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Ukraine Arrests Operator of DDoS Botnet with 100,000 Compromised Devices

Ukraine Arrests Operator of DDoS Botnet with 100,000 Compromised Devices

October 11, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Ukrainian law enforcement authorities on Monday disclosed the arrest of a hacker responsible for the creation and management of a "powerful botnet" consisting of over 100,000 enslaved devices that was used to carry out distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) and spam attacks on behalf of paid customers. The unnamed individual, from the Ivano-Frankivsk region of the country, is also said to have leveraged the automated network to detect vulnerabilities in websites and break into them as well as stage brute-force attacks in order to guess email passwords. The Ukrainian police agency said it conducted a raid of the suspect's residence and seized their computer equipment as evidence of illegal activity. "He looked for customers on the closed forums and Telegram chats and payments were made via blocked electronic payment systems," the Security Service of Ukraine (SSU)  said  in a press statement. The payments were facilitated via WebMoney, a Russian money transfer p
Numando: A New Banking Trojan Targeting Latin American Users

Numando: A New Banking Trojan Targeting Latin American Users

September 19, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
A newly spotted banking trojan has been caught leveraging legitimate platforms like YouTube and Pastebin to store its encrypted, remote configuration and commandeer infected Windows systems, making it the latest to join the  long list of malware  targeting Latin America (LATAM) after Guildma, Javali, Melcoz, Grandoreiro, Mekotio, Casbaneiro, Amavaldo, Vadokrist, and Janeleiro. The threat actor behind this malware family — dubbed " Numando " — is believed to have been active since at least 2018. "[Numando brings] interesting new techniques to the pool of Latin American banking trojans' tricks, like using seemingly useless ZIP archives or bundling payloads with decoy BMP images," ESET researchers  said  in a technical analysis published on Friday. "Geographically, it focuses almost exclusively on Brazil with rare campaigns in Mexico and Spain." Written in Delphi, the malware comes with an array of backdoor capabilities that allow it to control compr
3 Former U.S. Intelligence Officers Admit to Hacking for UAE Company

3 Former U.S. Intelligence Officers Admit to Hacking for UAE Company

September 15, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) on Tuesday disclosed it fined three intelligence community and military personnel $1.68 million in penalties for their role as cyber-mercenaries working on behalf of a U.A.E.-based cybersecurity company. The trio in question — Marc Baier, 49, Ryan Adams, 34, and Daniel Gericke, 40 — are accused of "knowingly and willfully combine, conspire, confederate, and agree with each other to commit offenses, "furnishing defense services to persons and entities in the country over a three year period beginning around December 2015 and continuing through November 2019, including developing invasive spyware capable of breaking into mobile devices without any action by the targets. "The defendants worked as senior managers at a United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.)-based company (U.A.E. CO) that supported and carried out computer network exploitation (CNE) operations (i.e., 'hacking') for the benefit of the U.A.E. government," the DoJ  said
Dutch Police Arrest Two Hackers Tied to "Fraud Family" Cybercrime Ring

Dutch Police Arrest Two Hackers Tied to "Fraud Family" Cybercrime Ring

July 23, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Law enforcement authorities in the Netherlands have  arrested  two alleged individuals belonging to a Dutch cybercriminal collective who were involved in developing, selling, and renting sophisticated phishing frameworks to other threat actors in what's known as a "Fraud-as-a-Service" operation. The apprehended suspects, a 24-year-old software engineer and a 15-year-old boy, are said to have been the main developer and seller of the phishing frameworks that were employed to collect login data from bank customers. The attacks primarily singled out users in the Netherlands and Belgium. The 15-year-old suspect has since been released from custody "pending further investigation," Dutch police said. Believed to be active since at least 2020, the cybercriminal syndicate has been codenamed " Fraud Family " by cybersecurity firm Group-IB. The frameworks come with phishing kits, tools designed to steal information, and web panels, which allow the fraudsters
REvil Ransomware Gang Mysteriously Disappears After High-Profile Attacks

