Category: Hacking News

Recently Citibank announced that they were hacked, a typical data breach. See the International Business Times article here, http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/160376/20110609/hacking-citibank-citibank-hacked-citi-hacked-citibank-hack-2011-citibank-online.htm. Were they not conducting vulnerability tests on their own system to see if they were vulnerabile? The comes on the heels of Sega, Sony, Lockheed Martin amongst others. So far they only report that 360,000 cards were compromised. We can assume that those customers, if they actually know which accounts were compromised will get 2 years of credit monitoring. But what happens when you actually get false charges? You now have to go spend time to resolve the problems and most likely you might take a hit to your credit score.

Its amazing that this continues to happen and there isn’t a stronger tie between the credit reporting agencies and the hacked banks to help consumer manage their credit and not be responsible to follow up on a data loss. The consumer is the one who has to bear all the burden. And the banks will probably just add another fee to cover their costs to managing the security breach.

These banks should really be more proactive in conducting vulnerability scans daily, conducting website security testing and implement intrusion detection and prevention systems. We do not know if Citibank had a IDS system in ploace but you would think that with a good prevention system in place, this hack should have been immediately identified and stoped before the data breach could occur?

Gary Bahadur

www.kraasecurity.com

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The Birmingham news (http://blog.al.com/spotnews/2011/05/pleasant_grove_man_sentenced_t.html)  reported that a Pleasant Grove man received six years in prison for HIPAA violations. Included in his crimes was aggravated identity theft and disclosures. These violate the HIPAA regulations.

Identity theft with regards to healthcare information is on the rise. There is a lot of value in stealing an identity to get healthcare. If you could do that for someone under 18, then you might have several years before they actually notice. Kids generally do not need to check their credit ratings until they get that first credit card in college. BY then the thief could have racked up a lot of charges on that identity.

Using healthcare access can allow the thief access to drugs which are then resold. In this case the thief used the stolen identity to cause the prescription drug plan to pay for $72,746 in drugs.

The Obama Administration announced a cyber security plan recently. Does it take into account the rise in identity theft? Are government agencies actively trying to find solutions? So far the answer seems to be No.

Regards

Gary Bahadur

www.kraasecurity.com

blog.kraasecrity.com

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When you take a photo of yourself in your house and then post it via Facebook or twitpic, you assume that no one will really know where you are taking that picture. Well, you may be wrong. Social media security is in a very nascent development stage. There are a number of theats already to social media such as malicious applications in Facebook or trojans in shortened URLs that the average user does not know about or where to turn to for advice.

A new threat could be giving up your location when you post a picture from inside your house. A team of scientists dicovered that with some smartphones, a user’s latitude and longitude can be attached tothe picture you post in the metadata. That’s pretty scary. See the news story ” Tips to Turn Off Geo-Tagging on Your Cell Phone”  (http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/celebrity-stalking-online-photos-videos-give-location/story?id=11443038) “Many people are not aware of the fact that there are geotags in photos and videos,” said Gerald Friedland, one of the scientists.

A website that has been setup to show the dangers of this capability is www.icanstalku.com. So what can you do about this? Do you want to be stalked?  ON the IPhone, go to Settings, General, then Location Services and disable the applications you do not want to use Geo-tagging, such as Camera.

Regards

Gary Bahadur

www.kraasecurity.com

blog.kraasecrity.com

888-572-2911

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This past week was eventful for Facebook and for Mark Zuckerberg. The Facebook page was hacked as first reported by Techcrunch ““Let The Hacking Begin” Declares Person Who Hacked Zuckerberg’s Facebook Fan Page”  (http://techcrunch.com/2011/01/25/zuckerberg-fan-page-hack/) . The message left on the page was:

“Let the hacking begin. If facebook needs money, instead of going to the banks, why doesn’t Facebook let its users invest in Facebook in a social way? Why not transform Facebook into a ‘social business’ the way Nobel Price winner Muhammad Yunus described it? http://bit.ly/fs6rT3 What do you think? #hackercup2011”

Facebook then said it was a “bug” as reported by the BBC “Facebook blames bug for Zuckerberg ‘hacking’” (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-12286377). Well I guess they can speak to Microsoft about “bugs” and letting their software be hackable. Not much more was explained.

One other interesting event that was also news with Facebook was the launch of their encrypted login process as reported by the Huffingtonpost “What Facebook’s New Security Features Mean For You”. This has actually been around for a while but not published. What does this mean? Well when you go to Facebook.com now, just go to https://www.facebook.com.  The “https” will allow you to have your login encrypted so the guy sitting next to you in Starbuck and capture your traffic on the wireless network and steal your login ID and password by running Firesheep or other sniffing program. You can also do this with many social networking sites even though they do not publicize it.

To turn on this feature automatically go to “Accounts” -> “Account Setting” -> “Account Security” -> “Change” and select “Browse Facebook on a secure connection (https) whenever possible”. If you have never played with the Privacy Setting you should probably check those out as well. Stop sharing everything about yourself with “Everyone”!

Facebook privacy settings

Facebook privacy settings

Gary Bahadur

CEO KRAA Security, baha@kraasecurity.com

http://www.kraasecurity.com

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Vendor risk assessment are not part of everyday corporate managememnt but it should be. If you drive a car and every week you have to get something fixed it would prove pretty annoying, disgusting, outrageous and you probably you would never buy that model again and probably wouldn’t by from that manufacturer either. So why do we accepts buggy software that is vulnerable to things like cross site scripting attacks, buffer overflows, malware and such? But we do that everyday.

Everything from vulnerable operating systems such as Windows to vulnerable applications such as Adobe and weak website such as Facebook. As stated by CIO.com, “SANS and Mitre, a Bedford, Mass.-based non-profit, federally funded technology research and development organization, today is also releasing its second annual CWE/SANS Top 25 list of the most common programming errors currently being made by software developers. The authors say the errors on the list are responsible nearly every major type of cyber attack, including the recent intrusions at Google (GOOG), and numerous utilities and government agencies.”  The biggest companies are culprits.

So what are we do to about buggy software? How do you force a vendor risk assessment on all yoru vendors? Maybe scream “I’m mad as hell and I am not going to take it anymore!”  Might feel good for a second or two, but not going to solve the almost daily patch process we have to go through for our software. Patch management is a thriving sector!

As I see it, some theoretical things the end user can do to change the deadly cycle of poor software:

  1. Sue! I don’t know if that’s possible, but if you bought a car with bad acceleration problems (ahem Toyota) you might just sue the manufacturer if you got into an accident. What can we do that if some hacker breaks in through buggy software?
  2. Stop buying from that vendor! Apple seems to be taking this tactic by not allowing Flash on the IPad. But can we all move away from Microsoft tomorrow? Probably not.
  3. Make the vendors conduct Risk Assessments of their products prior to release. A third party risk assessment is probably a good idea. Something with more teeth than a SAS70 type review.

Gary Bahadur

http://www.kraasecurity.com

http://blog.kraasecurity.com

http://twitter.com/kraasecurity

Address: 200 Se 1st St #601 Miami FL 33131

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Gary Bahadur

http://www.kraasecurity.com

http://blog.kraasecurity.com

http://twitter.com/kraasecurity
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