Revenge stories, bites and bots, oh my! October is off to an exciting start in the cyberverse. Here are three of this week’s top stories to keep you warm and dry in this wet cool autumn.
1. National Green Tribunal
The NGT of India, set up in 2010 to handle environmental cases, came under attack last week. The week prior the Indian army carried out “surgical strikes,” across the line of control with Pakistan. On October 3 the NGT website was hacked by a group displaying curse words and playing the Pakistani national anthem on the hijacked site: hackers with a sense of humor. The press release message was, “We are Unbeatable. You…kill innocent people in Kashmir and call yourself defenders of your country. You…violate the ceasefire on border and call it ‘Surgical Strikes.’ Now kiss the…of Cyber War.”
Though hacking in the name of revenge or political proclamation is really something new, these hackers have a certain panache. All’s back to business as usual on their site now, but a few screenshots of the hack are floating around cyberland.
2. Clinton Audio
Speaking of revenge stories, will the he hacked/she hacked stories of the Trump vs Clinton campaigns never end? Well, at least not until November, perhaps. In the meantime, a couple new releases hit the newscrawls this week: hacked audio on Hillary Clinton and a released audio/video clip of Trump from about a decade ago (which may have been more of a leak than a hack).
It seems the hot campaign trail keeps getting hotter. Though no one has claimed specific responsibility for the Trump audio bite, the Clinton one was released on WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks has been releasing a stream of damaging emails and related leaks about Hillary Clinton.
Revenge? Who knows. An attack, for sure. These days it seems Julian Assange hates Hillary Clinton. Though reporters can only speculate as to why, if you follow WikiLeaks on Twitter or get any of your news from Anonymous, you know that he has claimed he will release documents that will get Hillary Clinton arrested.
Clinton isn’t the only bee in Assange’s bonnet. Google might be on his bad side as well. Stay tuned, as there are bound to be more chapters in this adventure story.
3. Brian Krebs
When it comes to cybersecurity there are few names the professionals know better than Brian Krebs. Though he got his start as an investigative reporter, his coverage of cyber crime led to the start of KrebsOnSecurity.com. He has interviewed hackers, broken the story of major hacks such as the story of the credit card number thefts at Target, and won journalistic awards.
Prime target for another revenge story? Absolutely. Recently Krebs’ own site became the target of a large-scale DDoS attack. A distributed denial-of-service attack hits a site with massive requests to take down the site. This one was reportedly one of the largest assaults the Internet has ever witnessed.
Since we live in the era of the IoT, we have more bots for the attacking than ever before. A couple quick terms: IoT= Internet of Things, the moniker for the myriad of connected devices in everyday life, from ATMs to blu-ray players. Bots= hijacked devices, that become a robot army for attacks like the one on Krebs.
The Krebs attack is a reminder about two important things:
1. No one is immune to an intended attack. Krebs fought it off well, because he was working with a team that was well-prepared.
2. No one should use default passwords on any device. Your dvd player, router, xbox, anything that can connect to the internet, needs a unique password or you too are unwittingly a part of a hacker’s bot army.
Revenge Ain’t So Sweet
If you want to steer clear of your own revenge story, and prefer watching cyber threats from the side lines, learn from this week’s attacks. Protect your assets, and assume all of your audio and written words could be hacked by the right attacker.
Better safe than sorry, right?