Last month, engineers discovered a massive, long term, global cyber attack that has successfully breached more than 75,000 computer systems at nearly 2,500 companies in nearly 200 countries. Amit Yoran, chief executive of NetWitness (the company that first detected the attack) said, “The attack also highlights the inability of the private sector — including industries that would be expected to employ the most sophisticated cyber defenses — to protect itself…The traditional security approaches of intrusion-detection systems and anti-virus software are by definition inadequate for these types of sophisticated threats…The things that we — industry — have been doing for the past 20 years are ineffective with attacks like this. That’s the story.”
Run by an eastern European criminal group, the attack (dubbed the “Kneber bot”) began in 2008 and successfully targeted “proprietary corporate data, e-mails, credit-card transaction data and login credentials at companies in the health and technology industries”.
The Kneber bot commandeers users’ computers, scrapes them for login credentials and passwords — including to online banking and social networking sites — and then exploits that data to hack into the systems of other users. It has the ability to target any information the attackers want, including file-sharing sites for sensitive corporate documents.
Stories of successful cyber attacks are no longer novel, but this story is remarkable for two reasons: the long term, large-scale nature of the attacks and the presumed sophistication of the targets’ cyber defenses.
InterComputer’s insured Interoperating System (IOS) is structurally immune to attacks like the Kneber bot. It provides an “end-to-end trusted path” for electronic messages and payments that is impossible to achieve by cobbling together products from various vendors. While InterComputer is not in the business of securing computers and networks, the IOS is not a potential point of entry for any attack like the Kneber bot. All messages sent or received within the IOS are fully insured against cybercrime of any kind, including any attack like the Kneber bot. To learn more about the IOS, click here.
Details of the attack and its implications are available at: