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Facebook Targeted in ‘Sophisticated Attack’

Appears to have originated in China
Internet • Views: 21,505

Facebook Says It Was a Target of Sophisticated Hacking Attack:

(Reuters) - Facebook Inc said on Friday it had been the target of an unidentified hacker group, but it found no evidence that user data was compromised.

“Last month, Facebook security discovered that our systems had been targeted in a sophisticated attack,” the company said in a blog post posted on Friday afternoon, just before the three-day Presidents Day weekend. “The attack occurred when a handful of employees visited a mobile developer website that was compromised.”

The social network, which says it has more than one billion active users worldwide, also said: “Facebook was not alone in this attack. It is clear that others were attacked and infiltrated recently as well.”

Facebook declined to comment on the motive or origin of the attack.
A security expert at another company with knowledge of the matter said he was told the Facebook attack appeared to have originated in China.

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49 comments

1 Charles Johnson  Fri, Feb 15, 2013 6:42:51pm

I’ve noticed a very marked increase in hack attempts from Chinese IPs recently. There’s a strange covert war going on beneath the HTTP surface.

2 SpaceJesus  Fri, Feb 15, 2013 6:46:54pm

And likely endorsed by their government. Time to start hitting back?

3 lawhawk  Fri, Feb 15, 2013 6:49:59pm

“A security expert at another company with knowledge of the matter said he was told the Facebook attack appeared to have originated in China.” Originated in China. Go figure.

4 Kragar (Antichrist )  Fri, Feb 15, 2013 6:50:46pm

Obama’s Executive Order on Cybersecurity Fighting Words to GOP

With Congress facing an impasse over new legislation to strengthen the country’s defenses against cyberattacks, President Obama is widely expected to issue an executive order mandating new cybersecurity provisions.

That order, which could be promulgated in the coming weeks, would likely call on private-sector companies—but not compel them—to improve their coordination with government authorities as new threats and attacks materialize.

But even though many of the proposals in the anticipated executive order would not amount to binding directives, any White House action on cybersecurity will likely be met with sharp criticism from congressional Republicans, many of whom have been vocal in their opposition to any measure that would expand government oversight over digital infrastructure owned and operated by the private sector.

“Legislation usurping the collaborative efforts of private industry, security experts and academia is bad enough, but a unilateral executive order is even worse,” Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), the chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee, said on Wednesday at the State of the Net technology policy conference. “So I call on President Obama and his administration to disavow any attempts to bypass the checks and balances of Congress when we’re addressing these issues. Instead, we should recognize that Internet freedom demands that government facilitate private cybersecurity efforts and the multi-stakeholder process and not try to replace it.”

5 Kragar (Antichrist )  Fri, Feb 15, 2013 6:53:32pm

There is absolutely no issue in America today that the GOP isn’t on the wrong side of.

6 First As Tragedy, Then As Farce  Fri, Feb 15, 2013 6:54:14pm
7 jaunte  Fri, Feb 15, 2013 6:56:29pm

A Chinese Hacker’s Identity Unmasked

“…Stewart tracks about 24,000 Internet domains, which he says Chinese spies have rented or hacked for the purpose of espionage. They include a marketing company in Texas and a personal website belonging to a well-known political figure in Washington. He catalogs the malware he finds into categories, which usually correspond to particular hacking teams in China. He says around 10 teams have deployed 300 malware groups, double the count of 10 months ago. “There is a tremendous amount of manpower being thrown at this from their side,” he says.

Investigators at dozens of commercial security companies suspect many if not most of those hackers either are military or take their orders from some of China’s many intelligence or surveillance organizations. In general, they say the attacks are too organized and the scope too vast to be the work of freelancers.”

…big snip….

As Stewart discusses this, his voice is flat. He’s realistic. Outing one person involved in the hacking teams won’t stop computer intrusions from China. Zhang’s a cog in a much larger machine and, given how large China’s operations have become, finding more Zhangs may get easier. Show enough of this evidence, Stewart figures, and eventually the Chinese government can’t deny its role.

8 HappyWarrior  Fri, Feb 15, 2013 6:56:55pm

Obama wants it so we must oppose.

9 Kragar (Antichrist )  Fri, Feb 15, 2013 6:58:47pm

re: #8 HappyWarrior

Obama wants it so we must oppose.

Security costs more than paying off a congressman.

