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Hackers Aid Protests Against Iranian Government with Proxies, Leaks and Hacks

Hackers Aid Protests Against Iranian Government with Proxies, Leaks and Hacks
Sep 29, 2022
Several hacktivist groups are using Telegram and other tools to aid anti-government protests in Iran to bypass regime censorship restrictions amid  ongoing unrest  in the country following the death of Mahsa Amini in custody. "Key activities are data leaking and selling, including officials' phone numbers and emails, and maps of sensitive locations," Israeli cybersecurity firm Check Point  said  in a new report. The company said it has also witnessed sharing of proxies and open VPN servers to get around censorship and reports on the internet status in the country, with one group helping the anti-government demonstrators access social media sites. Chief among them is a Telegram channel called Official Atlas Intelligence Group (AIG) that's primarily focused on publishing data associated with government officials as well as maps of prominent locations. Calling itself the "CyberArmy," the group is said to have commenced its operations in May and has also

Researchers Identify 3 Hacktivist Groups Supporting Russian Interests

Researchers Identify 3 Hacktivist Groups Supporting Russian Interests
Sep 26, 2022
At least three alleged hacktivist groups working in support of Russian interests are likely doing so in collaboration with state-sponsored cyber threat actors, according to Mandiant. The Google-owned threat intelligence and incident response firm  said  with moderate confidence that "moderators of the purported hacktivist Telegram channels 'XakNet Team,' 'Infoccentr,' and 'CyberArmyofRussia_Reborn' are coordinating their operations with Russian Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU)-sponsored cyber threat actors." Mandiant's assessment is based on evidence that the leakage of data stolen from Ukrainian organizations occurred within 24 hours of  malicious wiper incidents  undertaken by the Russian nation-state group tracked as  APT28  (aka Fancy Bear, Sofacy, or Strontium). To that end, four of the 16 data leaks from these groups coincided with  disk wiping malware attacks  by APT28 that involved the use of a strain dubbed  CaddyWiper . APT28 , a

Prynt Stealer Contains a Backdoor to Steal Victims' Data Stolen by Other Cybercriminals

Prynt Stealer Contains a Backdoor to Steal Victims' Data Stolen by Other Cybercriminals
Sep 02, 2022
Researchers discovered a private Telegram channel-based backdoor in the information stealing malware, dubbed Prynt Stealer , which its developer added with the intention of secretly stealing a copy of victims' exfiltrated data when used by other cybercriminals. "While this untrustworthy behavior is nothing new in the world of cybercrime, the victims' data end up in the hands of multiple threat actors, increasing the risks of one or more large scale attacks to follow," Zscaler ThreatLabz researchers Atinderpal Singh and Brett Stone-Gross  said  in a new report. Prynt Stealer, which  came to light  earlier this April, comes with capabilities to log keystrokes, steal credentials from web browsers, and siphon data from Discord and Telegram. It's sold for $100 for a one-month license and $900 for a lifetime subscription. The cybersecurity firm analysis of Prynt Stealer shows that its codebase is derived from two other open source malware families,  AsyncRAT  and 

New Ducktail Infostealer Malware Targeting Facebook Business and Ad Accounts

New Ducktail Infostealer Malware Targeting Facebook Business and Ad Accounts
Jul 27, 2022
Facebook business and advertising accounts are at the receiving end of an ongoing campaign dubbed  Ducktail  designed to seize control as part of a financially driven cybercriminal operation.  "The threat actor targets individuals and employees that may have access to a Facebook Business account with an information-stealer malware," Finnish cybersecurity company WithSecure (formerly F-Secure Business)  said  in a new report. "The malware is designed to steal browser cookies and take advantage of authenticated Facebook sessions to steal information from the victim's Facebook account and ultimately hijack any Facebook Business account that the victim has sufficient access to." The attacks, attributed to a Vietnamese threat actor, are said to have begun in the latter half of 2021, with primary targets being individuals with managerial, digital marketing, digital media, and human resources roles in companies. The idea is to target employees with high-level acc

