#1 Trusted Cybersecurity News Platform Followed by 3.45+ million
The Hacker News Logo
Subscribe to Newsletter

hacking news | Breaking Cybersecurity News | The Hacker News

Sydney Man Sentenced for Blackmailing Optus Customers After Data Breach

Sydney Man Sentenced for Blackmailing Optus Customers After Data Breach
Feb 08, 2023 Cyber Crime / SMS Fraud
A Sydney man has been  sentenced  to an 18-month Community Correction Order ( CCO ) and 100 hours of community service for attempting to take advantage of the Optus data breach last year to blackmail its customers. The unnamed individual, 19 when  arrested in October 2022  and now 20, used the leaked records stolen from the security lapse to orchestrate an SMS-based extortion scheme. The suspect contacted dozens of victims to threaten that their personal information would be sold to other hackers and "used for fraudulent activity" unless an AU$ 2,000 payment is made to a bank account under their control. The scammer is said to have sent the SMS messages to 92 individuals whose information was part of a  larger cache of 10,200 records  that was briefly published in a criminal forum in September 2022, The Australian Federal Police (AFP), which launched Operation Guardian following the breach, said there is no evidence that any of the affected customers transferred the dem

Russian Hacker Pleads Guilty to Money Laundering Linked to Ryuk Ransomware

Russian Hacker Pleads Guilty to Money Laundering Linked to Ryuk Ransomware
Feb 08, 2023 Cryptocurrency / Endpoint Security
A Russian national on February 7, 2023, pleaded guilty in the U.S. to money laundering charges and for attempting to conceal the source of funds obtained in connection with Ryuk ransomware attacks. Denis Mihaqlovic Dubnikov, 30, was  arrested  in Amsterdam in November 2021 before he was extradited from the Netherlands in August 2022. He is awaiting sentencing on April 11, 2023. "Between at least August 2018 and August 2021, Dubnikov and his co-conspirators laundered the proceeds of Ryuk ransomware attacks on individuals and organizations throughout the United States and abroad," the Department of Justice (DoJ)  said . Dubnikov and his accomplices are said to have engaged in various criminal schemes designed to obscure the trail of the ill-gotten proceeds. According to DoJ, a chunk of the 250 Bitcoin ransom paid by a U.S. company in July 2019 after a Ryuk attack was sent to Dubnikov in exchange for about $400,000. The crypto was subsequently converted to Tether and trans

VMware Finds No Evidence of 0-Day in Ongoing ESXiArgs Ransomware Spree

VMware Finds No Evidence of 0-Day in Ongoing ESXiArgs Ransomware Spree
Feb 07, 2023 Endpoint Security / Zero-Day
VMware on Monday said it found no evidence that threat actors are leveraging an unknown security flaw, i.e., a zero-day, in its software as part of an  ongoing ransomware attack spree  worldwide. "Most reports state that End of General Support (EoGS) and/or significantly out-of-date products are being targeted with known vulnerabilities which were previously addressed and disclosed in VMware Security Advisories (VMSAs)," the virtualization services provider  said . The company is further recommending users to upgrade to the latest available supported releases of vSphere components to mitigate known issues and  disable the OpenSLP service  in ESXi. "In 2021, ESXi 7.0 U2c and ESXi 8.0 GA began shipping with the service disabled by default," VMware added. The announcement comes as unpatched and unsecured VMware ESXi servers around the world have been targeted in a  large-scale   ransomware campaign  dubbed ESXiArgs by likely exploiting a two-year-old bug VMware p

FormBook Malware Spreads via Malvertising Using MalVirt Loader to Evade Detection

FormBook Malware Spreads via Malvertising Using MalVirt Loader to Evade Detection
Feb 06, 2023 Malvertising / Data Safety
An ongoing malvertising campaign is being used to distribute virtualized .NET loaders that are designed to deploy the FormBook information-stealing malware. "The loaders, dubbed MalVirt, use obfuscated virtualization for anti-analysis and evasion along with the Windows Process Explorer driver for terminating processes," SentinelOne researchers Aleksandar Milenkoski and Tom Hegel  said  in a technical write-up. The shift to Google malvertising is the latest example of how crimeware actors are  devising alternate delivery routes  to distribute malware ever since Microsoft announced plans to block the execution of macros in Office by default from files downloaded from the internet. Malvertising entails placing rogue search engine advertisements in hopes of tricking users searching for popular software like Blender into downloading the trojanized software. The MalVirt loaders, which are implemented in .NET, use the legitimate  KoiVM  virtualizing protector for .NET applicati

