Posted on

Hacker Who Launched Attacks On Rutgers University Ordered To Pay $8.6m Restitution

rutgers-university

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

TRENTON NJ,  A Union County, New Jersey, man was ordered today to pay $8.6 million in restitution and serve six months of home incarceration for launching a cyber-attack on the Rutgers University computer network, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Paras Jha, 22, of Fanwood, New Jersey, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Michael Shipp to violating the Computer Fraud & Abuse Act. Judge Shipp imposed the sentence today in Trenton federal court.

Continue reading Hacker Who Launched Attacks On Rutgers University Ordered To Pay $8.6m Restitution

Posted on

FBI Investigating Bloomfield School District “ISIS-sponsored” Hacking 

Hacked

November 7,2017
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

 

Bloomfield NJ, in what can only be termed as a very disturbing turn of events, at around 4 AM EST, Monday, 11/6, an unknown group hacked the web sites of a number of companies nationwide, including the one that hosts the District’s and schools’ web sites. For about two hours, our web sites displayed an ISIS-sponsored YouTube video. Around 6 AM, the hacked page was brought down and by about 7 AM full functionality and control were restored.

The FBI and investigative agencies are looking into the matter.  The District reports that at no time was confidential student or staff data compromised.  The internal computer and data systems within the District were completely unaffected. Everything that happened occurred at the web host’s companies server farms in Atlanta, Georgia and Florida. We are awaiting a formal press release from SchoolDesk, our web host company, and will publish it as soon as it is released.

Posted on

New Jersey Joins Multi-State Call for Equifax to Disable Fee-Based Monitoring Services, Reimburse Fees for Security Freezes

stolen_credit_cards

September 16,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton NJ,  Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino announced today that New Jersey has signed onto a multi-state letter calling on the credit reporting firm Equifax to disable web links for enrollment in its fee-based credit monitoring service in the wake of a massive data breach with potential to impact 143 million consumers, including nearly 4 million in New Jersey.

A multi-state investigation into the breach began last week as soon as Equifax publicly disclosed it. In the wake of the breach, Equifax has offered free credit monitoring services.

But in a letter to Equifax today, the participating attorneys general objected to Equifax “seemingly using its own data breach as an opportunity to sell services to breach victims.” Enrollment information regarding fee-based services has featured prominently on the Equifax website.

”We believe continuing to offer consumers a fee-based service in addition to Equifax’s free monitoring services will serve to only confuse consumers who are already struggling to make decisions on how to best protect themselves in the wake of this massive breach,” the letter asserts. “Selling a fee-based product that competes with Equifax’s own free offer of credit monitoring services to victims of Equifax’s own data breach is unfair, particularly if consumers are not sure if their information was compromised.”

The multi-state letter also notes that, although Equifax has agreed to waive credit freeze fees for those who would otherwise be subject to them, the other two credit bureaus — Experian and Transunion — continue to charge fees for security freezes.

The letter contends that Equifax should be taking steps to reimburse consumers who incur these fees while seeking to completely freeze their credit.

“This is one version of a consumer’s worst fear — having his or her sensitive financial and other personal information compromised by a cyber-data breach,” said Attorney General Porrino. “In New Jersey and across the nation, many people are angry, confused and stressed by the potential for harm in this breach. In our view, Equifax now has a duty to ensure that consumers don’t end up paying for credit monitoring, and Equifax also has a duty to reimburse consumers for the cost of a complete credit freeze – which will require paying fees to the other two credit reporting companies.”

“While the multi-state investigation remains active,” Porrino added, “one thing we know is that consumers aren’t at fault here. They had no hand in creating the cyber-security crisis now confronting Equifax. As such, consumers should have access – at zero cost – to the best available credit monitoring services and protections.”

In a letter sent to Equifax last week, the investigating multi-state group requested information about the circumstances leading to the breach, the reasons for a months-long delay between the breach and Equifax’s public disclosure, what protections the company had in place at the time of the breach, and how the company intends to protect consumers affected by the breach.

The attorneys general also have had communications with Equifax expressing concerns about terms of service relative to the offered free credit monitoring services, and the prominence of service enrollment information on Equifax’s Web page.