Hackers Trick Users with Fake Windows 11 Downloads to Distribute Vidar Malware

Hackers Trick Users with Fake Windows 11 Downloads to Distribute Vidar Malware
May 20, 2022
Fraudulent domains masquerading as Microsoft's Windows 11 download portal are attempting to trick users into deploying trojanized installation files to infect systems with the Vidar information stealer malware. "The spoofed sites were created to distribute malicious ISO files which lead to a Vidar info-stealer infection on the endpoint," Zscaler  said  in a report. "These variants of Vidar malware fetch the C2 configuration from attacker-controlled social media channels hosted on Telegram and Mastodon network." Some of the rogue distribution vector domains, which were registered last month on April 20, consist of ms-win11[.]com, win11-serv[.]com, and win11install[.]com, and ms-teams-app[.]net. In addition, the cybersecurity firm cautioned that the threat actor behind the impersonation campaign is also leveraging backdoored versions of Adobe Photoshop and other legitimate software such as Microsoft Teams to deliver Vidar malware. The ISO file, for its part,

Experts Detail Saintstealer and Prynt Stealer Info-Stealing Malware Families

Experts Detail Saintstealer and Prynt Stealer Info-Stealing Malware Families
May 10, 2022
Cybersecurity researchers have dissected the inner workings of an information-stealing malware called Saintstealer that's designed to siphon credentials and system information. "After execution, the stealer extracts username, passwords, credit card details, etc.," Cyble researchers  said  in an analysis last week. "The stealer also steals data from various locations across the system and compresses it in a password-protected ZIP file." A 32-bit C# .NET-based executable with the name "saintgang.exe," Saintstealer is equipped with anti-analysis checks, opting to terminate itself if it's running either in a sandboxed or virtual environment. The malware can capture a wide range of information that ranges from taking screenshots to gathering passwords, cookies, and autofill data stored in Chromium-based browsers such as Google Chrome, Opera, Edge, Brave, Vivaldi, and Yandex, among others. It can also steal Discord multi-factor authentication toke

Experts Sound Alarm on DCRat Backdoor Being Sold on Russian Hacking Forums

Experts Sound Alarm on DCRat Backdoor Being Sold on Russian Hacking Forums
May 09, 2022
Cybersecurity researchers have shed light on an actively maintained remote access trojan called DCRat (aka DarkCrystal RAT) that's offered on sale for "dirt cheap" prices, making it accessible to professional cybercriminal groups and novice actors alike. "Unlike the well-funded, massive Russian threat groups crafting custom malware [...], this remote access Trojan (RAT) appears to be the work of a lone actor, offering a surprisingly effective homemade tool for opening backdoors on a budget," BlackBerry researchers said in a report shared with The Hacker News. "In fact, this threat actor's commercial RAT sells at a fraction of the standard price such tools command on Russian underground forums." Written in .NET by an individual codenamed "boldenis44" and "crystalcoder," DCRat is a full-featured backdoor whose functionalities can be further augmented by third-party plugins developed by affiliates using a dedicated integrated

IT Firm Globant Confirms Breach after LAPSUS$ Leaks 70GB of Data

IT Firm Globant Confirms Breach after LAPSUS$ Leaks 70GB of Data
Mar 30, 2022
The LAPSUS$ data extortion gang announced their return on Telegram after a week-long "vacation," leaking what they claim is data from software services company Globant. "We are officially back from a vacation," the group wrote on their Telegram channel – which has nearly around 54,000 members as of writing – posting images of extracted data and credentials belonging to the company's DevOps infrastructure. The screenshots depict a folder listing for what appears to be different companies from across the world, including Arcserve, Banco Galicia, BNP Paribas Cardif, Citibanamex, DHL, Facebook, Stifel, among others. Also shared is a torrent file purported to contain around 70GB of Globant's source code as well as administrator passwords associated with the firm's Atlassian suite, including Confluence and Jira, and the Crucible code review tool. As malware research group  VX-Underground  points out, the passwords are not only easily guessable, but they

