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U.S Charges Two Iranian Hackers for SamSam Ransomware Attacks

U.S Charges Two Iranian Hackers for SamSam Ransomware Attacks

November 28, 2018Mohit Kumar
The Department of Justice announced Wednesday charges against two Iranian nationals for their involvement in creating and deploying the notorious SamSam ransomware. The alleged hackers, Faramarz Shahi Savandi, 34, and Mohammad Mehdi Shah, 27, have been charged on several counts of computer hacking and fraud charges, the indictment unsealed today at New Jersey court revealed. The duo used SamSam ransomware to extort over $6 million in ransom payments since 2015, and also caused more than $30 million in damages to over 200 victims, including hospitals , municipalities, and public institutions. According to the indictment, Savandi and Mansouri have been charged with a total of six counts, including one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit fraud and related activity in connection with computers, two counts of intentional damage to a protected computer, and two counts of transmitting a demand in relation to damaging a protected computer. Si
Rogue Developer Infects Widely Used NodeJS Module to Steal Bitcoins

Rogue Developer Infects Widely Used NodeJS Module to Steal Bitcoins

November 27, 2018Mohit Kumar
A widely used third-party NodeJS module with nearly 2 million downloads a week was compromised after one of its open-source contributor gone rogue, who infected it with a malicious code that was programmed to steal funds stored in Bitcoin wallet apps. The Node.js library in question is "Event-Stream," a toolkit that makes it easy for developers to create and work with streams, a collection of data in Node.js — just like arrays or strings. The malicious code detected earlier this week was added to Event-Stream version 3.3.6, published on September 9 via NPM repository , and had since been downloaded by nearly 8 million application programmers. Event-Stream module for Node.js was originally created by Dominic Tarr, who maintained the Event-Stream library for a long time, but handed over the development and maintenance of the project several months ago to an unknown programmer, called "right9ctrl." Apparently, right9ctrl gained Dominic's trust by making
Real Identity of Hacker Who Sold LinkedIn, Dropbox Databases Revealed

Real Identity of Hacker Who Sold LinkedIn, Dropbox Databases Revealed

November 21, 2018Swati Khandelwal
The real identity of Tessa88—the notorious hacker tied to several high-profile cyber attacks including the LinkedIn , DropBox and MySpace mega breaches—has been revealed as Maksim Vladimirovich Donakov (Максим Владимирович Донаков), a resident of Penza, Russian Federation. In early 2016, a hacker with pseudonym Tessa88 emerged online offering stolen databases from some of the biggest social media websites in the world, including LinkedIn, MySpace, VKontakte (vk.com), Dropbox, Rambler , and Twitter , for sale in various underground hacking forums. The stolen data, taken years ago from several social media sites, included more than half a billion username and password combinations, which were then used in phishing, account takeover, and other cyber attacks. Though Tessa88's profile was active for a few months between February and May 2016, the OPSEC analysis revealed that the same person was involved in various cybercriminal activities since as early as 2012 under different
Two TalkTalk hackers jailed for 2015 data breach that cost it £77 million

Two TalkTalk hackers jailed for 2015 data breach that cost it £77 million

November 20, 2018Swati Khandelwal
Two hackers have been sent to prison for their roles in hacking TalkTalk , one of the biggest UK-based telecommunications company, in 2015 and stealing personal information, banking, and credit card details belonging to more than 156,000 customers. Matthew Hanley, 23, and Connor Allsopp, 21, both from Tamworth in Staffordshire, were sentenced Monday to 12 months and 8 months in prison, respectively, after they admitted charges relating to the massive breach that cost TalkTalk £77 million in losses. The total cost also included the massive £400,000 fine imposed by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) on TalkTalk for failings to implement the most basic security measures in order to prevent the hack from happening. At the Old Bailey, the judge Anuja Dhir described Hanley as a "dedicated hacker" and sentenced him to 12 months in prison; whereas, Allsopp gets 8-months prison for his lesser role in the cyber attack. The Judge also said that it was a tragedy
Secret Charges Against Julian Assange Revealed Due to "Cut-Paste" Error

