#1 Trusted Cybersecurity News Platform Followed by 4.50+ million
The Hacker News Logo
Get the Free Newsletter
SaaS Security

Cyber Crime | Breaking Cybersecurity News | The Hacker News

Fenix Cybercrime Group Poses as Tax Authorities to Target Latin American Users

Fenix Cybercrime Group Poses as Tax Authorities to Target Latin American Users

Jul 26, 2023 Online Security / Malware
Tax-paying individuals in Mexico and Chile have been targeted by a Mexico-based cybercrime group that goes by the name  Fenix  to breach targeted networks and steal valuable data. A key hallmark of the operation entails cloning official portals of the Servicio de Administración Tributaria (SAT) in Mexico and the Servicio de Impuestos Internos (SII) in Chile and redirecting potential victims to those sites.  "These fake websites prompt users to download a supposed security tool, claiming it will enhance their portal navigation safety," Metabase Q security researchers Gerardo Corona and Julio Vidal  said  in a recent analysis. "However, unbeknownst to the victims, this download actually installs the initial stage of malware, ultimately enabling the theft of sensitive information such as credentials." The goal of Fenix, according to the Latin America-focused cybersecurity firm, is to act as an initial access broker and get a foothold into different companies in t
Owner of BreachForums Pleads Guilty to Cybercrime and Child Pornography Charges

Owner of BreachForums Pleads Guilty to Cybercrime and Child Pornography Charges

Jul 18, 2023 Cybercrime / Data Breach
Conor Brian Fitzpatrick , the owner of the now-defunct BreachForums website, has pleaded guilty to charges related to his operation of the cybercrime forum as well as having child pornography images. The development,  first reported  by DataBreaches.net last week, comes nearly four months after Fitzpatrick (aka pompompurin) was  formally charged  in the U.S. with conspiracy to commit access device fraud and possession of child pornography. BreachForums, launched in March 2022, operated as an illegal marketplace that allowed its members to trade hacked or stolen databases, enabling other criminal actors to gain unauthorized access to target systems. It was shut down in March 2023 shortly after  Fitzpatrick's arrest  in New York. As many as 888 databases consisting of 14 billion individual records are estimated to have been found in total. The forum had over 333,000 members prior to its takedown. "The purpose of BreachForums, and Fitzpatrick's intent in operating the f
Cybersecurity Tactics FinServ Institutions Can Bank On in 2024

Cybersecurity Tactics FinServ Institutions Can Bank On in 2024

Feb 14, 2024Financial Security / Cyber Threats
The landscape of cybersecurity in financial services is undergoing a rapid transformation. Cybercriminals are exploiting advanced technologies and methodologies, making traditional security measures obsolete. The challenges are compounded for community banks that must safeguard sensitive financial data against the same level of sophisticated threats as larger institutions, but often with more limited resources. The FinServ Threat Landscape Recent trends show an alarming increase in sophisticated cyber-attacks. Cybercriminals now deploy advanced techniques like deep fake technology and AI-powered attacks, making it increasingly difficult for banks to differentiate between legitimate and malicious activities. These developments necessitate a shift towards more sophisticated and adaptive cybersecurity measures. Take these industry statistics, for example. Financial firms report 703 cyberattack attempts per week.1 On average, 270 attacks (entailing unauthorized access of data, appl
INTERPOL Nabs Hacking Crew OPERA1ER's Leader Behind $11 Million Cybercrime

INTERPOL Nabs Hacking Crew OPERA1ER's Leader Behind $11 Million Cybercrime

Jul 06, 2023 Cyber Crime / Hacking
A suspected senior member of a French-speaking hacking crew known as OPERA1ER has been arrested as part of an international law enforcement operation codenamed Nervone, Interpol has announced. "The group is believed to have stolen an estimated USD 11 million -- potentially as much as 30 million -- in more than 30 attacks across 15 countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America," the agency  said . The arrest was made by authorities in Côte d'Ivoire early last month. Additional insight was provided by the U.S. Secret Service's Criminal Investigative Division and Booz Allen Hamilton DarkLabs. The financially motivated collective is also known by the aliases Common Raven, DESKTOP-GROUP, and NX$M$. Its modus operandi was  first exposed  by Group-IB and Orange CERT Coordination Center (Orange-CERT-CC) in November 2022, detailing its intrusions on banks, financial services, and telecom companies between March 2018 and October 2022. Earlier this January, Broadcom's S
cyber security