Experts Uncover Campaign Stealing Cryptocurrency from Android and iPhone Users

Experts Uncover Campaign Stealing Cryptocurrency from Android and iPhone Users
Mar 25, 2022
Researchers have blown the lid off a sophisticated malicious scheme primarily targeting Chinese users via copycat apps on Android and iOS that mimic legitimate digital wallet services to siphon cryptocurrency funds. "These malicious apps were able to steal victims' secret seed phrases by impersonating Coinbase, imToken, MetaMask, Trust Wallet, Bitpie, TokenPocket, or OneKey,"  said  Lukáš Štefanko, senior malware researcher at ESET in a report shared with The Hacker News. The wallet services are said to have been distributed through a network of over 40 counterfeit wallet websites that are promoted with the help of misleading articles posted on legitimate Chinese websites, as well as by means of recruiting intermediaries through Telegram and Facebook groups, in an attempt to trick unsuspecting visitors into downloading the malicious apps. ESET, which has been tracking the campaign since May 2021, attributed it to the work of a single criminal group. The trojanized cr

LAPSUS$ Hackers Claim to Have Breached Microsoft and Authentication Firm Okta

LAPSUS$ Hackers Claim to Have Breached Microsoft and Authentication Firm Okta
Mar 22, 2022
Microsoft and authentication services provider Okta said they are investigating claims of a potential breach alleged by the LAPSUS$ extortionist gang. The development, which was first reported by  Vice  and  Reuters , comes after the cyber criminal group posted screenshots and source code of what it said were the companies' internal projects and systems on its Telegram channel. The leaked 37GB archive shows that the group may have accessed the repositories related to Microsoft's Bing, Bing Maps, and Cortana, with the  images  highlighting Okta's Atlassian suite and in-house Slack channels. "For a service that powers authentication systems to many of the largest corporations (and FEDRAMP approved) I think these security measures are pretty poor," the hacking cartel wrote on Telegram. On top of this, the group alleged that it breached LG Electronics (LGE) for the "second time" in a year. Bill Demirkapi, an independent security researcher,  noted  th

Both Sides in Russia-Ukraine War Heavily Using Telegram for Disinformation and Hacktivism

Both Sides in Russia-Ukraine War Heavily Using Telegram for Disinformation and Hacktivism
Mar 04, 2022
Cyber criminals and hacktivist groups are increasingly using the Telegram messaging app to coordinate their activities, leak data, and spread disinformation, as the Russia-Ukraine conflict enters its eighth day. A new analysis by Israeli cybersecurity company Check Point Research has  found  that "user volume grew a hundred folds daily on Telegram related groups, peaking at 200,000 per group." Prominent among the groups are anti-Russian cyber attack groups, including the Ukraine government-backed IT Army, which has urged its more 270,000 members to conduct distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks against Russian entities. Other hacktivist-oriented Telegram groups used to coordinate the attacks on Russian targets via DDoS, SMS or call-based attacks are Anna_ and Mark_, Check Point researchers noted. That said, there may be more to these attacks than meets the eye. "It seems that many of the hacktivist groups are more focused on building self-reputation and recei

Iranian Hackers Using New Spying Malware That Abuses Telegram Messenger API

Iranian Hackers Using New Spying Malware That Abuses Telegram Messenger API
Feb 28, 2022
An Iranian geopolitical nexus threat actor has been uncovered deploying two new targeted malware that come with "simple" backdoor functionalities as part of an intrusion against an unnamed Middle East government entity in November 2021. Cybersecurity company Mandiant attributed the attack to an uncategorized cluster it's tracking under the moniker  UNC3313 , which it assesses with "moderate confidence" as associated with the MuddyWater state-sponsored group. "UNC3313 conducts surveillance and collects strategic information to support Iranian interests and decision-making," researchers Ryan Tomcik, Emiel Haeghebaert, and Tufail Ahmed  said . "Targeting patterns and related lures demonstrate a strong focus on targets with a geopolitical nexus." In mid-January 2022, U.S. intelligence agencies  characterized  MuddyWater (aka Static Kitten, Seedworm, TEMP.Zagros, or Mercury) as a subordinate element of the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and