Secret Charges Against Julian Assange Revealed Due to "Cut-Paste" Error

November 16, 2018Mohit Kumar
Has Wikileaks founder Julian Assange officially been charged with any unspecified criminal offense in the United States? — YES United States prosecutors have accidentally revealed the existence of criminal charges against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange in a recently unsealed court filing in an unrelated ongoing sex crime case in the Eastern District of Virginia. Assistant US Attorney Kellen S. Dwyer, who made this disclosure on August 22, urged the judge to keep the indictment [ pdf ] prepared against Assange sealed (secret) "due to the sophistication of the defendant, and the publicity surrounding the case." Dwyer is assigned to the WikiLeaks case. Dwyer also said the charges would "need to remain sealed until Assange is arrested in connection with the charges" in the indictment and can, therefore "no longer evade or avoid arrest and extradition in this matter." WikiLeaks, the website that published thousands of classified U.S. government do
7 New Meltdown and Spectre-type CPU Flaws Affect Intel, AMD, ARM CPUs

7 New Meltdown and Spectre-type CPU Flaws Affect Intel, AMD, ARM CPUs

November 14, 2018Swati Khandelwal
Disclosed earlier this year, potentially dangerous Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities that affected a large family of modern processors proven that speculative execution attacks can be exploited in a trivial way to access highly sensitive information. Since then, several more variants of speculative execution attacks have been discovered, including Spectre-NG , SpectreRSB, Spectre 1.1, Spectre1.2, TLBleed , Lazy FP , NetSpectre and Foreshadow , patches for which were released by affected vendors time-to-time. Speculative execution is a core component of modern processors design that speculatively executes instructions based on assumptions that are considered likely to be true. If the assumptions come out to be valid, the execution continues, otherwise discarded. Now, the same team of cybersecurity researchers who discovered original Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities have uncovered 7 new transient execution attacks affecting 3 major processor vendors—Intel, AMD, ARM. W
Hacker Who DDoSed Sony, EA and Steam Gaming Servers Pleads Guilty

Hacker Who DDoSed Sony, EA and Steam Gaming Servers Pleads Guilty

November 09, 2018Wang Wei
A 23-year-old hacker from Utah pleaded guilty this week to launching a series of denial-of-service (DoS) attacks against multiple online services, websites, and online gaming companies between 2013 and 2014. According to a Justice Department (DoJ) press release, Austin Thompson , a.k.a. "DerpTroll," took down servers of several major gaming platforms including Electronic Arts' Origin service, the Sony PlayStation network , and Valve Software's Steam, between December 2013 and January 2014, by flooding them with enough internet traffic. Thompson then typically used the Twitter account the @DerpTrolling handle to announce his attacks, subsequently posting screenshots or other photos of the server being unavailable after launching DDoS attacks. The attacks usually took down game servers and related computers of the victim companies for at least a few hours at a time, causing at least $95,000 in damages to the gaming companies around the world. "Denial-of
StatCounter Analytics Code Hijacked to Steal Bitcoins from Cryptocurrency Users

StatCounter Analytics Code Hijacked to Steal Bitcoins from Cryptocurrency Users

November 08, 2018Mohit Kumar
Late last week an unknown hacker or a group of hackers successfully targeted a cryptocurrency exchange with an aim to steal Bitcoins by compromising the web analytics service it was using. ESET malware researcher Matthieu Faou this weekend spotted malicious JavaScript code on up to 700,000 websites that were bundled with the traffic tracking code from the leading web analytics platform StatCounter . However, after analyzing the code, the researchers found that hackers managed to compromise StatCounter and successfully replaced its tracking script with malicious JavaScript code primarily designed to target customers of the Gate.io cryptocurrency exchange. Like Google Analytics, StatCounter is also an old, but popular real-time web analytics platform reportedly being used by more than two million websites and generates stats on over 10 billion page views per month. Here's How Hackers Tried to Steal Bitcoins from Crypto Exchange Though the malicious code was also inject
Tumblr Patches A Flaw That Could Have Exposed Users’ Account Info