The Critical State of AI in the Cloud

websiteWiz.ioArtificial Intelligence / Cloud Security
Wiz Research reveals the explosive growth of AI adoption and what 150,000+ cloud accounts revealed about the AI surge.
Mexico-Based Hacker Targets Global Banks with Android Malware

Mexico-Based Hacker Targets Global Banks with Android Malware

Jul 04, 2023 Cyber Crime / Mobile Security
An e-crime actor of Mexican provenance has been linked to an Android mobile malware campaign targeting financial institutions globally, but with a specific focus on Spanish and Chilean banks, from June 2021 to April 2023. The activity is being attributed to an actor codenamed  Neo_Net , according to security researcher Pol Thill. The findings were published by SentinelOne following a Malware Research Challenge in collaboration with vx-underground. "Despite using relatively unsophisticated tools, Neo_Net has achieved a high success rate by tailoring their infrastructure to specific targets, resulting in the theft of over 350,000 EUR from victims' bank accounts and compromising Personally Identifiable Information (PII) of thousands of victims," Thill  said . Some of the major targets include banks such as Santander, BBVA, CaixaBank, Deutsche Bank, Crédit Agricole, and ING. Neo_Net, linked to a Spanish-speaking actor residing in Mexico, has established themselves as a
20-Year-Old Russian LockBit Ransomware Affiliate Arrested in Arizona

20-Year-Old Russian LockBit Ransomware Affiliate Arrested in Arizona

Jun 16, 2023 Ransomware / Cyber Crime
The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) on Thursday unveiled charges against a Russian national for his alleged involvement in deploying LockBit ransomware to targets in the U.S., Asia, Europe, and Africa. Ruslan Magomedovich Astamirov, 20, of Chechen Republic has been accused of perpetrating at least five attacks between August 2020 and March 2023. He was arrested in the state of Arizona last month. "Astamirov allegedly participated in a conspiracy with other members of the LockBit ransomware campaign to commit wire fraud and to intentionally damage protected computers and make ransom demands through the use and deployment of ransomware," the DoJ  said . Astamirov, as part of his LockBit-related activities, managed various email addresses, IP addresses, and other online accounts to deploy the ransomware and communicate with the victims. Law enforcement agencies said they were able to trace a chunk of an unnamed victim's ransom payment to a virtual currency address operated by Astam
U.K. Fraudster Behind iSpoof Scam Receives 13-Year Jail Term for Cyber Crimes

U.K. Fraudster Behind iSpoof Scam Receives 13-Year Jail Term for Cyber Crimes

May 22, 2023 Cyber Crime / Hacking
A U.K. national responsible for his role as the administrator of the now-defunct  iSpoof  online phone number spoofing service has been sentenced to 13 years and 4 months in prison. Tejay Fletcher, 35, of Western Gateway, London, was awarded the sentence on May 18, 2023. He  pleaded guilty  last month to a number of cyber offenses, including facilitating fraud and possessing and transferring criminal property. iSpoof , which was available as a paid service, allowed fraudsters to mask their phone numbers and masquerade as representatives from banks, tax offices, and other official bodies to defraud victims. The help desk scam purported to warn targets of suspicious activity on their accounts and tricked them into disclosing sensitive financial information or transferring money to accounts under the threat actor's control. According to the U.K. Metropolitan Police, the criminals assumed false identities as representatives of various banks such as Barclays, Santander, HSBC, Lloy
U.S. Offers $10 Million Bounty for Capture of Notorious Russian Ransomware Operator

U.S. Offers $10 Million Bounty for Capture of Notorious Russian Ransomware Operator

May 17, 2023 Cyber Crime / Ransomware
A Russian national has been charged and indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) for launching ransomware attacks against "thousands of victims" in the country and across the world. Mikhail Pavlovich Matveev  (aka  Wazawaka , m1x, Boriselcin, and Uhodiransomwar), the 30-year-old individual in question, is alleged to be a "central figure" in the development and deployment of  LockBit ,  Babuk , and  Hive  ransomware variants since at least June 2020. "These victims include law enforcement and other government agencies, hospitals, and schools," DoJ  said . "Total ransom demands allegedly made by the members of these three global ransomware campaigns to their victims amount to as much as $400 million, while total victim ransom payments amount to as much as $200 million." LockBit, Babuk, and Hive operate alike, leveraging unlawfully obtained access to exfiltrate valuable data and deploy ransomware on compromised networks. The threat actor
Mastermind Behind Twitter 2020 Hack Pleads Guilty and Faces up to 70 Years in Prison

