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Showing posts with label Cyber Security awareness. Show all posts

Numerous fraudulent sites disguised as well-known brands have appeared on the Runet


In autumn, experts recorded mass registration of domain names with the names of well-known brands in the .RU zone

Specialists at Infosecurity, a Softline company, recorded mass domain registration in Runet with the name of well-known brands and the ending –off, which can be used for sales.

As an example, the company cited the domain names familiya-off.ru, detskiy-mir-off.ru, tele2-off.ru, rosneft-off.ru and citilink-off.ru. According to the head of the Infosecurity special server Sergey Trukhachev, on October 20, the Ethic threat detection service detected the registration of 192 such domains. All of them are registered through the same Russian structure with servers at ISPIRIA Networks Ltd, located in Belize (Central America). As Trukhachev noted, the company is often used for hosting malicious sites.

At the end of September, the appearance of hundreds of similar domains in Runet was noticed by SearchInform. According to Alexey Drodd, head of the company's information security department, it’s about very diverse brands (furniture companies, clothing stores, jewelry stores, mobile retail).

According to Kirill Kirillov, co-founder of BrandMonitor, domains with the names of major brands are registered every day, and the earnings of scammers depend on the method of monetization. For example, according to Kirillov, counterfeit dealers can earn 3-10 million rubles ($39,000 - $117,000) annually.

Such a site can be blocked in a day if it is obvious that it is phishing or distributes malicious software. There are also cases when it is technically impossible to block access to a resource: if their servers are located in a country where hosting providers do not block sites (for example, in Belize).

The companies surveyed said they monitor domain registrations with similar names and fight them when signs of fraud appear.

Russian experts gave tips on protecting a mobile Bank from fraudsters


Two-factor authentication and compliance with digital hygiene rules can protect users from hacking a mobile Bank on smartphone

According to experts, mobile banking programs are quite secure, so most often funds are stolen due to user errors.

“More often, cybercriminals call customers of financial institutions or use malware,” said Sergei Golovanov, a leading expert at Kaspersky Lab. In this case, users may accidentally give fraudsters the card details and login passwords.

Andrey Arsentiev, head of Analytics and Special Projects at InfoWatch Group, believes that any applications are vulnerable to hacking if malware is installed.

Vladimir Ulyanov, head of the Zecurion analytical center, is sure that users need to configure two-factor authentication to get an additional one-time code. At the same time, the specialist believes that the spyware installed on the smartphone can intercept the SMS code from the Bank. "It is more secure to perform operations and receive confirmation codes on different devices," Ulyanov said.

"Install the software on your phone only from authorized, approved sources (App Store and Google Play)," said Ruslan Suleymanov, Director of information technology at ESET Russia. In his opinion, customers of credit organizations need to have a separate card for online purchases, set daily limits for transfers, and regularly change passwords.

"You can't tell anyone your card details or login details to the customer Bank by telephone. Not a single bank makes such official requests on its behalf,” concluded Suleymanov.
According to the founder of DeviceLock Ashot Hovhannisyan, it is best not to use a mobile Bank, but to log in to your personal account on a computer protected by antivirus. If mobile banking is important, then you should stop using a jailbreak and installing dubious programs through alternative stores.

In addition, Roskachestvo experts have recommended that users should regularly update the software on their devices, even if they do not see a particular need for it. Otherwise, it can lead to unpleasant consequences.

A gift for a hacker: experts name the easiest passwords to hack



Experts have conducted research and found out an algorithm that can be used to calculate the password to log in to another user's system on the Internet, if the combination they came up with is too simple, and therefore unreliable.

According to the head of the research group of the information security Analytics Department of Positive Technologies, Ekaterina Kilyusheva, it is not difficult for hackers to crack passwords with simple words such as password or qwerty, as well as with personal data of users - name, date of birth and phone numbers. This became clear after the company's experts analyzed the passwords of users of 96% of large companies.

“The results showed that one of the most popular was the password of the format “Month, Year” (in Russian) using English keyboard layout, for example, Ltrf,hm2019 or Fduecn2019. Such passwords were found in every third company, and in one organization they were selected for more than 600 users," said Kilyusheva.

