In Italy things are working at a slower pace, A 25-year-old Italian man pleaded guilty this week for defacing NASA websites and 60 other Italian government sites back since 2011. Web site defacements are usually made to carry out a message against specific issue or protest.
They are also easier to execute as there are many free tools on google that scans the internet automatically for specific vulnerabilities and exploit them to change the content of web pages, so many times this type of attacks are made by teenagers or hackers who want to be famous for some reason.
The hacker which was only identified by his Initials, admitted to breaching and defacing at least eight subdomains belonging to NASA’s Ames Research Center and at least 60 other Italian government sites including law enforcement websites.
At the time of the attacks, the members of the Master Italian Hackers Team claimed to have also stolen and leaked databases from the hacked sites and made sure to share with the world every defacement they made.
The Italian police did not mentioned in the report whether anything was stolen during the cyber attacks. Members of Italy’s Postal and Communications Police started investigating the Master Italian Hackers Team and its cyber-attacks on Italian government sites in 2015, (thats four years after they first reported.) Investigators said they identified hackers suspected of being part of the group a year later, in 2016. along list of the sites that were defaced in a mirror of what they looked like can be found in the links section.
Florida is probably one the most vulnerable states in the USA.
while Florida state invest and prioritize cyber security it seems like they are constantly suffering from successful cyber attacks.
This week A Florida city agreed to pay $600,000 in ransom to hackers who took over its computer systems, that attack joining other cyber attacks that have been hitting Florida recently.
The Riviera Beach City Council voted unanimously this week to pay the hackers’ demands, believing the Palm Beach suburb had no choice if it wanted to retrieve its records, which the hackers encrypted. The council already voted to spend almost $1 million on new computers and hardware after hackers captured the city’s system three weeks ago.
Spokeswoman Rose Anne Brown said Wednesday that the city of 35,000 residents has been working with outside security consultants, who recommended the ransom be paid. She conceded there are no guarantees that once the hackers received the money they will release the records. The payment is being covered by insurance. Thats while The FBI says it “doesn’t support” paying off hackers but many choose to do that anyway.
“We are relying on the consultants advice,” the spokeswoman said. The hackers demanded payment in the cryptocurrency bitcoin. bitcoin anonymity is usually the popular choice for paying ransomware. Just last month Baltimore refused to pay hackers after a cyber attack. The U.S. government indicted two Iranians last year for allegedly unleashing more than 200 ransomware attacks, including against the cities of Atlanta and Newark, New Jersey. The men, who have not been arrested, received more than $6 million in payments and caused $30 million in damage to computer systems, federal prosecutors have said.
Ransomware is a good way to generate revenue for other countries so many of the offensive cyber campaigns are sponsored by different state level actors.
That’s it for this podcast, stay safe and see you in the next podcast.
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