By Andrew Brandt
With 2010 finally behind us, and an unknown number of cyberattacks likely to come in the new year, I thought I’d run down a brief list of the malicious campaigns criminals pulled off last year that I’d really dread to see anyone repeat. Now that they’re in the past, they should stay there.
Operation Aurora: Google’s accusation (with Adobe, Juniper Networks, Rackspace, Yahoo! and Symantec) that China hacked its servers, allegedly stealing private emails stored on the company’s servers. The big surprise wasn’t that it was happening, but that companies were publicly talking about it.
Abused ccTLDs: 2010 saw lots more malicious content originating from previously un-abused country code top-level domains, which are assigned to national authorities, such as the .in (India) and .cc (Cocos (Keeling) Islands) top-level domains. The Cocos Islands’ .cc domain deserves particular note because the more than 2200 malicious domains (discovered during 2010) hosted under this ccTLD outnumber the approximately 600 human inhabitants of the tiny archipelago by nearly 4-to-1.
Koobface: “the little social network worm that could” employed new URL obfuscation techniques, introduced its own keylogger, and focused efforts on a smaller number of social media sites, while Facebook got more proactive at shutting down the worm’s operations quickly. Maybe this year they’ll disappear altogether.