Morning Security Brief: LulzSec Hacker Busted, Other Uses For 3D Printers, APD Scraps WiFi Surveillance Plan, and More

By Carlton Purvis


►Looks like the FBI may be the ones getting the last lulz. It announced on Thursday that it arrested LulzSec member Cody Kretsinger of Phoenix, Arizona, for hacking Sony Pictures Entertainment. “In order to carry out the attack, Kretsinger allegedly used a proxy server in an attempt to mask or hide his Internet Protocol address. The indictment alleges that Kretsinger and other co-conspirators obtained confidential information from Sony Pictures’ computer systems using an ‘SQL injection’ attack against its website,” according to an FBI release. So far, three members of LulzSec have been arrested. According to the ringleader of the group, two more remain at large.

►The 3D printers that made big news this week for being able to print artificial blood vessels have already fallen into the hands of the bad guys. A gang of thieves stole more than $400,000 after buying one of the printers to produce perfect replicas of credit card skimmers. “Federal court documents reveal how the gang invested in a high quality 3-D printer – costing anywhere from $10,000 - $20,000 – to replicate any ATM's credit card slot. By comparison, a typical skimmer kit fitted to just one ATM model can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000,” according to Innovation News Daily. The group is said to have pooled money to buy the machine after its leader was put in jail, leaving them with no way to obtain more skimmers.

►Police in Austin, Texas, have scrapped a plan to compile a list of open wireless networks in the city after criticism from the public and bloggers. “Operation Wardrive” was planned for Thursday but killed by Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo who said, “Good intentions to educate, but not best for public perception” in an email to the writer of Austin-based blog Grits for Breakfast. The original plan was to use a wireless device to find all of the open wireless networks, then make contact with the residents who own them to advise them of the dangers of having unsecured networks. "Because this activity is not part of an actual criminal investigation, the list of open WiFi connections APD generates as well as all associated data will be a public record under the Texas Public Information Act. Simply compiling that list - which will be available to anyone as soon as somebody files an open records request and posts the results online - makes the types of malicious activities APD is concerned about more likely, not less," blogger Scott Henson writes. 

►In other news, a Quebec militia is now under surveillance by police forces after pictures and videos emerge of members using military-grade weapons. → Experts say support for the death penalty in the U.S. is declining and has been for 15 years. The execution of Troy Davis “is going to bring a lot of doubt into people's minds,” one expert said. → And U.S. spy agencies still struggle with staffing analysts who have advanced language skills in Arabic, Farsi, Pashto, Dari, Urdu.



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