Risk
1/23/2011
10:38 PM
George V. Hulme
George V. Hulme
Commentary
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

WikiLeaks Targeting P2P Networks?

That is the allegation in a news report that ran last week. While the outcome from the investigation could have a profound impact on whether the anti-secrecy organization is a media outlet – there is a bigger lesson.

That is the allegation in a news report that ran last week. While the outcome from the investigation could have a profound impact on whether the anti-secrecy organization is a media outlet – there is a bigger lesson.According to this Bloomberg news story, WikiLeaks May Have Exploited Music, Photo Networks to Get Data, there is some circumstantial evidence lending to claims that WikiLeaks is proactively scouring peer-to-peer, or P2P, networks for confidential documents.

The evidence is based on the findings of a security firm, Tiversa Inc., which told Bloomberg that it identified systems based in Sweden searching for private documents on P2P networks and that documents it found later appeared on the WikiLeaks site.

Tenuous evidence? Sure. We'll see what comes of this. At stake for Wikileaks is its claim that it is a media organization. It will have a harder time making that claim if it is shown that it proactively goes out seeking to grab data off of hard drives that were never meant to be made public.

Though I have a hard time agreeing with the argument that snatching data off of hard drives with files and folders that were made publically available is much of a crime.

What is most disturbing is the sensitivity and the quantity of the files found available to anyone on those sharing networks.

Have a look, from Bloomberg's story:

Tiversa researchers said the data-mining operation in Sweden is both systematic and highly successful.

In a 60-minute period on Feb. 7, 2009, using so-called Internet protocol addresses that every computer, server or similar equipment has, Tiversa's monitors detected four Swedish computers engaged in searching and downloading information on peer-to-peer networks. The four computers issued 413 searches, crafted to find Microsoft Excel spreadsheets and other information-rich documents among some of the 18 million users the company estimates are on such file-sharing networks at any given moment.

Those searches led to a computer in Hawaii that held a survey of the Pentagon's Pacific Missile Range Facility in that state. Tiversa captured the download of the PDF file by one of the Swedish computers. The document was renamed and posted on the WikiLeaks website two months later, on April 29, 2009, according to a mirror image of the site.

If there are systems on your corporate network, or you have people who work from home, who have P2P network file sharing software on their systems - I can hardly think of a bigger security risk.

Make sure your security teams are scanning for this type of client software on work endpoints, and looking for network traffic behavior that would be indicative of P2P file sharing traffic.

For my security and technology observations find me on Twitter.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
Partner Perspectives
What's This?
In a digital world inundated with advanced security threats, Intel Security seeks to transform how we live and work to keep our information secure. Through hardware and software development, Intel Security delivers robust solutions that integrate security into every layer of every digital device. In combining the security expertise of McAfee with the innovation, performance, and trust of Intel, this vision becomes a reality.

As we rely on technology to enhance our everyday and business life, we must too consider the security of the intellectual property and confidential data that is housed on these devices. As we increase the number of devices we use, we increase the number of gateways and opportunity for security threats. Intel Security takes the “security connected” approach to ensure that every device is secure, and that all security solutions are seamlessly integrated.
Featured Writers
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading's October Tech Digest
Fast data analysis can stymie attacks and strengthen enterprise security. Does your team have the data smarts?
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-7298
Published: 2014-10-24
adsetgroups in Centrify Server Suite 2008 through 2014.1 and Centrify DirectControl 3.x through 4.2.0 on Linux and UNIX allows local users to read arbitrary files with root privileges by leveraging improperly protected setuid functionality.

CVE-2014-8346
Published: 2014-10-24
The Remote Controls feature on Samsung mobile devices does not validate the source of lock-code data received over a network, which makes it easier for remote attackers to cause a denial of service (screen locking with an arbitrary code) by triggering unexpected Find My Mobile network traffic.

CVE-2014-0619
Published: 2014-10-23
Untrusted search path vulnerability in Hamster Free ZIP Archiver 2.0.1.7 allows local users to execute arbitrary code and conduct DLL hijacking attacks via a Trojan horse dwmapi.dll that is located in the current working directory.

CVE-2014-2230
Published: 2014-10-23
Open redirect vulnerability in the header function in adclick.php in OpenX 2.8.10 and earlier allows remote attackers to redirect users to arbitrary web sites and conduct phishing attacks via a URL in the (1) dest parameter to adclick.php or (2) _maxdest parameter to ck.php.

CVE-2014-7281
Published: 2014-10-23
Cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerability in Shenzhen Tenda Technology Tenda A32 Router with firmware 5.07.53_CN allows remote attackers to hijack the authentication of administrators for requests that reboot the device via a request to goform/SysToolReboot.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Follow Dark Reading editors into the field as they talk with noted experts from the security world.