Risk
12/28/2011
12:39 PM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Aggressive Phishing Attack Targets Military Personnel

Emails containing malware, which appear to come from senior officers or legit companies, have been sent to military personnel during the holiday season.

NASA's Next Mission: Deep Space
NASA's Next Mission: Deep Space
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
The U.S. military received an unwanted present this Christmas holiday season in the form of an "aggressive" phishing attack that's been making the rounds of .mil email accounts, according to the Army.

There are several attacks making the rounds, the most notable coming in the form of an email with the subject line "Deposit Posted" that appears to be from USAA, a financial services company that services members of the military as well as their families and veterans, according to an article on the U.S. Army's website.

The email asks people to open a file infected by Zeus malware that can access people's personal information and even require a complete reinstall of a computer's operating system.

[ The feds are dealing with a lot of technology challenges. Read 5 Lessons From Federal IT Project Reviews. ]

Other attacks have targeted U.S. military installations and defense facilities with emails that appear to come from senior officers or military authority figures. Those emails also request that the recipient download and install software that's depicted as a "critical security measure that must be immediately deployed," according to the Army. But rather than providing security, the software instead is either a Trojan Horse that can destroy systems and networks or data-mining software that can provide hackers with unauthorized access to information behind the firewall.

Phishing is usually an unsolicited email that appears to be coming from a legitimate institution--such as a bank or other financial company--that asks a recipient to give up personal information or download software. The military is asking its members to be cautious when opening any unsolicited email requests to download software or access secure information.

Phishing has consistently been one of the biggest security threats to the U.S. government for a number of years, although the number of actual incidents have been slacking off while other types of attacks have been on the rise, according to the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT), which keeps track of U.S. cybersecurity incidents.

Still, the feds should remain wary of these types of attacks, which can wreak havoc if people fall for them. The Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory shut down email and Internet access for more than a week in April after a sophisticated phishing attack that was sent to about 570 email accounts.

How 10 federal agencies are tapping the power of cloud computing--without compromising security. Also in the new, all-digital InformationWeek Government supplement: To judge the success of the OMB's IT reform efforts, we need concrete numbers on cost savings and returns. Download our Cloud In Action issue of InformationWeek Government now. (Free registration required.)

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Henry Hertz Hobbit
50%
50%
Henry Hertz Hobbit,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/31/2011 | 9:54:38 AM
re: Aggressive Phishing Attack Targets Military Personnel
If they are using POP / IMAP email isntead of web mail, why don't they shift to using Thunderbird? The phish stand out like a sore thumb.
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading, September 16, 2014
Malicious software is morphing to be more targeted, stealthy, and destructive. Are you prepared to stop it?
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-0993
Published: 2014-09-15
Buffer overflow in the Vcl.Graphics.TPicture.Bitmap implementation in the Visual Component Library (VCL) in Embarcadero Delphi XE6 20.0.15596.9843 and C++ Builder XE6 20.0.15596.9843 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code via a crafted BMP file.

CVE-2014-2375
Published: 2014-09-15
Ecava IntegraXor SCADA Server Stable 4.1.4360 and earlier and Beta 4.1.4392 and earlier allows remote attackers to read or write to arbitrary files, and obtain sensitive information or cause a denial of service (disk consumption), via the CSV export feature.

CVE-2014-2376
Published: 2014-09-15
SQL injection vulnerability in Ecava IntegraXor SCADA Server Stable 4.1.4360 and earlier and Beta 4.1.4392 and earlier allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary SQL commands via unspecified vectors.

CVE-2014-2377
Published: 2014-09-15
Ecava IntegraXor SCADA Server Stable 4.1.4360 and earlier and Beta 4.1.4392 and earlier allows remote attackers to discover full pathnames via an application tag.

CVE-2014-3077
Published: 2014-09-15
IBM SONAS and System Storage Storwize V7000 Unified (aka V7000U) 1.3.x and 1.4.x before 1.4.3.4 store the chkauth password in the audit log, which allows local users to obtain sensitive information by reading this log file.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
CISO Insider: An Interview with James Christiansen, Vice President, Information Risk Management, Office of the CISO, Accuvant