Experts gave a unanimous recommendation not to use default passwords and not to use weak combinations that cybercriminals will start to pick up first. These include sequences of numbers: 12345, dates of birth: 01.01.1990, phone numbers, and simple words like password or qwerty.
Passwords in the format "name + year of birth" and the names of loved ones are also at risk: such data is easy to find in the public domain, for example, in social networks, said Anton Ponomarev, Director of corporate sales at ESET Russia.

"Passwords consisting of a random set of letters, numbers and signs are the most difficult to crack, but, of course, much depends on their length," added the founder of DeviceLock Ashot Hovhannisyan.

The Russian quality system (Roskachestvo) gave recommendations on protecting data in social networks

Scammers in social networks use social engineering techniques to hack a user account. In this regard, Roskachestvo experts recommend setting the most stringent privacy settings for the personal page. According to experts, cybercriminals tend to get into the friend list in social networks in order to use this opportunity for fraud in the future, so users of social networks should monitor their privacy and be vigilant.

"Set the most strict privacy settings. For example, hide your contact information, published posts, and information about relatives and friends from everyone except your friends. This will make it more difficult for attackers to get your data and use it in fraud using social engineering," said experts.

Cybercriminals use fake phone numbers, fake names, and other people's photos to get into the friend's list. In addition, there is a high risk that when you click on a postcard, petition, or unknown link, the user is redirected to a site that requests access data to social networks and passes them to the fraudster.

"Everyone knows for sure that a request for financial assistance from a hacked page is a fraudulent technique," reminded Roskachestvo.

Experts advise adding only really familiar people to friends, and also beware of those who ask or offer money, and if a friend makes such a request, ask him personally by phone.

"Do not send payment or other confidential information in social networks and messengers. If you have already sent your card data, find and delete these messages," said experts.

Roskachestvo advises not to follow suspicious links sent in messages, not to use public Wi-Fi networks, set up two-factor authentication in social networks, and use complex passwords for each service, using special software generators to compile them.

"At the same time, it is extremely important to use different passwords for accounts on different resources," said Anton Kukanov, head of the Center for Digital Expertise of Roskachestvo.

Russian Bank reminds about the danger of transferring personal data to someone


Transferring personal data to someone (details of cards and accounts, passport data), you can become a victim of cyber fraud, so you can not do this in any case, recalled the Deputy Chairman of the Board of Sberbank Stanislav Kuznetsov.

"Even if you take a picture of your card and send it to someone — this is basically already a leak. You might as well throw your wallet with your salary in the trash," he said.

He also said that in the second half of 2019, Russian companies faced large-scale phishing. "Last year, several organized criminal groups working in this direction became more active. One of them has made a big step forward in expanding its criminal activities. This is the RTM hacking group, it is Russian-speaking and operates in Eastern Europe, including Russia".

According to him, using modern software, RTM sends phishing emails to tens of thousands of companies in the country 10-15 times a month. Mr. Kuznetsov added that many companies open emails infected with viruses. "In this way, criminals get access to the company's accounting documents — with the help of a virus, they send the company's funds to their Bank accounts and gradually withdraw them," he said.

According to Mr. Kuznetsov, Sberbank has already given law enforcement agencies materials about almost 20 criminals from the group. There are at least five such groups, he said.

"This is not a new type of crime, but in the second half of last year, Russia faced it for the first time on this scale. As a result, some institutions of the financial system, as well as small and medium-sized companies in various industries were affected," said Stanislav Kuznetsov.

Recall, according to a study by TAdviser and Microsoft, in 2019, 76% of Russian medium and small businesses faced cybersecurity incidents. The main source of threats, businessmen called e-mail and external Internet resources.

Russian experts warn the danger of charging the phone in public places


The number of charging stations at airports, bus stops, metro stations and other public places in Russia has been growing rapidly in recent years. However, using such USB-inputs is not safe because attackers can access data stored in the phone or download malware through them. Today in Moscow you can charge your gadgets at airports and train stations, in metro trains, buses, at public transport stops, and in shopping and entertainment centers.