REvil Ransomware Gang Mysteriously Disappears After High-Profile Attacks

July 14, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
REvil, the infamous ransomware cartel behind some of the biggest cyberattacks targeting JBS and Kaseya, has mysteriously disappeared from the dark web, leading to speculations that the criminal enterprise may have been taken down. Multiple darknet and clearnet sites maintained by the Russia-linked cybercrime syndicate, including the data leak, extortion, and payment portals, remained inaccessible, displaying an error message "Onionsite not found."  The group's  Tor network infrastructure  on the dark web consists of one data leak blog site and 22 data hosting sites. It's not immediately clear what prompted the infrastructure to be knocked offline. REvil is one of the most prolific ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) groups that first appeared on the threat landscape in April 2019. It's an evolution of the  GandCrab  ransomware, which hit the underground markets in early 2018. "If REvil has been permanently disrupted, it'll mark the end of a group which ha
Interpol Arrests Moroccan Hacker Engaged in Nefarious Cyber Activities

Interpol Arrests Moroccan Hacker Engaged in Nefarious Cyber Activities

July 06, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Law enforcement authorities with the Interpol have apprehended a threat actor responsible for targeting thousands of unwitting victims over several years and staging malware attacks on telecom companies, major banks, and multinational corporations in France as part of a global phishing and credit card fraud scheme. The two-year investigation, dubbed  Operation Lyrebird  by the international, intergovernmental organization, resulted in the arrest of a Moroccan citizen nicknamed Dr HeX, cybersecurity firm Group-IB disclosed today in a report shared with The Hacker News. Dr HeX is said to have been "active since at least 2009 and is responsible for a number of cybercrimes, including phishing, defacing, malware development, fraud, and carding that resulted in thousands of unsuspecting victims," the Singapore-headquartered company said . The cyber attacks involved deploying a phishing kit consisting of web pages that spoofed banking entities in the country, followed by sendin
Four Plead Guilty to Aiding Cyber Criminals with Bulletproof Hosting

Four Plead Guilty to Aiding Cyber Criminals with Bulletproof Hosting

May 09, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Four Eastern European nationals face 20 years in prison for Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organization (RICO) charges after pleading guilty to providing bulletproof hosting services between 2008 and 2015, which were used by cybercriminals to distribute malware to financial entities across the U.S. The individuals, Aleksandr Grichishkin, 34, and Andrei Skvortsov, 34, of Russia; Aleksandr Skorodumov, 33, of Lithuania; and Pavel Stassi, 30, of Estonia, have been accused of renting their wares to cybercriminal clients, who used the infrastructure to disseminate malware such as Zeus, SpyEye, Citadel, and the Blackhole Exploit Kit that were capable of co-opting victim machines into a botnet, and stealing sensitive information. The deployment of malware caused or attempted to cause millions of dollars in losses to U.S. victims, the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) said in a statement on Friday. "A key service provided by the defendants was helping their clients to evade detection by
DeepDotWeb Admin Pleads Guilty to Money Laundering Charges

DeepDotWeb Admin Pleads Guilty to Money Laundering Charges

April 01, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) on Wednesday said that an Israeli national pleaded guilty for his role as an "administrator" of a portal called DeepDotWeb ( DDW ), a "news" website that "served as a gateway to numerous dark web marketplaces." According to the unsealed court documents, Tal Prihar , 37, an Israeli citizen residing in Brazil, operated DDW alongside Michael Phan , 34, of Israel, starting October 2013, in return for which they received kickbacks from the operators of the marketplaces in the form of virtual currency amounting to 8,155 bitcoins (worth $8.4 million at the time of the transactions). In an attempt to conceal the illicit payments, Prihar is said to have transferred the money to other bitcoin accounts and to bank accounts under his control in the name of shell companies. "Tal Prihar served as a broker for illegal Darknet marketplaces — helping such marketplaces find customers for fentanyl, firearms, and other dangerous
Tesla Ransomware Hacker Pleads Guilty; Swiss Hacktivist Charged for Fraud

Tesla Ransomware Hacker Pleads Guilty; Swiss Hacktivist Charged for Fraud

March 19, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
The U.S. Department of Justice yesterday announced updates on two separate cases involving cyberattacks—a Swiss hacktivist and a Russian hacker who planned to plant malware in the Tesla company. A Swiss hacker who was involved in the intrusion of cloud-based surveillance firm Verkada and exposed camera footage from its customers was charged by the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) on Thursday with conspiracy, wire fraud, and identity theft. Till Kottmann (aka "deletescape" and "tillie crimew"), 21, of Lucerne, Switzerland, and their co-conspirators were accused of hacking dozens of companies and government agencies since 2019 by targeting their "git" and other source code repositories and posting the proprietary data of more than 100 entities on a website called git[.]rip, according to the indictment. Kottmann is alleged to have cloned the source code and other confidential files containing hard-coded administrative credentials and access keys, using th
CEO of Encrypted Chat Platform Indicted for Aiding Organised Criminals

