Racy Photo helps FBI catch Hacker

Editor’s Note – Good detective work, a real win for the FBI. Good job!

Suspected Anonymous Hacker Busted By FBI — Thanks To A Racy Photo

CBS Houston

The evidence that the Federal Bureau of Investigations gathered against an alleged Galveston hacker didn’t come from a techno-chase through the expansive Internet. Instead, the FBI used the information embedded in a photograph of his girlfriend’s breasts.

Higinio O. Ochoa, 30, is a Linux administrator by day, but by night he’s accused of being part of the group “CabinCr3w,” an affiliate of the hacktivist organization Anonymous.

According to Gizmodo, Ochoa allegedly used the Twitter handle @Anonw0rmer to link to a site boasting personal information on law enforcement officials, along with a picture of a young women in a low-cut shirt that read, “PwNd by w0rmer & CabinCr3w.”

The FBI found the image in February and checked the exchangeable image file format, or EXIF data, for evidence. EXIF data is information that a digital camera imprints onto an image.

This particular image’s EXIF data revealed that it came from an iPhone near Melbourne, Australia, which then led the FBI to Ochoa’s Facebook page.

The page featured other images of the girl, who turned out to be his girlfriend.

On March 20, the FBI stormed Ochoa’s apartment and arrested him. He was held at the FBI’s Houston branch a $50,000 bail was posted.

The FBI alleges that, in addition to the violation of police officer’s privacy, Ochoa also hacked the County of Houston’s website.

“[He] created fake events on their online, posted images representing Anonymous and CabinCr3w, deleted the entire administrator accounts except the one created by the attacker,” the FBI detailed to Gizmodo.

The FBI also said that Ochoa also leaked personal information of Goldman Sachs executives last September.

Interpol swoop nets 25 suspected ‘Anonymous’ hackers

PsyhOrg.com

“Operation Unmask was launched in mid-February following a series of coordinated cyber-attacks originating from Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Spain,” said Interpol, based in the French city of Lyon.

The statement cited attacks on the websites of the Colombian Ministry of Defence and the presidency, as well as on Chile’s Endesa electricity company and its National Library, among others.

A masked hacker, part of the Anonymous group, is pictured in Lyon, France, in January 2012. Interpol has arrested 25 suspected members of the 'Anonymous' hackers group in a swoop on over a dozen cities in Europe and Latin America, the global police body said Tuesday.

The operation was carried out by police from Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Spain, the statement said, with 250 items of computer equipment and mobile phones seized in raids on 40 premises in 15 cities.

Police also seized credit cards and cash from the suspects, aged 17 to 40.

“This operation shows that crime in the virtual world does have real consequences for those involved, and that the Internet cannot be seen as a safe haven for criminal activity,” said Bernd Rossbach, Interpol’s acting director of police services.

However, it was not clear what evidence there was to prove those arrested were part of Anonymous, an extremely loose-knit international movement of online activists, or “hacktivists.”

Spanish police said earlier they had arrested four suspected hackers accused of sabotaging websites and publishing confidential data on the Internet.

They were accused of hacking the websites of political parties and companies and adding fangs to the faces of leaders in photographs online, and publishing data identifying top officials’ security guards, Spanish police said.

The operation, carried out after trawling through computer logs in order to trace IP addresses, also netted 10 suspects in Argentina, six in Chile and five in Colombia, Spanish police said.

They said one of the suspects went by the nicknames Thunder and Pacotron and was suspected of running the computer network used by Anonymous in Spain and Latin America, via servers in the Czech Republic and Bulgaria.

He was arrested in the southern Spanish city of Malaga.

Two of the suspects were in detention while one was bailed and the fourth was a minor who was left in the care of his parents.

In Santiago, deputy prefect Jaime Jara said police confiscated computer equipment belonging to five Chileans and a Colombian, aged between 17 and 23.

Jara said the suspects appeared to have hacked web pages in Chile, Colombia and Spain.

The six suspects did not know each other and were released after voluntarily giving statements, police said, though they will likely be ordered to appear in court to face possible charges relating to online crimes.

Anonymous has in recent weeks targeted the websites of a series of police organisations, with subgroup “Antisec” on Friday vandalising the website of a major US prison contractor.

Anonymous took credit Thursday for an online raid on the Los Angeles Police Canine Association and previously attacked websites of the Central Intelligence Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Anonymous has notably defended WikiLeaks when it was facing a funding cutoff and recently collaborated with the anti-secrecy site for the release of a swathe of emails from Texas-based private intelligence firm Stratfor.

