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US Govt Warns Critical Industries After Ransomware Hits Gas Pipeline Facility

US Govt Warns Critical Industries After Ransomware Hits Gas Pipeline Facility

February 19, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) earlier today issued a warning to all industries operating critical infrastructures about a new ransomware threat that if left unaddressed could have severe consequences. The advisory comes in response to a cyberattack targeting an unnamed natural gas compression facility that employed spear-phishing to deliver ransomware to the company's internal network, encrypting critical data and knocking servers out of operation for almost two days. "A cyber threat actor used a spear-phishing link to obtain initial access to the organization's information technology network before pivoting to its operational technology network. The threat actor then deployed commodity ransomware to encrypt data for impact on both networks," CISA noted in its alert. As ransomware attacks continue to escalate in frequency and scale , the new development is yet another indication that p
Emotet Malware Now Hacks Nearby Wi-Fi Networks to Infect New Victims

Emotet Malware Now Hacks Nearby Wi-Fi Networks to Infect New Victims

February 12, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
Emotet, the notorious trojan behind a number of botnet-driven spam campaigns and ransomware attacks, has found a new attack vector: using already infected devices to identify new victims that are connected to nearby Wi-Fi networks. According to researchers at Binary Defense , the newly discovered Emotet sample leverages a "Wi-Fi spreader" module to scan Wi-Fi networks, and then attempts to infect devices that are connected to them. The cybersecurity firm said the Wi-Fi spreader has a timestamp of April 16, 2018, indicating the spreading behavior has been running "unnoticed" for close to two years until it was detected for the first time last month. The development marks an escalation of Emotet's capabilities, as networks in close physical proximity to the original victim are now susceptible to infection. How Does Emotet's Wi-Fi Spreader Module Work? The updated version of the malware works by leveraging an already compromised host to list all
Russian Pleads Guilty to Running 'CardPlanet' to Sell Stolen Credit Cards

Russian Pleads Guilty to Running 'CardPlanet' to Sell Stolen Credit Cards

January 24, 2020Swati Khandelwal
Image credit: Times of Israel. Aleksei Burkov, a 29-year-old Russian hacker, on Thursday pleaded guilty to multiple criminal charges for running two illegal websites that helped cyber criminals commit more than $20 million in credit card fraud. The first website Burkov operated was an online marketplace for buying and selling stolen credit card and debit card numbers—called Cardplanet —which roughly hosted 150,000 payment card details between the years 2009 and 2013. Cardplanet marketplace offered stolen payment card details for anywhere between $2.50 and $10 a card, depending on the card type, country of origin, and the availability of card owner information. The carding website even offered a paid service that allowed buyers to instantly verify if a stolen payment card were still valid. "Many of the cards offered for sale belonged to U.S. citizens. The stolen credit card data from more than 150,000 compromised payment cards was allegedly sold on Burkov's site and
PoC Exploits Released for Citrix ADC and Gateway RCE Vulnerability

PoC Exploits Released for Citrix ADC and Gateway RCE Vulnerability

January 11, 2020Wang Wei
It's now or never to prevent your enterprise servers running vulnerable versions of Citrix application delivery, load balancing, and Gateway solutions from getting hacked by remote attackers. Why the urgency? Earlier today, multiple groups publicly released weaponized proof-of-concept exploit code [ 1 , 2 ] for a recently disclosed remote code execution vulnerability in Citrix's NetScaler ADC and Gateway products that could allow anyone to leverage them to take full control over potential enterprise targets. Just before the last Christmas and year-end holidays, Citrix announced that its Citrix Application Delivery Controller (ADC) and Citrix Gateway are vulnerable to a critical path traversal flaw (CVE-2019-19781) that could allow an unauthenticated attacker to perform arbitrary code execution on vulnerable servers. Citrix confirmed that the flaw affects all supported version of the software, including: Citrix ADC and Citrix Gateway version 13.0 all supported build
Landry's Restaurant Chain Suffers Payment Card Theft Via PoS Malware

Landry's Restaurant Chain Suffers Payment Card Theft Via PoS Malware

January 02, 2020Mohit Kumar
Landry's, a popular restaurant chain in the United States, has announced a malware attack on its point of sale (POS) systems that allowed cybercriminals to steal customers' payment card information. Landry's owns and operates more than 600 bars, restaurants, hotels, casinos, food and beverage outlets with over 60 different brands such as Landry's Seafood, Chart House, Saltgrass Steak House, Claim Jumper, Morton's The Steakhouse, Mastro's Restaurants, and Rainforest Cafe. According to the  breach notification published this week, the malware was designed to search for and likely steal sensitive customer credit card data, including credit card numbers, expiration dates, verification codes and, in some cases, cardholder names. The PoS malware infected point-of-sale terminals at all Landry's owned locations, but, fortunately, due to end-to-end encryption technology used by the company, attackers failed to steal payment card data from cards swiped at its
British Hacker Accused of Blackmailing healthcare Firms Extradited to U.S.

