Wednesday, December 15, 2021

g-f(2)734 THE BIG PICTURE OF THE DIGITAL AGE (12/15/2021), WSJ, Hackers Backed by China Seen Exploiting Security Flaw in Internet Software

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"g-f" fishing of golden knowledge (GK) of the fabulous treasure of the digital age, Digital transformation, Cybersecurity threats (12/15/2021) 


Researchers call it one of the most dire cybersecurity threats to emerge in years and could enable devastating attacks

  • Hackers linked to China and other governments are among a growing assortment of cyberattackers seeking to exploit a widespread and severe vulnerability in computer server software, according to cybersecurity firms and Microsoft Corp.
  • The involvement of hackers whom analysts have linked to nation-states underscored the increasing gravity of the flaw in Log4j software, a free bit of code that logs activity in computer networks and applications.
  • Cybersecurity researchers say it is one of the most dire cybersecurity threats to emerge in years and could enable devastating attacks, including ransomware, in both the immediate and distant future. Government-sponsored hackers are often among the best-resourced and most capable, analysts say.

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        Robert McMillan

        Reporter, The Wall Street Journal

        Robert McMillan writes about computer security, hackers and privacy. Previously, he has written about cloud computing, business technology, bitcoin, and artificial intelligence.

        Dustin Volz

        Reporter, The Wall Street Journal

        Dustin Volz covers cybersecurity and intelligence for The Wall Street Journal and is based in Washington, D.C. He came to the Journal from Reuters, where he wrote about cyber conflict, government surveillance and Russian election-related hacking. Dustin also has covered tech policy at National Journal, reported from Germany and the Dominican Republic, and spent a year in Indonesia as a Fulbright teaching assistant.

        Extra-condensed knowledge

        Lessons learned, WSJ

        • A spokesman for the Chinese Embassy in Washington said Wednesday that Beijing opposes “cyberattacks of any kind” and highlighted that the Log4j vulnerability was first reported by a security team in China.
        • Security researchers have seen no signs to date, however, that China or another nation-state hacking group is attempting widespread exploitation of the Log4j issue on the same scale as the Microsoft Exchange attacks, which infected hundreds of thousands of servers across the globe.

        Condensed knowledge

        Lessons learned, WSJ 

        • U.S. officials this week said it was inevitable that adversarial governments would seek to exploit the security hole, but said that they hadn’t yet identified specific foreign groups acting on it. The U.S. government is often slower to formally attribute cyberattacks to foreign governments than companies like Mandiant and Microsoft.
        • By Tuesday evening, the cybersecurity firm Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. had counted close to 600,000 attempts to exploit the Log4j bug by malicious cybercriminals. About 44% of corporate networks world-wide had been hit by these attempts, the company said.
        • Corrections & Amplifications
          • In an update to its website posted late Tuesday, Microsoft said that it had also seen nation-backed hackers from North Korea and Turkey using the attack. An earlier version of this article misstated the day that Microsoft updated its website. (Corrected on Dec. 15, 2021.)

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        • [genioux fact deduced or extracted from WSJ]
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