Posts tagged: FBI

Jul 11 2012

How DNSChanger Malware Works

DNSChangerDNSChanger is malicious software (malware) that changes a user’s Domain Name System (DNS) settings, in order to divert traffic to unsolicited and potentially illegal sites.

Beginning in 2007, the cyber ring responsible for DNSChanger operated under the company name “Rove Digital” and used the malware to manipulate users’ Web activity by redirecting unsuspecting users to rogue DNS servers hosted in Estonia, New York, and Chicago. In some cases, the malware had the additional effect of preventing users’ anti-virus software and operating systems from updating, thereby exposing infected machines to even more malicious software.

FBI has since seized the rogue DNS servers and the botnet’s command-and-control (C&C) servers as part of “Operation Ghost Click” and the servers are now under their control. To assist victims affected by the DNSChanger, the FBI obtained a court order authorising the Internet Systems Consortium (ISC) to deploy and maintain temporary legitimate DNS servers, replacing the Rove Digital malicious network. As mentioned earlier, this is by no means a permanent solution and does not remove malware from infected systems; it just provides additional time for victims to clean affected computers and restore their normal DNS settings. According to the court order-which expired on 9 July 2012-the clean DNS servers will be turned off and computers still infected by DNSChanger malware may lose Internet connectivity.

To put this into perspective, DNS is an Internet service that converts user-friendly domain names into the numerical IP addresses that computers use to talk to each other. When you enter a domain name into your Web browser address bar, your computer contacts DNS servers to determine the IP address for the website you are intending to visit. Your computer then uses this IP address to locate and connect to the website. DNS servers are operated by your Internet service provider (ISP) and are included in your computer’s network configuration.

DNS Work DNSChanger Work
How DNS Works How DNSChanger Works

With the ability to change a computer’s DNS settings, malware authors can control what websites a computer connects to on the Internet and can force a compromised computer to connect to a fraudulent website or redirect the computer away from an intended website. To do that, a malware author needs to compromise a computer with malicious code, which in this case is DNSChanger. Once the computer is compromised, the malware modifies the DNS settings from the ISP’s legitimate DNS server’s address to the rogue DNS server’s address, in this case, advertisement websites.

A task force has been created, called the DNSChanger Working Group (DCWG), to help people determine if their computers have been compromised by this threat and to also help them remove the threat.

Feb 04 2012

Anonymous Hacks FBI and Records Conference Call

Anonymous HackersEarlier today, Anonymous released a confidential conference call between the FBI and law enforcement officers in the UK. The 16-minute call discusses ongoing investigations into hackers associated with Anonymous, AntiSec, and LulzSec.

From all appearances, Anonymous retrieved the sensitive access code information and a list of attendees from an FBI email account. The group released a roughly 15-minute-long recording of what appears to be a Jan. 17 conference call devoted to tracking and prosecuting members of the loose-knit hacking group.

The email, titled “Anon-Lulz International Coordination Call”, was published on pastebin earlier today. The email with details for accessing the call was sent to law enforcement officials in Britain, France, the Netherlands and others but the only people who identify themselves on the call are from the FBI and Scotland Yard.In a message on Twitter, Anonymous posted links to the audio recording and said the FBI “might be curious how we’re able to continuously read their internal comms for some time now.”

The initial link to the conference call was for an mp3 download, but it was also made available to stream on YouTube.

The FBI and Scotland Yard have now confirmed that their internal conference call describing their investigation into Anonymous hackers was illegally intercepted, as was the email containing the conference call details. The Metropolitan Police also confirmed it, saying:“We are aware of the video which relates to an FBI conference call involving a PCeU representative. The matter is being investigated by the FBI. We continue to carry out a full assessment. We are not prepared to discuss further.”

Karen Todner, a lawyer for Cleary, said that the recording could be “incredibly sensitive” and warned that such data breaches had the potential to derail the police’s work.“If they haven’t secured their email it could potentially prejudice the investigation,” she told. Following a spate of arrests across the world, the group and its various offshoots have focused their attention on law enforcement agencies in general and the FBI in particular.

Jan 26 2012

FBI will Monitor Social Media using Crawl Application

FBI Monitor FacebookThe Federal Bureau of Investigation is looking for a better way to spy on Facebook and Twitter users.

The Bureau is asking companies to build software that can effectively scan social media online for significant words, phrases and behavior so that agents can respond.

A paper posted on the FBI website asks for companies to build programs that will map sentiment and wrongdoing.

“The application must be infinitely flexible and have the ability to adapt quickly to changing threats to maintain the strategic and tactical advantage,” the Request for Information said, “The purpose of this effort is to meet the outlined objectives…for the enhancement [of] FBI SOIC’s overall situation awareness and improved strategic decision making.”The tool would be used in “reconnaisance and surveillance missions, National Special Security Events (NSS) planning, NSSE operations, SOIC operations, counter intelligence, terrorism, and more.

Although the police, including in Britain, already use Facebook routinely to ascertain the whereabouts of criminals, automatically filtering out irrelevant information remains challenging. The new FBI application will be able to automatically highlight the most relevant information.

The FBI is seeking responses by 10 February.