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FBI Seizes $500,000 Ransomware Payments and Crypto from North Korean Hackers

FBI Seizes $500,000 Ransomware Payments and Crypto from North Korean Hackers
July 21, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) has announced the seizure of $500,000 worth of Bitcoin from North Korean hackers who extorted digital payments from several organizations by using a new ransomware strain known as Maui. "The seized funds include ransoms paid by healthcare providers in Kansas and Colorado," the DoJ  said  in a press release issued Tuesday. The recovery of the bitcoin ransoms comes after the agency said it took control of two cryptocurrency accounts that were used to receive payments to the tune of $100,000 and $120,000 from the medical centers. The DoJ did not disclose where the rest of the payments originated from. "Reporting cyber incidents to law enforcement and cooperating with investigations not only protects the United States, it is also good business," said Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen of the DoJ's National Security Division. "The reimbursement to these victims of the ransom shows why it pays to work with law en

FBI Warns of Fake Cryptocurrency Apps Stealing Millions from Investors

FBI Warns of Fake Cryptocurrency Apps Stealing Millions from Investors
July 18, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has warned of cyber criminals building rogue cryptocurrency-themed apps to defraud investors in the virtual assets space. "The FBI has observed cyber criminals contacting U.S. investors, fraudulently claiming to offer legitimate cryptocurrency investment services, and convincing investors to download fraudulent mobile apps, which the cyber criminals have used with increasing success over time to defraud the investors of their cryptocurrency," the agency  said  [PDF]. The illicit scheme, which aims to take advantage of increased interest in the crypto sector, is believed to have netted 244 victims, with losses estimated at $42.7 million between October 4, 2021, and May 13, 2022. According to the law enforcement authority, threat actors are misusing the names, logos, and other identifying information of legitimate businesses to create fake websites in an attempt to lure potential investors. In three instances highlighted by

North Korean Maui Ransomware Actively Targeting U.S. Healthcare Organizations

North Korean Maui Ransomware Actively Targeting U.S. Healthcare Organizations
July 07, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
In a new joint cybersecurity advisory, U.S. cybersecurity and intelligence agencies have warned about the use of Maui ransomware by North Korean government-backed hackers to target the healthcare sector since at least May 2021. "North Korean state-sponsored cyber actors used Maui ransomware in these incidents to encrypt servers responsible for healthcare services—including electronic health records services, diagnostics services, imaging services, and intranet services," the authorities  noted . The  alert  comes courtesy of the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Department of the Treasury. Cybersecurity firm Stairwell, whose findings formed the basis of the advisory, said the lesser-known ransomware family stands out because of a lack of several key features commonly associated with ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) groups. This includes the absence of "embedded ransom note to provide recov

U.S. Agencies Warn About Chinese Hackers Targeting Telecoms and Network Service Providers

U.S. Agencies Warn About Chinese Hackers Targeting Telecoms and Network Service Providers
June 08, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
U.S. cybersecurity and intelligence agencies have  warned  about China-based state-sponsored cyber actors leveraging network vulnerabilities to exploit public and private sector organizations since at least 2020. The widespread intrusion campaigns aim to exploit publicly identified security flaws in network devices such as Small Office/Home Office (SOHO) routers and Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices with the goal of gaining deeper access to victim networks. In addition, the actors used these compromised devices as route command-and-control (C2) traffic to break into other targets at scale, the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)  said  in a joint advisory. The perpetrators, besides shifting their tactics in response to public disclosures, are known to employ a mix of open-source and custom tools for reconnaissance and vulnerability scanning as well as to obscure and ble

FBI Warns About Hackers Selling VPN Credentials for U.S. College Networks

FBI Warns About Hackers Selling VPN Credentials for U.S. College Networks
May 29, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Network credentials and virtual private network (VPN) access for colleges and universities based in the U.S. are being advertised for sale on underground and public criminal marketplaces. "This exposure of sensitive credential and network access information, especially privileged user accounts, could lead to subsequent cyber attacks against individual users or affiliated organizations," the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)  said  in an advisory published last week. The cyber intrusions against educational institutions involve threat actors leveraging tactics like spear-phishing and ransomware to carry out credential harvesting activities. The gathered credentials are then exfiltrated and sold on Russian cybercrime forums for prices ranging from a few to thousands of U.S. dollars. Armed with this login information, the agency pointed out, adversaries can proceed to conduct brute-force  credential stuffing  attacks to break into victim accounts spanning different