Mastermind Behind Twitter 2020 Hack Pleads Guilty and Faces up to 70 Years in Prison

May 10, 2023 Cyber Crime / Social Media
A U.K. national has pleaded guilty in the U.S. in connection with the July 2020 Twitter attack affecting numerous high-profile accounts and defrauding other users of the platform. Joseph James O'Connor, who also went by the online alias PlugwalkJoe , admitted to "his role in cyberstalking and multiple schemes that involve computer hacking, including the July 2020 hack of Twitter," the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) said. The 23-year-old individual was extradited from Spain on April 26 after the Spanish National Court, in February,  approved  the DoJ request to hand over O'Connor to face 14 criminal charges in the U.S. The  massive hack , which took place on July 15, 2020, involved O'Connor and his co-conspirators seizing control of 130 Twitter accounts, including those belonging to Barack Obama, Bill Gates, and Elon Musk, to perpetrate a cryptocurrency scam that netted them $120,000 in a few hours. The attack was made possible by using social engineering te
U.S. Authorities Seize 13 Domains Offering Criminal DDoS-for-Hire Services

U.S. Authorities Seize 13 Domains Offering Criminal DDoS-for-Hire Services

May 09, 2023 Cyber Crime / DDoS Attack
U.S. authorities have announced the seizure of 13 internet domains that offered DDoS-for-hire services to other criminal actors. The takedown is part of an ongoing international initiative dubbed  Operation PowerOFF  that's aimed at dismantling criminal DDoS-for-hire infrastructures worldwide. The development comes almost five months after a "sweep" in December 2022  dismantled 48 similar services  for abetting paying users to launch distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks against targets of interest. This includes school districts, universities, financial institutions, and government websites, according to the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ). Ten of the 13 illicit domains seized are "reincarnations" of booter or stresser services that were previously shuttered towards the end of last year. "In recent years, booter services have continued to proliferate, as they offer a low barrier to entry for users looking to engage in cybercriminal activity,
Cyber Police of Ukraine Busted Phishing Gang Responsible for $4.33 Million Scam

Cyber Police of Ukraine Busted Phishing Gang Responsible for $4.33 Million Scam

Mar 31, 2023 Cyber Crime / Hacking News
The Cyber Police of Ukraine, in collaboration with law enforcement officials from Czechia, has arrested several members of a cybercriminal gang that set up phishing sites to target European users. Two of the apprehended affiliates are believed to be organizers, with 10 others detained in other territories across the European Union. The suspects are alleged to have created more than 100 phishing portals aimed at users in France, Spain, Poland, Czechia, Portugal, and other nations in the region. These websites masqueraded as online portals offering heavily discounted products below market prices to lure unsuspecting users into placing fake "orders." In reality, the financial information entered on those websites to complete the payments were used to siphon money from the victims' accounts. "For the fraudulent scheme, the participants also created two call centers, in Vinnytsia and in Lviv, and involved operators in their work," the Cyber Police  said . &quo
20-Year-Old BreachForums Founder Faces Up to 5 Years in Prison

20-Year-Old BreachForums Founder Faces Up to 5 Years in Prison

Mar 27, 2023 Cyber Crime / Data Breach
Conor Brian Fitzpatrick, the 20-year-old founder and the administrator of the now-defunct BreachForums has been  formally charged  in the U.S. with conspiracy to commit access device fraud. If proven guilty, Fitzpatrick, who went by the online moniker "pompompurin," faces a maximum penalty of up to five years in prison. He was  arrested  on March 15, 2023. "Cybercrime victimizes and steals financial and personal information from millions of innocent people," said U.S. Attorney Jessica D. Aber for the Eastern District of Virginia. "This arrest sends a direct message to cybercriminals: your exploitative and illegal conduct will be discovered, and you will be brought to justice." The development comes days after Baphomet, the individual who had taken over the responsibilities of BreachForums,  shut down the website , citing concerns that law enforcement may have obtained access to its backend. The Department of Justice (DoJ) has since confirmed that it co
U.K. National Crime Agency Sets Up Fake DDoS-For-Hire Sites to Catch Cybercriminals

U.K. National Crime Agency Sets Up Fake DDoS-For-Hire Sites to Catch Cybercriminals

