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U.S. Government Blacklists Cytrox and Intellexa Spyware Vendors for Cyber Espionage

U.S. Government Blacklists Cytrox and Intellexa Spyware Vendors for Cyber Espionage

Jul 19, 2023 Cyber Espionage / Spyware
The U.S. government on Tuesday added two foreign commercial spyware vendors, Cytrox and Intellexa, to an economic blocklist for weaponizing cyber exploits to gain unauthorized access to devices and "threatening the privacy and security of individuals and organizations worldwide." This includes the companies' corporate holdings in Hungary (Cytrox Holdings Crt), North Macedonia (Cytrox AD), Greece (Intellexa S.A.), and Ireland (Intellexa Limited). By adding to the economic denylist, it prohibits U.S. companies from transacting with these businesses. "Recognizing the increasingly key role that surveillance technology plays in enabling campaigns of repression and other human rights abuses, the Commerce Department's action today targets these entities' ability to access commodities, software, and technology that could contribute to the development of surveillance tools that pose a risk of misuse in violations or abuses of human rights," the Bureau of Indus
Cytrox's Predator Spyware Targeted Android Users with Zero-Day Exploits

Cytrox's Predator Spyware Targeted Android Users with Zero-Day Exploits

May 20, 2022
Google's Threat Analysis Group (TAG) on Thursday pointed fingers at a North Macedonian spyware developer named Cytrox for developing exploits against five zero-day (aka 0-day) flaws, four in Chrome and one in Android, to target Android users. "The 0-day exploits were used alongside n-day exploits as the developers took advantage of the time difference between when some critical bugs were patched but not flagged as security issues and when these patches were fully deployed across the Android ecosystem," TAG researchers Clement Lecigne and Christian Resell  said . Cytrox is alleged to have packaged the exploits and sold them to different government-backed actors located in Egypt, Armenia, Greece, Madagascar, Côte d'Ivoire, Serbia, Spain, and Indonesia, who, in turn, weaponized the bugs in at least three different campaigns. The commercial surveillance company is the maker of  Predator , an implant  analogous  to that of NSO Group's  Pegasus , and is known to hav
The Drop in Ransomware Attacks in 2024 and What it Means

The Drop in Ransomware Attacks in 2024 and What it Means

Apr 08, 2024Ransomware / Cybercrime
The  ransomware industry surged in 2023  as it saw an alarming 55.5% increase in victims worldwide, reaching a staggering 5,070.  But 2024 is starting off showing a very different picture.  While the numbers skyrocketed in Q4 2023 with 1309 cases, in Q1 2024, the ransomware industry was down to 1,048 cases. This is a 22% decrease in ransomware attacks compared to Q4 2023. Figure 1: Victims per quarter There could be several reasons for this significant drop.  Reason 1: The Law Enforcement Intervention Firstly, law enforcement has upped the ante in 2024 with actions against both LockBit and ALPHV. The LockBit Arrests In February, an international operation named "Operation Cronos" culminated in the arrest of at least three associates of the infamous LockBit ransomware syndicate in Poland and Ukraine.  Law enforcement from multiple countries collaborated to take down LockBit's infrastructure. This included seizing their dark web domains and gaining access to their backend sys
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