Assistant Attorney General John Falzone and Deputy Attorneys General Elliott Siebers and Russell Smith are handling the Equifax matter on behalf of the State.

Posted on

New computer virus spreads from Ukraine to disrupt world business

By Eric Auchard and Dustin Volz | FRANKFURT/WASHINGTON

A computer virus wreaked havoc on firms around the globe on Wednesday as it spread to more than 60 countries, disrupting ports from Mumbai to Los Angeles and halting work at a chocolate factory in Australia.

Risk-modeling firm Cyence said economic losses from this week’s attack and one last month from a virus dubbed WannaCry would likely total $8 billion. That estimate highlights the steep tolls businesses around the globe face from growth in cyber attacks that knock critical computer networks offline.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-cyber-attack-idUSKBN19I1TD?il=0

Posted on

Latest WikiLeaks release shows how the CIA uses computer code to hide the origins of its hacking attacks and ‘disguise them as Russian or Chinese activity’

BORIS

WikiLeaks published 676 source code files today which it claimed are from CIA
It says the CIA disguised its own hacking attacks to make it appear those responsible were Russian, Chinese, Iranian or North Korean

By MAIL ONLINE REPORTER

PUBLISHED: 07:02 EDT, 31 March 2017 | UPDATED: 07:20 EDT, 31 March 2017

WikiLeaks has published hundreds more files today which it claims show the CIA went to great lengths to disguise its own hacking attacks and point the finger at Russia, China, North Korea and Iran.

The 676 files released today are part of WikiLeaks’ Vault 7 tranche of files and they claim to give an insight into the CIA’s Marble software, which can forensically disguise viruses, trojans and hacking attacks.

WikiLeaks says the source code suggests Marble has test examples in Chinese, Russian, Korean, Arabic and Farsi (the Iranian language).

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4367746/WikiLeaks-says-CIA-disguised-hacking-Russian-activity.html#ixzz4cuSQf3Gq

Posted on

WikiLeaks Outs CIA Hacking Arsenal with “Vault 7”

domestic-spying

March 7,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

 

Ridgewood NJ, Today, Tuesday 7 March 2017, WikiLeaks begins its new series of leaks on the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. Code-named “Vault 7” by WikiLeaks, it is the largest ever publication of confidential documents on the agency.

The first full part of the series, “Year Zero”, comprises 8,761 documents and files from an isolated, high-security network situated inside the CIA’s Center for Cyber Intelligence in Langley, Virgina. It follows an introductory disclosure last month of CIA targeting French political parties and candidates in the lead up to the 2012 presidential election.

Recently, the CIA lost control of the majority of its hacking arsenal including malware, viruses, trojans, weaponized “zero day” exploits, malware remote control systems and associated documentation. This extraordinary collection, which amounts to more than several hundred million lines of code, gives its possessor the entire hacking capacity of the CIA. The archive appears to have been circulated among former U.S. government hackers and contractors in an unauthorized manner, one of whom has provided WikiLeaks with portions of the archive.

“Year Zero” introduces the scope and direction of the CIA’s global covert hacking program, its malware arsenal and dozens of “zero day” weaponized exploits against a wide range of U.S. and European company products, include Apple’s iPhone, Google’s Android and Microsoft’s Windows and even Samsung TVs, which are turned into covert microphones.

Since 2001 the CIA has gained political and budgetary preeminence over the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA). The CIA found itself building not just its now infamous drone fleet, but a very different type of covert, globe-spanning force — its own substantial fleet of hackers. The agency’s hacking division freed it from having to disclose its often controversial operations to the NSA (its primary bureaucratic rival) in order to draw on the NSA’s hacking capacities.

By the end of 2016, the CIA’s hacking division, which formally falls under the agency’s Center for Cyber Intelligence (CCI), had over 5000 registered users and had produced more than a thousand hacking systems, trojans, viruses, and other “weaponized” malware. Such is the scale of the CIA’s undertaking that by 2016, its hackers had utilized more code than that used to run Facebook. The CIA had created, in effect, its “own NSA” with even less accountability and without publicly answering the question as to whether such a massive budgetary spend on duplicating the capacities of a rival agency could be justified.