According to Sergey Nikitin, Deputy head of Group-IB, standard USB cables contain four wires: two for data transfer and two for charging. The problem is that hackers embed a special device in the charging wire, or add a small computer to the charger itself. When people connect a gadget to charge, they connect it to some other device.

"Attackers can thus gain access to your device," said the expert. Nikitin gave an example of one of these attacks: a small computer sends malicious code to the gadget, runs it, and so the hacker gains access to the data of the smartphone. An expert at Jet Infosystems Georgy Starostin noted that cybercriminals can download photos from victim's phones for blackmail or infect the device with a virus.

According to him, charging stations in public places carry other risks, the company providing the service can also install additional equipment. According to him, this way it will collect user data for further analysis and sale to advertisers.

The Avast press service said that information is transferred via USB ports in the same way as to the computer. If there are any vulnerabilities in the USB phone software, hackers can gain full control of the connected phone.

Experts advised users to try to avoid charging stations in public places. Avast offered to buy a portable power supply for charging the gadget or USB cables in which the data wires are removed.

Russian quality system made recommendations for the safe use of IP cameras


The Russian Quality System study says that wireless IP cameras that are used at home, in cafes and other public places can be hacked by attackers to obtain confidential data.

The organization found that cameras have many vulnerabilities, as well as other devices that connect to the Network, for example, smart refrigerators, coffee makers. Specialists of the Russian quality system reported numerous cases in which personal data fall into the hands of hackers due to the hacked Wi-Fi cameras. Hackers can connect to the cameras of a cafe or restaurant and see the victim’s keyboard and their passwords.

In addition, there was a case of hacking the casino’s Wi-Fi cameras when any person with sufficient technical skills could connect to them and observe the casino’s work from the inside, seeing people’s cards.

The vulnerability of wireless cameras is associated with the quality of software that manufacturers save on and the lack of data encryption. In addition, cameras are often managed from accounts for developers who use standard logins and passwords.

Often, the owners of the cameras themselves do not change the data for connecting to the camera, leaving the default passwords and thereby simplifying access to it.

"The cameras are often not thought out in terms of security, so it’s unlikely that they can completely protect themselves from hacking," said the hacker, who wished to remain incognito.

To reduce the risk of hacking IP cameras, the Russian quality system is advised not to save on them and buy cameras with data encryption. It is worth paying attention to the websites of manufacturers, as it is important that the camera model is supported at the moment. The page to which the recording from the camera is broadcast must be protected by the HTTPS protocol.

Experts also advise changing standard passwords, making them complex and limiting the number of devices from which you can connect to the camera.

November 30 Computer Security Day by Cyber Security and Privacy Foundation


International Computer Security Day is the day which takes place annually on November 30 and is celebrated to raise awareness in computer security - help people to prevent them falling prey to malware attacks, scams, loss of personal and company data .

Cyber Security and Privacy Foundation(CSPF) & Anna University CSE Department celebrated the Computer Security Day on November 30, 2019 at Anna University, Chennai, India.


Michael Costa

Michael Costa, Deputy Consulate General of Australia for South India, was the chief guest of the event.  The event started with welcome address speech by R. RamaMurthy, chairman of CSPF.

The speakers:
  • Dr. R.K. RAGHAVAN- Former High Commissioner of India, Republic of Cyprus.
  • Dr.R.SADAKATHULLAH– Former Regional Director,RBI,Chennai.
  • Dr. S SATHIK-Former Vice Chancellor, University of Madras.
  • SUGATA ROY – Specialist for Communication, Advocacy & Partnerships of UNICEF
  • R. RAM KUMAR - CEO, Amvion Labs Pvt Ltd
  • SURIYA - Head – Reeja Vajra APT Scan, CSPF Pte Ltd., Singapore

Security Experts warn about threats before Black Friday


Experts of the antivirus company Kaspersky Lab reported that in the discount season, also known as Black Friday, the number of threats from cyber fraudsters has grown significantly.

"According to Kaspersky Lab, the number of phishing threats related to Black Friday has increased significantly over the past two weeks. On the eve of big sales and the upcoming holiday shopping season, cybercriminals are increasingly trying to attack users who prefer to shop online," said the antivirus company.

