The Hacker News Logo
Subscribe to Newsletter
CrowdSec

The Hacker News - Cybersecurity News and Analysis: Cyber Attack

Researchers Warn Iranian Users of Widespread SMS Phishing Campaigns

Researchers Warn Iranian Users of Widespread SMS Phishing Campaigns

December 01, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Socially engineered SMS messages are being used to install malware on Android devices as part of a widespread phishing campaign that impersonates the Iranian government and social security services to make away with credit card details and steal funds from victims' bank accounts. Unlike other variants of  banking malware  that bank of overlay attacks to capture sensitive data without the knowledge of the victim, the financially motivated operation uncovered by Check Point Research is designed to trick the targets into handing over their credit card information by sending them a legitimate-looking SMS message that contains a link, which, when clicked, downloads a malware-laced app onto their devices. "The malicious application not only collects the victim's credit card numbers, but also gains access to their 2FA authentication SMS, and turn[s] the victim's device into a bot capable of spreading similar phishing SMS to other potential victims," Check Point resear
WIRTE Hacker Group Targets Government, Law, Financial Entities in Middle East

WIRTE Hacker Group Targets Government, Law, Financial Entities in Middle East

November 30, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Government, diplomatic entities, military organizations, law firms, and financial institutions primarily located in the Middle East have been targeted as part of a stealthy malware campaign as early as 2019 by making use of malicious Microsoft Excel and Word documents. Russian cybersecurity company Kaspersky attributed the attacks with high confidence to a threat actor named WIRTE, adding the intrusions involved "MS Excel droppers that use hidden spreadsheets and VBA macros to drop their first stage implant," which is a Visual Basic Script (VBS) with functionality to amass system information and execute arbitrary code sent by the attackers on the infected machine. An analysis of the campaign as well as the toolset and methods employed by the adversary has also led the researchers to conclude with low confidence that the  WIRTE group  has connections to another politically motivated collective called the  Gaza Cybergang . The affected entities are spread across Armenia, Cyp
New Chinotto Spyware Targets North Korean Defectors, Human Rights Activists

New Chinotto Spyware Targets North Korean Defectors, Human Rights Activists

November 29, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
North Korean defectors, journalists who cover North Korea-related news, and entities in South Korea are being zeroed in on by a nation-state-sponsored advanced persistent threat (APT) as part of a new wave of highly-targeted surveillance attacks. Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky attributed the infiltrations to a North Korean hacker group tracked as  ScarCruft , also known as  APT37 , Reaper Group, InkySquid, and Ricochet Chollima. "The actor utilized three types of malware with similar functionalities: versions implemented in PowerShell, Windows executables and Android applications," the company's Global Research and Analysis Team (GReAT)  said  in a new report published today. "Although intended for different platforms, they share a similar command and control scheme based on HTTP communication. Therefore, the malware operators can control the whole malware family through one set of command and control scripts." Likely active since at least 2012, ScarC
Hackers Targeting Biomanufacturing Facilities With Tardigrade Malware

Hackers Targeting Biomanufacturing Facilities With Tardigrade Malware

November 26, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
An advanced persistent threat (APT) has been linked to cyberattacks on two biomanufacturing companies that occurred this year with the help of a custom malware loader called " Tardigrade ." That's according to an advisory published by Bioeconomy Information Sharing and Analysis Center (BIO-ISAC) this week, which noted that the malware is actively spreading across the sector with the likely goal of perpetrating intellectual property theft, maintaining persistence for extended periods of time, and infecting the systems with ransomware. BIO-ISAC, which commenced an investigation following a ransomware attack targeting an unnamed biomanufacturing facility earlier this spring, characterized Tardigrade as a sophisticated piece of malware with "a high degree of autonomy as well as metamorphic capabilities." The same malware was then used to strike a second entity in October 2021. The "actively spreading" intrusions have not been attributed to a specific
U.S. Charged 2 Iranian Hackers for Threatening Voters During 2020 Presidential Election