British Hacker Accused of Blackmailing healthcare Firms Extradited to U.S.

December 19, 2019Swati Khandelwal
A British man suspected to be a member of ' The Dark Overlord ,' an infamous international hacking group, has finally been extradited to the United States after being held for over two years in the United Kingdom. Nathan Francis Wyatt , 39, appeared in federal court in St. Louis, Missouri, on Wednesday to face charges related to his role in hacking healthcare and accounting companies in the U.S. and then threatening to publish stolen information unless victims paid a ransom in Bitcoin. According to a court indictment unsealed yesterday, Wyatt faces one count of conspiracy, two counts of aggravated identity theft and three counts of threatening to damage a protected computer. However, the suspect has not yet pledged guilty to any of the charges in the U.S. federal court, where he appeared after fighting for 11 months to avoid being extradited from Britain. Cyber Attacks by The Dark Overlord Group British police first arrested Wyatt in September 2016 during an inves
14 Ways to Evade Botnet Malware Attacks On Your Computers

14 Ways to Evade Botnet Malware Attacks On Your Computers

December 18, 2019Wang Wei
Cybercriminals are busy innovators, adapting their weapons and attack strategies, and ruthlessly roaming the web in search of their next big score. Every manner of sensitive information, such as confidential employee records, customers' financial data, protected medical documents, and government files, are all subject to their relentless threats to cybersecurity . Solutions span a broad spectrum, from training email users to ensuring a VPN kill switch is in place, to adding extensive advanced layers of network protection. To successfully guard against severe threats from hackers, worm viruses to malware, such as botnet attacks, network managers need to use all tools and methods that fit well into a comprehensive cyber defense strategy. Of all the menaces mentioned above to a website owner's peace of mind, botnets arguably present the most unsettling form of security risk. They're not the mere achievements of malicious amateur cybercriminals. They're state
The 2020 State of Breach Protection Survey – Call for Participation

The 2020 State of Breach Protection Survey – Call for Participation

December 17, 2019The Hacker News
2010-2019 decade will be remembered as the time in which cybersecurity became acknowledged as a critical concern for all organizations. With rapidly growing security needs and respective budgets, it is now more essential than ever for security decision-makers to zoom out of the 'products' mindset and assess their security stack in light of the overall breach protection value that their investments return. The 2020 State of Breach Protection Survey ( click here to participate ) attempts to map out for the first time how breach protection is practiced and maintained globally – what are the common products, services, concerns, and challenges that are most common amongst organizations. Any security professional filling the anonymous salary survey questionnaire , organised by The Hacker News in partnership with Cynet, will get a free copy of the survey report once it is released in January 2020. You can complete the questionnaire here . Why is that important? Because unli
New Zeppelin Ransomware Targeting Tech and Health Companies

New Zeppelin Ransomware Targeting Tech and Health Companies

December 11, 2019Mohit Kumar
A new variant of Vega ransomware family, dubbed Zeppelin , has recently been spotted in the wild targeting technology and healthcare companies across Europe, the United States, and Canada. However, if you reside in Russia or some other ex-USSR countries like Ukraine, Belorussia, and Kazakhstan, breathe a sigh of relief, as the ransomware terminates its operations if found itself on machines located in these regions. It's notable and interesting because all previous variants of the Vega family, also known as VegaLocker, were primarily targeting Russian speaking users, which indicates Zeppelin is not the work of the same hacking group behind the previous attacks. Since Vega ransomware and its previous variants were offered as a service on underground forums, researchers at BlackBerry Cylance believes either Zeppelin "ended up in the hands of different threat actors" or "redeveloped from bought/stolen/leaked sources." According to a report BlackBerry Cyl
Snatch Ransomware Reboots Windows in Safe Mode to Bypass Antivirus

