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Finland Blames Chinese Hacking Group APT31 for Parliament Cyber Attack

Finland Blames Chinese Hacking Group APT31 for Parliament Cyber Attack
Mar 28, 2024 Cyber Espionage / Malware
The Police of Finland (aka Poliisi) has formally accused a Chinese nation-state actor tracked as APT31 for orchestrating a cyber attack targeting the country's Parliament in 2020. The intrusion, per the authorities, is said to have occurred between fall 2020 and early 2021. The agency described the ongoing criminal probe as both demanding and time-consuming, involving extensive analysis of a "complex criminal infrastructure." The breach was  first disclosed  in December 2020, with the Finnish Security and Intelligence Service (Supo)  describing  it as a  state-backed cyber espionage operation  designed to penetrate the Parliament's information systems. "The police have previously informed that they are investigating the hacking group APT31's connections with the incident," Poliisi said. "These connections have now been confirmed by the investigation, and the police have also identified one suspect." APT31 , also called Altaire, Bronze Vin

N. Korea-linked Kimsuky Shifts to Compiled HTML Help Files in Ongoing Cyberattacks

N. Korea-linked Kimsuky Shifts to Compiled HTML Help Files in Ongoing Cyberattacks
Mar 24, 2024 Artificial Intelligence / Cyber Espionage
The North Korea-linked threat actor known as  Kimsuky  (aka Black Banshee, Emerald Sleet, or Springtail) has been observed shifting its tactics, leveraging Compiled HTML Help (CHM) files as vectors to deliver malware for harvesting sensitive data. Kimsuky, active since at least 2012, is known to target entities located in South Korea as well as North America, Asia, and Europe. According to Rapid7, attack chains have leveraged weaponized Microsoft Office documents, ISO files, and Windows shortcut (LNK) files, with the group also employing CHM files to  deploy malware  on  compromised hosts . The cybersecurity firm has attributed the activity to Kimsuky with moderate confidence, citing similar tradecraft observed in the past. "While originally designed for help documentation, CHM files have also been exploited for malicious purposes, such as distributing malware, because they can execute JavaScript when opened," the company  said . The CHM file is propagated within an IS

Code Keepers: Mastering Non-Human Identity Management

Code Keepers: Mastering Non-Human Identity Management
Apr 12, 2024DevSecOps / Identity Management
Identities now transcend human boundaries. Within each line of code and every API call lies a non-human identity. These entities act as programmatic access keys, enabling authentication and facilitating interactions among systems and services, which are essential for every API call, database query, or storage account access. As we depend on multi-factor authentication and passwords to safeguard human identities, a pressing question arises: How do we guarantee the security and integrity of these non-human counterparts? How do we authenticate, authorize, and regulate access for entities devoid of life but crucial for the functioning of critical systems? Let's break it down. The challenge Imagine a cloud-native application as a bustling metropolis of tiny neighborhoods known as microservices, all neatly packed into containers. These microservices function akin to diligent worker bees, each diligently performing its designated task, be it processing data, verifying credentials, or

New 'Loop DoS' Attack Impacts Hundreds of Thousands of Systems

New 'Loop DoS' Attack Impacts Hundreds of Thousands of Systems
Mar 20, 2024 DoS Attack / Network Security
A novel denial-of-service (DoS) attack vector has been found to target application-layer protocols based on User Datagram Protocol (UDP), putting hundreds of thousands of hosts likely at risk. Called  Loop DoS attacks , the  approach  pairs "servers of these protocols in such a way that they communicate with each other indefinitely," researchers from the CISPA Helmholtz-Center for Information Security said. UDP, by design, is a  connectionless protocol  that does not validate source IP addresses, making it susceptible to IP spoofing. Thus, when attackers forge several UDP packets to include a victim IP address, the destination server responds to the victim (as opposed to the threat actor), creating a reflected denial-of-service (DoS) attack. The latest study found that certain implementations of the UDP protocol, such as DNS, NTP, TFTP, Active Users, Daytime, Echo, Chargen, QOTD, and Time, can be weaponized to create a self-perpetuating attack loop. "It pairs two

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Discover how you can overcome the SaaS security challenge by securing your entire SaaS stack with SSPM.

