Index (RSI) and Stochastic indicator signalling weak underlying momentum.

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Despite its recent decline, ethereum’s value has surged more than 2,200% this year.

Cyber Attacks, SEC Weigh on Market

The ethereum network suffered a large-scale cyber breach earlier this month resulting in the loss of tens of millions of dollars. A community of ethical hackers quickly banded together to “rescue” hundreds of millions of dollars worth of tokens.

Blockchain-based trading platform Coindash was also hijacked during an initial coin offering (ICO). The breach exposed Coindash’s ether wallet address, resulting in the loss of $7 million worth of ether.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has also taken an interest in the ethereum-based ICO market. Last week, the regulator concluded that a certain multi-million dollar token sale last year violated securities law. Although ICOs have been compared to crowd-sourcing, the SEC maintained that some tokens were in fact securities.

Analysts say the SEC ruling could impact the future of ICOs, although it remains unclear how the regulator is pursuing this market. The SEC’s July 25 press release cautions investors about ICOs in general.

ETH/USD (Bitfinex)


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