Thursday, April 09, 2015

#ISIS Cyberattack hacks French Network TV5Monde

The Islamic extremist group has claimed complex hackings before, but experts and a French official said the ability to black out a global television network represented a new level of sophistication for ISIS.

 TV5 Monde, which was founded by the French government in 1984 and calls itself the "worldwide French cultural channel," broadcasts news and other programs produced in France, Belgium, Switzerland and Canada. Its Facebook page says its signal reaches more than 257 million homes in over 200 countries and territories. More than 1,500 French nationals have joined the militants’ ranks, where they represent almost half the number of European fighters present, according to a report released on Wednesday by the French senate.

Security analysts are still identifying vulnerabilities in WordPress’ Content Management System (CMS) plug-ins, “which could allow malicious actors to take control of an affected system.” (US FBI) The question is "Are hackers getting more powerful?" Case in point: Even computer specialists from the FBI/Homeland Security couldn't break the cyber hold the hackers had on Tewksbury MA police computers. The department paid a $500 ransom via Bitcoin.

“The FBI assesses that the perpetrators are not members of the ISIL terrorist organization. These individuals are hackers using relatively unsophisticated methods to exploit technical vulnerabilities and are utilizing the ISIL name to gain more notoriety than the underlying attack would have otherwise garnered.”

The FBI also recommends a few tools and tips that WordPress users can make use of to avoid falling victim to potential cyber attacks. Among them is patching vulnerable plugins, confirming that the operating system and all applications are running the most updated versions as well as removing administrative privileges to diminish effects of a successful attack.

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