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Ukraine Says Russia Planning Massive Cyberattacks on its Critical Infrastructures

Ukraine Says Russia Planning Massive Cyberattacks on its Critical Infrastructures
September 27, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
The Ukrainian government on Monday warned of "massive cyberattacks" by Russia targeting critical infrastructure facilities located in the country and that of its allies. The attacks are said to be targeting the energy sector, the Main Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine (GUR) said. "By the cyberattacks, the enemy will try to increase the effect of missile strikes on electricity supply facilities, primarily in the eastern and southern regions of Ukraine," the agency  said  in a brief advisory. GUR also cautioned of intensified distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks aimed at the critical infrastructure of Ukraine's closest allies, chiefly Poland and the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. It's not immediately clear what prompted the intelligence agency to issue the notice, but Ukraine has been at the receiving end of  disruptive and destructive cyberattacks  since the onset of the Russo-Ukrainian war earli

North Korea's Lazarus Hackers Targeting macOS Users Interested in Crypto Jobs

North Korea's Lazarus Hackers Targeting macOS Users Interested in Crypto Jobs
September 27, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
The infamous Lazarus Group has continued its pattern of leveraging unsolicited job opportunities to deploy malware targeting Apple's macOS operating system. In the latest variant of the campaign observed by cybersecurity company SentinelOne last week, decoy documents advertising positions for the Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange firm Crypto[.]com have been used to mount the attacks. The latest disclosure builds on previous findings from Slovak cybersecurity firm ESET in August, which  delved  into a similar phony job posting for the Coinbase cryptocurrency exchange platform. Both these fake job advertisements are just the latest in a series of attacks dubbed  Operation In(ter)ception , which, in turn, is a constituent of a broader campaign tracked under the name  Operation Dream Job . Although the exact distribution vector for the malware remains unknown, it's suspected that potential targets are singled out via direct messages on the business networking site Linke

Researchers Identify 3 Hacktivist Groups Supporting Russian Interests

Researchers Identify 3 Hacktivist Groups Supporting Russian Interests
September 26, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
At least three alleged hacktivist groups working in support of Russian interests are likely doing so in collaboration with state-sponsored cyber threat actors, according to Mandiant. The Google-owned threat intelligence and incident response firm  said  with moderate confidence that "moderators of the purported hacktivist Telegram channels 'XakNet Team,' 'Infoccentr,' and 'CyberArmyofRussia_Reborn' are coordinating their operations with Russian Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU)-sponsored cyber threat actors." Mandiant's assessment is based on evidence that the leakage of data stolen from Ukrainian organizations occurred within 24 hours of  malicious wiper incidents  undertaken by the Russian nation-state group tracked as  APT28  (aka Fancy Bear, Sofacy, or Strontium). To that end, four of the 16 data leaks from these groups coincided with  disk wiping malware attacks  by APT28 that involved the use of a strain dubbed  CaddyWiper . APT28 , a

Hackers Exploited Zero-Day RCE Vulnerability in Sophos Firewall — Patch Released

Hackers Exploited Zero-Day RCE Vulnerability in Sophos Firewall — Patch Released
September 24, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Security software company Sophos has released a patch update for its firewall product after it was discovered that attackers were exploiting a new critical zero-day vulnerability to attack its customers' network. The issue, tracked as  CVE-2022-3236  (CVSS score: 9.8), impacts Sophos Firewall v19.0 MR1 (19.0.1) and older and concerns a code injection vulnerability in the User Portal and Webadmin components that could result in remote code execution. The company  said  it "has observed this vulnerability being used to target a small set of specific organizations, primarily in the South Asia region," adding it directly notified these entities. As a workaround, Sophos is recommending that users take steps to ensure that the User Portal and Webadmin are not exposed to WAN. Alternatively, users can update to the latest supported version - v19.5 GA v19.0 MR2 (19.0.2) v19.0 GA, MR1, and MR1-1 v18.5 MR5 (18.5.5) v18.5 GA, MR1, MR1-1, MR2, MR3, and MR4 v18.0 MR3, MR4,

Over 280,000 WordPress Sites Attacked Using WPGateway Plugin Zero-Day Vulnerability

Over 280,000 WordPress Sites Attacked Using WPGateway Plugin Zero-Day Vulnerability
September 14, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
A zero-day flaw in the latest version of a WordPress premium plugin known as  WPGateway  is being actively exploited in the wild, potentially allowing malicious actors to completely take over affected sites. Tracked as  CVE-2022-3180  (CVSS score: 9.8), the issue is being weaponized to add a malicious administrator user to sites running the WPGateway plugin, WordPress security company Wordfence noted. "Part of the plugin functionality exposes a vulnerability that allows unauthenticated attackers to insert a malicious administrator," Wordfence researcher Ram Gall  said  in an advisory. WPGateway is billed as a means for site administrators to install, backup, and clone WordPress plugins and themes from a unified dashboard. The most common indicator that a website running the plugin has been compromised is the presence of an administrator with the username "rangex." Additionally, the appearance of requests to "//wp-content/plugins/wpgateway/wpgateway-webse

