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Russian Hackers Use 'WINELOADER' Malware to Target German Political Parties

Russian Hackers Use 'WINELOADER' Malware to Target German Political Parties

Mar 23, 2024 Cyber Espionage / Cyber Warfare
The WINELOADER backdoor used in recent cyber attacks targeting diplomatic entities with wine-tasting phishing lures has been attributed as the handiwork of a hacking group with links to Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), which was responsible for  breaching SolarWinds and Microsoft . The findings come from Mandiant, which said  Midnight Blizzard  (aka APT29, BlueBravo, or Cozy Bear) used the malware to target German political parties with phishing emails bearing a logo from the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) around February 26, 2024. "This is the first time we have seen this APT29 cluster target political parties, indicating a possible area of emerging operational focus beyond the  typical   targeting  of  diplomatic missions ," researchers Luke Jenkins and Dan Black  said . WINELOADER was  first disclosed  by Zscaler ThreatLabz last month as part of a cyber espionage campaign that's believed to have been ongoing since at least July 2023. It attribute
A New Age of Hacktivism

A New Age of Hacktivism

Feb 22, 2024 Hacktivism / Information Warfare
In the past 2 years, we have observed a significant surge in hacktivism activity due to ongoing wars and geopolitical conflicts in various regions. Since the war against Ukraine began, we have witnessed a notable mobilization of non-state and state-backed actors alike, forming new groups or joining existing hacker collectives.  We understand hacktivism as a form of computer hacking that is done to further the goals of political or social  activism 1 . While  activism  describes a normal, non-disruptive use of the Internet in order to support a specific cause (online petitions, fundraising, coordinating activities),  hacktivism  includes operations that use hacking techniques with the intent to disrupt but not to cause serious harm (e.g., data theft, website defacements, redirects, Denial-of-Service attacks). Cyber operations that inherit a willingness or intent to cause harm to physical property, severe economic damage or loss of life would be referred to as  cyberterrorism, 2, 3  Th
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
Russian Hackers Target Ukraine with Disinformation and Credential-Harvesting Attacks

Russian Hackers Target Ukraine with Disinformation and Credential-Harvesting Attacks

Feb 21, 2024 Phishing Attack / Information Warfare
Cybersecurity researchers have unearthed a new influence operation targeting Ukraine that leverages spam emails to propagate war-related disinformation. The activity has been linked to Russia-aligned threat actors by Slovak cybersecurity company ESET, which also identified a spear-phishing campaign aimed at a Ukrainian defense company in October 2023 and a European Union agency in November 2023 with an aim to harvest Microsoft login credentials using fake landing pages. Operation Texonto, as the entire campaign has been codenamed, has not been attributed to a specific threat actor, although some elements of it, particularly the spear-phishing attacks, overlap with  COLDRIVER , which has a history of harvesting credentials via bogus sign-in pages. The disinformation operation took place over two waves in November and December 2023, with the email messages bearing PDF attachments and content related to heating interruptions, drug shortages, and food shortages. The November wave tar
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