In a statement to WikiLeaks the source details policy questions that they say urgently need to be debated in public, including whether the CIA’s hacking capabilities exceed its mandated powers and the problem of public oversight of the agency. The source wishes to initiate a public debate about the security, creation, use, proliferation and democratic control of cyberweapons.

Once a single cyber ‘weapon’ is ‘loose’ it can spread around the world in seconds, to be used by rival states, cyber mafia and teenage hackers alike.

Julian Assange, WikiLeaks editor stated that “There is an extreme proliferation risk in the development of cyber ‘weapons’. Comparisons can be drawn between the uncontrolled proliferation of such ‘weapons’, which results from the inability to contain them combined with their high market value, and the global arms trade. But the significance of “Year Zero” goes well beyond the choice between cyberwar and cyberpeace. The disclosure is also exceptional from a political, legal and forensic perspective.”

Wikileaks has carefully reviewed the “Year Zero” disclosure and published substantive CIA documentation while avoiding the distribution of ‘armed’ cyberweapons until a consensus emerges on the technical and political nature of the CIA’s program and how such ‘weapons’ should analyzed, disarmed and published.

Wikileaks has also decided to redact and anonymise some identifying information in “Year Zero” for in depth analysis. These redactions include ten of thousands of CIA targets and attack machines throughout Latin America, Europe and the United States. While we are aware of the imperfect results of any approach chosen, we remain committed to our publishing model and note that the quantity of published pages in “Vault 7” part one (“Year Zero”) already eclipses the total number of pages published over the first three years of the Edward Snowden NSA leaks.

 

more details see https://wikileaks.org/ciav7p1/

Posted on

The Clinton Foundation Is Dead — But The Case Against Hillary Isn’t

International Leaders And Luminaries Attend Clinton Global Initiative

While everyone’s been gearing up for President Trump’s inauguration, the Clinton Foundation made a major announcement this week that went by with almost no notice: For all intents and purposes, it’s closing its doors.

In a tax filing, the Clinton Global Initiative said it’s firing 22 staffers and closing its offices, a result of the gusher of foreign money that kept the foundation afloat suddenly drying up after Hillary Clinton failed to win the presidency.

It proves what we’ve said all along: The Clinton Foundation was little more than an influence-peddling scheme to enrich the Clintons, and had little if anything to do with “charity,” either overseas or in the U.S. That sound you heard starting in November was checkbooks being snapped shut in offices around the world by people who had hoped their donations would buy access to the next president of the United States.

And why not? There was a strong precedent for it in Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state. While serving as the nation’s top diplomat, the Clinton Foundation took money from at least seven foreign governments — a clear breach of Clinton’s pledge on taking office that there would be total separation between her duties and the foundation.

Is there a smoking gun? Well, of the 154 private interests who either officially met or had scheduled phone talks with Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of state, at least 85 were donors to the Clinton Foundation or one of its programs.

http://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/the-clinton-foundation-is-dead-but-the-case-against-hillary-isnt/?ref=yfp

Posted on

WashPost Is Richly Rewarded for False News About Russia Threat While Public Is Deceived

BORIS

Glenn Greenwald
January 4 2017, 9:28 a.m.

IN THE PAST SIX WEEKS, the Washington Post published two blockbuster stories about the Russian threat that went viral: one on how Russia is behind a massive explosion of “fake news,” the other on how it invaded the U.S. electric grid. Both articles were fundamentally false. Each now bears a humiliating Editor’s Note grudgingly acknowledging that the core claims of the story were fiction: the first Note of which was posted a full two weeks later to the top of the original article, the other of which was buried the following day at the bottom.

