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The Hacker News — Latest Cyber Security, Hacking & Tech News: Cyber Attack

Ransomware Attack Caused Power Outages in the Biggest South African City

Ransomware Attack Caused Power Outages in the Biggest South African City

July 26, 2019Mohit Kumar
Yesterday, some residents of Johannesburg, the largest city in South Africa, were left without electricity after the city's power company got attacked by a ransomware virus. City Power, the company responsible for powering South Africa's financial capital Johannesburg, confirmed Thursday on Twitter that it had been hit by a Ransomware virus that had encrypted all of its databases, applications, and network. The attack prevented prepaid customers from buying electricity units, upload invoices when making payments, or access the City Power's official website, eventually leaving them without power. "Please note that the virus hit us early Thursday morning, compromising our database and other software, impacting most of our applications and networks," the city government said in a tweet . However, the company has also ensured its customers that none of their details were compromised in the cyber attack. At the time of writing, the company confirmed they h
Slack Resets Passwords For Users Who Hadn't Changed It Since 2015 Breach

Slack Resets Passwords For Users Who Hadn't Changed It Since 2015 Breach

July 18, 2019Swati Khandelwal
If you use Slack, a popular cloud-based team collaboration server, and recently received an email from the company about a security incident, don't panic and read this article before taking any action. Slack has been sending a "password reset" notification email to all those users who had not yet changed passwords for their Slack accounts since 2015 when the company suffered a massive data breach. For those unaware, in 2015, hackers unauthorisedly gained access to one of the company's databases that stored user profile information, including their usernames, email addresses, and hashed passwords. At that time, attackers also secretly inserted code, probably on the login page, which allowed them to capture plaintext passwords entered by some Slack users during that time. However, immediately following the security incident, the company automatically reset passwords for those small number of Slack users whose plaintext passwords were exposed, but asked other aff
EvilGnome: A New Backdoor Implant Spies On Linux Desktop Users

EvilGnome: A New Backdoor Implant Spies On Linux Desktop Users

July 17, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Security researchers have discovered a rare piece of Linux spyware that's currently fully undetected across all major antivirus security software products, and includes rarely seen functionalities with regards to most Linux malware, The Hacker News learned. It's a known fact that there are a very few strains of Linux malware exist in the wild as compared to Windows viruses because of its core architecture and also due to its low market share, and also many of them don't even have a wide range of functionalities. In recent years, even after the disclosure of severe critical vulnerabilities in various flavors of Linux operating systems and software, cybercriminals failed to leverage most of them in their attacks. Instead, a large number of malware targeting Linux ecosystem is primarily focused on cryptocurrency mining attacks for financial gain and creating DDoS botnets by hijacking vulnerable servers. However, researchers at security firm Intezer Labs recently d
Marriott Faces $123 Million GDPR Fine Over Starwood Data Breach

Marriott Faces $123 Million GDPR Fine Over Starwood Data Breach

July 09, 2019Wang Wei
After fining British Airways with a record fine of £183 million earlier this week, the UK's data privacy regulator is now planning to slap world's biggest hotel chain Marriott International with a £99 million ($123 million) fine under GDPR over 2014 data breach. This is the second major penalty notice in the last two days that hit companies for failing to protect its customers' personal and financial information compromised and implement adequate security measures. In November 2018, Marriott discovered that unknown hackers compromised their guest reservation database through its Starwood hotels subsidiary and walked away with personal details of approximately 339 million guests. The compromised database leaked guests' names, mailing addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, dates of birth, gender, arrival and departure information, reservation date, and communication preferences. The breach, which likely happened in 2014, also exposed unencrypted passport
Watch Out! Microsoft Spotted Spike in Astaroth Fileless Malware Attacks

Watch Out! Microsoft Spotted Spike in Astaroth Fileless Malware Attacks

July 09, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Security researchers at Microsoft have released details of a new widespread campaign distributing an infamous piece of fileless malware that was primarily being found targeting European and Brazilian users earlier this year. Dubbed Astaroth , the malware trojan has been making the rounds since at least 2017 and designed to steal users' sensitive information like their credentials, keystrokes, and other data, without dropping any executable file on the disk or installing any software on the victim's machine. Initially discovered by researchers at Cybereason in February this year, Astaroath lived off the land by running the payload directly into the memory of a targeted computer or by leveraging legitimate system tools, such as WMIC, Certutil, Bitsadmin, and Regsvr32, to run the malicious code. While reviewing the Windows telemetry data, Andrea Lelli, a researcher at Microsoft Defender ATP Research Team, recently spotted a sudden unusual spike in the usage of Managemen
Ubuntu-Maker Canonical’s GitHub Account Gets Hacked

