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Ransomware Attacks Exploit VMware ESXi Vulnerabilities in Alarming Pattern

Ransomware Attacks Exploit VMware ESXi Vulnerabilities in Alarming Pattern
May 23, 2024 Ransomware / Virtualization
Ransomware attacks targeting VMware ESXi infrastructure follow an established pattern regardless of the file-encrypting malware deployed, new findings show. "Virtualization platforms are a core component of organizational IT infrastructure, yet they often suffer from inherent misconfigurations and vulnerabilities, making them a lucrative and highly effective target for threat actors to abuse," cybersecurity firm Sygnia  said  in a report shared with The Hacker News. The Israeli company, through its incident response efforts involving various ransomware families like LockBit, HelloKitty, BlackMatter, RedAlert (N13V), Scattered Spider, Akira, Cactus, BlackCat and Cheerscrypt, found that attacks on virtualization environments adhere to a similar sequence of actions. This includes the following steps - Obtaining initial access through phishing attacks, malicious file downloads, and exploitation of known vulnerabilities in internet-facing assets Escalating their privilege

New Frontiers, Old Tactics: Chinese Espionage Group Targets Africa & Caribbean Govts

New Frontiers, Old Tactics: Chinese Espionage Group Targets Africa & Caribbean Govts
May 23, 2024 Cyber Espionage / Network Security
The China-linked threat actor known as Sharp Panda has expanded their targeting to include governmental organizations in Africa and the Caribbean as part of an ongoing cyber espionage campaign. "The campaign adopts Cobalt Strike Beacon as the payload, enabling backdoor functionalities like C2 communication and command execution while minimizing the exposure of their custom tools," Check Point said in a report shared with The Hacker News. "This refined approach suggests a deeper understanding of their targets." The Israeli cybersecurity firm is tracking the activity under a new name  Sharp Dragon , describing the adversary as careful in its targeting, while at the same time broadening its reconnaissance efforts. The adversary  first came to light  in June 2021, when it was detected targeting a Southeast Asian government to deploy a backdoor on Windows systems dubbed VictoryDLL. Subsequent attacks mounted by Sharp Dragon have set their sights on high-profile gov

APT42 Hackers Pose as Journalists to Harvest Credentials and Access Cloud Data

APT42 Hackers Pose as Journalists to Harvest Credentials and Access Cloud Data
May 07, 2024 Cyber Espionage / Malware
The Iranian state-backed hacking outfit called  APT42  is making use of enhanced social engineering schemes to infiltrate target networks and cloud environments. Targets of the attack include Western and Middle Eastern NGOs, media organizations, academia, legal services and activists, Google Cloud subsidiary Mandiant said in a report published last week. "APT42 was observed  posing as journalists  and event organizers to build trust with their victims through ongoing correspondence, and to deliver invitations to conferences or legitimate documents," the company  said . "These social engineering schemes enabled APT42 to harvest credentials and use them to gain initial access to cloud environments. Subsequently, the threat actor covertly exfiltrated data of strategic interest to Iran, while relying on built-in features and open-source tools to avoid detection." APT42 (aka Damselfly and UNC788),  first documented  by the company in September 2022, is an Iranian st

Demonstrate Responsible AI: Get the ISO 42001 Compliance Checklist from Vanta

cyber security
websiteVantaCompliance / Security Audit
ISO 42001 helps organizations demonstrate trustworthy AI practices in accordance with global standards. With Vanta, completing the requirements for ISO 42001 compliance can be done in a fraction of the time. Download the checklist to get started.

Defending Your Commits From Known CVEs With GitGuardian SCA And Git Hooks

Defending Your Commits From Known CVEs With GitGuardian SCA And Git Hooks
May 20, 2024Software Security / Vulnerability
All developers want to create secure and dependable software. They should feel proud to release their code with the full confidence they did not introduce any weaknesses or anti-patterns into their applications. Unfortunately, developers are not writing their own code for the most part these days. 96% of all software contains some open-source components, and open-source components make up between  70% and 90% of any given piece of modern software . Unfortunately for our security-minded developers, most modern vulnerabilities come from those software components.  As new vulnerabilities emerge and are publicly reported as  Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures  (CVEs), security teams have little choice but to ask the developer to refactor the code to include different versions of the dependencies. Nobody is happy in this situation, as it blocks new features and can be maddening to roll back component versions and hope that nothing breaks. Developers need a way to  quickly  determine if

