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Ransomware attack on Toshiba forces it to halt production of NAND Flash

Ransomware attacks forced Toshiba to cease NAND flash memory production, costing the business the equivalent of 400,000TB in SSD storage. In fact, Toshiba downed tools for up to six weeks following the attack, reports DigiTimes. Subsequently, the production loss could trigger a NAND supply crisis.

But production has now returned to normal, said the sources. Toshiba is one of the world’s biggest NAND producers. As such, a six-week shutdown means 100,000 unproduced wafers. In terms of storage, those 100,000 lost wafers equal around 50,000,000 chips, or 400,000TB, according to PCGamesN.

The world's NAND flash market was supposed to see improvements to the undersupply situation starting the fourth quarter, but the Toshiba fab shutdown has now created uncertainties, the sources indicated.
Demand for NAND flash chips has been driven by an increase in the average memory content in smartphones and server market growth, while growth in the supply has been constrained by chipmakers' slower-than-expected transition to 3D technology. The global supply of NAND flash memory fell short of demand in the latter half of 2016 and has remained tight since.

Nevertheless, end-market demand is actually not as strong as expected, and the NAND flash price rally has gone out of proportion, unable to reflect the real market demand, the sources said. Channel distributors have become reluctant to place orders as the consumption of end-market devices, such as SSDs, is being discouraged by their high prices. The price hikes already started to show an adverse impact on demand at the end of the second quarter, the sources noted.

Toshiba’s bad luck is also likely to affect its partner, SanDisk. NAND memory supply is already tight, so the mishap seems set to drive prices up in the short-term, at least. However, the company is investing nearly $1 billion in production equipment at its Yokkaichi Fab 6 plant, which should help counter supply issues long-term.

Critical data of 6,000 Indian companies up for sale on Darknet

The enterprise arm of a Pune based IT security firm, Quick Heal, Seqrite has claimed they spotted an advertisement on DarkNet forum that claims access to data of over 6,000 Indian businesses. This means that sensitive information of organizations including service providers, banks and government has been breached by an unknown cybercriminal who has priced it at 15 Bitcoins (nearly Rs 42 lakh).

Seqrite Cyber Intelligence Labs, along with its partner seQtree InfoServices, tracked the advertisement where the unknown hacker is offering network takedown of affected organisations for an unspecified amount. They even disguised as buyers and contacted the advertisers for their services.

"This can be a major tool of mass disruption if a non-state actor gets hands on it," Seqrite said on its website.
Organisations whose services may be at risk include UIDAI, Idea, BSE, Flipkart, DRDO, Aircel, RBI, BSNL, SBI, TCS, ISRO, EPFO, among several others.

According to the information, the nation’s internet registry was also hit by the attack, but the organization says the information obtained was trivial.

However, government officials managing the entire Internet protocols in India have denied any such leak.

The National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI) released a statement condemning the notice as announced by the Darknet hacker. The NIXI clarified that there was no serious breach of the Indian registry database. “There was an attempt to penetrate the system and hackers were able to collect some basic profile information of the contact persons of some of the affiliates which were displayed by him on the darknet. There has been no serious security breach of its IRINN system, as it has a robust security protocol in place. The hacker has no capacity to cause any damage or initiate distributed denial of service to any entity who has been allocated Internet resources through IRINN System,” said a NIXI spokesperson.

The hackers have meanwhile claimed to disrupt business operations of any business they want, on demand. Maybe the amount of bitcoins charged would be even more for such ‘request’.

The cyberwar between the US and Russia will not happen

The Press Secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov called accusations of espionage by the American media directed to the Kremlin and "Kaspersky Lab" "absurd, baseless and unsubstantiated".

At the beginning of October the U.S. editions The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post reported that the Russian authorities allegedly used the modified software of IT companies to search for secret documents around the world and to spy on US.

On this week The New York Times has complemented such story reporting that the US intelligence officers have heard of the theft of documents from Israeli colleagues who allegedly managed to hack the internal network of "Kaspersky Lab" and find evidence that the Kremlin really hacked the NSA.

Also, in July the US Government prohibited government Agencies using Antivirus Kaspersky for security reasons.

In addition, Bloomberg reported that "Kaspersky Lab" was developing a special technology for the Federal Security Service of Russia (FSB) and was sending to FSB all information about hackers.
"Kaspersky lab" denies cooperation with special services.

The head of Group-IB Ilya Sachkov commented at a press conference CyberCrimeCon/1 on one of the most discussed news in the world.

According to his opinion, the cyberwar between the US and Russia is unlikely, because it will lead to terrible consequences, to the catastrophe. He hopes that all countries understand this. Moreover, he does not believe in the development of the cyberwar with the participation of Russia.

Sachkov noted that product will not to become the goal of a cyber attack, if it is released in small volume and is not popular. "Import substitution does not increase security," he added.

- Christina


Iran behind UK Parliament cyber-attack

British Parliamentarians became the victims of the cyber attack that attempted to uncover weak passwords used by lawmakers. According to a secret intelligence assessment, Iran was behind the attack, in which around 90 accounts were compromised.

 On June 23, British authorities detected some unusual activity, and immediately they took appropriate measures to prevent the hack. As a result, lawmakers were unable to access their e-mail for many days.  It is speculated that more than 9,000 email accounts were compromised including Theresa May and other ministers.

Initially, Russian hackers were blamed for this cyber attack, but investigating authorities have reportedly traced the attack to Tehran regime.  This cyberwarfare is believed to be a first major attack on Britain from Iran.

"What we need to do is keep that deal going - it's been a great success for UK diplomacy," Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson told reporters.

"This deal lives to fight another day, and that's a good thing."

While a spokesman for the National Cyber Security Centre said that “It would be inappropriate to comment further while enquiries are ongoing.”