A bulletin issued by the FBI Cyber Division discusses a spearphishing campaign targeting U.S. government agencies in June and July of 2015. The campaign utilized a Adobe Flash exploit CVE-2015-5119 that was discovered in the 400GB data archive from hacked Italian surveillance technology company Hacking Team that was released publicly earlier this month. The exploit was being sold as a product of Hacking Team and was listed in their product knowledge base. The bulletin notes that the Flash exploit was being used in phishing emails in June 2015 despite the fact that the Hacking Team data was only made public on July 5, 2015.
FBI Cyber Division Bulletin: Distributed Denial of Service Attack Bitcoin Extortion Campaigns Expanding
Recent FBI investigations and open source reporting reveal that extortion campaigns conducted via e-mails threatening Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks continue to expand targets from unregulated activities, such as illegal gaming activity, to now include legitimate business operations. The increase in scope has resulted in additional attacks with Bitcoin ransom amounts trending upwards as well.
In recent years, the growing number and sophistication of threats to the nation’s cyber infrastructure have motivated governors to consider adding or expanding cybersecurity capabilities within state fusion centers. Through fusion centers, states receive classified and unclassified information and intelligence from multiple sources across the nation and combine or “fuse” that information into “products” (for example, law enforcement notices and warnings) that help improve state and national readiness to respond to an attack or threat. Since their inception, fusion centers have become more sophisticated, uniform, and nationally networked. As they have matured and evolved, so have their missions. Originally designed to focus on terrorism, they now address a wider array of threats and hazards, including “accidents; technological events; natural disasters; warfare; and chemical, biological (including pandemic influenza), radiological, nuclear, or explosive events.”
The FBI has obtained information regarding cyber actors who have compromised and stolen sensitive business information and Personally Identifiable Information (PII). Information obtained from victims indicates that PII was a priority target. The FBI notes that stolen PII has been used in other instances to target or otherwise facilitate various malicious activities such as financial fraud though the FBI is not aware of such activity by these groups. Any activity related to these groups detected on a network should be considered an indication of a compromise requiring extensive mitigation and contact with law enforcement.
Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Department of the Treasury, Office of the Director of National Intelligence
Section 5 of Executive Order 13636 (Executive Order) requires the DHS Chief Privacy Officer and Officer for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties to assess the privacy and civil liberties impacts of the activities the Department of Homeland Security (DHS, or Department) undertakes pursuant to the Executive Order and to provide those assessments, together with recommendations for mitigating identified privacy risks, in an annual public report. In addition, the DHS Privacy Office and the Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL) are charged with coordinating and compiling the Privacy and Civil Liberties assessments conducted by Privacy and Civil Liberties officials from other Executive Branch departments and agencies with reporting responsibilities under the Executive Order.
(U//FOUO) Northern California Fusion Center Bulletin: Sabotage Against Electricity and Telecommunications Targets
This document identifies recommended actions and guidance for state and major urban area fusion centers (fusion centers) to integrate information technology, cybersecurity, and cybercrime1 prevention (cyber) intelligence and analytic capabilities. Development of these capabilities will inform local, state, and national detection, mitigation, response, recovery, investigation, and criminal prosecution activities that support and maintain the United States’ cybersecurity.
The FBI is providing the following information with HIGH confidence: The FBI has obtained information regarding one or more groups of cyber actors who have compromised and stolen sensitive business information from US commercial and government networks through cyber espionage. Analysis indicates a significant amount of the computer network exploitation activities emanated from infrastructure located within China. Any activity related to these groups detected on a network should be considered an indication of a compromise requiring extensive mitigation and contact with law enforcement.
