China, Russia, Iran Engaged in Aggressive Economic Cyber Spying

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Counterintelligence report details foreign spies theft of advanced U.S. technology

Foreign spies from China, Russia, and Iran are conducting aggressive cyber operations to steal valuable U.S. technology and economic secrets, according to a U.S. counterintelligence report.

The report by the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, a DNI counterspy unit, concludes China is among the most aggressive states engaged in stealing U.S. proprietary information as part of a government-directed program. Continue reading

Israel reportedly behind discovery of Russian antivirus company’s spy links

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Israeli spy services were reportedly behind the United States government’s recent decision to purge Kaspersky Lab antivirus software from its computers, citing possible collusion with Russian intelligence. Last month, the US Department of Homeland Security issued a directive ordering that all government computers should be free of software products designed by Kaspersky Lab. Formed in the late 1990s by Russian cybersecurity expert Eugene Kaspersky, the multinational antivirus software provider operates out of Moscow but is technically based in the United Kingdom. Its antivirus and cybersecurity products are installed on tens of millions of computers around the world, including computers belonging to government agencies in the US and elsewhere. But last month’s memorandum by the US government’s domestic security arm alarmed the cybersecurity community by alleging direct operational links between the antivirus company and the Kremlin. Continue reading

Russian Hackers Used Kaspersky Software to Steal NSA Data on U.S. Cyber Defense

An employee works near screens in the virus lab at the headquarters of Russian cyber security company Kaspersky Labs / Getty Images

 

Russian hackers stole data belonging to the National Security Agency about America’s cyber defense from the home computer of a U.S. government contractor, according to people familiar with the matter.

The material was highly classified and was identified by the hackers since the contractor was using Russian Kaspersky Lab antivirus software, the Wall Street Journal reports. Continue reading

In an Era of Russian Hacks, the U.S. is Still Installing Russian Software on Government Systems

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Congressional concern is climbing—not for the first time—about government agencies using an anti-virus tool made by the respected but Russia-based security firm Kaspersky Lab. The dustup is a case study in why securing government systems is devilishly complicated.

The fracas comes as congressional Democrats are squaring off against President Donald Trump over possible collusion between Russian intelligence agencies and members of his campaign. It also follows a presidential campaign upended by a Russian government influence operation and amid a deluge of leaks from U.S. intelligence agencies.

The competing priorities of security, intelligence, diplomacy and budget constraints play a role in the melee. So, too, do the rival power centers of a government that’s struggled for years, often unsuccessfully, to manage cybersecurity and technology buying in a unified way. Continue reading

Russian banks suffer wave of DDoS attacks

Kaspersky Lab has confirmed that numerous Russian banks have been suffering a wave of DDoS attacks.

According to Russian media, five banks in the country have been subject to a swathe of DDoS attacks over the past few days. The state-owned Sberbank was one of them, and Kaspersky Lab said in a statement that the attacks were among the largest it had seen aimed at Russian banks.

There are numerous theories flying around about why these attacks are happening, and it’s important to mention they are unsubstantiated rumours at best, but Vice has a theory that it may have been happening due to  “people who were dissatisfied with possible Russian intervention in the presidential elections in the United States.” Continue reading

Hackers sold access to 170,000 compromised servers, many in the U.S.

New data paints a much darker picture of the underground market for hacked servers.

The market for hacked servers might be much larger than previously thought, with new evidence suggesting that hackers sold access to over 170,000 compromised servers since 2014, a third of them located in the U.S.

The new revelation comes from antivirus firm Kaspersky Lab, whose researchers reported last week that a black market website called xDedic was selling remote access to more than 70,000 compromised servers for as little as US$6.

Continue reading

Are We Now Buying the Rope On Which We Will Hang?

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The idea was that America was so corrupted and so greedy that we would eventually disregard our own national security in pursuit of a short-term profit. Ironically, it turned out that the Soviet system died under the weight of its own corruption. Communists, at least in practice rather than theory, tend to be just as greedy (if not more so) than capitalists. The Soviet Union is gone and America remains.

What Lenin may have missed is that America’s sin of greed is perhaps overshadowed by our gluttony. Yes, greed was at work in the last downturn but so was overconsumption. As a nation, we are at least as guilty in our buying habits as we are in our selling. One example is that the nation has about $19 trillion in Federal government debt, not to mention unfunded liabilities valued in the $100s of trillions, or private debt which is much greater than GDP already. From one view, this enormous quantity of debt could be the rope with which we hang. We buy goods and services from China and they claim the debt we incur to them is a weapon they can use against us. But that is just one example. Continue reading

Russia’s Kaspersky Labs signs deal with China Cyber Security Company as Beijing and Moscow call for end to US domination of internet

Russian software security giant Kaspersky Lab has formed a strategic partnership with a Chinese state-own company as Beijing and Moscow work more closely in policing their cyberspace.

The deal was signed on Wednesday at one of the panel meetings of China’s second World Internet Conference in Wuzhen, Zhejiang province. Continue reading

Spy agencies hit in cyber espionage campaign: Kaspersky Lab

The hackers, according to Kaspersky, were likely backed by a nation state and used techniques and tools similar to ones employed in two other high-profile cyber espionage operations that Western intelligence sources have linked to the Russian government.

Kaspersky, a Moscow-based security software maker that also sells cyber intelligence reports, declined to say if it believed Russia was behind the espionage campaign.

Dubbed “Epic Turla,” the operation stole vast quantities of data, including word processing documents, spreadsheets and emails, Kaspersky said, adding that the malware searched for documents with terms such as “NATO,” “EU energy dialogue” and “Budapest.” Continue reading

Report: Obama secretly ordered cyber attacks on Iran’s nuclear program

Shortly after taking office in 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama secretly ordered sophisticated attacks on the computer systems that control Iran’s nuclear enrichment facilities, the New York Times reported.

According to the report, Obama decided to expand attacks that had begun during the George W. Bush administration.

The report comes almost a week after the internet security company Kaspersky Lab announced that it had uncovered a ‘cyber-espionage worm’ designed to collect and delete sensitive information, primarily in Middle Eastern countries.

Kaspersky called the malware, named “Flame,” the “most sophisticated cyber-weapon yet unleashed.” It said the bug had infected computers in Iran, the West Bank, Sudan, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

Full article: Report: Obama secretly ordered cyber attacks on Iran’s nuclear program (Haaretz)