Saturday, August 20, 2011
Revenge Of The Killer Script Kiddies!
They're out there. Be afraid. They could be anywhere, everywhere, anyone. They are shadowy, deadly, mysterious, guided by intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic. Security consultants and antivirus firms whisper legends of them to their clients to scare them straight. They're the Voldemort of online security, except that everyone is all too eager to say their name: the Advanced Persistent Threat. Hide your children! You cannot stop them! ?well, actually you probably could, and pretty easily too, but apparently most folks can't be bothered. Vanity Fair just wrote breathlessly about "Operation Shady RAT", which featured, quote, "a species of malware that had never been seen before: a spear-phishing e-mail containing a link to a Web page that, when clicked, automatically loaded a malicious program?a remote-access tool, or rat?onto the victim?s computer." Military-industrial standard-bearer Northrop Grumman is "constantly under attack by cyber-gangs." A few months ago Security firm RSA's SecurID systems were the victim of "an advanced persistent threat, a slow and consistent attack used by hackers to obtain specific information." The Pentagon is alive to the APT threat, and says it is beginning to focus more on deterrence than on defence, because "each year, a volume of intellectual property exceeding the size of the Library of Congress is stolen from U.S. government and private-sector networks." Why, just this week, San Francisco's government-owned BART system was hacked by - ?waaaaaait a minute.