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Cybercriminals Used Facebook Ads to Lure Users into Installing the Fake Clubhouse App

 

Audio-only app Clubhouse gained huge success over the last few months and now attackers are misusing the reputation and fame earned by the app by delivering Facebook ads, wherein they promote the Clubhouse app for PC to deliver the malware. Notably, the attackers have used the old tactics again because the PC version of the Clubhouse app is not yet released.

The Clubhouse app has nearly 8 million downloads so far. Therefore, malware designers have been busy taking advantage of Clubhouse's rising popularity, creating what they claim is a Clubhouse client for PCs, and then promoting those ads on Facebook to get users to download the app. 

As per a report by TechCrunch, this fake app is full of links to malware. The app also contains a screenshot of the fictional Clubhouse app for desktops, as visualized by the threat actors. Once users download and install the malicious app, it contacts a “command and control” server to perform various tasks. According to the report, running the app inside a secure “sandbox” disclosed that the malicious app tries to corrupt a desktop with ransomware.

Every Facebook page posing as Clubhouse only had a handful of likes but were still running at the time of publication. When TechCrunch reached out to Facebook, the company didn’t answer as to how many users have clicked on the ads directing to the fake Clubhouse websites.

In total, nine ads were posted this week between Tuesday and Thursday. Most of the ads stated a similar tagline that read: Clubhouse “is now available for PC.” While another featured a photo of co-founders Paul Davidson and Rohan Seth. Meanwhile, the clubhouse did not return a request for comment.

Fake advertisements can appear on social media platforms frequently and can slip through the net with ease, so it is important that account owners are aware of the risks with all advertisements on social media. Although social networks will take down any fake adverts once reported, the user must also err on the side of caution when clicking on any advert, and further research is always advised before clicking further into downloading anything. Therefore, this incident brings light to the fact that not all ads can be trusted when you are on any social media platform.

Maze/Egregor Ransomware Earned over $75 Million

 

Researchers at Analyst1 have noticed that the Maze/Egregor ransomware cartel has made at least $75 million in ransom payments to date. This figure is the base of their estimations, as the maximum could be conceivably more since not every victim has disclosed paying to the threat actor. While the group is crippled presently, it is the one that began numerous innovations in the ransomware space. 

“We believe this figure to be much more significant, but we can only assess the publicly acknowledged ransom payments. Many victims never publicly report when they pay a ransom,” security firm Analyst1 said in a 58-page report published this week. 

Analyst1's discoveries are in accordance with a similar report from blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis, which listed the Maze group as the third most profitable ransomware operation — behind Ryuk and Doppelpaymer. 

The now-dead ransomware Maze group was a pioneer in its times. Started in mid-2019, the group was closed down for obscure reasons before the end of last year however resurrected as Egregor ransomware. The greater part of the code, working mechanism, and different clues call attention to that Egregor is the new Maze group. The group dealt with a purported RaaS (Ransomware-as-a-Service), permitting other cybercrime actors to lease admittance to their ransomware strain. These clients, likewise called affiliates, would penetrate organizations and send the Maze groups ransomware as an approach to encrypt files and extort payments.

But, while there were a lot of ransomware groups working on similar RaaS plans, the Maze group became famous by making a “leak site” where they'd regularly list organizations they infected, which was a novelty at that point, in December 2019. 

This branding change didn't influence the group's prosperity. Indeed, both Maze and Egregor positioned as the second and third most active RaaS services on the market, representing almost a fourth of all victims recorded on leak sites a year ago. As per Analyst1's report published for the current week, this heightened period of activity additionally converted into money-related benefits, based on transactions the company was able to track on public blockchains. 

However, this achievement additionally drew attention from law enforcement, which started putting hefty assets into researching and finding the group. Right now, the Maze/Egregor group is on a hiatus, having stopped activities after French and Ukrainian authorities captured three of their members in mid-February, including a member from its core team.

The Russian who hacked JPMorgan was demanded $20 million in compensation

In January, Andrei Tyurin was sentenced to 12 years in prison for the largest theft of personal data of bank clients in US history.  He acted as part of a hacker group and stole data that brought the hackers hundreds of millions of dollars

The Federal Court for the Southern District of New York ordered to pay compensation in the amount of $19.9 million to Russian Andrei Tyurin, who was sentenced in January to 12 years in prison for cybercrimes.  This is evidenced by the documents received on Monday in the electronic database of the court.

As follows from these materials, the parties came to an agreement on the amount that Tyurin should provide to individuals and legal entities affected by his actions.  According to the agreements approved by the court, Tyurin "will pay compensation in the amount of $19,952,861."  The full list of companies and individuals who will receive these funds is not provided in the documents.  It is also not specified whether Tyurin has the ability to pay the specified amount.