Snatch Ransomware Reboots Windows in Safe Mode to Bypass Antivirus

December 10, 2019Mohit Kumar
Cybersecurity researchers have spotted a new variant of the Snatch ransomware that first reboots infected Windows computers into Safe Mode and only then encrypts victims' files to avoid antivirus detection. Unlike traditional malware, the new Snatch ransomware chooses to run in Safe Mode because in the diagnostic mode Windows operating system starts with a minimal set of drivers and services without loading most of the third-party startup programs, including antivirus software. Snatch has been active since at least the summer of 2018, but SophosLabs researchers spotted the Safe Mode enhancement to this ransomware strain only in recent cyber attacks against various entities they investigated. "SophosLabs researchers have been investigating an ongoing series of ransomware attacks in which the ransomware executable forces the Windows machine to reboot into Safe Mode before beginning the encryption process," the researchers say . "The ransomware, which calls it
Russian Hacker Behind NeverQuest Banking Malware Gets 4 Years in U.S. Prison

Russian Hacker Behind NeverQuest Banking Malware Gets 4 Years in U.S. Prison

November 22, 2019Swati Khandelwal
A Russian hacker who created and used Neverquest banking malware to steal money from victims' bank accounts has finally been sentenced to 4 years in prison by the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Stanislav Vitaliyevich Lisov , 34, was arrested by Spanish authorities at Barcelona–El Prat Airport in January 2017 on the request of the FBI and extradited to the United States in 2018. Earlier this year, Lisov pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit computer hacking, involving attempts to steal at least $4.4 million from hundreds of victims using the NeverQuest banking trojan. Just like any other sophisticated banking Trojan, NeverQuest , aka Vawtrak or Snifula, has also been designed to let attackers remotely control infected computers and steal a wide range of sensitive information. Besides stealing login information for banking or other financial accounts using a keylogger or web form injection techniques, the malware was also c
Louisiana State Government Hit by Ransomware Attack Forcing Server Shutdowns

Louisiana State Government Hit by Ransomware Attack Forcing Server Shutdowns

November 19, 2019Wang Wei
Targeted ransomware attacks on banking and finance, government , healthcare , and critical infrastructure are on the rise, with the latest victim being the state government of Louisiana. The state government of Louisiana was hit by a large-scale coordinated ransomware attack yesterday, which forced the state to take several state agency servers offline, including government websites, email systems, and other internal applications, to mitigate the risk of the malware's infection from spreading. The Monday's ransomware attack resulted in the subsequent shutdown of a majority of large state agencies, including the Office of the Governor, the Office of Motor Vehicles, the Department of Health, the Department of Children and Family Services, and the Department of Transportation and Development, among others. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards revealed the incident in a series of tweets, saying that he had activated the state's cybersecurity team in response to the cyber
New Group of Hackers Targeting Businesses with Financially Motivated Cyber Attacks

New Group of Hackers Targeting Businesses with Financially Motivated Cyber Attacks

November 14, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Security researchers have tracked down activities of a new group of financially-motivated hackers that are targeting several businesses and organizations in Germany, Italy, and the United States in an attempt to infect them with backdoor, banking Trojan, or ransomware malware. Though the new malware campaigns are not customized for each organization, the threat actors appear to be more interested in businesses, IT services, manufacturing, and healthcare industries who possess critical data and can likely afford high ransom payouts. According to a report ProofPoint shared with The Hacker News, the newly discovered threat actors are sending out low-volume emails impersonating finance-related government entities with tax assessment and refund lured emails to targeted organizations. "Tax-themed Email Campaigns Target 2019 Filers, finance-related lures have been used seasonally with upticks in tax-related malware and phishing campaigns leading up to the annual tax filing deadlines in
Targeted Ransomware Attacks Hit Several Spanish Companies

Targeted Ransomware Attacks Hit Several Spanish Companies

November 04, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Everis , one of the largest IT consulting companies in Spain, suffered a targeted ransomware attack on Monday, forcing the company to shut down all its computer systems until the issue gets resolved completely. Ransomware is a computer virus that encrypts files on an infected system until a ransom is paid. According to several local media, Everis informed its employees about the devastating widespread ransomware attack, saying: "We are suffering a massive virus attack on the Everis network. Please keep the PCs off. The network has been disconnected with clients and between offices. We will keep you updated." "Please, urgently transfer the message directly to your teams and colleagues due to standard communication problems." According to cybersecurity consultant  Arnau Estebanell Castellví , the malware encrypted files on Everis's computers with an extension name resembling the company's name, i.e., " .3v3r1s ," which suggests the at
First Cyber Attack 'Mass Exploiting' BlueKeep RDP Flaw Spotted in the Wild

