Bits and Bytes

Bits and Bytes

By Paul Rosenzweig
Sunday, January 18, 2015, 10:27 AM

Hackers for Hire.  Hacker's List is the new Uber for hacker hiring. "A man in Sweden says he will pay up to $2,000 to anyone who can break into his landlord’s website. A woman in California says she will pay $500 for someone to hack into her boyfriend’s Facebook and Gmail accounts to see if he is cheating on her."

Zombie Cookies.  The cyber treat that keeps on giving.  Super cookies called Unique Identifier Headers that are almost impossible to expunge.  Wipe them with a cookie cleaner and they re-propogate.

Second Confirmed Physical Cyber Attack.  This one is actually a pretty big deal. "In a German report released just before Christmas (.pdf), that hackers had struck an unnamed steel mill in Germany. They did so by manipulating and disrupting control systems to such a degree that a blast furnace could not be properly shut down, resulting in “massive”—though unspecified—damage.  This is only the second confirmed case in which a wholly digital attack caused physical destruction of equipment. The first case, of course, was Stuxnet, the sophisticated digital weapon the U.S. and Israel launched against control systems in Iran in late 2007 or early 2008 to sabotage centrifuges at a uranium enrichment plant. That attack was discovered in 2010, and since then experts have warned that it was only a matter of time before other destructive attacks would occur. Industrial control systems have been found to be rife with vulnerabilities, though they manage critical systems in the electric grid, in water treatment plants and chemical facilities and even in hospitals and financial networks. A destructive attack on systems like these could cause even more harm than at a steel plant."