recommended reading

How Hackers Compromised Links in an Obama Twitter Account: Through Email

Quartz has confirmed with the Barack Obama campaign staffer whose email inbox was splashed across the Twitter account of the Syrian Electronic Army that her Gmail account, and those of “lots” of other staffers, was compromised over the weekend.

This suggests a fairly straightforward explanation for how Obama’s Twitter account, with 39 million followers, is as of this writing sending users who click on its links to a video created by the Syrian Electronic Army:
1. Through a “phishing” attack, the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) gained access to multiple Gmail accounts belonging to Organizing for Action, Obama’s grassroots campaign organization. In most phishing attacks, a fake email with a booby-trapped link is sent to targets, who may be redirected to sites where they’re asked to re-enter their login and password. This is a favorite tactic of the SEA.
2. Probably using a password obtained through a compromised Gmail account, the SEA got access to the campaign’s account with a link shortening service, ShortSwitch.
3. The hackers then changed all the links in the Obama Twitter feed belonging to OFA to redirect to a video created by the Syrian Electronic Army.
A screen shot posted by the Syrian Electronic Army suggests that members of the SEA also accessed Organizing for Action’s account at Blue State Digital, a service that has helped Obama’s campaign build a number of sites.
It may be that this was how the SEA got access to ShortSwitch, but it’s not clear if that’s a possibility. Quartz contacted Blue State Digital, which declined to comment immediately.

Threatwatch Alert

Credential-stealing malware / User accounts compromised / Software vulnerability

Android Malware Infects More than 1M Phones, Adds 13,000 Devices a Day

See threatwatch report

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Close [ x ] More from Nextgov
 
 

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

  • 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.

    Download
  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

    Download
  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

    Download
  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

    Download
  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security

    Download
  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download

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