China Accuses NSA's TAO Unit of Hacking its Military Research University

China Accuses NSA's TAO Unit of Hacking its Military Research University
September 12, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
China has accused the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) of conducting a string of cyberattacks aimed at aeronautical and military research-oriented Northwestern Polytechnical University in the city of Xi'an in June 2022. The National Computer Virus Emergency Response Centre (NCVERC) disclosed its findings last week, and accused the Office of Tailored Access Operations ( TAO ), a cyber-warfare intelligence-gathering unit of the National Security Agency (NSA), of orchestrating thousands of attacks against the entities located within the country. "The U.S. NSA's TAO has carried out tens of thousands of malicious cyber attacks on China's domestic network targets, controlled tens of thousands of network devices (network servers, Internet terminals, network switches, telephone exchanges, routers, firewalls, etc.), and stole more than 140GB of high-value data," the NCVERC  said . According to the U.S. Department of Justice ( DoJ ), Northwestern Polytechnical Unive

Hacktivist Group GhostSec Compromises 55 Berghof PLCs Across Israel

Hacktivist Group GhostSec Compromises 55 Berghof PLCs Across Israel
September 12, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
A hacktivist collective called  GhostSec  has claimed credit for compromising as many as 55 Berghof programmable logic controllers ( PLCs ) used by Israeli organizations as part of a "Free Palestine" campaign. Industrial cybersecurity firm OTORIO, which  dug deeper  into the incident, said the breach was made possible owing to the fact that the PLCs were accessible through the Internet and were secured by trivially guessable credentials. Details of the compromise first came to light on September 4 after GhostSec shared a video on its Telegram channel demonstrating a successful login to the PLC's admin panel, in addition to dumping data from the hacked controllers. The Israeli company said the system dumps and screenshots were exported directly from the admin panel following unauthorized access to the controllers through their public IP addresses. GhostSec (aka Ghost Security), first identified in 2015, is a self-proclaimed  vigilante group  that was initially formed

Some Members of Conti Group Targeting Ukraine in Financially Motivated Attacks

Some Members of Conti Group Targeting Ukraine in Financially Motivated Attacks
September 07, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Former members of the Conti cybercrime cartel have been implicated in five different campaigns targeting Ukraine from April to August 2022. The findings, which come from Google's Threat Analysis Group (TAG), builds upon a  prior report  published in July 2022 detailing the continued cyber activity aimed at the Eastern European nation amid the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian war. "UAC-0098 is a threat actor that historically delivered the  IcedID banking trojan , leading to human-operated ransomware attacks," TAG researcher Pierre-Marc Bureau  said  in a report shared with The Hacker News. "The attacker has recently shifted their focus to targeting Ukrainian organizations, the Ukrainian government, and European humanitarian and non-profit organizations." UAC-0098 is believed to have functioned as an initial access broker for ransomware groups such as Quantum and  Conti  (aka FIN12, Gold Ulrick, or Wizard Spider), the former of which was subsumed by the latter in

New Stealthy Shikitega Malware Targeting Linux Systems and IoT Devices

New Stealthy Shikitega Malware Targeting Linux Systems and IoT Devices
September 07, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
A new piece of stealthy Linux malware called Shikitega has been uncovered adopting a multi-stage infection chain to compromise endpoints and IoT devices and deposit additional payloads. "An attacker can gain full control of the system, in addition to the cryptocurrency miner that will be executed and set to persist," AT&T Alien Labs  said  in a new report published Tuesday. The findings add to a growing list of Linux malware that has been found in the wild in recent months, including  BPFDoor ,  Symbiote ,  Syslogk ,  OrBit , and  Lightning Framework . Once deployed on a targeted host, the attack chain downloads and executes the Metasploit's " Mettle " meterpreter to maximize control, exploits vulnerabilities to elevate its privileges, adds persistence on the host via crontab, and ultimately launches a cryptocurrency miner on infected devices. The exact method by which the initial compromise is achieved remains unknown as yet, but what makes Shikitega

