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Facebook Cracks Down on Spyware Vendors from U.S., China, Russia, Israel, and India

Facebook Cracks Down on Spyware Vendors from U.S., China, Russia, Israel, and India

Dec 19, 2022 Cyber Attacks / Surveillance
Meta Platforms disclosed that it took down no less than 200 covert influence operations since 2017 spanning roughly 70 countries across 42 languages. The social media conglomerate also took steps to disable accounts and block infrastructure operated by spyware vendors, including in China, Russia, Israel, the U.S. and India, that targeted individuals in about 200 countries. "The global surveillance-for-hire industry continues to grow and indiscriminately target people – including journalists, activists, litigants, and political opposition – to collect intelligence, manipulate and compromise their devices and accounts across the internet," the company  noted  in a report published last week. The networks that were found to engage in coordinated inauthentic behavior ( CIB ) originated from 68 countries. More than 100 nations are said to have been targeted by at least one such network, either foreign or domestic. With 34 operations, the U.S. emerged as the most frequently ta
FBI Charges 6, Seizes 48 Domains Linked to DDoS-for-Hire Service Platforms

FBI Charges 6, Seizes 48 Domains Linked to DDoS-for-Hire Service Platforms

Dec 15, 2022 Cyber Attack / DDoS-for-Hire
The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) on Wednesday announced the seizure of 48 domains that offered services to conduct distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks on behalf of other threat actors, effectively lowering the barrier to entry for malicious activity. It also charged six suspects – Jeremiah Sam Evans Miller (23), Angel Manuel Colon Jr. (37), Shamar Shattock (19), Cory Anthony Palmer (22), John M. Dobbs (32), and Joshua Laing (32) – for their alleged ownership in the operation. The websites "allowed paying users to launch powerful distributed denial-of-service, or DDoS, attacks that flood targeted computers with information and prevent them from being able to access the internet," the DoJ said in a press statement. The six defendants have been charged with running various booter (or stresser) services, including RoyalStresser[.]com, SecurityTeam[.]io, Astrostress[.]com, Booter[.]sx, IPStresser[.]com, and TrueSecurityServices[.]io. They have also been accused
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Telcom and BPO Companies Under Attack by SIM Swapping Hackers

Telcom and BPO Companies Under Attack by SIM Swapping Hackers

Dec 06, 2022 SIM Swapping / Network Intrusion
A persistent intrusion campaign has set its eyes on telecommunications and business process outsourcing (BPO) companies at lease since June 2022. "The end objective of this campaign appears to be to gain access to mobile carrier networks and, as evidenced in two investigations, perform  SIM swapping  activity," CrowdStrike researcher Tim Parisi  said  in an analysis published last week. The financially motivated attacks have been attributed by the cybersecurity company to an actor tracked as Scattered Spider. Initial access to the target environment is said to be undertaken through a variety of methods ranging from social engineering using phone calls and messages sent via Telegram to impersonate IT personnel. This technique is leveraged to direct victims to a credential harvesting site or trick them into installing commercial remote monitoring and management (RMM) tools like Zoho Assist and Getscreen.me. Should the target accounts be secured by two-factor authenticati
Russian Courts Targeted by New CryWiper Data Wiper Malware Posing as Ransomware

Russian Courts Targeted by New CryWiper Data Wiper Malware Posing as Ransomware

Dec 05, 2022 Endpoint Security / Data Protection
A new data wiper malware called  CryWiper  has been found targeting Russian government agencies, including mayor's offices and courts. "Although it disguises itself as a ransomware and extorts money from the victim for 'decrypting' data, [it] does not actually encrypt, but purposefully destroys data in the affected system," Kaspersky researchers Fedor Sinitsyn and Janis Zinchenko  said  in a write-up. Additional details of the attacks were shared by the Russian-language news publication  Izvestia . The intrusions have not been attributed to a specific adversarial group so far. A C++-based malware, CryWiper is configured to establish persistence via a scheduled task and communicate with a command-and-control (C2) server to initiate the malicious activity. Besides terminating processes related to database and email servers, the malware is equipped with capabilities to delete shadow copies of files and modify the Windows Registry to prevent RDP connections in a
Cuba Ransomware Extorted Over $60 Million in Ransom Fees from More than 100 Entities