GhostRace – New Data Leak Vulnerability Affects Modern CPUs

GhostRace – New Data Leak Vulnerability Affects Modern CPUs
Mar 15, 2024 Hardware Security / Data Protection
A group of researchers has discovered a new data leakage attack impacting modern CPU architectures supporting speculative execution. Dubbed  GhostRace  ( CVE-2024-2193 ), it is a variation of the transient execution CPU vulnerability known as Spectre v1 (CVE-2017-5753). The approach combines speculative execution and race conditions. "All the common synchronization primitives implemented using conditional branches can be microarchitecturally bypassed on speculative paths using a branch misprediction attack, turning all architecturally race-free critical regions into Speculative Race Conditions (SRCs), allowing attackers to leak information from the target," the researchers  said . The findings from the Systems Security Research Group at IBM Research Europe and VUSec, the latter of which disclosed another side-channel attack called  SLAM  targeting modern processors in December 2023. Spectre refers to a  class of side-channel attacks  that exploit branch prediction and s

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,

Microsoft Warns of Widening APT29 Espionage Attacks Targeting Global Orgs

Microsoft Warns of Widening APT29 Espionage Attacks Targeting Global Orgs
Jan 26, 2024 Threat Intelligence / Cyber Attack
Microsoft on Thursday said the Russian state-sponsored threat actors responsible for a  cyber attack on its systems  in late November 2023 have been targeting other organizations and that it's currently beginning to notify them. The development comes a day after Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE)  revealed  that it had been the victim of an attack perpetrated by a hacking crew tracked as  APT29 , which is also known as BlueBravo, Cloaked Ursa, Cozy Bear, Midnight Blizzard (formerly Nobelium), and The Dukes. "This threat actor is known to primarily target governments, diplomatic entities, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and IT service providers, primarily in the U.S. and Europe," the Microsoft Threat Intelligence team  said  in a new advisory. The primary goal of these espionage missions is to gather sensitive information that is of strategic interest to Russia by maintaining footholds for extended periods of time without attracting any attention. The latest disc

Critical Cisco Flaw Lets Hackers Remotely Take Over Unified Comms Systems

Critical Cisco Flaw Lets Hackers Remotely Take Over Unified Comms Systems
Jan 26, 2024 Network Security / Vulnerability
Cisco has released patches to address a critical security flaw impacting Unified Communications and Contact Center Solutions products that could permit an unauthenticated, remote attacker to execute arbitrary code on an affected device. Tracked as  CVE-2024-20253  (CVSS score: 9.9), the issue stems from improper processing of user-provided data that a threat actor could abuse to send a specially crafted message to a listening port of a susceptible appliance. "A successful exploit could allow the attacker to execute arbitrary commands on the underlying operating system with the privileges of the web services user," Cisco  said  in an advisory. "With access to the underlying operating system, the attacker could also establish root access on the affected device." Synacktiv security researcher Julien Egloff has been credited with discovering and reporting CVE-2024-20253. The following products are impacted by the flaw - Unified Communications Manager (versions 11

Cyber Threat Landscape: 7 Key Findings and Upcoming Trends for 2024

Cyber Threat Landscape: 7 Key Findings and Upcoming Trends for 2024
Jan 25, 2024 Threat Intelligence / Cybercrime
The 2023/2024 Axur Threat Landscape Report provides a comprehensive analysis of the latest cyber threats. The information combines data from the platform's surveillance of the Surface, Deep, and Dark Web with insights derived from the in-depth research and investigations conducted by the Threat Intelligence team. Discover the full scope of digital threats in the Axur Report 2023/2024. Overview In 2023, the cybersecurity landscape witnessed a remarkable rise in cyberattacks.  One notable shift was the cyber risk integration with business risk, a concept gaining traction in boardrooms worldwide. As the magnitude of losses due to cyberattacks became evident, organizations started reevaluating their strategies.  Geopolitical factors played a significant role in shaping information security. The conflicts between nations like Russia and Ukraine had ripple effects, influencing the tactics of cybercriminals. It was a year where external factors intertwined with digital threats. Ran