10 jaunte  Fri, Feb 15, 2013 7:02:17pm

re: #4 Kragar (Antichrist )

“Legislation usurping the collaborative efforts of private industry, security experts and academia is bad enough, but a unilateral executive order is even worse,” Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), the chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee, said on Wednesday at the State of the Net technology policy conference.

As he bravely pointed at the wrong adversary.

11 Iwouldprefernotto  Fri, Feb 15, 2013 7:02:25pm

re: #5 Kragar (Antichrist )

There is absolutely no issue in America today that the GOP isn’t on the wrong side of.

I’m really trying to think of something that the GOP supports that I also support. I can’t. What is their position on the designated hitter?

12 Kragar (Antichrist )  Fri, Feb 15, 2013 7:06:11pm

Security guidelines and best practices are great things.

Ensuring companies actually enact them, considering how many of those companies we’re told are too big to fail and they would bring destroy the economy if they collapsed, would be better.

13 Varek Raith  Fri, Feb 15, 2013 7:13:01pm
14 Hercules Grytpype-Thynneghazi  Fri, Feb 15, 2013 7:14:32pm

re: #11 anonymous gun expert

I’m really trying to think of something that the GOP supports that I also support. I can’t. What is their position on the designated hitter?

Last I heard the GOP was still in favor of breathing oxygen. But that may just be because Obama hasn’t yet announced his position.

15 SpaceJesus  Fri, Feb 15, 2013 7:15:56pm

Tell the Republicans that the Chinese hackers are Muslim and gay and guarding a bunch of oil

16 freetoken  Fri, Feb 15, 2013 7:16:24pm

re: #1 Charles Johnson

I’ve noticed a very marked increase in hack attempts from Chinese IPs recently. There’s a strange covert war going on beneath the HTTP surface.

I’ve been wondering for a while about what is really going on about all these reports of China-originated hacking.

“China” is a big place with lots of people.

Those of us in the English language corner of the internet may not notice it, but Chinese language internet sites/services have grown to dominate.

Though there is no absolute measure of these things, there are more internet users in China than there are in the US. Especially if you count smart phones.

I suspect that individual Chinese who are embedded in a culture of hyper-competition are attempting to make a name for themselves. Some may be carrying cultural crosses, trying to prove themselves to the western world.

17 jamesfirecat  Fri, Feb 15, 2013 7:16:41pm

re: #11 anonymous gun expert

I’m really trying to think of something that the GOP supports that I also support. I can’t. What is their position on the designated hitter?

They think it frees up the pitcher to focus on pitching too much.

18 Varek Raith  Fri, Feb 15, 2013 7:17:28pm

re: #15 SpaceJesus

Tell the Republicans that the Chinese hackers are Muslim and gay and guarding a bunch of oil

And think that Ronald Reagan sucks.

19 Killgore Trout  Fri, Feb 15, 2013 7:17:34pm

Facebook targeted by sophisticated attack? Facebook is a targeted attack, although not really that sophisticated. It’s just a tool to harvest your personal information and send your exact location to drones who may sell you boner pills and mattresses, or they might simulate a single bullet hole in your skull with thermite to look like a self inflicted gunshot. Take your chances. The eyes are watching.

20 Gus  Fri, Feb 15, 2013 7:18:29pm

re: #19 Killgore Trout

Facebook targeted by sophisticated attack? Facebook is a targeted attack, although not really that sophisticated. It’s just a tool to harvest your personal information and send your exact location to drones who may sell you boner pills and mattresses, or they might simulate a single bullet hole in your skull with thermite to look like a self inflicted gunshot. Take your chances. The eyes are watching.

That sounds like anonymous not China.

21 jaunte  Fri, Feb 15, 2013 7:19:30pm

re: #19 Killgore Trout

*wiggles fingers*

22 Kragar (Antichrist )  Fri, Feb 15, 2013 7:19:47pm

re: #15 SpaceJesus

Tell the Republicans that the Chinese hackers are Muslim and gay and guarding a bunch of oil

I keep picturing the GOP as the henchmen in a James Bond movie, getting their orders from the Koch Foundation’s secret volcano base.

Its the only way I explain their rampant stupidity and obstinance. They’re worried they’ll mess up and get dropped into the shark tank.

23 lawhawk  Fri, Feb 15, 2013 7:26:53pm

On a serious note, this doesn’t exactly strike me as reassuring. Facebook’s response was what, that Facebook wasn’t alone in getting hacked. There were other sites too. Gee, that’s nice.

So what’s Facebook doing - and what exactly was compromised? And what other sites were compromised as well.