Ubuntu-Maker Canonical’s GitHub Account Gets Hacked

July 07, 2019Mohit Kumar
An unknown hacker yesterday successfully managed to hack into the official GitHub account of Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux project and created 11 new empty repositories . It appears that the cyberattack was, fortunately, just a "loud" defacement attempt rather than a "silent" sophisticated supply-chain attack that could have been abused to distribute modified malicious versions of the open-source Canonical software. In a statement, David from Canonical confirmed that attacker(s) used a Canonical owned GitHub account whose credentials were compromised to unauthorizedly access Canonical's Github account. "We can confirm that on 2019-07-06 there was a Canonical owned account on GitHub whose credentials were compromised and used to create repositories and issues among other activities," David said. "Canonical has removed the compromised account from the Canonical organization in GitHub and is still investigating the extent o
DDoS Attacker Who Ruined Gamers' Christmas Gets 27 Months in Prison

DDoS Attacker Who Ruined Gamers' Christmas Gets 27 Months in Prison

July 04, 2019Wang Wei
A 23-year-old hacker from Utah who launched a series of DDoS attacks against multiple online services, websites, and online gaming companies between December 2013 and January 2014 has been sentenced to 27 months in prison. Austin Thompson, a.k.a. "DerpTroll," pledged guilty back in November 2018 after he admitted to being a part of DerpTrolling , a hacker group that was behind DDoS attacks against several major online gaming platforms including Electronic Arts' Origin service, Sony PlayStation network, and Valve Software's Steam during Christmas. "Thompson typically used the Twitter account @DerpTrolling to announce that an attack was imminent and then posted "scalps" (screenshots or other photos showing that victims' servers had been taken down) after the attack," the DoJ says. According to a U.S. Department of Justice press release published Wednesday, Thompson's actions caused the victim companies at least $95,000 in damages. T
Two Florida Cities Paid $1.1 Million to Ransomware Hackers This Month

Two Florida Cities Paid $1.1 Million to Ransomware Hackers This Month

June 26, 2019Mohit Kumar
In the last two weeks, Florida has paid more than $1.1 million in bitcoin to cybercriminals to recover encrypted files from two separate ransomware attacks—one against Riviera Beach and the other against Lake City . Lake City, a city in northern Florida, agreed on Monday to pay hackers 42 Bitcoin (equivalent to $573,300 at the current value) to unlock phone and email systems following a ransomware attack that crippled its computer systems for two weeks. The ransomware attack, dubbed "Triple Threat" since it combines three different methods of attack to target network systems, infected Lake City systems on June 10 after an employee in city hall opened a malicious email. Though the IT staff disconnected computers within just 10 minutes of the cyber attack starting, it was too late. The attack locked down the city workers' email accounts and servers. Since the police and fire departments operate on a different server, they were the only ones not impacted by the a
Firefox 67.0.4 Released — Mozilla Patches Second 0-Day Flaw This Week

Firefox 67.0.4 Released — Mozilla Patches Second 0-Day Flaw This Week

June 21, 2019Mohit Kumar
Okay, folks, it's time to update your Firefox web browser once again—yes, for the second time this week. After patching a critical actively-exploited vulnerability in Firefox 67.0.3 earlier this week, Mozilla is now warning millions of its users about a second zero-day vulnerability that attackers have been found exploiting in the wild. The newly patched issue ( CVE-2019-11708 ) is a "sandbox escape" vulnerability, which if chained together with the previously patched "type confusion" bug ( CVE-2019-11707 ), allows a remote attacker to execute arbitrary code on victims' computers just by convincing them into visiting a malicious website. Browser sandboxing is a security mechanism that keeps third-party processes isolated and confined to the browser, preventing them from damaging other sensitive parts of a computer's operating system. "Insufficient vetting of parameters passed with the Prompt:Open IPC message between child and parent proc
Tor Browser 8.5.2 Released — Update to Fix Critical Firefox Vulnerability

Tor Browser 8.5.2 Released — Update to Fix Critical Firefox Vulnerability

June 20, 2019Mohit Kumar
Important Update (21 June 2019) ➤  The Tor Project on Friday released second update ( Tor Browser 8.5.3 ) for its privacy web-browser that patches the another Firefox zero-day vulnerability patched this week. Following the latest critical update for Firefox, the Tor Project today released an updated version of its anonymity and privacy browser to patch the same Firefox vulnerability in its bundle. Earlier this week, Mozilla released Firefox 67.0.3 and Firefox ESR 60.7.1 versions to patch a critical actively-exploited vulnerability ( CVE-2019-11707 ) that could allow attackers to remotely take full control over systems running the vulnerable browser versions. Besides updating Firefox, the latest Tor Browser 8.5.2 for desktops also includes updated NoScript version 10.6.3 that fixes a few known issues. According to the Tor Project Team, if you are already using Tor browser with "safer" and "safest" security levels, the flaw doesn't affect you. For som
5 Keys to Improve Your Cybersecurity