In early January, Tyurin was sentenced to 144 months in prison.  According to Judge Laura Taylor Swain, the Russian was involved in "large-scale criminal activities of a financial nature."  According to the investigation, he was involved in cyber attacks on large American companies in order to obtain customer data.

The US prosecutor's office said that Tyurin hacked the data of nearly 140 million customers and stole information from 12 companies.  Among them are JPMоrgan Chase Bank, Dow Jones & Co, Fidelity Investments, E-Trade Financial.  The authorities called the actions of the Russian the largest theft of data from the bank's clients in the history of the country.

Tyurin was extradited to the United States from Georgia in September 2018.  The American authorities charged him with hacking into the computer systems of financial structures, brokerage houses and the media specializing in the publication of economic information.  Representatives of the Secret Service claimed that the Russian was involved in "the largest theft of customer data from US financial structures in history."  They noted that Tyurin could be sentenced to imprisonment for up to 92 years.

 The Russian initially declared his innocence.  According to the materials of the court, in September 2019 Tyurin made a deal with the prosecutor's office.  He pleaded guilty to several counts.  The US Secret Service claimed that Tyurin and his accomplices "embezzled hundreds of millions of dollars."

BCPS Hit by Conti Ransomware Gang, Hackers Demanded $40 Million Ransom

 

Several weeks ago, the Conti ransomware gang encrypted the systems at Broward County Public Schools and took steps to release sensitive personal information of students and staff except if the district paid a colossal $40 million ransom. Broward County Public Schools, the country's 6th biggest school district with an annual budget of about $4 billion, enlightened parents about a network outage on March 7 that adversely affected web-based teaching, but dependent on this new data, the incident was unmistakably much more serious. 

First reported by DataBreaches.net, the hackers took steps to disclose a huge trove of personal information, including the social security numbers of students, teachers, and employees, addresses, dates of birth, and school district financial contact information. "Upon learning of this incident, BCPS secured its network and commenced an internal investigation,” the statement continued. “A cybersecurity firm was engaged to assist. BCPS is approaching this incident with the utmost seriousness and is focused on securely restoring the affected systems as soon as possible, as well as enhancing the security of its systems." 

The hackers published screenshots of a text message from mid-March between them and a district official — clearly a negotiation for the hackers to deliver the documents back to the district. 

“The good news is that we are businessmen,” the text message from the hackers said. “We want to receive ransom for everything that needs to be kept secret, and don’t want to ruin your reputation. The amount at which we are ready to meet you and keep everything as collateral is $40,000,000.” 

After weeks of negotiations, the hackers in the end brought the proposal down to $10 million. Under district policy, that sum is the maximum it can pay without school board approval. 

Broward County's case was one of a few ransomware assaults that hit educational institutions in the past two weeks. The Clop ransomware gang was very active, with reported cases influencing the University of Maryland, Baltimore Campus (UMBC); the University of California, Merced; the University of Colorado; and the University of Miami. Jamie Hart, cyber threat intelligence analyst at Digital Shadows noticed that these assaults were led by the Clop gang and were targeted as a part of the Accellion FTA breach.

533 Million Facebook Users' Phone Numbers And Personal Data Leaked Online

 

On Saturday, a user turned to a low-level hacking forum to leak the personal information of hundreds of millions of Facebook users, free of cost. The sensitive credentials that have been exploited included personal data of over 533 million Facebook users from 106 countries – around 32 million users from the US, 11 million from the UK, and around 6 million from India. Leaked data includes users’ full names, their date of birth, address location, phone numbers, Facebook IDs, bios, and in certain instances email addresses also. 

Alon Gal, a CTO of cybercrime intelligence firm Hudson Rock, analyzed the breach on Saturday and informed about this event on Twitter. Alon Gal is also known for his last research finding that was appeared as the same leaked database previously became accessible via a Telegram bot in January. 

While back then, the situation was different. The hacker who was behind the Telegram bot leaked database was selling the hacked credentials to those clients who were ready to pay for the information, but this time the difference is that that all this leaked data of more than 533 million people is available for everyone for free in a low-level hacking forum. 

“A database of that size containing the private information such as phone numbers of a lot of Facebook’s users would certainly lead to bad actors taking advantage of the data to perform social engineering attacks [or] hacking attempts,” Alon Gal stated. 

The incident is not foreign to Facebook, which is indeed a popular platform in the arena of cyberattacks. Before this cyberattack, the platform had already experienced data breaches multiple times, notably so. 

The vulnerability that had been spotted in 2019 exposed sensitive information of millions of Facebook users including their phone numbers to be scraped from Facebook's servers in contravention of its terms of service. Back then, Facebook officially stated that the vulnerability was patched in August 2019. Additionally, Facebook vowed to eliminate mass data-scraping after Cambridge Analytica scraped over 80 million users’ data in violation of Facebook's terms of service to target voters with political ads in the 2016 election.

