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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
Making Sense of Operational Technology Attacks: The Past, Present, and Future

Making Sense of Operational Technology Attacks: The Past, Present, and Future

Mar 21, 2024 Operational Technology / SCADA Security
When you read reports about cyber-attacks affecting operational technology (OT), it's easy to get caught up in the hype and assume every single one is sophisticated. But are OT environments all over the world really besieged by a constant barrage of complex cyber-attacks? Answering that would require breaking down the different types of OT cyber-attacks and then looking back on all the historical attacks to see how those types compare.  The Types of OT Cyber-Attacks Over the past few decades, there has been a growing awareness of the need for improved cybersecurity practices in IT's lesser-known counterpart, OT. In fact, the lines of what constitutes a cyber-attack on OT have never been well defined, and if anything, they have further blurred over time. Therefore, we'd like to begin this post with a discussion around the ways in which cyber-attacks can either target or just simply impact OT, and why it might be important for us to make the distinction going forward. Figure 1 The Pu
LockBit Ransomware Hacker Ordered to Pay $860,000 After Guilty Plea in Canada

LockBit Ransomware Hacker Ordered to Pay $860,000 After Guilty Plea in Canada

Mar 14, 2024 Ransomware / Cyber Crime
A 34-year-old Russian-Canadian national has been sentenced to nearly four years in jail in Canada for his participation in the LockBit global ransomware operation. Mikhail Vasiliev , an Ontario resident, was  originally arrested  in November 2022 and charged by the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) with "conspiring with others to intentionally damage protected computers and to transmit ransom demands in connection with doing so." News of Vasiliev's jail term was  first reported  by CTV News.  The defendant, who had his home searched by Canadian law enforcement authorities in August and October 2022, is said to have kept a list of "prospective or historical" victims and screenshots of communications exchanged with "LockBitSupp" on the Tox messaging platform. The raid also uncovered a text file with instructions to deploy LockBit ransomware, the ransomware source code, and a control panel used by the e-crime group to deliver the file-locking malware.
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Webinar: How to streamline security reviews with Trust Center

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Learn how Vanta Trust Center can help provide real-time evidence for passing controls and automate responses to security questionnaires.
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
Patchwork Using Romance Scam Lures to Infect Android Devices with VajraSpy Malware

Patchwork Using Romance Scam Lures to Infect Android Devices with VajraSpy Malware

Feb 05, 2024 Cyber Espionage / Cyber Extortion
The threat actor known as Patchwork likely used romance scam lures to trap victims in Pakistan and India, and infect their Android devices with a remote access trojan called  VajraSpy . Slovak cybersecurity firm ESET said it uncovered 12 espionage apps, six of which were available for download from the official Google Play Store and were collectively downloaded more than 1,400 times between April 2021 and March 2023. "VajraSpy has a range of espionage functionalities that can be expanded based on the permissions granted to the app bundled with its code," security researcher Lukáš Štefanko  said . "It steals contacts, files, call logs, and SMS messages, but some of its implementations can even extract WhatsApp and Signal messages, record phone calls, and take pictures with the camera." As many as 148 devices in Pakistan and India are estimated to have been compromised in the wild. The malicious apps distributed via Google Play and elsewhere primarily masqueraded
British LAPSUS$ Teen Members Sentenced for High-Profile Attacks

British LAPSUS$ Teen Members Sentenced for High-Profile Attacks

Dec 24, 2023 Cyber Crime / Data Breach
Two British teens part of the LAPSUS$ cyber crime and extortion gang have been sentenced for their roles in orchestrating a string of high-profile attacks against a number of companies. Arion Kurtaj, an 18-year-old from Oxford, has been sentenced to an indefinite hospital order due to his intent to get back to cybercrime "as soon as possible," BBC  reported . Kurtaj, who is autistic, was deemed unfit to stand trial. Another LAPSUS$ member, a 17-year-old unnamed minor, was sentenced to an 18-month-long Youth Rehabilitation Order, including a three-month intensive supervision and surveillance requirement. He was found guilty of two counts of fraud, two Computer Misuse Act offenses, and one count of blackmail. Both defendants  were initially arrested in January 2022, and then released under investigation. They were re-arrested in March 2022. While Kurtaj was later granted bail, he continued to attack various companies until he was arrested again in September. The attack sp
Russian Arrested After Offering $1 Million to U.S. Company Employee for Planting Malware

Russian Arrested After Offering $1 Million to U.S. Company Employee for Planting Malware