5 Keys to Improve Your Cybersecurity

June 18, 2019The Hacker News
Cybersecurity isn't easy. If there was a product or service you could buy that would just magically solve all of your cybersecurity problems, everyone would buy that thing, and we could all rest easy. However, that is not the way it works. Technology continues to evolve. Cyber attackers adapt and develop new malicious tools and techniques, and cybersecurity vendors design creative new ways to detect and block those threats. Rinse and repeat. Cybersecurity isn't easy, and there is no magic solution, but there are a handful of things you can do that will greatly reduce your exposure to risk and significantly improve your security posture. The right platform, intelligence, and expertise can help you avoid the vast majority of threats, and help you detect and respond more quickly to the attacks that get through. Challenges of Cybersecurity Effective cybersecurity is challenging for a variety of reasons, but the changing perimeter and the confusing variety of solution
When Time is of the Essence – Testing Controls Against the Latest Threats Faster

When Time is of the Essence – Testing Controls Against the Latest Threats Faster

June 12, 2019The Hacker News
A new threat has hit head the headlines ( Robinhood anyone?), and you need to know if you're protected right now. What do you do? Traditionally, you would have to go with one of the options below. Option 1 – Manually check that IoCs have been updated across your security controls. This would require checking that security controls such as your email gateway, web gateway, and endpoint security have all been updated with the latest threats' indicators of compromise (IoCs) usually published by AV companies who detect the malware binaries first. Option 2 – Create a 'carbon copy' of your network and run the threat's binary on that copy. While safe, IT and security teams may be unaware of certain variations from the real deal. So while the attack simulation is running against an 'ideal' copy, your real network may have undergone inadvertent changes, such as a firewall running in monitoring mode, a patch not being installed on time, and other unintent
Hackers Breach Stack Overflow Q&A Site, Some Users' Data Exposed

Hackers Breach Stack Overflow Q&A Site, Some Users' Data Exposed

May 17, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Note: We have updated this story to reflect new information after Stack Overflow changed its original announcement and shared more details on the security incident. Stack Overflow, one of the largest question and answer site for programmers, revealed today that unknown hackers managed to exploit a bug in its development tier and then almost a week after they gained unauthorized access to its production version. Founded by Jeff Atwood and Joel Spolsky in 2008, Stack Overflow is the flagship site of the Stack Exchange Network. With 10 million registered users and over 50 million unique visitors every month, Stack Overflow is very popular among professional and enthusiast programmers. In an older version of the announcement published by Mary Ferguson, VP of Engineering at Stack Overflow, the company confirmed the breach but said it did not find any evidence that hackers accessed customers' accounts or any user data. However, the updated announcement now says that after
North Korean Hackers Using ELECTRICFISH Tunnels to Exfiltrate Data

North Korean Hackers Using ELECTRICFISH Tunnels to Exfiltrate Data

May 10, 2019Swati Khandelwal
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the FBI have issued another joint alert about a new piece of malware that the prolific North Korean APT hacking group Hidden Cobra has actively been using in the wild. Hidden Cobra, also known as Lazarus Group and Guardians of Peace, is believed to be backed by North Korean government and known to launch cyber attacks against media organizations, aerospace, financial and critical infrastructure sectors across the world. The hacking group was the same associated with the 2017 WannaCry ransomware menace , the 2014 Sony Pictures hack , and the SWIFT Banking attack in 2016. Now, the DHS and the FBI have uncovered a new malware variant, dubbed ELECTRICFISH , that Hidden Cobra hackers have been using for secretly tunneling traffic out of compromised computer systems. The malware implements a custom protocol configured with a proxy server/port and proxy username and password, allowing hackers to bypass the compromised system'
Popular Online Tutoring Marketplace 'Wyzant' Suffers Data Breach

Popular Online Tutoring Marketplace 'Wyzant' Suffers Data Breach

May 06, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Wyzant —an online marketplace that makes it easy for parents and students to connect with private tutors, in-person and online, in over 250 different subjects—has suffered a data breach exposing "certain personal identification information" for its customers. The Hacker News received a copy of an email notification Wyzant recently sent to its affected customers, which reveals an unknown attacker was able to gain access to one of its databases on April 27, which the company identified a week after the security incident. The stolen personal identification information for affected customers includes their first name, last name, email address, zip code, and, for certain customers, their Facebook profile image as well who log-in to the platform using Facebook. Wyzant also explicitly made it clear that the stolen data did not include any password, payment information, or record of its customers' activity on the Wyzant platform, and that no other than the above-mentione
Israel Neutralizes Cyber Attack by Blowing Up A Building With Hackers

