On Tuesday evening, KrebsOnSecurity.com was the target of an extremely large and unusual distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack designed to knock the site offline. The attack did not succeed thanks to the hard work of the engineers at Akamai, the company that protects my site from such digital sieges. But according to Akamai, it was nearly double the size of the largest attack they’ve seen previously, and was among the biggest assaults the Internet has ever witnessed.
Staminus Communications Inc., a California-based Internet hosting provider that specializes in protecting customers from massive “distributed denial of service” (DDoS) attacks aimed at knocking sites offline, has itself apparently been massively hacked. Staminus’s entire network was down for more than 20 hours until Thursday evening, leaving customers to vent their rage on the company’s Facebook and Twitter pages. In the midst of the outage, someone posted online download links for what appear to be Staminus’s customer credentials, support tickets, credit card numbers and other sensitive data.
A gaggle of young misfits that has long tried to silence this Web site now is taking credit for preventing millions of users from playing Sony Playstation and Microsoft Xbox Live games this holiday season. The group, which calls itself LizardSquad, started attacking… Read More »
Criminal commerce on the Internet would mostly grind to a halt were it not for the protection offered by so-called “bulletproof hosting” providers — the online equivalent of offshore havens where shady dealings go ignored. Last month I had an opportunity to interview a provider of bulletproof services for one of the Web’s most notorious cybercrime forums, and who appears to have been at least partly responsible for launching what’s been called the largest cyber attack the Internet has ever seen.
A Christmas Eve cyberattack against the Web site of a regional California financial institution helped to distract bank officials from an online account takeover against one of its clients, netting thieves more than $900,000.
During the last week of July, a series of steadily escalating cyber attacks directed at my Web site and hosting provider prevented many readers from being able to reach the site or read the content via RSS. Sorry about that. What follows is a post-mortem on those digital sieges, which featured a mix of new and old-but-effective attack methods.
Roughly five years after it burst onto the malware scene, the notorious Grum spam botnet has been disconnected from the Internet. Grum has consistently been among the top three biggest sources of junk email, a crime machine capable of blasting 18 billion messages per day and responsible for sending about one-third of all spam.
It was early October 2011, and I was on the treadmill checking email when I noticed several hundred new messages had arrived since I last looked at my Gmail inbox just 20 minutes earlier. I didn’t know it at the time, but my account was being used to beta test a private service now offered openly in the criminal underground that can be hired to create highly disruptive floods of junk email, text messages and phone calls.
Many businesses request some kind of confirmation from their bank whenever high-dollar transfers are initiated. These confirmations may be sent via text message or email, or the business may ask their bank to call them to verify requested transfers. The attack that hit my inbox was part of an offering that crooks can hire to flood each medium of communication, thereby preventing a targeted business from ever receiving or finding alerts from their bank.
The Obama administration will hold a public meeting at the White House on Wednesday to discuss industry and government efforts to combat botnet activity. Among them is a pilot program to share information about botnet victims between banks and Internet service providers, according to sources familiar with the event.
The FBI is warning that computer crooks have begun launching debilitating cyber attacks against banks and their customers as part of a smoke screen to detract attention away from simultaneous high-dollar cyber heists.
The bureau says the attacks coincide with corporate account takeovers perpetrated by thieves who are using a modified version of the ZeuS Trojan that’s being called “Gameover.” The thefts come after a series of heavy spam campaigns aimed at deploying the malware, which arrives disguised as an email from the National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA), a not-for-profit group that develops operating rules for organizations that handle electronic payments. The ZeuS variant steals passwords and gives attackers direct access to the victim’s PC and network.