FBI Warns of BlackCat Ransomware That Breached Over 60 Organisations Worldwide

FBI Warns of BlackCat Ransomware That Breached Over 60 Organisations Worldwide
April 24, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is sounding the alarm on the BlackCat ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS), which it said victimized at least 60 entities worldwide between as of March 2022 since its emergence last November. Also called ALPHV and  Noberus , the malware is notable for being the first-ever ransomware written in the Rust programming language, which is known to be memory safe and offer improved performance. "Many of the developers and money launderers for BlackCat/ALPHV are linked to  DarkSide / BlackMatter , indicating they have extensive networks and experience with ransomware operations," the FBI said in an  advisory  published last week. The disclosure comes weeks after twin reports from  Cisco Talos  and  Kasperksy  uncovered links between BlackCat and BlackMatter ransomware families, including the use of a modified version of a data exfiltration tool dubbed Fendr that's been previously only observed in BlackMatter-related activity. "A

Five Eyes Nations Warn of Russian Cyber Attacks Against Critical Infrastructure

Five Eyes Nations Warn of Russian Cyber Attacks Against Critical Infrastructure
April 20, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
The Five Eyes nations have released a  joint cybersecurity advisory  warning of increased  malicious attacks  from Russian state-sponsored actors and criminal groups targeting critical infrastructure organizations amidst the ongoing military siege on Ukraine. "Evolving intelligence indicates that the Russian government is exploring options for potential cyberattacks," authorities from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the U.K., and the U.S.  said . "Russia's invasion of Ukraine could expose organizations both within and beyond the region to increased malicious cyber activity. This activity may occur as a response to the unprecedented economic costs imposed on Russia as well as material support provided by the United States and U.S. allies and partners." The  advisory  follows  another alert  from the U.S. government cautioning of nation-state actors deploying specialized malware to maintain access to industrial control systems (ICS) and supervisory control an

FBI, U.S. Treasury and CISA Warn of North Korean Hackers Targeting Blockchain Companies

FBI, U.S. Treasury and CISA Warn of North Korean Hackers Targeting Blockchain Companies
April 18, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
The U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), along with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Treasury Department, warned of a new set of ongoing cyber attacks carried out by the Lazarus Group targeting blockchain companies. Calling the activity cluster  TraderTraitor , the infiltrations involve the North Korean state-sponsored advanced persistent threat (APT) actor striking entities operating in the Web3.0 industry since at least 2020. Targeted organizations include cryptocurrency exchanges, decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols, play-to-earn cryptocurrency video games, cryptocurrency trading companies, venture capital funds investing in cryptocurrency, and individual holders of large amounts of cryptocurrency or valuable non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The attack chains commence with the threat actor reaching out to victims via different communication platforms to lure them into downloading weaponized cryptocurrency apps for Windows and macOS, subse

FBI, Europol Seize RaidForums Hacker Forum and Arrest Admin

FBI, Europol Seize RaidForums Hacker Forum and Arrest Admin
April 13, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
An international law enforcement operation raided and took down RaidForums, one of the world's largest hacking forums notorious for selling access to hacked personal information belonging to users. Dubbed Tourniquet, the seizure of the cybercrime website involved authorities from the U.S., U.K., Sweden, Portugal, and Romania, with the criminal investigation resulting in the  arrest  of the forum's administrator at his home last month in Croydon, England. The three confiscated domains associated with the illicit marketplace include "raidforums[.]com," "Rf[.]ws," and "Raid[.]lol." Diogo Santos Coelho (aka "Omnipotent"), the said founder and chief administrator, was apprehended in the U.K. on January 31 and is pending extradition to the U.S. Santos Coelho has been charged with conspiracy, access device fraud, and aggravated identity theft. In addition to detailing Santos Coelho's central role in designing and administering the soft

23-Year-Old Russian Hacker Wanted by FBI for Running Marketplace of Stolen Logins

23-Year-Old Russian Hacker Wanted by FBI for Running Marketplace of Stolen Logins
March 24, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
A 23-year-old Russian national has been indicted in the U.S. and added to the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) Cyber Most Wanted List for his alleged role as the administrator of Marketplace A, a cyber crime forum that sold stolen login credentials, personal information, and credit card data. Igor Dekhtyarchuk , who first appeared in hacker forums in 2013 under the alias "floraby," has been accused of charges of wire fraud, access device fraud, and aggravated identity theft, a set of offenses that could lead to up to 20 years in federal prison. According to the FBI's  Wanted poster , Dekhtyarchuk previously studied at the Ural State University in Yekaterinburg, Russia, and was last known to reside in the city of Kamensk-Uralsky. "Marketplace A specialized in the sale of unlawfully obtained access devices for compromised online payment platforms, retailers, and credit card accounts, including providing the data associated with those accounts such as na

Justice Department Appoints First Director of National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team