Infra Used in Cisco Hack Also Targeted Workforce Management Solution

Infra Used in Cisco Hack Also Targeted Workforce Management Solution
September 01, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
The attack infrastructure used to  target Cisco  in the May 2022 incident was also employed against an attempted compromise of an unnamed workforce management solutions holding company a month earlier in April 2022. Cybersecurity firm eSentire, which  disclosed  the findings, raised the possibility that the intrusions could be the work of a criminal actor known as mx1r, who is said to be a member of the Evil Corp affiliate cluster dubbed  UNC2165 . Evil Corp, the progenitors of the infamous Dridex banking trojan, have, over the years, refined their modus operandi to run a series of ransomware operations to sidestep sanctions imposed by the U.S. Treasury in December 2019. Initial access to the company's IT network was made possible by using stolen Virtual Private Network (VPN) credentials, followed by leveraging off-the-shelf tools for lateral movement and gaining deeper access into the victim's environment. "Using Cobalt Strike, the attackers were able to gain an ini

Apple Releases iOS Update for Older iPhones to Fix Actively Exploited Vulnerability

Apple Releases iOS Update for Older iPhones to Fix Actively Exploited Vulnerability
September 01, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Apple on Wednesday backported security updates to older iPhones, iPads, and iPod touch devices to address a  critical security flaw  that has been actively exploited in the wild. The shortcoming, tracked as  CVE-2022-32893  (CVSS score: 8.8), is an out-of-bounds write issue affecting WebKit that could lead to arbitrary code execution when processing maliciously crafted web content. WebKit is the browser engine that powers Safari and every other third-party browser available on iOS and iPadOS, meaning a flaw uncovered in the platform poses a security risk to users of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Edge as well. The tech giant said it fixed the bug with improved bounds checking. An anonymous researcher has been credited for reporting the vulnerability. The iOS 12.5.6 update is available for iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air, iPad mini 2, iPad mini 3, and iPod touch (6th generation). "iOS 12 is not impacted by CVE-2022-32894," Apple  noted  in it

Researchers Uncover Kimusky Infra Targeting South Korean Politicians and Diplomats

Researchers Uncover Kimusky Infra Targeting South Korean Politicians and Diplomats
August 25, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
The North Korean nation-state group Kimusky has been linked to a new set of malicious activities directed against political and diplomatic entities located in its southern counterpart since early 2022. Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky codenamed the cluster  GoldDragon , with the infection chains leading to the deployment of Windows malware designed to file lists, user keystrokes, and stored web browser login credentials. Included among the potential victims are South Korean university professors, think tank researchers, and government officials.  Kimsuky , also known as Black Banshee, Thallium, and Velvet Chollima, is the name given to a prolific North Korean advanced persistent threat (APT) group that targets entities globally, but with a primary focus on South Korea, to gain intelligence on various topics of interest to the regime. Known to be operating since 2012, the group has a history of employing social engineering tactics, spear-phishing, and watering hole attacks to

The Rise of Data Exfiltration and Why It Is a Greater Risk Than Ransomware

The Rise of Data Exfiltration and Why It Is a Greater Risk Than Ransomware
August 23, 2022The Hacker News
Ransomware is the de facto threat organizations have faced over the past few years. Threat actors were making easy money by exploiting the high valuation of cryptocurrencies and their victims' lack of adequate preparation.  Think about bad security policies, untested backups, patch management practices not up-to-par, and so forth. It resulted in easy growth for ransomware extortion, a crime that multiple threat actors around the world perpetrate.  Something's changed, though. Crypto valuations have dropped, reducing the monetary appeal of ransomware attacks due to organizations mounting a formidable defense against ransomware. Threat actors have been searching for another opportunity – and found one. It's called data exfiltration, or exfil, a type of espionage causing headaches at organizations worldwide. Let's take a look. The threat to reveal confidential information Information exfiltration is rapidly becoming more prevalent. Earlier this year, incidents at Nvi

Meet Borat RAT, a New Unique Triple Threat

Meet Borat RAT, a New Unique Triple Threat
August 22, 2022The Hacker News
Atlanta-based cyber risk intelligence company, Cyble discovered a new Remote Access Trojan (RAT) malware. What makes this particular RAT malware distinct enough to be named after the  comic creation of Sacha Baron Cohen ? RAT malware typically helps cybercriminals gain complete control of a victim's system, permitting them to access network resources, files, and power to toggle the mouse and keyboard. Borat RAT malware goes beyond the standard features and enables threat actors to deploy ransomware and  DDoS attacks . It also increases the number of threat actors who can launch attacks, sometimes appealing to the lowest common denominator. The added functionality of carrying out DDoS attacks makes it insidious and a risk to today's digital organizations. Ransomware has been the most common top attack type for over  three years . According to an IBM report, REvil was the most common ransomware strain, consisting of about  37%  of all ransomware attacks. Borat RAT is a unique

