In a year dominated by large-scale, high-profile security breaches, computer maker Apple has now found itself a target of hackers. The group Anonymous posted a document online that it claims contains a list of usernames and passwords for one of the company’s servers, although the group also sent out a message on Twitter saying it wasn’t being “so serious”-before adding that Apple could be its next target. “But don’t worry, we are busy elsewhere,” the tweet said.
In the wake of hacks by the group LulzSec and other hacker groups, including attacks on the CIA, the International Monetary Fund, a public network for the United States Senate and defense contractors, the government has been spurred into pushing cyber-security legislation through Congress.
If the Obama administration gets its way, the maximum prison sentence for those convicted of breaking into government computer networks or potentially endangering the country’s national security would become 20 years. The White House made the request in its cyber-security proposal in May. Recent attacks on government Websites have refocused attention on that part of the proposal, Reuters reported June 20.
The proposed penalties are also more relevant as cyber-prankster LulzSec and hacktivist collective Anonymous have announced a joint “Operation Anti-Security” venture in which they will attack government Websites and other big corporations, which apparently could include Apple. LulzSec claimed it will go after confidential documents in a move reminiscent of WikiLeaks.
“Trusted malware” is continuing to grow at an alarming rate, according to a new report that provides insight, background and analysis on the trends and developments in the global threat landscape by Internet and mobile security provider AVG Technologies. In the second quarter, AVG’s Threat Labs saw an increase in the number of stolen digital certificates used to sign malware, before being distributed by hackers. An increase of more than 300 percent was identified at the start of 2011, compared with the whole of 2010. The “Community Powered Threat Report-Q2 2011” noted that the practice of trusting signed files is rapidly losing its strength.
As Macs continue to rise in popularity, they are increasingly becoming victims of cyber-crime, the report revealed. With the platform reaching crucial market share levels, it is starting to appear on the radar of cyber-criminals. “While it may be a new target platform, cyber-criminals are using tried and tested social engineering techniques to attack Mac OS users,” the report said.
Panda Security’s latest quarterly malware report found smartphone malware dominated the security landscape during the first quarter of 2011. There was more activity in the first quarter of 2011 than there was in the last quarter of 2010, reported Panda Security’s anti-malware laboratory. The report, which analyzed IT security events from Jan. 1 to March 31, highlighted several major security incidents, including the malicious apps that were found on the Android Market and the successful attack against HBGary Federal by the Anonymous hacktivist group.
The surge in malware activity in the first three months of 2011 was driven mainly by new threats in circulation, PandaLabs researchers found. Cyber-attackers created 26 percent more new threats in this quarter than they did during the first quarter of 2010, and 16 percent more than the fourth quarter of 2010. The laboratory received an average of 73,190 new samples of malware every day, of which 70 percent were Trojans.