The FBI and TSA are currently analyzing claims in recent media reports which included statements that critical in-flight networks on commercial aircraft may be vulnerable to remote intrusion. At this time, the FBI and TSA have no information to support these claims but continue to leverage public and private sector partnerships to evaluate potential threats posed by intrusions into a commercial aircraft’s secure networks. The FBI and TSA also continuously monitor and analyze reporting on cyber and technical threats to proactively deter individuals from using remote intrusions to disrupt any portion of the aviation sector, including its business networks, critical navigation and air traffic control signals, and the onboard networks of commercial aircraft.
Any Internet-connected organization can fall prey to a disruptive network intrusion or costly cyber attack. A quick, effective response to cyber incidents can prove critical to minimizing the resulting harm and expediting recovery. The best time to plan such a response is now, before an incident occurs.
In concert with other agencies, the United States’ Department of Defense (DoD) is responsible for defending the U.S. homeland and U.S. interests from attack, including attacks that may occur in cyberspace. In a manner consistent with U.S. and international law, the Department of Defense seeks to deter attacks and defend the United States against any adversary that seeks to harm U.S. national interests during times of peace, crisis, or conflict. To this end the Defense Department has developed capabilities for cyber operations and is integrating those capabilities into the full array of tools that the United States government uses to defend U.S. national interests, including diplomatic, informational, military, economic, financial, and law enforcement tools.
As of early March 2015, several extremist hacking groups indicated they would participate in a forthcoming operation, #OpIsrael, which will target Israeli and Jewish Web sites. The FBI assesses members of at least two extremist hacking groups are currently recruiting participants for the second anniversary of the operation, which started on 7 April 2013, and coincides with Holocaust Remembrance Day. These groups, typically located in the Middle East and North Africa, routinely conduct pro-extremist, anti-Israeli, and anti-Western cyber operations.
The world is evolving into an increasingly interconnected environment. The Army of 2020 will operate in a complex world where cloud-based computers receive data from tens of billions of devices. These computers will have the capacity to digest, correlate, contextualize, process and then present data back to humans in a way that assists our decision-making process. The Army is modernizing its network to prepare for the impending data-driven, cloud-based world, as depicted in Figure 1. While legacy networking architectures stored and protected data locally, cloud-based architectures will store and protect data in a centralized yet distributed repository that enables global access. The Army Network Campaign Plan outlines current efforts that posture the Army for success in a cloud-based world.
Social engineering is one of the most prolific and effective means of gaining access to secure systems and obtaining sensitive information, yet requires minimal technical knowledge. Attacks vary from bulk phishing emails with little sophistication through to highly targeted, multi-layered attacks which use a range of social engineering techniques. Social engineering works by manipulating normal human behavioural traits and as such there are only limited technical solutions to guard against it.
In accordance with CNSSP No. 22, “Information Assurance Risk Management Policy for National Security Systems” and the strategy established by the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative (CNCI), this Directive assigns responsibilities, and establishes the minimum criteria for the development and deployment of capabilities for the protection of National Security Systems (NSS), as defined in Reference d, from supply chain risk.
Cloud computing technology and services provide the Department of Defense (DoD) with the opportunity to deploy an Enterprise Cloud Environment aligned with Federal Department-wide Information Technology (IT) strategies and efficiency initiatives, including federal data center consolidation. Cloud computing enables the Department to consolidate infrastructure, leverage commodity IT functions, and eliminate functional redundancies while improving continuity of operations. The overall success of these initiatives depends upon well executed security requirements, defined and understood by both DoD Components and industry. Consistent implementation and operation of these requirements assures mission execution, provides sensitive data protection, increases mission effectiveness, and ultimately results in the outcomes and operational efficiencies the DoD seeks.
Malicious cyber actors have targeted US universities and colleges with typical cybercrime activities, such as spear phishing students and faculty with university-themed messages, creating fake university websites, and infecting computers with malicious software, likely in an attempt to gain access to student and faculty e-mail and bank accounts. We have no indication that cybercriminals target university systems and users more than any other cybercrime victims.