Is Your EV Charging Station Safe? New Security Vulnerabilities Uncovered

Is Your EV Charging Station Safe? New Security Vulnerabilities Uncovered
Feb 03, 2023 Automotive Security / Vulnerability
Two new security weaknesses discovered in several electric vehicle (EV) charging systems could be exploited to remotely shut down charging stations and even expose them to data and energy theft. The findings, which come from Israel-based SaiFlow, once again demonstrate the  potential risks  facing the EV charging infrastructure. The issues have been identified in version 1.6J of the Open Charge Point Protocol ( OCPP ) standard that uses WebSockets for communication between EV charging stations and the Charging Station Management System (CSMS) providers. The current version of OCPP is 2.0.1. "The OCPP standard doesn't define how a CSMS should accept new connections from a charge point when there is already an active connection," SaiFlow researchers Lionel Richard Saposnik and Doron Porat  said . "The lack of a clear guideline for multiple active connections can be exploited by attackers to disrupt and hijack the connection between the charge point and the CSMS.&q

Iranian OilRig Hackers Using New Backdoor to Exfiltrate Data from Govt. Organizations

Iranian OilRig Hackers Using New Backdoor to Exfiltrate Data from Govt. Organizations
Feb 03, 2023 Cyber Espionage / Cyber Threat
The Iranian nation-state hacking group known as  OilRig  has continued to target government organizations in the Middle East as part of a cyber espionage campaign that leverages a new backdoor to exfiltrate data. "The campaign abuses legitimate but compromised email accounts to send stolen data to external mail accounts controlled by the attackers," Trend Micro researchers Mohamed Fahmy, Sherif Magdy, and Mahmoud Zohdy  said . While the technique in itself is not unheard of, the development marks the first time OilRig has adopted it in its playbook, indicating the continued evolution of its methods to bypass security protections. The advanced persistent threat (APT) group, also referred to as APT34, Cobalt Gypsy, Europium, and Helix Kitten, has been  documented  for its targeted phishing attacks in the Middle East since at least 2014. Linked to Iran's Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS), the group is known to use a diverse toolset in its operations, with re

New High-Severity Vulnerabilities Discovered in Cisco IOx and F5 BIG-IP Products

New High-Severity Vulnerabilities Discovered in Cisco IOx and F5 BIG-IP Products
Feb 03, 2023 Network Security / Vulnerability
F5 has warned of a high-severity flaw impacting BIG-IP appliances that could lead to denial-of-service (DoS) or arbitrary code execution. The issue is rooted in the iControl Simple Object Access Protocol ( SOAP ) interface and affects the following versions of BIG-IP - 13.1.5 14.1.4.6 - 14.1.5 15.1.5.1 - 15.1.8 16.1.2.2 - 16.1.3, and 17.0.0 "A format string vulnerability exists in iControl SOAP that allows an authenticated attacker to crash the iControl SOAP CGI process or, potentially execute arbitrary code," the company  said  in an advisory. "In appliance mode BIG-IP, a successful exploit of this vulnerability can allow the attacker to cross a security boundary." Tracked as CVE-2023-22374 (CVSS score: 7.5/8.5), security researcher Ron Bowes of Rapid7 has been credited with discovering and reporting the flaw on December 6, 2022. Given that the iCOntrol SOAP interface runs as root, a successful exploit could permit a threat actor to remotely trigger co

