Feeds

Google researcher says government hack attacks on journos on the rise

Everyone's a target, it seems

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Most major news organisations are now the targets of state-sponsored attacks on their security, according to Google security researcher Shane Huntley.

According to Reuters, Huntley told the Singapore Black Hat conference on March 28 that his research, conducted in partnership with Citizen Labs' Morgan Marquis-Boire, revealed attacks on 21 out of the world's top 25 news organisations.

Huntley didn't reveal how many of those attacks Google believed had been successful, but news organisations known to have been infiltrated in some way include Forbes, the Financial Times, and the New York Times. The first two of these were claimed by the Syrian Electronic Army, while the New York Times attack is attributed to China.

The attacks that reach the public are, however, the tip of the iceberg of cliché, with Marquis-Boire noting that there's been a year-long campaign against journalists and bloggers following human rights issues in Vietnam.

According to Reuters, Huntley believes a recent successful attack against an unnamed Western news organisation involved a fake questionnaire e-mailed to its staff. This fits the general pattern of phishing, either via e-mail or malicious links in social media posts, being the attack of first resort for most high-profile hacks of recent times.

The abstract of Huntley's and Marquis-Boire's talk says news organisations are targeted using “0day-bearing documents, targeted spear-phishing and watering hole attacks [and] implants both custom nation-state designed and commercial”.

Huntley told Reuters: “If you're a journalist or a journalistic organisation we will see state-sponsored targeting and we see it happening regardless of region”. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
Chinese hackers spied on investigators of Flight MH370 - report
Classified data on flight's disappearance pinched
KER-CHING! CryptoWall ransomware scam rakes in $1 MEEELLION
Anatomy of the net's most destructive ransomware threat
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.