CEO of Encrypted Chat Platform Indicted for Aiding Organised Criminals

March 15, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) on Friday announced an indictment against Jean-Francois Eap, the CEO of encrypted messaging company Sky Global, and an associate for wilfully participating in a criminal enterprise to help international drug traffickers avoid law enforcement. Eap (also known as "888888") and Thomas Herdman, a former high-level distributor of Sky Global devices, have been charged with a conspiracy to violate the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), according to warrants issued for their arrests. "The indictment alleges that Sky Global generated hundreds of millions of dollars providing a service that allowed criminal networks around the world to hide their international drug trafficking activity from law enforcement," Acting U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman  said  in the announcement. "This groundbreaking investigation should send a serious message to companies who think they can aid criminals in their unlawful ac
Gootkit RAT Using SEO to Distribute Malware Through Compromised Sites

Gootkit RAT Using SEO to Distribute Malware Through Compromised Sites

March 01, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
A framework notorious for delivering a banking Trojan has received a facelift to deploy a wider range of malware, including ransomware payloads. "The  Gootkit  malware family has been around more than half a decade – a mature Trojan with functionality centered around banking credential theft," Sophos researchers Gabor Szappanos and Andrew Brandt  said  in a write-up published today. "In recent years, almost as much effort has gone into improvement of its delivery method as has gone into the NodeJS-based malware itself." Dubbed "Gootloader," the expanded malware delivery system comes amid a surge in the number of infections targeting users in France, Germany, South Korea, and the U.S. First documented in 2014, Gootkit is a Javascript-based malware platform capable of carrying out an array of covert activities, including web injection, capturing keystrokes, taking screenshots, recording videos, as well as email and password theft. Over the years, the
2 Hackers Charged for Defacing Sites after U.S. Airstrike Killed Iranian General

2 Hackers Charged for Defacing Sites after U.S. Airstrike Killed Iranian General

September 16, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
The US Department of Justice (DoJ) on Tuesday indicted two hackers for their alleged involvement in defacing several websites in the country following the assassination of Iranian major general Qasem Soleimani earlier this January. Behzad Mohammadzadeh (aka Mrb3hz4d), 19, and Marwan Abusrour (aka Mrwn007), 25, have been charged with conspiracy to commit intentional damage to a protected computer for a widespread "cyber-assault" that affected over 1,400 websites with pro-Iranian and pro-Palestinian messages. "The hackers victimized innocent third parties in a campaign to retaliate for the military action that killed Soleimani, a man behind countless acts of terror against Americans and others that the Iranian regime opposed," said Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers in a statement. The defendants, from Iran and Palestine, respectively, are now wanted by the US authorities and are no longer free to travel outside their countries wi
US Charges 2 Chinese Hackers for Targeting COVID-19 Research and Trade Secrets

US Charges 2 Chinese Hackers for Targeting COVID-19 Research and Trade Secrets

July 22, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) yesterday revealed charges against two Chinese nationals for their alleged involvement in a decade-long hacking spree targeting dissidents, government agencies, and hundreds of organizations in as many as 11 countries. The 11-count indictment , which was unsealed on Tuesday, alleges LI Xiaoyu (李啸宇) and DONG Jiazhi (董家志) stole terabytes of sensitive data, including from companies developing COVID-19 vaccines, testing technology, and treatments while operating both for private financial gain and behalf of China's Ministry of State Security. "China has now taken its place, alongside Russia, Iran and North Korea, in that shameful club of nations that provide a safe haven for cyber criminals in exchange for those criminals being 'on call' to work for the benefit of the state, [and] to feed the Chinese Communist party's insatiable hunger for American and other non-Chinese companies' hard-earned intellectual property, includ
7 Ways Hackers and Scammers Are Exploiting Coronavirus Panic

