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02 Mar 2012 20:16


Tech: NASA skimps on cyber security, China hacks us regularly as a result

  • 3.9% of NASA’s IT budget is allocated to cyber security
  • 13 successful hacking attempts were carried out against NASA last year source
  • » You get what you pay for: Really, guys? Thirteen times in a year? This means NASA gets hacked more often than I pay my phone bill. But maybe that’s to be expected when you spend so little on cyber security. This is all based on testimony from the agency’s inspector general, Paul Martin, and the rest of his testimony is quite terrifying. For example, Martin says that hackers working through Chinese IP addresses were able to gain full system access to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, steal user credentials from over 150 NASA employees, and modify system logs to cover up their tracks. Let’s hope it was just a couple of bored middle schoolers.

20 Nov 2011 11:20


Tech, U.S.: Report: Illinois industrial water pump damaged by … Russian hackers?!

  • Because that’s not weird or anything. On November 8, an industrial water pump in a rural Illinois town went down. Reportedly, the culprit was a Russian hacker who had gained access to the pump via compromised details from the software firm that produced the water pump’s remote-control software. The hack damaged the water pump, making it the first confirmed (but not claimed) cyber attack on an industrial system in U.S. history. The hack harkens back to last year’s Stuxnet attack on Iran’s nuclear infrastructure. Stuxnet, a piece of malware reportedly created by the U.S. and Israel with the expressed purpose of damaging the country’s budding nuclear program, reportedly gave the Iranian nuclear program a huge setback. Excuse us, we’re gonna hide out in a bunker to protect ourselves from the fallout from the forthcoming cyberwar. source

23 Sep 2011 17:50


Tech: LulzSec arrest: fails at basic mission outlined in name

  • what 23-year-old Cody Kretsinger, allegedly one of the key hackers involved in LulzSec’s Sony Pictures hack and subsequent leak of user data, was arrested on Thursday, the FBI says.
  • why Kretsinger reportedly used a proxy server called to cover up his identity. But, instead of hiding his ass, the site reportedly cooperated with authorities, meaning his ass wasn’t hid. source

20 Jul 2011 12:04


Tech: Hacker arrests apparently nail a bunch of hangers-on

  • It does look like some of these guys (hackers) were just fools. The PayPal attack in particular. It looks like these bozos must have just said ‘Cool, an attack on PayPal. You can use my machine.’ I think it makes it a lot less likely that that people will join the next digital lynch mob.
  • Former Homeland Security official Stewart Baker • Discussing the nature of the 14 people arrested yesterday in connection with a wide-scale attack on PayPal and other services late last year — a form of retribution, reportedly coordinated by Anonymous for PayPal taking away Wikileaks’ main source of funding. A couple other folks were arrested, too, in a series of raids that represent the largest law-enforcement response to the spate of large-scale hackings that have cropped up since late last year. But if Baker is right, they may not have gotten anyone of note — but a bunch of dudes who fed into the mob mentality. source

25 Jun 2011 15:06


World: Tony Blair’s address book hacked, thrown up on PasteBin

In case you wanted to get in touch with the toothy ex-British prime minister’s dentist, now you can, thanks to a fresh leak by a hacker group on Friday. source

22 Jun 2011 10:46


Tech, World: So how closely involved was Ryan Cleary with LulzSec?

  • Officials called his arrest “very significant” and the rising spate of cyberattacks “deeply worrying.” As we pointed out yesterday, LulzSec said that Cleary wasn’t tied to the group. However, reports from The Guardian suggest that he at least had a tenuous tie — as the host of an IRC chatroom that the group reportedly uses — though he wasn’t directly involved with the group. “No way is he capable of pulling off what LulzSec are doing,” a source said. LulzSec denies involvement in the reported attack that led to Cleary’s arrest — a break into the British Census database. British information security officials say they haven’t received evidence from the Office for National Statistics that supports such an attack took place, however. source

21 Jun 2011 11:02


Tech: Media suggests LulzSec’s main dude arrested, but LulzSec says no

  • So, did LulzSec’s main dude get taken down? Widespread reports this morning suggest that a hacker named Ryan Cleary got arrested in the UK after a hack of the country’s Census systems. Media reports tied him to LulzSec (some even calling him the ringleader), but authorities would not confirm the fact. And lo and behold, not long after those reports came out, this tweet went up. Our guess: We bet they actually nailed someone, but the group is bluffing so that it doesn’t look so obvious. The group, by the way, has scored blows against multiple governmental agencies, multiple corporations, and has hit the hapless school bully, Sony, numerous times. In pursuit of the lulz (and the Twitter followers … they’re up to 230,000). source

14 Jun 2011 14:50


Tech, U.S.: Hackers break into, nothing of value is lost

  • A certain hacker group that’s been making headlines lately hacked the Senate’s website. However, they stole nothing of value — they only obtained information about to go on the site itself. The firewall protecting the Senate’s important documents kept them away from the data that could have been potentially harmful if released. Investigators traced the weakness in the system back to one senator’s office, but the senator hasn’t been named. In a press release about the incident, the hackers made it sound like this wouldn’t be the last time they targeted a government site, either. One thing is for sure — the White House should really look into cyber security if some amateur hackers are breaking into government websites this regularly. source

07 Jun 2011 10:43


Tech: Sony’s PlayStation Vita: A great opportunity to change the subject

  • Sony just had a rough month, and it continues to be kinda rough. So a console launch like the PlayStation Vita comes as a breath of fresh air for the company, which needs something to take the focus off their security problems and back onto their bread and butter. So, with a brief apology — “I want to apologize both personally and on behalf of my company,” as Sony’s North American head Jack Tretton, put it — it was onto the new console. And what a console it is: An OLED screen, touchpads in the back, and multiple cameras for augmented-reality gaming. Will it be enough to bring gamers back into the fold? source

03 Jun 2011 17:20


Tech: Dear LulzSec: How about we blame you instead of Sony?

  • OK, LulzSec, we get your point — Sony should take its user security seriously. But that’s a lesson they’ve been learning repeatedly for a month — they didn’t need another group to teach it. Meanwhile, when you write tweets like, “I hear there’s been some funny scamming with jacked Sony accounts. That’s what you get for using the same password everywhere,” you earn no respect from anyone. End users — especially the elderly ones that made up the bulk of your Sony release — have something to lose with these hacks. You, however, act without respect or care for anyone. You know, say what you will about Anonymous, but they appear to at least have strong social/political reasons for what they do. (The comment above, from Dutch Anonymous, sums it up for us.) You’re just in it for the “Lulz,” as if nobody gets hurt while you guys have your fun. source