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Mazafaka — Elite Hacking and Cybercrime Forum — Got Hacked!

Mazafaka — Elite Hacking and Cybercrime Forum — Got Hacked!

March 05, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
In what's a case of hackers getting hacked, a prominent underground online criminal forum by the name of Maza has been compromised by unknown attackers, making it the fourth forum to have been breached since the start of the year. The intrusion is said to have occurred on March 3, with information about the forum members — including usernames, email addresses, and hashed passwords — publicly disclosed on a breach notification page put up by the attackers, stating "Your data has been leaked" and "This forum has been hacked." "The announcement was accompanied by a PDF file allegedly containing a portion of forum user data. The file comprised more than 3,000 rows, containing usernames, partially obfuscated password hashes, email addresses and other contact details," cybersecurity firm Intel 471  said . Originally called Mazafaka, Maza is an elite, invite-only Russian-language cybercrime forum known to be operational as early as 2003, acting as an exc
CISA Issues Emergency Directive on In-the-Wild Microsoft Exchange Flaws

CISA Issues Emergency Directive on In-the-Wild Microsoft Exchange Flaws

March 04, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Following Microsoft's release of out-of-band patches to address multiple zero-day flaws in on-premises versions of Microsoft Exchange Server, the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has  issued  an emergency directive warning of " active exploitation " of the vulnerabilities. The alert comes on the heels of Microsoft's  disclosure  that China-based hackers were exploiting unknown software bugs in Exchange server to steal sensitive data from select targets, marking the second time in four months that the U.S. has scrambled to address a widespread hacking campaign believed to be the work of foreign threat actors. While the company mainly attributed the campaign to a threat group called HAFNIUM, Slovakian cybersecurity firm ESET  said  it found evidence of CVE-2021-26855 being actively exploited in the wild by several cyber espionage groups, including LuckyMouse, Tick, and Calypso targeting servers located in the U.S., Europe, Asia, and the
Gootkit RAT Using SEO to Distribute Malware Through Compromised Sites

Gootkit RAT Using SEO to Distribute Malware Through Compromised Sites

March 01, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
A framework notorious for delivering a banking Trojan has received a facelift to deploy a wider range of malware, including ransomware payloads. "The  Gootkit  malware family has been around more than half a decade – a mature Trojan with functionality centered around banking credential theft," Sophos researchers Gabor Szappanos and Andrew Brandt  said  in a write-up published today. "In recent years, almost as much effort has gone into improvement of its delivery method as has gone into the NodeJS-based malware itself." Dubbed "Gootloader," the expanded malware delivery system comes amid a surge in the number of infections targeting users in France, Germany, South Korea, and the U.S. First documented in 2014, Gootkit is a Javascript-based malware platform capable of carrying out an array of covert activities, including web injection, capturing keystrokes, taking screenshots, recording videos, as well as email and password theft. Over the years, the
Chinese Hackers Targeted India's Power Grid Amid Geopolitical Tensions

Chinese Hackers Targeted India's Power Grid Amid Geopolitical Tensions

March 01, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Amid heightened  border tensions  between India and China, cybersecurity researchers have revealed a concerted campaign against India's critical infrastructure, including the nation's power grid, from Chinese state-sponsored groups. The attacks, which coincided with the standoff between the two nations in May 2020, targeted a total of 12 organizations, 10 of which are in the power generation and transmission sector. "10 distinct Indian power sector organizations, including four of the five Regional Load Despatch Centres (RLDC) responsible for operation of the power grid through balancing electricity supply and demand, have been identified as targets in a concerted campaign against India's critical infrastructure," Recorded Future  said  in a report published yesterday. "Other targets identified included 2 Indian seaports." Chief among the victims include a power plant run by National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) Limited and New Delhi-based Power
North Korean Hackers Targeting Defense Firms with ThreatNeedle Malware

