Hackers warn high street chains

High street chains will be the next victims of cyber terrorism, some of the world's elite hackers have warned, the BBC reported.

They claim it is only a "matter of time" before the likes of Tesco and Marks & Spencer are targeted.

Criminals could use the kind of tactics which crippled Estonia's government and some firms last year, they warned.

The experts were members of the infamous "Hackers Panel" which convened in London this week at the InfoSecurity Europe conference.

The panel includes penetration testers and so-called "white hat" hackers, who help companies tighten up their digital security by searching for flaws in their defences.

Previous panellists include Gary McKinnon, known as Solo, alleged by the US government to have hacked into dozens of US Army, Navy, Air Force, and Department of Defense computers.

The "hackers" usually remain anonymous, "for security reasons", but this year's panellists agreed to break cover.

First up was Roberto Preatoni, the founder of the cyber crime monitoring site, Zone-H, and WabSabiLabi, a trading site for security researchers.

His appearance came just a few months after he was arrested by Italian authorities on charges of hacking and wiretapping, as part of the ongoing investigation into the Telecom Italia scandal.

Mr Preatoni told the audience that the attacks in Estonia were a harbinger for a new era of cyber warfare.

"I'm afraid we will have to get used to this," said Mr Preatoni, also known as SyS64738. "We had all been waiting for this kind of attack to happen.

" Estonia was just unfortunate to be the first country to experience it. But very soon, our own [western] companies and countries will be getting attacked for political and religious reasons.

"This kind of attack can happen at any time. And it will happen."

During the two week "cyber war" against Estonia, hackers shut down the websites of banks, governments and political parties using "denial-of-service" (DoS) attacks, which knock websites offline by swamping servers with page requests.

As many of the attacks originated from Russia, the Estonian government pointed the finger at the Kremlin. But Mr Preatoni said that, having spoken to contacts in the hacking community, he was clear that "Putin was not involved".

"In my opinion, this was a collection of private individuals who spontaneously gathered under the same flag.

"Even though Estonia is one of the world's most advanced countries in IT technology, the whole economy was brought to its knees.

"That's the beauty of asymmetric warfare. You don't need a lot of money, or an army of people. You can do it from the comfort of your living room, with a beer in your hand.

His warning was echoed by Steve Armstrong, who teaches seminars in hacking techniques, at the SANS Institute for information security training.

"If someone wants to have a pop at the UK, they are unlikely to go for the government web servers. They will go for the lower hanging fruit - companies which are seen as good representatives of the country.

"The likes of Tesco, Marks & Spencer and B& Q can be seen as legitimate targets.

"We have to get the message across to companies [to invest in information security].

"At the moment Chief Executives are only interested in the bottom line. But remember - if tesco.com goes down, that's a lot of shopping."

Mr Preatoni said that the Estonian government's repeated failure to thwart the attacks was proof that we still have "no good solutions" for denial of service attacks.

The panellists then argued over whether Internet Service Providers should do more to tighten security, by helping customers' protect their computers from being "zombified" by hackers for use in distributed DoS attacks.

"Actually, I don't think the ISPs should have any role in security," said Preatoni.

"In my opinion, that's like asking the Royal Mail to be responsible for the quality of your post."

But his view was immediately challenged by the third panellist, Jason Creasey, head of research at the independent Information Security Forum.

"I believe ISPs can play a phenomenal role in security, with a little bit of legal pressure," he claimed.

He was backed by an audience member, Angus Pinkerton, of Lynks Security Consulting. "The only way to defend against a distributed attack is with a distributed defence," he argued.

"I think it's unacceptable that ISPs are content to let their customers be part of bot-nets."

He challenged Steve Armstrong's view that asking ISPs to perform security duties was "fundamentally, censorship."

"This is not about free speech," said Mr Pinkerton. "Free speech does not entitle you to shout fire in a crowded theatre."

In the meantime, Mr Preatoni warned the audience it is "only going to get easier" to carry out a DoS attack, because he claimed the latest net address system, known as Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6), is actually more amenable to DoS.

Later, he told the BBC that the rise in cyber attacks originating in China was a convenient cloak for western countries to disguise their own cyber espionage activities.

"It's too easy to blame China," he said. "In fact, legitimate countries are bouncing their attacks through China. It's very easy to do, so why not?

"My evil opinion is that some western governments are already doing this."