U.S. Charged 2 Iranian Hackers for Threatening Voters During 2020 Presidential Election

November 19, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
The U.S. government on Thursday  unsealed  an indictment that accused two Iranian nationals of their involvement in cyber-enabled disinformation and threat campaign orchestrated to interfere in the 2020 presidential elections by gaining access to confidential voter information from at least one state election website. The two defendants in question — Seyyed Mohammad Hosein Musa Kazemi , 24, and Sajjad Kazemi , 27 — have been  charged  with conspiracy to commit computer fraud and abuse, intimidate voters, and transmit interstate threats, voter intimidation, transmission of interstate threats, with Kazemi additionally charged with unauthorized computer intrusion. Both the individuals are  currently at large . The influence campaign's goal was to erode confidence in the integrity of the U.S. electoral system and to sow discord among Americans, the Department of Justice (DoJ) said in a statement, characterizing the two individuals as "experienced Iran-based computer hackers&qu
U.S., U.K. and Australia Warn of Iranian Hackers Exploiting Microsoft, Fortinet Flaws

U.S., U.K. and Australia Warn of Iranian Hackers Exploiting Microsoft, Fortinet Flaws

November 17, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Cybersecurity agencies from Australia, the U.K., and the U.S. on Wednesday  released  a joint advisory warning of active exploitation of Fortinet and Microsoft Exchange ProxyShell vulnerabilities by Iranian state-sponsored actors to gain initial access to vulnerable systems for follow-on activities, including data exfiltration and ransomware. The threat actor is believed to have leveraged multiple Fortinet FortiOS vulnerabilities dating back to March 2021 as well as a remote code execution flaw affecting Microsoft Exchange Servers since at least October 2021, according to the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC), and the U.K.'s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC). The agencies did not attribute the activities to a specific advanced persistent threat (APT) actor. Targeted victims include Australian organizations and a wide range of entities across multiple U.S. critica
Abcbot — A New Evolving Wormable Botnet Malware Targeting Linux

Abcbot — A New Evolving Wormable Botnet Malware Targeting Linux

November 11, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Researchers from Qihoo 360's Netlab security team have released details of a new evolving botnet called " Abcbot " that has been observed in the wild with worm-like propagation features to infect Linux systems and launch distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks against targets. While the earliest version of the botnet dates back to July 2021, new variants observed as recently as October 30 have been equipped with additional updates to strike Linux web servers with weak passwords and are susceptible to N-day vulnerabilities, including a custom implementation of DDoS functionality, indicating that the malware is under continuous development. Netlab's findings also build on a report from Trend Micro early last month, which  publicized  attacks targeting Huawei Cloud with cryptocurrency-mining and cryptojacking malware. The intrusions were also notable for the fact that the malicious shell scripts specifically disabled a process designed to monitor and scan the ser
TrickBot Operators Partner with Shathak Attackers for Conti Ransomware

TrickBot Operators Partner with Shathak Attackers for Conti Ransomware

November 11, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
The operators of TrickBot trojan are collaborating with the Shathak threat group to distribute their wares, ultimately leading to the deployment of Conti ransomware on infected machines. "The implementation of  TrickBot  has evolved over the years, with recent versions of TrickBot implementing malware-loading capabilities," Cybereason security analysts Aleksandar Milenkoski and Eli Salem  said  in a report analysing recent malware distribution campaigns undertaken by the group. "TrickBot has played a major role in many attack campaigns conducted by different threat actors, from common cybercriminals to nation-state actors." The latest report builds on a report from IBM X-Force last month, which  revealed  TrickBot's partnerships with other cybercrime gangs, including Shathak, to deliver proprietary malware. Also tracked under the moniker TA551, Shathak is a sophisticated cybercrime actor targeting end-users on a global scale, acting as a malware distributor
Iran's Lyceum Hackers Target Telecoms, ISPs in Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Africa