The second story on the electric grid turned out to be far worse than I realized when I wrote about it on Saturday, when it became clear that there was no “penetration of the U.S. electricity grid” as the Post had claimed. In addition to the Editor’s Note, the Russia-hacked-our-electric-grid story now has a full-scale retraction in the form of a separate article admitting that “the incident is not linked to any Russian government effort to target or hack the utility” and that there may not have even been malware at all on this laptop.

https://theintercept.com/2017/01/04/washpost-is-richly-rewarded-for-false-news-about-russia-threat-while-public-is-deceived/

Posted on

4 Steps That Could Help Keep Hackers From Hijacking The Election

Vote Ridgewood NJ

file photo Dana Glazer

September 8,2016
the staff of the Ridgewood

Ridgewood NJ, It’s a provocative question that reads like the cover blurb for a paperback spy novel, but it’s drawing serious attention in these days of cyber crime.

Could hackers disrupt the U.S. presidential election and, if they did, what would be the implications for our democracy?

“Theoretically, there are several things a hacker could do to interfere with the election,” says Gary S. Miliefsky, CEO of SnoopWall (www.snoopwall.com), a company that specializes in cybersecurity.

“They could delete names from a voter list so that when people showed up to vote there’s no record of them being registered. They could change the actual voting machine results, putting the wrong person in office. Or they might just hack in so that they can steal people’s personal information and commit identity theft.”

Already concerns arose after the Democratic National Committee was hacked this summer, reportedly by Russians. More recently there were reports of hacks of the voting registration systems in Arizona and Illinois.

The FBI says Russians also were behind the Arizona hack, which involved malware being found on a county election official’s computer. In Illinois, hackers downloaded information on as many as 200,000 voters.

Miliefsky says the federal government could and should take several steps if it’s truly concerned that the Russian government, criminal Russian cartels or anyone else might try to hijack the election. Those steps include:

• Issue an ultimatum. Government officials should issue a public statement to Russia letting it know it will face cyber-war consequences if either the Russian government or Russian criminals try to interfere with the U.S. voting system.
• Go on high alert. The National Security Agency should monitor, in a state of high alert, the election networks to see if cyber attacks are happening and find out who is perpetrating the crime.
• Enlist cybersecurity help. The U.S. government could request the assistance of cybersecurity experts to help elections officials ensure their networks and voting machines are patched and secure.
•Partner with cybersecurity companies. U.S.-based cybersecurity companies could be offered grants to deploy advanced tools on election networks to shore up their defense.

“It’s time for us to get vigilant and pro-active,” Miliefsky says. “No nation-state hackers or cybercriminals should be able to undermine the basis of our democracy by cyber-election fraud.
“Of course, going back to old-fashioned ‘paper-based voting’ wouldn’t hurt this election cycle, either.”

About Gary S. Miliefsky

Gary S. Miliefsky is founder of SnoopWall Inc. (www.snoopwall.com), a cutting edge counter-intelligence technology company offering free consumer-based software to secure personal data on cell-phones and tablets, while generating revenues helping banks and government agencies secure their networks. He has been active in the INFOSEC arena, as the Executive Producer of Cyber Defense Magazine and a regular contributor to Hakin9 Magazine.

Posted on

FBI Chief Responds to Concern Over Cyberthreats to US Election System

VOTE_theridgewoodblog

By MIKE LEVINE

Aug 30, 2016, 11:05 AM ET

The FBI has responded to recent concerns about U.S. voting systems being targeted for cyberattacks as Election Day approaches, saying the agency takes the threat “very, very seriously” and is working to “equip the rest of our government with options.”

FBI Director James Comey addressed the issue while speaking to government and private-industry experts attending the Symantec Government Symposium in Washington, D.C.

“We take very seriously any effort by any actor,” he said, “to influence the conduct of affairs in our country, whether that’s an election or something else.”

His comments come one day after news surfaced about FBI warnings to the states that hackers had infiltrated one state board of election and targeted another.

Three days ago, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., sent a letter to Comey, expressing concern that “the threat of the Russian government tampering in our presidential election is more extensive than widely known and may include the intent to falsify official election results.”

In late June an “unknown actor scanned a state’s Board of Election website for vulnerabilities” and, after identifying a security gap, exploited the vulnerability to conduct a “data exfiltration,” or unauthorized data transfer, the FBI said in a recent bulletin.

Earlier this month, hackers used the same vulnerability in an “attempted intrusion activities into another state’s Board of Election system,” the FBI said.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/fbi-chief-responds-concern-cyber-threats-us-election/story?id=41740869