Israel Neutralizes Cyber Attack by Blowing Up A Building With Hackers

May 06, 2019Mohit Kumar
The Israel Defense Force (IDF) claims to have neutralized an "attempted" cyber attack by launching airstrikes on a building in Gaza Strip from where it says the attack was originated. As shown in a video tweeted by IDF, the building in the Gaza Strip, which Israeli fighter drones have now destroyed, was reportedly the headquarters for Palestinian Hamas military intelligence, from where a cyber unit of hackers was allegedly trying to penetrate Israel's cyberspace. "We thwarted an attempted Hamas cyber offensive against Israeli targets. Following our successful cyber defensive operation, we targeted a building where the Hamas cyber operatives work. HamasCyberHQ.exe has been removed," said the Israeli Defence Forces on Twitter. However, the Israel Defense Force has not shared any information about the attempted cyber attack by the Hamas group, saying it would reveal the country's cyber capabilities. According to Judah Ari Gross of Times of Israel ,
Hackers Found Exploiting Oracle WebLogic RCE Flaw to Spread Ransomware

Hackers Found Exploiting Oracle WebLogic RCE Flaw to Spread Ransomware

May 01, 2019Mohit Kumar
Taking advantage of newly disclosed and even patched vulnerabilities has become common among cybercriminals, which makes it one of the primary attack vectors for everyday-threats, like crypto-mining, phishing, and ransomware. As suspected, a recently-disclosed critical vulnerability in the widely used Oracle WebLogic Server has now been spotted actively being exploited to distribute a never-before-seen ransomware variant, which researchers dubbed " Sodinokibi ." Last weekend, The Hacker News learned about a critical deserialization remote code execution vulnerability in Oracle WebLogic Server that could allow attackers to remotely run arbitrary commands on the affected servers just by sending a specially crafted HTTP request—without requiring any authorization. To address this vulnerability (CVE-2019-2725), which affected all versions of the Oracle WebLogic software and was given a severity score of 9.8 out of 10, Oracle rolled out an out-of-band security update on
'Karkoff' Is the New 'DNSpionage' With Selective Targeting Strategy

'Karkoff' Is the New 'DNSpionage' With Selective Targeting Strategy

April 24, 2019Swati Khandelwal
The cybercriminal group behind the infamous DNSpionage malware campaign has been found running a new sophisticated operation that infects selected victims with a new variant of the DNSpionage malware. First uncovered in November last year, the DNSpionage attacks used compromised sites and crafted malicious documents to infect victims' computers with DNSpionage —a custom remote administrative tool that uses HTTP and DNS communication to communicate with the attacker-controlled command and control server. According to a new report published by Cisco's Talos threat research team, the group has adopted some new tactics, techniques and procedures to improve the efficacy of their operations, making their cyber attacks more targeted, organised and sophisticated in nature. Unlike previous campaigns, attackers have now started performing reconnaissance on its victims before infecting them with a new piece of malware, dubbed Karkoff , allowing them to selectively choose which t
Scranos: New Rapidly Evolving Rootkit-Enabled Spyware Discovered

Scranos: New Rapidly Evolving Rootkit-Enabled Spyware Discovered

April 16, 2019Swati Khandelwal
A new powerful rootkit-enabled spyware operation has been discovered wherein hackers are distributing multifunctional malware disguised as cracked software or trojanized app posing as legitimate software like video players, drivers and even anti-virus products. While the rootkit malware—dubbed Scranos —which was first discovered late last year, still appears to be a work in progress, it is continuously evolving, testing new components and regularly making an improvement to old components, which makes it a significant threat. Scranos features a modular design that has already gained capabilities to steal login credentials and payment accounts from various popular services, exfiltrate browsing history and cookies, get YouTube subscribers, display ads, as well as download and execute any payload. According to a 48 page in-depth report Bitdefender shared with The Hacker News prior to its release, the malware gains persistence on infected machines by installing a digitally-signed
Hackers Compromise Microsoft Support Agent to Access Outlook Email Accounts

Hackers Compromise Microsoft Support Agent to Access Outlook Email Accounts

April 13, 2019Swati Khandelwal
If you have an account with Microsoft Outlook email service, there is a possibility that your account information has been compromised by an unknown hacker or group of hackers, Microsoft confirmed The Hacker News. Earlier this year, hackers managed to breach Microsoft's customer support portal and access information related to some email accounts registered with the company's Outlook service. Yesterday, a user on Reddit publicly posted a screenshot of an email which he received from Microsoft warning that unknown attackers were able to access some information of his OutLook account between 1 January 2019 and 28 March 2019. Another user on Reddit also confirmed that he/she too received the same email from Microsoft. According to the incident notification email, as shown below, attackers were able to compromise credentials for one of Microsoft's customer support agents and used it to unauthorisedly access some information related to the affected accounts, but not
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