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19-Year-Old Teen Arrested for Using Leaked Optus Breach Data in SMS Scam

19-Year-Old Teen Arrested for Using Leaked Optus Breach Data in SMS Scam
October 06, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
The Australian Federal Police (AFP) has arrested a 19-year-old teen from Sydney for allegedly attempting to leverage the data leaked following the Optus data breach late last month to extort victims. The suspect is said to have carried out a text message blackmail scam, demanding that the recipients transfer $2,000 to a bank account or risk getting their personal information misused for fraudulent activities. The source of the data, the agency said, was a sample database of 10,200 records that was posted briefly on a cybercrime forum accessible on the clearnet by an actor named "optusdata," before taking it down. Details of the scam were  previously shared  by 9News Australia reporter Chris O'Keefe on September 27, 2022. The AFP further said it executed a search warrant at the home of the offender, leading to the seizure of a mobile phone used to send the text messages to about 93 Optus customers. "At this stage it appears none of the individuals who received t

Former Uber Security Chief Found Guilty of Data Breach Coverup

Former Uber Security Chief Found Guilty of Data Breach Coverup
October 06, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
A U.S. federal court jury has found former Uber Chief Security Officer Joseph Sullivan guilty of not disclosing a 2016 breach of customer and driver records to regulators and attempting to cover up the incident. Sullivan has been convicted on two counts: One for obstructing justice by not reporting the incident and another for misprision. He faces a maximum of five years in prison for the obstruction charge, and a maximum of three years for the latter. "Technology companies in the Northern District of California collect and store vast amounts of data from users," U.S. Attorney Stephanie M. Hinds  said  in a press statement. "We expect those companies to protect that data and to alert customers and appropriate authorities when such data is stolen by hackers. Sullivan affirmatively worked to hide the data breach from the Federal Trade Commission and took steps to prevent the hackers from being caught." The 2016 hack of Uber occurred as a result of two hackers ga

Telstra Telecom Suffers Data Breach Potentially Exposing Employee Information

Telstra Telecom Suffers Data Breach Potentially Exposing Employee Information
October 05, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Australia's largest telecommunications company Telstra disclosed that it was the victim of a data breach through a third-party, nearly two weeks after Optus reported a breach of its own. "There has been no breach of Telstra's systems," Narelle Devine, the company's chief information security officer for the Asia Pacific region,  said . "And no customer account data was involved." It said the breach targeted a third-party platform called  Work Life NAB  that's no longer actively used by the company, and that the leaked data posted on the internet concerned a "now-obsolete Telstra employee rewards program." Telstra also noted it became aware of the breach last week, adding the information included first and last names and the email addresses used to sign up for the program. It further clarified that the data posted was from 2017. The data was "basic in nature," Devine said.  The company did not reveal how many employees wer

CISA Orders Federal Agencies to Regularly Track Network Assets and Vulnerabilities

CISA Orders Federal Agencies to Regularly Track Network Assets and Vulnerabilities
October 04, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
The U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has issued a new Binding Operational Directive (BOD) that directs federal agencies in the country to keep track of assets and vulnerabilities on their networks six months from now. To that end, Federal Civilian Executive Branch (FCEB) enterprises have been tasked with two sets of activities: Asset discovery and vulnerability enumeration, which are seen as essential steps to gain "greater visibility into risks facing federal civilian networks." This  involves  carrying out automated asset discovery every seven days and initiating vulnerability enumeration across those discovered assets every 14 days by April 3, 2023, in addition to having the capabilities to do so on an on-demand basis within 72 hours of receiving a request from CISA. Similar baseline vulnerability enumeration obligations have also been put in place for Android and iOS devices as well as other devices that reside outside of agency on-premise

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

Hackers Aid Protests Against Iranian Government with Proxies, Leaks and Hacks
September 29, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
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

Cyber Criminals Using Quantum Builder Sold on Dark Web to Deliver Agent Tesla Malware

Cyber Criminals Using Quantum Builder Sold on Dark Web to Deliver Agent Tesla Malware
September 28, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
A recently discovered malware builder called Quantum Builder is being used to deliver the Agent Tesla remote access trojan (RAT). "This campaign features enhancements and a shift toward LNK (Windows shortcut) files when compared to similar attacks in the past," Zscaler ThreatLabz researchers Niraj Shivtarkar and Avinash Kumar  said  in a Tuesday write-up. Sold on the dark web for €189 a month,  Quantum Builder  is a customizable tool for generating malicious shortcut files as well as HTA, ISO, and PowerShell payloads to deliver next-stage malware on the targeted machines, in this case  Agent Tesla . The multi-stage attack chain starts with a spear-phishing email containing a GZIP archive attachment that includes a shortcut designed to execute PowerShell code responsible for launching a remote HTML application (HTA) using  MSHTA . The phishing emails purport to be an order confirmation message from a Chinese supplier of lump and rock sugar, with the LNK file masqueradin