U.S., U.K., Australia Sanction Russian REvil Hacker Behind Medibank Breach

U.S., U.K., Australia Sanction Russian REvil Hacker Behind Medibank Breach
Jan 24, 2024 Cryptocurrency / Cybercrime
Governments from Australia, the U.K., and the U.S. have imposed financial sanctions on a Russian national for his alleged role in the 2022 ransomware attack against health insurance provider Medibank. Alexander Ermakov (aka blade_runner, GistaveDore, GustaveDore, or JimJones), 33, has been tied to the breach of the Medibank network as well as the theft and release of Personally Identifiable Information (PII) belonging to the Australian company. The ransomware attack, which  took place in late October 2022  and attributed to the  now-defunct REvil ransomware crew , led to the unauthorized access of approximately 9.7 million of its current and former customers. The stolen information included names, dates of birth, Medicare numbers, and sensitive medical information, including records on mental health, sexual health and drug use. Some of these records were leaked on the dark web. As part of the trilateral action, the sanctions  make  it a criminal offense to provide assets to Erma

Patch Your GoAnywhere MFT Immediately - Critical Flaw Lets Anyone Be Admin

Patch Your GoAnywhere MFT Immediately - Critical Flaw Lets Anyone Be Admin
Jan 24, 2024 Vulnerability / Endpoint Security
A critical security flaw has been disclosed in Fortra's GoAnywhere Managed File Transfer (MFT) software that could be abused to create a new administrator user. Tracked as  CVE-2024-0204 , the issue carries a CVSS score of 9.8 out of 10. "Authentication bypass in Fortra's GoAnywhere MFT prior to 7.4.1 allows an unauthorized user to create an admin user via the administration portal," Fortra  said  in an advisory released on January 22, 2024. Users who cannot upgrade to version 7.4.1 can apply temporary workarounds in non-container deployments by deleting the InitialAccountSetup.xhtml file in the install directory and restarting the services. For container-deployed instances, it's recommended to replace the file with an empty file and restart. Mohammed Eldeeb and Islam Elrfai of Cairo-based Spark Engineering Consultants have been credited with discovering and reporting the flaw in December 2023. Cybersecurity firm Horizon3.ai, which published a  proof-of-co

Russian Hackers Linked to 'Largest Ever Cyber Attack' on Danish Critical Infrastructure

Russian Hackers Linked to 'Largest Ever Cyber Attack' on Danish Critical Infrastructure
Nov 16, 2023 Cyber Warfare / Threat Intelligence
Russian threat actors have been possibly linked to what's been described as the "largest cyber attack against Danish critical infrastructure," in which 22 companies associated with the operation of the country's energy sector were targeted in May 2023.  "22 simultaneous, successful cyberattacks against Danish critical infrastructure are not commonplace," Denmark's SektorCERT  said  [PDF]. "The attackers knew in advance who they were going to target and got it right every time. Not once did a shot miss the target." The agency said it found evidence connecting one or more attacks to Russia's GRU military intelligence agency, which is also tracked under the name  Sandworm  and has a track record of orchestrating disruptive cyber assaults on industrial control systems. This assessment is based on artifacts communicating with IP addresses that have been traced to the hacking crew. The unprecedented and coordinated cyber attacks took place on

