"Success is never an accident. It typically starts as imagination, becomes a dream, stimulates a goal, grows into a plan of action — which then inevitably meets with opportunity. Don't get stuck along the way."
— Dan Miller
Computer spies again hit the U.S., this time targeting sensitive data involving the $300 billion Joint Strike Fighter project. The most expensive Pentagon weapons system ever developed, the program involves 7.5 million lines of code, of which hackers made off with several terabytes.
With President Obama's review of U.S. cyber-security due this week, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that unknown hackers have infiltrated the Pentagon's most expensive weapons program. The incident follows reports that computer spies have also hit the U.S. power grid and the Air Force's air traffic control system.
|Annual Earth Day Recycling Drive On At Great Lakes |
Detroit-based Great Lakes Electronics Corp. is again hosting its annual "Earth Day" consumer electronics recycling drive, where they will be collecting electronic waste free of charge to all Michigan residents.
This year, the collection will be held at their newest recycling and processing plant t 22100 Sherwood Ave. in Warren. The six-acre recycling complex processes e-waste as well as all non-ferrous metals.
E-waste from old, unwanted consumer electronics, such as computers, monitors, printers, cell phones, televisions, VCRs and video game consoles, has rapidly become one of the nation's most significant environmental problems. According to the National Safety Council, in 2009 more than 500 million PCs will be relegated to scrap in the United States alone.
Great Lakes Electronics consumer electronics recycling drive will take place on Saturday, April 25 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The entire GLEC recycling staff will be on hand to remove the obsolete electronic devices from cars and to answer any environmental or security questions that the contributors may have.
"E-waste is an enormous and growing environmental problem," said Nathan Zack, founder, CEO and president of Great Lakes Electronics. "Our Earth Day event provides a great opportunity for consumers to safely dispose of unwanted and broken electronic equipment. We're hoping consumers will take advantage of this free program and bring in their obsolete electronic devices. Our employees will be on hand to unload the equipment from their cars."
Identity theft has become the fastest increasing crime in America. Great Lakes Electronics offer state-of-the-art security destruction. Memory devices such as computer hard drives will be accepted at the event and destroyed in a giant 15 ton shredder on site at the Warren facility. Shredding the hard drive destroys all data in security compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act and Department of Defense requirements.
Electronics to be accepted at the Earth Day recycling drive include computers, palm pilots, telephone equipment, televisions, VCRs, and other small electronics and household appliances under 100 pounds.
"This is a great opportunity for spring cleaning," added vice president Kerry Grushoff. "We are proud to be a growing and thriving Michigan-based business that contributes to the improvement of our environment. With the tough economic times facing Southeast Michigan, we hope residents will take advantage of this free and environmentally friendly way to dispose of their obsolete and broken electronic equipment."
Great Lakes Electronics, founded in 2000, is one of the fastest growing and largest electronic and metal recycling companies in the United States. The company was founded by Nathan Zack when he was 19 years old. At 28, he is one of this year's recipients of the Crain's Detroit Business "20 in their 20s" award. With a nationwide pickup service, the company works primarily with corporate clients, large retailers and government agencies that need a safe, secure and reliable method for recycling their electronic equipment. Great Lakes Electronics has grown to more than 120 employees with eWaste and metal recycling centers in Warren, Chicago, Daytona Beach and Orlando.
For further information, call toll-free at (888) E-WASTE-1 or visit www.recycleelectronics.com.
"Given the amount of time we spend working, failure
to find meaningful, significant work is not just a minor
misstep in living out God's plan; it is a deeper kind of
failure that can make each day feel like living death."
— Dan Miller: Inspirational speaker and author
An updated version of the Conficker worm is installing malware that attempts to lure people into buying rogue anti-virus software. Security researchers also say the worm is downloading malware tied to the notorious Waledac botnet.
Conficker's latest move may be tied to a scheme to lure users into downloading fake anti-virus software.
"Once it's run, you see the app interface, which naturally asks if you want to remove the threats it's 'detected,'" wrote Aleks Gostev on Kaspersky Lab's Analyst's Diary blog. "Of course, this service comes at a price—$49.95."In addition to that file, the worm is also now downloading the Waledac malware, which steals passwords and turns computers into bots for spamming operations. Waledac has emerged as a key part of spamming operations over the past several months, and is widely considered a reincarnation of the infamous Storm botnet.
Tricking users into installing rogue software isn't new for the worm, which tried the same thing when it first appeared in 2008. The move also represents another example of attackers cashing in on rogueware. Finjan recently issued a report about a rogueware affiliate network that pulled in an average of $10,800 a day. According to Microsoft's latest Security Intelligence Report, two rogue families, Win32/FakeXPA and Win32/FakeSecSen, were detected on more than 1.5 million computers by Microsoft software.
"Fear is used, universally, as a means to control people," said Sendio CTO Tal Golan. "Governments use it. Large businesses use it. So it should come as no surprise to anyone that 'cyber-bad guys' use it."
At the moment, the rogue anti-virus software comes from sites located in the Ukraine (131-3.elaninet.com.220.127.116.11) although the worm is downloading it from other sites, according to Kaspersky Lab.