Attackers Targeted Robinhood with a Phishing Campaign

 

Attackers have targeted clients of stock-trading broker Robinhood with a phishing campaign planned to steal their credentials and spread malware utilizing counterfeit tax documents, the organization has cautioned.

Robinhood Markets, Inc. is an American financial services organization settled in Menlo Park, California, known for offering commission-free trades of stocks and exchange-traded funds through a mobile application presented in March 2015. Robinhood is a FINRA-managed broker-dealer, enlisted with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and is a member of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation. The organization's revenue comes from three fundamental sources: interest earned on customers' cash balances, selling order information to high-frequency traders (a practice for which the SEC opened an investigation into the company in September 2020), and margin lending. As of 2020, Robinhood had 13 million clients. 

Robinhood, has confronted various regulatory and legal difficulties along the way, sent an email to clients Thursday warning of a phishing scam “that may have reached some of our customers.” 

Attackers targeted clients in two ways, as per the email. One assault vector utilized phishing emails with links to counterfeit Robinhood sites provoking visitors to enter their login credentials, including authentication codes the organization uses to help guarantee the security of individuals' accounts. Other emails saw assailants exploiting the tax season, requesting potential victims to download counterfeit tax files, for example, Form 1099—that included malware, as per the email. 

“There tends to be an increase in these types of emails around tax season, so we ask that you be extra careful about how you access your Robinhood account,” as per the email. Robinhood recommended individuals check the strength of safety features of the application on their gadgets, manually eliminating any gadgets they don't perceive from accessing and resetting passwords on the off chance that they believe they might be in danger. The organization likewise urged clients to reach out to its support team directly from the Robinhood application or its site. 

One of the main grievances among Robinhood clients was that they couldn't reach the company for support, causing regulators like the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to become de facto customer support for the platform’s clients.

Russian hackers suspected of stealing thousands of US State Department emails

In 2020, Russian hackers stole thousands of emails from U.S. State Department employees. As Politico reported, this is the second major hack of the department's email server in the last ten years, carried out "with the support of the Kremlin."

According to Politico sources, this time, hackers accessed the emails of the U.S. State Department's Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, as well as the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs. A Politico source said it was unclear whether classified information was among the stolen emails. It also remains unclear whether the hack was part of a larger SolarWinds attack that gave hackers access to dozens of U.S. federal agencies.

The U.S. State Department declined to comment to the publication on the likely attack. "For security reasons, we cannot discuss the nature or extent of any alleged cybersecurity incidents at this time," said a State Department spokesman. Politico also sent a request to the Russian embassy in the United States. At the time of publication, the Russian side had not responded.

Recall, U.S. media reported on the large-scale hacking attack on the U.S. government on December 14, 2020. The hack was later confirmed by U.S. intelligence agencies. According to their information, dozens of agencies were hacked, it was organized by Russian hackers. U.S. President Joe Biden announced his intention to impose sanctions against Russia for cyber attacks. On March 8, 2021, the media reported on White House plans to conduct covert cyberattacks on Russian networks in response to the SolarWinds hack.

Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov stressed Moscow's noninvolvement in the cyberattacks. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova also said that U.S. accusations that Russia was involved in a massive hacking attack on U.S. federal agencies were unproven.

Cybercrimial are Using Twitter as a Doorway to Target Indonesian Banks

 

Group-IB, a global threat hunting firm, has discovered traces of an ongoing phishing campaign targeting Indonesia’s largest banks that cybercriminals manage on Twitter with the ultimate goal of stealing bank customers’ money. To lure the victims into their trap, attackers pose as bank representatives or customer support team members on Twitter. 

Threat actor started this phishing campaign in January and since then it has grown by leaps and bounds. Currently, 1,600 fake Twitter accounts are impersonating banks as compared to 600 in January. Security researchers have discovered evidence of at least seven prominent Indonesian banks that have been targeted under this campaign.

Over two million Indonesian bank customers are affected due to this phishing campaign, specifically, those who are active on the legitimate bank handles on Twitter. This fraudulent scheme was on the radar of Group-IB’s team since December 2020. Back then, only limited cases of this type of fraud were detected, but over the past three months, it expanded tremendously – from 600 fake Twitter accounts to 1,600.

The methodology used by cybercriminals 

Cybercriminals identify their targets after a bank customer asks a question or leaves feedback on the bank’s official page. They are then promptly contacted by scammers, who use fake Twitter accounts with a profile photo, header, and description that impersonates those of the real ones.

The next step is to engage the victims in a conversation via Telegram or WhatsApp. Then, the scammers send a link to the victims asking them to log in there for solving their problem through a complaint. The links lead to a phishing website identical to the official website of the bank, where victims leave their online banking credentials, which include username, email, and password.

