CyberSecurity Pulse 2016-02-25
HUMINT, a Field to Be Explored on the Internet
A human source at the place at the right time can give out deliberative processes and the real intentions of a determined adversary. It can also provide the necessary keys for interpreting data obtained through technological means. However, obtaining information by human means has two critical phases and also apply in the world of cybersecurity. The first phase is the infiltration of the source in a place where you can collect valuable information. This usually requires a considerable investment of time and, in many cases, involves serious personal and reputational risks, especially in a cyber environment. The second phase is the assessment by analysts of the information acquired. Like any other information, it needs to be properly assessed, taking into account that it may have been distorted by the subjectivity or the interests of the individual who obtained it or, eventually, aimed to be deceptive.
However, despite the progress that OSINT has experienced in recent years, this maturity has not been equally transferred to HUMINT, an area in which the nature of information and the risk to be exposed acquires a fundamental dimension.
Bill Gates Backs FBI in Battle with Apple over Terrorism
The Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has taken part in the conflict between Apple and the FBI, arguing that the government agency is right to demand co-operation from Silicon Valley corporations when it comes to terrorism investigations. Gates also questioned Apple chief executive Tim Cook’s characterisation of the case as a demand for a backdoor: "This is a specific case where the government is asking for access to information. They are not asking for some general thing, they are asking for a particular case". With his intervention, Gates stands on the opposite side of the conflict to many of the prominent figures in Silicon Valley, including Google’s Sundar Pichai and WhatsApp’s Jan Koum. Meanwhile, Mark Zuckerberg has recently expressed his support for Apple, telling the Mobile World Congress conference in Barcelona that "we’re sympathetic with Apple. We believe in encryption".
The Healthcare Sector, the Most Affected by Security Breaches in 2015
Healthcare and government have overtaken the retail sector as most-targeted for data breaches. A total of 1,673 data breaches led to 707 million data records being compromised worldwide during 2015, according to Gemalto. Instead, malicious outsiders were the leading source of these breaches, accounting for 58% of breaches and 38% of compromised records. In terms of geographic regions, 59% of all reported breach incidents happened in the United States, while Europe accounted for 12% of overall breach incidents, followed by the Asia Pacific region at 8%. Identity theft remained the primary type of breach, accounting for 53% of data breaches and 40% of all compromised records.
Rest of the Week´s News
Linux Mint Hit by Malware Infection on Its Website
Linux Mint forum users and anyone who downloaded and installed a copy of the 17.3 Cinnamon edition on Saturday have probably been compromised and need to take action immediately, Clem Lefebvre, the distro's creator, has warned. Lefebvre has confirmed in a blog post that the intrusion had taken place over the weekend. He said that hackers were capable of modifying a Linux Mint ISO image with a backdoor and managed to hack their website to point the download links to it.
GMBot Source Code Leaked to the Deep Web
Android users are being warned to expect a spike in malware attacks after the source code of a exploit kit known as GMBot was leaked to the dark web. Uncovered by security researchers at IBM, the leaked code, its control panel and even an instruction manual have now started to spread online. The software is known for its ability to run overlay screens on top of applications in order to trick users into entering their usernames and passwords in forms controlled by the attacker.
NSA Data Center Experiencing 300 Million Hacking Attempts Per Day
Utah State computer systems are experiencing a massive cyberattack on up to 300 million hacking attempts per day due to National Security Agency’s (NSA) data center in the state. The computer systems in the US State of Utah began to experience the hacking attack a few years back, precisely, soon after the NSA revelations by Edward Snowden. Additionally, advanced weapons systems at Hill Air Force Base and other tech companies in Utah could also be the reason for these cyberattacks.