In December 2010, Anonymous attacked the websites of Mastercard, PayPal, Visa and others for blocking donations to WikiLeaks after it began releasing thousands of classified US diplomatic cables.

‘Anonymous’ hits Stratfor

Editor’s Note – SUA is familiar with the hacking activities of ‘Anonymous’ as we too were part of an earlier breech through a service provider, so our sentiments go out to our friends at Stratfor. Like all security services, one cannot control all access points, and central points of failure are the target of people who have nothing but time on their hands for such devious deeds. Also, every breech that gets sealed is a learning experience, but we know as one hole is repaired, more will be found.

SUA has been constantly monitoring the newest war zone, Cyber-space, not only from the hackers who entertain themselves with these Robin Hood style attacks, but more importantly, attacks from our enemies like the Chinese military, intellectual property theft, and SCADA damage.

Stratfor Targeted by Hacking Group Anonymous

Hackers posted what they claimed to be personal details of the company’s clients on the information-sharing site Pastebin.

By: Nathan Eddy

The loosely-associated band of hackers known as Anonymous claims to have targeted the global intelligence think tank Strategic Forecasting, known as Stratfor, boasting on the microblogging site Twitter that personal information, including credit card numbers, belonging to Stratfor clients had been stolen. As of Monday morning, Stratfor’s Website was down, with a placeholder page saying the site was undergoing maintenance and asking visitors to “check back soon.”

Following the breach, hackers posted the details of the information on the information-sharing site Pastebin. In an email obtained by Reuters Sunday, Stratfor acknowledged an unauthorized breach. “As a result of this incident, the operation of Stratfor’s servers and email have been suspended,” the company wrote. Stratfor also issued an email to its members, which was obtained by the Associated Press, warning that some names and personal information would wind up on other sites.

“We are diligently investigating the extent to which subscriber information may have been obtained,” read the letter, signed by company CEO George Friedman. “Stratfor’s relationship with its members and, in particular, the confidentiality of their subscriber information, are very important to Stratfor and me.”

Anonymous has defaced and shut down Websites belonging to the music industry, companies that severed ties with WikiLeaks and various government agencies. The FBI and international law-enforcement agencies have been investigating the attacks and making arrests for the past few months. The Department of Homeland Security has begun to take Anonymous and other non-professional cyber-attackers more seriously as it issued warnings about potential attacks earlier this year.

In September, Obama administration officials spoke about the need for increased penalties for computer crimes in light of increased data breaches and hacking activity. The increase in computer crime, including Anonymous-led distributed denial-of-service attacks, Website attacks where data is stolen and general online mayhem, has led the White House to call for an increase in criminal penalties for computer crimes.

Online attacks have become more serious as attackers target sensitive personal data and corporate secrets and undermine infrastructure security. However, the penalties under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act don’t match the seriousness or complexity of cyber-crime, Associate Deputy Attorney General James Baker and Secret Service Deputy Special Agent in Charge, Criminal Investigative Division, Pablo Martinez said Sept. 7 in a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. The proposal was based on the White House’s cyber-security plan unveiled in May.

From Geekhat:

Whitehat security firm Stratfor underwent a massive hack by Anonymous hackers on eve of Christmas or should we tell ‘LulzXmas’ as the Anonymous would call it. STRATFOR provides intelligence to a range of commercial and government customers, and has been beefing up its coverage of cyber, and specifically of Anonymous. Official website of Stratfor stratfor.com went offline after the attack but those interested can view a mirror of the deface.

Anonymous hackers posted this youtube video at the top of the defaced page:

Computers control everything – How safe are we?

Editor’s Note – SCADA systems (supervisory control and data acquisition) are susceptible to all manner of attacks, and as the Stxunet Worm proved as indicated in the following article, hackers and viruses can invade and take over. We think of a lot of problems that could occur but what if the prison doors just opened and the most vile and dangerous prisoners just walked out? SUA has been covering the ability of hackers like ‘Anonymous’ to search and destroy systems as well, so as we get deeper and deeper into computer controls, thinking we are safer, are we?

DHS confirms hackers could ‘remotely reprogram and manipulate’ cells at federal prisons

Daily Caller

By Jordan Bloom

A panel of experts presented some startling findings at the Hacker Halted conference, prompting the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Bureau of Prisons to re-evaluate their digital security systems. A study conducted by a former CIA officer has shown that for less than $2,500, hackers could overload the circuits in prison doors, springing them permanently open.

Federal Bureau of Prisons spokesman Chris Burke told The Washington Times that the government is “aware of this research and [is] taking it very seriously.”