Chinese Hackers Backdoored MiMi Chat App to Target Windows, Linux, macOS Users

Chinese Hackers Backdoored MiMi Chat App to Target Windows, Linux, macOS Users
August 13, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
A pair of reports from cybersecurity firms  SEKOIA  and  Trend Micro  sheds light on a new campaign undertaken by a Chinese threat actor named Lucky Mouse that involves leveraging a trojanized version of a cross-platform messaging app to backdoor systems. Infection chains leverage a chat application called MiMi, with its installer files compromised to download and install HyperBro samples for the Windows operating system and rshell artifacts for Linux and macOS. As many as 13 different entities located in Taiwan and the Philippines have been at the receiving end of the attacks, eight of whom have been hit with rshell. The first victim of rshell was reported in mid-July 2021. Lucky Mouse, also called  APT27 , Bronze Union, Emissary Panda, and Iron Tiger, is known to be active since 2013 and has a history of gaining access to targeted networks in pursuit of its political and military intelligence-collection objectives aligned with China. The advanced persistent threat actor (APT)

Researchers Warn of Ongoing Mass Exploitation of Zimbra RCE Vulnerability

Researchers Warn of Ongoing Mass Exploitation of Zimbra RCE Vulnerability
August 12, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
The U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) on Thursday  added  two flaws to its  Known Exploited Vulnerabilities Catalog , citing evidence of active exploitation. The two high-severity issues relate to weaknesses in Zimbra Collaboration, both of which could be chained to achieve unauthenticated remote code execution on affected email servers - CVE-2022-27925  (CVSS score: 7.2) - Remote code execution (RCE) through mboximport from authenticated user (fixed in  versions  8.8.15 Patch 31 and 9.0.0 Patch 24 released in March) CVE-2022-37042  - Authentication bypass in MailboxImportServlet (fixed in  versions  8.8.15 Patch 33 and 9.0.0 Patch 26 released in August) "If you are running a Zimbra version that is older than Zimbra 8.8.15 patch 33 or Zimbra 9.0.0 patch 26 you should update to the latest patch as soon as possible," Zimbra  warned  earlier this week. CISA has not shared any information on the attacks exploiting the flaws but cybersecurity fi

Conti Cybercrime Cartel Using 'BazarCall' Phishing Attacks as Initial Attack Vector

Conti Cybercrime Cartel Using 'BazarCall' Phishing Attacks as Initial Attack Vector
August 11, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
A trio of offshoots from the notorious Conti cybercrime cartel have resorted to the technique of call-back phishing as an initial access vector to breach targeted networks. "Three autonomous threat groups have since adopted and independently developed their own targeted phishing tactics derived from the call back phishing methodology," cybersecurity firm AdvIntel  said  in a Wednesday report. These targeted campaigns "substantially increased" attacks against entities in finance, technology, legal, and insurance sectors, the company added. The actors in question include Silent Ransom, Quantum, and Roy/Zeon, all of which split from Conti after the ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) cartel  orchestrated its shutdown  in May 2022 following its public support for Russia in the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian conflict. The advanced social engineering tactic, also called  BazaCall  (aka BazarCall), came under the spotlight in 2020/2021 when it was put to use by operators of the

Cisco Confirms It's Been Hacked by Yanluowang Ransomware Gang

Cisco Confirms It's Been Hacked by Yanluowang Ransomware Gang
August 11, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Networking equipment major Cisco on Wednesday confirmed it was the victim of a cyberattack on May 24, 2022 after the attackers got hold of an employee's personal Google account that contained passwords synced from their web browser. "Initial access to the Cisco VPN was achieved via the successful compromise of a Cisco employee's personal Google account," Cisco Talos  said  in a detailed write-up. "The user had enabled password syncing via Google Chrome and had stored their Cisco credentials in their browser, enabling that information to synchronize to their Google account." The disclosure comes as cybercriminal actors associated with the Yanluowang ransomware gang  published a list of files  from the breach to their data leak site on August 10. The exfiltrated information, according to Talos, included the contents of a Box cloud storage folder that was associated with the compromised employee's account and is not believed to have included any valuabl

The Business of Hackers-for-Hire Threat Actors

The Business of Hackers-for-Hire Threat Actors
August 10, 2022The Hacker News
Today's web has made hackers' tasks remarkably easy. For the most part, hackers don't even have to hide in the dark recesses of the web to take advantage of people any longer; they can be found right in plain sight on social media sites or forums, professionally advertised with their websites, and may even approach you anonymously through such channels as Twitter. Cybercrime has entered a new era where people don't steal just for the thrill of doing it anymore. They make it their business to carry out illegal cyber activities in small groups or individually to earn business from online criminals, selling offensive services like spyware as a service or commercial cybersecurity. For instance, a series of new DDoS for Hire are commoditizing the art of hacking and reducing the barrier to launching  DDoS attacks . Who are Hackers-for-Hire?  Hackers-for-hire are secret cyber experts or groups who specialize in infiltrating organizations to acquire intelligence in one way
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