On Thursday, security vendor Imperva stumbled on a hacker’s offer in an underground forum in the black market of a U.S. Army’s Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM) website for less than US$500.
Imperva’s senior security strategist Noa Bar-Yosef said the hacker claims websites control that includes military, government and universities sites. The price: $33 to $499 depending on the website where one can buy the capability to be the website’s administrator. For $20 per thousand records, the hacker offers the website stolen personal information database which may be used by black hats to break into online accounts. Bar-Yosef saw 16 sites’ administrative privileges for sale. There was also data that the information of 300,000 people was stolen from the site.
Bar-Yosef stated that the seller may have broken into the websites using SQL injection. Hackers have been on the lookout for weakly written web pages especially those with search boxes or data-entry forms connected with back-end databases.
Automated tools make it easy for hackers to attack. There could be a devastating outcome when SQL is used as such as what Albert Gonzales, a notorious hacker, used when he broke into the Heartland Payment Systems and 7-Eleven.
Imperva edited victims’ names from its post. Security blogger Brian Krebs however detailed the incident and hacked sites names which include states like Utah and Michigan, Italian government and the Department of Defense Pharmacoenomic Center that helps drug procurement of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
On Friday, Krebs blogged that in all of the media and public fascination with threats like Stuxnet and weighty terms like cyberwar, the more humdrum is overlooked. Security threats persist such as Web site vulnerabilities but none of these distractions should excuse U.S. military leaders from making sure their Web sites arent trivially hackable by script kiddies.Read more
A ‘We Rebuild’ activist tweeted on Friday that when countries block, they evolve; indicating how Egyptians found ways to remain connected globally. To keep information circulating, they utilized landline phones, fax machines and ham radio.
While ISP Noor Group continued operating, the rest were ordered by the Egyptian government to shut down on Thursday. Some areas are without mobile networks. The shutdown seemed to dislocate the mounting protests against the ouster call for Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
Local ISP may have been unable to provide connection to dial-up modems, dialing an international number to reach another countrys modem connected the Egyptians to the outside world.
We Rebuild has established a Sweden dial-up number. The group is collecting a number list that Egyptians can call and the information is fed on a Wiki page. French Data Network running one of the dial-up numbers said this set up is their first time. Its president Benjamin Bayart said the ISPs modem provides connection every few minutes.
The international dial-up works through a telephone modem access and an international calling service. Some areas may have suspended mobile networks, instructions were posted as to how one can use a mobile phone as dial-up modems.
Users who access Noor make sure they are not being logged. Prior to Internet access shut down, the Tor Project said it observed that Egyptian visitors seek to download its Web browsing software, software that allows anonymous surfing.
Ways to get messages out of Twitter were found even without the Internet. A Twitter account was created on Friday that posted messages received through phone calls from Egypt. Typically the message states that it was a live phone call saying something about the quiet, no police visibility streets in Dokki or that many police trucks were noticed at Sheraton.
Anonymous, a group on the popular image board, joined in and are said to be faxing some government cables from WikiLeaks disclosing President Mubarak’s human rights abuses.
We Rebuild said they are decentralized net activists grouped to work on free Internet access without intrusive surveillance. An IRC for those who can help with radio transmissions from Egypt was set up spreading monitored radio band information to let Egyptians know where to transmit. An FTP site is being set up by ham buffs to hear, record and post what they pick up. Morse code messages were recently heard they said.
No voice transmissions were picked up in the last 2 days according to the National Association for Amateur Radio spokesman, Allen Pitts, but he does not rule out that Egyptians may be transmitting over shorter-range frequencies that carry only 30 or 50 miles.
A setback with ham radio is that those who know how it is used in Egypt may have been military trained and may disagree with the protests while some might be concerned about who might be listening. In Tunisia and Iran protests, websites were also shut down but Internet access was not cut in the same whole scale manner.
This is not the first time things like this occurred. York from the Berkman Center for Internet & Society blogged that the government of Nepal severed the Internet connection there in 2005. In 2007, it was the Burmese government that did the same.Read more
It was reported that Google is seeking mobile app developers for its Android OS as it keeps to brave rival Apple’s iOS and the trendy devices running on it.
Google’s product management director Benjamin Ling is heading an effort to win-over software engineers, user interface specialists and product managers to join the Google team.
Some existing workers have changed company positions to join the app development. It will extend across Google’s global offices and tackle all from games similar to Angry Birds and check-in apps like Foursquare. Promotional ads say the ensuing apps will likely be free in order to generate revenue.
The mobile rivalry between Google and Apple has been heated up with Google closing in on Apple in the smartphone industry. It is said that Motorola Xoom, a Google tablet that runs on Honeycomb (tablet OS) is a threat to Apple’s iPad.
Apple is soon to be offered on Verizon. Over 350,000 paid and free iPhone and iPad apps may be availed of at Apple App store. Over 10 billion have already been downloaded from July 2008, the store’s launch. It is an industry norm that the more apps offered for a certain device, the higher number of likely buyers the device may attract.
Less than 130,000 apps are featured at present on Google’s Android Market, however, a report said that the offerings supply increased by 500%. Apple’s App Store’s offerings rose by 110%. This seems to say that developers welcome Android.
