Archive for March, 2013

Who was behind South Korean cyber-attacks?

From: Al Jazeera/Opinion

Cyber-attacks on government sites and major financial institutions have become an annual event in recent years.

Lately there’s been a deluge of reports on the origins of the recent cyber-attack on major South Korean websites, and many agree that North Korea may have had a hand in it. In fact, there are few original analyses and even fewer of those that touch on certain aspects, that up until recently, have not been discussed in mainstream media.

Sierra Leone’s Dep. Internal Affairs Minister prioritises Cyber Security in Uganda


By: Abdul Karim Koroma – Ethiopia

Sierra Leone’s Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs, Hon. Sheka Tarawalie, has said that inasmuch as ICTs would bring tremenodous and enormous benefits to Africa, a failure to put priority on cyber security could mean disaster for all. 

How relevant is UK Cyber Strategy to the Cyberbattles of recent weeks

From: IT Meets Politics

By Philip Virgo

Yesterday I blogged on the consequences of the recent cyber battles between Spamhaus and its allies (supposedly including five western law enforocement agencies, Google and others) and the Cyberbunker and its allies (supposedly including the Russian Business Network), the overall impact of which was to slow down the web significantly in the UK and parts of Western Europe but not in the United States and elsewhere. At about the same time the Egyptians caught three divers trying to cut the cables that link major UK on-line operations to their help desks in India.

This morning I took a detailed look at the recent NAO Landscape Review of the UK Cyber Security Strategy This contains a better summary of the strategy and of departmental responsibilities for implementation than you will find in the original announcement: see page 14 for the split and page 15 for the governance.

Chinese cyber theft targeted in congressional letter citing ‘Ugly Gorilla’ hacker organization


By Khalil AlHajal

DETROIT, MI — U.S. Rep. Sander Levin (D-Royal Oak), along with U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) are seeking to have China designated as a country that endangers U.S. trade secrets.

The two congressman wrote a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis asking for the “priority foreign country” designation, which could lead to the raising of import duties or a World Trade Organization case.

The letter cites a February study by an information security firm that identified a Chinese cyber theft organization known as “Ugly Gorilla,” staffed by hundreds, maybe thousands of hackers.

Bloggers, not hackers, are the real cyber threat

From: WSJ/MarketWatch

Commentary: Online attackers shred reputations in one post

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — Companies are so worried about cyber attacks that they’re rushing to buy insurance against it.

According to a report on the news website Mashable, the purchase of cyber insurance is up 33% over last year. And can you blame these companies? They want protection against hacking, security breaches, data leaks, or just plain old vandalism.

But these online attacks don’t begin to articulate the real dangers companies face. A denial of service attack is relatively straightforward. Same with stealing credit card numbers.

Cyber attack ripple effect in UAE

From: Khaleej Times

Allan Jacob

The cyber attack on a spam watchdog over the past week was unprecedented in size and some users in the UAE may have come in the line of fire.

Spamhaus, the company at the forefront of the war against spam in mailboxes, was hit with what is known as a denial of service attack (DDoS) from a group of hackers believed to be from Europe and the ripple effect could have been felt in the UAE.

Former U.S. Defense Chief: Time for Quiet Diplomacy on Cyberattacks

From: China Digital Times

As accusations of hacking take an increasingly prominent role in Sino-U.S. relations, former U.S. Defense Secretary William Cohen argues that a quieter approach will yield better results than “megaphone diplomacy”. From Bob Davis at China Real Time Report:

While the publicity given to China’s alleged of U.S. companies has put the spotlight on the issue, Mr. Cohen said in an interview, it’s now time for private negotiations between the U.S. and China. “If you continue to simply shout in public, we’re likely to get a negative reaction” from Beijing, he said

Congress adds cyber-espionage review for government tech purchases, scrutinizes Chinese products from Lenovo, Huawei

From: Engadget

By Mat Smith

Huawei’s having a tougher time  getting its network tech into the US, but Congress is apparently  looking to shore up its security with other Chinese manufacturers too  and has added a new purchase review law for NASA, Justice and Commerce departments of the government. Reuters reports that these  branches won’t be able to buy any IT system equipment without a federal  law enforcement official giving it the okay, after assessing “any risk associated with such system being produced, manufactured or assembled”  in China. The new restriction is folded into a 240-page spending law document and Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei has already requesting that the US to abandon the law. While it’s difficult to spell out the repurcussions yet, it could affect more than just the telecoms infrastructure that ZTE and Huawei were selling, with the ever-expanding Lenovo likely to be buffeted by the same new regulations — stripped down or not.

Expert: Internet slowdown could take months to resolve

From: Times of Israel

We may be living with a molasses-like World Wide Web for some time to come, says the CEO of an Israeli cyber-security company

By David Shamah

If you’ve been suffering from a slow Internet connection over the past several weeks, don’t blame your ISP. The fault lies not with your provider, but with a large Dutch company that hosts companies that send out tons of junk email (spam).

‘Largest cyber attack ever’ is happening right now, threatens rest of web

Editor’s Note:  A taste of things to come?

From: Wired (UK)

By Ian Steadman

A cyber attack described as the largest in history is currently underway, and it’s apparently all because of an argument over some spam.

The Spamhaus Project, based in both London and Geneva, produces lists of email addresses and servers that are known to send out things that most people won’t want, from penis enlargement scams to malware and viruses. Its decisions are incredibly influential, and it seems as though someone isn’t too happy about being blocked, since right now, a vast cyber attack is directed right at Spamhaus, threatening the internet’s core infrastructure.