Friday, January 29, 2016

International LEA Cyber Crime Operations of 2015

What was so different in 2015? Wasn’t it just more of the same? Well, not quite. As the year has ended, lets look back at some unprecedented cases that redefined risk and loss resulting from cyber attacks and international cooperation amongst International Law and Enforcement agencies. There is a common denominator that groups them as one: The mob has fully moved into the Web.  I feel there is no such thing as ‘disorganized cybercrime' hence 'Organised and concerted International action against cyber crime is the need of the hour"

Examples of LEA Cyber Crime operations in 2015:

  • An international operation involving law enforcement organisations, government cyber security teams and private organisations has targeted the Dorkbot botnet. Europol, Interpol, the US department of homeland security, the US National Cyber Investigative Joint Taskforce and the FBI partnered with Microsoft and other private sector organisations to disrupt the Dorkbot infrastructure, including command and control servers in Asia, Europe, and North America. This included seizing domains to disrupt the botnet operators’ capacity to control their victims’ computers.
    Source: ComputerWeekly, 7 December 2015
  • FBI, Security Vendors Partner for DRIDEX Takedown – Multiple command-and-control (C&C) servers used by the DRIDEX botnet have been taken down by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), following the action taken by the National Crime Agency (NCA) in the UK.
    Source: TrendMicro, 13 October 2015
  • In a global operation coordinated by the INTERPOL Global Complex for Innovation in Singapore, a group of leading IT companies including Kaspersky Lab, Microsoft, Trend Micro and Japan’s Cyber Defense Institute, in collaboration with law enforcement agencies, have disrupted the Simda criminal botnet – a network of thousands of infected PCs around the world.  Source: Kaspersky, 13 April 2015
  • The [Beebone] botnet takedown, known as Operation Source, was led by Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) and the Joint Cybercrime Action Taskforce (J-CAT). Most EU member states and law enforcement partners around the world coordinated in the action. The Dutch High Tech Crime Unit led the J-CAT effort. The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation provided valuable support. Source: Intel Security, 9 April 2015
  • A law enforcement operation led by Europol and assisted by Symantec, Microsoft,  and a number of other industry partners, has today seized servers and other infrastructure owned by the cybercrime group behind the Ramnit botnet (detected by Symantec asW32.Ramnit.B). The group has been in operation for at least five years and in that time has evolved into a major criminal enterprise, infecting more than 3.2 million computers in total and defrauding large numbers of innocent victims. It is hoped that today’s operation will strike a significant blow against the resources and capabilities of the gang.Source: Symantec, 25 February 2015
  • International operation targeting GameOverZeus and Cryptolocker malware variants. These malware variants are estimated to have cost the UK £500 million in losses.Coordinated activity across 10 countries led to the botnet behind the malware being taken offline for two weeks, allowing the public to take steps to protect themselves (e.g. update anti-virus). Combined with extensive global media coverage 32% drop in GameOverZeus infections, estimated £100 million in losses prevented. Source NCA-UK
  • UK investigation targeting the users of Blackshades, a Remote Access Tool able to access users’ webcams. FBI intel - over 1100 UK-based purchases on Blackshades. NCCU coordinated a week of arrests, involving ROCUs, MPS & Police Scotland, targeting 50+ individuals for Pursue action. 20 arrests across 10 Regions. Remaining individuals subject to Prevent activity – cease & desist letters, visits by ROCU & NCA officers, media coverage Linked to a global day of action with over 100 arrests in the US, Australia, Asia & Europe. An important test of the NCCU’s coordination of UK law enforcement.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Malware in Cars and Hacking Cars

If a hacker were to bring in a malware-harboring car for service, the vehicle could spread that infection to a dealership’s testing equipment, which in turn would spread the malware to every vehicle the dealership services, kicking off an epidemic of nasty code capable of attacking critical driving systems like transmission and brakes.
Once you compromise a dealership, you’d have a lot of control,” “You could create a malicious car…The worst case would be a virus-like system where a car pulls in, infects the dealership, and the dealership then spreads that infection to all the other cars.”
That “auto brothel” attack is hypothetical, but it’s not as farfetched as it might seem. In 2010 and 2011, researchers at the University of California at San Diego and the University of Washington revealed a slew of hackable vulnerabilities in a 2009 Chevy Impala that allowed them to perform tricks like disabling its brakes, although they didn’t name the make or model of the vehicle at the time. One of those attacks was designed to take advantage of an auto dealership: The researchers found that they could break into the dealership’s Wi-Fi network and gain access to the same diagnostic tools. Wi-Fi connections. From there, they could hack any vehicle an infected tool plugged into.
Stefan Savage had said
“Any car ever connected to it, it would compromise,” the computer science professor who led the UCSD team in 2011. “You just get through the Wi-Fi in the dealership’s waiting room and the attack spreads to the mechanics shop.”

