Monday, 24 January 2011

Update, and interesting internet things

Apologies all for a few days of downtime. Lots on at the moment, both work and personal. This week is likely to be equally disrupted as its my birthday, and I've got an ungodly amount of travel to do. However I will be trying to check in with interesting things I find around the internet.

First up is this crazy article about an online shop for admin rights to a series of US Government and Military websites:

Amid all of the media and public fascination with threats like Stuxnet and weighty terms such as “cyberwar,” it’s easy to overlook the more humdrum and persistent security threats, such as Web site vulnerabilities. But none of these distractions should excuse U.S. military leaders from making sure their Web sites aren’t trivially hackable by script kiddies.

Security vendor Imperva today blogged about a hacker who claims to have access to and control over several top dot-gov, dot-mil and dot-edu Web sites. I’ve seen some of the back-end evidence of his hacks, so it doesn’t seem like he’s making this up. Perhaps out of deference to the federal government, the Imperva folks blocked out the best part of that screen shot — the actual names of the Web site domains that this hacker is selling. For example, the hacker is advertising full control and root access to, a site whose stated purpose is “to develop, acquire, provide and sustain world-class…systems and Battle Command capabilities for the joint warfighter.” It can be yours, for just $499 (sorry, no credit cards accepted; only the virtual currency Liberty Reserve).

Scary stuff, and proof that for all the froth around cyber-(insert scary word here), the reality is that the military and Government are flailing wildly in an environment they don't understand and can't control.


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