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Cyberespionage For Everyone 44

Posted by Soulskill
from the senior-discount-kids-get-in-free dept.
Mephistophocles writes "A chilling article by Darkreading's Kelly Jackson Higgins describes how the growing accessibility of hacking tools like RATs (Remote Access Trojans) have made cyber-espionage possible for more than just those financially backed by large nation-states, and speculates on what the implications of this may be: 'Researchers at Norman Security today revealed that they recently analyzed malware used in phishing emails targeting Israeli and Palestinian targets and found that attackers used malware based on the widely available Xtreme RAT crimeware kit. The attacks, which first hit Palestinian targets, this year began going after Israeli targets, including Israeli law enforcement agencies and embassies around the world. Norman says the same attacker is behind the attacks because the attacks use the same command-and-control (C&C) infrastructure, as well as the same phony digital certificates. This attack campaign just scratches the surface of the breadth and spread of these types of attacks around the world as more players have been turning to cyberspying. "We're just seeing the tip of the iceberg," says Einar Oftedal, deputy CTO at Norman.'"
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Cyberespionage For Everyone

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  • Amazing. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by blackicye (760472) on Wednesday November 14, 2012 @02:16AM (#41977969)

    Norman Security is not only still around as a company, but they're now regarded as a news source.

    • by jhoegl (638955)
      Your message intrigues me. Tell me more of your obvious distrust of Norman Security.
      • Re:Amazing. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by blackicye (760472) on Wednesday November 14, 2012 @03:01AM (#41978135)

        Your message intrigues me. Tell me more of your obvious distrust of Norman Security.

        My first experience with this out of nowhere Norton Clone was as preinstalled software on a brand new Acer laptop that I had to uninstall because it was interfering with fresh software installs.

        • Re:Amazing. (Score:5, Interesting)

          by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) on Wednesday November 14, 2012 @04:12AM (#41978339)
          Well your first mistake was not wiping any new PC completely before use. Microsoft have acknowledged [yahoo.com] that malware can be installed on new PCs at the factory, so using it at all without wiping is russian roulette with your personal information.

          Download a DBAN ISO and keep it somewhere for when you buy a new PC. Wipe it, reinstall Windows, install drivers (which you should download from the vendor's website from a different PC. Don't put a memory stick in to the new PC before wiping). It's more work, but your experience with the new PC will be better for it.
          • reinstall Windows

            Easyer said than done when there is no Windows CD supplied.

            I have even seen cases where there is no bootable recovery partition, no supplied disks whatsoever except for a manual on a CD (no drivers even), resulting in a recovery that demands you order (and pay for) a "recovery boot CD" first. I believe that was a Gateway computer.

            • I too have seen where this is the case, however the point is moot; I don't trust the factory image, so why would I trust the recovery media?

              There are Windows ISOs available from Microsoft [mydigitallife.info]. You can legally download these ISOs without any issue; It's the license key and certificate of authenticity which are your license documents.
              • I too have seen where this is the case, however the point is moot; I don't trust the factory image, so why would I trust the recovery media?

                There are Windows ISOs available from Microsoft [mydigitallife.info]. You can legally download these ISOs without any issue; It's the license key and certificate of authenticity which are your license documents.

                Since when is downloading an ISO from digitalrivercontent.net considered "available from Microsoft"? I would trust the Acer / Dell / HP install before I would trust these ISOs.

                • if you buy from the Microsoft Store you are sent to digital river to do your download

                  bonus tip if you have any win7 dvd you can install whichever version of Win7 you have the key for if the ei.cfg file has been removed/disabled (note must be correct Arch and source so an OEM 32 bit DVD can be used to install any 32 bit version)

        • Norman != Norton (Score:5, Informative)

          by rgbrenner (317308) on Wednesday November 14, 2012 @04:46AM (#41978447)

          Norman was founded in 1984 and is based in Norway:
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norman_(company) [wikipedia.org]

          Norton was started by Peter Norton in 1990 and is now owned by Symantec:
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norton_Internet_Security [wikipedia.org]

          So, as you can see.. Your experience with Norton Clone has nothing to do with Norman.

  • I mean, other than "everybody panic!" ?
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I mean, other than "everybody panic!" ?

      It's more revisionist history bullshit intended to spread FUD. They're trying to pretend like script kiddies and lone hackers are just now showing up, and OMFG they have tools as well! They want people to believe that in the past, the only notable hacks have come from large, wealthy governments.
      In reality, the governments have been playing "catch-up" for the last 30 years (or more) and other than the overly sensational Stuxnet story, I have yet to see anything done by a government which has not already been

  • by SpaghettiPattern (609814) on Wednesday November 14, 2012 @02:45AM (#41978073)
    What's the Cyberespionage alternative for using a window as a mirror to observe the target? What's the counterpart of sitting on a park bench with a newspaper with a hole in it? Cyber Grouch Marx mask anyone?
    • What's the Cyberespionage alternative for using a window as a mirror to observe the target? What's the counterpart of sitting on a park bench with a newspaper with a hole in it? Cyber Grouch Marx mask anyone?

      let #text = Script Kiddies.
      $print "The term is"; #text


      OH NOES, imma terrorist now for using cyber-espionage tools! Even though I didn't use it for cyber-espionage, the tool could be used to destabilize a government.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 14, 2012 @02:53AM (#41978109)

    Did everyone already forget freely available rats like Sub7, BO and NetBus that used to be around in the late 90ies?

  • So, rather than celebrate the possibility of having transparency for all (it's not government spying when everyone is doing it to the government in return) ... Norman Security is reporting on the emergence of script kiddies?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Wow, such a new concept! [wikipedia.org]
  • by nomad-9 (1423689) on Wednesday November 14, 2012 @03:40AM (#41978257)
    From the article:"Turns out cyberespionage malware and activity is far more prolific than imagined.".

    Really? Who "imagined" that malware activity was not that "prolific"? Did they just defrost those "researchers"?. Seems like these folks are the only ones surprised by the existence of script-kiddies, hackers in the Middle-East, the extent of Chinese state-sponsored cyber-espionage, and the growing hacker communities in Brasil and other emerging nations. Globalization => globalization of hacking. Who would have imagined that....

    And the article links to another one ("Scope Of APTs More Widespread Than Thought" ) that goes on:
    "There's a lot of cyberespionage happening internationally. This is not going to go away," Kaspersky's Schouwenberg says.

    Gee, thanks for the eye-opening, completely obvious, self-evident statement, Shouwie, Here's a question: do you experts stay constantly tuned with what's happening in the world, or do you just wake up one day, burst out of the bubble where you were busy "imagining" things, and discover reality?
  • by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) on Wednesday November 14, 2012 @04:03AM (#41978315)
    You mean like Sub7 and Netbus, which were readily available in the late 90s?

    Dude. This was news before Slashdot existed.
  • by Barryke (772876) on Wednesday November 14, 2012 @06:15AM (#41978755) Homepage

    Slashdot i welcome you in the 90's. Nice that you are rerunning stories from the era of your inception.

  • Welcome to circa 1970.

Old programmers never die, they just hit account block limit.

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