New Russian-Backed Gamaredon's Spyware Variants Targeting Ukrainian Authorities

New Russian-Backed Gamaredon's Spyware Variants Targeting Ukrainian Authorities
Feb 02, 2023 Cyber Risk / Threat Detection
The State Cyber Protection Centre (SCPC) of Ukraine has called out the Russian state-sponsored threat actor known as  Gamaredon  for its targeted cyber attacks on public authorities and critical information infrastructure in the country. The advanced persistent threat, also known as Actinium, Armageddon, Iron Tilden, Primitive Bear, Shuckworm, Trident Ursa, and UAC-0010, has a  track record  of  striking   Ukrainian entities  dating as far back as 2013. "UAC-0010 group's ongoing activity is characterized by a multi-step download approach and executing payloads of the spyware used to maintain control over infected hosts," the SCPC  said . "For now, the UAC-0010 group uses  GammaLoad and GammaSteel  spyware in their campaigns." GammaLoad is a VBScript dropper malware engineered to download next-stage VBScript from a remote server. GammaSteel is a PowerShell script that's capable of conducting reconnaissance and executing additional commands. The goal of t

New Report Reveals NikoWiper Malware That Targeted Ukraine Energy Sector

New Report Reveals NikoWiper Malware That Targeted Ukraine Energy Sector
Jan 31, 2023 Cyber War / Malware
The Russia-affiliated Sandworm used yet another wiper malware strain dubbed  NikoWiper  as part of an attack that took place in October 2022 targeting an energy sector company in Ukraine. "The NikoWiper is based on  SDelete , a command line utility from Microsoft that is used for securely deleting files," cybersecurity company ESET  revealed  in its latest APT Activity Report shared with The Hacker News. The Slovak cybersecurity firm said the attacks coincided with  missile strikes  orchestrated by the Russian armed forces aimed at the Ukrainian energy infrastructure, suggesting overlaps in objectives. The disclosure comes merely days after ESET attributed Sandworm to a Golang-based data wiper known as  SwiftSlicer  that was deployed against an unnamed Ukrainian entity on January 25, 2023. The advanced persistent threat (APT) group linked to Russia's foreign military intelligence agency GRU has also been implicated in a partially successful attack targeting national

Researchers Uncover Packer Used by Several Malware to Evade Detection for 6 Years

Researchers Uncover Packer Used by Several Malware to Evade Detection for 6 Years
Jan 31, 2023 Threat Detection / Malware
A shellcode-based  packer  dubbed  TrickGate  has been successfully operating without attracting notice for over six years, while enabling threat actors to deploy a wide range of malware such as TrickBot, Emotet, AZORult, Agent Tesla, FormBook, Cerber, Maze, and REvil over the years. "TrickGate managed to stay under the radar for years because it is transformative – it undergoes changes periodically," Check Point Research's Arie Olshtein  said , calling it a "master of disguises." Offered as a service to other threat actors since at least late 2016, TrickGate helps conceal payloads behind a layer of wrapper code in an attempt to get past security solutions installed on a host. Packers can also function as crypters by encrypting the malware as an obfuscation mechanism. "Packers have different features that allow them to circumvent detection mechanisms by appearing as benign files, being difficult to reverse engineer, or incorporating sandbox evasion tec

ISC Releases Security Patches for New BIND DNS Software Vulnerabilities

ISC Releases Security Patches for New BIND DNS Software Vulnerabilities
Jan 28, 2023 Server Security / DNS
The Internet Systems Consortium (ISC) has released patches to address multiple security vulnerabilities in the Berkeley Internet Name Domain (BIND) 9 Domain Name System (DNS) software suite that could lead to a denial-of-service (DoS) condition. "A remote attacker could exploit these vulnerabilities to potentially cause denial-of-service conditions and system failures," the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)  said  in an advisory released Friday. The open source software is used by major financial firms, national and international carriers, internet service providers (ISPs), retailers, manufacturers, educational institutions, and government entities, according to its  website . All four flaws reside in  named , a  BIND9 service  that functions as an authoritative nameserver for a fixed set of DNS zones or as a recursive resolver for clients on a local network. The list of the bugs, which are rated 7.5 on the CVSS scoring system, is as follows -

Experts Uncover the Identity of Mastermind Behind Golden Chickens Malware Service