U.S. Treasury Sanctions Iranian Firms and Individuals Tied to Cyber Attacks

U.S. Treasury Sanctions Iranian Firms and Individuals Tied to Cyber Attacks
Apr 24, 2024 Cyber Attack / Cyber Espionage
The U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) on Monday sanctioned two firms and four individuals for their involvement in malicious cyber activities on behalf of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Cyber Electronic Command (IRGC-CEC) from at least 2016 to April 2021. This includes the front companies Mehrsam Andisheh Saz Nik (MASN) and Dadeh Afzar Arman (DAA), as well as the Iranian nationals Alireza Shafie Nasab, Reza Kazemifar Rahman, Hossein Mohammad Harooni, and Komeil Baradaran Salmani. "These actors targeted more than a dozen U.S. companies and government entities through cyber operations, including spear-phishing and malware attacks," the Treasury Department  said . Concurrent with the sanctions, the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ)  unsealed  an indictment against the four individuals for orchestrating cyber attacks targeting the U.S. government and private entities. Furthermore, a  reward of up to $10 million  has been an

CoralRaider Malware Campaign Exploits CDN Cache to Spread Info-Stealers

CoralRaider Malware Campaign Exploits CDN Cache to Spread Info-Stealers
Apr 24, 2024 Malware / Data Security
A new ongoing malware campaign has been observed distributing three different stealers, such as  CryptBot ,  LummaC2 , and  Rhadamanthys  hosted on Content Delivery Network (CDN) cache domains since at least February 2024. Cisco Talos has attributed the activity with moderate confidence to a threat actor tracked as  CoralRaider , a suspected Vietnamese-origin group that came to light earlier this month. This assessment is based on "several overlaps in tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) of CoralRaider's Rotbot campaign, including the initial attack vector of the Windows Shortcut file, intermediate PowerShell decryptor and payload download scripts, the FoDHelper technique used to bypass User Access Controls (UAC) of the victim machine," the company said. Targets of the campaign span various business verticals across geographies, including the U.S., Nigeria, Pakistan, Ecuador, Germany, Egypt, the U.K., Poland, the Philippines, Norway, Japan, Syria, and Turkey.

Webinar: Learn Proactive Supply Chain Threat Hunting Techniques

Webinar: Learn Proactive Supply Chain Threat Hunting Techniques
Apr 23, 2024 Threat Hunting / Software Security
In the high-stakes world of cybersecurity, the battleground has shifted. Supply chain attacks have emerged as a potent threat, exploiting the intricate web of interconnected systems and third-party dependencies to breach even the most formidable defenses. But what if you could turn the tables and proactively hunt these threats before they wreak havoc? We invite you to join us for an exclusive webinar that will equip you with the knowledge and strategies to stay ahead of the curve: " Supply Chain Under Siege: Unveiling Hidden Threats ." This comprehensive session, led by industry experts Rhys Arkins (VP of Product) and Jeffrey Martin (VP of Product Marketing), promises an in-depth exploration of the supply chain threat landscape. Brace yourself for a revelatory journey through: The Anatomy of Supply Chain Threats:  Gain a deep understanding of these insidious attacks, their far-reaching consequences, and the vulnerabilities they exploit. Proactive Threat Hunting Methodol

Unmasking the True Cost of Cyberattacks: Beyond Ransom and Recovery

Unmasking the True Cost of Cyberattacks: Beyond Ransom and Recovery
Apr 23, 2024 Regulatory Compliance / Penetration Testing
Cybersecurity breaches can be devastating for both individuals and businesses alike. While many people tend to focus on understanding how and why they were targeted by such breaches, there's a larger, more pressing question: What is the true financial impact of a cyberattack? According to research by Cybersecurity Ventures, the global cost of cybercrime is projected to reach an astonishing 10.5 trillion USD annually by 2025, which marks a dramatic increase from the 3 trillion USD reported in 2015. This sharp rise highlights a concerning trend: cybercriminals have significantly improved their methods for conducting sophisticated and successful cyberattacks over the years. According to research firm Cybersecurity Ventures, the cost of global cybercrime will reach a staggering 10.5 trillion USD annually by 2025, up from the 3 trillion USD that it was in 2015. It's clear, then, that these threat actors have found ways to pull off sophisticated and successful cyberattacks over the yea