Iran's Lyceum Hackers Target Telecoms, ISPs in Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Africa

November 11, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
A state-sponsored threat actor allegedly affiliated with Iran has been linked to a series of targeted attacks aimed at internet service providers (ISPs) and telecommunication operators in Israel, Morocco, Tunisia, and Saudi Arabia, as well as a ministry of foreign affairs (MFA) in Africa, new findings reveal. The intrusions, staged by a group tracked as Lyceum, are believed to have occurred between July and October 2021, researchers from Accenture Cyber Threat Intelligence (ACTI) group and Prevailion's Adversarial Counterintelligence Team (PACT) said in a technical report. The names of the victims were not disclosed. The latest revelations throw light on the web-based infrastructure used by Lyceum, over 20 of them, enabling the identification of "additional victims and provide further visibility into Lyceum's targeting methodology," the researchers  noted , adding "at least two of the identified compromises are assessed to be ongoing despite prior public discl
Ukraine Identifies Russian FSB Officers Hacking As Gamaredon Group

Ukraine Identifies Russian FSB Officers Hacking As Gamaredon Group

November 05, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Ukraine's premier law enforcement and counterintelligence agency on Thursday disclosed the real identities of five individuals allegedly involved in digital intrusions attributed to a cyber-espionage group named Gamaredon , linking the members to Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB). Calling the hacker group "an FSB special project, which specifically targeted Ukraine," the Security Service of Ukraine (SSU)  said  the perpetrators "are officers of the 'Crimean' FSB and traitors who defected to the enemy during the occupation of the peninsula in 2014." The names of the five individuals the SSU alleges are part of the covert operation are Sklianko Oleksandr Mykolaiovych, Chernykh Mykola Serhiiovych, Starchenko Anton Oleksandrovych, Miroshnychenko Oleksandr Valeriiovych, and Sushchenko Oleh Oleksandrovych. Since its inception in 2013, the Russia-linked  Gamaredon  group (aka Primitive Bear, Armageddon, Winterflounder, or Iron Tilden) has been re
U.S. Federal Agencies Ordered to Patch Hundreds of Actively Exploited Flaws

U.S. Federal Agencies Ordered to Patch Hundreds of Actively Exploited Flaws

November 05, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
The U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has  published  a  catalog  of vulnerabilities, including from Apple, Cisco, Microsoft, and Google, that have known exploits and are being actively exploited by malicious cyber actors, in addition to requiring federal agencies to prioritize applying patches for those security flaws within "aggressive" timeframes. "These vulnerabilities pose significant risk to agencies and the federal enterprise," the agency  said  in a binding operational directive (BOD) issued Wednesday. "It is essential to aggressively remediate known exploited vulnerabilities to protect federal information systems and reduce cyber incidents." About 176 vulnerabilities identified between 2017 and 2020, and 100 flaws from 2021 have made their way to the initial list, which is expected to be updated with additional actively exploited vulnerabilities as and when they become known provided they have been assigned Common Vu
U.S. Offers $10 Million Reward for Information on DarkSide Ransomware Group

U.S. Offers $10 Million Reward for Information on DarkSide Ransomware Group

November 05, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
The U.S. government on Thursday announced a $10 million reward for information that may lead to the identification or location of key individuals who hold leadership positions in the DarkSide ransomware group or any of its rebrands. On top of that, the State Department is offering bounties of up to $5 million for intel and tip-offs that could result in the arrest and/or conviction in any country of individuals who are conspiring or attempting to participate in intrusions affiliated with the transnational organized crime syndicate. "In offering this reward, the United States demonstrates its commitment to protecting ransomware victims around the world from exploitation by cyber criminals," the State Department  said  in a statement. "The United States looks to nations who harbor ransomware criminals that are willing to bring justice for those victim businesses and organizations affected by ransomware." The development comes in response to DarkSide's high-pr
US Sanctions Pegasus-maker NSO Group and 3 Others For Selling Spyware