So, in the period from 18 to 24 November, the company recorded almost twice as many fraudulent resources, compared to the previous week.

The number of phishing attacks on online stores has also increased.“This growth is especially noticeable in Russia: if approximately every 20th phishing attack was sent to the e-commerce section in Runet two weeks ago, last week phishers tried to attack Russian online stores in every 11th case,” concluded company.

As Kaspersky Lab content analyst Tatyana Sidorina noted, an increase in the percentage of phishing attacks is also expected in the upcoming New Year's sales. In addition, there are about 12% more such attacks in the fourth quarter than at other times of the year.

It is interesting to note that earlier, Roskomnadzor warned about the appearance on the eve of Black Friday fraudulent sites that illegally collect personal data under the guise of sales.

"Roskomnadzor experts note that the main purpose of collecting such data (name, phone number, email address, bank details, etc.) is to use them later as spammer databases and to steal bank card data,” stated the regulator.

To avoid identity theft, Roskomnadzor recommends checking the originality of the domain of the online store and checking the presence of an SSL certificate. If the site address begins with http://, and not with https://, this is a reason to doubt the originality of the page.

Pavel Durov, the founder of Telegram advised users to remove WhatsApp from smartphones


The Creator of Telegram messenger Pavel Durov called WhatsApp application unsafe.
He recalled a recently discovered vulnerability that allowed hackers and government intelligence agencies to access user data.

"WhatsApp not only does not protect your messages, but this app is also constantly being used as a Trojan to track photos and messages unrelated to Messenger," wrote he on the Telegram channel.
According to Durov, the problem lies in the policy of Facebook, which owns WhatsApp.
Durov noted that his Telegram messenger did not encounter such vulnerabilities in six years of existence. At the same time, he doubted that WhatsApp makes mistakes in the security system due to system imperfections.

"It is very unlikely that someone can accidentally allow serious security failures, such convenient for surveillance, on a regular basis," said he.Therefore, Durov urged users to delete WhatsApp.

In addition, Durov claimed that WhatsApp, like Facebook, shared user information with almost everyone who claimed to be working for the government.

The words of the Creator of Telegram were commented by experts. Thus, the CEO of Digital platforms Arseny Shcheltsin noted that any messenger, including Telegram, has access to the files of the smartphone.

"Does the messenger use this data for its work? It's hard to say," said he.According to Shcheltsin, WhatsApp is trying to demonstrate its usefulness to investors and recoup millions of dollars in costs. And Mark Zuckerberg can consider data collection is an excellent format for the best advertising targeting.

Arseniy Poyarkov, a member of the State Duma’s expert council on the digital economy, advised users of Messengers to prepare in advance for the fact that their personal data can become available to anyone.

According to him, data leaks are almost always associated with careless actions of the user himself.
"Observing information hygiene: using VPN, foreign secure messengers, regularly deleting correspondence and unnecessary photos - you can feel safe with a high degree of confidence," concluded Poyarkov.

Security forces are frequent victims of fraudulent lotteries, says Central Bank of Russia


In the past 1.5 year, financial fraudsters switched from the elderly to the economically active population. The Central Bank of Russia reported that most of the victims are middle-aged men with experience in the power structures. This was announced at the conference on information security of the financial sector by Artem Sychev, the first deputy director of the Information Security Department of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation.

Sychev explained that he is talking about participation in a fictitious lottery. Most often its victims are people over the age of 50 years or middle-aged men.

"This trick is very simple: participate in the lottery — get a prize. You will not believe it, but men, especially those who somehow related to power structures, become victims much more often than anyone else."

According to Natalia Ratinova, the Candidate of Psychological Sciences, the leading researcher of the University of Prosecutor's Office of the Russian Federation, an excessive share of self-confidence can fail people in uniform. A false sense of self-protection plays a cruel joke, because for scammers everyone is equal.

According to Sychev, now the target category of fraudsters is citizens aged 32 to 48 years. Only an economically active citizen can have a large amount on the card, which is important for criminals. Elderly people usually keep funds on deposits, leaving a small amount on the card, which is not interesting to fraudsters.

According to him, women of economically active age, 65%, also often become victims. At the time the scammers call, they are usually "busy with business."

