Feeds

FBI sends memo to US.gov sysadmins: You've been hacked... for the past YEAR

Claims Anonymous hacktivists have been pilfering info through leaky backdoors

3 Big data security analytics techniques

Hacktivists allegedly affiliated with Anonymous have been covertly breaking into US government systems and pilfering sensitive information for nearly a year, the FBI warned last week.

The attacks (which began last December and are thought to be ongoing) exploit flaws in Adobe's ColdFusion web app development software to plant backdoors on compromised systems, according to an FBI memo seen by Reuters. The memo said the US army, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, and others had all been targeted.

Officials told the news agency that the warning was linked to attacks allegedly carried out by Lauri Love, 28, of Stradishall, England and others. Love alone was indicted in New Jersey last month over a string of attacks that matches that latest warnings.

A DoJ statement on the indictment lists 10 attacks against US government systems, eight of which are blamed on ColdFusion exploits1. The remaining two attacks were blamed on SQL injection-style assaults.

Some of the breaches have been publicised by Anonymous under the a campaign dubbed Operation Last Resort (‪#OpLastResort‬), which aims to protest against the overzealous prosecution of computer crime suspects including Aaron Swartz, a programmer who committed suicide under the shadow of a prosecution for computer crimes after he systematically downloaded academic journal articles from the JSTOR digital library.

The FBI is urging government sysadmins and website administrators to take urgent remedial action to contain the problem, which it warns is more serious than recent press reports of hack against US government systems might suggest.

"The majority of the intrusions have not yet been made publicly known," the Feds warned, Reuters reports. "It is unknown exactly how many systems have been compromised, but it is a widespread problem that should be addressed."

News of the warning broke late last week shortly after Anonymous affiliated hacker Jeremy Hammond was jailed for 10 years for hacking into the systems of private intelligence firm Stratfor and stealing credit card details and emails.

Hammond claimed in court that LulzSec suspect turned super-snitch Hector "Sabu" Monseigneur had encouraged him to hack into the websites of various governments under the AntiSec banner. An earlier (more concise) statement from Hammond along the same lines can be found on the FreeJeremy support website here.

The harsh sentence against Hammond prompted elements of Anonymous to re-launch ‪OpLastResort‬, with a video about the ongoing Edward Snowden revelations that refers to "Global Cyberwar II". Apparently Global Cyberwar I happened two years ago. ®

Bugnote

1 Separately security firm Hold Security has linked attacks against ColdFusion version 8 to the recent high-profile theft of Adobe source code as well as attacks against LexisNexis and others.

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Heartbleed exploit, inoculation, both released
File under 'this is going to hurt you more than it hurts me'
Reddit users discover iOS malware threat
'Unflod Baby Panda' looks to snatch Apple IDs
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.