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Monthly Archives: October 2015

Cybersecurity lapses leave government agencies vulnerable to hackers

Cybersecurity lapses leave government agencies vulnerable to hackers 

There has been a gradual rise in the government computer breaches since 2013. Though many breaches have been widely reported, there seems to be less involvement in providing security to fight against these mass level of breaches. China, Russia and Iran are found to be the cyberattacking countries in the world.

There has been a widespread of vulnerabilities taking control over the State Department to the Transportation Department. Reports reviewed from the Washington Times show reveals that the vulnerabilities have surpassed the security measures that has already been provided.

Cybersecurity experts have also unveiled the truth that the US Government is not secure enough to provide security when compared to the private industries to combat against cyberwarfare. The common blind trust that individuals and companies have over the government security that it's security is any day better than the private companies and hence the hype, has made the scenario even more worse.

Researchers have reported breaches at federal agencies of around 23 different public computers. This is found to be a rough estimate, the actual number can be high, with suspected breaches that are not disclosed properly. The former cybersecurity expert of FBI, Shawn Henry said that this is a huge attack on the US Research and Development has brought an awareness to fight against the cybersecurity threats. 

One big loop hole found by the hackers is that they leave the stolen data for the other hacker to steal it and utilize it. There is a chance of at least one of the instances getting vulnerable resulting in a huge amount of data breach. Some of the information like student's school records with information like bus route data, prosecution and arrest information, and also information relating to the numbers and names of the Intelligence agents who are planning to visit the major American port were found to be uncovered by two fellow ethical hackers, Seely and Ben Caudill who work for Rhino Security Labs. Most of the ethical hackers follow their computer techniques that identifies vulnerabilities in applications and other networks. Seely also confirmed when the Google maps were hacked which permitted him to overhear the telephonic conversation of Secret Service and FBI.

Caudill declared a clear statement that they collect data from the companies and privately reveal it to the law enforcement team and they also equip themselves to intercede on the issue again. It was with the help of them along with Dana Taylor, a lead researcher with Rhino Security Labs, Oracle discovered a huge security flaw and fixed it in the right time, if ignored it would have been highly vulnerable to any customer.

The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services is also found vulnerable. The Department had recorded list about parents and their children, it also recorded the living environment of each child. The vulnerability is making a series of knocking sounds and its a bit complicated. All the information including Social Security Numbers, case notes, date of birth, medical and court information from around than 600,000 cases that involved close to 1 million people got exposed.

 They have shut down the database and found that around 30 individuals have been attacked by the data breach. The department has taken in-charge to notify the compromised individuals offering credit monitoring and identity restoration services.

Both Seely and Caudill, are putting efforts to work with FBI to alert all the vulnerable organizations to fix the patch on their security systems. They have also found that even the secretive organizations are high at risk.
All the agencies are trusting each other and presumes that each of them are highly secure, the fact is that none of them are secure, it is just the blind faith and trust that each organization has on the other. Even Government organization do not follow the correct standards to meet the security requirements. Hence there is always an high amount of risk involved in blowing down the details of organizations baring a huge amount of data loss. 

CNN is yet to fix the security holes of a court system that is located in the major Midwestern city that is high at risk with dockets, Social Security numbers, DUI arrests, convictions and many more. It is also lagging behind in fixing the loop holes that are found in Big Ten school which houses student's loan and accounting information.

Internet Security

The Government has to seriously look into the security options it is dealing with and it is high time for it to replace with a better security option. Comodo Internet Security suite gives the best security option available to tighten the security of any organization. Wikileaks, a journalistic organization has published a report recently that even the most exotic government surveillance software could not penetrate Comodo Internet Security Suite.

 
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Posted by on October 26, 2015 in Internet Security

 

NSA, GCHQ Infiltrated Antiviruses to Snoop on Public

Recent leaks based on Snowden’s testimony reveal that government agencies targetted antivirus softwares and spied on company emails to collect consumer data.

Law-abiding citizens all over the world, especially in UK and the USA, have more reasons to be worried about. For one, their ongoing struggle with spyware and malware creeping into their personal computers is a long-standing ordeal.

And although there are antivirus softwares for consumers to combat this problem, it’s here to stay. Not because the antivirus and firewall manufacturers or their products are incompetent; infact they are only getting better. The problem lies with the governments, particularly of these two countries, who are employing their intelligence agencies to intercept antiviruses so that they can sneak into their citizens’ personal space.

This further ascertains the popular public speculation that intelligence bureaus like the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) and the National Security Agency (NSA), belonging to UK and the USA respectively, are hell bent on snooping on their citizens.

The issue is making headlines based on a recent report published in The Intercept, an online magazine dedicated to the cause of reporting, among other things, “documents previously provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.”

Web portals like TechCrunch and Gizmodo have reported that Russia-based Kaspersky Lab is one of the cybersecurity companies targeted by the agencies. Reportedly, the agencies used what is termed Software Reverse Engineering (SRE) to understand the software build and find loopholes for them to sneak inside the users’ computers.

Not only did the NSA and GCHQ try to invade the antivirus programs, the agencies even tried (maybe succeeded) to infiltrate the emails of officials in such companies to discover any possible flaws in the softwares. As an example of how capable these agencies were in snooping the public, the recent leak testifies that the GCHQ collected information on as many as “100 million malware events every day.”

The world would be a better place if only the Big Brother and its henchmen redirect their focus on the deserving enemies instead of spying on their citizens. 

Author Bio:

Manish is a former journalist who works as a blog consultant for Comodo. He completed his Master’s in Corporate Communications in 2011 from Lindenwood University in Saint Charles. As a tech blogger, Manish has a penchant for writing about the latest trends in the InfoSec industry. You can find him on LinkedIn (https://in.linkedin.com/in/manishnepal).

 
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Posted by on October 16, 2015 in Antivirus

 

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