Facebook Shuts Down Covert Political 'Influence Operations' from Russia and China

Facebook Shuts Down Covert Political 'Influence Operations' from Russia and China
September 28, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Meta Platforms on Tuesday disclosed it took steps to dismantle two covert influence operations originating from China and Russia for engaging in coordinated inauthentic behavior (CIB) so as to manipulate public debate. While the Chinese operation sets its sights on the U.S. and the Czech Republic, the Russian network primarily targeted Germany, France, Italy, Ukraine and the U.K. with themes surrounding the ongoing war in Ukraine. "The largest and most complex Russian operation we've disrupted since the war in Ukraine began, it ran a sprawling network of over 60 websites impersonating news organizations, as well as accounts on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Telegram, Twitter, Change.org and Avaaz, and even LiveJournal," the social media behemoth  said . The sophisticated Russian activity, which commenced in May 2022, impersonated mainstream European news outlets like Der Spiegel, The Guardian, and Bild, not to mention build credibility by creating fake accounts across

North Korea's Lazarus Hackers Targeting macOS Users Interested in Crypto Jobs

North Korea's Lazarus Hackers Targeting macOS Users Interested in Crypto Jobs
September 27, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
The infamous Lazarus Group has continued its pattern of leveraging unsolicited job opportunities to deploy malware targeting Apple's macOS operating system. In the latest variant of the campaign observed by cybersecurity company SentinelOne last week, decoy documents advertising positions for the Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange firm Crypto[.]com have been used to mount the attacks. The latest disclosure builds on previous findings from Slovak cybersecurity firm ESET in August, which  delved  into a similar phony job posting for the Coinbase cryptocurrency exchange platform. Both these fake job advertisements are just the latest in a series of attacks dubbed  Operation In(ter)ception , which, in turn, is a constituent of a broader campaign tracked under the name  Operation Dream Job . Although the exact distribution vector for the malware remains unknown, it's suspected that potential targets are singled out via direct messages on the business networking site Linke

Hacker Behind Optus Breach Releases 10,200 Customer Records in Extortion Scheme

Hacker Behind Optus Breach Releases 10,200 Customer Records in Extortion Scheme
September 27, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
The Australian Federal Police (AFP) on Monday disclosed it's working to gather "crucial evidence" and that it's collaborating with overseas law enforcement authorities following the hack of telecom provider Optus. "Operation Hurricane has been launched to identify the criminals behind the alleged breach and to help shield Australians from identity fraud," the AFP  said  in a statement. The development comes after Optus, Australia's second-largest wireless carrier,  disclosed  on September 22, 2022, that it was a victim of a cyberattack. It claimed it "immediately shut down the attack" as soon as it came to light. The threat actor behind the breach also briefly released a sample of 10,200 records from the breach – putting those users at heightened risk of fraud – in addition to asking for $1 million as part of an extortion demand. The dataset has since been taken down, with the attacker also claiming to have deleted the only copy of the sto

Researchers Identify 3 Hacktivist Groups Supporting Russian Interests

Researchers Identify 3 Hacktivist Groups Supporting Russian Interests
September 26, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
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

BlackCat Ransomware Attackers Spotted Fine-Tuning Their Malware Arsenal

BlackCat Ransomware Attackers Spotted Fine-Tuning Their Malware Arsenal
September 26, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
The  BlackCat ransomware crew  has been spotted fine-tuning their malware arsenal to fly under the radar and expand their reach. "Among some of the more notable developments has been the use of a new version of the Exmatter data exfiltration tool, and the use of Eamfo, information-stealing malware that is designed to steal credentials stored by Veeam backup software," researchers from Symantec  said  in a new report. BlackCat, also known by the names ALPHV and Noberus, is attributed to an adversary tracked as Coreid (aka  FIN7 , Carbanak, or Carbon Spider) and is said to be a  rebranded successor  of  DarkSide  and  BlackMatter , both of which shut shop last year following a string of high-profile attacks, including that of Colonial Pipeline. The threat actor, like other notorious ransomware groups, is known to run a ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) operation, which involves its core developers enlisting the help of affiliates to carry out the attacks in exchange for a cut

