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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
U.S. Charges 9 'SIM Swapping' Attackers For Stealing $2.5 Million

U.S. Charges 9 'SIM Swapping' Attackers For Stealing $2.5 Million

May 10, 2019Mohit Kumar
The U.S. Department of Justice today announced charges against nine individuals, 6 of which are members of a hacking group called "The Community" and other 3 are former employees of mobile phone providers who allegedly helped them steal roughly $2.5 million worth of the cryptocurrency using a method known as "SIM Swapping." According to the 15-count indictment unsealed today, five Americans and an Irishman related to The Community hacking group are charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, as well as wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. Another three Americans, who reportedly are the former employees of mobile phone providers, are charged in a criminal complaint with the wire fraud. SIM Swapping , or SIM Hijacking , is a type of identity theft that typically involves fraudulently porting of the same number to a new SIM card belonging to the attacker. In SIM swapping, attackers social engineer a victim's mobile phone provider by convincing it
Israel Neutralizes Cyber Attack by Blowing Up A Building With Hackers

Israel Neutralizes Cyber Attack by Blowing Up A Building With Hackers

May 06, 2019Mohit Kumar
The Israel Defense Force (IDF) claims to have neutralized an "attempted" cyber attack by launching airstrikes on a building in Gaza Strip from where it says the attack was originated. As shown in a video tweeted by IDF, the building in the Gaza Strip, which Israeli fighter drones have now destroyed, was reportedly the headquarters for Palestinian Hamas military intelligence, from where a cyber unit of hackers was allegedly trying to penetrate Israel's cyberspace. "We thwarted an attempted Hamas cyber offensive against Israeli targets. Following our successful cyber defensive operation, we targeted a building where the Hamas cyber operatives work. HamasCyberHQ.exe has been removed," said the Israeli Defence Forces on Twitter. However, the Israel Defense Force has not shared any information about the attempted cyber attack by the Hamas group, saying it would reveal the country's cyber capabilities. According to Judah Ari Gross of Times of Israel ,
Europol Now Going After People Who Bought DDoS-for-Hire Services

Europol Now Going After People Who Bought DDoS-for-Hire Services

January 29, 2019Swati Khandelwal
If you were a buyer of any online DDoS-for-hire service, you might be in trouble. After taking down and arresting the operators of the world's biggest DDoS-for-hire service last year, the authorities are now in hunt for customers who bought the service that helped cyber criminals launch millions of attacks against several banks, government institutions, and gaming industry. Europol has announced that British police are conducting a number of live operations worldwide to track down the users of the infamous Webstresser.org service that the authorities dismantled in April 2018. Launched in 2015, Webstresser let its customers rent the service for about £10 to launch Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks against their targets with little to no technical knowledge, which resulted in more than 4 million DDoS attacks. According to the Europol announcement published on Monday, the agency gained access to the accounts of over 151,000 registered Webstresser users last yea
Police Shut Down xDedic – An Online Market for Cyber Criminals

Police Shut Down xDedic – An Online Market for Cyber Criminals

January 29, 2019Mohit Kumar
In an international operation involving law enforcement authorities from the U.S. and several European countries, feds have shut down an online underground marketplace and arrested three suspects in Ukraine. Dubbed xDedic, the illegal online marketplace let cybercriminals buy, sell or rent out access to thousands of hacked computers and servers across the world and personally identifiable information of U.S. residents. The underground website had been around for years with its administrators strategically maintaining and concealing the locations of its servers all over the world to facilitate the operation of the underground site. xDedic offered buyers to search for over 176,000 unique compromised servers—which were usually in the form of credentials for compromised Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) accounts—from around the world by price, operating system, or even their geographic location from where it was stolen. xDedic impacted victims in multiple industries, "including
FBI Seizes 15 DDoS-For-Hire Websites, 3 Operators Charged

