LulzSec – the rockband of hacker groups – had three of their six members sentenced today in London.
LulzSec made headlines during their "50 days of Lulz" in May-June 2011, during which they attacked Fox, PBS, Sony, Nintendo, Sega, Minecraft, Infragard, NHS, US Senate, SOCA and CIA. They also recorded and published a conference call between US and European law enforcement officials, discussing police tactics against LulzSec.
LulzSec was different from most other attackers, as they weren't doing their attacks to make money or to protest. They did it for Teh Lulz. Also, they had no sense of self-preservation, which led to taking them down.
The Oslo Freedom Forum is an annual event "exploring how best to challenge authoritarianism and promote free and open societies." This year's conference (which took place May 13-15) had a workshop for freedom of speech activists on how to secure their devices against government monitoring. During the workshop, Jacob Appelbaum actually discovered a new and previously unknown backdoor on an African activist's Mac.
Our Mac analyst (Brod) is currently investigating the sample.
That's the problem with "social" usernames — they're meant to be known.
Another problem, Twitter appears to validate e-mail addresses:
Looks like nobody's home at firstname.lastname@example.org:
Twitter's settings include an option to require "personal" infomation such as an e-mail or phone number:
But that's less than useless if Twitter won't actually let you add your number:
And just how "personal" is a phone number anyway?
But Twitter should first stop validating e-mail addresses.
And then maybe it could add an option to disallow logins via the publicly known username.
Edited to add: On second thought…
How about this?
Twitter should stop validating e-mailing addresses in its password reset form.
And then, discriminate between using e-mail and username. If an account is accessed with the username — don't provide access to the account settings! The e-mail address (alias) could then be used only by account "adminstrators".
Example: regular @AP staff could login with "AP" — no settings for them! They could Tweet, but would be restricted from making changes to the account. But the @AP "admin", some guy in the IT department, that person could login using the "secret" e-mail address and would be able to change account settings (and lockdown the account in case of a breach).
Discriminating between e-mail and username — a way to distinguish between "admins" and "users".
Malaysia's 2013 general elections are scheduled for Sunday, May 5, 2013. Political news coverage is currently inundating all news outlets, including social networking sites, as the country's political parties go into high gear in the final run-up to polling day.
The huge media interest creates an opportunity for malware writers to gain new victims using established social engineering techniques — and sure enough, this week Citizen Lab released a report indicating that a sample of the sophisticated FinFisher (a.k.a. FinSpy) surveillance malware was discovered in a document crafted specifically for this event.
The malware was distributed in a booby-trapped Malay-language Microsoft Word document named "SENARAI CADANGAN CALON PRU KE-13 MENGIKUT NEGERI.doc" (In English: "List of proposed candidates for 13th General Elections according to states").
The report speculates that the attack document is targeting Malaysians looking for more information related to one of the most closely contested elections in the country's history. F-Secure detects the document in question as Trojan:W32/FinSpy.D.
Finfisher is produced by an European company called the Gamma Group. As we mentioned in a previous post, the company was present at the ISS World 2011 gathering hosted in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The ISS event serves as a trade fair for surveillance software (attendance is by "invitation" or if you are a "telco service provider, government employees or law enforcement officer").
Additionally, there have been reports alleging that multiple news and social media sites, including YouTube, Facebook, and Malaysiakini (a popular Malaysian online news site) have been subjected to various forms of disruption, including defacements, denial of service attacks, and filtering.
F-Secure Labs is observing the situation. We saw a rise in malware detections during April 2013 in Malaysia. However, we don't really know if the increase was due to election-related activity or something else.