Lately there has been a lot of news about Zeus Botnets and crackdowns on them. I thought I’d take a moment to tell you why this is important to you and in the larger scheme of things.
Identified in 2007, Zeus is a Trojan Horse type of malware that steals banking information by Man-in-the-browser keystroke logging and Form Grabbing. This captures your information then removes your money. While much of this Cyber Battle has been placed upon the banking industries security shoulders this can be solved mostly at the personal level. This cost is then transferred to you and the organization through various form like fees, interest rates, and cost of services.
The point of entry for Zeus is most likely a targeted download you were looking for (that latest song or vides, etc) or by a phishing email. Stop clicking links that you don’t trust and get them from industry established and reputable entities and 9 times out of 10 you’ll have no issue. The problem is that there is so much incentive to continue to spread this type of item through the internet (piracy, internet traffic generated advertising, identity theft) that it is an enormous scale fight.
You want this fight to succeed and be deterred. For far too long Cyber criminals and Hacktivists have escaped unscathed and without ramification while they inflicted massive damages upon organizations and individuals. This all has occurred while Countries and their Governments worked to identify and create the building blocks for something like the Zeus crackdown. And although Offensive Cyber Crime capabilities still lead the Defensive Cyber Crime capabilities by several years (if Zeus is used as a metric ~5 years of lag) the continued attack on botnet and Cybercrime entities will start to inflict and induce deterrence for future individuals considering starting down this path.
[via The Microsoft Blog]
So Interpol’s website is down in a possible retaliation as they just picked up 25 suspected Anonymous members. Or the other reason could be that Interpol simply has a low cap in relation to the amount of attention this story is getting and the story itself is causing the Distributed Denial of Service. That is all part of the fun in Cyberspace; what is the true cause and attribution.
The arrests followed an ongoing investigation begun in mid-February which also led to the seizure of 250 items of IT equipment and mobile phones in searches of 40 premises in 15 cities, Interpol said.
Anonymous recently got attention by secretly recording a conference call between U.S. and British cyber investigators tasked with bringing the group to justice. But the information within the call was fairly germane. Part of the overall difficulty beyond compromising a system is actually getting through the minutia and getting the gems within. If you can’t get the gemstones there is ultimately no end affect.
Anonymous executed this plan well with the Stratfor hack. Only a few days ago they delivered their ex-filtrated gemstones to Wikileaks for publication.
Rarely do you get to watch a CEO like George Friedman detail the hacking incident and its implications. publicly acknowledge their major failures in the information war component in Cyber Battle against malicous Hackers like Anonymous.
Stratfor’s immediate actions included:
- Ensured the prompt notification of credit card issuers about the compromised credit cards.
- Offered all current and former paid subscribers identity protection services from CSID, a leading identity protection company.
- Commissioned SecTheory, a respected Internet security firm, to work with us to rebuild our website, email system and internal infrastructure.
- Hired Verizon Business Network Services to conduct a forensic investigation in cooperation with the FBI’s ongoing investigation.
- Moving our entire e-commerce process to a highly secure, PCI compliant third-party system, which eliminates the need for us to store any credit card information.
- Enhancing the way we encrypt and store passwords, and implementing new password requirements.
Stay tuned. I’m sure there is more to follow…