Hackers Target Apple, Fox, Others - Police Targeted, Botnet Found
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Stepping away from business organizations for a moment, Arizona law enforcement officers seem to be a popular target with the AntiSec hacker group. They've attacked online accounts related to such officers three times in a little over a week. It started on June 23, when the hackers attacked the Arizona Department of Public Safety, retrieving and publicly publishing e-mails, passwords, and other information belonging to that department.
The hacking group claimed they attacked the site to protest “racial-profiling anti-immigrant” policies. They specifically cited SB1070, a piece of immigrant-related legislation that raised an uproar even before it passed because many believed it would encourage police to detain people they simply suspected of being illegal immigrants based on their physical appearance.
AntiSec also released information from Arizona law enforcement officers' personal email accounts. The hacking group even defaced eight Fraternal Order of Police websites, releasing personal information from these sites belonging to more than 1,200 Arizona police officers. The emails included sentiments those officers would probably not wish made public, such as anti-Muslim comments and mean jokes about President Obama.
Meanwhile, in security news unrelated to AntiSec, researchers at Kaspersky Lab found a new botnet, dubbed TDL-4, that seems to be in a class by itself. This botnet, the original version of which appeared in 2008, represents a vast improvement over its three predecessors. It boasts encrypted communications between the infected computers that carry out the orders of the command and control servers; the encrypted communication is designed to prevent anyone else from taking control of the botnet.
As with most botnets, TLD-4 spreads by infecting computers. What's unusual about TLD-4 is that it infects a computer's master boot record, which means it can run before the machine's operating system starts up. This prevents it from being spotted by anti-virus programs. The botnet uses a peer-to-peer network to issue at least some of its commands. It's already downloaded 30 nasty programs onto infected machines, including “fake anti-virus programs, adware, and the Pushdo spambot,” according to Kaspersky. In the first three months of this year, more than four million computers around the world have been infected with TLD-4.
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