recommended reading

Hackers Target Veterans’ Site

Flickr user camknows

Attackers slipped malicious code into the U.S. Veterans of Foreign Wars’ website (vfw[.]org) through a previously-unknown bug in Internet Explorer 10 as part of cyberspy plot timed to the storm that swept up the East Coast Thursday, shutting down the federal government in Washington.

Did you follow that?

“We believe the attack is a strategic Web compromise targeting American military personnel amid a paralyzing snowstorm at the U.S. Capitol in the days leading up to the Presidents Day holiday weekend,” researchers at FireEye, a startup recently acquired by cyber giant Mandiant, wrote in a blog post.

It gets better.  

The last modified date of the exploit code -- dubbed “Operation SnowMan” by the researchers -- was two days ago.

“This suggests that this instantiation of the exploit was very recent and was deployed for this specific strategic Web compromise,” the investigators wrote. “A possible objective in the SnowMan attack is targeting military service members to steal military intelligence.”

In addition to retirees, active military members use the VFW website, they point out. “It is probably no coincidence that Monday, Feb. 17, is a U.S. holiday, and much of the U.S. Capitol shut down Thursday amid a severe winter storm,” the researchers added.

Users should upgrade to IE 11 or install Microsoft’s Experience Mitigation Toolkit to silence the spyware, according to FireEye.

Follow more cybersecurity news on ThreatWatch, a regularly updated catalog of data breaches successfully striking every sector of the globe, as reported by journalists, researchers and the victims themselves.

Threatwatch Alert

Stolen laptop

3.7M Hong Kong Voters' Personal Data Stolen

See threatwatch report


Close [ x ] More from Nextgov

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • It’s Time for the Federal Government to Embrace Wireless and Mobility

    The United States has turned a corner on the adoption of mobile phones, tablets and other smart devices, outpacing traditional desktop and laptop sales by a wide margin. This issue brief discusses the state of wireless and mobility in federal government and outlines why now is the time to embrace these technologies in government.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • A New Security Architecture for Federal Networks

    Federal government networks are under constant attack, and the number of those attacks is increasing. This issue brief discusses today's threats and a new model for the future.

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

  • Software-Defined Networking

    So many demands are being placed on federal information technology networks, which must handle vast amounts of data, accommodate voice and video, and cope with a multitude of highly connected devices while keeping government information secure from cyber threats. This issue brief discusses the state of SDN in the federal government and the path forward.

  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.