Mar 25, 2023 Cyber Crime / DDoS Attack
In what's a case of setting a thief to catch a thief, the U.K. National Crime Agency (NCA) revealed that it has created a network of fake DDoS-for-hire websites to infiltrate the online criminal underground. "All of the NCA-run sites, which have so far been accessed by around several thousand people, have been created to look like they offer the tools and services that enable cyber criminals to execute these attacks," the law enforcement agency  said . "However, after users register, rather than being given access to cyber crime tools, their data is collated by investigators." The effort is part of an ongoing international joint effort called Operation PowerOFF in collaboration with authorities from the U.S., the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, and Europol aimed at dismantling criminal DDoS-for-hire infrastructures worldwide. DDoS-for-hire (aka "Booter" or "Stresser") services rent out access to a network of infected devices to other crim
BreachForums Administrator Baphomet Shuts Down Infamous Hacking Forum

BreachForums Administrator Baphomet Shuts Down Infamous Hacking Forum

Mar 22, 2023 Cyber Crime / Hacking
In a sudden turn of events, Baphomet, the current administrator of BreachForums, said in an update on March 21, 2023, that the hacking forum has been officially taken down but emphasized that "it's not the end." "You are allowed to hate me, and disagree with my decision but I promise what is to come will be better for us all," Baphomet noted in a message posted on the BreachForums Telegram channel. The  shutdown  is suspected to have been prompted by suspicions that law enforcement may have obtained access to the site's configurations, source code, and information about the forum's users. The development follows the  arrest of its administrator  Conor Brian Fitzpatrick (aka "pompompurin"), who has been charged with a single count of conspiracy to commit access device fraud. Over the past few months, BreachForums filled the void left by RaidForums last year, becoming a lucrative destination to purchase and sell stolen databases from variou
Pompompurin Unmasked: Infamous BreachForums Mastermind Arrested in New York

Pompompurin Unmasked: Infamous BreachForums Mastermind Arrested in New York

Mar 18, 2023 Cyber Crime / Data Breach
U.S. law enforcement authorities have arrested a 21-year-old New York man in connection with running the infamous BreachForums hacking forum under the online alias " Pompompurin ." The development, first reported by  Bloomberg Law , comes after News 12 Westchester, earlier this week, said that federal investigators "spent hours inside and outside of a home in Peekskill." "At one point, investigators were seen removing several bags of evidence from the house," the New York-based local news service  added . According  to an  affidavit  filed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the suspect identified himself as Conor Brian Fitzpatrick and admitted to being the owner of the BreachForums website. "When I arrested the defendant on March 15, 2023, he stated to me in substance and in part that: a) his name was Conor Brian Fitzpatrick; b) he used the alias 'pompompurin,' and c) he was the owner and administrator of 'BreachForums,&#
Dutch Police Arrest 3 Hackers Involved in Massive Data Theft and Extortion Scheme

Dutch Police Arrest 3 Hackers Involved in Massive Data Theft and Extortion Scheme

Feb 27, 2023
The Dutch police announced the arrest of three individuals in connection with a "large-scale" criminal operation involving data theft, extortion, and money laundering. The suspects include two 21-year-old men from Zandvoort and Rotterdam and an 18-year-old man without a permanent residence. The arrests were made on January 23, 2023. It's estimated that the hackers stole personal data belonging to tens of millions of individuals. This comprised names, addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, bank account numbers, credit cards, passwords, license plates, social security numbers, and passport details. The Politie said its cybercrime team started the investigation nearly two years ago, in March 2021, after a large Dutch company suffered a security breach. The name of the company was not disclosed but some of the firms that were hit by a cyber attack around that time included  RDC ,  Shell , and  Ticketcounter , the last of which was also a victim of an extortion att
U.K. and U.S. Sanction 7 Russians for TrickBot, Ryuk, and Conti Ransomware Attacks

U.K. and U.S. Sanction 7 Russians for TrickBot, Ryuk, and Conti Ransomware Attacks

Feb 10, 2023 Ransomware / Endpoint Security
In a first-of-its-kind coordinated action, the U.K. and U.S. governments on Thursday levied sanctions against seven Russian nationals for their affiliation to the TrickBot, Ryuk, and Conti cybercrime operation. The individuals  designated  under sanctions are Vitaly Kovalev (aka Alex Konor, Bentley, or Bergen), Maksim Mikhailov (aka Baget), Valentin Karyagin (aka Globus), Mikhail Iskritskiy (aka Tropa), Dmitry Pleshevskiy (aka Iseldor), Ivan Vakhromeyev (aka Mushroom), and Valery Sedletski (aka Strix). "Current members of the TrickBot group are associated with Russian Intelligence Services," the U.S. Treasury Department  noted . "The TrickBot group's preparations in 2020 aligned them to Russian state objectives and targeting previously conducted by Russian Intelligence Services." TrickBot, which is attributed to a threat actor named ITG23, Gold Blackburn, and Wizard Spider, emerged in 2016 as a derivative of the Dyre banking trojan and evolved into a  highly
Encrypted Messaging App Exclu Used by Criminal Groups Cracked by Joint Law Enforcement

