Information Security News
by Jon Brodkin
Sprint Nextel and its new owner will limit their use of technology made by Chinese companies, and allow US national security officials to monitor changes to their equipment. The pending agreement will help them gain US approval of SoftBank's $20 billion acquisition of Sprint.
US officials have accused Chinese firms Huawei and ZTE of having close ties with the Chinese government and military. They claim the companies' equipment raises the threat of "cyber-espionage" or attacks on US communications networks, although a White House review last year found no clear evidence that Huawei spied for China.
The New York Times last night quoted anonymous government officials as saying that Sprint Nextel and the Japanese SoftBank "are expected to enter an agreement with American law enforcement officials that will restrict the combined company’s ability to pick suppliers for its telecommunications equipment and systems." Further, "The agreement would allow national security officials to monitor changes to the company’s system of routers, servers and switches, among other equipment and processes, the officials said. It would also let them keep a close watch on the extent to which Sprint and SoftBank use equipment from Chinese manufacturers, particularly Huawei Technologies."
Posted by InfoSec News on Mar 29http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/29/technology/corporate-cyberattackers-possibly-state-backed-now-seek-to-destroy-data.html
Posted by InfoSec News on Mar 29https://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9237949/Evernote_account_used_to_deliver_instructions_to_malware
Posted by InfoSec News on Mar 29http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/03/when-spammers-go-to-war-behind-the-spamhaus-ddos/
Posted by InfoSec News on Mar 29http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/mar/27/inside-the-ring-nsa-on-cyberwar/
by Peter Bright
Over the last ten days, a series of massive denial-of-service attacks has been aimed at Spamhaus, a not-for-profit organization that describes its purpose as "track[ing] the Internet's spam operations and sources, to provide dependable realtime anti-spam protection for Internet networks." These attacks have grown so large—up to 300Gb/s—that the volume of traffic is threatening to bring down core Internet infrastructure.
The New York Times reported recently that the attacks came from a Dutch hosting company called CyberBunker (also known as cb3rob), which owns and operates a real military bunker and which has been targeted in the past by Spamhaus. The spokesman who the NYT interviewed, Sven Olaf Kamphuis, has since posted on his Facebook page that CyberBunker is not orchestrating the attacks. Kamphuis also claimed that NYT was plumping for sensationalism over accuracy.
Sven Olaf Kamphuis is, however, affiliated with the newly organized group "STOPhaus." STOPhaus claims that Spamhaus is "an offshore criminal network of tax circumventing self declared internet terrorists pretending to be 'spam' fighters" that is "attempt[ing] to control the internet through underhanded extortion tactics."
by Sean Gallagher
A little more than a year ago, details emerged about an effort by some members of the hacktivist group Anonymous to build a new weapon to replace their aging denial-of-service arsenal. The new weapon would use the Internet's Domain Name Service as a force-multiplier to bring the servers of those who offended the group to their metaphorical knees. Around the same time, an alleged plan for an Anonymous operation, "Operation Global Blackout" (later dismissed by some security experts and Anonymous members as a "massive troll"), sought to use the DNS service against the very core of the Internet itself in protest against the Stop Online Piracy Act.
This week, an attack using the technique proposed for use in that attack tool and operation—both of which failed to materialize—was at the heart of an ongoing denial-of-service assault on Spamhaus, the anti-spam clearing house organization. And while it hasn't brought the Internet itself down, it has caused major slowdowns in the Internet's core networks.
DNS Amplification (or DNS Reflection) remains possible after years of security expert warnings. Its power is a testament to how hard it is to get organizations to make simple changes that would prevent even recognized threats. Some network providers have made tweaks that prevent botnets or "volunteer" systems within their networks to stage such attacks. But thanks to public cloud services, "bulletproof" hosting services, and other services that allow attackers to spawn and then reap hundreds of attacking systems, DNS amplification attacks can still be launched at the whim of a deep-pocketed attacker—like, for example, the cyber-criminals running the spam networks that Spamhaus tries to shut down.