FBI Seizes 15 DDoS-For-Hire Websites, 3 Operators Charged

December 21, 2018Swati Khandelwal
The FBI just saved the Christmas. The U.S. Justice Department announced earlier today that the FBI has seized domains of 15 "DDoS-for-hire" websites and charged three individuals running some of these services. DDoS-for-hire , or "Booter" or "Stresser," services rent out access to a network of infected devices, which then can be used by anyone, even the least tech-savvy individual, to launch distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks against any website and disrupt its access. In recent years, multiple hacking groups ruined Christmas Day for millions of gamers by taking down PlayStation, Xbox networks and other gaming servers using massive DDoS attacks. "Booter services such as those named in this action allegedly cause attacks on a wide array of victims in the United States and abroad, including financial institutions, universities, internet service providers, government systems, and various gaming platforms," the DoJ said. &qu
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
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
French Dark-Web Drug Dealer Sentenced to 20 Years in US Prison

French Dark-Web Drug Dealer Sentenced to 20 Years in US Prison

October 11, 2018Swati Khandelwal
A dark web drugs kingpin who was arrested last year when he arrived in the United States to compete in the World Beard and Mustache Championships has now been sentenced to 20 years in prison. On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Robert N. Scola sentenced 36-year-old French national Gal Vallerius, aka "OxyMonster," after pleading guilty to conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute controlled substances and conspiracy to launder money in June this year. According to a press release published by the U.S. Department of Justice, Vallerius was an administrator, senior moderator and vendor on Dream Market —one of the largest dark web marketplaces for illegal narcotics and drug paraphernalia. Launched in November 2013, Dream Market began operating on the TOR "dark web" network and was designed to make it easier for people to anonymously buy and sell illegal items and services in exchange for Bitcoin and other peer-to-peer cryptocurrencies. Vallerius initi
19-Year-Old Hacker Arrested Over Making Hoax School and Flight Bomb Threats

19-Year-Old Hacker Arrested Over Making Hoax School and Flight Bomb Threats

September 06, 2018Mohit Kumar
British police have arrested a 19-year-old teen who is an alleged member of Apophis Squad cybercriminal group responsible for making hoax bomb threats to thousands of schools and airlines; and DDoSing ProtonMail and Tutanota secure email services. George Duke-Cohan was arrested in his bedroom at his family home in Watford by British National Crime Agency (NCA) on 31st August and pledged guilty to three counts of making bomb threats to schools and airlines in Luton Magistrates' Court on Monday. Duke-Cohan spammed out more than 24,000 emails to schools across the UK and in the US as well, claiming that pipe bombs had been planted on the premises, which would blow up the building if $5,000 extortion money was not made within 3 hours. He Got Arrested Third-Time For Making Hoax Bomb Threats This is not the first time Duke-Cohan has been arrested for spreading fake bomb threats. He first created panic in March this year when he emailed thousands of schools in the UK warnin
Cybercriminals Hijack Router DNS to Distribute Android Banking Trojan

Cybercriminals Hijack Router DNS to Distribute Android Banking Trojan

April 16, 2018Swati Khandelwal
Security researchers have been warning about an ongoing malware campaign hijacking Internet routers to distribute Android banking malware that steals users' sensitive information, login credentials and the secret code for two-factor authentication. In order to trick victims into installing the Android malware, dubbed Roaming Mantis , hackers have been hijacking DNS settings on vulnerable and poorly secured routers . DNS hijacking attack allows hackers to intercept traffic, inject rogue ads on web-pages and redirect users to phishing pages designed to trick them into sharing their sensitive information like login credentials, bank account details, and more. Hijacking routers' DNS for a malicious purpose is not new. Previously we reported about widespread DNSChanger and Switcher —both the malware worked by changing the DNS settings of the wireless routers to redirect traffic to malicious websites controlled by attackers. Discovered by security researchers at Kaspersk
'LeakTheAnalyst' Hacker Who Claimed to Have Hacked FireEye Arrested

'LeakTheAnalyst' Hacker Who Claimed to Have Hacked FireEye Arrested

November 02, 2017Wang Wei
Remember the hacker who claimed to have breached FireEye late July this year? That alleged hacker has been arrested and taken into custody Thursday by international law enforcement, FireEye CEO Kevin Mandia informed the media. Late July, the hacker, whose name has not yet been disclosed, managed to hack the personal online accounts of a ‎Senior Threat Intelligence Analyst at Mandiant—a Virginia-based cybersecurity firm owned by the FireEye—and leaked nearly 32 megabytes of data belonging to Peretz. At that time, the hacker claimed that he had started #LeakTheAnalyst operation that aimed at doxing the security analysts who hunt hackers. The hacker also claimed to have had complete access to the company's internal networks since 2016. "Let's trash their reputation in the field," the hacker said. "It was fun to be inside a giant company named “Mandiant” we enjoyed watching how they try to protect their clients and how their dumb analysts are trying to reve
Hackers Steal $60 Million from Taiwanese Bank; Two Suspects Arrested