There are numerous tools for disinfecting systems hit by Conficker, some of which are linked to here. The worm spreads by exploiting a patched Microsoft vulnerability as well as via network shares by logging in to machines with weak passwords. It also spreads through removable media. Network administrators are advised to deploy MS08-067 if they have not already done so, as well as to follow best practices regarding passwords.
The Conficker worm is finally doing something--updating via peer-to-peer between infected computers and dropping a mystery payload on infected computers, Trend Micro said on Wednesday.
Researchers were analyzing the code of the software that is being dropped onto infected computers but suspect that it is a keystroke logger or some other program designed to steal sensitive data off the machine, said David Perry, global director of security education at Trend Micro.
The software appeared to be a .sys component hiding behind a rootkit, which is software that is designed to hide the fact that a computer has been compromised, according to Trend Micro. The software is heavily encrypted, which makes code analysis difficult, the researchers said.
The worm also tries to connect to MySpace.com, MSN.com, eBay.com, CNN.com and AOL.com as a way to test that the computer has Internet connectivity, deletes all traces of itself in the host machine, and is set to shut down on May 3, according to the TrendLabs Malware Blog.
Because infected computers are receiving the new component in a staggered manner rather than all at once there should be no disruption to the Web sites the computers visit, said Paul Ferguson, advanced threats researcher for Trend Micro.
"After May 3, it shuts down and won't do any replication," Perry said. However, infected computers could still be remotely controlled to do something else, he added.
Last night Trend Micro researchers noticed a new file in the Windows Temp folder and a huge encrypted TCP response from a known Conficker P2P IP node hosted in Korea.
"As expected, the P2P communications of the Downad/Conficker botnet may have just been used to serve an update, and not via HTTP," the blog post says. "The Conficker/Downad P2P communications is now running in full swing!"
In addition to adding the new propagation functionality, Conficker communicates with servers that are associated with the Waledac family of malware and its Storm botnet, according to a separate blog post by Trend Micro security researcher Rik Ferguson.
The worm tries to access a known Waledac domain and download another encrypted file, the researchers said.
Conficker.C failed to make a splash a week ago despite the fact that it was programmed to activate on April 1. It has infected between 3 million and 12 million computers, according to Perry.
Initially, researchers thought they were seeing a new variant of the Conficker worm, but now they believe it is merely a new component of the worm.
The worm spreads via a hole in Windows that Microsoft patched in October, as well as through removable storage devices and network shares with weak passwords.
For more information, listen to Larry Magid's audio interview with Perry.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Cyberspies have penetrated the U.S. electrical grid and left behind software programs that could be used to disrupt the system, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.
The spies came from China, Russia and other countries, and were believed to be on a mission to navigate the U.S. electrical system and its controls, the newspaper said, citing current and former U.S. national security officials.
The intruders have not sought to damage the power grid or other key infrastructure but officials said they could try during a crisis or war, the paper said in a report on its website.
"The Chinese have attempted to map our infrastructure, such as the electrical grid," a senior intelligence official told the Journal. "So have the Russians."
The espionage appeared pervasive across the United States and does not target a particular company or region, said a former Department of Homeland Security official.
"There are intrusions, and they are growing," the former official told the paper, referring to electrical systems. "There were a lot last year."
The administration of U.S. President Barack Obama was not immediately available for comment on the newspaper report.
Authorities investigating the intrusions have found software tools left behind that could be used to destroy infrastructure components, the senior intelligence official said. He added, "If we go to war with them, they will try to turn them on."
Officials said water, sewage and other infrastructure systems also were at risk.
Protecting the electrical grid and other infrastructure is a key part of the Obama administration's cybersecurity review, which is to be completed next week.
The sophistication of the U.S. intrusions, which extend beyond electric to other key infrastructure systems, suggests that China and Russia are mainly responsible, according to intelligence officials and cybersecurity specialists.
While terrorist groups could develop the ability to penetrate U.S. infrastructure, they do not appear to have yet mounted attacks, these officials say.
(Writing by Eric Beech; Editing by Jon Boyle)
In yet another student technological exhibition over the weekend, Lawrence Technological University students have returned from South Carolina, where they were showing off their Formula Zero hydrogen fuel cell racing kart to members of the National Hydrogen Association as well as to local media.
Lawrence Tech students developed the kart for a European competition last summer and have made major modifications since, according to team member Steven Lent.
The kart hit a top speed of 36 mph in short straightaways on a track sent up in South Carolina. But Lent said the team hasn't yet done any straightaway racing to determine its true top speed yet.
As for fuel consumption, it ran for 15 to 20 minutes ona single eight-gram bottle of hydrogen gas.
"The team learned a lot about our vehicle and its performance," Lent said. "During the next few months with summer coming we are hoping to be able to tweak our motor controller to enhance our performance even further. Eventually we are planning on getting down to Miland Dragway to get official times for speeds and performance."
Lent said Lawrence Tech is hoping to set a world record for performance of a hydrogen fuel cell powered kart.
The State, South Carolina's largest newspaper, shot video of the kart in action. Check it out at http://videos.thestate.com/vmix_hosted_apps/p/media?id=3608900.