Experts Uncover the Identity of Mastermind Behind Golden Chickens Malware Service
Jan 27, 2023 Threat Response / Cyber Crime
Cybersecurity researchers have discovered the real-world identity of the threat actor behind  Golden Chickens  malware-as-a-service, who goes by the online persona "badbullzvenom." eSentire's Threat Response Unit (TRU), in an exhaustive report published following a 16-month-long investigation,  said  it "found multiple mentions of the badbullzvenom account being shared between two people." The second threat actor, known as Frapstar, is said to identify themselves as "Chuck from Montreal," enabling the cybersecurity firm to piece together the criminal actor's digital footprint. This includes his real name, pictures, home address, the names of his parents, siblings, and friends, along with his social media accounts and his interests. He is also said to be the sole proprietor of a small business that's run from his own home. Golden Chickens, also known as  Venom Spider , is a malware-as-a-service (MaaS) provider that's linked to a variet

British Cyber Agency Warns of Russian and Iranian Hackers Targeting Key Industries

British Cyber Agency Warns of Russian and Iranian Hackers Targeting Key Industries
Jan 27, 2023 Nation-State-Sponsored Attacks
The U.K. National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) on Thursday warned of spear-phishing attacks mounted by Russian and Iranian state-sponsored actors for information-gathering operations. "The attacks are not aimed at the general public but targets in specified sectors, including academia, defense, government organizations, NGOs, think tanks, as well as politicians, journalists, and activists," the NCSC  said . The agency attributed the intrusions to  SEABORGIUM  (aka Callisto, COLDRIVER, and TA446) and  APT42  (aka ITG18, TA453, and Yellow Garuda). The similarities in the modus operandi aside, there is no evidence the two groups are collaborating with each other. The activity is typical of spear-phishing campaigns, where the threat actors send messages tailored to the targets, while also taking enough time to research their interests and identify their social and professional circles. The initial contact is designed to appear innocuous in an attempt to gain their trust and

Researchers Uncover Connection b/w Moses Staff and Emerging Abraham's Ax Hacktivists Group

Researchers Uncover Connection b/w Moses Staff and Emerging Abraham's Ax Hacktivists Group
Jan 26, 2023
New research has linked the operations of a politically motivated hacktivist group known as Moses Staff to another nascent threat actor named  Abraham's Ax  that emerged in November 2022. This is based on "several commonalities across the iconography, videography, and leak sites used by the groups, suggesting they are likely operated by the same entity," Secureworks Counter Threat Unit (CTU)  said  in a report shared with The Hacker News. Moses Staff, tracked by the cybersecurity firm under the moniker  Cobalt Sapling , made its  first appearance  on the threat landscape in September 2021 with the goal of primarily targeting Israeli organizations. The geopolitical group is believed to be  sponsored  by the Iranian government and has since been linked to a string of espionage and sabotage attacks that make use of tools like  StrifeWater RAT  and open source utilities such as  DiskCryptor  to harvest sensitive information and lock victim data on infected hosts. The cr

North Korean Hackers Turn to Credential Harvesting in Latest Wave of Cyberattacks

North Korean Hackers Turn to Credential Harvesting in Latest Wave of Cyberattacks
Jan 25, 2023 Cryptocurrency / Malware
A North Korean nation-state group notorious for crypto heists has been attributed to a new wave of malicious email attacks as part of a "sprawling" credential harvesting activity targeting a number of industry verticals, marking a significant shift in its strategy. The state-aligned threat actor is being tracked by Proofpoint under the name  TA444 , and by the larger cybersecurity community as APT38,  BlueNoroff , Copernicium, and Stardust Chollima. TA444 is "utilizing a wider variety of delivery methods and payloads alongside blockchain-related lures, fake job opportunities at prestigious firms, and salary adjustments to ensnare victims," the enterprise security firm  said  in a report shared with The Hacker News. The advanced persistent threat is something of an aberration among state-sponsored groups in that its operations are financially motivated and geared towards generating illicit revenue for the Hermit Kingdom as opposed to espionage and data theft. T