Earlier it was reported that a new type of fraud is gaining momentum on the Web. Internet users are encouraged to participate in a "win-win lottery" or survey with guaranteed rewards. Users need to pay a commission and enter credit card information to participate. According to intelligent sources, attackers use a server simulating the site of one of the mobile operators to withdraw funds.

According to media reports, the turnover of the fraudulent scheme could amount to hundreds of millions of rubles. Now it’s becoming more difficult to investigate such crimes, because attackers do not just call from fake numbers, but use the bank’s official phone number.

Image credit: rbc.ru

A new type of fraud was discovered in WhatsApp


The Russian edition Cnews reported that ESET experts warned users of WhatsApp messenger about a new type of fraud.

At this time, users began to receive a message with a special offer on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the messenger. The attackers promise 1 TB of free Internet traffic, moreover, this traffic can be used without Wi-Fi.

Users must follow simple steps to get a huge amount of free traffic: follow a special link, answer a number of questions, and send the same survey to his 30 contacts.

ESET experts believe that the ultimate goal of attackers is to distribute intrusive advertising without the consent of users. It turned out that this scheme really works; users who want to get a gift are playing a game of the scammers.

Analysts of the anti-virus company conducted an investigation, during which they managed to find the site of cybercriminals, which was used for several phishing campaigns. This is a type of fraud aimed at obtaining personal data of users. Fraudsters launched more than 66 phishing services from the same domain. All fake promotions were sent to subscribers under the guise of well-known brands – Adidas, Rolex, etc.

An interesting fact is that the scammers have already used such schemes to deceive WhatsApp users. In early May, it became known that the victims received a letter with an offer to get a premium account in the Spotify service. The attached link led to a phishing site similar to the official music platform portal.

It should be noted that WhatsApp posted on its website a publication in which it announced that WhatsApp will sue the organizers of mass mailings starting from December 7, 2019. Also, WhatsApp prohibits the use of the application for non-personal purposes. The messenger warns that it will collect evidence of illegal activity not only on its own platform. Moreover, in the fight against violators will be used technical means.

Group-IB: Hackers hit hard SEA and Singapore in 2018




Singapore, 19.03.2019 – Group-IB, an international company that specializes in preventing cyberattacks, on Money2020 Asia presented the analysis of hi-tech crime landscape in Asia in 2018 and concluded that cybercriminals show an increased interest in Asia in general and Singapore in particular. Group-IB team discovered new tool used by the Lazarus gang and analyzed North Korean threat actor’s recent attacks in Asia. Group-IB specialists discovered 19 928 of Singaporean banks’ cards that have shown up for sale in the dark web in 2018 and found hundreds of compromised government portals’ credentials stolen by hackers throughout past 2 years. The number of leaked cards increased in 2018 by 56%. The total underground market value of Singaporean banks’ cards compromised in 2018 is estimated at nearly $640 000.

Lazarus go rogue in Asia. New malware in gang’s arsenal

According to Group-IB Hi-Tech Crime Trends 2018 report, Southeast Asia, and Singapore in particular, is one of the most actively attacked regions in the world. In just one year, 21 state-sponsored groups, which is more than in the United States and Europe combined, were detected in this area, among which Lazarus – a notorious North-Korean state-sponsored threat actor.

Group-IB established that Lazarus is responsible for a number of latest targeted attacks on financial organizations in Asia. Group-IB Threat Intelligence team detected and analyzed the gang’s most recent attack, detected by the company experts, on one of the Asian banks.

In January 2019, Group-IB specialists obtained information about previously unknown malware sample used in this attack, dubbed by Group-IB RATv3.ps (RAT - remote administration tool). The new Trojan was presumably downloaded to a victim’s computer as part of the second phase of a so-called watering hole attack, which, according to Group-IB report on Lazarus, the group has been actively using since 2016. During the first stage, cybercriminals supposedly infected a website, visited by a victim, with a Trojan Ratankba, a unique tool used by Lazarus. Group-IB specialists note that the new RATv3.ps might have been used by North Korean hackers in other recent attacks at the end of 2018. At least one of RATs was available via a legitimate Vietnamese resource, which might have been involved in other attacks.