“The case with the Indonesian banks shows that scammers have managed to solve one of the major challenges of any attack – the issue of trapping victims into their scheme. Instead of trying to trick their potential victims into some third-party website, cybercriminals came to the honey hole themselves. The campaign is consistent with a continuous trend toward the multistage scams, which helps fraudsters lull their victims,” Ilia Rozhnov, Group-IB head of Digital Risk Protection in APAC, stated.

IRS Warned of an Ongoing IRS-Impersonation Scam

 

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has cautioned of ongoing phishing assaults impersonating the IRS and targeting educational establishments. The assaults focus around colleges staff and understudies with .edu email addresses and use tax refund payments as snare to lure clueless victims. The IRS said the phishing emails “appear to target university and college students from both public and private, profit and non-profit institutions.” 

It added that the suspect emails show the IRS logo and utilize different headlines, for example, "Tax Refund Payment" or "Recalculation of your tax refund payment." Clicking on a link takes victims to a phony site that requests individuals to submit a form to claim their refund. 

Abnormal Security researchers who detected these assaults in the wild, recently said that they circumvent Office 365 security and landed in the mailboxes of between 5,000 and 50,000 targets. "This impersonation is especially convincing as the attacker's landing page is identical to the IRS website including the popup alert that states' THIS US GOVERNMENT SYSTEM IS FOR AUTHORIZED USE ONLY', a statement that also appears on the legitimate IRS website," Abnormal Security revealed. 

 The phishing site requests taxpayers to provide their: 

• Social Security number
• First Name 
• Last Name 
• Date of Birth 
• Prior Year Annual Gross Income (AGI)
• Driver's License Number
• Current Address 
• City
• State/U.S. Territory 
• ZIP Code/Postal Code
• Electronic Filing PIN

Hank Schless, Senior Manager, Security Solutions at Lookout, says, "At this time of year, attackers will pose as members of the IRS to socially engineer employees into sharing sensitive tax-related information such as social security numbers or bank account information." 

Schless adds, “Security teams should be protecting employees across all endpoints to ensure they don’t fall victim to a phishing attack or download a malicious attachment that compromises the organization’s entire security posture. These scams are most effective on mobile devices, and attackers know that and are creating phishing campaigns like this to take advantage of the mobile interface that makes it hard to spot a malicious message. People access their work email on a smartphone or tablet just as much as they do on a computer. Any text, email, WhatsApp message, or communication that creates a time-sensitive situation should be a red flag. Employees should approach these messages with extreme caution or go straight to their IT and security teams to validate it.”

MIDC’s Server Hacked, Threat to Destroy Data

 

The server of Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation was hacked as of late. The ransomware 'SYNack' affected the applications and database servers facilitated at the MIDC headquarters in Mumbai by encrypting the information put away in these servers. Hackers have demanded Rs 500 crore, they have mailed a demand of Rs 500 crore on MIDC's official mail ID, sources said. 

The malware additionally tainted some desktop PCs across various office areas of the MIDC. The assailants had attached a ransom note giving details of the assault and the steps needed to be taken to approach them for decryption of information. Nonetheless, no sum was directly referenced in the ransom note, a statement given by the MIDC expressed. After the hack, every one of the 16 regional workplaces in the state, including the head office in Mumbai, has been shut down. 

The total data of all the industrial estates, entrepreneurs, government elements, and different plans identified with MIDC is accessible on an online system. The whole work has come to a halt since last Monday after the hack. The MIDC approached the police after which the Cyber Crime Police started their probe into the hacking incident, joint commissioner of police, crime, Milind Bharambe affirmed to the FPJ. 

 A statement issued by the MIDC read, "On Sunday, March 21, at around 2:30 AM, we received automated alerts that our applications were down. On further analysis during the day, the ransomware attack was confirmed. MIDC’s applications are hosted on ESDS cloud (services managed by ESDS, Cloud Service Provider) and local servers (managed by MIDC internal team). We have Trend Micro anti-virus license for end-point security monitoring. The details of the ransomware were shared with Trend Micro for further analysis." 

"As an immediate measure, the MIDC systems were disconnected from the network to contain the spread of the virus. The backup files for different application servers were stored on a different network segment on Cloud DC and were not infected. As per the recommendations from Cyber Security experts, several steps are being taken to control the spread of virus and minimize the impact," the statement read further.

PHP Git Server Hacked to Plant Malware in Code Base

 

In the most recent software supply chain assault, the official PHP Git repository was hacked and the code base altered. On Sunday, two malevolent commits were pushed to the php-src Git repository kept up by the PHP team on their git.php.net server. The threat actors had signed off on these commits as though these were made by known PHP developers and maintainers, Rasmus Lerdorf and Nikita Popov. 

