Welcome!

Cloud Security Authors: Scott Millis, Kevin Jackson, Liz McMillan, Doron Kolton, Bob Gourley

Related Topics: Microsoft Cloud, Silverlight, Cloud Security

Microsoft Cloud: Blog Feed Post

Microsoft Partners with World Class Best Cyber Firm Kyrus Tech Inc

Helps Defeat Some Very Bad Criminals

We have previously written about Kyrus Tech Inc and have highlighted their unique capability called Carbon Black. We have worked with the team of experts there in the past and I am very proud to have been professionally associated with Michael Tanji since we were both in government in the mid 1990′s. We have also been privileged to have worked with and learned from cyber teams at Microsoft for years and know many great professionals there.  In part because of that it was especially great to read the press release below that shows how Microsoft and Kyrus Tech have combined their strengths to help reduce a particularly nasty vector of cyber crime. Their collaborative work has helped disrupt the massive Zeus cybercrime operation.

For details on the role of Kyrus see: http://www.kyrus-tech.com/blog/

We also recommend a review of the press release below from: http://www.microsoft.com/Presspass/press/2012/mar12/03-25CybercrimePR.mspx

Microsoft Joins Financial Services Industry to Disrupt Massive Zeus Cybercrime Operation That Fuels Worldwide Fraud and Identity Theft

Microsoft collaborates with financial services industry in unprecedented cross-industry action against notorious cybercrime operation behind online fraud and identity theft.

REDMOND, Wash. — March 25, 2012 — In its most complex effort to disrupt botnets to date, Microsoft Corp., in collaboration with the financial services industry — including the Financial Services – Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC) and NACHA – The Electronic Payments Association — as well as Kyrus Tech Inc., announced it has successfully executed a coordinated global action against some of the most notorious cybercrime operations that fuel online fraud and identity theft. With this legal and technical action, a number of the most harmful botnets using the Zeus family of malware worldwide have been disrupted in an unprecedented, proactive cross-industry action against this cybercriminal organization.

Through an extensive and collaborative investigation into the Zeus threat, Microsoft and its banking, finance and technical partners discovered that once a computer is infected with Zeus, the malware can monitor a victim’s online activity and automatically start keylogging, or recording a person’s every keystroke, when a person types in the name of a financial institution or ecommerce site. With this information, cybercriminals can steal personal information that can be used for identity theft or to fraudulently make purchases or access other private accounts. In fact, since 2007, Microsoft has detected more than 13 million suspected infections of the Zeus malware worldwide, including approximately 3 million computers in the United States alone.

“With this action, we’ve disrupted a critical source of money-making for digital fraudsters and cyberthieves, while gaining important information to help identify those responsible and better protect victims,” said Richard Boscovich, senior attorney for the Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit. “The Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit has long been working to combat cybercrime operations, and today is a particularly important strike against cybercrime that we expect will be felt across the criminal underground for a long time to come.”

This disruption was made possible through a successful pleading before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, which allowed Microsoft and its partners to conduct a coordinated seizure of command and control servers running some of the worst known Zeus botnets. Because the botnet operators used Zeus to steal victims’ online banking credentials and transfer stolen funds, FS-ISAC and NACHA joined Microsoft as plaintiffs in the civil suit, and Kyrus Tech Inc. served as a declarant in the case. Other organizations, including F-Secure, also provided supporting information for the case.

As a part of the operation, on March 23, Microsoft and its co-plaintiffs, escorted by the U.S. Marshals, seized command and control servers in two hosting locations, Scranton, Pa., and Lombard, Ill., to seize and preserve valuable data and virtual evidence from the botnets for the case. Microsoft and its partners took down two Internet Protocol addresses behind the Zeus command and control structure, and Microsoft is currently monitoring 800 domains secured in the operation, which are helping identify thousands of computers infected by Zeus.

This is the second time Microsoft has conducted physical seizures in a botnet operation, and it is the first time other organizations have joined Microsoft as plaintiffs in the legal case for a botnet operation. This is also the first operation for Microsoft that involved the simultaneous disruption of multiple operating botnets in a single action and is the first known time the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act has been applied as the legal basis in a consolidated civil case to charge all those responsible in the use of a botnet.

