(Greek: κρυπτεία / krupteía, from κρυπτός / kruptós, “hidden, secret things”)

Archive for April 7th, 2010

Let’s File This Under: No Shit Sherlock

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Internet-based attempts to steal U.S. military technology via defense contractors are on the rise, according to an annual Department of Defense analysis of data supplied by the defense industry.

Not only are network probes and intrusions on the increase, the Department of Defense said in the report, which it released late last month, but so are “bold and overt” requests for information made via e-mail and even social networks.

Information systems are the most-heavily targeted of military technologies, according to the report, closely followed by aeronautics. Efforts to get details on unmanned aerial vehicle technology are becoming so widespread that the report broke out a separate section about UAVs, finding that, there, too, foreign elements are looking for information on UAV IT systems.

Full Article HERE:

Yet again, this is not news per se.. This has been going on for some time at the defense contractors as well as other places of business. The Chinese are very adept at this.. Well sometimes not so “adpet” as much as persistent. Often they will send people on “knowledge exchanges” to get data from companies by simply asking for it nicely.

Often that is all it takes much to the chagrin of the companies that have been thieved from by such exploits. The new twist though has been the use of the social networking angle. Of course the APT is agile enough to figure out that this is a great way to socially engineer what they want from some shmuck online. Whats more, many of these companies may in fact NOT have any rules on their employees use of social media at the office, never mind any guidance of what not to publish personally about work.

Know what it’s gonna take to prevent this stuff?

Education of users!


Many are loathe to hear such things… But, that’s the key kids. I was thinking about it this morning as I listened to NPR’s second installment on cyberwar. Many of the problems we face today in the private sector where cyberwar is concerned  stem from user issues as well as uneducated management. The combination of the two can be a potent recipe for major PWN.

When management doesn’t get security, and does not teach or mandate security principles for the EU’s, then you have a complete FAIL on security measures. So much so that in some cases I have been party to, servers are placed into environments un-patched and effectively pre-pwn3d by lack of due diligence and due care to secure them.

Suffice to say that in some cases these low end social engineering attacks are the least of their worries… But they trundle on developing more insecure homegrown apps and buying every COTS package that promises to secure the shit out of them but in reality does little to protect them. Without education of the users and management, you have a null sum game.

Anyway, back to the Chinese… Yes, they have been calling/emailing/Friend-ing for a while now to use the OSINT/Social Engineering/ Pretexting exploits that work ever so well on an innocently slumbering nation.

It’s not new. It’s just the news du jour… How about some education huh?