Targeted attacks on arms manufacturers continue
Mikko Hypponen from F-Secure reports that professional hackers are continuing their targeted attacks on arms manufacturers. Last week, the researcher discovered a specially crafted PDF file that impressively demonstrates how the perpetrators carry out these targeted attacks. The cyber-criminals send professionally designed emails advertising an American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) conference to the employees of specific arms manufacturers; the document allegedly appears to be authentic and invites recipients to submit papers for the forthcoming conference, classified as "secret", by 30 July.
In March 2011, unknown attackers used a similar "spear phishing" attack to infiltrate systems at RSA and steal secret information relating to the SecurID two-factor authentication system. However, in that case they used an Excel file with an embedded Flash file that exploited a vulnerability in the Flash Player that was, at the time, unpatched. The criminals subsequently used the harvested data to break into the systems of US arms manufacturer Lockheed Martin.