Ukraine Arrests Cybercrime Group for Selling Data of 30 Million Accounts

Ukraine Arrests Cybercrime Group for Selling Data of 30 Million Accounts
September 26, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Ukrainian law enforcement authorities on Friday disclosed that it had "neutralized" a hacking group operating from the city of Lviv that it said acted on behalf of Russian interests. The group specialized in the sales of 30 million accounts belonging to citizens from Ukraine and the European Union on the dark web and netted a profit of $372,000 (14 million UAH) through electronic payment systems like YooMoney, Qiwi, and WebMoney that are outlawed in the country. "Their 'wholesale clients' were pro-kremlin propagandists," the Security Service of Ukraine (SSU)  said  in a press release. "It was them who used the received identification data of Ukrainian and foreign citizens to spread fake 'news' from the front and sow panic." The goal behind the campaign was "large-scale destabilization in multiple countries," it stated, adding the hacked accounts were used to propagate false information about the socio-political situation in U

London Police Arrested 17-Year-Old Hacker Suspected of Uber and GTA 6 Breaches

London Police Arrested 17-Year-Old Hacker Suspected of Uber and GTA 6 Breaches
September 24, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
The City of London Police on Friday revealed that it has arrested a 17-year-old teenager from Oxfordshire on suspicion of hacking. "On the evening of Thursday 22 September 2022, the City of London Police arrested a 17-year-old in Oxfordshire on suspicion of hacking," the agency  said , adding "he remains in police custody." The department said the arrest was made as part of an investigation in partnership with the U.K. National Crime Agency's cyber crime unit. No further details about the nature of the investigation were disclosed, although it's suspected that the law enforcement action may have something to do with the recent string of high-profile hacks aimed at  Uber  and  Rockstar Games . Both the intrusions are alleged to have been committed by the same threat actor, who goes by the name Tea Pot (aka teapotuberhacker). Uber, for its part, has pinned the breach on an attacker (or attackers) that it believes is associated with the LAPSUS$ extortion

Hackers Exploited Zero-Day RCE Vulnerability in Sophos Firewall — Patch Released

Hackers Exploited Zero-Day RCE Vulnerability in Sophos Firewall — Patch Released
September 24, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Security software company Sophos has released a patch update for its firewall product after it was discovered that attackers were exploiting a new critical zero-day vulnerability to attack its customers' network. The issue, tracked as  CVE-2022-3236  (CVSS score: 9.8), impacts Sophos Firewall v19.0 MR1 (19.0.1) and older and concerns a code injection vulnerability in the User Portal and Webadmin components that could result in remote code execution. The company  said  it "has observed this vulnerability being used to target a small set of specific organizations, primarily in the South Asia region," adding it directly notified these entities. As a workaround, Sophos is recommending that users take steps to ensure that the User Portal and Webadmin are not exposed to WAN. Alternatively, users can update to the latest supported version - v19.5 GA v19.0 MR2 (19.0.2) v19.0 GA, MR1, and MR1-1 v18.5 MR5 (18.5.5) v18.5 GA, MR1, MR1-1, MR2, MR3, and MR4 v18.0 MR3, MR4,

Researchers Uncover New Metador APT Targeting Telcos, ISPs, and Universities

Researchers Uncover New Metador APT Targeting Telcos, ISPs, and Universities
September 23, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
A previously undocumented threat actor of unknown origin has been linked to attacks targeting telecom, internet service providers, and universities across multiple countries in the Middle East and Africa. "The operators are highly aware of operations security, managing carefully segmented infrastructure per victim, and quickly deploying intricate countermeasures in the presence of security solutions," researchers from SentinelOne  said  in a new report. The cybersecurity firm codenamed the "pragmatic" group Metador in reference to a string "I am meta" in one of their malware samples and because of Spanish-language responses from the command-and-control (C2) servers. The threat actor is said to have primarily focused on the development of cross-platform malware in its pursuit of espionage aims. Other hallmarks of the campaign are the limited number of intrusions and long-term access to targets. This includes two different Windows malware platforms ca

