Information Security Blog

Ethical Hacker Roundup – Operation, Financial Edition

Ethical Hacker Roundup – Operation, Financial Edition

These Financial IT Security links are part of a weekly series, Ethical Hacker Roundup, featuring the information security and cyber security related articles that we’ve read over and thought worth sharing from the past week.

These articles have were emailed to us, shared on Twitter @pivotpointsec, Google Plus and read in RSS subscriptions this week.


ZeuS Malware – Off With His Head!

operation-financial-securityWell, ZeuS has made headlines yet again. This time, however, Microsoft claims they have identified the servers powering the infamous malware.

If you don’t already know, ZeuS is responsible for many identity theft and bank draining attacks. In fact, not long ago ZeuS was used to steal $9,000 from a Salem County New Jersey bank. ZeuS also made it to the BBB’s Top 10 Consumer Scams by way of the NACHA phishing email.

ZeuS is a problem for Financial firms because it attacks customer accounts using keystroke logging, screen shots at relevant times to capture login credentials, modifies banking web pages to hide its activity and more.

Although Microsoft helped U.S. Marshals identify and raid the Illinois and Pennsylvania office buildings where ZeuS servers were held, it is likely that it is not the last we will see of the malware. If you are concerned that you are your organization may be vulnerable to a Zeus attack you may want to read Marc Silverman’s advice on handling ZeuS, What the ZeuS!

Mike Gargiullo’s article, Create and Setup an Ubuntu USB Live Drive, is also helpful as he walks through the steps of booting from a Ubuntu USB drive. See how you can safely visit your bank online without the worry of ZeuS.

When you’re finished reading the articles, check out this video from Microsoft’s Digital Cybercrime Unit on the Financial Industry Battle against ZeuS Botnets.

…and as it turns out, Microsoft was able to identify the servers behind ZeuS, but couldn’t identify the people behind the servers.

Heartland Realizes Return On Security Investment

In 2009, hackers breached Heartland Payment’s credit card system, processing millions of transactions. The incident caused a major impact in the company’s stock, dropping it from $17 to under $5 per share. Remarkably the stock is now at over $28 per share. That’s more than 550% growth in very little time.

I spoke with Mosi Platt, Lead Auditor at Pivot Point, to discuss this news. In true auditor nature, Mosi asked very important questions that companies need to answer before they are faced with a breach.

  • Can your organization withstand the financial impact of a security breach like Heartland did? If not, are effective security controls in place to limit the occurrence and impact of security breaches?
  • Can your organization recover from the financial impact of a security breach like Heartland (fines ballooned their debt to $85 million in 2010)? If not, are effective procedures in place for incident response to ensure business continuity after a security breach?

A key to both is early and effective detection of security incidents. Two promising advances to doing so are anomaly detection and malware behavior analysis. If Mosi’s questions gave you pause for concern – I would suggest you take a few minutes to get up to speed on these new techniques.

Financial IT Security

Arguably, beyond the government itself, no industry has a greater impact on the health of our economy than financial services. And nothing has a greater impact on a financial entity than to lose the confidence and trust of its customers. Your Financial IT Security concerns can and should be addressed by an independent and objective Information Assurance firm. Pivot Point Security can help your Financial Organization to know you’re secure and prove you’re compliant. See how we can help.


Is ISO 27001 Right for (Y)our Organization?


Thinking about ISO 27001 Certification? View our free On-Demand ISO 27001 Webinar

  • How to deal with increasing threats
  • How to manage multiple regulatory requirements
  • How to handle client requests for attestation
  • To validate that significant changes did not have unanticipated results

Free Download: ISO 27001 Vendor Selection Toolkit

“ISOOur ISO 27001 Toolkit will help you to select an ISO 27001 consulting firm.
  • Review the Issues Critical to Your Environment
  • "Vet" Vendor Qualifications
  • Compare the Top 3 Vendors
  • Sample RFP Included

Free Whitepaper: Five Best Practices for SIEM


The promise of SIEM is the consolidation of all relevant Security Event Logs from disparate sources into a single unified and normalized data store.

Download: Information Security Attestation Guide

Information Security GuideA Best-Practices Guide to Information Security Attestation

Download our proven Information Security Guide to simplify the process of protecting your data, proving you’re secure and growing your business.

Free Download: ISO 27001 Implementation Roadmap

ISO 27001 RoadmapHave no fear – our “roadmap” will guide you, step by step, through the entire ISO 27001 process.

Getting to ISO 27001 certification is a process made up of things you already know – and things you may already be doing!

Free Download: A Best Practices Guide to Database Security

database security roadmap

Because data is only as secure as the systems & processes it relies on – a holistic approach to data security is essential. This roadmap is not meant to be exhaustive but rather to stimulate the necessary thought process to put you on the path to good data security.

Best Practices for Firing A Network Security Administrator

Firing A Network Security AdministratorWant to know how to fire a Network Admin? Need to know what precautions to take? Firing any employee can be a stressful event. Firing one who has significant knowledge of and privileged access to your Information Technology/Security infrastructure is even more stressful, as the risks are so notable.

Free Whitepaper: Stop Wasting Money on Penetration Testing


Penetration Testing is most frequently performed to:

  • Substantiate the net effectiveness of a mature control environment
  • Prove to a third party that an environment is secure/trustworthy
  • Quickly assess the security of a less mature control environment (in a sense a technical risk assessment)
  • To validate that significant changes did not have unanticipated results

About the Author:

Marketing at Pivot Point Security

Add a Comment

Share This