Chinese Hackers Utilize Golang Malware in DragonSpark Attacks to Evade Detection

Chinese Hackers Utilize Golang Malware in DragonSpark Attacks to Evade Detection
Jan 24, 2023 Cyber Espionage / Golang
Organizations in East Asia are being targeted by a likely Chinese-speaking actor dubbed DragonSpark while employing uncommon tactics to go past security layers. "The attacks are characterized by the use of the little known open source SparkRAT and malware that attempts to evade detection through Golang source code interpretation," SentinelOne  said  in an analysis published today. A striking aspect of the intrusions is the consistent use of SparkRAT to conduct a variety of activities, including stealing information, obtaining control of an infected host, or running additional PowerShell instructions. The threat actor's end goals remain unknown as yet, although espionage or cybercrime is likely to be the motive. DragonSpark's ties to China stem from the use of the  China Chopper  web shell to deploy malware – a widely used attack pathway among Chinese threat actors. Furthermore, not only do the open source tools used in the cyber assaults originate from develope

Emotet Malware Makes a Comeback with New Evasion Techniques

Emotet Malware Makes a Comeback with New Evasion Techniques
Jan 24, 2023 Cyber Threat / Cyber Crime
The Emotet malware operation has continued to refine its tactics in an effort to fly under the radar, while also acting as a conduit for other dangerous malware such as Bumblebee and IcedID. Emotet, which officially  reemerged  in late 2021 following a coordinated takedown of its infrastructure by authorities earlier that year, has continued to be a persistent threat that's distributed via phishing emails. Attributed to a cybercrime group tracked as  TA542  (aka Gold Crestwood or Mummy Spider), the virus has  evolved  from a banking trojan to a malware distributor since its first appearance in 2014. The malware-as-a-service (MaaS) is also modular, capable of deploying an array of proprietary and freeware components that can exfiltrate sensitive information from compromised machines and carry out other post-exploitation activities. Two latest additions to Emotet's module arsenal comprise an  SMB spreader  that's designed to facilitate lateral movement using a list of h

Massive Ad Fraud Scheme Targeted Over 11 Million Devices with 1,700 Spoofed Apps

Massive Ad Fraud Scheme Targeted Over 11 Million Devices with 1,700 Spoofed Apps
Jan 23, 2023 Mobile Security / Malvertising
Researchers have shut down an "expansive" ad fraud scheme that spoofed more than 1,700 applications from 120 publishers and impacted roughly 11 million devices.  "VASTFLUX was a malvertising attack that injected malicious JavaScript code into digital ad creatives, allowing the fraudsters to stack numerous invisible video ad players behind one another and register ad views," fraud prevention firm HUMAN  said . The operation gets its name from the use of a DNS evasion technique called  Fast Flux  and  VAST , a Digital Video Ad Serving Template that's employed to serve ads to video players. The sophisticated operation particularly exploited the restricted in-app environments that run ads on iOS to place bids for displaying ad banners. Should the auction be won, the hijacked ad slot is leveraged to inject rogue JavaScript that establishes contact with a remote server to retrieve the list of apps to be targeted. This includes the  bundle IDs  that belong to leg

Roaming Mantis Spreading Mobile Malware That Hijacks Wi-Fi Routers' DNS Settings

Roaming Mantis Spreading Mobile Malware That Hijacks Wi-Fi Routers' DNS Settings
Jan 20, 2023 Network Security / Mobile Hacking
Threat actors associated with the Roaming Mantis attack campaign have been observed delivering an updated variant of their patent mobile malware known as Wroba to infiltrate Wi-Fi routers and undertake Domain Name System ( DNS ) hijacking. Kaspersky, which carried out an  analysis  of the malicious artifact, said the feature is designed to target specific Wi-Fi routers located in South Korea. Roaming Mantis, also known as Shaoye, is a long-running financially motivated operation that singles out Android smartphone users with malware capable of stealing bank account credentials as well as harvesting other kinds of sensitive information. Although primarily  targeting the Asian region  since 2018, the hacking crew was detected  expanding  its  victim range  to include France and Germany for the first time in early 2022 by camouflaging the malware as the Google Chrome web browser application. The attacks leverage smishing messages as the initial intrusion vector of choice to deliver
More Resources