The new war is invisible: it is hidden behind wires, keyboards and monitor. A click, a password and a router are sufficient; it takes place every day on our smartphone, tablet, pc, while we, unaware, carry on our daily routine. Anonymous hands stretch, type, look, virtually penetrate our intimacy, discover our secrets, tastes, copy sensitive data and transfer them on their hard drives. What they do with them is a mystery. Sometimes they are simple voyeurs; others, however, they use the stolen goods for obscure criminal purposes. The hacker alarm exploded suddenly, just look at only a few international news reports – one for all: the North Korean attack on Sony Entertaintment – and you will discover that the thieves in the 21st century do not wear black masks carrying the loot on their shoulder. In the age of virtual currency, financial transactions that move millions of dollars and data from one part to another of the planet in the blink of an eye, robbery, of money and not, takes place along the channels of the network, thanks to sophisticated software, always one step ahead compared to those supplied to the authorities. We must acknowledge it: we are all in danger. From private to major industrial, through political and religious leaders. Is this just speculation by conspiracy theorists? No. Just look at the attack on Hacking Team, the world leader Italian company in the creation and sale of instruments of information surveillance to the most important countries of the world. The main product is the Remote Control System also known as Galileo, which monitors and collects data from devices in a non-traceable way. At least until the night between Sunday and Monday, when mysterious pirates stole data managing to pass through the peephole, and put online, using the same Twitter account of the company, an archive of over 400 gigabytes. A slap to global security.
In the stolen data there would be documents such as the evidence of the alleged collaboration with Sudan, Ethiopia and other governments which the company has always denied to have worked with. But also with private companies, such as banks. Moreover, from one of the files dumped online it emerged that the software sold by Hacking Team to its clients contains a “backdoor” that is a gateway that allows the company to reach the software remotely and “turn it off”, as well as to access to the data collected by customers. Information which in turn may now be in the hands of the organizations that came into possession of the programs thanks to the cyber-attack. A few days ago the company asked its customers to immediately suspend the use of its programs, while a prestigious companies such as Adobe Systems was forced to release an emergency update for a flaw of its Flash software, exploited by Hacking Team. “We have lost the ability to control who uses our technology. – Ht said in a statement – terrorists, extortionists and others can implement it at their will. We believe it is an extremely dangerous situation, it is now evident that there is a serious threat. Before the attack we could control who had access to our technology. Now, because of the work of criminals, we have lost the ability to control who uses it. ”
Galileo – that suddenly became more dangerous than Skynet Terminator – was created in 2003 and allows governments and government agencies to remotely control a computer, and to monitor data and information that pass on this device. The computer “target” does not necessarily have to be connected to the internet. Remote Control System is able to infiltrate many operating systems (Windows, Mac OS, Linux) and also smartphones (Windows Mobile, iPhone, BlackBerry, Symbian). A legalized Trojan, a master key that can open any computer door and that now is in the hands of possible fanatics.
The other case occurred in the US where the government admitted to have suffered, between May 2014 and April 2015, the theft of personnel data, extracted thanks to the credentials of the contractor. At first they talked of 4.2 million stolen identities but the toll of the attack, behind which Washington says is hiding China, would be much more serious. In total it would compromise the data of 21.5 million people, including civil servants, of the present, past and the aspiring ones, their families and contractors. A cyber-attack already described as “the worst one in history.” Access points of hackers, who have broken the Office of Personnel Management, Office of Human Resources which owns the federal employees, also include companies recruiting staff. The targeted government database also contains the results of the security checks on employees (previous convictions, debts etc.) And, therefore, information relating not only to the person concerned but to his entire family.
The explosion of hacker attacks seems to confirm the predictions contained in the report “The invisible becomes visible, forecasts Trend Micro Security for 2015 and beyond,” by Trend Micro, one of the major security companies. The study had announced the multiplication of attacks this year. In addition to the Deep Web now there is another hidden reality, the Darknet, a peer to peer system that ensures criminals a greater assurance: anonymity. And then, possible threats to security of Android, Facebook, online banking, checking accounts, cameras and televisions were also expected. No limit to intrusion, data theft, while the police are scrambling to run after the thieves 2.0. With only one certainty: everything is hackable.
Translation provided by Maria Rosaria Mastropaolo