Nasty macOS Malware XCSSET Now Targets Google Chrome, Telegram Software

Nasty macOS Malware XCSSET Now Targets Google Chrome, Telegram Software
Jul 23, 2021
A malware known for targeting macOS operating system has been updated once again to add more features to its toolset that allows it to amass and exfiltrate sensitive data stored in a variety of apps, including apps such as Google Chrome and Telegram, as part of further "refinements in its tactics." XCSSET was  uncovered  in August 2020, when it was found targeting Mac developers using an unusual means of distribution that involved injecting a malicious payload into Xcode IDE projects that's executed at the time of building project files in Xcode. The malware comes with numerous capabilities, such as reading and dumping Safari cookies, injecting malicious JavaScript code into various websites, stealing information from applications, such as Notes, WeChat, Skype, Telegram, and encrypting user files. Earlier this April, XCSSET  received an upgrade  that enabled the malware authors to target macOS 11 Big Sur as well as Macs running on M1 chipsets by circumventing new sec

A New Spyware is Targeting Telegram and Psiphon VPN Users in Iran

A New Spyware is Targeting Telegram and Psiphon VPN Users in Iran
Jun 17, 2021
Threat actors with suspected ties to Iran have been found to leverage instant messaging and VPN apps like Telegram and Psiphon to install a Windows remote access trojan (RAT) capable of stealing sensitive information from targets' devices since at least 2015. Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky, which pieced together the activity, attributed the campaign to an advanced persistent threat (APT) group it tracks as Ferocious Kitten, a group that has singled out Persian-speaking individuals allegedly based in the country while successfully operating under the radar. "The targeting of Psiphon and Telegram, both of which are quite popular services in Iran, underlines the fact that the payloads were developed with the purpose of targeting Iranian users in mind," Kaspersky's Global Research and Analysis Team (GReAT)  said . "Moreover, the decoy content displayed by the malicious files often made use of political themes and involved images or videos of resistance bas

Cybercriminals Using Telegram Messenger to Control ToxicEye Malware

Cybercriminals Using Telegram Messenger to Control ToxicEye Malware
Apr 22, 2021
Adversaries are increasingly abusing Telegram as a "command-and-control" system to distribute malware into organizations that could then be used to capture sensitive information from targeted systems. "Even when Telegram is not installed or being used, the system allows hackers to send malicious commands and operations remotely via the instant messaging app," said researchers from cybersecurity firm Check Point , who have identified no fewer than 130 attacks over the past three months that make use of a new multi-functional remote access trojan (RAT) called "ToxicEye." The use of Telegram for facilitating malicious activities is not new. In September 2019, an information stealer dubbed  Masad Stealer  was found to plunder information and cryptocurrency wallet data from infected computers using Telegram as an exfiltration channel. Then last year,  Magecart groups  embraced the same tactic to send stolen payment details from compromised websites back to

A Sticker Sent On Telegram Could Have Exposed Your Secret Chats

A Sticker Sent On Telegram Could Have Exposed Your Secret Chats
Feb 16, 2021
Cybersecurity researchers on Monday disclosed details of a now-patched flaw in the Telegram messaging app that could have exposed users' secret messages, photos, and videos to remote malicious actors. The issues were discovered by Italy-based Shielder in iOS, Android, and macOS versions of the app. Following responsible disclosure, Telegram addressed them in a series of patches on September 30 and October 2, 2020. The flaws stemmed from the way secret chat functionality operates and in the app's handling of  animated stickers , thus allowing attackers to send malformed stickers to unsuspecting users and gain access to messages, photos, and videos that were exchanged with their Telegram contacts through both classic and secret chats. One caveat of note is that exploiting the flaws in the wild may not have been trivial, as it requires chaining the aforementioned weaknesses to at least one additional vulnerability in order to get around security defenses in modern devices to

