Attacks/Breaches
4/15/2011
02:27 PM
50%
50%

Federal Reserve Bank Hacker Pleads Guilty

Malysian citizen Lin Mun Poo admits to installing malware on a Federal Reserve Bank server.

10 Massive Security Breaches
(click image for larger view)
Slideshow: 10 Massive Security Breaches
Malaysian citizen and resident Lin Mun Poo, 32, has pleaded guilty to possessing stolen credit and debit card numbers, federal authorities announced Wednesday. He faces a maximum sentence of 10 years' imprisonment.

"Sophisticated cyber criminals exploit systemic vulnerabilities to steal money and information and to destroy, disrupt, or threaten critical services to companies and individuals," said agent Brian G. Parr, the head of the Secret Secret's New York field office. "We continue to adapt to these evolving trends and will remain proactive in pursuing cyber criminals."

Court filings made by the government allege that Poo was a serial hacker who had already compromised servers "belonging to financial institutions, defense contractors, and major corporations, among others, and selling or trading the information contained therein for exploitation by others." According to a statement released by the Department of Justice, "the defendant also admitted that he compromised a computer server belonging to the Federal Reserve Bank, and that he installed a malicious code onto that server."

A federal grand jury had returned an indictment in November 2010 charging Poo with device fraud, identity theft, and hacking, in part based on his possession of 400,000 credit card and bank account details.

Poo was arrested after arriving to the United States on a working vacation. According to court documents, "within hours of his arrival at JFK on October 21, 2010, U.S. Secret Service agents observed the defendant selling stolen credit card numbers for $1,000 at a diner in Brooklyn and arrested him shortly thereafter."

At that point, Secret Service agents seized his "heavily encrypted laptop" and evidently managed to crack it, since the charges against Poo allege that his laptop "contained massive quantity of stolen financial account data and personal identifying information, including more than 400,000 credit card, debit card, and bank account numbers."

After his arrest, said authorities, Poo admitted to visiting the country to procure stolen card numbers and PINs, which he planned to convert into cash via ATM withdrawals. Authorities also said that he admitted to compromising servers at numerous organizations, including the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, via an unspecified vulnerability in its servers. Bank officials said that their network had been hacked around June 2010, resulting in "thousands of dollars" of damage and affecting "10 or more" of their systems. But bank officials said that the attack had only compromised a test environment that didn't contain any sensitive information.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading Tech Digest, Dec. 19, 2014
Software-defined networking can be a net plus for security. The key: Work with the network team to implement gradually, test as you go, and take the opportunity to overhaul your security strategy.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2013-4440
Published: 2014-12-19
Password Generator (aka Pwgen) before 2.07 generates weak non-tty passwords, which makes it easier for context-dependent attackers to guess the password via a brute-force attack.

CVE-2013-4442
Published: 2014-12-19
Password Generator (aka Pwgen) before 2.07 uses weak pseudo generated numbers when /dev/urandom is unavailable, which makes it easier for context-dependent attackers to guess the numbers.

CVE-2014-2026
Published: 2014-12-19
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in the search functionality in United Planet Intrexx Professional before 5.2 Online Update 0905 and 6.x before 6.0 Online Update 10 allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via the request parameter.

CVE-2014-2716
Published: 2014-12-19
Ekahau B4 staff badge tag 5.7 with firmware 1.4.52, Real-Time Location System (RTLS) Controller 6.0.5-FINAL, and Activator 3 reuses the RC4 cipher stream, which makes it easier for remote attackers to obtain plaintext messages via an XOR operation on two ciphertexts.

CVE-2014-6395
Published: 2014-12-19
Heap-based buffer overflow in the dissector_postgresql function in dissectors/ec_postgresql.c in Ettercap before 8.1 allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service or possibly execute arbitrary code via a crafted password length value that is inconsistent with the actual length of the password...

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Join us Wednesday, Dec. 17 at 1 p.m. Eastern Time to hear what employers are really looking for in a chief information security officer -- it may not be what you think.