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Fake WH ‘Christmas E-mail’ Had Malware

From an amused Associated Press:

Fake White House holiday e-mail is cyber attack

By Lolita C. Baldor, Associated Press Wed Jan 5, 2010

WASHINGTON – It looked like an innocent e-mail Christmas card from the White House.

But the holiday greeting that surfaced just before Christmas was a ruse by cybercriminals to steal documents and other data from law enforcement, military and government workers — particularly those involved in computer crime investigations.

Well, if the card actually mentioned ‘Christmas’ that should have been a tip-off it was phony. And that it was done by someone unaware of the views of the current occupants of the White House.

Analysts who have studied the malicious software said Tuesday that hackers were able to use the e-mail to collect sensitive law enforcement data. But so far there has been no evidence that any classified information was compromised.

The targeted e-mail attack comes as the federal government is desperately trying to beef up its cybersecurity after the release of thousands of State Department cables and military documents by the WikiLeaks website…

Of course one of our first thoughts was that WikiLeaks might be behind this. But then we realized – why would they bother? They can just go in the front door.

The red holiday e-mail card, with its brightly decorated Christmas tree, prompted recipients to click on a link, which would then download the ZueS malware — a well-known malicious code that is often used to steal passwords and other online credentials, primarily to poach Internet banking information. The malware was created several years ago and is widely available for criminals to acquire and adapt. It has been used to steal millions of dollars

Are we sure this wasn’t the White House at work? Maybe this was another attempt at income redistribution in the name of ‘social justice.’

Don Jackson, director of threat intelligence for Atlanta-based SecureWorks, a computer security consulting company, said the attack was somewhat small and targeted to a limited number of groups with law enforcement, military and government affiliations…

It sounds like it was highly selective.

Alex Cox, principle research analyst for NetWitness, a cybersecurity firm in northern Virginia, said the e-mail was sent out just a day or so before Christmas, delivered by a control server in Belarus. He and Jackson said they believe this ZueS version was created by the same people who launched a similar but much larger attack last February…

Cox, who discovered the ZueS-infected malware last year when it infected at least 74,000 computers, said it’s hard to determine how many people were affected or how many documents were stolen in this latest attack.

Jackson said at the hackers stole at least several gigabytes of data

Oh, then it is probably just our Russian friends doing a little research on our START compliance. So there’s nothing to worry about.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, January 5th, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

8 Responses to “Fake WH ‘Christmas E-mail’ Had Malware”

  1. wardmama4 says:

    How juvenile – the Carter admin trashed rooms in the WH and of course Clinton admin took all the w’s off machines and also it is known that the Hildabeast and Slick Willie took a lot of WH possessions – I am amazed that this admin is starting before they have been sent packing.

    But so much like a typical liberal – make something that should be fine, decent and upstanding to honor a tradition – into a damaging and vile consequence.

    • Steve says:

      Just to clarify, these emails did not actually originate from the White House.

    • AcornsRNutz says:

      Well, as far as we know. Frankly, if the “truthers” can allege that GWB blew up the world trade center on purpose, we can throw out the relatively harmless baseless accusation that obama was screwing with our computers.

  2. GetBackJack says:

    Wait a second … news of the ZueS infected malware delivering gigabytes of data to Belarus, and THEN … the announcement Robert Gibbs is leaving, Hmmmmm …. (tapping my chin with a finger)

    Surely not.

    Maybe not.

  3. NoNeoCommies says:

    Please hackers of the world, direct your attacks at the most gullible amongst us!
    Continue targeting Liberals.

  4. canary says:

    Fact is muslim terrorists use cyber attacks. Someone sent me some wiki leaks, and there was on Obama & Rezko getting financing from a muslim and one even on global warming being used to bankrupt America.

    Meanwhile there is a muslim Islamic propaganda that is unbelievably growing to follow along the lines of Obama’s first prayer breakfast on how they are just like Christians, and then his CAIRO speech, the Ramadan celebrations at White House. I’ve been really researching this as these muslim organizations are lying through their teeth with fake koran scriptures.

    If you are an animal lover this will impress you.
    Obama’s partnership with muslim countries to pay them back for their contribution to art etc.

    Well, I radical Islam site is claiming they were the first to care for animal rights. The scholars
    give a serious list of their humane treatment of animals. It’s all about the slaughtering of them.

    Number 1 on the list

    1. Allah has ordained kindness (and excellence) in everything. If the killing (of animals) is to be done, do it in the best manner, and when you slaughter, do it in the best manner by first sharpening the knife, and putting the animal at ease.

    They don’t even sharpen their knives when they cut heads and party parts off.

    • AcornsRNutz says:

      I have seen them slaughter goats, and it’s mechanical to watch. Amazing and efficient, but not exactly kind. The way they treat dogs, however, would make any proud PETA puffer faint dead away.

  5. P. Aaron says:

    Probably engineered by overseas fundraising efforts to get Obama re-elected.

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