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Malware and Ransomeware analysis in 2015

In 2015, there were 1,966,324 registered notifications about attempted malware infections that aimed to steal money via online access to bank accounts.Ransomware programs were detected on753,684 computers of unique users; 179,209 computers were targeted by encryption ransomware.Kaspersky Lab’s web antivirus detected121,262,075 unique malicious objects: scripts, exploits, executable files, etc.Kaspersky Lab solutions repelled 798,113,087attacks launched from online resources located all over the world.34.2% of user computers were subjected to at least one web attack over the year.To carry out their attacks, cybercriminals used6,563,145 unique hosts.24% of web attacks neutralized by Kaspersky Lab products were carried out using malicious web resources located in the US.Kaspersky Lab’s antivirus solutions detected a total of 4,000,000 unique malicious and potentially unwanted objects.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Woman faces jail for tagging sister-in-law on Facebook:-

Woman faces jail for tagging sister-in-law on Facebook:-
America, New York-based Maria Gonzalez, who was banned from contacting Maribel Calderon after her divorce from Maribel's brother Rafael Calderon, is charged with second-degree criminal contempt for a Facebook post in which she called her former sister-in-law "stupid."
This woman is facing a year in jail for tagging and calling her former sister-in-law "stupid" in a Facebook post after she was prohibited from contacting her ex-husband's family by a court order.
New York-based Maria Gonzalez, who was banned from contacting Maribel Calderon after her divorce from Maribel's brother Rafael Calderon, is charged with second-degree criminal contempt for the alleged post.
Gonzalez is accused of calling Maribel "stupid" in the post and saying, "You and your family are sad ... You guys have to come stronger than that!! I'm way over you guys but I guess not in ya agenda."
Gonzalez tried to argue that the protection order "did not specifically prohibit (her) from Facebook communication" with her Maribel.
Westchester County Supreme Court Justice Susan Capeci disagreed, saying, "The order of protection prohibited the defendant from contacting the protected party by electronic or any other means," New York Post reported.
"The allegations that she contacted the victim by tagging her in a Facebook posting which the victim was notified of is thus sufficient for pleading purposes to establish a violation of the order of protection," the judge ordered.
Manhattan matrimonial attorney Michael Stutman, who isn't part of the case, said the ruling proves his client adage, "Everything you post anywhere can possibly be used against you."
Gonzalez's attorney, Kim Frohlinger, said she would not appeal the ruling.


Saturday, January 9, 2016

What would be the role and responsibilities of Special IG-Cyber, Mr. Brijesh Singh, IPS in the State of Maharashtra ? My views

What would be the role and responsibilities of Special IG-Cyber,  Mr. Brijesh Singh, IPS  in the State of Maharashtra ? My Views