Cuba Ransomware Extorted Over $60 Million in Ransom Fees from More than 100 Entities

Dec 02, 2022 Data Security / Incident Response
The threat actors behind Cuba (aka COLDDRAW) ransomware have received more than $60 million in ransom payments and compromised over 100 entities across the world as of August 2022. In a new advisory shared by the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the agencies  highlighted  a "sharp increase in both the number of compromised U.S. entities and the ransom amounts." The ransomware crew, also known as  Tropical Scorpius , has been observed targeting financial services, government facilities, healthcare, critical manufacturing, and IT sectors, while simultaneously expanding its tactics to gain initial access and interact with breached networks. It's worth noting that despite the name "Cuba," there is no evidence to suggest that the actors have any connection or affiliation with the island country. The entry point for the attacks involves the exploitation of known security flaws, phishing,
Hackers Leak Another Set of Medibank Customer Data on the Dark Web

Hackers Leak Another Set of Medibank Customer Data on the Dark Web

Dec 01, 2022 Data Security / Security Breach
Medibank on Thursday confirmed that the threat actors behind the  devastating cyber attack  have posted another dump of data stolen from its systems on the dark web after its refusal to pay a ransom. "We are in the process of analyzing the data, but the data released appears to be the data we believed the criminal stole," the Australian health insurer  said . "While our investigation continues there are currently no signs that financial or banking data has been taken. And the personal data stolen, in itself, is not sufficient to enable identity and financial fraud. The raw data we have analyzed today so far is incomplete and hard to understand." The leak comes almost a month after the company acknowledged that personal data belonging to  around 9.7 million  of its current and former customers were accessed following a ransomware incident in October 2022. This includes 5.1 million Medibank customers, 2.8 million ahm customers, and 1.8 million international cust
Daixin Ransomware Gang Steals 5 Million AirAsia Passengers' and Employees' Data

Daixin Ransomware Gang Steals 5 Million AirAsia Passengers' and Employees' Data

Nov 21, 2022
The cybercrime group called Daixin Team has leaked sample data belonging to AirAsia, a Malaysian low-cost airline, on its data leak portal. The development comes a little over a week after the company fell victim to a ransomware attack on November 11 and 12, per  DataBreaches.net . The threat actors allegedly claim to have obtained the personal data associated with five million unique passengers and all of its employees. The samples uploaded to the leak site reveal passenger information and the booking IDs as well as personal data related to the company's staff. A spokesperson for the threat actor told DataBreaches.net that further attacks were not pursued owing to AirAsia's poor security measures and "the chaotic organization of the network." It's a rare case of a threat actor stopping its attacks against a company as a result of bad security practices. Daixin Team was recently the subject of an  advisory  from the U.S. cybersecurity and intelligence ag
Chinese 'Mustang Panda' Hackers Actively Targeting Governments Worldwide

Chinese 'Mustang Panda' Hackers Actively Targeting Governments Worldwide

Nov 19, 2022
A notorious advanced persistent threat actor known as  Mustang Panda  has been linked to a spate of spear-phishing attacks targeting government, education, and research sectors across the world. The primary targets of the intrusions from May to October 2022 included counties in the Asia Pacific region such as Myanmar, Australia, the Philippines, Japan, and Taiwan, cybersecurity firm Trend Micro  said  in a Friday report.  Mustang Panda, also called Bronze President, Earth Preta, HoneyMyte, and Red Lich, is a China-based espionage actor believed to be active since at least July 2018. The group is known for its use of malware such as China Chopper and PlugX to collect data from compromised environments. Activities of the group chronicled by  ESET ,  Google, Proofpoint ,  Cisco Talos , and  Secureworks  this year have revealed the threat actor's pattern of using PlugX (and its variant called Hodur) to infect a wide range of entities in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and the Ameri
Hive Ransomware Attackers Extorted $100 Million from Over 1,300 Companies Worldwide

Hive Ransomware Attackers Extorted $100 Million from Over 1,300 Companies Worldwide