John Strauchs, Teague Newman and Tiffany Rad developed attacks in the basement of a Washington, D.C. home that could bring a prison’s programmable logic controllers and industrial control systems offline.

“You could open every cell door, and the system would be telling the control room they are all closed,” Strauchs told The Washington Times.

Industrial control systems, as the software is known, are used in everything from the power grid to civic plumbing systems to prison doors, and have come under official scrutiny recently because of their vulnerability to cyber attacks. In 2010, an Israeli cyber attack on the Iran’s nuclear program brought a fifth of Iran’s centrifuges offline.

The researchers found that while the computers controlling the prison systems were not supposed to be connected to the Internet, at every prison system out of the more than 400 surveyed, they were. Guards were frequently using the prison computers to check their personal emails, exposing the system to attack. In other cases, technical support maintained Internet connections to update the prison security systems.

“In no case did we ever not find connections,” McGurk said. “They were always there.”

But even in the absence of an Internet connection, the industrial control system could still be compromised by bribing a security guard to upload a virus via a USB drive.

The team took their findings directly to federal agencies, briefing them at the CIA headquarters at Langley, so they could have time to evaluate and respond to the threat.

Sean McGurk led the Department of Homeland Security’s efforts to secure ICS before his departure in September, and confirmed to the Washington Times that ”we validated the researchers’ initial assertion … that they could remotely reprogram and manipulate [the industrial control system software and controllers].”

A warden contacted Strauchs about the project after an incident in which all the doors on one prison’s death row were suddenly opened.

‘Anonymous’ Strikes Again – Israeli Military Sites Hacked

Editor’s Note– The group ‘Anonymous’, famous for bold incursions into secure sites and systems, has done it again. SUA was one of thousands of sites across the land hit in the past by this group, and they have done it again. The trouble is, they have hacked into military communications in Israel at a time when the least thing could set off a conflagration.

Canadian Flotilla Boarded by Israelis

There are some many trigger points in that region now, and this group of reprobates could at some time in the future be guilty of murder if they trigger what many believe is impending – a regional war. They claim it was done to retaliate against the two ships the Israelis stopped off the coast of Gaza, so they are actively trying to make things worse in the region.

Hackers Shut Down Israeli Military and Intelligence Websites

by Saed Bannoura

International Middle East Media Center

A group of hackers, calling itself Anonymous, managed to infiltrate sensitive Israeli websites that belong to the Israeli Army and security services, and was able to shut them down. The attacks are said to be an act of retaliation against Israel’s interception of the two solidarity ships that were heading to Gaza last week.

Israeli sources reported that the websites of the army, the internal security agency, Shin Bet, and the foreign intelligence agency, Mossad, were totally offline Sunday until the evening.

The Australian online daily reported that the website of Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, was not hacked, and that it initially claimed that the outage of the websites “was caused by a technical failure, and not by hackers.”

Spokesperson for Netanyahu, Ofir Gendelman, claimed on his twitter feed that the Websites went offline due to a malfunction in the servers.

A “hacktivist” group calling itself “Anonymous” claimed responsibility for the cyber-attacks. The group posted a Youtube a few days ago stating that it will retaliate against the Israeli government for intercepting the two ships that were heading to Gaza last week to deliver humanitarian supplies, and to challenge the illegal Israeli siege of the coastal enclave.

The boats were carrying 27 human rights activists, in addition to journalists and crew members; they were intercepted in international waters, and not in Israeli waters.

Hacktivists also published a video dubbed “An Open Letter from Anonymous”, stating that the Israeli government is conducting “piracy in the high seas”.

The group stated that it will not tolerate such attacks carried out against unarmed civilians, adding that they, along with 127 countries around the world, recognize Palestine as the state of the Palestinian people, and that the Israeli actions, and the actions of its military, are considered a declaration of war.

Anonymous previously targeted Websites of several corporations, including Credit Card Company’s which refused to transfer donations made to Wikileaks.

It is also believed to be behind the attack of the Syrian Defence Ministry Website, to protest the Syrian government’s continuing bloodshed of its own people.

On May 31, 2010, the Israeli Navy violently boarded the MV Marmara ship, part of the Freedom Flotilla that was heading to Gaza to deliver medical and humanitarian supplies, killing nine Turkish activists and wounding several others before towing the ships to the Ashdod Port.

Addressing Israel, the group stated in the video that should Tel Aviv continue its illegal siege on Gaza, or continue its deadly attacks, the group “will then have no other option but to strike back.”