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Security Researchers Find Trove of Stolen Data

A server used as a "drop site" for stolen and highly sensitive information has been uncovered by security researchers.

A server used as a "drop site" for stolen and highly sensitive information has been uncovered by security researchers.Researchers from Web security firm Finjan say that, while studying a new chunk of malicious software, they uncovered a criminal server that was used as a command and control center and the digital drop site for the attackers.

The server, according to this report (registration required), contained more than 1.4 gigs of sensitive business and personal data stolen from compromised systems. Finjan researchers say they're still going through the data. The report shows examples of compromised patient, bank, and business e-mails and other confidential communications.

More than 5,388 unique files were uncovered.

One of the more interesting items in Finjan's report is the detail it shows on the criminal's (or maybe criminals') command and control application used to infect systems, launch attack campaigns, and collect stolen data. For instance, the attacker can instruct the application to do things such as configure the application, delete cookies, reboot the infected system, and even uninstall itself.

The system also provides the attacker toolkits that detail how effective each attack campaign has been, as well as statistics on the geographic locations of infections and stats on referrals so that infection vectors can be tracked.

The text below is from the report and shows the global reach of the attackers:

"The data came from all around the world and contained information from individuals, businesses, as well as renowned organizations. To illustrate the mere scope; the server contained among others 571 log files from the US, 621 from Germany (DE), 322 from France (FR), 308 from India (IN), 232 from Great Britain (GB), 150 from Spain (ES), 86 from Canada (CA), 58 from Italy (IT), 46 from the Netherlands (NL), and 1,037 from Turkey (TR)."

About the Author(s)

George V. Hulme, Contributing Writer


An award winning writer and journalist, for more than 20 years George Hulme has written about business, technology, and IT security topics. He currently freelances for a wide range of publications, and is security blogger at InformationWeek.com.

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