Tumblr Patches A Flaw That Could Have Exposed Users’ Account Info

October 17, 2018Swati Khandelwal
Tumblr today published a report admitting the presence of a security vulnerability in its website that could have allowed hackers to steal login credentials and other private information for users' accounts. The affected information included users email addresses, protected (hashed and salted) account passwords, self-reported location (a feature no longer available), previously used email addresses, last login IP addresses, and names of the blog associated with every account. According to the company, a security researcher discovered a critical vulnerability in the desktop version of its website and responsibly reported it to the Tumblr security team via its bug bounty program. Though the company has not revealed the researcher's name or any technical details about the vulnerability, Tumblr has disclosed that the flaw resided in the "Recommended Blogs" feature of its website. Recommended Blogs has been designed to display a short, rotating list of blogs o
Chinese Spying Chips Found Hidden On Servers Used By US Companies

Chinese Spying Chips Found Hidden On Servers Used By US Companies

October 04, 2018Mohit Kumar
A media report today revealed details of a significant supply chain attack which appears to be one of the largest corporate espionage and hardware hacking programs from a nation-state. According to a lengthy report published today by Bloomberg, a tiny surveillance chip, not much bigger than a grain of rice, has been found hidden in the servers used by nearly 30 American companies, including Apple and Amazon. The malicious chips, which were not part of the original server motherboards designed by the U.S-based company Super Micro, had been inserted during the manufacturing process in China. The report, based on a 3-year-long top-secret investigation in the United States, claims that the Chinese government-affiliated groups managed to infiltrate the supply chain to install tiny surveillance chips to motherboards which ended up in servers deployed by U.S. military, U.S. intelligence agencies, and many U.S. companies like Apple and Amazon. "Apple made its discovery of suspi
Bank Servers Hacked to Trick ATMs into Spitting Out Millions in Cash

Bank Servers Hacked to Trick ATMs into Spitting Out Millions in Cash

October 03, 2018Swati Khandelwal
The US-CERT has released a joint technical alert from the DHS, the FBI, and Treasury warning about a new ATM scheme being used by the prolific North Korean APT hacking group known as Hidden Cobra . Hidden Cobra, also known as Lazarus Group and Guardians of Peace, is believed to be backed by the North Korean government and has previously launched attacks against a number of media organizations, aerospace, financial and critical infrastructure sectors across the world. The group had also reportedly been associated with the WannaCry ransomware menace that last year shut down hospitals and big businesses worldwide, the SWIFT Banking attack in 2016, as well as the Sony Pictures hack in 2014. Now, the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the Department of the Treasury have released details about a new cyber attack, dubbed " FASTCash ," that Hidden Cobra has been using since at least 2016 to cash out ATMs by compromising the bank server. FASTCash Hack
Facebook Finds 'No Evidence' Hackers Accessed Connected Third-Party Apps

Facebook Finds 'No Evidence' Hackers Accessed Connected Third-Party Apps

October 03, 2018Swati Khandelwal
When Facebook last weekend disclosed a massive data breach—that compromised access tokens for more than 50 million accounts —many feared that the stolen tokens could have been used to access other third-party services, including Instagram and Tinder, through Facebook login. Good news is that Facebook found no evidence "so far" that proves such claims. In a blog post published Tuesday, Facebook security VP Guy Rosen revealed that investigators "found no evidence" of hackers accessing third-party apps with its "Login with Facebook" feature. "We have now analyzed our logs for all third-party apps installed or logged in during the attack we discovered last week. That investigation has so far found no evidence that the attackers accessed any apps using Facebook Login," Rosen says. This does not mean that the stolen access tokens that had already been revoked by Facebook do not pose any threat to thousands of third-party services using Face
GhostDNS: New DNS Changer Botnet Hijacked Over 100,000 Routers