The incident is disturbing considering PHP stays the server-side programming language to control more than 79% of the sites on the Internet. In the noxious commits [1, 2] seen by BleepingComputer, the assailants published a strange change upstream, "fix typo" under the pretence this was a minor typographical amendment. 

As indicated by Bleeping Computer, the code has all the earmarks of being intended to embed a backdoor and make a situation wherein remote code execution (RCE) might be conceivable. Popov said the development team isn't sure precisely how the assault occurred, however, pieces of information show that the official git.php.net server was likely undermined, instead of individual Git accounts. A remark, "REMOVETHIS: sold to zerodium, mid-2017," was included in the script. There is no sign, nonetheless, that the exploit seller has any inclusion in the cyberattack. 

Zerodium's chief executive Chaouki Bekrar named the culprit as a "troll," remarking that "likely, the researcher who found this bug/exploit tried to sell it to many entities but none wanted to buy this crap, so they burned it for fun." The commits were recognized and returned before they made it downstream or affected clients. An investigation concerning the security incident is currently in progress and the team is scouring the repository for some other indications of malevolent activity. Meanwhile, however, the development team has concluded now is the opportune chance to move permanently to GitHub. 

"We have decided that maintaining our own git infrastructure is an unnecessary security risk, and that we will discontinue the git.php.net server," Popov said. "Instead, the repositories on GitHub, which were previously only mirrors, will become canonical. This means that changes should be pushed directly to GitHub rather than to git.php.net." Developers with past write access to the task's repositories will now have to join the PHP group on GitHub.

Hades Ransomware Attacks US Big Game

 

An obscure monetarily spurred threat group is utilizing the self-proclaimed Hades ransomware variant in cybercrime activities that have affected at least three victims since December 2020. Known victims incorporate a huge US transportation and logistics organization, a huge US consumer products organization, and a worldwide manufacturing organization. 

Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures (TTP) utilized to compromise a victim network, escalate privileges, move laterally, evade defenses, exfiltrate data and deploy Hades ransomware are relatively consistent with other notable ransomware operators, utilizing a mix of commodity tooling and various living-off-the-land techniques. When Hades lands on a victim's machine, it duplicates itself and relaunches itself through the command line. The 'spare' duplicate is then erased and an executable is unloaded in memory. A scan is then performed in local directories and network offers to discover content to encrypt however every Hades sample secured uses a different extension. 

Moreover, Accenture recognized extra Tor covered up services and clearnet URLs by means of different open-source reporting relating to the Hades ransomware samples. For every examined sample, the ransom notes distinguished educate the victim to install Tor browser and visit the predetermined page. The Tor pages vary just in the Victim ID that is given, demonstrating every Tor address might be particularly created for every victim. Accenture Security distinguished an aggregate of six of these addresses, showing there could be three extra victims that they are unaware of as of now. 

Right now, it is hazy if the obscure threat group works under an affiliate model, or if Hades is appropriated by a solitary group. Under an affiliate model, developers partner with affiliates who are answerable for different undertakings or phases of the operation lifecycle, for example, conveying the malware, giving starting admittance to associations, or even target selection and reconnaissance. In any case, in light of intrusion information from incident response engagements, the operators tailor their strategies and tooling to deliberately chose targets and run a more “hands-on keyboard” operation to inflict maximum damage and higher payouts. 

Likewise, Accenture recognized similarities in the Hades ransom notes to those that have been utilized by REvil ransomware operators, where parts of the ransom notes observed contain identical wording.

Russian Kryuchkov pleaded guilty to conspiring to hack Tesla's computer network

 Tesla CEO Elon Musk commented in Russian on the news that Russian Egor Kryuchkov had pleaded guilty on Twitter on Friday

According to the federal prosecutor's office in the state of Nevada, the verdict of Russian Egor Kryuchkov, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to hack Tesla's computer network, will be sentenced on May 10.

"A Russian national pleaded guilty in federal court today to conspiracy to travel to the US to hire a Nevada-based employee to install software on the company's computer network," the document said.

It specifies that the Russian "pleaded guilty to one count of intentionally damaging a protected computer, and is scheduled to be sentenced on May 10."

According to the US Department of Justice, the Russian was trying to bribe a Tesla employee for $1 million to install the necessary software. The attackers intended to use the data to blackmail the company by threatening to make the information public. "This was a serious attack," Musk said at the time.

An employee with whom the Russian allegedly tried to negotiate in the summer of 2020 notified his management about this plan. It informed the US FBI.

The US Justice Department reported in August that Kryuchkov had been detained in Los Angeles, California, on charges of conspiracy to intentionally harm a protected computer. Initially, the Russian did not admit his guilt. His relatives and acquaintances said Kryuchkov had nothing to do with the IT industry and had never programmed.