Aug 26, 2020
Hackers always find a way in, even if there's no software vulnerability to exploit. The FBI has arrested a Russian national who recently traveled to the United States and offered $1 million in bribe to an employee of a targeted company for his help in installing malware into the company's computer network manually. Egor Igorevich Kriuchkov , 27-year-old, entered the United States as a tourist and was arrested in Los Angeles after meeting with the unnamed employee of an undisclosed Nevada-based company numerous times, between August 1 to August 21, to discuss the conspiracy. "On or about July 16, EGOR IGOREVICH KRIUCHKOV used his WhatsApp account to contact the employee of victim company and arranged to visit in person in the District of Nevada," the court documents say. "On or about July 28, EGOR IGOREVICH KRIUCHKOV entered the United States using his Russian Passport and a B1/B2 tourist visa." Kriuchkov also asked the employee to participate in
HBO Offered Hackers $250,000 As Ransom to Prevent More Leaks

HBO Offered Hackers $250,000 As Ransom to Prevent More Leaks

Aug 12, 2017
Hackers who recently hacked into HBO network and stole scripts, shows, and employee information documents, have now provided an email in which the United States cable channel offered them $250,000 . The company offered the payment as a "bounty payment" reward in which companies reward white-hat hackers for discovering cyber security vulnerabilities in their computer networks. Late last month, the HBO hackers claimed to have obtained around 1.5 terabytes of information from HBO and dropped upcoming episodes of "Ballers" and "Room 104," and a script of the fourth episode of "Game of Thrones." A week after that, the hackers released another half-gigabyte sample of its stolen HBO data, including company's emails, employment agreements, and financial balance sheets, along with the script of the upcoming episode of Game of Thrones, demanding a ransom—nearly $6 Million in Bitcoins . Now, according to a screenshot of an email obtained b
Facebook's latest feature Alerts You if Someone Impersonates Your Profile

Facebook's latest feature Alerts You if Someone Impersonates Your Profile

Mar 26, 2016
Online harassment has been elevated a step with the advent of popular social networks like Facebook. Cyber stalkers create fake profiles impersonating other Facebook users and start doing activities on their behalf until and unless the owners notice the fake profiles and manually report it to Facebook. Even in some cases, cyber stalkers block the Facebook account holders whom they impersonate in order to carry out mischievous tasks through fake profiles without being detected by the actual account holders. But now, online criminals can no longer fool anyone with impersonation method, as Facebook is currently working on a feature that automatically informs its 1.6 Billion user base about the cloned accounts. If the company detects a duplicate Facebook account of a user, it will automatically send an alert to the original account holder, who'll be prompted to identify if the profile in question is indeed a fake profile impersonating you or if it actually belongs t
This Creepy App Captures Users' Private Moment Photos and Blackmails for Money

This Creepy App Captures Users' Private Moment Photos and Blackmails for Money

Sep 08, 2015
How difficult is for hackers to take over your personal photographs? They just need to trick you to download an app, or may be a Porn app . Yes, if you are one of those who can't resist watching porn then you could be an easy target for hackers who are distributing ransomware via malicious pornography app to run you out of your money. A pornography application for Android called Adult Player that promises free pornographic videos has been caught taking photographs of users and then extorting them for ransom ( Cyber Extortion ). Once installed, Adult Player gains administrator access to the victim's device, which then allows it to load malicious ransomware files. When Hackers Turn to Blackmail: Demands $500 Ransom When a user opens the app, Adult Player secretly takes photos of the user with the help of front-facing camera and then demands a $500 (£330) ransom in order to restore the device access and delete all photos stored on attackers server.
Hacker threatens to sell data of 3.7 Million Israeli Bank Customers, demands extortion money in Bitcoin

Hacker threatens to sell data of 3.7 Million Israeli Bank Customers, demands extortion money in Bitcoin

Dec 21, 2013
Data breaches and security incidents are a constant in the headlines these days. Hackers and cyber criminals   are motivated by status or money and finding new innovative and more creative attacks to achieve this. One of them are, Digital Bank robbery  - where the thieves didn't need masks and guns to pull off the job, all they need are - Hacking Skills, a computer and the Internet. Another way is  Cyber extortion  - threat of attack against an enterprise or a bank, coupled with a demand for money to avert or stop the attack. According to Haaretz news, A Hacker - who is the operator of a biggest botnet malware network in the Israel, has threatens 3 major Israeli banks, i.e. Israel Discount Bank, Bank Yahav and the First International Bank of Israel. " Bank received an e-mail message threatening that unless they handed over a certain sum in Bitcoins by the end of next week, a list of customers' details would be given to hostile elements. " Banks database, network an
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