Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Attacks/Breaches

12/21/2012
04:15 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

The 5 Coolest Hacks Of 2012

Nothing was sacred -- the nation's airspace, home power meters, videoconferences, and, in an ironic twist, popular cybercrime tools

1. Beating Cybercriminals At Their Own Game
Let's just say the phony antivirus scammers dialed the wrong number.

Noah Magram, principal software engineer with Sourcefire, in May did what he wouldn't normally do one night when the phone rang at dinner time: He answered it. Magram says it was his local area code in Oregon and "Borders" showing up on caller ID that tempted him to pick up.

The caller said he was from Microsoft, and that Magram's computer was infected and had been sending error messages to the software firm. Magram immediately knew it was a scam, but the researcher in him led him to see just how far these scammers would go. "I wanted to see if they would send me to any websites or get me to download any malware, something that we could analyze. I was really curious about what their script was," Magram says.

He knew he was onto something as it became obvious the agent on the line wasn't technology-savvy. So he played along for a while, and then decided this was too good to pass up to get a rare, firsthand look at a fake AV scam. So he started up a VMware virtual machine on his Windows PC. "I realized I could give them an environment to bang around in," Magram says. At the urging of the scammers, he installed LogMeIn, a legitimate remote access tool, and "Victor," the technician, was then inside the machine. Magram recorded every click the scammers made via this impromptu honeypot.

The scammers brazenly deleted Windows services off Magram's "PC," but had no clue they were actually trapped inside a virtual machine, even when VMware services appeared on the screen.

"I had always wondered what their capabilities are" in these scams, he says. "But I was shocked how clueless and clumsy there were. They are placing thousands of these calls, and they are not sophisticated."

Magram recorded a video of the episode, which he posted online.

Kelly Jackson Higgins is the Executive Editor of Dark Reading. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

 

Recommended Reading:

Previous
2 of 6
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Oldest First  |  Newest First  |  Threaded View
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 8/10/2020
Researcher Finds New Office Macro Attacks for MacOS
Curtis Franklin Jr., Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  8/7/2020
Hacking It as a CISO: Advice for Security Leadership
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  8/10/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
Special Report: Computing's New Normal, a Dark Reading Perspective
This special report examines how IT security organizations have adapted to the "new normal" of computing and what the long-term effects will be. Read it and get a unique set of perspectives on issues ranging from new threats & vulnerabilities as a result of remote working to how enterprise security strategy will be affected long term.
Flash Poll
The Changing Face of Threat Intelligence
The Changing Face of Threat Intelligence
This special report takes a look at how enterprises are using threat intelligence, as well as emerging best practices for integrating threat intel into security operations and incident response. Download it today!
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-15596
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-12
The ALPS ALPINE touchpad driver before 8.2206.1717.634, as used on various Dell, HP, and Lenovo laptops, allows attackers to conduct Path Disclosure attacks via a "fake" DLL file.
CVE-2020-15868
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-12
Sonatype Nexus Repository Manager OSS/Pro before 3.26.0 has Incorrect Access Control.
CVE-2020-17362
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-12
search.php in the Nova Lite theme before 1.3.9 for WordPress allows Reflected XSS.
CVE-2020-17449
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-12
PHP-Fusion 9.03 allows XSS via the error_log file.
CVE-2020-17450
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-12
PHP-Fusion 9.03 allows XSS on the preview page.