Intel robbery, Canon attack – hackers like pirates of the 21st century


As a child, many of us read novels about pirates, adventures on the seas and oceans, and treasure searches. The romance of that time filled children’s minds, but only with age do you begin to understand that there was nothing noble in the era – sweat, blood and the search for food. Nowadays, piracy exists in some parts of the world, but the language does not dare to call these people noble robbers. A criminal element that is looking for a way to earn money by robbing ships sailing by. But history is used to repeating itself, only in a different setting. Pirates of the 21st century can be safely called hackers, parallels with the flourishing of piracy of the 17th century are undeniable.

Spain, the mistress of the seas, was considered invincible, the influx of gold and silver from America provided untold riches for the crown, and other countries could only count on crumbs from the conquest of new lands. Neither England nor France liked this situation, but there was nothing they could do about it. The tactics of partisan attacks on Spanish ships were born, filibusters had letters of protection, they were allowed to rob colonies and seize ships. Piracy in this aspect became legal, but for Spain it did not play a big role – filibusters were hanged with the same success as ordinary pirates without letters. The victims were not only Spanish ships, the maritime powers fought among themselves, but the scale of the confrontation was not the same, Spain became the most hated enemy, since it was the strongest country and threatened everyone without exception. Are there any analogies yet?

It doesn’t matter if you’ve read books about pirates or not, I think you know that people from all over the world got on their ships – outcasts who had no place in their homeland. Outcast at home, representatives of different social strata, they created their own subculture on ships and on those islands that were considered pirate bases. And today hackers have become pirates who have chosen their “islands” in the shadow Internet, created a set of rules and represent the very subculture similar to the times of piracy. They are attracted to the service of the state in exactly the same way and are issued certificates of protection, even though they have become virtual. Instead of oceans, the scene has moved to the Internet, where battles unfold that we usually don’t see. To an outside observer, only the echoes of loud battles are heard, and then in case the participants want to share their victories, they can boast of what they were able to accomplish.

The irony is that the former colony of Spain today has taken its historical place, in life there should always be a state that is hated for certain things, America fits this role like no other. Occupying a dominant position in the information market in any of the sections, America is being attacked by pirates of our time, which nip off a piece from its wealth. And in this they are helped by other states that provide their territories and resources for this, analogies with the past are inevitable here. The goal is too large and clumsy to be able to protect each “ship”, the Spaniards can tell a lot about this from their past experience. Corporations are modern-day galleons filled with treasures, and they are gutted by filibusters who for some reason call themselves hackers.

Only a couple of weeks have passed since the attack on Garmin, all computers and systems of the company were encrypted by the hackers.

Various sources indicated that the ransom, which was requested from the company, amounted to $ 10 million. The amount is pleasant for many countries of the world, but in some places it can be considered astronomical. Just do the math, in India a high-quality programmer earns a little over $ 1 a month, this kind of work is considered good. Working for international companies, you can increase your income, go to work in the USA or other countries. And for some, this is the solution to the problem of poverty. But will such people ever be able to count on millions of dollars in income? This is unlikely. Therefore, they will look attractive to piracy, the opportunity to profit from other people’s secrets and potentially sell them to the side.

In the story with Garmin, outside observers claim that the company was forced to negotiate with the burglars and paid them money. The hack is said to be behind the hacking group Evil Corp, which last year came under US sanctions and was listed as a terrorist organization. Two dozen people from this group are located in Russia. Garmin could not directly pay the ransom, as this would be a violation of US laws, the company would be subject to sanctions. The solution was found in the fact that the ransom was paid by Arete IR, which specializes in negotiations in such cases. The company also claims to be following US laws, but look at Arete IR discussing that Evil Corp had nothing to do with the attack on Garmin, did they throw straws?

Intel robbery, Canon attack - hackers like pirates of the 21st century

The ransom is paid, the data is decrypted, and Garmin is back to business. Many observers in poor countries have seen that hackers can make millions, but there are virtually no high-profile cases of their capture. Perhaps the Garmin case has become the best calling card for those looking to get rich quick. Most of those who join the ranks of burglars will be stupid and naive, they will be quickly weeded out by life itself. But there will also be those who will succeed in this profession.

Each hack is a kind of advertisement, and the next story was not long in coming, they attacked Canon’s resources. The attack style is similar to the one that was done with Garmin, the files are encrypted, the ransom is also extorted. The company’s actions are not yet very clear, but employees were notified of the attack in an internal mailing list.

The ransomware sent the following text.

The American Canon site was initially unavailable, an access error was getting out. Now there is a stub on it.

Intel robbery, Canon attack - hackers like pirates of the 21st century

Whether or not Canon will pay is a question, but note that the attackers claim to have gained access to a ton of documents that they will start publishing for everyone if they do not receive a ransom. This is a brilliant trick, because if the company pays, these files will not be made public. But at the same time, other buyers will come to hackers for them, since corporate secrets and developments can save a lot of effort and time. It’s cheaper to buy someone else’s work than to create your own from scratch.

And now we get to the key story, the Intel hack. The first archive with 20 GB of data on the Lake platform has appeared on the network, which includes development tools, repositories, source codes and much more. Inside Intel, the documents are considered not just confidential, they are the holy of holies. Many of them were encrypted by the company, the password is the same – intel123. I wonder if Intel knows anything about security?

Intel robbery, Canon attack - hackers like pirates of the 21st century

Intel believes that the corporate network was not compromised, and the leak occurred on one of the servers of the R&D center for partners. It is possible that this is so. But the very nature of the information is such that in China they will say a huge thank you for it, as this facilitates the program for developing their own processors, reduces the time required for such developments. I would not be surprised if this or that state is behind such an attack.

From past hacks, you can recall Sony, Nintendo and dozens of other companies. Corporate America and companies from other countries are vulnerable. The hunting season for their secrets has long been open, and this game is gaining momentum. It is often heard in the public field that there is nothing serious about such leaks, they do not play a big role. This is not true! The demonstration that companies of this level can be hacked and then earn money on their information leads to an increase in the number of such attacks. Check out the official statistics for the United States.

Intel robbery, Canon attack - hackers like pirates of the 21st century

This is just the tip of the iceberg, as a huge number of attacks and intrusions into corporate networks remain undetected! Attackers do not seek to disclose their presence and access to data.

Our world, on the one hand, has become more complex. On the other hand, history repeats itself in other settings. Instead of seas, we have the Internet, instead of pirates, we have hackers. So, Jolly Roger is back in business! Yo-ho-ho!

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