“As crimes against banks and their customers move from stickups to mouse clicks, we’re also using our own mouse clicks — as well as the law — to help protect consumers and businesses,” said Greg Garcia, a spokesperson for the three major financial industry associations that worked with Microsoft on this initiative. “Disrupting the Zeus botnets is just one strike in our long-term commitment to help defend and protect people.”

Because of the complexities of these targets, unlike Microsoft’s previous botnet operations, the goal of this action was not to permanently shut down all impacted Zeus botnets. However, this action is expected to significantly impact the cybercriminals’ operations and infrastructure, advance global efforts to help victims regain control of their infected computers, and also help further investigations against those responsible for the threat. As with its previous botnet operations, Microsoft will now use the intelligence gained from this operation to partner with Internet service providers and Community Emergency Response Teams around the world to help rescue people’s computers from the control of Zeus, helping to reduce the size of the threat that these botnets pose and to help make the Internet safer for consumers and businesses worldwide. Together, these aspects of the operation are expected to undermine the criminal infrastructure that relies on these botnets every day to make money and to help provide new tools for the industry to work together to proactively fight cybercrime.

Michael Tanji, chief security officer of Kyrus Tech Inc., who helped analyze the Zeus malware and determine which botnets were the most dangerous said, “We are proud to have played a part in this groundbreaking effort and hope that others will start working together to combat malicious activity at the same scale as it is being perpetrated.”

There are steps consumers and businesses can take to better help protect themselves from becoming victims of malware, fraud and identity theft. All computer users should exercise safe practices, such as running up-to-date and legitimate computer software, firewall protection, and antivirus or antimalware protection. People should also exercise caution when surfing the Web and clicking on ads or email attachments that may prove to be malicious. For computer owners worried their computers might be infected, Microsoft offers free information and malware cleaning tools athttp://support.microsoft.com/botnets that can help people remove Zeus and other malware from their computers. For businesses looking for more information about corporate account takeover issues, including those due to malicious software, a fraud advisory from FS-ISAC, the FBI and the U.S. Secret Service can be found at http://www.fsisac.com/files/public/db/p265.pdf.

More information about today’s news and the coordinated action against Zeus is available athttp://www.microsoft.com/presspass/presskits/dcu. Legal documentation in the case can be found athttp://www.zeuslegalnotice.com.

About FS-ISAC

The Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center was formed in 1999 and is a non-profit, private financial sector initiative. It was designed and developed and is owned by financial institutions. Its primary function is to share timely, relevant and actionable information of physical and cyber security threat and incident information to help mitigate the risk associated with these threats. [http://www.fsisac.com/]

About NACHA – The Electronic Payments Association

NACHA manages the development, administration, and governance of the ACH Network, the backbone for the electronic movement of money and data. The ACH Network provides a safe, secure, and reliable network for direct account-to-account consumer, business, and government payments. Annually, it facilitates billions of Direct Deposit via ACH and Direct Payment via ACH transactions. Used by all types of financial institutions, the ACH Network is governed by the fair and equitable NACHA Operating Rules, which guide risk management and create payment certainty for all participants. As a not-for-profit association, NACHA represents more than 10,000 financial institutions via 17 regional payments associations and direct membership. Through its industry councils and forums, NACHA brings together payments system stakeholders to foster dialogue and innovation to strengthen the ACH Network. To learn more, please visit www.nacha.org.

AboutKyrus Tech, Inc.

Kyrus is a security innovation company. We have deep expertise in vulnerability research, reverse engineering, computer forensics and custom software development. We apply those skills to conduct research and develop solutions for the business, critical infrastructure and national security communities. We strive to disrupt the status quo. We believe that approaching security problems from diverse perspectives and without preconceptions is the only way for security to become both a valued and a cost-effective capability.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://www.microsoft.com/news. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed athttp://www.microsoft.com/news/contactpr.mspx.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Bob Gourley

Bob Gourley writes on enterprise IT. He is a founder and partner at Cognitio Corp and publsher of CTOvision.com

