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Botnet command server taken out in UK

Cyber Criminals from Eastern Europe has taken out a command and control server for a botnet that targeted banking customers mostly in UK. This was confirmed from UK Metropolitan Police. The server was used in running a Zeus 2.0 botnet of more than hundred thousands affected machines.

When and how was the crime reported?

This was reported last Wednesday, Aug 4th 2010 by the web security company ‘Trusteer’. The CEO of Trusteer, Mr.Boodaei said on Wednesday that Trusteer was currently tracking five or six different botnets. He also said that 98% of the compromised machines were located in the UK. Trusteer claimed that their research tem were able to gain access to the servers containing stolen information.

What is the action of the Metropolitan Police?

The Police Central eCrime Unit of the Metropolitan Police has opened an enquiry into the incident and is closely working with ‘Trusteer’ in the ongoing investigation. The Police Central eCrime Unit (PCeU) is aware of the potential threat of a large number of fraud identities which could be used in committing financial crimes. They are working closely with payment card industry group Apacs regarding this. IP addressed used supposedly by the criminals were handed over to the police by the Trusteer.

Are there any more potential threats?

Mickey Boodaei, The Chief Executive of ‘Trusteer’ issued in his statement that they are not denying the fact that there could be other botnet still operational other than the one taken down.

What are the relevant information the criminals got a hand on?

More than just the banking credentials, these people were tracking all the transactions by the users and were sending all these to a database which was also serving as a search engine. Their database would have all the details including banking details, credit card numbers and login id and passwords.This allows the criminals to make profiles of users to commit further crime. They will even be able to answer specific questions from the bank about a specific user with this information. They can also use the information available in facebook. They have even got a hold of the enterprise applications details with which they can get entry to specific companies. Since the botnet had fast-flux capabilities, the police is also looking at the possibility of data getting transferred to a similar but different server.

How was the crime tailored?

According to the CTO of Trusteer , Mr. Amit Klein, the original attack might have come in the form of e-mail attachments and downloads.

The malwares in the compromised websites were mainly used by these criminals to infect the machines with the Zeus 2.0. This is aTrojan variant. This uses technology to change signature each time when it is repacked making it easy to surpass antivirus software.

Mr. Boodaei confirmed that the database search facility used by these criminals were part of Zeus variant build kit. This allowed them to be able to view even encrypted communications through web browser. With the use of malware they were able to get the data without encryption.

The First Galileo Payload is Moving from the UK to Italy

The first payload that will be used for the Galileo satellite navigation system was shipped out from its factory in Portsmouth on Monday. This payload, which is known as Proto-flight Model 1, was sent out to Italy. This is where it will be prepared before being sent out into space.

The payload has been sent out to the Thales Alenia Space facility in Rome. This is where the entire payload is going to be tested and maintained prior to being sent out into space next year. The material will also be attached to a large spacecraft chassis that will work to handle the entire payload as it is in space.

This is an important piece of technology news simply because of what Proto-flight Model 1 is going to do for the Galileo project. It will work to transmit time and location information to people who use the system on the ground.

This model is one that is in a box that is 1.5 by 1.5 by 3 metres in size. It works with a series of important technology items that will help to get the Galileo project to work properly. These include such things as signal generators, antennas, signal amplifiers and atomic clocks. This will work to help with sending information to users of the system on where something is and when a person can get there.

The main function that this payload is going to have comes from how it will work for the In-Orbit Validation system of the Galileo project. In this part of the project four spacecraft will be moving in a set pattern above Europe. A series of Full Operational Capacity spacecraft will then be added as a series of satellites for the entire process. There will be fourteen of these FOC satellites in total.

This is one of the most valuable pieces of technology news to come around in Europe in recent time. The Galileo project will be used to help with making it so that a GPS type of system can be used exclusively for countries around the European Union. It will work for civilians and will be provided by a local source instead of from another country.

The location and time data that can be used for different types of receivers will be improved as well. The Galileo system will be one that is going to work with accurate readings that are down to the second and metre.

There are a few concerns about this technology though. The security unit for this payload has yet to be completely set up. This is a necessity in that the unit will be used to encrypt signals so that different agencies can use them alongside the public.

As of now the main target date for this payload to be sent out into space is in the early part of 2011. Proto-flight Model 1 should be shipped out along with another model on a Soyuz rocket at the early part of the year. At this point the Galileo system will be put in effect.

Locked horns google and peoples republic of China.

Google is fighting against Chinese censors to get its goal, the risks escalating, day after day, into a possible US-China showdown over cyber warfare. The situation is going to worsen.

China is the larger producer of most products all over the world, and now the unprecedented scale of Chinese attacks versus U.S.A. defence and commercial systems put the world quiet at risk. The attack begun on Gmail accounts of human rights activists, which is a fragile point of the Chinese government. China seemed determinate and ready for a full scale attack, which Google said had partly prompted its threat to leave China. Google is going to do a very big step, because the Chinese market is the largest in the world, but Google added that this problem was “probably insignificant”, if you compared it with the “theft” of source code and data from Google.

Probably 33 or 34 other leading technology companies are in danger at the moment, said a consultant briefed about the cyber attacks. What’s going on? The details coincided with claims that The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had tracked a lot of attacks during last year, we are talking about more than 90,000 Chinese-originated attacks against the Defence Department. It’s a huge amount of problems here and everybody has to be concerned about that. Saying it with flowers … a Chinese Google user leaves a bouquet at the net giant’s Beijing headquarters yesterday. Watching around the globe we can see how the biggest Australian mining companies are refusing to negotiate iron ore contracts on the China soil because of Chinese security agency intrusions, not a lot time ago, at Rio Tinto. That problem culminated in the arrest of one of the most important figure in that deal, the China executive, Stern Hu. However, China seems to think that it can do whatever it wants at the present moment, but is it really like that? Greg Walton is a security development fellow, he works at the Citizen Lab, University of Toronto, and he said that a series of intelligence leaks implied: ”there are a lot of problems at the moment, something big is going on, which is not being reported at the moment”. Which is the problem with these guys? Maybe China has now pulled ahead on offensive operations, because US intelligence is geared in a very different way.

At the eyes of China the 5 big, which are: US, UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand are doing something strange with their intelligence alliance and maybe China is not completely wrong. For example, one of the largest US company, hardly forbids employees from transporting communication equipment into Chinese soil, including laptops and smart phones. All this because of security concerns.

We have to think if China would do the same against us. The person in charge of this operation, a consultant who was briefed on the Gmail attacks seemed worried about this problem and he said that at least 34 companies, including many big firm like: Adobe, Symantec and Yahoo!, had been affected. Many big names are implicated in this big trouble, like another two companies: Northrop Grumman and Dow Chemical. What do you think is going on?

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