Morning Security Brief: Anonymous Avenges Megaupload, Virginia to be Cybesecurity Hub, Researchers Target Hacker Group, and More

By Carlton Purvis

►Anonymous took down the Web sites of Universal Music, the U.S. Department of Justice, the Recording Industry Association of America, and the FBI on Thursday in retaliation for the government’s removal of the file sharing Web site Megaupload after a judge ordered the seizure of 18 domain names associated with Megupload. “The U.S. DOJ announced that it had charged seven people who allegedly were affiliated with the site with running an organized criminal enterprise responsible for worldwide online piracy of copyrighted content,” PC World reports. As of Friday morning, all of the sites attacked by Anonymous had been restored.

►The Commonwealth of Virginia is being marketed as a hub for cybersecurity in the United States. Virginia currently has more than 300 cybersecurity companies and is home to federal agencies including the CIA, the Pentagon, DARPA, and the U.S. Army Cyber Command. “This new marketing effort will take the Virginia story and help ensure that when a company is looking at cyber security, they start in the commonwealth,” said Governor Bob McDonnell in a statement. McDonnell's proposed biennial budget included $2.3 million in funding to market the commonwealth to the cybersecurity industry.

►Malware by the Russian hacker group Koobface has come to a halt after a pair of researchers on Tuesday published the names and photographs of its members online. Koobface created malware that primarily targeted Facebook users. A fake prompt to install video software would install a program to extract bank account information. “Security software company Kaspersky Lab said its database showed that the Koobface virus hit between 400,000 and 800,000 computers during its heyday in 2010,” the Guardian reports. German security researchers Jan Droemer and Dirk Kollberg said Koobface servers were down and members of the group began scrubbing its online presence the morning after they released their report.

►Researchers have discovered a way to use plant DNA as a method of authenticating documents with a one in one trillion error rate. ♦ At a meeting hosted by the White House this week, officials spoke to senior law enforcement officials about behavioral indicators of terrorism. ♦ And a U.S. Army health report says violent sex crimes committed by Army soldiers are up by 90 percent.

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