Political spats and issues are once again seen bleeding into cyberspace as notable attacks related to politics were seen today.
The Israeli Legislative Election for 2009 to be held on February 10 was used by spammers as bait for users to download malware on their systems. The election is supposedly to be held in 2010. However, due to the resignation of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert as leader of the Kadima party, and the failure of his successor, Tzipi Livni, to form a coalition government, the elections will now be held earlier – informs BBC .
The spam lures receivers of the spammed message to download the malware by posing it as an electronic game to play with, themed in the Israeli Election Competition.
Figure 1. Email inviting people to play the electronic game
The malicious file is housed in a popular web-hosting service provider. This technique buys the malicious file an “immunity” of some kind; the URL leading to the malicious file can not be blocked, since the hosting site used is a legitimate service.
Figure 2.The malicious file posing as a game
The downloaded file is in .zip format and is using the file names game1.exe and game2.exe, bearing the Flash icon. This file is malicious ( TROJ_DROPPER.JCM) which drops an email address harvester ( TROJ_MYDOOM.CV).
Other news inform (unverified) about Russian hacktivists believed to have staged an attack against Kyrgyztan. Security researchers discovered that several Internet Service Providers in the said country were suffering from DDoS attacks. The hackers behind the threat were assumed to use Russian servers.
Hacktivism, which to put it simply is a combination of both hacking techniques and activism, is a growing trend that not only has implications on Web security but on global political relations as well.
Trend Micro Advanced Threats Researcher Paul Ferguson discusses hacktivism and some notable examples in this blog post. Other cases include:
- New Year Ushers in New Waves of Hacktivism
- Defacers UNmask the UN
- Web War Erupts between Sweden and Turkey