7 Ways Hackers and Scammers Are Exploiting Coronavirus Panic

April 09, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
In our previous stories, you might have already read about various campaigns warning how threat actors are capitalizing on the ongoing coronavirus pandemic in an attempt to infect your computers and mobile devices with malware or scam you out of your money. Unfortunately, to some extent, it's working, and that's because the attack surface is changing and expanding rapidly as many organizations and business tasks are going digital without much preparation, exposing themselves to more potential threats. Most of the recent cyberattacks are primarily exploiting the fears around the COVID-19 outbreak—fueled by disinformation and fake news—to distribute malware via Google Play apps , malicious links and attachments, and execute ransomware attacks. Here, we took a look at some of the wide range of unseen threats rising in the digital space, powered by coronavirus-themed lures that cybercriminals are using for espionage and commercial gain. The latest development adds to a l
US Govt Warns Critical Industries After Ransomware Hits Gas Pipeline Facility

US Govt Warns Critical Industries After Ransomware Hits Gas Pipeline Facility

February 19, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) earlier today issued a warning to all industries operating critical infrastructures about a new ransomware threat that if left unaddressed could have severe consequences. The advisory comes in response to a cyberattack targeting an unnamed natural gas compression facility that employed spear-phishing to deliver ransomware to the company's internal network, encrypting critical data and knocking servers out of operation for almost two days. "A cyber threat actor used a spear-phishing link to obtain initial access to the organization's information technology network before pivoting to its operational technology network. The threat actor then deployed commodity ransomware to encrypt data for impact on both networks," CISA noted in its alert. As ransomware attacks continue to escalate in frequency and scale , the new development is yet another indication that p
Interpol Arrests 3 Indonesian Credit Card Hackers for Magecart Attacks

Interpol Arrests 3 Indonesian Credit Card Hackers for Magecart Attacks

January 25, 2020Mohit Kumar
The Indonesian National Police in a joint press conference with Interpol and cybersecurity firm Group-IB earlier today announced the arrest of three Magecart-style Indonesian hackers who had compromised hundreds of international e-commerce websites and stolen payment card details of their online shoppers. Dubbed ' Operation Night Fury ,' the investigation was led by Interpol's ASEAN Cyber Capability Desk, a joint initiative by law enforcement agencies of Southeast Asian countries to combat cybercrime. According to the press conference, all three accused (23, 26, and 35 years old) were arrested last year in December from Jakarta and Yogyakarta and charged with criminal laws related to the data theft, fraud, and unauthorized access. "The operation is still ongoing in the other five ASEAN countries with which the intelligence was also shared. This case marks the first successful multi-jurisdictional operation against the operators of JavaScript-sniffers in the re
Russian Pleads Guilty to Running 'CardPlanet' to Sell Stolen Credit Cards

Russian Pleads Guilty to Running 'CardPlanet' to Sell Stolen Credit Cards

January 24, 2020Swati Khandelwal
Image credit: Times of Israel. Aleksei Burkov, a 29-year-old Russian hacker, on Thursday pleaded guilty to multiple criminal charges for running two illegal websites that helped cyber criminals commit more than $20 million in credit card fraud. The first website Burkov operated was an online marketplace for buying and selling stolen credit card and debit card numbers—called Cardplanet —which roughly hosted 150,000 payment card details between the years 2009 and 2013. Cardplanet marketplace offered stolen payment card details for anywhere between $2.50 and $10 a card, depending on the card type, country of origin, and the availability of card owner information. The carding website even offered a paid service that allowed buyers to instantly verify if a stolen payment card were still valid. "Many of the cards offered for sale belonged to U.S. citizens. The stolen credit card data from more than 150,000 compromised payment cards was allegedly sold on Burkov's site and
Hacker Who Tried to Blackmail Apple for $100,000 Sentenced in London

Hacker Who Tried to Blackmail Apple for $100,000 Sentenced in London

December 21, 2019Wang Wei
A 22-year-old man who claimed to have access to over 300 million iCloud accounts and threatened to factory reset all accounts unless Apple pays ransom has pleaded guilty in London for trying to blackmail Apple. In March 2017, Kerem Albayrak from North London claimed to be a spokesman for a hacking group called the " Turkish Crime Family " and in possession of 319 million iCloud accounts. Albayrak gave Apple a deadline until April 7, 2017, to pay up $75,000 in crypto-currency or $100,000 worth of iTunes gift cards in return for deleting the copy of stolen database, the U.K. National Crime Agency said in a statement , calling the blackmailer a "fame-hungry cyber-criminal." However, if the company failed to meet his demands, Albayrak threatened that he would start remotely wiping the victim's Apple devices, factory reset iCloud accounts, and dump the stolen database online. In late March 2017, the NCA's National Cyber Crime Unit arrested Albayrak at
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