Nov 18, 2022
The threat actors behind the Hive ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) scheme have launched attacks against over 1,300 companies across the world, netting the gang $100 million in illicit payments as of November 2022. "Hive ransomware has targeted a wide range of businesses and critical infrastructure sectors, including government facilities, communications, critical manufacturing, information technology, and — especially — Healthcare and Public Health (HPH)," U.S. cybersecurity and intelligence authorities  said  in an alert. Active since June 2021, Hive's RaaS operation involves a mix of developers, who create and manage the malware, and affiliates, who are responsible for conducting the attacks on target networks by often purchasing initial access from initial access brokers (IABs). In most cases, gaining a foothold involves the exploitation of  ProxyShell flaws  in Microsoft Exchange Server, followed by taking steps to terminate processes associated with antivirus engi
North Korean Hackers Targeting Europe and Latin America with Updated DTrack Backdoor

North Korean Hackers Targeting Europe and Latin America with Updated DTrack Backdoor

Nov 17, 2022
Hackers tied to the North Korean government have been observed using an updated version of a backdoor known as Dtrack targeting a wide range of industries in Germany, Brazil, India, Italy, Mexico, Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the U.S. "Dtrack allows criminals to upload, download, start or delete files on the victim host," Kaspersky researchers Konstantin Zykov and Jornt van der Wiel  said  in a report. The victimology patterns indicate an expansion to Europe and Latin America. Sectors targeted by the malware are education, chemical manufacturing, governmental research centers and policy institutes, IT service providers, utility providers, and telecommunication firms. Dtrack, also called Valefor and Preft, is the handiwork of Andariel, a subgroup of the  Lazarus nation-state threat actor  that's publicly tracked by the broader cybersecurity community using the monikers Operation Troy, Silent Chollima, and Stonefly. Discovered in September 2019, the malware
APT29 Exploited a Windows Feature to Compromise European Diplomatic Entity Network

APT29 Exploited a Windows Feature to Compromise European Diplomatic Entity Network

Nov 09, 2022
The Russia-linked APT29 nation-state actor has been found leveraging a "lesser-known" Windows feature called Credential Roaming following a successful phishing attack against an unnamed European diplomatic entity. "The diplomatic-centric targeting is consistent with Russian strategic priorities as well as historic APT29 targeting," Mandiant researcher Thibault Van Geluwe de Berlaere  said  in a technical write-up. APT29, a Russian espionage group also called Cozy Bear, Iron Hemlock, and The Dukes, is  known  for its intrusions aimed at collecting intelligence that align with the country's strategic objectives. It's believed to be sponsored by the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR). Some of the adversarial collective's cyber activities are tracked publicly under the moniker  Nobelium , a threat cluster responsible for the widespread supply chain compromise through SolarWinds software in December 2020. The Google-owned threat intelligence and inciden
Several Cyber Attacks Observed Leveraging IPFS Decentralized Network

Several Cyber Attacks Observed Leveraging IPFS Decentralized Network

Nov 09, 2022
A number of phishing campaigns are leveraging the decentralized InterPlanetary Filesystem (IPFS) network to host malware, phishing kit infrastructure, and facilitate other attacks. "Multiple malware families are currently being hosted within IPFS and retrieved during the initial stages of malware attacks," Cisco Talos researcher Edmund Brumaghin said in an analysis shared with The Hacker News. The research mirrors similar findings from Trustwave SpiderLabs in July 2022, which  found  more than 3,000 emails containing IPFS phishing URLs as an attack vector, calling IPFS the new "hotbed" for hosting phishing sites. IPFS as a technology is both resilient to censorship and takedowns, making it a double-edged sword. Underlying it is a peer-to-peer (P2P) network which replicates content across all participating nodes so that even if a file is removed from one machine, requests for the resource can still be served via other systems. This also makes it ripe for abuse
Chinese Hackers Using New Stealthy Infection Chain to Deploy LODEINFO Malware

