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U.S. Sanctions Virtual Currency Mixer Tornado Cash for Alleged Use in Laundering

U.S. Sanctions Virtual Currency Mixer Tornado Cash for Alleged Use in Laundering

August 09, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
The U.S. Treasury Department on Monday placed sanctions against crypto mixing service Tornado Cash, citing its use by the North Korea-backed Lazarus Group in the high-profile hacks of Ethereum bridges to launder and cash out the ill-gotten money. Tornado Cash, which allows users to move cryptocurrency assets between accounts by obfuscating their origin and destination, is estimated to have been used to launder more than $7.6 billion worth of virtual assets since its creation in 2019, the department said. Thefts, hacks, and fraud account for $1.54 billion of the total assets sent through the mixer, according to blockchain analytics firm  Elliptic . Crypto mixing is akin to shuffling digital currencies through a black box, blending a certain quantity of digital funds in private pools before transferring it to its designated receivers for a fee. The aim is to make transactions anonymous and difficult to trace. "Despite public assurances otherwise, Tornado Cash has repeatedly fa
The Truth About False Positives in Security

The Truth About False Positives in Security

August 09, 2022The Hacker News
TL;DR: As weird as it might sound, seeing a few false positives reported by a security scanner is probably a good sign and certainly better than seeing none. Let's explain why. Introduction False positives have made a somewhat unexpected appearance in our lives in recent years. I am, of course, referring to the COVID-19 pandemic, which required massive testing campaigns in order to control the spread of the virus. For the record, a false positive is a result that appears positive (for COVID-19 in our case), where it is actually negative (the person is not infected). More commonly, we speak of false alarms. In computer security, we are also often confronted with false positives. Ask the security team behind any SIEM what their biggest operational challenge is, and chances are that false positives will be mentioned. A recent  report  estimates that as much as 20% of all the alerts received by security professionals are false positives, making it a big source of fatigue. Yet the
10 Credential Stealing Python Libraries Found on PyPI Repository

10 Credential Stealing Python Libraries Found on PyPI Repository

August 09, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
In what's yet another instance of malicious packages creeping into public code repositories, 10 modules have been removed from the Python Package Index (PyPI) for their ability to harvest critical data points such as passwords and Api tokens. The packages "install info-stealers that enable attackers to steal developer's private data and personal credentials," Israeli cybersecurity firm Check Point  said  in a Monday report. A short summary of the offending packages is below - Ascii2text , which downloads a nefarious script that gathers passwords stored in web browsers such as Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Brave, Opera, and Yandex Browser Pyg-utils, Pymocks, and PyProto2 , which are designed to  steal users' AWS credentials Test-async and Zlibsrc , which download and execute malicious code during installation Free-net-vpn, Free-net-vpn2, and WINRPCexploit , which steal user credentials and environment variables, and Browserdiv , which are capable of coll
Chinese Hackers Targeted Dozens of Industrial Enterprises and Public Institutions

Chinese Hackers Targeted Dozens of Industrial Enterprises and Public Institutions

August 09, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Over a dozen military-industrial complex enterprises and public institutions in Afghanistan and Europe have come under a wave of targeted attacks since January 2022 to steal confidential data by simultaneously making use of six different backdoors. Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky  attributed  the attacks "with a high degree of confidence" to a China-linked threat actor tracked by  Proofpoint  as  TA428 , citing overlaps in tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs).  TA428, also tracked under the names Bronze Dudley, Temp.Hex, and Vicious Panda, has a  history  of striking entities in Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, and Mongolia. It's believed to share connections with another hacking group called Mustang Panda (aka Bronze President). Targets of the latest cyber espionage campaign included industrial plants, design bureaus and research institutes, government agencies, ministries and departments in several East European countries and Afghanistan. Attack chains entail
New Orchard Botnet Uses Bitcoin Founder’s Account Info to Generate Malicious Domains

New Orchard Botnet Uses Bitcoin Founder's Account Info to Generate Malicious Domains

August 08, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
A new botnet named Orchard has been observed using Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto's account transaction information to generate domain names to conceal its command-and-control (C2) infrastructure. "Because of the uncertainty of Bitcoin transactions, this technique is more unpredictable than using the common time-generated [ domain generation algorithms ], and thus more difficult to defend against," researchers from Qihoo 360's Netlab security team said in a Friday write-up. Orchard is said to have undergone three revisions since February 2021, with the botnet primarily used to deploy additional payloads onto a victim's machine and execute commands received from the C2 server. It's also designed to upload device and user information as well as infect USB storage devices to propagate the malware. Netlab's analysis shows that over 3,000 hosts have been enslaved by the malware to date, most of them located in China. Orchard has also been subjected to
The Benefits of Building a Mature and Diverse Blue Team

The Benefits of Building a Mature and Diverse Blue Team

August 08, 2022The Hacker News
A few days ago, a friend and I were having a rather engaging conversation that sparked my excitement. We were discussing my prospects of becoming a red teamer as a natural career progression. The reason I got stirred up is not that I want to change either my job or my position, as I am a happy camper being part of Cymulate's blue team. What upset me was that my friend could not grasp the idea that I wanted to keep working as a blue teamer because, as far as he was concerned, the only natural progression is to move to the red team.  Red teams include many roles ranging from penetration testers to attackers and exploit developers. These roles attract most of the buzz, and the many certifications revolving around these roles (OSCP, OSEP, CEH) make them seem fancy. Movies usually make hackers the heroes, while typically ignoring the defending side, the complexities and challenges of blue teamers' roles are far less known. While blue teams' defending roles might not sound as
Researchers Uncover Classiscam Scam-as-a-Service Operations in Singapore

Researchers Uncover Classiscam Scam-as-a-Service Operations in Singapore

August 08, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
A sophisticated scam-as-a-service operation dubbed Classiscam has now infiltrated into Singapore, more than 1.5 years after  expanding to Europe . "Scammers posing as legitimate buyers approach sellers with the request to purchase goods from their listings and the ultimate aim of stealing payment data," Group-IB  said  in a report shared with The Hacker News. The cybersecurity firm called the operators a "well-coordinated and technologically advanced scammer criminal network." Classiscam refers to a  Russia-based cybercrime operation  that was first recorded in summer 2019 but only came under spotlight a year later coinciding with a surge in activity owing to an increase in online shopping in the aftermath of COVID-19 outbreak. Called the  most widely used fraud scheme  during the pandemic, Classiscam targets people who use marketplaces and services relating to property rentals, hotel bookings, online bank transfers, online retail, ride-sharing, and package de
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