Weekly Wrap 333: The sniffly calm before the cyber storm

Sydney Harbour Bridge and its southern approaches: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 10 to Sunday 16 October 2016 was another one full of snuffles, but that’s not all. I’m not telling you the rest, though.

Articles

Media Appearances

Podcasts, Corporate Largesse

None. But in the coming week…

The Week Ahead

Monday and Tuesday are about planning, research, and errands. Monday’s errand is to Parramatta, Tuesday’s to Hornsby. There’s a slight chance I’ll get that episode of The 9pm Edict podcast recorded, but don’t hold your breath.

And then it’s all the cybers…

On Wednesday and Thursday I’m covering the AISA National Conference in Sydney. On Friday it’s a medical appointment before flying to Melbourne. Then on Saturday and Sunday I’m covering the Ruxcon Security Conference, where I’m also on the closing panel.

Further Ahead

I’ll be in Melbourne through to 30 October. One important event is on the evening of Wednesday 29 October, when I’m MCing a panel for La Trobe University, Big Data and Cybersecurity: Are We Ready?.

And the rest? I’ve created a new calendar page, Stilgherrian in Public, updated automatically from the calendar on my laptop.

[Photo: Sydney Harbour Bridge and its southern approaches , photographed on 30 October 2012.]

LulzSec vs Murdoch: the lessons, and what’s next?

LulzSec’s hack of The Sun and other UK websites belonging to Rupert Murdoch’s News International yesterday was one of the highest-profile infosec breaches in history. But will it mean anything beyond today’s news cycle? I suspect not.

(If you’re not up to speed on this, please read my initial summary for CSO Online or a shorter but fresher story for Crikey.)

As I thought about this overnight, and after chatting with Paul Ducklin from information security vendor Sophos, I came to the conclusion that despite all the media coverage yesterday nothing will change.

I wrote that up as an op-ed for CSO Online, Four lessons from LulzSec vs Murdoch.

We’ve seen hack after hack after hack, but civilisation has stubbornly refused to crumble. We’ve cried wolf a few hundred times too often. We’re experiencing what Paul Ducklin from Sophos calls “hack fatigue”.

We only hear about successful hacks, from LulzSec or anyone else, Ducklin told CSO Online. “They can crow about every time they have a success,” he said, “but you never hear about the sites they never broke into.”

And the idea that LulzSEc’s high-profile hacks will suddenly focus attention on organisation’s information security vulnerabilities? Bah. We’ve been flooded with media reports of high-profile hacks for the last few years, from NATO to Paris Hilton, Google to prime minister Gillard.

After all those stories we held urgent meetings, changed our ways, and put infosec at the top of the business agenda, right?

Yeah right.

So now what? I’ll put my money on LulzSec being forgotten until their next high-profile attack, or their arrest.

[Picture: Early this morning Australian time, LulzSec tweeted: “The Sun taken care of… now what about the moon…”, linking to that image (source unknown). Is it a hint? Or a meaningless distraction?]

Talking LulzSec vs Murdoch on ABC 774 Melbourne

I knew as soon as I posted my CSO Online and Crikey stories about the hack of the News International websites including The Sun this morning that I’d be asked to do some radio spots.

If you missed the story, this morning I posted a screenshot of the fake story posted on The Sun.

Sure enough, this afternoon I chatted with Lindy Burns on ABC 774 Melbourne. And here’s the audio.

Play

The audio is ©2011 Australian Broadcasting Corporation, but it hasn’t been posted on their website so here it is. In return, I reckon you might choose to listen to Lindy Burns’ drive program some time soon.

I also spoke with Bernadette Young on ABC Gold Coast, but my phone kept dropping out. I did record the audio, but it covered much the same territory. Would you like me to post it?

LulzSec claims to hack The Sun: screenshot

High-profile hacking collective LulzSec is currently claiming to have hacked UK newspaper The Sun and redirected its home page to a fake story about the suicide of Rupert Murdoch.

While The Sun was looking just fine to me, there was certainly a story inserted into a News International website.

The screenshot shows the page at www.new-times.co.uk/sun/ as of about 0730 AEST this morning.

Gizmodo is currently saying the home page was hacked, but they’re also saying the hack was done by Anonymous. That’s journalism right there.

At 0815 AEST LulzSec then claimed to have redirected The Sun home page to their Twitter feed. I’ve just confirmed that to be true.

Since I write about information security, it looks like I’m in for a busy day. I’ll update this post as things unfold.

[Update 0910 AEST: I’ve had many witnesses confirm that The Sun’s home page did indeed redirect to the fake story. I will assume for the moment that the Next G mobile broadband I’m currently using is cached to buggery.]

[Update 1015 AEST: My story at CSO Online has just been published, LulzSec hacks UK’s “The Sun”, News International. Meanwhile, a few minutes ago LulzSec claimed that “News International’s DNS servers (link web addresses to servers) and all 1,024 web addresses are down.”]

[Update 1235 AEST: The consensus seems to be that News International has taken itself offline. There has been no further activity from LulzSec, apart from more of their trademark cocky tweets.]

[Update 1415 AEST: My Crikey story is now online, LulzSec 1, Murdoch 0: News Int, the hacker, becomes the hacked.]

[Update 1840 AEST: I’ve just posted audio of my interview with ABC 774 Melbourne on this story.]