Inside the notoriously secretive National Security Agency is an elite unit made up of some of the best hackers on the planet, charged with breaking into computer networks around the world. Exactly how the Tailored Access Operations (TAO) cell works is a closely-held secret — despite some recent leaks — but in a rare public appearance, TAO’s chief shed some light on how America’s top cyber spies do their thing.
With firewalls no longer seen as enough of a defense against security breaches, companies are looking at new tools to foil hackers trying to enter a computer network. U.S. and Israeli startups are leading the way, with new approaches such as “honeytraps” that lure a hacker to fake data or “polymorphic” technology that constantly changes the structure of applications running on a computer.
Illegal mining is a serious problem in the real world. Lately, it has also become popular with cyber attackers who manage to mine digital currency through untargeted attacks. Untargeted attacks are a common problem, not as attention grabbing as APTs, but still responsible for a large percentage of attacks. In this post, using Guardicore’s Data Center Security Suite, we’ll take a look at yet another type of untargeted attacks, as we first reported with Alex. Our attacker “galaden666” is a Ukrainian gamer who makes money by mining a new digital currency called Litecoins (a variant of Bitcoins) on compromised servers by stealing their CPU cycles.