Security Brief: Cybersecurity Executive Order, Anonymous

The main events of the week between February 11 - February 17

This week, US President Barack Obama has finally issued the long-awaited cybersecurity executive order. The order is not as good as proper legislation, but it’s one step forward in the United States’ attempt to secure the country’s critical infrastructures.

In addition, the executive order doesn't impact civil liberties, the American Civil Liberties Union said.

The DHS has been put in charge of developing a voluntary information sharing program between the government and eligible critical infrastructure companies or commercial service providers that offer security services to critical infrastructure.

Before the US President made the announcement during the State of the Union address, Anonymous hacktivists threatened to block all webcasts of Obama’s speech in protest against the reintroduction of CISPA, the cybersecurity executive order, and the fact that the speech didn’t focus on issues such as the NDAA, military drones and other “hot” topics.

However, the hackers failed to disrupt the broadcast.

Anonymous also initiated OpDorner, a protest campaign against the LAPD and the way they’ve handled the manhunt for Christopher Dorner, the alleged cop killer. In the meantime, Dorner killed himself.

The hacktivists claimed to have attacked an LAPD website and released the personal details of the LAPD command staff.

As far as law enforcement is concerned, we’ve had some interesting arrests and indictments this week. Spanish Police, in collaboration with Europol and others, managed to arrest 11 individuals suspected of being involved in the largest ransomware cybercrime ring.

Law enforcement authorities from the United Kingdom have arrested 6 journalists and former journalists believed to be involved in a separate News of the World phone hacking case.

In addition, two individuals, believed to be the leaders of a sophisticated international ATM skimming ring that has stolen over $3 million (€2.25 million) from more than 6,000 bank accounts, have been indicted.

Finally, Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Cyber Fighters announced that they would be resuming their attacks against US financial institutions if the remaining copies of the Innocence of Muslims movie are not removed from YouTube.

Other noteworthy stories, in case you’ve missed them, are:

Facebook was hacked. Cybercriminals exploited Java zero-day to push malware onto the computers of Facebook employees.

The US Department of Defense will award medal for cyber warfare achievements.

Cyberattacks against journalists are a growing threat because they represent easy and inexpensive censorship.

Former FBI agents, UN officials and other high-profile individuals’ accounts breached by the hacker who leaked the Bush family’s private photos and correspondence.

LA Times cleans up website, but 320,000 users have been exposed to malware.

Las Vegas casinos employ ethical hackers to make sure they’re not vulnerable to cyberattacks.

Cryptome hacked once again.

Canadian naval officer accused of selling secrets to Russia convicted to 20 years in prison.

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