Encrypted Messaging App Exclu Used by Criminal Groups Cracked by Joint Law Enforcement

Feb 07, 2023 Encryption / Privacy
A joint law enforcement operation conducted by Germany, the Netherlands, and Poland has cracked yet another encrypted messaging application named  Exclu  used by organized crime groups. Eurojust, in a press statement,  said  the February 3 exercise resulted in the arrests of 45 individuals across Belgium and the Netherlands, some of whom include users as well as the administrators and owners of the service, Authorities also launched raids in 79 locations, leading to the seizure of €5.5 million in cash, 300,000 ecstasy tablets, 20 firearms, and 200 phones. Two drug laboratories have further been shut down. Investigation into Exlcu is said to have commenced in Germany as far back as June 2020. The application, prior to its takedown, had an estimated 3,000 users, of which 750 are Dutch speakers. The Politie, in an announcement of its own, noted that it was able to gain covert access to the service, permitting the agency to read messages sent by its users for the past five months. &
Experts Uncover the Identity of Mastermind Behind Golden Chickens Malware Service

Experts Uncover the Identity of Mastermind Behind Golden Chickens Malware Service

Jan 27, 2023 Threat Response / Cyber Crime
Cybersecurity researchers have discovered the real-world identity of the threat actor behind  Golden Chickens  malware-as-a-service, who goes by the online persona "badbullzvenom." eSentire's Threat Response Unit (TRU), in an exhaustive report published following a 16-month-long investigation,  said  it "found multiple mentions of the badbullzvenom account being shared between two people." The threat actor, known online as Frapstar and badbullzvenom, is said to identify themselves as "Chuck from Montreal," enabling the cybersecurity firm to piece together the criminal actor's digital footprint. This includes his real name, pictures, home address, the names of his parents, siblings, and friends, along with his social media accounts and his interests. He is also said to be the sole proprietor of a small business that's run from his own home. Golden Chickens, also known as  Venom Spider , is a malware-as-a-service (MaaS) provider that's
The Era of Cyber Threat Intelligence Sharing

The Era of Cyber Threat Intelligence Sharing

Dec 22, 2022 Threat Intelligence / Cyber Risk
We spent forty years defending ourselves as individuals. Trying to outsmart cybercriminals, outpower them, and when all our efforts failed, only then we considered banding together with our peers to outnumber them. Cybercriminals don't reinvent themselves each time. Their resources are limited, and they have a limited budget. Therefore they use playbooks to attack many people. Meaning most of the attacks are known to people and not innovative. Yet, all we hear about is one breach after another despite hundreds of millions of dollars being thrown into the industry. So if we know that teaming up and sharing information is the key, why aren't security vendors doing it? It's simple. Vendors don't want to give it to you; they want to sell it to you. Cyber Threat Intelligence: A better way to fight cybercrime  As the internet continues to expand and connect more people and devices than ever before, the need for effective cyber threat intelligence sharing has never been g
Interpol Seized $130 Million from Cybercriminals in Global "HAECHI-III" Crackdown Operation

Interpol Seized $130 Million from Cybercriminals in Global "HAECHI-III" Crackdown Operation

Nov 25, 2022
Interpol on Thursday  announced  the seizure of $130 million worth of virtual assets in connection with a global crackdown on cyber-enabled financial crimes and money laundering. The international police operation, dubbed  HAECHI-III , transpired between June 28 and November 23, 2022, resulting in the arrests of 975 individuals and the closure of more than 1,600 cases. This comprised two fugitives wanted by South Korea for their supposed involvement in a Ponzi scheme to embezzle €28 million from 2,000 victims. Another instance pertained to a call center scam based out of India, wherein a group of criminals impersonated Interpol and Europol officers to trick victims in Austria into transferring funds. The call centers operated from New Delhi and Noida. The illegal activity informed the victims that their "identities were stolen and crime pertaining to narcotics drugs were committed in their names," forcing them to make a money transfer. "In order to clear themselve
Cybersecurity Resources