Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Exclusive: FBI probes FDIC hack linked to China's military - sources | Reuters

CTI deals with the persistent and very hard work of the Chinese Cyber Warfare teams in our ESI course on counter espionage, as well as our frequent talks to business and University clients around the USA. The use old school attacks up to very sophisticated attacks helped by the compromised hard ware the Chinese sell to both business and homes around the USA. One of the most used is the constant amount of Agents the Chinese have in the USA, some hiding as students, businessmen and women, and a huge amount of Chinese Scientific Researchers based in the USA. As one memo discovered in China to its intel agencies says. Gather anything, we need to understand how the USA works to be able to beat them. So in one prong of the attack Chinese stay at hotels all over the Washington DC area, monitoring the free wifi provided. With a little work and using both off the shelf software like Wire Shark as well as their own proprietary cyber espionage software they gather info on both companies working for the US Government as well as trying to bid for new work (very valuable information in bids and proposals) and US Government workers coming to town to work at Government agencies. As these people log onto the Internet with the free provided service of the Hotel, the bad guys watch to see who is logging on and then monitoring the traffic on the Internet of the most promising, if they need help others from other hotels in the area will be dispatched to help capture data. If they can get the Hotel to buy one of their routers that have already been compromised then they are in, even faster and can take information as quickly as it is typed. They can gather all the passwords used to gain access to their companies data, and often passwords used to gain access to Government agencies. If a hotel is determined to be critical to the Chinese Espionage teams, then another firm will approach the hotel to provide them upgraded IT equipment like routers and even web service to the Hotel chain and its clients. Once they can provide compromised IT equipment then they do not really even have to stay at the hotel from then on, they can just monitor the information from China or another location in the US when ever they want. Price is usually the method of entry, they sell compromised equipment some with American Company names on them for between 50% and 90% discount. So if you are a hotel chain, or a university these deals are really a good way to get new equipment. By the way this pricing plan has worked against the FBI, the DOD, even State and Local Governments. US Businesses have often been taken in by these compromised equipment as well. Remember that new router you got for your home this year at a really great price, well you may have been hit as well. What is so clever about this is, we often access our companies email servers from our homes, so if they can get your home router to leak data, then they can get access to your company data. Or the could just wait till you go to your favorite Starbucks and steal the passwords from there. Here is something to try and then drop very quickly. Go into a Starbucks or other place you use their free wifi, now just open up your phone of tablet wifi search, look at the different free wifi services around, then shut down, go back to your car and rename your tethering service on your phone or tablet to the name of the free wifi, like company name X, now just add a 1 or what ever number is needed to name, open it up, then go back in, and see how many people log on to your system, often automatically, now drop the tethering signal quick, before you end up doing something illegal. Now on my tablet I can screen capture all those people that logged on to my tethered open wifi, so now I know the name (usually) machine code (MAC) of the people in the area. Now one FBI Agent that works cyber crime and teaches, often renames his phone tether as ATT pr some other providers wifi name, and then reads off all the phones, tablets, and computers that have logged on to his system. Rather embarrassing, but quickly solved. Go into the setup of your wifi and say no to automatically logging on to free wifi. As you originally set up your phone, lie those one's you just got for Christmas, the setup explains that if you chose to automatically log on to free wifi, it will reduce your data min on your service plan. It will, but then it also creates a vulnerability to your phone or tablet to be compromised. During the hand shake to gain access to the wifi, it can download malicious code to your device. So say no to free wifi, and check your phone for new apps turning on your wifi to look for free service and keep turning it off. You may have to drop some of those free apps if they keep doing it. By the way check your bluetooth as well, it should be turned off when ever not in use. Here is a trick if you notice your battery is losing charge to quickly, check to see if your phone in using a lot of data, that does not make sense, you may have been hacked.
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