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MasterCard, Paypal see WikiLeaks revenge attacks

Dec 08, 20103 mins
Data and Information Security

Good morning, security friends. It’s time for your Morning Hash:

MORE WIKILEAKS REVENGE ATTACKS: MasterCard and Paypal appear to be the latest victims of pro-WikiLeaks hackers who want revenge against those who turned away from the controversial entity.

MasterCard is among many companies that cut off services to the WikiLeaks site. Paypal is another, which has to sting because WikiLeaks was getting donations on its site via PayPal.

Hackers sympathetic to the WikiLeaks cause have engaged in some old-fashioned denial-of-service (DOS) attacks as a result.

Don’t expect this behavior to end any time soon.

The WikiLeaks case has been compared to that of the New York Times in the “Pentagon Papers” case. Some argue that WikiLeaks is providing a valuable service that’s exposing government wrongdoings around the world. Others, including the U.S. Department of State, say the site is a danger to national security.

–DANIEL ELLSBERG DEFENDS WIKILEAKS: Ellsberg, leaker of the Pentagon Papers, is coming to the side of WikiLeaks. Here’s what he says in a statement he released alongside Frank Grevil, Katharine Gun, David MacMichael, Ray McGovern, Craig Murray, Coleen Rowley and Larry Wilkerson (all with Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence.):

WikiLeaks has teased the genie of transparency out of a very opaque bottle, and powerful forces in America, who thrive on secrecy, are trying desperately to stuff the genie back in. The people listed below this release would be pleased to shed light on these exciting new developments.

How far down the U.S. has slid can be seen, ironically enough, in a recent commentary in Pravda (that’s right, Russia’s Pravda): “What WikiLeaks has done is make people understand why so many Americans are politically apathetic … After all, the evils committed by those in power can be suffocating, and the sense of powerlessness that erupts can be paralyzing, especially when … government evildoers almost always get away with their crimes. …”

So shame on Barack Obama, Eric Holder, and all those who spew platitudes about integrity, justice and accountability while allowing war criminals and torturers to walk freely upon the earth. … the American people should be outraged that their government has transformed a nation with a reputation for freedom, justice, tolerance and respect for human rights into a backwater that revels in its criminality, cover-ups, injustices and hypocrisies.

MORE TWITTER MALWARE: News is reporting the spread of a new piece of Twitter malware. Here’s a snippet from the news report”

A new worm is spreading by hijacking Twitter accounts and using them to advertise links to a drive-by download website. The attack starts with shortened URLs being sent by users whose computers have already been infected by the new threat.The links get changed as soon as Google suspends them for abuse. One URL pointed to a page hosted on a compromised website belonging to a French furniture manufacturing business. This page takes visitors through several redirects and eventually lands them on a drive-by download site that tries to exploit vulnerabilities in outdated versions of Java and Adobe Reader.

Maybe that explains all the crud that’s been coming in through my Twitter stream. Time to break out the scrubber.

More updates coming later. Have a great morning!

–Bill Brenner