North Korean Hackers Targeting Defense Firms with ThreatNeedle Malware

February 26, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
A prolific North Korean state-sponsored hacking group has been tied to a new ongoing espionage campaign aimed at exfiltrating sensitive information from organizations in the defense industry. Attributing the attacks with high confidence to the  Lazarus Group , the new findings from Kaspersky signal an expansion of the APT actor's tactics by going beyond the usual gamut of financially-motivated crimes to fund the cash-strapped regime.  This broadening of its strategic interests happened in early 2020 by leveraging a tool called ThreatNeedle , researchers Vyacheslav Kopeytsev and Seongsu Park said in a Thursday write-up. At a high level, the campaign takes advantage of a multi-step approach that begins with a carefully crafted spear-phishing attack leading eventually to the attackers gaining remote control over the devices. ThreatNeedle is delivered to targets via COVID-themed emails with malicious Microsoft Word attachments as initial infection vectors that, when opened, run a
Chinese Hackers Using Firefox Extension to Spy On Tibetan Organizations

Chinese Hackers Using Firefox Extension to Spy On Tibetan Organizations

February 25, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Cybersecurity researchers today unwrapped a new campaign aimed at spying on vulnerable Tibetan communities globally by deploying a malicious Firefox extension on target systems. "Threat actors aligned with the Chinese Communist Party's state interests delivered a customized malicious Mozilla Firefox browser extension that facilitated access and control of users' Gmail accounts," Proofpoint said in an analysis. The Sunnyvale-based enterprise security company pinned the phishing operation on a Chinese advanced persistent threat (APT) it tracks as  TA413 , which has been previously attributed to attacks against the Tibetan diaspora by leveraging  COVID-themed lures  to deliver the Sepulcher malware with the strategic goal of espionage and civil dissident surveillance. The researchers said the attacks were detected in January and February 2021, a pattern that has continued since March 2020. The infection chain begins with a phishing email impersonating the "Tib
Russian Hackers Targeted Ukraine Authorities With Supply-Chain Malware Attack

Russian Hackers Targeted Ukraine Authorities With Supply-Chain Malware Attack

February 25, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Ukraine is formally pointing fingers at Russian hackers for hacking into one of its government systems and attempting to plant and distribute malicious documents that would install malware on target systems of public authorities. "The purpose of the attack was the mass contamination of information resources of public authorities, as this system is used for the circulation of documents in most public authorities," the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (NSDC)  said  in a statement published on Wednesday. The NSDC's National Coordination Center for Cybersecurity (NCCC) termed it a supply chain attack aimed at the System of Electronic Interaction of Executive Bodies (SEI EB), which is used to distribute documents to officials. Calling it a work of threat actors with ties to Russia, the NSDC said the decoy documents came embedded with a macro that, when opened, stealthily downloaded malicious code to control the compromised system remotely. "The metho
Everything You Need to Know About Evolving Threat of Ransomware

Everything You Need to Know About Evolving Threat of Ransomware

February 24, 2021The Hacker News
The cybersecurity world is constantly evolving to new forms of threats and vulnerabilities. But ransomware proves to be a different animal—most destructive, persistent, notoriously challenging to prevent, and is showing no signs of slowing down. Falling victim to a ransomware attack can cause significant data loss, data breach, operational downtime, costly recovery, legal consequences, and reputational damage. In this story, we have covered everything you need to know about ransomware and how it works. What is ransomware? Ransomware is a malicious program that gains control over the infected device, encrypts files, and blocks user access to the data or a system until a sum of money, or ransom, is paid. Crooks' scheme includes a ransom note—with amount and instructions on how to pay a ransom in return for the decryption key—or direct communication with the victim. While ransomware impacts businesses and institutions of every size and type, attackers often target healthcare, e
Hackers Exploit Accellion Zero-Days in Recent Data Theft and Extortion Attacks

Hackers Exploit Accellion Zero-Days in Recent Data Theft and Extortion Attacks

February 22, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Cybersecurity researchers on Monday tied a  string of attacks  targeting Accellion File Transfer Appliance (FTA) servers over the past two months to data theft and extortion campaign orchestrated by a cybercrime group called UNC2546 . The attacks, which began in mid-December 2020, involved exploiting multiple zero-day vulnerabilities in the legacy FTA software to install a new web shell named DEWMODE on victim networks and exfiltrating sensitive data, which was then published on a data leak website operated by the CLOP ransomware gang. But in a twist, no ransomware was actually deployed in any of the recent incidents that hit organizations in the U.S., Singapore, Canada, and the Netherlands, with the actors instead resorting to extortion emails to threaten victims into paying bitcoin ransoms. According to  Risky Business , some of the companies that have had their data listed on the site include Singapore's telecom provider  SingTel , the American Bureau of Shipping, law firm 
Masslogger Trojan Upgraded to Steal All Your Outlook, Chrome Credentials

