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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.
Alert: Cybercriminals Deploying VCURMS and STRRAT Trojans via AWS and GitHub

Alert: Cybercriminals Deploying VCURMS and STRRAT Trojans via AWS and GitHub

Mar 13, 2024 Phishing Attack / Threat Intelligence
A new phishing campaign has been observed delivering remote access trojans (RAT) such as VCURMS and STRRAT by means of a malicious Java-based downloader. "The attackers stored malware on public services like Amazon Web Services (AWS) and GitHub, employing a commercial protector to avoid detection of the malware," Fortinet FortiGuard Labs researcher Yurren Wan  said . An unusual aspect of the campaign is VCURMS' use of a Proton Mail email address ("sacriliage@proton[.]me") for communicating with a command-and-control (C2) server. The attack chain commences with a phishing email that urges recipients to click on a button to verify payment information, resulting in the download of a malicious JAR file ("Payment-Advice.jar") hosted on AWS. Executing the JAR file leads to the retrieval of two more JAR files, which are then run separately to launch the twin trojans. Besides sending an email with the message "Hey master, I am online" to the actor-controlled address, VCURMS RAT periodic
Why Regulated Industries are Turning to Military-Grade Cyber Defenses

Why Regulated Industries are Turning to Military-Grade Cyber Defenses

Jun 14, 2024Cybersecurity / Regulatory Compliance
As cyber threats loom large and data breaches continue to pose increasingly significant risks. Organizations and industries that handle sensitive information and valuable assets make prime targets for cybercriminals seeking financial gain or strategic advantage.  Which is why many highly regulated sectors, from finance to utilities, are turning to military-grade cyber defenses to safeguard their operations. Regulatory Pressures Impacting Cyber Decisions Industries such as finance, healthcare, and government are subject to strict regulatory standards, governing data privacy, security, and compliance. Non-compliance with these regulations can result in severe penalties, legal repercussions, and damage to reputation. To meet regulatory requirements and mitigate the ever-increasing risk, organizations are shifting to adopt more robust cybersecurity measures. Understanding the Increase of Threats Attacks on regulated industries have increased dramatically over the past 5 years, with o
Microsoft Confirms Russian Hackers Stole Source Code, Some Customer Secrets

Microsoft Confirms Russian Hackers Stole Source Code, Some Customer Secrets

Mar 09, 2024 Cyber Attack / Threat Intelligence
Microsoft on Friday revealed that the Kremlin-backed threat actor known as  Midnight Blizzard  (aka APT29 or Cozy Bear) managed to gain access to some of its source code repositories and internal systems following a  hack that came to light  in January 2024. "In recent weeks, we have seen evidence that Midnight Blizzard is using information initially exfiltrated from our corporate email systems to gain, or attempt to gain, unauthorized access," the tech giant  said . "This has included access to some of the company's source code repositories and internal systems. To date we have found no evidence that Microsoft-hosted customer-facing systems have been compromised." Redmond, which is continuing to investigate the extent of the breach, said the Russian state-sponsored threat actor is attempting to leverage the different types of secrets it found, including those that were shared between customers and Microsoft in email. It, however, did not disclose what the
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Join the Live Session: How to Automate SOC 2 & ISO 27001 Compliance

websiteVantaCompliance / Risk Management
Learn about the in-demand frameworks and how Vanta's automation can help you quickly achieve compliance.
Secrets Sensei: Conquering Secrets Management Challenges

Secrets Sensei: Conquering Secrets Management Challenges

Mar 08, 2024 Secrets Management / Access Control
In the realm of cybersecurity, the stakes are sky-high, and at its core lies secrets management — the foundational pillar upon which your security infrastructure rests. We're all familiar with the routine: safeguarding those API keys, connection strings, and certificates is non-negotiable. However, let's dispense with the pleasantries; this isn't a simple 'set it and forget it' scenario. It's about guarding your secrets in an age where threats morph as swiftly as technology itself. Lets shed some light on common practices that could spell disaster as well as the tools and strategies to confidently navigate and overcome these challenges. In simple words this is a first step guide for mastering secrets management across diverse terrains.  Top 5 common secrets management mistakes Alright, let's dive into some common secrets management mistakes that can trip up even the savviest of teams: Hard coding secrets in code repositories:  A classic mistake, hard codin
Ex-Google Engineer Arrested for Stealing AI Technology Secrets for China