@ThingsExpo Stories
Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more business becomes digital the more stakeholders are interested in this data including how it relates to business. Some of these people have never used a monitoring tool before. They have a question on their mind like “How is my application doing” but no id...
@GonzalezCarmen has been ranked the Number One Influencer and @ThingsExpo has been named the Number One Brand in the “M2M 2016: Top 100 Influencers and Brands” by Onalytica. Onalytica analyzed tweets over the last 6 months mentioning the keywords M2M OR “Machine to Machine.” They then identified the top 100 most influential brands and individuals leading the discussion on Twitter.
As data explodes in quantity, importance and from new sources, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and cloud environments grow with it. Managing data includes protecting it, indexing and classifying it for true, long-term management, compliance and E-Discovery. Commvault can ensure this with a single pane of glass solution – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enter...
"IoT is going to be a huge industry with a lot of value for end users, for industries, for consumers, for manufacturers. How can we use cloud to effectively manage IoT applications," stated Ian Khan, Innovation & Marketing Manager at Solgeniakhela, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"We're a cybersecurity firm that specializes in engineering security solutions both at the software and hardware level. Security cannot be an after-the-fact afterthought, which is what it's become," stated Richard Blech, Chief Executive Officer at Secure Channels, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Information technology is an industry that has always experienced change, and the dramatic change sweeping across the industry today could not be truthfully described as the first time we've seen such widespread change impacting customer investments. However, the rate of the change, and the potential outcomes from today's digital transformation has the distinct potential to separate the industry into two camps: Organizations that see the change coming, embrace it, and successful leverage it; and...
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, discussed the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
What happens when the different parts of a vehicle become smarter than the vehicle itself? As we move toward the era of smart everything, hundreds of entities in a vehicle that communicate with each other, the vehicle and external systems create a need for identity orchestration so that all entities work as a conglomerate. Much like an orchestra without a conductor, without the ability to secure, control, and connect the link between a vehicle’s head unit, devices, and systems and to manage the ...
We are always online. We access our data, our finances, work, and various services on the Internet. But we live in a congested world of information in which the roads were built two decades ago. The quest for better, faster Internet routing has been around for a decade, but nobody solved this problem. We’ve seen band-aid approaches like CDNs that attack a niche's slice of static content part of the Internet, but that’s it. It does not address the dynamic services-based Internet of today. It does...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @ThingsExpo New York Call for Papers is now open.
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
Everyone knows that truly innovative companies learn as they go along, pushing boundaries in response to market changes and demands. What's more of a mystery is how to balance innovation on a fresh platform built from scratch with the legacy tech stack, product suite and customers that continue to serve as the business' foundation. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, discussed why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue and mor...
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
You have great SaaS business app ideas. You want to turn your idea quickly into a functional and engaging proof of concept. You need to be able to modify it to meet customers' needs, and you need to deliver a complete and secure SaaS application. How could you achieve all the above and yet avoid unforeseen IT requirements that add unnecessary cost and complexity? You also want your app to be responsive in any device at any time. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Allen, General Manager of...
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to simplify and streamline our lives by automating routine tasks that distract us from our goals. This promise is based on the ubiquitous deployment of smart, connected devices that link everything from industrial control systems to automobiles to refrigerators. Unfortunately, comparatively few of the devices currently deployed have been developed with an eye toward security, and as the DDoS attacks of late October 2016 have demonstrated, this oversight can ...
"ReadyTalk is an audio and web video conferencing provider. We've really come to embrace WebRTC as the platform for our future of technology," explained Dan Cunningham, CTO of ReadyTalk, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at WebRTC Summit at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Bert Loomis was a visionary. This general session will highlight how Bert Loomis and people like him inspire us to build great things with small inventions. In their general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Architect at IBM Bluemix, and Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at Nvidia, discussed the accelerating pace of AI development and how IBM Cloud and NVIDIA are partnering to bring AI capabilities to "every day," on-demand. They also reviewed two "free infrastructure" pr...
Major trends and emerging technologies – from virtual reality and IoT, to Big Data and algorithms – are helping organizations innovate in the digital era. However, to create real business value, IT must think beyond the ‘what’ of digital transformation to the ‘how’ to harness emerging trends, innovation and disruption. Architecture is the key that underpins and ties all these efforts together. In the digital age, it’s important to invest in architecture, extend the enterprise footprint to the cl...
"Dice has been around for the last 20 years. We have been helping tech professionals find new jobs and career opportunities," explained Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smar...