US Sanctions Pegasus-maker NSO Group and 3 Others For Selling Spyware

November 03, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
The U.S. Commerce Department on Wednesday added four companies, including Israel-based spyware companies NSO Group and Candiru , to a list of entities engaging in "malicious cyber activities." The agency said the two companies were added to the list based on evidence that "these entities developed and supplied spyware to foreign governments that used these tools to maliciously target government officials, journalists, businesspeople, activists, academics, and embassy workers." "These tools have also enabled foreign governments to conduct transnational repression, which is the practice of authoritarian governments targeting dissidents, journalists, and activists outside of their sovereign borders to silence dissent," the Commerce Department  said . Two other firms on the list include Singapore-based Computer Security Initiative Consultancy PTE. LTD . and Russia's Positive Technologies , the latter of which was already  sanctioned  by the U.S. Depa
Researchers Uncover 'Pink' Botnet Malware That Infected Over 1.6 Million Devices

Researchers Uncover 'Pink' Botnet Malware That Infected Over 1.6 Million Devices

November 01, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Cybersecurity researchers disclosed details of what they say is the "largest botnet" observed in the wild in the last six years, infecting over 1.6 million devices primarily located in China, with the goal of launching distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks and inserting advertisements into HTTP websites visited by unsuspecting users. Qihoo 360's Netlab security team dubbed the botnet " Pink " based on a sample obtained on November 21, 2019, owing to a large number of function names starting with "pink." Mainly targeting MIPS-based fiber routers, the botnet leverages a combination of third-party services such as GitHub, peer-to-peer (P2P) networks, and central command-and-control (C2) servers for its bots to controller communications, not to mention completely encrypting the transmission channels to prevent the victimized devices from being taken over. "Pink raced with the vendor to retain control over the infected devices, while vendor
Russian TrickBot Gang Hacker Extradited to U.S. Charged with Cybercrime

Russian TrickBot Gang Hacker Extradited to U.S. Charged with Cybercrime

October 29, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
A Russian national, who was arrested in South Korea last month and extradited to the U.S. on October 20, appeared in a federal court in the state of Ohio on Thursday to face charges for his alleged role as a member of the infamous TrickBot group. Court documents showed that Vladimir Dunaev , 38, along with other members of the transnational, cybercriminal organization, stole money and confidential information from unsuspecting victims, including individuals, financial institutions, school districts, utility companies, government entities, and private businesses. Starting its roots as a banking trojan in 2016, TrickBot has  evolved  into a modular, multi-stage Windows-based crimeware solution capable of pilfering valuable personal and financial information, and even dropping ransomware and post-exploitation toolkits on compromised devices. The malware is also  notorious  for its  resilience , having survived at least two takedowns spearheaded by Microsoft and the U.S. Cyber Command
Cyber Attack in Iran Reportedly Cripples Gas Stations Across the Country

Cyber Attack in Iran Reportedly Cripples Gas Stations Across the Country

October 27, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
A cyber attack  in Iran left petrol stations across the country crippled, disrupting fuel sales and defacing electronic billboards to display messages challenging the regime's ability to distribute gasoline. Posts and  videos   circulated  on social media showed messages that said, "Khamenei! Where is our gas?" — a reference to the country's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Other signs read, "Free gas in Jamaran gas station," with gas pumps showing the words "cyberattack 64411" when attempting to purchase fuel, semi-official Iranian Students' News Agency (ISNA) news agency  reported . Abolhassan Firouzabadi, the head of Iran's Supreme Cyberspace Council,  said  the attacks were "probably" state-sponsored but added it was too early to determine which country carried out the intrusions. Although no country or group has so far claimed responsibility for the incident, the attacks mark the second time digital billboards have
Latest Report Uncovers Supply Chain Attacks by North Korean Hackers