“The newly discovered Lazarus’ malware is multifunctional: it is capable of data exfiltration from the victim’s computer, downloading and executing programs and commands via shell, acting as a keylogger to retrieve victim’s passwords, moving, creating and deleting files, injecting code into other processes and screencasting,” – comments Dmitry Volkov, Group-IB CTO and Head of Threat Intelligence. “So in case of Lazarus a stitch in time saves nine. It is very hard to contain their attacks as they happen. You have to be well prepared and know their tactics and tools. In particular, it is extremely important to have most up-to date indicators of compromise, unavailable publicly, that can only be gathered through automated machine learning-powered threat hunting solutions. Given the group’s increased activity in the region in 2018, we believe that Lazarus will continue to carry out attacks against banks, which will result in illicit SWIFT payments, and will likely experiment with attacks on card processing, primarily focusing on Asia and the Pacific.”

Several cybersecurity researchers note that also in 2018 Lazarus carried out global campaign known as “Rising sun”. The malicious campaign affected close to 100 organizations around the world, including Singapore. The gang’s new endeavor took its name from the implant downloaded to victims’ computers. It was found that Rising Sun was created on the basis of the Trojan Duuzer family, which also belongs to cybercriminals from the Lazarus group. The malware spreader as part of this campaign was primarily aimed at collecting information from the victim’s computer according to various commands

According to Group-IB Hi-Tech Crime Trends report 2018, Lazarus, unlike most of other state-sponsored threat actors, does not shy away from attacking crypto. “Singapore, being one of the most crypto-friendly countries in the world, attracts not only thousands of crypto and blockchain entrepreneurs every year, but also threat actors willing to grab a piece of the pie. We expect that that other APTs like Silence, MoneyTaker, and Cobalt will stage multiple attacks on cryptocurrency exchanges in the near future,” – says Dmitry Volkov.

Have you been pwned?

Group-IB Threat Intelligence team identified hundreds of compromised credentials from Singaporean government agencies and educational institutions over the course of 2017 and 2018. Users’ logins and passwords from the Government Technology Agency (https://www.tech[.]gov.sg/), Ministry of Education (https://www.moe[.]gov.sg/), Ministry of Health (https://www.moh[.]gov.sg/), Singapore Police Force website (https://polwel[.]org.sg/about/), National University of Singapore learning management system (ivle.nus[.]edu.sg) and many other resources were stolen by cybercriminals. CERT-GIB (Computer Emergency Response Team) reached out to Singaporean CERT upon identification of this information. “Users’ accounts from government resources are either sold on underground forums or used in targeted attacks on government agencies for the purpose of espionage or sabotage. Even one compromised account, unless detected at the right time, can lead to the disruption of internal operations or leak of government secrets,” – comments Dmitry Volkov. Cybercriminals steal user accounts’ data using special spyware aimed at obtaining users' authentication data. According to Group-IB data, PONY FORMGRABBER, QBot and AZORult became the TOP 3 most popular Trojan-stealers among cybercriminals.

Pony Formgrabber retrieves login credentials from configuration files, databases, secret storages of more than 70 programs on the victim’s computer and then sends stolen information to cyber criminals’ C&C server. Another Trojan-stealer — AZORult, aside from stealing passwords from popular browsers, is capable of stealing crypto wallets data. Qbot worm gathers login credentials through use of keylogger, steals cookie files and certificates, active internet sessions, and forwards users to fake websites. All these Trojans are capable of compromising the credentials of crypto wallets and crypto exchanges users. More information on the most actively used Trojans and their targets can be accessed through Group-IB Threat Intelligence.

Public data leaks is another huge source of compromised user credentials from government websites. Group-IB team analyzed recent massive public data breaches and discovered 3689 unique records (email & passwords) related to Singaporean government websites accounts.

Underground market economy. Number of compromised cards of Singaporean banks on sale increases

In 2018, Group-IB detected the total of 19,928 compromised payment cards related to Singaporean banks on darknet cardshops. Singapore, as one of the major financial hubs in Southeast Asia is drawing more and more attention of financially motivated hackers every year. According to Group-IB data, compared to 2017, the number of leaked cards increased in 2018 by 56%. The total underground market value of Singaporean banks’ cards compromised in 2018 is estimated at nearly $640,000.