Hackers Steal $60 Million from Taiwanese Bank; Two Suspects Arrested

October 11, 2017Wang Wei
A Taiwanese bank has become the latest to fall victim to hackers siphoning off millions of dollars by targeting the backbone of the world financial system, SWIFT. SWIFT, or Society for Worldwide Interbank Telecommunication, is a global financial messaging system that thousands of banks and commercial organizations across the world use to transfer billions of dollars every day. Hackers reportedly last week managed to steal almost $60 Million from Far Eastern International Bank in Taiwan by planting malware on the bank's servers and through the SWIFT interbank banking system. According to Taiwanese state-owned news agency Central News Agency, most of the stolen money has now been recovered, with only $500,000 remaining, and authorities have made two arrests in connection with the bank cyber-heist. Far Eastern on Friday admitted that some unknown hackers managed to install malware on computers and servers within its organization, and most crucially, onto a SWIFT terminal emplo
APT33: Researchers Expose Iranian Hacking Group Linked to Destructive Malware

APT33: Researchers Expose Iranian Hacking Group Linked to Destructive Malware

September 20, 2017Swati Khandelwal
Security researchers have recently uncovered a cyber espionage group targeting aerospace, defence and energy organisations in the United States, Saudi Arabia and South Korea. According to the latest research published Wednesday by US security firm FireEye, an Iranian hacking group that it calls Advanced Persistent Threat 33 (or APT33) has been targeting critical infrastructure, energy and military sectors since at least 2013 as part of a massive cyber-espionage operation to gather intelligence and steal trade secrets. The security firm also says it has evidence that APT33 works on behalf of Iran's government. FireEye researchers have spotted cyber attacks aimed by APT33 since at least May 2016 and found that the group has successfully targeted aviation sector—both military and commercial—as well as organisations in the energy sector with a link to petrochemical. The APT33 victims include a U.S. firm in the aerospace sector, a Saudi Arabian business conglomerate with avi
Hacker Who Hacked US Spy Chief, FBI & CIA Director Gets 5-Year in Prison

Hacker Who Hacked US Spy Chief, FBI & CIA Director Gets 5-Year in Prison

September 09, 2017Wang Wei
Remember " Crackas With Attitude "? The hacking group behind a series of embarrassing hacks that targeted personal email accounts of senior officials at the FBI, the CIA, and the White House, among other United States federal agencies in 2015. A member of Crackas With Attitude , who was arrested last year in September, has now been sentenced to five years in federal prison. Justin Liverman, a 25-year-old man from Morehead City, who was known under the online alias "D3F4ULT," was arrested last year along with another member of the group—Andrew Otto Boggs, 23, of North Wilkesboro, who allegedly used the handle "INCURSIO." The duo hacked into multiple government organizations between October 2015 and February 2016. Boggs was sentenced to two years in prison on June 30, 2017, for his role. Liverman pleaded guilty on January 6 this year to conspiracy to hack U.S. government computers and accounts and was sentenced to 5 years in prison on Friday.
Marcus Hutchins (MalwareTech) Gets $30,000 Bail, But Can't Leave United States

Marcus Hutchins (MalwareTech) Gets $30,000 Bail, But Can't Leave United States

August 05, 2017Swati Khandelwal
Marcus Hutchins, the malware analyst who helped stop global Wannacry menace , has reportedly pleaded not guilty to charges of creating and distributing the infamous Kronos banking malware and is set to release on $30,000 bail on Monday. Hutchins, the 23-year-old who operates under the alias MalwareTech on Twitter, stormed to fame and hailed as a hero over two months ago when he stopped a global epidemic of the WannaCry ransomware attack by finding a kill switch in the malware code. MalwareTech Arrested After Attending Def Con Event Hutchins was recently arrested at the McCarran International Airport before he could board his flight back to the U.K. after attending Def Con event for his alleged role in creating and distributing the Kronos Banking Trojan between 2014-2015. Kronos is a Banking Trojan designed to steal banking credentials and personal information from victims' computers, which was sold for $7,000 on Russian online forums. MalwareTech to Pay $30,000 for
Creator of NanoCore RAT Pleads Guilty to Aiding CyberCriminals

