Risk
10/10/2010
02:41 PM
George V. Hulme
George V. Hulme
Commentary
50%
50%

Insiders Still Remain Potential Powerful Threat

While malware and hacker attacks continue to make the headlines, recent events remind us that insiders still pose a potent threat.

While malware and hacker attacks continue to make the headlines, recent events remind us that insiders still pose a potent threat.Consider Mathew J. Schwartz's story, Feds Bust Akamai Insider, about the man who allegedly tried to provide sensitive and confidential information to someone he thought was a foreign government:

According to the allegations, Doxer emailed a foreign county's Boston consulate offering to share information, stating that his goal "was to help our homeland and our war against our enemies." Allegedly, he also requested $3,000, on account of the risks he was taking. The foreign government, in turn, notified the United States government, which one year later launched an 18-month investigation.

According to Schwartz, and other reports, Doxer allegedly shared secrets relating to Akamai's IT and physical security, and shared details on thousands of Akamai customers and its 1,300 employees.

In other insiders news this week, there is the case of Rajendrasinh Babubha Makwana who was found guilty by a federal jury of planting a logic bomb on Fannie Mae's systems after getting fired. Experts have said that had the logic bomb been triggered, it could have caused millions in damage and shut down operations.

From our story, Fannie Mae Insider Convicted For Planting Malware:

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."

Insiders like these, with legitimate access to information, are a tough threat to stop. Though the threat can be (somewhat) mitigated with increased monitoring for abnormalities in networks and systems as well as database access. That's the good news in the Fannie May story: vigilance saved the organization from suffering a successful - and what could had of been devastating - attack.

Though our own Department of Defense must not think current technologies are up to thwarting the insider threat. Why else would have DARPA announced this program to develop new technologies to spot and stop insider threats.

For my security and technology observations throughout the day, follow me on Twitter.

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-2014-5427
Published: 2015-03-29
Johnson Controls Metasys 4.1 through 6.5, as used in Application and Data Server (ADS), Extended Application and Data Server (aka ADX), LonWorks Control Server 85 LCS8520, Network Automation Engine (NAE) 55xx-x, Network Integration Engine (NIE) 5xxx-x, and NxE8500, allows remote attackers to read pa...

CVE-2014-5428
Published: 2015-03-29
Unrestricted file upload vulnerability in unspecified web services in Johnson Controls Metasys 4.1 through 6.5, as used in Application and Data Server (ADS), Extended Application and Data Server (aka ADX), LonWorks Control Server 85 LCS8520, Network Automation Engine (NAE) 55xx-x, Network Integratio...

CVE-2014-9205
Published: 2015-03-29
Stack-based buffer overflow in the PmBase64Decode function in an unspecified demonstration application in MICROSYS PROMOTIC stable before 8.2.19 and PROMOTIC development before 8.3.2 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code by providing a large amount of data.

CVE-2015-0528
Published: 2015-03-29
The RPC daemon in EMC Isilon OneFS 6.5.x and 7.0.x before 7.0.2.13, 7.1.0 before 7.1.0.6, 7.1.1 before 7.1.1.2, and 7.2.0 before 7.2.0.1 allows local users to gain privileges by leveraging an ability to modify system files.

CVE-2015-0996
Published: 2015-03-29
Schneider Electric InduSoft Web Studio before 7.1.3.4 SP3 Patch 4 and InTouch Machine Edition 2014 before 7.1.3.4 SP3 Patch 4 rely on a hardcoded cleartext password to control read access to Project files and Project Configuration files, which makes it easier for local users to obtain sensitive info...

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Good hackers--aka security researchers--are worried about the possible legal and professional ramifications of President Obama's new proposed crackdown on cyber criminals.