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Comment: Re:Good luck with that... (Score 1) 145

by MightyMartian (#48647159) Attached to: US Seeks China's Help Against North Korean Cyberattacks

I don't think NK is a satellite state in the usual sense of the word. China certainly shields NK, but its reasoning isn't always clear. NK does act as a major counterbalance to US interests (Japan, South Kore and Taiwan). At the same time, NK seems extremely suspicious of China and some believe that at least part of the reason for the latest purge was to cut out members of the regime with too close a ties to China.

Comment: Re: 65536 (Score 1) 235

Actually, Rolex and a lot of others care deeply about that. In Italy, the Guardia Finanzia has units financed by Gucci, D&G, et al. that go after counterfeiters from the top on down to chasing street peddlers. It's all about how much you care about your reputation.

Comment: Re:Oh rearery? (Score 1) 234

>That said, reprisals are a terrible idea.

Who needs reprisals? They're stuck in North Korea. What could be worse? The Dear Leader is a bat-shit crazy reincarnation of Stalin. Half the country is starving to death. Even if your are relatively well off, you could be taken out and shot any minute, and every known relative of yours hauled off to a camp for generations.

Comment: Re:Which is why (Score 1) 332

I'm assuming that Sony, being a very large multinational company, has a very large Intranet, which means at various points its going to be traversing the open Internet at various points.

Unless you're advocating Sony lay down its own fiber and then turn off its gateway routers....

Comment: Re:Sony security: strong or weak? (Score 5, Interesting) 332

I'd be interested in knowing the details of the attack. Was it a "social engineering" attack of some kind (ie. a virus-laden email that someone with high privileges opened)? Was it a vulnerability in their networks? I've heard someone with high level admin privileges had their account hacked, but in what way was it done?

The organization I work for is a contractor for the government of a North American jurisdiction, and yesterday morning I started getting reports that some sort of virus-laden emails were flowing out of this government's networks. Sure enough, within a half an hour, I got emails from a contact I have within this particularly agency, with an attached ZIP file with an SCR file inside. That has to be one of the oldest ways that malware has been transmitted in Windows system, I saw my first virus-laden SCR file somewhere around 1997-1998.

Apparently this critter is so new that by the time we checked, only a few AV companies had caught on to it. Even worse in some ways is that it appears that it made its debut on the very government servers in question, making me think this was a targeted attack. So you have a combination of a brand new virus of some kind that won't get caught by the scanners, lax email rules that allow the opening and execution of executable file types (not that blocking EXE variants doesn't mean some bastard won't be firing off a compromised PDF at an unpatched system), and users who through a combination of laziness and ignorance happily take the final step.

With this particular attack, there would have been no problem if Outlook had been configured not to open these kinds of attachments, and in an Active Directory environment, that's pretty trivial, so some of the blame has to go to this government agency's IT team. But still, even with the best safeguards, where users just happily click on any old attachment, it doesn't exactly take a rare alignment of the stars to have malware planted in a network. Sure, it won't have root privileges and won't be able to propagate itself via more sophisticated means, but it appears in this case it didn't need to.

So I do agree to some point that there are finite limits to what any person or organization can do to secure itself against a determined and directed attack. But there are ways to make such attacks much more difficult, and more quickly captured before they wreak too much harm.

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