Masslogger Trojan Upgraded to Steal All Your Outlook, Chrome Credentials

February 19, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
A credential stealer infamous for targeting Windows systems has resurfaced in a new phishing campaign that aims to steal credentials from Microsoft Outlook, Google Chrome, and instant messenger apps. Primarily directed against users in Turkey, Latvia, and Italy starting mid-January, the attacks involve the use of  MassLogger  — a .NET-based malware with capabilities to hinder static analysis — building on similar campaigns undertaken by the same actor against users in Bulgaria, Lithuania, Hungary, Estonia, Romania, and Spain in September, October, and November 2020. MassLogger was first spotted in the wild last April, but the presence of a new variant implies malware authors are constantly retooling their arsenal to evade detection and monetize them. "Although operations of the Masslogger trojan have been previously documented, we found the new campaign notable for using the compiled HTML file format to start the infection chain," researchers with Cisco Talos  said  on W
SolarWinds Hackers Stole Some Source Code for Microsoft Azure, Exchange, Intune

SolarWinds Hackers Stole Some Source Code for Microsoft Azure, Exchange, Intune

February 18, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Microsoft on Thursday said it concluded its probe into the SolarWinds hack, finding that the attackers stole some source code but confirmed there's no evidence that they abused its internal systems to target other companies or gained access to production services or customer data. The disclosure builds upon an  earlier update  on December 31, 2020, that uncovered a compromise of its own network to view source code related to its products and services. "We detected unusual activity with a small number of internal accounts and upon review, we discovered one account had been used to view source code in a number of source code repositories," the Windows maker had previously disclosed. "The account did not have permissions to modify any code or engineering systems and our investigation further confirmed no changes were made. These accounts were investigated and remediated.". Now according to the company, besides viewing few individual files by searching throug
U.S. Charges 3 North Korean Hackers Over $1.3 Billion Cryptocurrency Heist

U.S. Charges 3 North Korean Hackers Over $1.3 Billion Cryptocurrency Heist

February 17, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) on Wednesday  indicted  three suspected North Korean hackers for allegedly conspiring to steal and extort over $1.3 billion in cash and cryptocurrencies from financial institutions and businesses. The three defendants — Jon Chang Hyok, 31; Kim Il, 27; and Park Jin Hyok, 36 — are said to be members of the Reconnaissance General Bureau, a military intelligence division of North Korea, also known as the  Lazarus group ,  Hidden Cobra , or Advanced Persistent Threat 38 (APT 38). Accusing them of creating and deploying multiple malicious cryptocurrency applications, developing and fraudulently marketing a blockchain platform, the indictment expands on the  2018 charges brought against Park , one of the alleged nation-state hackers previously charged in connection with the 2014 cyberattack on Sony Pictures Entertainment. A Wide-Ranging Scheme to Commit Cyberattacks and Financial Crimes "North Korea's operatives, using keyboards rather than g
Researchers Unmask Hackers Behind APOMacroSploit Malware Builder

Researchers Unmask Hackers Behind APOMacroSploit Malware Builder

February 17, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Cybersecurity researchers have disclosed a new kind of Office malware distributed as part of a malicious email campaign that targeted more than 80 customers worldwide in an attempt to control victim machines and steal information remotely. The tool — dubbed " APOMacroSploit " — is a macro exploit generator that allows the user to create an Excel document capable of bypassing antivirus software, Windows Antimalware Scan Interface (AMSI), and even Gmail and other email-based phishing detection. APOMacroSploit is believed to be the work of two French-based threat actors "Apocaliptique" and "Nitrix," who are estimated to have made at least $5000 in less than two months selling the product on HackForums.net. About 40 hackers in total are said to be behind the operation, utilizing 100 different email senders in a slew of attacks targeting users in more than 30 different countries. The attacks were spotted for the first time at the end of November 2020, acco
Hackers Exploit IT Monitoring Tool Centreon to Target Several French Entities