The only way to avoid getting hacked is not to be online, but that’s not really an option for most folks these days. That’s why relying on sites that utilize strong encryption and protection of data is key. FB isn’t exactly instilling confidence, and the actions of other major companies that have been hacked isn’t much better.

The hackers are definitely probing around, and while some are suggesting that the best defense is a good offense, some of this may be corporate espionage and suggests that companies ought to utilize the canary trap to send them in the wrong direction or waste time otherwise. It’s a cost that companies have to address, but the costs of not doing so are much higher. People need to understand the importance of cyber security and that the GOP is reflexively opposing the Administration’s cyber security position shows that they really have no policy of their own other than to oppose for the sake of opposing.

24 Glenn Beck's Grand Unifying Theory of Obdicut  Fri, Feb 15, 2013 7:27:32pm

China has been involved in industrial espionage for a long, long time. This is just another evolution of it.

25 Killgore Trout  Fri, Feb 15, 2013 7:27:47pm

re: #21 jaunte

*wiggles fingers*

Uptwinkles!

26 Kragar (Antichrist )  Fri, Feb 15, 2013 7:28:44pm

re: #23 lawhawk

On a serious note, this doesn’t exactly strike me as reassuring. Facebook’s response was what, that Facebook wasn’t alone in getting hacked. There were other sites too. Gee, that’s nice.

So what’s Facebook doing - and what exactly was compromised? And what other sites were compromised as well.

The only way to avoid getting hacked is not to be online, but that’s not really an option for most folks these days. That’s why relying on sites that utilize strong encryption and protection of data is key. FB isn’t exactly instilling confidence, and the actions of other major companies that have been hacked isn’t much better.

The hackers are definitely probing around, and while some are suggesting that the best defense is a good offense, some of this may be corporate espionage and suggests that companies ought to utilize the canary trap to send them in the wrong direction or waste time otherwise. It’s a cost that companies have to address, but the costs of not doing so are much higher. People need to understand the importance of cyber security and that the GOP is reflexively opposing the Administration’s cyber security position shows that they really have no policy of their own other than to oppose for the sake of opposing.

Attempts to get companies to report cyber attacks against them have been blocked for years. No company wants to go on record that their infrastructure isn’t secure if they don’t have to.

27 Glenn Beck's Grand Unifying Theory of Obdicut  Fri, Feb 15, 2013 7:30:23pm

re: #23 lawhawk

The problem is there’s no absolute security. You can’t make a system hackproof. You can make it very hard, but almost all systems can be cracked by the simple social hack of mailing a bunch of USB sticks to the VPs from some made up company. They’ll go ahead and stick them into their secure, protected computers and with physical access you can get deep control. You can get antiviruses to scan shit like that but it’s a very imperfect defense.

It’s really rare that a corporation can have the culture of security that’s necessary. The network security is necessary but people have to abide by the rules, and most places will find consistent rulebreaking since computer security generally interferes with how people do their job.

It’s the DRM problem in a different form, basically.

28 Kragar (Antichrist )  Fri, Feb 15, 2013 7:30:26pm

Maybe if we start telling the GOP abstinence only is the only way to stay safe, we can get them to all stop using the internet.

29 Killgore Trout  Fri, Feb 15, 2013 7:31:21pm

Ministry of Legumes and Authoritarian Nutrition: Ketchup is not a vegetable
S.E.C., Suspecting Insider Trading, Freezes Account Over Heinz Merger

30 Kragar (Antichrist )  Fri, Feb 15, 2013 7:31:50pm

re: #27 Glenn Beck’s Grand Unifying Theory of Obdicut

Old IT Joke: We would have a 100% secure network if we could just get all these damn users off it.

31 jamesfirecat  Fri, Feb 15, 2013 7:33:16pm

re: #29 Killgore Trout

Ministry of Legumes and Authoritarian Nutrition: Ketchup is not a vegetable
S.E.C., Suspecting Insider Trading, Freezes Account Over Heinz Merger

It’s a lifelong occupation.

32 First As Tragedy, Then As Farce  Fri, Feb 15, 2013 7:34:41pm

Let me take this opportunity to smugly remind everyone that I have never had a Facebook account and never will.

Image: s10e02_480.jpg

33 Kragar (Antichrist )  Fri, Feb 15, 2013 7:36:25pm

re: #32 First As Tragedy, Then As Farce

Let me take this opportunity to smugly remind everyone that I have never had a Facebook account and never will.

