Intel Briefing – August 2012

2 Chicago men plead guilty to ATM ‘skimming’.
Two Chicago men pleaded guilty to rigging ATM machines in Illinois and Wisconsin to skim customers’ bank accounts and PINs, costing Chase Bank more than $100,000, the Chicago Sun-Times Media Wire reported July 6. One pleaded guilty to continuing a financial crimes enterprise, and the other pleaded guilty to identity theft. Prosecutors said the two placed electronic devices on ATMs belonging to Chase Bank branches in Cook County, Illinois, and southeastern Wisconsin, allowing them to obtain the financial information of nearly 500 people and gain access to millions of dollars in bank accounts.


Hackers steal BMWs in 3 minutes using security loophole.
There has been an unusual spike in the number of BMWs stolen in the United Kingdom, and the method suspected involves devices that plug into the car’s OBD port to program blank key fobs, Jalopnik reported July 8. The essential theft process varies in detail, but all reports seem to have a fundamental methodology in common. First, the car is entered, either via nearby RF jammers that block the fob lock signal from reaching the car or by breaking a window. In cases of the window break, the thieves seem to be exploiting a gap in the car’s internal ultrasonic sensor system to avoid tripping the alarm. Once access to the vehicle is gained, the thieves connect a device to the car’s OBD-II connector which gives them access to the car’s unique key fob digital ID, allowing them to program a blank key fob on the spot. BMW is not the only car company to allow key code access through the OBD port, but the recent rash of BMW thefts, compared to other makes, suggests another factor may be at play, possibly a good supply of blank BMW key fobs.


Targeted attacks focus on small businesses.
Thirty-six percent of all targeted attacks (58 per day) during the last 6 months were directed at businesses with 250 or fewer employees, according to Symantec. During the first half of 2012, the total number of daily targeted attacks continued to increase at a minimum rate of 24 percent with an average of 151 targeted attacks being blocked each day during May and June. Large enterprises consisting of more than 2,500 employees are still receiving the greatest number of attacks, with an average 69 being blocked each day. “There appears to be a direct correlation between the rise in attacks against smaller businesses and a drop in attacks against larger ones. It almost seems attackers are diverting their resources directly from the one group to the other,” said a cybersecurity intelligence manager at Symantec. “It may be that your company is not the primary target, but an attacker may use your organization as a stepping-stone to attack another company,” he said. The defense industry was the targeted industry of choice in the first half of 2012, with an average of 7.3 attacks per day. The chemical/pharmaceutical and manufacturing sectors maintain the number two and three spots, respectively. These targets clearly received a smaller percentage of overall attention than in 2011, but the chemical/pharmaceutical sector is still hit by one in every five targeted attacks, while manufacturing still accounts for almost 10 percent of all targeted attacks.

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