Cyber Beat Blog

Emerging threat: CryptoWall

Crypto

CryptoWall is a digital ransomware that encrypts files on the infected machine and any connected file shares or drives. CryptoWall is distributed through phishing emails, malicious advertisements, compromised web sites, and as fake updates for applications such as Adobe Reader, Adobe Flash, and Java. In June 2014, this malware spread through the RIG exploit kit. Malicious actors use compromised websites to host the RIG exploit kit, which then exploits vulnerabilities in Java, Silverlight, and Flash to deliver the CryptoWall payload to the victim.

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Emerging Threat: Telephone Denial of Service (TDoS)

ddos

TDoS attacks overload the telephone network, preventing legitimate telephone calls from being placed or received. Attacks against SLTT emergency lines, primarily at public safety answering points (PSAP) such as 9-1-1 centers, but also including utility department emergency numbers and other emergency numbers, remain a continuing threat. There is a relatively low risk of TDOSes occurring, however an attack against a PSAP could endanger emergency responders and citizens if the TDOS prevents them from contacting the PSAP.

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Emerging Threats: Point of sale (POS)

pos

POS compromises are increasingly common in the commercial sector but remain rare in the government sector. The POS is the location where money transfers from the buyer to the seller at a retail store. Compromises can include physical tampering with pinpads or cash registers, complicit employees, or computer viruses. The compromise may affect the cash register or the computer that processes the credit card payments, and may target debit cards and pin numbers or credit card information.

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Emerging Threat: Doxing

dox

“Doxing” is the publication of personally identifiable information (PII) of someone to the internet, generally for malicious purposes. The kinds of information disclosed may include the victim’s home addresses, family members’ information, and financial information.

Hacktivist groups dox government officials in response to perceived injustices with the objective of embarrassing the victim, or providing the information so others may target the victim for malicious activity. In some cases, organized cyber criminal groups and criminals may take advantage of information released during doxing incidents but are not known to conduct the activity themselves.

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Emerging Threat: Internet of Things (IoT)

iot

IoT refers to internet-enabled electronic devices which are not computers, smartphones, or tablets. These may include lightbulbs, refrigerators, coffee makers, and toys, and are internet-enabled to facilitate ease of use for owners. For instance, with a light bulb connected to the internet, it is possible for the owner to use a smartphone application to remotely turn it off and to monitor its power usage. Unfortunately, these devices frequently do not contain security components, so it may be possible for a remote attacker to use such a device to start a fire (e.g.

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Challenges with Big (Data) Storage During Forensic Investigations

Big Data

By Detective Michael Yu, Electronic Crimes Unit Montgomery County Police Department

I have been a digital forensic examiner for several years and have found this work to be very rewarding, yet challenging. The constant innovations in this field present unique issues for us as practitioners. Rather than focus on theoretical issues, below I discuss the issue of challenges with big data storage.

Just a few years ago, it was common for most computers to contain a small 120GB to 500GB hard drive.

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Solid State Drives (SSD): Issues and Challenges

Lock

By Detective Michael Yu, Electronic Crimes Unit Montgomery County Police Department

I have been a digital forensic examiner for several years and have found this work to be very rewarding, yet challenging. The constant innovations in this field present unique issues for us as practitioners. Rather than focus on theoretical issues, below I discuss the issue solid state drives.

Solid state drives are hard drives which have no moving components.

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