Justice Department Appoints First Director of National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team
February 19, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) earlier this week appointed Eun Young Choi to serve as the first Director of the National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team (NCET) it established last year. The NCET was  created  to tackle the criminal misuse of cryptocurrencies and digital assets," with a focus on illegal activities in virtual currency exchanges, mixing and tumbling services, and money laundering infrastructure actors to fuel cyberattacks and ransomware and extortion schemes. "The NCET will serve as the focal point for the department's efforts to tackle the growth of crime involving [digital assets and distributed ledger] technologies,"  said  Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr. of the Justice Department's Criminal Division. Separately, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) said it's  launching  a new effort of its own called the Virtual Asset Exploitation Unit (VAXU) dedicated to tracking and seizing illicit cryptocurrencies as part o

FBI, NSA and CISA Warns of Russian Hackers Targeting Critical Infrastructure

FBI, NSA and CISA Warns of Russian Hackers Targeting Critical Infrastructure
January 12, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Amid renewed tensions between the U.S. and Russia over  Ukraine  and  Kazakhstan , American cybersecurity and intelligence agencies on Tuesday released a joint advisory on how to detect, respond to, and mitigate cyberattacks orchestrated by Russian state-sponsored actors. To that end, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and National Security Agency (NSA) have laid bare the tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) adopted by the adversaries, including spear-phishing, brute-force, and  exploiting known vulnerabilities  to gain initial access to target networks. The list of flaws exploited by Russian hacking groups to gain an initial foothold, which the agencies said are "common but effective," are below — CVE-2018-13379  (FortiGate VPNs) CVE-2019-1653  (Cisco router) CVE-2019-2725  (Oracle WebLogic Server) CVE-2019-7609  (Kibana) CVE-2019-9670  (Zimbra software) CVE-2019-10149  (Exim Simple Mail Transf

FBI Issues Flash Alert on Actively Exploited FatPipe VPN Zero-Day Bug

FBI Issues Flash Alert on Actively Exploited FatPipe VPN Zero-Day Bug
November 19, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has disclosed that an unidentified threat actor has been exploiting a previously unknown weakness in the FatPipe MPVPN networking devices at least since May 2021 to obtain an initial foothold and maintain persistent access into vulnerable networks, making it the latest company to join the likes of Cisco, Fortinet, Citrix, Pulse Secure that have had their systems exploited in the wild. "The vulnerability allowed APT actors to gain access to an unrestricted file upload function to drop a web shell for exploitation activity with root access, leading to elevated privileges and potential follow-on activity," the agency  said  in an alert published this week. "Exploitation of this vulnerability then served as a jumping off point into other infrastructure for the APT actors." In other words, the zero-day vulnerability enables a remote attacker to upload a file to any location on the filesystem on an affected device. The se

FBI's Email System Hacked to Send Out Fake Cyber Security Alert to Thousands

FBI's Email System Hacked to Send Out Fake Cyber Security Alert to Thousands
November 14, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on Saturday confirmed unidentified threat actors have breached one of its email servers to blast hoax messages about a fake "sophisticated chain attack." The incident, which was first  publicly disclosed  by threat intelligence non-profit SpamHaus, involved sending rogue warning emails with the subject line "Urgent: Threat actor in systems" originating from a legitimate FBI email address "eims@ic.fbi[.]gov" that framed the attack on Vinny Troia, a security researcher and founder of dark web intelligence firms Night Lion Security and Shadowbyte, while also claiming him to be affiliated with a hacking outfit named TheDarkOverlord. SpamHaus cited its own telemetry data to point out that the email blasts happened over two "spam" waves, one shortly before 5:00 a.m. UTC and another one shortly after 7:00 a.m. UTC.  However, according to Kryptos Logic researcher Marcus Hutchins, the goal appears to be

NSA, FBI Reveal Hacking Methods Used by Russian Military Hackers

NSA, FBI Reveal Hacking Methods Used by Russian Military Hackers
July 01, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
An ongoing brute-force attack campaign targeting enterprise cloud environments has been spearheaded by the Russian military intelligence since mid-2019, according to a joint advisory published by intelligence agencies in the U.K. and U.S. The National Security Agency (NSA), Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the U.K.'s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) formally attributed the incursions to the Russian General Staff Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) 85th Main Special Service Center (GTsSS). The  threat actor  is also tracked under various monikers, including  APT28  (FireEye Mandiant),  Fancy Bear  (CrowdStrike),  Sofacy  (Kaspersky),  STRONTIUM  (Microsoft), and  Iron Twilight  (Secureworks). APT28 has a track record of leveraging password spray and brute-force login attempts to plunder valid credentials that enable future surveillance or intrusion operations. In November 2020, Microsoft disclosed credenti