Latest Report Uncovers Supply Chain Attacks by North Korean Hackers

October 27, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Lazarus Group, the advanced persistent threat (APT) group attributed to the North Korean government, has been observed waging two separate supply chain attack campaigns as a means to gain a foothold into corporate networks and target a wide range of downstream entities. The latest intelligence-gathering operation involved the use of MATA malware framework as well as backdoors dubbed  BLINDINGCAN  and  COPPERHEDGE  to attack the defense industry, an IT asset monitoring solution vendor based in Latvia, and a think tank located in South Korea, according to a new  Q3 2021 APT Trends report  published by Kaspersky. In one instance, the supply-chain attack originated from an infection chain that stemmed from legitimate South Korean security software running a malicious payload, leading to the deployment of the BLINDINGCAN and COPPERHEDGE malware on the think tank's network in June 2021. The other attack on the Latvian company in May is an "atypical victim" for Lazarus, the
Hackers Exploited Popular BillQuick Billing Software to Deploy Ransomware

Hackers Exploited Popular BillQuick Billing Software to Deploy Ransomware

October 25, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Cybersecurity researchers on Friday disclosed a now-patched critical vulnerability in multiple versions of a time and billing system called BillQuick that's being actively exploited by threat actors to deploy ransomware on vulnerable systems. CVE-2021-42258 , as the flaw is being tracked as, concerns an  SQL-based injection  attack that allows for remote code execution and was successfully leveraged to gain initial access to an unnamed U.S. engineering company and mount a ransomware attack, American cybersecurity firm Huntress Labs said.  While the issue has been addressed by BQE Software in BillQuick version 22.0.9.1 released on October 7, eight other undisclosed security issues that were identified as part of the investigation are yet to be patched. According to its  website , BQE Software's products are used by 400,000 users worldwide. "Hackers can use this to access customers' BillQuick data and run malicious commands on their on-premises Windows servers,&qu
'Lone Wolf' Hacker Group Targeting Afghanistan and India with Commodity RATs

'Lone Wolf' Hacker Group Targeting Afghanistan and India with Commodity RATs

October 22, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
A new malware campaign targeting Afghanistan and India is exploiting a now-patched, 20-year-old flaw affecting Microsoft Office to deploy an array of commodity remote access trojans (RATs) that allow the adversary to gain complete control over the compromised endpoints. Cisco Talos attributed the cyber campaign to a "lone wolf" threat actor operating a Lahore-based fake IT company called Bunse Technologies as a front to carry out the malicious activities, while also having a history of sharing content that's in favor of Pakistan and Taliban dating all the way back to 2016. The attacks work by taking advantage of political and government-themed lure domains that host the malware payloads, with the infection chains leveraging weaponized RTF documents and PowerShell scripts that distribute malware to victims. Specifically, the laced RTF files were found exploiting  CVE-2017-11882  to execute a PowerShell command that's responsible for deploying additional malware to
Two Eastern Europeans Sentenced for Providing Bulletproof Hosting to Cyber Criminals

Two Eastern Europeans Sentenced for Providing Bulletproof Hosting to Cyber Criminals

October 20, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Two Eastern European nationals have been sentenced in the U.S. for offering "bulletproof hosting" services to cybercriminals, who used the technical infrastructure to distribute malware and attack financial institutions across the country between 2009 to 2015. Pavel Stassi, 30, of Estonia, and Aleksandr Shorodumov, 33, of Lithuania, have been each sentenced to 24 months and 48 months in prison, respectively, for their roles in the scheme. Court documents showed that both the individuals worked as administrators for an unnamed bulletproof hosting service provider that rented out IP addresses, servers, and domains to cybercriminal clients to disseminate malware such as Zeus, SpyEye, Citadel, and the Blackhole Exploit kit that were used to gain access to victims' machines, co-opt them to a botnet, and siphon banking credentials. The development comes months after Stassi and Shorodumov, along with the service's Russian founders Aleksandr Grichishkin and Andrei Skvort
Online Courses and Software

Sign up for cybersecurity newsletter and get latest news updates delivered straight to your inbox daily.