Secret Chat in Telegram Left Self-Destructing Media Files On Devices

Secret Chat in Telegram Left Self-Destructing Media Files On Devices
Feb 12, 2021
Popular messaging app Telegram fixed a privacy-defeating bug in its macOS app that made it possible to access self-destructing audio and video messages long after they disappeared from secret chats. The vulnerability was  discovered  by security researcher Dhiraj Mishra in version 7.3 of the app, who disclosed his findings to Telegram on December 26, 2020. The issue has since been resolved in  version 7.4 , released on January 29. Unlike Signal or WhatsApp, conversations on Telegram by default are not end-to-end encrypted, unless users explicitly opt to enable a device-specific feature called " secret chat ," which keeps data encrypted even on Telegram servers. Also available as part of secret chats is the option to send self-destructing messages. What Mishra found was that when a user records and sends an audio or video message via a regular chat, the application leaked the exact path where the recorded message is stored in ".mp4" format. With the secret chat

Hackers Can Manipulate Media Files You Receive Via WhatsApp and Telegram

Hackers Can Manipulate Media Files You Receive Via WhatsApp and Telegram
Jul 16, 2019
If you think that the media files you receive on your end-to-end encrypted secure messaging apps can not be tampered with, you need to think again. Security researchers at Symantec yesterday demonstrated multiple interesting attack scenarios against WhatsApp and Telegram Android apps, which could allow malicious actors to spread fake news or scam users into sending payments to wrong accounts. Dubbed " Media File Jacking ," the attack leverages an already known fact that any app installed on a device can access and rewrite files saved in the external storage, including files saved by other apps installed on the same device. WhatsApp and Telegram allow users to choose if they want to save all incoming multimedia files on internal or external storage of their device. However, WhatsApp for Android by default automatically stores media files in the external storage, while Telegram for Android uses internal storage to store users files that are not accessible to any othe

Telegram Suffers 'Powerful DDoS Attack' From China During Hong Kong Protests

Telegram Suffers 'Powerful DDoS Attack' From China During Hong Kong Protests
Jun 13, 2019
Telegram, one of the most popular encrypted messaging app, briefly went offline yesterday for hundreds of thousands of users worldwide after a powerful distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack hit its servers. Telegram founder Pavel Durov later revealed that the attack was mainly coming from the IP addresses located in China, suggesting the Chinese government could be behind it to sabotage Hong Kong protesters. Since last week, millions of people in Hong Kong are fighting their political leaders over the proposed amendments to an extradition law that would allow a person arrested in Hong Kong to face trial elsewhere, including in mainland China. Many people see it as a fundamental threat to the territory's civic freedoms and the rule of law. Many people in Hong Kong are currently using Telegram's encrypted messaging service to communicate without being spied on, organize the protest, and alert each other about activities on the ground. According to Telegram, th

Telegram Gained 3 Million New Users During WhatsApp, Facebook Outage

Telegram Gained 3 Million New Users During WhatsApp, Facebook Outage
Mar 14, 2019
WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram faced a widespread outage yesterday with users from around the world reporting issues with sending messages on WhatsApp and Messenger, posting feeds on Facebook and accessing other features on the three Facebook-owned platforms. While the outage was quite troubling both for the social media giant and its millions of users, guess who benefits the most out of the incident? TELEGRAM. Pavel Durov, the founder of the popular secure messaging platform Telegram, claims to have had a surge in sign-ups within the last 24 hours, at the time duration when its rival messaging services were facing downtime. "I see 3 million new users signed up for Telegram within the last 24 hours," Durov wrote on his Telegram channel. "Good. We have true privacy and unlimited space for everyone." Telegram is an excellent alternative to Facebook's Messenger and WhatsApp services, offering users an optional end-to-end encrypted messaging feature,
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