May 28, 2020

Authorities Prepare for Possible Cyber Attacks During Olympic Games

(LiveHacking.Com) – During the last Olympic Games it was estimated that China was subjected to approximately 12 million online attacks per day. In preparation for the upcoming 2012 games in the United Kingdom, the  Department of Homeland Security’s National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center has posted a report warning that criminals and ‘hacktivists’ could use the 2012 Olympics as platform for cyberattacks.

The report warns that scams and malware campaigns will grow in scale and complexity in the lead up to the 27 July opening ceremony in London with the supporting information systems including transport infrastructure and law enforcement communications seen as the prime targets. In response the Olympic organizers have already started running ‘technical rehearsals’ from their Technology Operations Center (TOC) situated on Canary Wharf. During the games over one hundred personnel will monitor the UK’s critical systems which includes over 900 servers, 1,000 network and security devices, and 9,500 computers.

Internet users are also warned that phishing attempts which imitate official Olympic correspondences have already begun circulating in the wild. The report notes that a spam message with a malicious attachment (Early Check-In 2012 Olympics.doc) has already been spotted. The document exploits a RTF Stack Buffer Overflow Vulnerability and installs additional malware on the victim’s computer.

“British law enforcement organizations have been collaborating with the U.S. Secret Service and other industry experts to understand attack vectors, detection methods and mitigation strategies to combat the threat. However, the cyber implications are more expansive than localized attacks against systems and encompass globally distributed Olympic-themed malware, spam campaigns and scams,” says the report.

It is antisipated that protestors could choose to launch denial of service (DOS) attacks during the games with the added complication that some of the 5,000 IT staff working during the games could launch insider attacks. The report also warns about potential information theft, again facilitated by an insider.


Disturbing Number of Cyber-attacks Aimed at UK

(LiveHacking.Com) – Iain Lobban, director of the UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) has reported that a “significant but unsuccessful” cyber-attack was made on the Foreign Office and other government departments this summer.

Originally writing in the UK newspaper The Times, the director of the government’s listening centre said that the “disturbing” number of cyber-attacks on the government, industry and private individuals was a threat to the “continued economic wellbeing” of the UK.

“I can attest to attempts to steal British ideas and designs – in the IT, technology, defence, engineering and energy sectors, as well as other industries – to gain commercial advantage or to profit from secret knowledge of contractual arrangements,” said Lobban. “Such intellectual property theft doesn’t just cost the companies concerned. It represents an attack on the UK’s continued economic wellbeing.”

Lobban’s article was published to coincide with the UK London Cyber Conference which starts today (Nov 1) in London. The conference is hosted by British Foreign Secretary William Hague and it was planned that Hilary Clinton would talk at the conference. However she has had to cancel as her mother has fallen ill. Mr Hague tweeted earlier today that:

Very sorry that #SecClinton won’t be able to attend #LondonCyber today. My best wishes to her and her family at this time

The cyber-attacks on the UK targeted sensitive data on government computers, along with defence, technology and engineering firms’ designs.

Lobban also added: “Criminals are using cyberspace to extort money and steal identities, as well as exploit the vulnerable. Increasingly sophisticated techniques target individuals. We are witnessing the development of a global criminal market place – a parallel black economy where cyber dollars are traded in exchange for UK citizens’ credit card details. Tackling cyber crime matters and it is a very real threat to our prosperity.”