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

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats


Close [ x ] More from Nextgov

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

  • Modernizing IT for Mission Success

    Surveying Federal and Defense Leaders on Priorities and Challenges at the Tactical Edge

  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

  • Effective Ransomware Response

    This whitepaper provides an overview and understanding of ransomware and how to successfully combat it.

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.


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