Hackers Exploit IT Monitoring Tool Centreon to Target Several French Entities

February 15, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Russia-linked state-sponsored threat actor known as Sandworm has been linked to a three-year-long stealthy operation to hack targets by exploiting an IT monitoring tool called Centreon . The intrusion campaign — which breached "several French entities" — is said to have started in late 2017 and lasted until 2020, with the attacks particularly impacting web-hosting providers, said the French information security agency ANSSI in an advisory. "On compromised systems, ANSSI discovered the presence of a backdoor in the form of a webshell dropped on several Centreon servers exposed to the internet," the agency  said  on Monday. "This backdoor was identified as being the PAS webshell, version number 3.1.4. On the same servers, ANSSI found another backdoor identical to one described by ESET and named Exaramel." The Russian hacker group (also called APT28, TeleBots, Voodoo Bear, or Iron Viking) is said to be behind some of the most devastating cyberattacks in p
Poor Password Security Led to Recent Water Treatment Facility Hack

Poor Password Security Led to Recent Water Treatment Facility Hack

February 11, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
New details have emerged about the remote computer intrusion at a Florida water treatment facility last Friday, highlighting a lack of adequate security measures needed to bulletproof critical infrastructure environments. The breach involved an  unsuccessful attempt  on the part of an adversary to increase sodium hydroxide dosage in the water supply to dangerous levels by remotely accessing the SCADA system at the water treatment plant. The system's plant operator, who spotted the intrusion, quickly took steps to reverse the command, leading to minimal impact. Now, according to an  advisory  published on Wednesday by the state of Massachusetts, unidentified cyber actors accessed the supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system via TeamViewer software installed on one of the plant's several computers that were connected to the control system. Not only were these computers running 32-bit versions of the Windows 7 operating system, but the machines also shared the
Ukrainian Police Arrest Author of World's Largest Phishing Service U-Admin

Ukrainian Police Arrest Author of World's Largest Phishing Service U-Admin

February 09, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Law enforcement officials in Ukraine, in coordination with authorities from the U.S. and Australia, last week shut down one of the world's largest phishing services that were used to attack financial institutions in 11 countries, causing tens of millions of dollars in losses. The Ukrainian attorney general's office  said  it worked with the National Police and its Main Investigation Department to identify a 39-year-old man from the Ternopil region who developed a phishing package and a special administrative panel for the service, which were then aimed at several banks located in Australia, Spain, the U.S., Italy, Chile, the Netherlands, Mexico, France, Switzerland, Germany, and the U.K. Computer equipment, mobile phones, and hard drives were seized as part of five authorized searches conducted during the course of the operation. Security researcher Brian Krebs  noted  the raids were in connection with  U-Admin , a phishing framework that makes use of fake web pages to pil
Hacker Tried Poisoning Water Supply After Breaking Into Florida's Treatment System

Hacker Tried Poisoning Water Supply After Breaking Into Florida's Treatment System

February 08, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Hackers successfully infiltrated the computer system controlling a water treatment facility in the U.S. state of Florida and remotely changed a setting that drastically altered the levels of sodium hydroxide (NaOH) in the water. During a press conference held yesterday, Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said an operator managed to catch the manipulation in real-time and restored the concentration levels to undo the damage. "At no time was there a significant effect on the water being treated, and more importantly the public was never in danger," Sheriff Gualtieri  said  in a statement. The water treatment facility, which is located in the city of Oldsmar and serves about 15,000 residents, is said to have been breached for approximately 3 to 5 minutes by unknown suspects on February 5, with the remote access occurring twice at 8:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. The attacker briefly increased the amount of sodium hydroxide from 100 parts-per-million to 11,100 parts-per-million u
Detailed: Here's How Iran Spies on Dissidents with the Help of Hackers

Detailed: Here's How Iran Spies on Dissidents with the Help of Hackers

February 08, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Twin cyber operations conducted by state-sponsored Iranian threat actors demonstrate their continued focus on compiling detailed dossiers on Iranian citizens that could threaten the stability of the Islamic Republic, including dissidents, opposition forces, and ISIS supporters, and Kurdish natives. Tracing the extensive espionage operations to two advanced Iranian cyber-groups  Domestic Kitten  (or APT-C-50) and  Infy , cybersecurity firm Check Point revealed new and recent evidence of their ongoing activities that involve the use of a revamped malware toolset as well as tricking unwitting users into downloading malicious software under the guise of popular apps. "Both groups have conducted long-running cyberattacks and intrusive surveillance campaigns which target both individuals' mobile devices and personal computers," Check Point researchers said in a new analysis. "The operators of these campaigns are clearly active, responsive and constantly seeking new att
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