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Hacker Exploits 2-Year Old Router Issue To Steal Sensitive US Military Data
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REISEN1955
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REISEN1955,
User Rank: Ninja
7/12/2018 | 8:32:36 AM
Re: Recalling Internet Census 2012 and Carna
All good points and add one more - the military complex generally (here we go) OUTSOURCES support to those wonderful firms such as Computer Sciences Corp (now CSRA for public accounts) and they are awful in every single way.  I know!  CSC destroyed Aon group after outsourced in 2004-2005 and to this day it is a horror.  Know nothing of security and their only concern per client is to GET PAID. 
RetiredUser
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RetiredUser,
User Rank: Ninja
7/11/2018 | 8:03:44 PM
Recalling Internet Census 2012 and Carna
I don't know how many folks remember Carna and the paper published based on its Internet scanning findings "Internet Census 2012: Port scanning /0 using insecure embedded devices", but this article calls to mind some my more radical ideas about "getting there first". Breaches like this are painful because they feel so simple to have prevented in the first place.

Consider (putting aside whatever your ideas of privacy currently are) what happened here. As a result of 1) lack of implemented security standards for networked hardware configuration, 2) failure to upgrade networked hardware and/or firmware, 3) failure to properly secure sensitive documents and streaming data and 4) research on a publicly accessible search engine for networked devices, what can be considered a critical military breach occurred.

For those who recall Carna, an Internet "researcher" ran a bot that scanned for all intents and purposes the entire Internet, collecting over 9TB of data on connected devices, including those with open access due to poor configuration. Back in 2011/2012 almost anyone could do this; especially with search engines like Shodan online, literally anyone can do this. In many cases, exploits are a question of who "gets there first". With so much publicly accessible data on hackable systems attached to the Internet, how is it on a daily basis the "good guys" aren't "getting there first" and closing the holes?

As I said, putting aside all opinions on privacy, breaches like this happen for really basic and stupid reasons. But with those opinions set to the side, what's to say the military can't also be sitting in front of Shodan and looking for its own networked devices that are in danger of being compromised? Whats to say hardened versions of Carna can't be running out of financial institutions and monitored 24/7 to help them harden networks, or from military bases globally to keep the random laptops from popping up, maybe on a U.S. military base in Kandahar, that have holes ready to exploit?

I've always been a proponent of combative security, and it seems natural to suggest that as easy as this breach was to commit, it could have been just as easy to prevent with the right people on the other side of it looking for the same thing as the cybercriminals, but "getting there first" thanks to using the same techniques.

But of course, these techniques are not legal in most contexts (not sure if it's a crime to RSS Shodan data, but that alone isn't really sufficient to arm yourself and your network against potential intruders), so until we can iron out that detail we may continuing seeing these breaches happen due to painfully simple failures in security protocol and executed in painfully simple and publicly accessible methods.


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