Aside from rivalries over devices, the mobile app market is predicted by Gartner to generate $15 billion revenues in 2011, downloads would double from 8.2 billion last year to 17.2 billion.Read more
The online market is flooded with tons of software that is described as an internet marketing solution. Some of this software is found to be very beneficial; however, as a marketer, you still have to do the routine tasks of maintaining your websites, creating content and building lists and links to be able to drive continuous traffic. Your failure to do so will place your business in risk of being turned down from the mounting online competitions.
Bill McRea and Mike Williams who are both marketers and software developers have just recently introduced their designed software called Massive Passive Profit. The name suggests the passivity of the marketer which means he will just wait for the inflow of income while using no marketing efforts at all. This has been what Bill McRea and Mike Williams are having right now – letting the software work by itself as they continue to watch their income streams.
Massive Passive Profit is a complete autopilot that is far different from other internet marketing solutions. After the software is installed, leave it and it will do the rest; this has been the promise of 100% automation, a complete autopilot. It will set up the website with plug-ins and themes; automatically create volumes of high quality articles and link them to various social media sites. Traffic is organically created and marketers will just wait and see for income flowing into their accounts.
There are already plenty of reviews online that will possibly give the marketers some hint of how the software can help them. The software developers’ credibility is founded from the real truth that both are experienced enough in the marketing world and Google can vouch for that. The software brings in new hope for the marketers who have lost bucks out of their failure internet marketing endeavor and for the people who want to join the pool of online marketers.Read more
Citigroup Inc., after finally gaining its freedom from U.S. government support, may already compete for business.
According to Michael Holland, Chairman of money manager Holland & Co., which is a stockholder of Citigroup said, CEO Vikram Pandit and his assistants had to have sighed in relief. They can now deal like a business rather than a political entity which makes a big difference, he said.
Investors openly saluted the U.S. Treasury’s announcement of finally selling its remaining ownership in Citigroup late Monday, which last April amounted to a 27 percent interest stake. Citigroup shares reached a seven-month high of 3.8 percent at $4.62 at closing on Tuesday.
The final sale ended a long and difficult episode for Citigroup, which had been under government support for three times that cost of $45 billion during the financial crisis. The bank became profitable this year but had a hard time winning back its reputation while still being a government ward.
Another stockholder of Citigroup, Alan Villalon, a senior bank analyst at First American Funds in Minneapolis, said that it’s a great thing to finally get the burden around its neck. According to Citigroup, the government did not meddle with their business decisions. But while the government still owns the largest share, it still gives some doubt to some people, he said.
Those doubting include potential clients and employees, who were distanced for a long time because of Citigroup’s weak reputation, which was partly blamed by investors and analysts for the company’s loss of getting high-return and high-profile investment banking business this year.
It will be harder for them to portray themselves as credible market players, so long as they were technically and legally under the charge of the state, said Cornelius Hurkey, professor and director of Boston University’s Morin Center for Banking and Financial Law. He added that now, they’re restoring, to all appearances, but the company is still very fragile as it face large issues still roaming around.
But Citigroup has not entirely been released from U.S. government support because according to the Treasury on Monday, it would still hold warrants to buy Citigroup shares as part of the bailout. The U.S. government is still entitled for the $800 million in Citigroup Trust Preferred Securities from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp under a debt guarantee program.
Citigroup is not yet done wiping up the consequences brought about by the financial crisis. CEO Pandit is still looking for ways to sell off some $400 billion of assets that are not related to the bank’s core businesses. And just like other U.S. major banks, Citigroup could still be forced to buy back mortgages repackaged into troubled bonds and could also be tapped if the crisis along eurozone worsens, said Hurley.
Citigroup shares rose 21 percent this year, which is considered at par with the industry. They trade at about 1.01 times tangible book value – lower than JPMorgan Chase & Co but slightly greater than Bank of America, Villalon estimated. Citigroup’s freedom from government ownership will help entice new talent, or new businesses, according to investors, adding that hiring will help Citigroup to expand abroad, especially in emerging markets like South Africa.
Villalon said that time and efforts will help rebuild everything. People now are looking up for Citi to generate profits. It will give comfort and will put all past issues behind once the company gets into some kind of stability.Read more
Juian Assange founder of WikiLeaks, who previously said in 2009 that he had a hard drive from an executive of Bank of America corp., told Forbes magazine that his group will unfold documents from a U.S. bank next year.
Assange said in an interview with Computerworld magazine in Oct. 9, 2009, that they were in possession of 5GB data from one of the hard drives of a Bank of America executive. To be striking, it has to be easy for people to have easy access to data and get something out of it. On Nov. 11, Assange told Forbes in an interview that WikiLeaks plans to release tens or hundreds of thousands of documents depending on how it is defined but he did not give detail from which bank the documents came. He said, his group will release the documents early next year which would uncover “some flagrant violations, unethical practices.”
Assange group, WikiLeaks.org is a nonprofit organization that releases information that businesses or governments want to keep secret or withhold confidential documents. The group began posting yesterday on its website some confidential, secret or unclassified U.S. embassy cables with dates ranging between December 1966 and February 2010. Reed Elsevier Plc’s Lexis-Nexis estimated the conversion of a 5GB capacity which can store about 323,900 pages of Microsoft Word documents or 500,500 pages of e-mails.
London attorney for WikiLeaks, Mark Stephens didn’t respond to a telephone request for a comment, the same with Scott Silvestri, spokesman for Bank of America who also declined to make a remark.Read more