GhostDNS: New DNS Changer Botnet Hijacked Over 100,000 Routers

October 01, 2018Swati Khandelwal
Chinese cybersecurity researchers have uncovered a widespread, ongoing malware campaign that has already hijacked over 100,000 home routers and modified their DNS settings to hack users with malicious web pages—especially if they visit banking sites—and steal their login credentials. Dubbed GhostDNS , the campaign has many similarities with the infamous DNSChanger malware that works by changing DNS server settings on an infected device, allowing attackers to route the users' internet traffic through malicious servers and steal sensitive data. According to a new report from cybersecurity firm Qihoo 360's NetLab, just like the regular DNSChanger campaign, GhostDNS scans for the IP addresses for routers that use weak or no password at all, accesses the routers' settings, and then changes the router's default DNS address to the one controlled by the attackers. GhostDNS System: List of Modules and Sub-Modules The GhostDNS system mainly includes four modules:
Cybersecurity Researchers Spotted First-Ever UEFI Rootkit in the Wild

Cybersecurity Researchers Spotted First-Ever UEFI Rootkit in the Wild

September 27, 2018Swati Khandelwal
Cybersecurity researchers at ESET have unveiled what they claim to be the first-ever UEFI rootkit being used in the wild, allowing hackers to implant persistent malware on the targeted computers that could survive a complete hard-drive wipe. Dubbed LoJax , the UEFI rootkit is part of a malware campaign conducted by the infamous Sednit group, also known as APT28, Fancy Bear , Strontium , and Sofacy , to target several government organizations in the Balkans as well as in Central and Eastern Europe. Operating since at least 2007, Sednit group is a state-sponsored hacking group believed to be a unit of GRU (General Staff Main Intelligence Directorate), a Russian secret military intelligence agency. The hacking group has been associated with a number of high profile attacks, including the DNC hack just before the U.S. 2016 presidential election . UEFI, or Unified Extensible Firmware Interface, a replacement for the traditional BIOS, is a core and critical firmware component of a
SHEIN-Fashion Shopping Site Suffers Data Breach Affecting 6.5 Million Users

SHEIN-Fashion Shopping Site Suffers Data Breach Affecting 6.5 Million Users

September 25, 2018Swati Khandelwal
U.S. online fashion retailer SHEIN has admitted that the company has suffered a significant data breach after unknown hackers stole personally identifiable information (PII) of almost 6.5 million customers. Based in North Brunswick and founded in 2008, SHEIN has become one of the largest online fashion retailers that ships to more than 80 countries worldwide. The site has been initially designed to produce "affordable" and trendy fashion clothing for women. SHEIN revealed last weekend that its servers had been targeted by a "concerted criminal cyber-attack" that began in June this year and lasted until August 22, when the company was finally made aware of the potential theft. Soon after that, the company scanned its servers to remove all possible backdoored entry points, leveraging which hackers could again infiltrate the servers. SHEIN assured its customers that the website is now safe to visit. Hackers Stole Over 6.42 Million SHEIN Customers' Data
Operator of VirusTotal Like Malware-Scanning Service Jailed for 14 Years

Operator of VirusTotal Like Malware-Scanning Service Jailed for 14 Years

September 22, 2018Mohit Kumar
A Latvian hacker behind the development and operation of counter antivirus service "Scan4You" has finally been sentenced to 14 years in prison. 37-year-old Ruslans Bondars, described as a Latvian "non-citizen" or "citizen of the former USSR who had been residing in Riga, Latvia," was found guilty on May 16 in federal court in Alexandria, during which a co-conspirator revealed he had worked with Russian law enforcement. Bondars created and ran Scan4you—a VirusTotal like online multi-engine antivirus scanning service that allowed hackers to run their code by several popular antiviruses to determine if their computer virus or malware would be flagged during routine security scans before launching them into a real-world malware campaign. While legal scanning services share data about uploaded files with the antivirus firms, Scan4you instead informed its users that they could "upload files anonymously and promised not to share information about the
Hackers Steal Customers' Credit Cards From Newegg Electronics Retailer