Researchers Uncover Years-Long Mobile Spyware Campaign Targeting Uyghurs

Researchers Uncover Years-Long Mobile Spyware Campaign Targeting Uyghurs
September 22, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
A new wave of a mobile surveillance campaign has been observed targeting the Uyghur community as part of a long-standing spyware operation active since at least 2015, cybersecurity researchers disclosed Thursday. The intrusions, originally attributed to a threat actor named  Scarlet Mimic  back in January 2016, is said to have encompassed 20 different variants of the Android malware, which were disguised as books, pictures, and an audio version of the Quran. The malware, while relatively unsophisticated from a technical standpoint, comes with extensive capabilities to steal sensitive data from an infected device, send SMS messages on the victim's behalf, make phone calls, and track their locations. Additionally, it allows the recording of incoming and outgoing phone calls as well as surrounding audio. "All this makes it a powerful and dangerous surveillance tool," Israeli cybersecurity firm Check Point  said  in a technical deepdive, calling the spyware  MobileOrder

Malicious NPM Package Caught Mimicking Material Tailwind CSS Package

Malicious NPM Package Caught Mimicking Material Tailwind CSS Package
September 22, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
A malicious NPM package has been found masquerading as the legitimate software library for Material Tailwind, once again indicating attempts on the part of threat actors to distribute malicious code in open source software repositories. Material Tailwind is a  CSS-based framework  advertised by its maintainers as an "easy to use components library for Tailwind CSS and Material Design." "The malicious Material Tailwind npm package, while posing as a helpful development tool, has an automatic post-install script," Karlo Zanki, security researcher at ReversingLabs,  said  in a report shared with The Hacker News. This script is engineered to download a password-protected ZIP archive file that contains a Windows executable capable of running PowerShell scripts. The now-removed rogue package, named  material-tailwindcss , has been downloaded 320 times to date, all of which occurred on or after September 15, 2022. In a tactic that's becoming increasingly common,

15-Year-Old Unpatched Python Vulnerability Potentially Affects Over 350,000 Projects

15-Year-Old Unpatched Python Vulnerability Potentially Affects Over 350,000 Projects
September 22, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
As many as 350,000 open source projects are believed to be potentially vulnerable to exploitation as a result of a security flaw in a Python module that has remained unpatched for 15 years. The open source repositories span a number of industry verticals, such as software development, artificial intelligence/machine learning, web development, media, security, and IT management. The shortcoming, tracked as  CVE-2007-4559  (CVSS score: 6.8), is rooted in the tarfile module, successful exploitation of which could lead to code execution from an arbitrary file write. "The vulnerability is a path traversal attack in the extract and extractall functions in the tarfile module that allow an attacker to overwrite arbitrary files by adding the '..' sequence to filenames in a TAR archive," Trellix security researcher Kasimir Schulz  said  in a writeup. Originally disclosed in August 2007, the bug has to do with how a specially crafted tar archive can be leveraged to overwri

Over 39,000 Unauthenticated Redis Instances Found Exposed on the Internet

Over 39,000 Unauthenticated Redis Instances Found Exposed on the Internet
September 21, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
An unknown attacker targeted tens of thousands of unauthenticated Redis servers exposed on the internet in an attempt to  install a cryptocurrency miner . It's not immediately known if all of these hosts were successfully compromised. Nonetheless, it was made possible by means of a "lesser-known technique" designed to trick the servers into writing data to arbitrary files – a case of  unauthorized access  that was first documented in September 2018. "The general idea behind this exploitation technique is to configure Redis to write its file-based database to a directory containing some method to authorize a user (like adding a key to '.ssh/authorized_keys'), or start a process (like adding a script to '/etc/cron.d')," Censys  said  in a new write-up. The attack surface management platform said it uncovered evidence (i.e., Redis commands) indicating efforts on part of the attacker to store malicious  crontab entries  into the file "/var/

Record DDoS Attack with 25.3 Billion Requests Abused HTTP/2 Multiplexing

Record DDoS Attack with 25.3 Billion Requests Abused HTTP/2 Multiplexing
September 21, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Cybersecurity company Imperva has disclosed that it mitigated a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack with a total of over 25.3 billion requests on June 27, 2022. The "strong attack," which targeted an unnamed Chinese telecommunications company, is said to have lasted for four hours and peaked at 3.9 million requests per second (RPS). "Attackers used HTTP/2 multiplexing, or combining multiple packets into one, to send multiple requests at once over individual connections," Imperva  said  in a report published on September 19. The attack was launched from a botnet that comprised nearly 170,000 different IP addresses spanning routers, security cameras, and compromised servers located in more than 180 countries, primarily the U.S., Indonesia, and Brazil. The disclosure also comes as web infrastructure provider Akamai said it fielded a new DDoS assault aimed at a customer based in Eastern Europe on September 12, with attack traffic spiking at 704.8 million p
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