Terrorists now using Remote Control Vehicle Born IED’s

Suicide VBIED or Vehicle Born Improvised Explosive Device have been a favorite weapon of terrorists for decades. Since the first VBIED used against the American barracks in Lebanon in 1983 to the 9/11 attacks, terrorists have been looking for new ways to use vehicles to spread terror.

It now looks like they are now turning to remote control.

The captured video above from NavySeals.com shows a new weapon in the terrorist’s arsenal, the remote control VBIED. (Note: As there is no translation to the video above, I am not certain of its contents.)

As we have seen from headline news, vehicles packed with explosives can be very deadly.

See the ATF VBIED blast damage chart below:

Atf blast chart

Adding remote control capabilities to these weapons is very concerning. There are jamming devices that block IED signals, and the military already has several tactics and procedures to deal with VBIEDs.

But hopefully the DHS and military will take this discovered threat seriously and work to create additional ways to defeat them.

Facebook Graph Search shows ‘Married Men who like Prostitutes’

Last week Facebook revealed a new search feature to help people find others who are interested in the same things. Sounds all well and good, but a new website shows some search results that may not be quite what Mark Zuckerberg had in mind.

Facebook Graph Search seems interesting enough, for example you could search for people who are into cycling that are from your home town. Or People who like knitting who are in Washington, DC. Very helpful when you are trying to connect with others.

But as the Actual Facebook Graph Searches website shows, social searches can be used to retrieve information that some may not want revealed.

For example, what would happen if you searched for “Married Men who like Prostitutes”

Funny Facebook Graph Searches

Or, what about “Current Employers of people who like Racism”

Funny Facebook Graph Searches 1

Some others include:

  • Current Tesco Employees that like Horses
  • Mothers of Catholics from Italy that likes Durex
  • Spouses of Married People who like Ashley Madison

These are all humorous, but some searches could be used by certain countries who have repressive governments, where religious liberties are restricted, to find people who have beliefs that may not jive with the government.

For example the search “Family Members of people who live in China and like Falun Gong” could cause some issues:

Facebook Graph Searches 2

Or even “Islamic Men interested in men who live in Tehran, Iran” could cause issues, as Iran has very strict laws concerning homosexuality.

Social Media is a great tool to keep in touch and meet new people online. And as these examples show, some humorous things can be found by social media searches.

But as we have seen from the security world, Social Media can also be manipulated to provide information that some may not want revealed to the public, or information that could be misused.

US Department of Defense Cyber Crime Center Website Down

DC3 Down

Just going through the Twitter feeds and one of our favorite security professors that we follow mentioned that the US Department of Defense Cyber Crime Center (DC3) was down:

DC3 Down Twitter

As this article is posted, the site still appears to be offline, see screenshot above from the “Down for Every One or Just Mewebsite.

A quick check of DC3.mil through whatsmydns.net also shows that numerous global DNS servers can’t communicate with it:

DC3 DNS Propagation

It doesn’t seem to be completely down as pinging the address does return a response from the hosting company. But the web server is definitely offline.

According to Wikipedia, “The Department of Defense Cyber Crime Center (DC3) is an United States Department of Defense agency that provides digital forensics support to the DoD and to other law enforcement agencies. DC3’s main focus is in criminal, counterintelligence, counterterrorism, and fraud investigations from the Defense Criminal Investigative Organizations (DCIOs), DoD counterintelligence groups, and various Inspector General groups. The Air Force Office of Special Investigations is the executive agent of DC3.

DC3 also hosts a popular annual Digital Forensics Challenge.

Not sure at this point if it is just a technical problem, scheduled maintenance or possibly the work of hacktivists. Though a quick search of the normal hacktivist news feeds didn’t net anything.

We will post an update as soon as we know more.

Are Russian Hackers Helping the Syrian Government?

Russia supplied attack helicopters in Syria. (Getty Image)
Russian supplied attack helicopters in Syria. (Getty Image)

As the Syrian civil war drags on one thing is clear, Russia is arming the Syrian government. As they have already supplied arms and attack helicopters to al-Assad’s regime, could Russian hackers be performing cyber attacks against Syrian opposition too?

It’s really no secret that Russia is arming the Syrian government, and there is nothing illegal about it. Russia and China have used their veto power at UN security council meetings to block sanctions against Syria. But as the physical battle rages on, a war in the cyber realm is also well under way.

A full blown war of cyber attacks is unfolding in Syria, with some calling it the most active cyber conflict in recent times. Apparently pitting the Syrian government and a group called the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) against a loose group of Syrian resistance hackers and surprisingly the hacker group Anonymous.

So far the majority of the cyber conflict is one sided, with Syrian rebels taking the brunt of the attacks (Syrian rebels have  really only been able to deface some government sites in response). But with the overwhelming efficiency and strength of the attacks, it is apparent that the Syrian government must be getting outside help.

DefenseNews article discloses that Syrian government forces are using cyber tools that have been created by several other countries in their offensive strikes:

Assad has Iran’s backing, and his supporters are allegedly also using Iranian cyber tools. Alexander Klimburg, a senior adviser at the Austrian Institute for International Affairs, said it’s widely believed that the Syrians are using popular offensive software designed in Iran.

But it is just not Iranian software, they are also using utilities created in Europe and surprise, surprise… Russia.

The Russian government is well known to use hacker groups like the Russian Business Network to attack other nations. Doing so gives the Russia government plausible deniability in the attacks.

With Russia apparently investing military equipment in the al-Assad regime and offensive cyber tools, it is not a far stretch to assume that they may also be supplying the use of Russian hacker group services.