However, on March 18, the US Department of Justice announced that the man had pleaded guilty to one count of deliberately damaging a protected computer.

It is worth noting that Tesla CEO Elon Musk commented in Russian on the news that Russian Egor Kryuchkov had pleaded guilty. Musk published a corresponding entry on Twitter on Friday.

The head of Tesla, following the rules of the pre-reform spelling of the Russian language, wrote the title of the novel by Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821-1881) "Crime and Punishment".

Musk had previously tweeted in Russian on several occasions. 

US Sentences Russian, Macedonian For Roles in Transantional Cybercrime Enterprise

 

The United States has sentenced nationals from Russia and North Macedonia to prison for their roles in a transnational cybercrime operation that was responsible for theft of $568 million worldwide, according to a Justice Department statement. 

Sergei Medvedev, 33, of Russia, pleaded guilty in the District of Nevada to one count of racketeering conspiracy in June 2020 and was sentenced on Friday to 10 years in prison. According to court documents, Medvedev was a co-founder of Infraud along with Syvatoslav Bondarenko of Ukraine. From November 2010 until Infraud was taken down by law enforcement in February 2018, Medvedev was an active participant in the Infraud online forum. 

Medvedev was running an “escrow” service to facilitate illegal transactions among Infraud members. For several years, Medvedev served as Infraud’s administrator, handling day-to-day management, deciding membership, and meting out discipline to those who violated the enterprise’s rules.

Mark Leopard, 31, of North Macedonia, pleaded guilty in the district of Nevada to one count of racketeering conspiracy in November 2019 and was sentenced today to five years in prison. According to court documents, Leopard joined Infraud in June 2011, offering his services as an ‘abuse immunity’ web hoster to Infraud members who wished to design websites to sell contraband. 

Unlike a legitimate host, Leopard would knowingly cater to websites offering illegal goods and services, ignoring any abusive reports from Internet users. He hosted a number of sites for Infraud members in this fashion, providing the infrastructure that allowed his co-conspirators to profit off their criminal activities.

The enterprise, which boasted over 10,000 members at its peak and operated for more than seven years under the slogan ‘IN Fraud We Trust’. Infraud was responsible for the sale and/or purchase of over four million compromised credit and debit card numbers and the actual loss associated with Infraud was in excess of $568 million, the Us Department of Justice said.

“Today’s sentence should serve as a warning to any web host who willingly looks the other way for a quick buck – and that the United States will hold these bad actors accountable, even when they operate behind a computer screen halfway across the world,” Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicholas McQuaid said.

E-Sim Fraud and Prevention

 

Some mobile service providers have eSIM-enabled cell phones which don't need an actual SIM card. They have a little chip inside the phone and the data on this eSIM is rewritable so the client can change the operator without any problem. The victim normally gets a message cautioning that his/her SIM card will be blocked, which says: “Dear customer, your SIM card will be blocked in 24 hours.” Or “Please update your eKYC verification.” These criminals call the network clients in the name of customer care executives and ask them to request e-SIM activation.

After the message, fraudsters call their victim claiming to be telecom organization's customer care executive; say from Airtel, Reliance Jio, or Vodafone-Idea. The message, which looks like from the customer care cell of a mobile service provider, requests that clients click on a link and fill a form. This form can ask for multiple types of data like Bank Details, PII, and so on. Clients are then approached to forward an email ID, sent by the fraudsters, to the customer care of that specific telecom operator. The email ID belongs to the scamsters so that they can register their mail IDs.

In the wake of getting their own email ID enrolled with the victim’s mobile number, the caller at that point requests the victim to forward an eSIM request to the service provider with an enlisted email ID. They deceive the client into sending an email sent by the service provider on their enlisted email addresses.

When the eSIM service gets activated, the activation QR code for eSIM goes to the email ID given by the fraudster. After eSIM activation, the actual SIM that is running in the victims' phone consequently gets blocked. The fraudster registers the eSIM with digital wallets and links it to the victim's bank accounts to steal money. Following this, the casualties are made to fill in their details, including bank details, in a google form. That is the way cybercriminals gain admittance to the bank accounts of these users. 

 A few safety measures to prevent e-SIM frauds: 

1. Go to the SIM provider directly to get your e-SIM. 

2. Your SIM is never blocked in the wake of upgrading from physical sim to e-SIM. Never believe scammers threatening that your SIM will be hindered unless you upgrade. 

3. Never give your details for SIM up-gradation or share any OTP/click on given un-verified links.


Reference: Rahul Tyagi, Co-founder, SAFE Security. 

