Tag Archives: hack

Politics and Elections in the Era of Cyberwarfare

Unless you are a hermit hiding out in an undiscovered cave, you are well aware that we have been in the thick of an acrimonious and difficult election cycle for the highest office in the land — the Presidency of the United States. Presidential campaigns and campaigns for other elected offices have been a struggle in prior years — given all the competing interests, priorities and strategies that constantly have to be juggled. If that were not enough, now candidates have to deal with the new reality of cyber warfare.

We have been learning from recent press reports that Russia apparently has been active in its efforts to disrupt the current presidential election in the United States. Indeed, according to a recent report by NBC News, Russia’s “cyber-espionage campaign against the American political system began more than a year ago and has been far more extensive than publicly disclosed, targeting hundreds of key people.” Continue reading Politics and Elections in the Era of Cyberwarfare

Wait, Now USB Devices May Be Unsafe Too?

Thumb drives, keyboards, and mice, oh my! That’s right, these USB devices now may be the latest “lions, tigers, and bears” to fear in our high-tech world.

According to a recent Reuters article, such USB devices possibly can be compromised to hack into personal computers in a previously unknown form of attack that supposedly can side-step current security precautions.

As reported by Reuters, Karsten Nohl, a chief scientist at SR Labs in Berlin, has stated that hackers potentially can load software onto very small and inexpensive chips that control the functions of USB devices, but which presently do not have “built-in shields” that would prevent tampering with the devices’ operative code.

Continue reading Wait, Now USB Devices May Be Unsafe Too?

DDoS Attacks, ‘Zombie’ Sites On The Rise

Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks are not hypothetical possibilities. Indeed, they have been bringing down Web sites for quite some time.

Most recently, two men in Britain have been sent to prison for their DDoS attacks perpetrated on PayPal and other sites, according to InformationWeek.

The InformationWeek article notes that six people were arrested in connection with these DDoS attacks. Three of them ultimately were charged under the United Kingdom’s Computer Misuse Act of 1990. Of these three, the head of the group received a prison sentence of 18 months, another was sentenced to seven months in jail, and the third was sentenced to six months in jail which was suspended for two years while he was ordered to serve 100 hours of community service.

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Tumblr Comes Tumbling Down During Cyberattack

Tumblr is a Website where users can share photos, music, videos, quotes and posts, all of which can be customized with different colors and themes.

On its “About” page, Tumblr boldly suggests that users “follow the world’s creators.” With only 128 employees, Tumblr boasts 83.7 million blogs, 37.4 billion posts and a whopping 18.1 billion monthly page views.

So, all is well and good in Tumblr land, right? Perhaps most of the time. However, last week a worm struck Tumblr and infected some of the most widely read blogs, including those of CNET, Reuters and USA Today, as reported by CNET.

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Trouble In Password Paradise

Many people use the same password for all of their accounts. Why? Because it is easy to remember just one password across all accounts.

But is that a good idea? Nope. If that password were to fall into the wrong hands, it potentially could be used more pervasively to the disadvantage of the true password holder.

And this is not a hypothetical concern. Indeed, recent press reports are rife with disclosures of major password hacks/leaks.

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Major Computer Hijacking Revealed By Indictment

There is so much good about the Internet. It allows us to communicate instantly, freely and widely for business and personal purposes. Unfortunately, whether there is good, the forces of evil also lurk.

This point is driven home by an international plot to hijack millions of computers, as has been reportedly disclosed by a recently unsealed New York indictment. The aim of the plot has been to use malware to hijack computers in various countries such that people visiting common Web sites such as Netflix, ESPN, Amazon and IRS.gov are rerouted to other sites. These other sites have generated millions of dollars of wrongfully gained profits.

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Sesame Street Website Hacked with Explicit Videos

Is nothing sacred? Apparently not, as CNN has reported that the YouTube channel for Sesame Street recently was hacked with pornographic content. Indeed, instead of showing material suitable for children, the channel briefly was reprogrammed with sexually explicit videos.

As a result of the porn hack, the Sesame Street channel went offline for a short time. Visitors were informed that there had been “repeated and severe violations of our community guidelines.”

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