Thursday, March 26th5.9°C
24931
25546

Cybersleuth offers to help cops nab Russian thieves who stole 1.2 billion passwords

LAS VEGAS, Nev. - The hackers are a tight knit group, ten or 11. They live in a Russian town, and have real jobs. But in their down time, the cybercriminals have spent the past seven months gathering a hoard of personal data, stealing 1.2 billion user names and passwords in a series of Internet heists affecting 420,000 websites, according to Alex Holden, Chief Information Security Officer for Hold Security, whose firm uncovered the breach.

The Russian hackers had been collecting databases of personal information for years, but Holden told The Associated Press Wednesday that in April the group began deploying a new online attack technique that quickly shot from computer system to computer system as unwitting infected users visited random websites.

"Their cache of stolen goods grew quite quickly," said Holden, who has not revealed details about the websites that were breached or the names of other victims.

A native of Kyiv who now lives in Milwaukee, Holden has conducted research that contributed to other exposures of major hacks, including a breach at Adobe that exposed tens of millions of customer records. He said he had been tracking the Russian criminals for seven months, but only was able to begin reviewing their massive cache of databases during the past few weeks. He timed his announcement to coincide with the annual Black Hat USA cybersecurity conference this week in Las Vegas, where it created quite a buzz.

Brian Krebs, who investigates online cybercrime and blogs about it, said his phone and email were inundated while he was at the conference Wednesday with people asking about Holden's announcement.

"Alex isn't keen on disclosing his methods, but I have seen his research and data firsthand and can say it's definitely for real," said Krebs. "Without spilling his secrets or methods, it is clear that he has a first-hand view on the day-to-day activities of some very active organized cybercrime networks and actors."

More than a day after his discovery was revealed in a New York Times report, Holden said he had not heard from any law enforcement agencies. He said he hopes investigators do contact him and added that his firm would be happy to co-operate.

Chase Cunningham, lead threat intelligence agent for cloud security company Firehost, spent years tracking Russian crime syndicates with the FBI and the NSA. At Black Hat on Wednesday, he said Hold Security has "uncovered one of the largest caches of data ever seen."

To date, Hold Security says it has only seen the Russian hackers use the personal data to spam social media, for example, hijacking a Twitter account and posting a weight loss ad. And Holden said he's only seen payments ranging from $200 to $1500 —although he's unsure if that's per person or for the entire group— for creating that spam.

Cunningham said he expects the Russian criminals will do much more with their illicit collection, which could prove lucrative.

"They can make money hand over fist with this," he said.

----

Follow Mendoza at https://twitter.com/mendozamartha

The Canadian Press


Read more Business News

24910


Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX14869.80-59.57
S&P CDNX679.56+2.32
DJIA17678.23-40.31
Nasdaq4863.36-13.16
S&P 5002056.15-4.90
CDN Dollar0.8001-0.0009
Gold1204.90+7.60
Oil50.41-1.02
Lumber287.80+1.80
Natural Gas2.655-0.017

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.13+0.01
Knighthawk0.010.00
QHR Technologies Inc1.50+0.00
Cantex0.03-0.01
Anavex Life Sciences0.21+0.00
Metalex Ventures0.04-0.01
Russel Metals24.68-0.28
Copper Mountain Mining1.13+0.00
Colorado Resources0.115-0.010
ReliaBrand Inc0.0075-0.0004
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.045+0.000
Mission Ready Services0.235-0.005
Decisive Dividend Corporation1.78-0.32

 



25608

FEATURED Property
2228845930 Stagecoach drive
3 bedrooms 3 baths
$325,000
more details
image2image2image2
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


CRA Notice of Assessment

Many Canadians rush to file their taxes on time each year and don’t think about it until the next year. One of the most overlooked notices received from the CRA annually is the annual Notice of ...


Medical confidential?

If ICBC asks your doctor for your information you may wonder: Can ICBC ask my doctor for my medical information? Can ICBC request a medical report from my doctor without my consent? What is ICBC entit...


Stay out of sales limbo!

Have you ever had a series of good meetings with a prospect … gathered all kinds of information … and given what you thought was a great presentation … only to receive a response ...

_





25482


Member of BC Press Council


24598