Ex-Google Engineer Arrested for Stealing AI Technology Secrets for China

Mar 07, 2024 Artificial Intelligence / Corporate Espionage
The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) announced the indictment of a 38-year-old Chinese national and a California resident for allegedly stealing proprietary information from Google while covertly working for two China-based tech companies. Linwei Ding (aka Leon Ding), a former Google engineer who was arrested on March 6, 2024, "transferred sensitive Google trade secrets and other confidential information from Google's network to his personal account while secretly affiliating himself with PRC-based companies in the AI industry," the DoJ  said . The defendant is said to have pilfered from Google over 500 confidential files containing artificial intelligence (AI) trade secrets with the goal of passing them on to two unnamed Chinese companies looking to gain an edge in the ongoing AI race. "While Linwei Ding was employed as a software engineer at Google, he was secretly working to enrich himself and two companies based in the People's Republic of China," sa
Cybercriminals Using Novel DNS Hijacking Technique for Investment Scams

Cybercriminals Using Novel DNS Hijacking Technique for Investment Scams

Mar 05, 2024 Cybercrime / Malware
A new DNS threat actor dubbed  Savvy Seahorse  is leveraging sophisticated techniques to entice targets into fake investment platforms and steal funds. "Savvy Seahorse is a DNS threat actor who convinces victims to create accounts on fake investment platforms, make deposits to a personal account, and then transfers those deposits to a bank in Russia," Infoblox  said  in a report published last week. Targets of the campaigns include Russian, Polish, Italian, German, Czech, Turkish, French, Spanish, and English speakers, indicating that the threat actors are casting a wide net in their attacks. Users are lured via ads on social media platforms like Facebook, while also tricking them into parting with their personal information in return for alleged high-return investment opportunities through fake ChatGPT and WhatsApp bots. The financial scam campaigns are notable for using DNS canonical name (CNAME) records to create a traffic distribution system ( TDS ), thereby allowing threat a
U.S. Court Orders NSO Group to Hand Over Pegasus Spyware Code to WhatsApp

U.S. Court Orders NSO Group to Hand Over Pegasus Spyware Code to WhatsApp

Mar 02, 2024 Spyware / Privacy
A U.S. judge has ordered NSO Group to hand over its source code for  Pegasus  and other remote access trojans to Meta as part of the social media giant's ongoing litigation against the Israeli spyware vendor. The decision marks a major legal victory for Meta, which  filed the lawsuit  in October 2019 for using its infrastructure to  distribute the spyware  to approximately 1,400 mobile devices between April and May. This also  included  two dozen Indian activists and journalists. These attacks leveraged a then zero-day flaw in the instant messaging app ( CVE-2019-3568 , CVSS score: 9.8), a critical  buffer overflow bug  in the voice call functionality, to deliver Pegasus by merely placing a call, even in scenarios where the calls were left unanswered. In addition, the attack chain included steps to erase the incoming call information from the logs in an attempt to sidestep detection. Court documents released late last month show that NSO Group has been asked to "produce
How to Prioritize Cybersecurity Spending: A Risk-Based Strategy for the Highest ROI

How to Prioritize Cybersecurity Spending: A Risk-Based Strategy for the Highest ROI

Feb 29, 2024 Attack Surface / Incident Response
As an IT leader, staying on top of the latest cybersecurity developments is essential to keeping your organization safe. But with threats coming from all around — and hackers dreaming up new exploits every day — how do you create proactive, agile cybersecurity strategies? And what cybersecurity approach gives you the most bang for your buck, mitigating your risks and maximizing the value of your cybersecurity investments? Let's take a closer look at the trends that are impacting organizations today, including the growing reach of data breaches and the increase in cybersecurity spending, and explore how you can get the most out of your cybersecurity resources, effectively securing your digital assets and maintaining your organization's integrity in the face of ever-evolving cyber threats. Successful data breaches In 2022, the number of people affected by data breaches increased significantly. According to the  Identity Theft Resource Center's 2022 Data Breach Report , more than 1,80
LockBit Ransomware Group Resurfaces After Law Enforcement Takedown