Image: s10e02_480.jpg

Do you twit?

34 Gus  Fri, Feb 15, 2013 7:38:45pm

Heinz Tomato Ketchup©

35 Glenn Beck's Grand Unifying Theory of Obdicut  Fri, Feb 15, 2013 7:39:21pm

re: #32 First As Tragedy, Then As Farce

Image: smug-dog.jpg

36 Gus  Fri, Feb 15, 2013 7:40:59pm

re: #29 Killgore Trout

Ministry of Legumes and Authoritarian Nutrition: Ketchup is not a vegetable
S.E.C., Suspecting Insider Trading, Freezes Account Over Heinz Merger

37 Kragar (Antichrist )  Fri, Feb 15, 2013 7:42:34pm

Whenever they say drones, I keep thinking they mean Sarah Palin’s voice.

38 Glenn Beck's Grand Unifying Theory of Obdicut  Fri, Feb 15, 2013 7:42:56pm

re: #36 Gus

Can’t fool me, that’s an Iranian drone.

39 jaunte  Fri, Feb 15, 2013 7:42:57pm

re: #36 Gus

Those look too small to be intercondimental guided missiles.

40 austin_blue  Fri, Feb 15, 2013 7:45:12pm

OT:

That was one significant bolide today over Chelyabinsk. The shockwave occurred between 2 and 2 and 1/2 minutes after the initial breakup, indicating an altitude of between 125,00 and 150,00 feet. The contrail itself was around three hundred miles long. (perspective is an odd thing, yes?).

Over a million square feet of glass was shattered in the city. The object was approximately 50 feet in diameter and was probably a chondroid (most objects are), but we can hope for a Palasite body (beautiful stuff).

The altitude of the the breakup caused most of the injuries. People went to the windows to see what the bright light was and were staring at the contrail when the windows blew in. Lots of opthalmic surgeons will be really busy the next few days. Some victims have been airlifted to hospitals in Moscow and St. Pete.

The coincidence of this object, entering the atmosphere at a completely different angle and a much greater speed (30 miles per second!) than the fly-by asteroid which missed by 17,000 miles was just that; a coincidence. But the timing indicates that there are, as the Bard wrote, “more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

A fine example of “real world” Earth Science was displayed today. NASA is looking for really big bodies. If this object had come in vertically over LA today, it would have stomped the city into a bloody stain.

41 Kragar (Antichrist )  Fri, Feb 15, 2013 7:45:59pm

re: #39 jaunte

Those look too small to be intercondimental guided missiles.

Luckily, they weren’t using mustard gas.

42 Gus  Fri, Feb 15, 2013 7:48:02pm

re: #38 Glenn Beck’s Grand Unifying Theory of Obdicut

Can’t fool me, that’s an Iranian drone.

Nope. Here’s the Iranian drone.

43 stabby  Fri, Feb 15, 2013 7:49:26pm

re: #39 jaunte

Those look too small to be intercondimental guided missiles.

arrrrgggghhhh

44 Killgore Trout  Fri, Feb 15, 2013 7:52:31pm

re: #36 Gus

Because you can’t have freedom fries without Orwelian Sauce.

45 Dark_Falcon  Fri, Feb 15, 2013 7:55:58pm

re: #11 anonymous gun expert

I’m really trying to think of something that the GOP supports that I also support. I can’t. What is their position on the designated hitter?

I’m against it. I grew up on the North Side of Chicago, and that means I grew up rooting for the (National League) Cubs.

46 austin_blue  Fri, Feb 15, 2013 7:58:24pm

re: #45 Dark_Falcon

I’m against it. I grew up on the North Side of Chicago, and that means I grew up rooting for the (National League) Cubs.

Poor thing!

47 jamesfirecat  Fri, Feb 15, 2013 7:59:48pm

re: #45 Dark_Falcon

I’m against it. I grew up on the North Side of Chicago, and that means I grew up rooting for the (National League) Cubs.

///by Jove I think we have just discovered the source of your inability stop supporting a hopeless cause like reforming the modern day GOP!

(Too mean?)

48 Dark_Falcon  Fri, Feb 15, 2013 8:16:45pm

re: #46 austin_blue

Poor thing!

Having the Cubs as my team has been worth all the good things I’ve had access to due to where I live(d).

49 Dire Straits  Sat, Feb 16, 2013 5:22:28am

re: #48 Dark_Falcon

Having the Cubs as your team means you must have done something awful in your previous life. lol


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