Chinese Hackers Using New Stealthy Infection Chain to Deploy LODEINFO Malware

Nov 01, 2022
The Chinese state-sponsored threat actor known as Stone Panda has been observed employing a new stealthy infection chain in its attacks aimed at Japanese entities. Targets include media, diplomatic, governmental and public sector organizations, and think-tanks in Japan, according to  twin   reports  published by Kaspersky. Stone Panda , also called  APT10 , Bronze Riverside, Cicada, and Potassium, is a cyber  espionage group  known for its intrusions against organizations identified as strategically significant to China. The threat actor is believed to have been active since at least 2009. The group has also been linked to attacks using malware families like SigLoader, SodaMaster , and a web shell called Jackpot against multiple Japanese domestic organizations since April 2021, per cybersecurity firm Trend Micro, which is tracking the group under the name Earth Tengshe . The latest set of attacks, observed between March and June 2022, involve the use of a bogus Microsoft Word fi
Fodcha DDoS Botnet Resurfaces with New Capabilities

Fodcha DDoS Botnet Resurfaces with New Capabilities

Oct 31, 2022
The threat actor behind the Fodcha distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) botnet has resurfaced with new capabilities, researchers reveal. This includes changes to its communication protocol and the ability to extort cryptocurrency payments in exchange for stopping the DDoS attack against a target, Qihoo 360's Network Security Research Lab  said  in a report published last week. Fodcha  first came to light  earlier this April, with the malware propagating through known vulnerabilities in Android and IoT devices as well as weak Telnet or SSH passwords. The cybersecurity company said that Fodcha has evolved into a large-scale botnet with over 60,000 active nodes and 40 command-and-control (C2) domains that can "easily generate more than 1 Tbps traffic." Peak activity is said to have occurred on October 11, 2022, when the malware targeted 1,396 devices in a single day. The top countries singled out by the botnet since late June 2022 comprises China, the U.S., Singapore,
U.S. Charges Ukrainian Hacker Over Role in Raccoon Stealer Malware Service

U.S. Charges Ukrainian Hacker Over Role in Raccoon Stealer Malware Service

Oct 26, 2022
A 26-year-old Ukrainian national has been charged in the U.S. for his alleged role in the  Raccoon Stealer  malware-as-a-service (MaaS) operation. Mark Sokolovsky, who was arrested by Dutch law enforcement after leaving Ukraine on March 4, 2022, in what's said to be a Porsche Cayenne, is currently being held in the Netherlands and awaits extradition to the U.S. "Individuals who deployed Raccoon Infostealer to steal data from victims leased access to the malware for approximately $200 per month, paid for by cryptocurrency," the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ)  said . "These individuals used various ruses, such as email phishing, to install the malware onto the computers of unsuspecting victims." Sokolovsky is said to have gone by various online monikers like Photix, raccoonstealer, and black21jack77777 on online cybercrime forums to advertise the service for sale. Raccoon Stealer, mainly distributed under the guise of cracked software, is known to be one o
Indian Energy Company Tata Power's IT Infrastructure Hit By Cyber Attack

Indian Energy Company Tata Power's IT Infrastructure Hit By Cyber Attack

Oct 15, 2022
Tata Power Company Limited, India's largest integrated power company, on Friday confirmed it was targeted by a cyber attack. The intrusion on IT infrastructure impacted "some of its IT systems," the company  said  in a filing with the National Stock Exchange (NSE) of India. It further said it has taken steps to retrieve and restore the affected machines, adding it put in place security guardrails for customer-facing portals to prevent unauthorized access. The Mumbai-based electric utility company, part of the Tata Group conglomerate, did not disclose any further details about the nature of the attack, or when it took place. That said, cybersecurity firm Recorded Future in April  disclosed  attacks mounted by China-linked adversaries targeting Indian power grid organizations. The network intrusions were said to have been aimed at "at least seven Indian State Load Despatch Centres (SLDCs) responsible for carrying out real-time operations for grid control and ele
Ukraine Says Russia Planning Massive Cyberattacks on its Critical Infrastructures

Ukraine Says Russia Planning Massive Cyberattacks on its Critical Infrastructures

Sep 27, 2022
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

Sep 27, 2022
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

Sep 26, 2022
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

Sep 24, 2022
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,
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