Subscribe to Trend in Google News! Subscribe
Iran's trade turnover with Azerbaijan booming - IRICA
Iran's trade turnover with Azerbaijan booming - IRICA
Azerbaijan’s timber imports from Russian region revealed
Azerbaijan’s timber imports from Russian region revealed
Azeronline providing companies in Azerbaijan's liberated lands with Wi-Fi
Azeronline providing companies in Azerbaijan's liberated lands with Wi-Fi
Loading Bars
Latest
Chronicles of Victory: President Ilham Aliyev interviewed by Italian Rai 1 TV channel on October 26, 2020 (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Chronicles of Victory: President Ilham Aliyev addresses the nation on October 26, 2020 (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Chronicles of Victory: October 26, 2020
Development of financial technologies in Kyrgyzstan discussed in Bishkek
Georgian PM holds videoconference with Ukrainian, Moldovan counterparts
Modernization of our country, fight against unpleasant situations must reach a completely new level - President Ilham Aliyev
We are a creator nation, and we will rebuild Gubadli - Azerbaijani president
Africa's COVID-19 cases near 8.5 mln: Africa CDC
For me, biggest reward is joy and pride in the eyes of former IDPs - Azerbaijani president
Second Karabakh war showed our strength and our national spirit - President Ilham Aliyev
After 27 years, we ended the occupation and expelled the enemy from our land - Azerbaijani president
Zangilan airport will be commissioned next year - President Aliyev
We will restore all settlements of Gubadli district, including Gubadli city - Azerbaijani president
After restoration work is completed, streets will be named after martyrs - President Aliyev
Uzbekistan’s 9M2021 imports of Turkish leather goods increase
Azerbaijan defense minister meets leadership of Turkish National Defense University (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan, NATO talk prospects for co-op in various spheres (PHOTO)
Ernst & Young reveals total revenues of Uzbekneftegaz during 1H2021
Turkey shares data on cargo shipments via its Aliaga port
Iran talks exports of its nano products to Iraq, Turkey, Afghanistan
Azerbaijan’s State Tax Service expanding use of electronic signature
Turkey discloses volume of cargo shipment via Ambarli port in 9M2021
Iran sees increase in manufacturing of several industrial, mining products
Iran's trade turnover with Azerbaijan booming - IRICA
Azerbaijan’s timber imports from Russian region revealed
Iran's Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale on October 26
Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan sign number of bilateral co-op documents
Iran’s Bahar Azadi gold coin price slightly rising
Kazakhstan ready to significantly increase imports of Turkmen gas - President Tokayev
Azerbaijan publishes latest data on mine clearance work carried out in liberated lands
Georgia records highest budget deficit in ten years
Azeronline providing companies in Azerbaijan's liberated lands with Wi-Fi
Kazakhstan ready to increase trade with Turkmenistan
Azerbaijan to open embassy in Vatican
Program of Turkish president's visit to Azerbaijan announced
Airbus rejects pressure to curb record jet output goal
Azerbaijan to export Karabakh honey to France
Azerbaijan reveals funds allocated for drawing up master plan for Gubadli city
Galt & Taggart shares data on Georgia's tourism revenues growth
US data cloud giant Snowflake opens Israel office
Chinese oil company sells stake in Azerbaijan
Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan to dock telecommunication networks at border
It'll take time for Kazakhstan to accelerate its energy transition - Rystad Energy
Iran increases export by aid of private sector
Iran to reform budget plan structure
Azerbaijan discloses timing of booster vaccination for COVID-19 infected persons
Participants of online Global Poster and Painting Competition 2021 felicitated (PHOTO)
Azerbaijani defense minister meets NATO official (PHOTO)
Output volume at Azerbaijan’s Kursangi, Garabagli fields revealed
Fitch places credit ratings of 4 Qatari banks on negative watch
Kazakhstan to raise solid waste disposal share
Uzbekistan eyes implementation of joint projects with Russia
Azerbaijan shares data on number of vaccinated citizens
Hertz orders 100,000 Tesla cars for end of 2022
Azerbaijan confirms 1,477 more COVID-19 cases, 628 recoveries
Kazakh National Bank positively assesses development dynamics in domestic real sector
Azerbaijan exceeds honey production plan
National Iranian Drilling Company unveils number of drilled oil-gas wells in country
Turkey to invest in construction of laboratory for veterinary vaccines production in Azerbaijan
Afghanistan still owes Uzbekistan for electricity, debt continues to grow
VTB Bank Azerbaijan sees drastic increase in net profit
Azerbaijani Ombudsman briefs Bulgarian delegation about crimes committed by Armenia
Azerbaijani president congratulates president of Uzbekistan
After Gubadli, we continued our victory march with dignity and raised our national flag in Shusha - President Aliyev
Georgia's import prices dropping – TBC Capital
Azercell offers a new Wi-Fi campaign!
After many years, we all experienced joy of this victory - Azerbaijani president
Present and future generations of our people will always be proud of our martyrs - President Aliyev
Kazakhstan reports increase in annual coal production volumes
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for October 25
Azerbaijan shares latest data on lending to mining industry
Galt & Taggart reveals Georgia's trade turnover statistics
It is significant and historic day in history of Gubadli district today - President Ilham Aliyev
Kazakhstan eyes completing main reconstruction work of Kostanay airport by end of 2021
SOFAZ reveals revenues from Shah Deniz, ACG
Kazakhstan, Mongolia agree to continue co-op in agro-industrial complex
Iran's East Azerbaijan province continues investments in construction projects
Iran invites investors to develop energy sector
First Vice-President Mehriban Aliyeva shares photos from Gubadli district on her Instagram page (PHOTO)
Iran seeks to curb inflation by aid of private sector
Kyrgyzstan plans to receive USD 80 mln from ADB for budget support
Kazakhstan’s National Bank changes base rate
Weekly review of trading at Turkmenistan's commodity exchange
Azerbaijan sees increase in turnover of payment cards
Kazakhstan’s National Bank reveals inflation rate for September 2021
President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva meet with general public of Gubadli district (PHOTO/VIDEO)
President Ilham Aliyev, First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva inaugurate 'Gubadli' substation (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Turkey notes decrease in number of used vehicles
Prices on some food items soar in Iran
President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva attend opening of new complex of SBS military unit in Gubadli distict (PHOTO/VIDEO)
President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva attend groundbreaking ceremony for Khanlig-Gubadli road (PHOTO/VIDEO)
President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva visit Gubadli district (PHOTO/VIDEO)
5th edition of DokuBaku International Documentary Film Festival to be held in Baku
Iran shares data on electricity generation of Esfahan TPP
Activity of certain enterprises in Iran's industrial parks resumed
Iran announces amount of loans issued to manufacturing enterprises
Turkey's value for steel export to Turkmenistan growing
Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan look to sign agreements in transport sector (Exclusive)
Iran, Germany to hold Joint Energy Committee meeting
Iran seeks to increase export of technical services to neighboring countries
All news