Hackers Steal Customers' Credit Cards From Newegg Electronics Retailer

September 19, 2018Mohit Kumar
The notorious hacking group behind the Ticketmaster and British Airways data breaches has now victimized popular computer hardware and consumer electronics retailer Newegg. Magecart hacking group managed to infiltrate the Newegg website and steal the credit card details of all customers who entered their payment card information between August 14 and September 18, 2018, according to a joint analysis from Volexity and RiskIQ . Magecart hackers used what researchers called a digital credit card skimmer wherein they inserted a few lines of malicious Javascript code into the checkout page of Newegg website that captured payment information of customers making purchasing on the site and then send it to a remote server. Active since at least 2015, the Magecart hacking group registered a domain called neweggstats(dot)com on August 13, similar to Newegg's legitimate domain newegg.com, and acquired an SSL certificate issued for the domain by Comodo for their website. A day l
Ransomware Attack Takes Down Bristol Airport's Flight Display Screens

Ransomware Attack Takes Down Bristol Airport's Flight Display Screens

September 17, 2018Wang Wei
Bristol Airport has blamed a ransomware attack for causing a blackout of flight information screens for two days over the weekend. The airport said that the attack started Friday morning, taking out several computers over the airport network, including its in-house display screens which provide details about the arrival and departure information of flights. The attack forced the airport officials to take down its systems and use whiteboards and paper posters to announce check-in and arrival information for flights going through the airport and luggage pickup points for all Friday, Saturday, and the subsequent night. "We are currently experiencing technical problems with our flight information screens," a post on the Bristol Airport's official Twitter feed read on Friday. "Flights are unaffected and details of check-in desks, boarding gates, and arrival/departure times will be made over the public address system. Additional staff are on hand to assist passeng
Watch Out! This New Web Exploit Can Crash and Restart Your iPhone

Watch Out! This New Web Exploit Can Crash and Restart Your iPhone

September 17, 2018Wang Wei
It's 2018, and just a few lines of code can crash and restart any iPhone or iPad and can cause a Mac computer to freeze. Sabri Haddouche , a security researcher at encrypted instant messaging app Wire, revealed a proof-of-concept (PoC) web page containing an exploit that uses only a few lines of specially crafted CSS & HTML code. Beyond just a simple crash, the web page, if visited, causes a full device kernel panic and an entire system reboot. The Haddouche’s PoC exploits a weakness in Apple's web rendering engine WebKit , which is used by all apps and web browsers running on the Apple's operating system. Since the Webkit issue failed to properly load multiple elements such as "div" tags inside a backdrop filter property in CSS, Haddouche created a web page that uses up all of the device's resources, causing shut down and restart of the device due to kernel panic. You can also watch the video demonstration published by the researcher, which s
Russian Hacker Pleads Guilty to Operating Kelihos Botnet

Russian Hacker Pleads Guilty to Operating Kelihos Botnet

September 13, 2018Mohit Kumar
The Russian man who was accused of operating the infamous Kelihos botnet has finally pleaded guilty in a U.S. federal court. Peter Yuryevich Levashov , 38, of St. Petersburg, Russia, pleaded guilty on Wednesday in U.S. federal court in Connecticut to computer crime, wire fraud, conspiracy and identity theft charges. Levashov, also known by many online aliases including Peter Severa, Petr Levashov, Petr Severa and Sergey Astakhov, has admitted of operating several botnets, including the Storm, Waledac and Kelihos botnets, since the late 1990s until he was arrested in April 2017 . Kelihos botnet, dated back to 2010, was a global network of tens of thousands of infected computers that were used to steal login credentials, send bulk spam emails, and infect computers with ransomware and other malware. Russian Hacker Infects 50,000 Computers With Kelihos Botnet Storm and Waledac botnets also shared Kelihos code, but kelihos was the most notorious botnet of all that alone infect
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