First Cyber Attack 'Mass Exploiting' BlueKeep RDP Flaw Spotted in the Wild

November 03, 2019Mohit Kumar
Cybersecurity researchers have spotted a new cyberattack that is believed to be the very first but an amateur attempt to weaponize the infamous BlueKeep RDP vulnerability in the wild to mass compromise vulnerable systems for cryptocurrency mining. In May this year, Microsoft released a patch for a highly-critical remote code execution flaw, dubbed  BlueKeep , in its Windows Remote Desktop Services that could be exploited remotely to take full control over vulnerable systems just by sending specially crafted requests over RDP. BlueKeep, tracked as CVE-2019-0708 , is a wormable vulnerability because it can be weaponized by potential malware to propagate itself from one vulnerable computer to another automatically without requiring victims' interaction. BlueKeep has been considered to be such a serious threat that since its discovery, Microsoft and even government agencies [ NSA and GCHQ ] had continuously been encouraging Windows users and admins to apply security patches bef
Facebook Sues Israeli NSO Spyware Firm For Hacking WhatsApp Users

Facebook Sues Israeli NSO Spyware Firm For Hacking WhatsApp Users

October 29, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Finally, for the very first time, an encrypted messaging service provider is taking legal action against a private entity that has carried out malicious attacks against its users. Facebook filed a lawsuit against Israeli mobile surveillance firm NSO Group on Tuesday, alleging that the company was actively involved in hacking users of its end-to-end encrypted WhatsApp messaging service. Earlier this year, it was discovered that WhatsApp had a critical vulnerability that attackers were found exploiting in the wild to remotely install Pegasus spyware on targeted Android and iOS devices. The flaw (CVE-2019-3568) successfully allowed attackers to silently install the spyware app on targeted phones by merely placing a WhatsApp video call with specially crafted requests, even when the call was not answered. Developed by NSO Group, Pegasus allows access to an incredible amount of data from victims' smartphones remotely, including their text messages, emails, WhatsApp chats,
Russian Hackers Targeting Anti-Doping Agencies Ahead of 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Russian Hackers Targeting Anti-Doping Agencies Ahead of 2020 Tokyo Olympics

October 29, 2019Swati Khandelwal
As Japan gears up for the upcoming 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo for the next year, the country needs to brace itself for sophisticated cyberattacks, especially from state-sponsored hackers. Microsoft has issued a short notice, warning about a new wave of highly targeted cyberattacks by a group of Russian state-sponsored hackers attempting to hack over a dozen anti-doping authorities and sporting organizations around the world. The attacks are originating from the 'Strontium' Russian hacking group, widely known as Fancy Bear or APT28, and are believed to be linked to the upcoming 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. The Fancy Bear hacking group, also known as APT28, Sofacy, X-agent , Sednit , Sandworm , and Pawn Storm, is believed to be linked to Russian military intelligence agency GRU and has been in operation since at least 2007. Over these past three decades, the group has been credited to many high profile hacking incidents, like hacking the US presidential elections
Phorpiex Botnet Sending Out Millions of Sextortion Emails Using Hacked Computers

Phorpiex Botnet Sending Out Millions of Sextortion Emails Using Hacked Computers

October 16, 2019Mohit Kumar
A decade-old botnet malware that currently controls over 450,000 computers worldwide has recently shifted its operations from infecting machines with ransomware or crypto miners to abusing them for sending out sextortion emails to millions of innocent people. Extortion by email is growing significantly, with a large number of users recently complaining about receiving sextortion emails that attempt to extort money from individuals by blackmailing them into exposing their sexual content. Though until now, it wasn't clear how scammers were sending such massive amounts of emails without getting blacklisted by the email providers, security researchers from CheckPoint finally found the missing block in this puzzle. In its latest report shared with The Hacker News prior to the release, Tel Aviv-based security firm CheckPoint reveals that a botnet, called Phorpiex , has recently been updated to include a spam bot designed to use compromised computers as proxies to send out over 3
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