Urgent: VMware Warns of Unpatched Critical Cloud Director Vulnerability

Urgent: VMware Warns of Unpatched Critical Cloud Director Vulnerability
Nov 15, 2023 Network Securit / Vulnerability
VMware is warning of a critical and unpatched security flaw in Cloud Director that could be exploited by a malicious actor to get around authentication protections. Tracked as  CVE-2023-34060  (CVSS score: 9.8), the vulnerability impacts instances that have been upgraded to version 10.5 from an older version. "On an upgraded version of VMware Cloud Director Appliance 10.5, a malicious actor with network access to the appliance can bypass login restrictions when authenticating on port 22 (ssh) or port 5480 (appliance management console)," the company  said  in an alert. "This bypass is not present on port 443 (VCD provider and tenant login). On a new installation of VMware Cloud Director Appliance 10.5, the bypass is not present." The virtualization services company further noted that the impact is due to the fact that it utilizes a version of sssd from the underlying Photon OS that is affected by  CVE-2023-34060 . Dustin Hartle from IT solutions provider Idea

Chinese Hackers Launch Covert Espionage Attacks on 24 Cambodian Organizations

Chinese Hackers Launch Covert Espionage Attacks on 24 Cambodian Organizations
Nov 13, 2023 National Security / Cyber Attack
Cybersecurity researchers have discovered what they say is malicious cyber activity orchestrated by two prominent Chinese nation-state hacking groups targeting 24 Cambodian government organizations. "This activity is believed to be part of a long-term espionage campaign," Palo Alto Networks Unit 42 researchers  said  in a report last week. "The observed activity aligns with geopolitical goals of the Chinese government as it seeks to leverage their strong relations with Cambodia to project their power and expand their naval operations in the region." Targeted organizations span defense, election oversight, human rights, national treasury and finance, commerce, politics, natural resources, and telecommunications sectors. The assessment stems from the persistent nature of inbound network connections originating from these entities to a China-linked adversarial infrastructure that masquerades as cloud backup and storage services over a "period of several month

New BiBi-Windows Wiper Targets Windows Systems in Pro-Hamas Attacks

New BiBi-Windows Wiper Targets Windows Systems in Pro-Hamas Attacks
Nov 13, 2023 Cyber Warfare / Malware
Cybersecurity researchers have warned about a Windows version of a wiper malware that was previously observed targeting Linux systems in cyber attacks aimed at Israel. Dubbed  BiBi-Windows Wiper  by BlackBerry, the wiper is the Windows counterpart of  BiBi-Linux Wiper , which has been put to use by a pro-Hamas hacktivist group in the wake of the Israel-Hamas war last month. "The Windows variant [...] confirms that the threat actors who created the wiper are continuing to build out the malware, and indicates an expansion of the attack to target end user machines and application servers," the Canadian company  said  Friday. Slovak cybersecurity firm ESET is  tracking  the actor behind the wiper under the name BiBiGun, noting that the Windows variant (bibi.exe) is designed to overwrite data in the C:\Users directory recursively with junk data and append ".BiBi" to the filename. The BiBi-Windows Wiper artifact is said to have been compiled on October 21, 2023, two

India Passes New Digital Personal Data Protection Bill (DPDPB), Putting Users' Privacy First

India Passes New Digital Personal Data Protection Bill (DPDPB), Putting Users' Privacy First
Aug 14, 2023 Data Protection / Privacy
The Indian President Droupadi Murmu on Friday granted assent to the Digital Personal Data Protection Bill ( DPDPB ) after it was unanimously passed by both houses of the parliament last week, marking a significant step towards securing people's information. "The Bill provides for the processing of digital personal data in a manner that recognizes both the rights of the individuals to protect their personal data and the need to process such personal data for lawful purposes and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto," the Indian government  said . The  long-awaited data protection law  comes months after the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) released a  draft version  of the bill in November 2022. It has been in the making for over five years, with a first draft released in July 2018. A year before, India's Supreme Court  upheld  privacy as a  fundamental right . The legislative framework, which applies to personal data coll
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