FBI Analyst Charged With Stealing Counterterrorism and Cyber Threat Info

FBI Analyst Charged With Stealing Counterterrorism and Cyber Threat Info
May 22, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) indicted an employee of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for illegally removing numerous national security documents and willfully retaining them at her personal residence during a 13-year period from June 2004 to December 2017.  The federal indictment charged Kendra Kingsbury, 48, with two counts of having unauthorized possession of documents relating to the national defense, according to an  unsealed indictment  that was made public on Friday. Kingsbury worked as an intelligence analyst in the FBI's Kansas City Division for more than 12 years, until her suspension in 2017. "The breadth and depth of classified national security information retained by the defendant for more than a decade is simply astonishing,"  said  Alan E. Kohler, Jr. Assistant Director of the FBI's Counterintelligence Division, in a statement. Stating that Kingsbury knew she was not authorized to remove and retain access to these sensitive govern

FBI Warns Conti Ransomware Hit 16 U.S. Health and Emergency Services

FBI Warns Conti Ransomware Hit 16 U.S. Health and Emergency Services
May 22, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
The adversary behind Conti ransomware targeted no fewer than 16 healthcare and first responder networks in the U.S. within the past year, totally victimizing over 400 organizations worldwide, 290 of which are situated in the country. That's according to a new  flash alert  issued by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on Thursday. "The FBI identified at least 16 Conti ransomware attacks targeting U.S. healthcare and first responder networks, including law enforcement agencies, emergency medical services, 9-1-1 dispatch centers, and municipalities within the last year," the agency said. Ransomware attacks have worsened over the years, with recent targets as varied as state and local governments, hospitals, police departments, and critical infrastructure.  Conti  is one of many ransomware strains that have capitulated on that trend, commencing its operations in July 2020 as a private Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS), in addition to jumping on the double extort

FBI, DHS Warn Of Possible Major Ransomware Attacks On Healthcare Systems

FBI, DHS Warn Of Possible Major Ransomware Attacks On Healthcare Systems
October 28, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Departments of Homeland Security, and Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a joint alert Wednesday warning of an "imminent" increase in ransomware and other cyberattacks against hospitals and healthcare providers. "Malicious cyber actors are targeting the [Healthcare and Public Health] Sector with TrickBot malware, often leading to ransomware attacks, data theft, and the disruption of healthcare services," the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency  said  in its advisory. The infamous botnet typically spreads via malicious spam email to unsuspecting recipients and can steal financial and personal data and drop other software, such as ransomware, onto infected systems. It's worth noting that cybercriminals have already used TrickBot against a major healthcare provider,  Universal Health Services , whose systems were crippled by Ryuk ransomware late last month. TrickBot has also seen a severe  disrupt

Feds Shut Down Largest Dark Web Child Abuse Site; South Korean Admin Arrested

Feds Shut Down Largest Dark Web Child Abuse Site; South Korean Admin Arrested
October 17, 2019Swati Khandelwal
The United States Department of Justice said today that they had arrested hundreds of criminals in a global crackdown after taking down the largest known child porn site on the dark web and tracing payments made in bitcoins. With an international coalition of law enforcement agencies, federal officials have arrested the administrator of the child sexual abuse site, 23-year-old Jong Woo Son of South Korea, along with 337 suspects who have been charged for allegedly using the site. The site in question is "Welcome to Video," which operated from June 2015 until March 2018 and hosted over 250,000 sexual exploitation videos of children, toddlers, and infants, which comprised of roughly over 8TB of data. According to a press release published by DoJ, the Welcome to Video site hosted more than 250,000 unique videos, and almost 45 percent of the videos contain new images that have not been previously known to exist. The operation also resulted in the rescue of at least 23

Europol Shuts Down Two Major Illegal 'Dark Web' Trading Platforms

Europol Shuts Down Two Major Illegal 'Dark Web' Trading Platforms
May 03, 2019Wang Wei
Europol announced the shut down of two prolific dark web marketplaces— Wall Street Market and Silkkitie (also known as Valhalla)—in simultaneous global operations against underground websites for trading drugs, stolen credit card numbers, malicious software, and other illegal goods. Police in western Germany has also arrested three men who were allegedly running Wall Street Market, the world's second largest dark marketplace with more than a million users and 5,400 vendors. Besides this, the operation involving Europol , Dutch police and the FBI also led to the arrests of two major suppliers of narcotics via the Wall Street Market site in Los Angeles, the United States. According to the Europol, the police officers seized the computers used to run the illegal market place, along with more than €550 000 (£472,000 or $621,000) in cash, more than €1 Million in Bitcoin and Monero cryptocurrencies, expensive cars, and other evidence. In a press release published today, Eu
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