DeFi Platforms PancakeSwap, Cream Finance hit by DNS Attack

 

DeFi platforms PancakeSwap and Cream Finance cautioned clients on Monday that they were hit by domain name system (DNS) hijackings. The strong alerts were given via social media in an offer to hold clients back from succumbing to dual schemes to collect private keys or seed phrases from would-be victims. Such data obtained by this sort of phishing plan would then permit a hacker to then steal funds from affected users. 

As of press time, PancakeSwap has said that it has recovered admittance to its DNS. Cream Finance seemed, by all accounts, to be currently looking for DNS access, guiding clients to an alternative address in the meantime. A DNS hijacking permits an attacker to introduce a false web portal to visiting users, regularly aimed toward gathering individual data - for this situation, the private keys needed to steal their funds. The U.S. government and private security firms have given alerts as of late about such assaults, as noted in a 2019 report by Krebs on Security. 

Exact technical details regarding how attackers figured out how to modify DNS records for the two sites are still shrouded in mystery, but as security researcher MalwareHunterTeam brought up recently, the two organizations dealt with their DNS records through web facilitating organization GoDaddy. While there is the likelihood that the attackers compromised web hosting accounts for both companies in separate incidents, there is likewise the likelihood that attackers may have compromised a GoDaddy employee’s account to change DNS server records and execute the attack. 

The latter scenario happened twice before last year, in March and November 2020, with assailants executing a phishing assault against GoDaddy employees to gather their work credentials and afterward utilize official GoDaddy accounts to alter DNS records for multiple cryptocurrencies and domain hosting-related sites. Casualties of the past assaults incorporated any semblance of Escrow.com, Liquid.com, NiceHash.com, Bibox.com, Celsius. network, and Wirex.app. Phishing assaults focusing on web facilitating accounts have become common since the beginning of 2019 when FireEye uncovered an Iranian state-sponsored hacking group behind a global DNS hijacking campaign. 

The campaign included the Iranian hackers phishing their targets for web facilitating related accounts and afterward utilizing a DNS hijack attack to divert traffic for email servers through infrastructure constrained by the attackers, permitting them to phish employees and read their emails.

Several Americans Affected by Netgain Ransomware Attack

 

The number of Americans influenced by a cyber assault on a cloud facilitating and IT services provider has expanded by 210,000. Netgain Technologies LLC, in St. Cloud, Minnesota, had to take a portion of its data centres offline after succumbing to a ransomware assault on November 23 a year ago. A couple of days after the assault, clients were emailed admonitions that system outages or slowdowns may occur. 
The organization offers types of assistance to a few companies in the medical care and accounting industries, including Woodcreek Provider Service, a medical-practice management organization in Washington state that offers help to pediatric facilities and urgent care centres owned and operated by MultiCare Health System. On December 3, Netgain told Woodcreek that the protected health information of patients was stored on servers affected by the cyber assault and may have been accessed by threat actors. Other information that may have been undermined incorporated the personal information of Woodcreek employees, medical care providers, applicants, contractors, and individuals receiving services delivered by MultiCare Health Systems and/or Woodcreek Provider Service. 

As per a statement released on March 9 by Woodcreek: "The data included names and addresses, clinical record numbers, dates of birth, government-backed retirement numbers, health care coverage strategy and recognizable proof numbers, protection claims, clarification of advantages, proclamations, clinical notes, reference demands, research facility reports, the choice not to inoculate structures, approval demands for administrations, therapy endorsements, records demands, vaccination data, immunization records, remedy demands, arrival of data structures, summon records demands, clinical record revelation logs, occurrence reports, solicitations, correspondence with patients, understudy ID numbers, ledger numbers, work-related archives, court reports, Drug Enforcement Agency authentications, finance retaining and protection allowance approvals, advantage and tax documents, representative wellbeing data and some clinical records." 

Affirmation of what information was involved with the assault was only received by Woodcreek on January 18, 2021. The organization is currently finding ways to advise affected individuals in writing. Woodcreek said that since the incident occurred, it has upgraded network safety conventions and practices to improve the security of the information in its care. The organization said it had gotten written assurances from Netgain that the IT services provider has added security enhancements within its network to proactively defend against future threats.

BEC Scammer Infects own Device, Exposes their Activity

 

In some media depictions, criminal and state-backed hackers are constantly portrayed as cunning and sophisticated, gliding inexorably toward their most recent information heist. These digital operatives are, obviously, human and inclined to botches that uncover their activity. A North Korean man blamed for hacking Sony Pictures Entertainment in 2014, for instance, mixed his real identity with his alias in registering online accounts, making it simpler for U.S. investigators to track him. 

The latest illustration of blundering digital behavior happened when a scammer contaminated their own gadget, offering researchers a front-row seat to the attacker’s scheme and lessons in how to defend against it. “This is a big failure in their operational security as it gives us direct insight into some of the attacker’s tactics and operation,” said Luke Leal, a researcher at Web security firm Sucuri, which made the discovery.  

