Risk
10/7/2010
12:19 PM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Fannie Mae Insider Convicted For Planting Malware

Former Unix engineer inserted malicious script designed to destroy data at the financial services firm, finds federal jury.




Slideshow: Cloud Security Pros And Cons
(click for larger image and for full photo gallery)
The Federal Bureau of Investigation on Monday said that a federal jury has convicted Rajendrasinh Babubhai Makwana, a Maryland computer programmer, with "computer intrusion arising from the transmission of malicious script to Fannie Mae's computer servers." He faces a maximum prison sentence of 10 years.

According to the FBI, Makwana worked as a contract Unix engineer for Fanny Mae -- aka the Federal National Mortgage Association, a federally chartered corporation that purchases mortgages -- for three years, and had access to the organization's network of almost 5,000 servers.

Trial testimony detailed how Makwana was fired on October 24, 2008, and ordered to return all Fannie Mae-issued IT equipment, including his laptop. Five days later, however, "a Fannie Mae senior engineer discovered a malicious script embedded in a routine program," said the FBI.

"A subsequent analysis of the script, computer logs, Makwana's laptop, and other evidence revealed that Makwana had transmitted the malicious code on October 24, 2008, which was intended to execute on January 31, 2009," said the FBI. "The malicious code was designed to propagate throughout the Fannie Mae network of computers and destroy all data, including financial, securities, and mortgage information."

On that day, upon trying to log in to the Fannie Mae network, users would have received a message saying only "server graveyard."

The attack is a reminder of the danger of insider attacks, and highlights how, even though the erased data would likely have been restored, the incident would still have disrupted the organization's operations.

"Even though it would be likely that the firm would have off-site backups that would not have been hit by the malware attack, it would still have been enormously disruptive for the company, at a time when confidence in the financial industry was quite rocky anyway," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos. "Indeed, the court heard evidence that it would take a week for the company to get its systems back up and running again."

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-3352
Published: 2014-08-30
Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud (aka Cisco Cloud Portal) 2008.3_SP9 and earlier does not properly consider whether a session is a problematic NULL session, which allows remote attackers to obtain sensitive information via crafted packets, related to an "iFrame vulnerability," aka Bug ID CSCuh...

CVE-2014-3908
Published: 2014-08-30
The Amazon.com Kindle application before 4.5.0 for Android does not verify X.509 certificates from SSL servers, which allows man-in-the-middle attackers to spoof servers and obtain sensitive information via a crafted certificate.

CVE-2010-5110
Published: 2014-08-29
DCTStream.cc in Poppler before 0.13.3 allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (crash) via a crafted PDF file.

CVE-2012-1503
Published: 2014-08-29
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in Six Apart (formerly Six Apart KK) Movable Type (MT) Pro 5.13 allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via the comment section.

CVE-2013-5467
Published: 2014-08-29
Monitoring Agent for UNIX Logs 6.2.0 through FP03, 6.2.1 through FP04, 6.2.2 through FP09, and 6.2.3 through FP04 and Monitoring Server (ms) and Shared Libraries (ax) 6.2.0 through FP03, 6.2.1 through FP04, 6.2.2 through FP08, 6.2.3 through FP01, and 6.3.0 through FP01 in IBM Tivoli Monitoring (ITM)...

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
This episode of Dark Reading Radio looks at infosec security from the big enterprise POV with interviews featuring Ron Plesco, Cyber Investigations, Intelligence & Analytics at KPMG; and Chris Inglis & Chris Bell of Securonix.