Sites go offline to patch security following media coverage of data for sale

Robert McMillan reports:

If you’re a criminal looking for full control of the Web used by the U.S. Army’s Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM), you can get it for just under US$500.

At least that’s what one hacker is offering in underground forums. Security vendor Imperva found the black market sales pitch Thursday and posted details of the incident on Friday.

The hacker says he has control over a number of websites, including other military sites, government sites, and those belonging to universities, said Noa Bar-Yosef, Imperva senior security strategist.


The hacker is also selling databases of personal information he’s stolen from the websites for $20 per thousand records, she said.


Imperva redacted the names of the victims from its blog post, but security blogger Brian Krebs has posted more details of the incident, including the names of many of the hacked sites.

Read more on Computerworld.

My first thought was to wonder whether any of the sites knew that they had been compromised and whether we knew of any incidents involving the sites from media coverage or other sources.  A quick skim of the list indicated to me that compromises involving  these sites had not appeared in my blog or other sources that compile breaches.

But are any sensitive data really at risk? Reading Brian Krebs’ coverage and the responses to his column, it seems that at least one reader does not think this is a big deal.  But it would be nice to hear what the South Carolina National Guard has to say that “high value information” was accessible.  As of the time of this posting, the url returns a “page cannot be displayed.”  And as of the time of this posting,  the Army’s CECOM (Communications-Electronics Command) site and the Department of Defense Pharmacoeconomic Center have notices posted that they are:

Temporarily Unavailable
We’re working to resolve this issue

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