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Exclusive: FBI seizes control of Russian botnet • Daily Beast
Kevin Poulsen:
<p>FBI agents armed with a court order have seized control of a key server in the Kremlin’s global botnet of 500,000 hacked routers, The Daily Beast has learned. The move positions the bureau to build a comprehensive list of victims of the attack, and short-circuits Moscow’s ability to reinfect its targets.

The FBI counter-operation goes after  “VPN Filter,” a piece of sophisticated malware linked to the same Russian hacking group, known as Fancy Bear, that breached the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign during the 2016 election. On Wednesday security researchers at Cisco and Symantec separately provided new details on the malware, which has turned up in 54 countries including the United States.

VPN Filter uses known vulnerabilities to infect home office routers made by Linksys, MikroTik, NETGEAR, and TP-Link. Once in place, the malware reports back to a command-and-control infrastructure that can install purpose-built plug-ins, according to the researchers. One plug-in lets the hackers eavesdrop on the victim’s Internet traffic to steal website credentials; another targets a protocol used in industrial control networks, such as those in the electric grid. A third lets the attacker cripple any or all of the infected devices at will.

The FBI has been investigating the botnet since at least August, according to court records, when agents in Pittsburgh interviewed a local resident whose home router had been infected with the Russian malware. “She voluntarily relinquished her router to the agents,” wrote FBI agent Michael McKeown, in an affidavit filed in federal court. “In addition, the victim allowed the FBI to utilize a network tap on her home network that allowed the FBI to observe the network traffic leaving the home router.”</p>


That was quick.
cyberwar  russia  fbi  botnet 
29 days ago by charlesarthur
FBI siezes Russian botnet
Report that Fancy Bear's botnet of compromised consumer routers has been taken over by the US
cyberwarfare  cyberwar  badtech  russia  politics  fbi  botnet 
29 days ago by nelson
White House eliminates top cyber adviser post • POLITICO
Eric Geller:
<p>The Trump administration has eliminated the White House’s top cyber policy role, jettisoning a key position created during the Obama presidency to harmonize the government's overall approach to cybersecurity policy and digital warfare.

POLITICO first reported last week that John Bolton, President Donald Trump's new national security adviser, was maneuvering to cut the cyber coordinator role, in a move that many experts and former government officials criticized as a major step backward for federal cybersecurity policy.

According to an email sent to National Security Council staffers Tuesday, the decision is part of an effort to “streamline authority” for the senior directors who lead most NSC teams. “The role of cyber coordinator will end,” Christine Samuelian, an aide to Bolton, wrote in the email to NSC employees, which POLITICO obtained from a former U.S. official.

The NSC’s cyber team has two senior directors, Samuelian wrote, and thus “cyber coordination is already a core capability.”

…“I don’t see how getting rid of the top cyber official in the White House does anything to make our country safer from cyber threats,” Senate Intelligence ranking member Mark Warner (D-Va.) tweeted Tuesday.</p>


If they're not being listened to (and can you believe they were?) it probably doesn't make any difference if they're there or not.
trump  cyberwar 
5 weeks ago by charlesarthur
These Ex-Spies Are Harvesting Facebook Photos For A Massive Facial Recognition Database
Thought Cambridge Analytica was creepy? This Israeli surveillance juggernaut is sitting on a massive database of faces taken from Facebook and YouTube, all feeding facial recognition tech for national governments.
socialnetwork  surveillance  deception  business  politics  algorithm  diversity  espionage  cyberwar 
9 weeks ago by basemaly
The United States is preparing for the wrong war - The Washington Post
Generals are often accused of fighting the last war. Actually, they are more likely to prepare for a future war that never arrives while neglecting a current conflict.
foreignpolicy  cyberwar  Election2016  HybridWarfare  dod  donaldtrump  russia  strategy  military  wapo  COIN  MaxBoot 
11 weeks ago by Kirk510620
Russia vs US power plants
Cyberattacks already carried out, ready to sabotage
russia  cyberwar  trump  politics  power  infrastructure  badtech 
march 2018 by nelson

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