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The Hacker News - Cybersecurity News and Analysis: Cyber Attack

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
New 0-Day Flaw Affecting Most Android Phones Being Exploited in the Wild

New 0-Day Flaw Affecting Most Android Phones Being Exploited in the Wild

October 04, 2019Mohit Kumar
Another day, another revelation of a critical unpatched zero-day vulnerability, this time in the world's most widely used mobile operating system, Android. What's more? The Android zero-day vulnerability has also been found to be exploited in the wild by the Israeli surveillance vendor NSO Group—infamous for selling zero-day exploits to governments—or one of its customers, to gain control of their targets' Android devices. Discovered by Project Zero researcher Maddie Stone, the details and a proof-of-concept exploit for the high-severity security vulnerability, tracked as CVE-2019-2215, has been made public today—just seven days after reporting it to the Android security team. The zero-day is a use-after-free vulnerability in the Android kernel's binder driver that can allow a local privileged attacker or an app to escalate their privileges to gain root access to a vulnerable device and potentially take full remote control of the device. Vulnerable Android D
A Look Into Continuous Efforts By Chinese Hackers to Target Foreign Governments

A Look Into Continuous Efforts By Chinese Hackers to Target Foreign Governments

October 02, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Phishing is still one of the widely used strategies by cybercriminals and espionage groups to gain an initial foothold on the targeted systems. Though hacking someone with phishing attacks was easy a decade ago, the evolution of threat detection technologies and cyber awareness among people has slowed down the success of phishing and social engineering attacks over the years. Since phishing is more sort of a one-time opportunity for hackers before their victims suspect it and likely won't fall for the same trick again, sophisticated hacking groups have started putting a lot of effort, time and research to design well-crafted phishing campaigns. In one such latest campaign discovered by cybersecurity researchers at Check Point, a Chinese hacking group, known as Rancor , has been found conducting very targeted and extensive attacks against Southeast Asian government entities from December 2018 to June 2019. What's interesting about this ongoing 7-month long campaign is
Capital One Hacker Also Accused of Hacking 30 More Companies and CryptoJacking

Capital One Hacker Also Accused of Hacking 30 More Companies and CryptoJacking

August 29, 2019Wang Wei
Former Amazon employee Paige Thompson , who was arrested last month in relation to the Capital One data breach , has been accused of hacking not only the U.S. credit card issuer, but also more than 30 other companies. An indictment unsealed on Wednesday revealed that Thompson not just stole data from misconfigured servers hosted with a cloud-computing company, but also used the computing power of hacked servers to mine for cryptocurrency, a practice commonly known as " Cryptojacking ." Thompson, known online as "erratic," was arrested by the FBI on July 29 concerning a massive breach in Capital One Financial Corp that exposed the personal information of more than 100 million credit card applicants in the United States and 6 million in Canada. The stolen data included approximately 140,000 Social Security numbers and 80,000 bank account numbers linked to United States customers, and 1 million Social Insurance numbers belonged to Canadian citizens, along wit
French Police Remotely Removed RETADUP Malware from 850,000 Infected PCs

French Police Remotely Removed RETADUP Malware from 850,000 Infected PCs

August 28, 2019Mohit Kumar
The French law enforcement agency, National Gendarmerie, today announced the successful takedown of one of the largest wide-spread RETADUP botnet malware and how it remotely disinfected more than 850,000 computers worldwide with the help of researchers. Earlier this year, security researchers at Avast antivirus firm, who were actively monitoring the activities of RETADUP botnet, discovered a design flaw in the malware's C&C protocol that could have been exploited to remove the malware from victims' computer without executing any extra code. However, to do that, the plan required researchers to have control over the malware's C&C server, which was hosted with a hosting provider located in the Ile-de-France region in north-central France. Therefore, the researchers contacted the Cybercrime Fighting Center (C3N) of the French National Gendarmerie at the end of March this year, shared their findings, and proposed a secret plan to put an end to the RETADUP vir
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
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