The assailant was attempting to complete a business email compromise (BEC), a plan that utilizes spoofed emails to trick individuals into sending crooks money. BEC tricks are so common they represented $1.7 billion in losses reported to the FBI in 2019 — or half of all cybercrime losses reported to the authority. To complete the scam, the scammer required more details on equipment utilized at an anonymous oil organization to make malevolent emails to the organization's workers more believable, Leal wrote in a blog post. That implied planting noxious code on gadgets utilized at the organization to monitor communications.

Simultaneously, be that as it may, the attacker obviously neglected to eliminate the malevolent code they put on their own gadget, maybe for testing purposes, giving Leal's team a window into the attacker’s machinations and frustrations. Since it was tainted by the malware, the gadget was sending screenshots back to the control panel the hacker was utilizing in the scam. The researchers saw emails the attacker sent to targeted employees and how they spread out payment demands over various invoices to make the scam more believable. Another such incident took place in 2016 when a couple of security researchers uncovered a Nigerian scammer, that they said operated a new kind of attack called “wire-wire”, this was after a couple of its individuals unintentionally infected themselves with their own malware.

Threat Actors Target PrismHR in a Potential Ransomware Attack

 

PrismHR, a payroll company, suffered a cyber attack over the weekend that caused massive outages to its system. Although there are speculations among the customers that PrismHR was the victim of a ransomware attack but the payroll company hasn’t identified the attack as a ransomware one. 

PrismHR operates as an online payroll, benefits, and human resources platform used by professional employer organizations (PEO) – which employ it to provide payroll, HR, and benefits services to customers including small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs).

According to Bleeping Computer, a payroll giant was attacked on February 28th, 2021. The company stated “We recently experienced a cyber incident that affected our payroll and benefits software used by Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs) throughout the US. We immediately disabled access to the system to protect customer information and engaged top-tier security experts to help on this.”

“We are working quickly to restore customer access to our platform. While we are still looking into this, there is currently no evidence of unauthorized access or theft of data contained on our servers”, PrismHR further stated.

Due to the nature of this organization, PrismHR makes for an extremely valuable target to extract sensitive information across a large number of firms in one singular attack. Mostly, threat actors attack organizations over the weekend while employees are not present, computers are not being used, and there is less attention paid to the network. This allows threat actors to start the process of noisily deploying the ransomware to encrypt systems.

Mostly, attackers steal unencrypted data before encrypting the devices and this exfiltration of information gives the attackers leverage to financially gain via the sale of this data. Currently, the information regarding this attack is vague– if this turns out to be a ransomware attack, the outcome could be disastrous owing to the nature of PrismHR’s business. 

Considering, PrismHR holds sensitive information for thousands of organizations and this information includes social security numbers, payroll, ID cards, employee benefit information, information for beneficiaries, and a wide range of other sensitive information.

Tether says it is a Victim of a 500 BTC Ransom

 

Only days after the conclusion of its long-running fight with the Office of the Attorney General of New York, Tether says it is currently a victim of an extortion attempt. As indicated by the stablecoin issuer, the blackmailers are taking steps to release documents they guarantee "will hurt the bitcoin environment" if their demand for the payment of 500 bitcoins isn't met. 

Be that as it may, in its statement dismissing the threat, Tether says the blackmailers were attempting to extort money utilizing “forged documents.” According to Tether, the documents indicate to show an association between Tether personnel and representatives of Deltec Bank. All things considered, in a Twitter thread, Tether says it won't send the 500 BTC which the blackmailers want to be paid by March 1. 

"It is unclear whether this is a basic extortion scheme like those directed at other crypto companies or people looking to undermine Tether and the crypto community as a whole," Tether says. "Either way, those seeking to harm Tether are getting increasingly desperate." Then, in his own tweet, Bitfinex and Tether CTO Paolo Ardiono similarly dismisses the ransom demand. He rehashes the case that while the assault is apparently focused on Tether, the attacker's“main goal is to discredit bitcoin and all crypto.” 

The CTO additionally proceeds to share the screenshot of a February 27 tweet from a client going by the name Trolly McTrollface. As indicated by the screenshot, McTrollface professes to be in possession of a leaked email from Tether to Deltec which the client says “is a crucial piece of the puzzle.” Following the conclusion of the long-running investigation, the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) discovered that both Tether and Bitfinex had “recklessly and unlawfully covered-up massive financial losses to keep their scheme going and protect their bottom lines.” 

However, in its statement, the OAG just recognizes that the Bahamas-based Deltec Bank is Tether's banker. The OAG didn't utter a word about the indicated email dated May 3, 2020, wherein Tether personnel are asking Deltec representatives for help “in presenting their reserves in the best possible light.”