To facilitate efficiency and effectiveness on a global scale, massive amounts of data are stored and processed in systems comprised of hardware and software. Each digital transaction or interaction we make creates a digital footprint of our lives. Too often, we don’t take the time to assess not only the size of our digital footprint, but what risks are involved in some of the choices we make. Our data lives in our social media profiles, mobile devices, payment accounts, health records, and employer databases among other places. The loss or compromise of that data can result in an array of impacts from identity theft to financial penalties, fines, and even consumer loyalty and confidence. This results in both a shared risk and therefore shared responsibility for individuals, businesses, organizations and governments. The following product is intended to facilitate awareness of one’s digital footprint as well as offer suggestions for a unified approach to securing that data. This is not an all-encompassing product, but rather offers discussion points for all that hold a stake in the security of our data.
A group of cyber actors utilizing infrastructure located in Iran have been conducting computer network exploitation activity against public and private U.S. organizations, including Cleared Defense Contractors (CDCs), academic institutions, and energy sector companies. The actors typically utilize common computer intrusion techniques such as the use of TOR, open source reconnaissance, exploitation via SQL injection and web shells, and open source tools for further network penetration and persistence. Internet-facing infrastructures, such as web servers, are typical targets for this group. Once the actors penetrate a victim network, the actors exfiltrate network design information and legitimate user credentials for the victim network. Often times, the actors are able to harvest administrative user credentials and use the credentials to move laterally through a network.
DHS National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center: Suspicious “Invoic” Email Sent to Government Personnel
Destructive malware used by unknown computer network exploitation (CNE) operators has been identified. This malware has the capability to overwrite a victim host’s master boot record (MBR) and all data files. The overwriting of the data files will make it extremely difficult and costly, if not impossible, to recover the data using standard forensic methods. Analysis of this malware is presented to provide the computer network defense (CND) community with indicators of this malware.
As the magnitude and complexity of cyberspace increases, so too does the threat1 landscape. Cyber attacks have increased in both frequency and sophistication resulting in significant challenges to organizations that must defend their infrastructure from attacks by capable adversaries. These adversaries range from individual attackers to well-resourced groups operating as part of a criminal enterprise or on behalf of a nation-state. These adversaries are persistent, motivated, and agile; and employ a variety of tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) to compromise systems, disrupt services, commit financial fraud, expose sensitive information, and steal intellectual property. To enhance incident response actions and bolster cyber defenses, organizations must harness the collective wisdom of peer organizations through information sharing and coordinated incident response. This publication expands upon the guidance introduced in Section 4, Coordination and Information Sharing of NIST Special Publication (SP) 800-61, Computer Security Incident Handling Guide and explores information sharing, coordination, and collaboration as part of the incident response life cycle.
The FBI Cyber Division has issued a notification to private industry and law enforcement to be aware of the potential for retaliatory cyber attacks following recent U.S. military actions in the Middle East. While the FBI has “no information at this time to indicate specific cyber threats to US networks or infrastructure in response to ongoing US military air strikes against the terrorist group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)” the bulletin states that the FBI believes that “extremist hackers and hacktivist groups, including but not limited to those aligned with the ISIL ideology, will continue to threaten and may attempt offensive cyber actions against the United States in response to perceived or actual US military operations in Iraq or Syria.”
(U//FOUO) FBI Bulletin: Threat of Cyberterrorist and Hacktivist Activity in Response to U.S. Military Actions in the Middle East
The FBI has no information at this time to indicate specific cyber threats to US networks or infrastructure in response to ongoing US military air strikes against the terrorist group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Shams (ISIS) or the Islamic State (IS). However, the FBI assesses extremist hackers and hacktivist groups, including but not limited to those aligned with the ISIL ideology, will continue to threaten and may attempt offensive cyber actions against the United States in response to perceived or actual US military operations in Iraq or Syria. The FBI bases this assessment on recent, nonspecific, and probably aspirational threats made on social media platforms to carry out cyber as well as physical attacks in response to the US military presence in the Middle East.