Creator of NanoCore RAT Pleads Guilty to Aiding CyberCriminals

July 27, 2017Swati Khandelwal
A programmer who was arrested in March this year—not because he hacked someone, but because he created and distributed a remote access software that helped cyber criminals—has finally pleaded guilty. Taylor Huddleston , 26, of Hot Springs, Arkansas, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to federal charges of aiding and abetting computer intrusions for intentionally selling a remote access tool (RAT), called NanoCore, to hackers. NanoCore RAT happens to be popular among hackers and has been linked to instructions in at least 10 countries, among them was a high-profile assault on Middle Eastern energy firms in 2015. NanoCore RAT, a $25 piece of remote access software, allows attackers to steal sensitive information from victim computers, such as passwords, emails, and instant messages. The RAT could even secretly activate the webcam on the victims' computers in order to spy on them. Huddleston began developing NanoCore in late 2012, not with any malicious purpose, but with a motive to o
Gang Behind Fireball Malware that Infected 250 Million PCs Busted by Police

Gang Behind Fireball Malware that Infected 250 Million PCs Busted by Police

July 26, 2017Mohit Kumar
Chinese authorities have recently initiated a crackdown on the operators of a massive adware campaign that infected around 250 Million computers , including Windows and Mac OS, across the world earlier this year. The adware campaign was uncovered by security researchers at Check Point last month after it already infected over 25 million computers in India, 24 million in Brazil, 16 million in Mexico, 13 million in Indonesia and 5.5 million in the United States. Dubbed Fireball , the infamous adware comes bundled with other free legitimate software that you download off the Internet. Once installed, the malware installs browser plug-ins to manipulate the victim's web browser configurations and replace their default search engines and home pages with fake search engines. Far from legitimate purposes, Fireball has the ability to spy on victim's web traffic, execute malicious code on the infected computers, install plugins, and even perform efficient malware dropping, cr
AlphaBay Shut Down After Police Raid; Alleged Founder Commits Suicide in Jail

AlphaBay Shut Down After Police Raid; Alleged Founder Commits Suicide in Jail

July 14, 2017Swati Khandelwal
AlphaBay Market — one of the largest Dark Web marketplaces for drugs, guns, and other illegal goods — that mysteriously went dark earlier this month without any explanation from its admins has reportedly been shut down by the international authorities. On July 4th, the dark web marketplace suddenly went down without any explanation from its admins, which left its customers who have paid large sums in panic. Some customers even suspected that the site's admins had pulled an exit scam to steal user funds. However, according to the Wall Street Journal , the disappearance of the AlphaBay came after authorities in the United States, Canada, and Thailand collaborated to conduct a series of raids and arrest  Alexandre Cazes , who allegedly was one of the AlphaBay's operators. Citing "people familiar with the matter," the publication claims that Cazes, a resident of Canada, was arrested in Thailand and taken into custody in Bangkok on July 5th, the same day the
Russian Financial Cybercriminal Gets Over 9 Years In U.S. Prison

Russian Financial Cybercriminal Gets Over 9 Years In U.S. Prison

July 11, 2017Wang Wei
A 29-year-old Russian-born, Los Angeles resident has been sentenced to over nine years in prison for running botnets of half a million computers and stealing and trafficking tens of thousands of credit card numbers on exclusive Russian-speaking cybercriminal forums. Alexander Tverdokhlebov was arrested in February, pleaded guilty on March 31 to wire fraud and on Monday, a federal court sentenced him to 110 months in prison. According to court documents , Tverdokhlebov was an active member of several highly exclusive Russian-speaking cybercriminal forums largely engaged in money laundering services, selling stolen sensitive data, and malware tools since at least 2008. Tverdokhlebov offered several illegal services on these underground forums, including the exchange of tools, services and stolen personal and financial information. The hacker also operated several botnets – a network of compromised ordinary home and office computers that are controlled by hackers and can be us
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