Hackers booby-trap foreign policy group websites

Internet security researchers warned that foreign policy and human rights websites are being booby-trapped by hackers in what appears to be cyber espionage.

As of Monday websites for Amnesty International Hong Kong, the Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the US Center for Defense Information (CDI) remained rigged to slip "hostile" code onto visitors' computers, according to Shadowserver Foundation devoted to tracking and reporting Internet threats.

"These attackers are not spreading malware through strategically compromised websites to make friends," Shadowserver researchers Steven Adair and Ned Moran warned in a blog post.

"They are aiming to expand their access and steal data."

Data typically sought included messages, intellectual property, research, and business intelligence such as contracts and negotiations, according to security specialists.

"The CDI website is currently serving up a malicious Flash exploit that ties back to attackers known to engage in cyber espionage," the researchers said.

"This threat group appears to be interested in targets with a tie to foreign policy and defense activities."

In recent weeks, Shadowserver has seen an array of "strategic Web compromises" taking advantage of flaws in Oracle Java and Adobe Flash programs.

The tactic is referred to as a "drive-by" attack by computer security specialists because people's computers are secretly infected simply by visiting a reputable website unaware that it has been booby-trapped by hackers.

A website for the International Institute of Counter-Terrorism at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, Israel, was listed among those compromised by hackers.

Shadowserver said that it began looking into the hacks after researchers at Websense reported last week that the main page of Amnesty International United Kingdom had been rigged with drive-by malware.

There are indications that a website for the American Research Center in Egypt was briefly compromised last week in a manner similar to the CDI page hack, according to Shadowserver.

Earlier this month the Centre for European Policy Studies website at ceps.eu was similarly compromised, according to the volunteer-based Internet security group.

Shadowserver referred to the hacks as "advance persistent threats," a term used in the industry to refer to cyber espionage by groups such as governments.

"Many of these attackers are quite skilled at moving laterally within an organization and will take advantage of any entry point they have into a network," the researchers said.

"Cyber espionage attacks are not a fabricated issue and are not going away any time soon."

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • ‘Taklub’ wins jury prize in Cannes
    ‘Taklub’ wins jury prize in Cannes

    The Yolanda-inspired film “Taklub” has won a special award at the Cannes Film Festival in France. The advocacy film, which had a successful premiere last Tuesday under the festival’s Un Certain Regard section, is directed by 2009 Cannes best director Brillante Mendoza and top-billed by Nora Aunor. The award cited the film’s sensitive portrayal of individuals and communities in the Philippines fighting to continue living despite natural disasters exposing them to suffering and death. …

  • Orphan tops chemical engineering board exam
    Orphan tops chemical engineering board exam

    A 21-year-old orphan from Capiz topped the chemical engineering board examinations held this month. Remington Salaya, a cum laude graduate of the Central Philippine University in Iloilo, ranked first in the board examinations with a score of 83.30 percent. Out of 405 chemical engineering graduates who took the exam in mid-May, 239 passed. …

  • A sunset party for APEC delegates
    A sunset party for APEC delegates

    Greeted by the beat of Ati-atihan drummers, delegates of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation trade ministers meeting enjoyed a welcome dinner and cultural presentation at sunset yesterday. Dubbed FuntaSea, Shangri-La Boracay Resort and Spa’s Banyugan Beach was transformed into a fantasy island, complete with mermaids, fire dancers, and choreographed paraws (sailboat) representing the best of Boracay. With APEC meetings being held all over the Philippines, each presentation is conceptualized …

  • UN chief urges peaceful solution of sea dispute
    UN chief urges peaceful solution of sea dispute

    United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called Friday for a peaceful solution to territorial disputes in the South China Sea, where China’s increased assertiveness has alarmed its smaller neighbors. In Manila, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. appealed to China to respect various international agreements on freedom of navigation and aviation. Coloma’s call came in the wake of an incident Wednesday where Chinese naval forces warned a US …

  • Phl seeks transparency, inclusivity in Asean-China Center
    Phl seeks transparency, inclusivity in Asean-China Center

    Philippine Ambassador to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Elizabeth Buensuceso has called on participants of the ASEAN-China Center (ACC) brainstorming session to vigorously work on promoting ASEAN-China relations under the principles of inclusivity, transparency and centrality. The brainstorming session, attended by the ACC’s joint council and joint executive board members, also involved a midterm review of ACC’s work since its establishment in 2011. The ACC aims to promote …

  • Lebanon tightens rules on HSW repatriation
    Lebanon tightens rules on HSW repatriation

    Distressed Filipino domestic helpers in Lebanon may find it more difficult to return home. The government of Lebanon has tightened the rules on repatriation of distressed household service workers (HSWs), Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz reported yesterday. Citing a report from the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO), Baldoz said the Lebanese government opted to re-impose a previous policy requiring investigation into every case of HSWs who ran away from their employers and sought …

  • Army execs face attrition over promotion quota
    Army execs face attrition over promotion quota

    Dozens of Philippine Army officials may be removed from the service due to a promotion quota system in the Armed Forces of the Philippines, according to AFP chief Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang. In a letter to Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, he requested that the 30 percent promotion quota – which means that only 30 percent of those eligible for promotion in a given year will actually be promoted – in the Army be raised to 50 percent. Under the military’s attrition law, middle-grade officers …

  • Philippines backs support for small enterprises at APEC meet

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippines' top trade official on Saturday called for support for the integration of micro, small and medium enterprises in global trade, which he said would help reduce poverty and inequality in the Asia-Pacific region. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options