Let me first congratulate the Government of Maharashtra for creating and appointment of IG Cyber Crime and will also applaud for creating and appointing the post of DCP-Cyber Crime in the city of Mumbai. This definitely shows the approach and seriousness towards the menace of cyber crime.
With the intention to curb women atrocities and implementation of child prostitution and unethical business restriction Act effectively there was a state level Women Atrocities Prevention Cell and department. This department along with Cyber crime would be headed by, the newly created Special Inspector General of Police (Women Atrocities Prevention & Cyber Crime). Thus the newly formed department would also look after all the work previously looked after by cyber crime cell of CID, Maharashtra state
working as a State Nodal Agency. This post was created vide Government Resolution dated 5th January 2016.  The work of the "Special IG (Women Atrocity Prevention & Cyber Crime)" office would do is as follows:
1. Statistical
1.1. Compiling data about FIR either registered only under The IT Act,2000 or where sections of The IT Act,2000 are applied in other crimes.
1.2. Compiling detected crimes and information about various accused people.
1.3. Compiling & studying data about various cases pending in courts and about decided cases.
1.4. To study techniques used in crime and decode its modus operandi
1.5. As required to gather other information and decimate the same
1.6. To represent Maharashtra State police in state and central level conferences.  
2. Investigation
2.1. Wherever State Government orders to investigate crimes which are sensitive and important matters.
2.2. Helping technically and with directions other Investigating Station House Officers present in various cyber cells across the state.
2.3. Will have right to contact and ask any important information from Mobile companies, IT Companies, ISP for investigation of cyber crime.
2.4. To coordinate between investigating agencies of other states and central Government.
3. About Training
3.1. To prepare human resource by training officers and staff in the state 
3.2. To coordinate with other institutions about training, exchanging information and try and get relevant training for staff and officers of the state.
3.3. To compile information about new technology & to be in contact with experts. With the help of experts include this technology in the training and keep the training syllabus updated. Coordinating with CDAC- Pune, MITCON-Pune, CBI Academy- Ghaziabad and also to keep coordination with CDTS which is a central Governments organisation in the field of computers providing  advanced training. 
3.4. To train other staff and officers of criminal justice system about investigation of computer crimes & Evidence.
3.5. In association with experts and institutions associated with software, film and music industry, organising various discussions, conferences and workshops about crimes of cyber/computer & piracy.
3.6. To organize meets with NASSCOM, DSCI, Forensic Lab (Kalina, Mumbai) who are working in the cyber areas and give them deeper information about cyber crime investigation.
b) What are the challenges facing Maharashtra cybercrime 
Ans: Less technically qualified man power, Cyber police station seen as side posting, central coordination of cyber crimes happening across the state is poor, dedicated contact points with NGO working in the field of cyber is absent. The most important is trust in the citizens that police will first understand and then solve the crime which is involving technology is very less and Government need to brand building exercise that the police force is a technologically advanced force. 
How can he plan to build skills and capacity of Maharashtra cyber crime department
This can happen by compulsory cyber crime investigation & Electronic evidence handling training with exams at the end linked to their promotion or transfers. My observation has remained that though the lower rung officers are keen to learn and are found sincere, the officers of Police Inspector rank who are designated IO are often not sincere towards there training. He should also lobby with central Government to nominate API(Assistant Inspector of Police) as Investigating Officer or IO in all cyber crime related matters as it is a Police Inspector as of now.
What are the key initiatives the state should take to tackle the cybercrime.
Ans: What i want to advice all state’s and not only state of Maharashtra is to come out Standard operating procedures for proactive policing as it is done for traditional policing. even thou training remains the part of proactive policing but other measures like raids and detention of know cyber perpetrators , known hackers and online abusers has become must to create deterrence in the society. Raiding mobile shops which supply spy and malware is the need of the hour. Visiting mobile shops during patrolling across the state and country should be made compulsory. Police department having its own cyber war games is now the need of the hour as civilian cyber infrastructure is counted within the jurisdiction of the police.
What can be the immediate action needed to curb cyber crimes
We need 2 cyber police stations in the city of Mumbai and at least 4 cyber cells. Today tag of being only cyber police is a bygone; we need further bifurcation of cyber police in teams so they develop specializations like
A. Cyber financial crimes team (involving ransomware, online banking/credit card & other online scams/frauds) team,
B.  Cyber Abuse(Defamation & religious abuse) team,
C. Cyber Corporate(Data Theft, Source code theft, hacking & Espionage) team.
D. Cyber Grievous Crimes (Cyber terrorism, online radicalization, civil cyber warfare, Death due to cyber crime etc.) team.
Mumbai being financial capital. i feel and suggest the state Government to have 2 special cyber crime courts in Mumbai and at least one in all leading districts of Maharashtra to begin with. State Government also should bring in the bench of Cyber Appellate tribunal and make the Adjudication officers office fully functional with dedicated staff and regular hearings for disposing civil actions under the IT Act,2000 in the set period of six moths as mentioned in the Law.

Advocate Prashant Mali is Noted International Cyber Law & Cyber Security Expert and a High Court Lawyer from Mumbai. He is also a famous cyber-thought leader and accomplished author, his thoughts & speeches are well applauded internationally.

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