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.

Risk

6/13/2006
05:54 PM
Mitch Wagner
Mitch Wagner
Commentary
50%
50%

Let The UBS Trial Be A Warning To You

The trial against a former UBS employee charged with hacking the company's networks shows up embarrassing failures in UBS's security and disaster preparedness measures. The defendant is Roger Duronio, 63, who, at the time of the crime, was a UBS PaineWebber systems administrator. Duronio is facing charges of computer sabotage and securities fraud in a federal trial in U.S. District Court in Newark t

The trial against a former UBS employee charged with hacking the company's networks shows up embarrassing failures in UBS's security and disaster preparedness measures.

The defendant is Roger Duronio, 63, who, at the time of the crime, was a UBS PaineWebber systems administrator. Duronio is facing charges of computer sabotage and securities fraud in a federal trial in U.S. District Court in Newark that's ongoing this week. Prosecutors say Duronio, who was angry because he thought he wasn't making enough money, planted a type of malicious software called a "logic bomb," while logged in from home over the company VPN, that went off March 4, 2002.

Here's where it gets embarrassing for UBS PaineWebber: As testimony by its own employees shows, UBS PaineWebber failed to take some elementary security precautions which could have minimized the damage. And that failure might--if defense attorney Chris Adams gets his way--make it impossible for U.S. prosecutors to get a conviction against Duronio.

Adams says the prosecutors have the wrong guy. He's attempting to show in cross-examination of the prosecution witnesses that lax security at UBS PaineWebber would have allowed anyone to have logged in to the network, planted the logic bomb, and left a false digital trail to make Duronio look like the guilty party.

Some 40 systems administrators at the company shared the same 'root' password to gain administrator access to the network, where they had free rein to install software or make any changes they wished on the network. It was not remarkable for systems administrators to get up from their desks and wander off while still logged in as 'root,' allowing anyone to sit down and have root access to the network, according to testimony from UBS IT manager Elvira Maria Rodriguez.

The damage to UBS PaineWebber was catastrophic. According to the report from Sharon Gaudin: "Nothing more than 50 to 70 lines of malicious code ... took down about 2,000 servers, leaving 8,000 brokers across the country unable to work. IT teams spent sleepless nights on conference calls with IBM and scrambled to reset servers, trying to undo damage that still, four years later, hasn't been completely repaired." At least 400 employees had to drop what they were doing and troubleshoot the problem. "Assessing and repairing the damage cost $3.1 million. In some cases, brokers were down for days, even weeks, depending on how badly their machines were hit, how remote the offices were, and if the branch's backup tapes could be found." UBS PaineWebber failed to make backups on 20% of its servers, according to testimony from UBS IT manager Elvira Maria Rodriguez.

The UBS PaineWebber case demonstrates that every business needs to take security and disaster preparedness measures. We're all under attack every day by outside hackers, and, unfortunately, every business has disgruntled employees. And natural disasters and terrorists strike everywhere.

UBS PaineWebber is a stark example of what happens to companies that led their guard down.

Reporter Sharon Gaudin returns to Newark today for ongoing on-the-scenes coverage as the trial goes through its second week.

Is your company prepared for catastrophic attacks and disasters? Leave a message on the InformationWeek Weblog and let us know.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
DevSecOps: The Answer to the Cloud Security Skills Gap
Lamont Orange, Chief Information Security Officer at Netskope,  11/15/2019
Attackers' Costs Increasing as Businesses Focus on Security
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  11/15/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
Navigating the Deluge of Security Data
In this Tech Digest, Dark Reading shares the experiences of some top security practitioners as they navigate volumes of security data. We examine some examples of how enterprises can cull this data to find the clues they need.
Flash Poll
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Frustrated with recurring intrusions and breaches, cybersecurity professionals are questioning some of the industrys conventional wisdom. Heres a look at what theyre thinking about.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-6852
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-20
A CWE-200: Information Exposure vulnerability exists in Modicon Controllers (M340 CPUs, M340 communication modules, Premium CPUs, Premium communication modules, Quantum CPUs, Quantum communication modules - see security notification for specific versions), which could cause the disclosure of FTP har...
CVE-2019-6853
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-20
A CWE-79: Failure to Preserve Web Page Structure vulnerability exists in Andover Continuum (models 9680, 5740 and 5720, bCX4040, bCX9640, 9900, 9940, 9924 and 9702) , which could enable a successful Cross-site Scripting (XSS attack) when using the products web server.
CVE-2013-2092
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-20
Cross-site Scripting (XSS) in Dolibarr ERP/CRM 3.3.1 allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML in functions.lib.php.
CVE-2013-2093
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-20
Dolibarr ERP/CRM 3.3.1 does not properly validate user input in viewimage.php and barcode.lib.php which allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary commands.
CVE-2015-3166
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-20
The snprintf implementation in PostgreSQL before 9.0.20, 9.1.x before 9.1.16, 9.2.x before 9.2.11, 9.3.x before 9.3.7, and 9.4.x before 9.4.2 does not properly handle system-call errors, which allows attackers to obtain sensitive information or have other unspecified impact via unknown vectors, as d...