LockBit Ransomware Group Resurfaces After Law Enforcement Takedown

Feb 26, 2024 Dark Web / Threat Intelligence
The threat actors behind the LockBit ransomware operation have resurfaced on the dark web using new infrastructure, days after an international law enforcement exercise  seized control  of its servers. To that end, the notorious group has moved its data leak portal to a new .onion address on the TOR network, listing 12 new victims as of writing. The administrator behind LockBit, in a  lengthy follow-up message , said some of their websites were confiscated by most likely exploiting a critical PHP flaw tracked as CVE-2023-3824, acknowledging that they didn't update PHP due to "personal negligence and irresponsibility." "I realize that it may not have been this CVE, but something else like 0-day for PHP, but I can't be 100% sure, because the version installed on my servers was already known to have a known vulnerability, so this is most likely how the victims' admin and chat panel servers and the blog server were accessed," they noted. They also cla
Cybersecurity for Healthcare—Diagnosing the Threat Landscape and Prescribing Solutions for Recovery

Cybersecurity for Healthcare—Diagnosing the Threat Landscape and Prescribing Solutions for Recovery

Feb 21, 2024 Endpoint Security / Healthcare
On Thanksgiving Day 2023, while many Americans were celebrating, hospitals across the U.S. were doing quite the opposite. Systems were failing. Ambulances were diverted. Care was impaired. Hospitals in three states were  hit by a ransomware attack , and in that moment, the real-world repercussions came to light—it wasn't just computer networks that were brought to a halt, but actual patient care itself.  Cybercriminals are more brazen than ever, targeting smaller healthcare organizations for big payouts. Sure, it would be nice to believe thieves once lived by a code of conduct, but if one ever existed, it's been torn to shreds and tossed into the wind. Sophisticated hacker groups are now more than happy to launch cyberattacks on medical clinics, nursing homes, and other health service providers. Small- to mid-sized healthcare organizations have, unfortunately, become vulnerable targets from which cybercriminals can easily steal sensitive data, extort heavy ransoms, and, worst of all,
LockBit Ransomware Operation Shut Down; Criminals Arrested; Decryption Keys Released

LockBit Ransomware Operation Shut Down; Criminals Arrested; Decryption Keys Released

Feb 20, 2024 Ransomware / Data Protection
The U.K. National Crime Agency (NCA) on Tuesday confirmed that it obtained LockBit's source code as well as a wealth of intelligence pertaining to its activities and their affiliates as part of a dedicated task force called  Operation Cronos . "Some of the data on LockBit's systems belonged to victims who had paid a ransom to the threat actors, evidencing that even when a ransom is paid, it does not guarantee that data will be deleted, despite what the criminals have promised," the agency  said . It also announced the arrest of two LockBit actors in Poland and Ukraine. Over 200 cryptocurrency accounts linked to the group have been frozen. Indictments and sanctions have also been unsealed in the U.S. against two other Russian nationals who are alleged to have carried out LockBit attacks. Artur Sungatov and Ivan Gennadievich Kondratiev (aka Bassterlord) have been accused of deploying LockBit against numerous victims throughout the U.S., including businesses nationw
How Businesses Can Safeguard Their Communication Channels Against Hackers

How Businesses Can Safeguard Their Communication Channels Against Hackers

Feb 17, 2024 Cybersecurity / Risk Mitigation
Efficient communication is a cornerstone of business success. Internally, making sure your team communicates seamlessly helps you avoid friction losses, misunderstandings, delays, and overlaps. Externally, frustration-free customer communication is directly correlated to a positive customer experience and higher satisfaction.  However, business communication channels are also a major target for cybercriminals. In recent years, especially since the pandemic, the number of cyberattacks has skyrocketed.  Statistics show  that last year alone, the number of hacks shot up by 38%. Worse, it still takes a business 277 days on average to identify a breach, causing a loss of $4.35 on average. So, how can businesses safeguard their communication channels against hackers, while still providing the best possible experience for customers and maintaining team productivity? Here's everything you need to know – and which  mistakes you need to avoid . Use Secure Platforms  To begin with, there is
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