ToddyCat Hacker Group Uses Advanced Tools for Industrial-Scale Data Theft

ToddyCat Hacker Group Uses Advanced Tools for Industrial-Scale Data Theft
Apr 22, 2024 Network Security / Endpoint Security
The threat actor known as  ToddyCat  has been observed using a wide range of tools to retain access to compromised environments and steal valuable data. Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky characterized the adversary as relying on various programs to harvest data on an "industrial scale" from primarily governmental organizations, some of them defense related, located in the Asia-Pacific region. "To collect large volumes of data from many hosts, attackers need to automate the data harvesting process as much as possible, and provide several alternative means to continuously access and monitor systems they attack," security researchers Andrey Gunkin, Alexander Fedotov, and Natalya Shornikova  said . ToddyCat was  first documented  by the company in June 2022 in connection with a series of cyber attacks aimed at government and military entities in Europe and Asia since at least December 2020. These intrusions leveraged a passive backdoor dubbed Samurai that allows 

Ransomware Double-Dip: Re-Victimization in Cyber Extortion

Ransomware Double-Dip: Re-Victimization in Cyber Extortion
Apr 22, 2024 Ransomware / Cyber Defense
Between crossovers - Do threat actors play dirty or desperate? In our dataset of over 11,000 victim organizations that have experienced a Cyber Extortion / Ransomware attack, we noticed that some victims re-occur. Consequently, the question arises why we observe a re-victimization and whether or not this is an actual second attack, an affiliate crossover (meaning an affiliate has gone to another Cyber Extortion operation with the same victim) or stolen data that has been travelling and re-(mis-)used. Either way, for the victims neither is good news.  But first thing's first, let's explore the current threat landscape, dive into one of our most recent research focuses on the dynamics of this ecosystem; and then explore our dataset on Law Enforcement activities in this space. Might the re-occurrence that we observe be foul play by threat actors and thus show how desperately they are trying to regain the trust of their co-offenders after disruption efforts by Law Enforcement? Or are th

OfflRouter Malware Evades Detection in Ukraine for Almost a Decade

OfflRouter Malware Evades Detection in Ukraine for Almost a Decade
Apr 18, 2024 Incident Response / Cyber Espionage
Select Ukrainian government networks have remained infected with a malware called OfflRouter since 2015. Cisco Talos said its findings are based on an analysis of over 100 confidential documents that were infected with the VBA macro virus and uploaded to the VirusTotal malware scanning platform since 2018. More than 20 such documents have been uploaded since 2022. "The documents contained VBA code to drop and run an executable with the name 'ctrlpanel.exe,'" security researcher Vanja Svajcer  said . "The virus is still active in Ukraine and is causing potentially confidential documents to be uploaded to publicly accessible document repositories." A striking aspect of OfflRouter is its inability to spread via email, necessitating that it be propagated via other means, such as sharing documents and removable media, including USB memory sticks containing the infected documents. "It would require manual user intervention to send an infected document as

Russian APT Deploys New 'Kapeka' Backdoor in Eastern European Attacks

Russian APT Deploys New 'Kapeka' Backdoor in Eastern European Attacks
Apr 17, 2024 Ransomware / Cyber Espionage
A previously undocumented "flexible" backdoor called  Kapeka  has been "sporadically" observed in cyber attacks targeting Eastern Europe, including Estonia and Ukraine, since at least mid-2022. The findings come from Finnish cybersecurity firm WithSecure, which attributed the malware to the Russia-linked advanced persistent threat (APT) group tracked as  Sandworm  (aka APT44 or Seashell Blizzard). Microsoft is tracking the same malware under the name KnuckleTouch. "The malware [...] is a flexible backdoor with all the necessary functionalities to serve as an early-stage toolkit for its operators, and also to provide long-term access to the victim estate," security researcher Mohammad Kazem Hassan Nejad  said . Kapeka comes fitted with a dropper that's designed to launch and execute a backdoor component on the infected host, after which it removes itself. The dropper is also responsible for setting up persistence for the backdoor either as a schedul

Hackers Hit Indian Defense, Energy Sectors with Malware Posing as Air Force Invite

Hackers Hit Indian Defense, Energy Sectors with Malware Posing as Air Force Invite
Mar 27, 2024 Cyber Espionage / Data Breach
Indian government entities and energy companies have been targeted by unknown threat actors with an aim to deliver a modified version of an open-source information stealer malware called HackBrowserData and exfiltrate sensitive information in some cases by using Slack as command-and-control (C2). "The information stealer was delivered via a phishing email, masquerading as an invitation letter from the Indian Air Force," EclecticIQ researcher Arda Büyükkaya  said  in a report published today. "The attacker utilized Slack channels as exfiltration points to upload confidential internal documents, private email messages, and cached web browser data after the malware's execution." The campaign, observed by the Dutch cybersecurity firm beginning March 7, 2024, has been codenamed Operation FlightNight in reference to the Slack channels operated by the adversary. Targets of the malicious activity span multiple government entities in India, counting those related t
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