Group-IB Threat Intelligence team observed two abnormal spikes in Singaporean banks’ dumps, unauthorized digital copies of the information contained in magnetic stripe of a payment card, offered for sale on the dark web in 2018. The first one occurred on July 20th, when almost 500 dumps related to top Singaporean banks surfaced on one of the most popular underground hubs of stole card data, Joker’s Stash. On overage, the price per dump in this leak was relatively high and kept at 45$. The high price is due to the fact that most of the cards were premiums (e.g. Platinum, Signature etc.).

Another significant breach happened on November 23rd when the details of 1147 Singaporean banks dumps were set up for sale on cardshops. The seller wanted 50$ per item– 50% of stolen cards in batch were also marked as Premium.

Group-IB Threat Intelligence continuously detects and analyses data uploaded to cardshops all over the world. According to Group-IB’s annual Hi-Tech Crime Trends 2018 report, on average, from June 2017 to August 2018, the details of 1.8 million payment cards were uploaded to card shops monthly.

Be careful with whom you share your Jio Hotspot!

If you are sharing your Jio internet with others via mobile hotspot, you should know what is the risk that you are taking.  Our research shows that sharing your Jio with others puts your sensitive information in their hands.

The person who is using your Jio Internet can easily log into your Jio account. All they have to do is download the MyJio app and click "SIGN IN WITH SIM". 

Steps to replicate:
Step 1:
    You should have two phones - one with Jio Sim and another one with non-Jio SIM(make sure you have not installed Jio app in the second phone yet).

Step 2:
    Turn on Wi-Fi hotspot in the Jio phone and connect from your non-Jio phone

Step 3:
    Install Jio app from playstore and open.  When it is asking for authentication, click "SIGN IN WITH SIM". Now you will be able to access the Jio account from your non-Jio mobile.

View/Modify Details:
After logging in, it is possible to view sensitive information including name, date of birth, mobile number, alternate contact work, address, photo, usage details.  Also, some of the details can be edited.



Once you are logged in, the session is getting maintained even if you are disconnected from the Jio network.

Account lockout:
If you mistakenly log out from the Jio-phone when it is logged in the non-Jio phone, you won't be able to log in to your Jio app unless the other person logs out from the app.

If the victim has installed Jio Security app, it is possible for an attacker to track the current location or see the last location details.

Let's say that you are in public place and a stranger(attacker) asking for Internet connection to check his email.  If you share the Internet, it is enough for the attacker to steal your sensitive information.

The issue can be resolved by adding OTP Check when doing authentication.

We thank Suriya Prakash from Cyber Security & Privacy Foundation(CSPF) for helping us with this research.

Making Indian Cyberspace Secure!


At a time when Cyber attacks are increasing with every passing day, the Indian government on Tuesday (February 21) launched a Cyber Swachhta Kendra (Botnet Cleaning and Malware Analysis Centre) which is a desktop and mobile security solution for maintaining a secure Cyber space in the country.

India’s IT and Electronics Minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad through its Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-in) launched the M-Kavach tool in New Delhi which offers a comprehensive mobile device security solution for Android devices addressing threats related to mobile phones. The new solution will notify, enable cleaning and secure systems of end-users to prevent further infections.

"Launched 'Cyber Swachhta Kendra' (Botnet Cleaning and Malware Analysis Centre), an imp milestone in various initiatives taken on Cyber Security," tweeted Prasad. Botnets fundamentally is a program which is automated and runs on a computing device which can be any IoT/smart device. The attacks taking place using botnets are called Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS).

* Botnet Cleaning and Malware Analysis Centre (Cyber Swachhta Kendra) -

India has been ranked 3rd in bot-net distribution. Its a good move for Indian government to clean the computers.  CERTIn has chosen an Indian product for this.

Research by CSPF(Non profit organization) found that Malwarebytes / Avast anti-virus free anti-virus are more effective in removing viruses/bots.

The free product chosen by CERTIn also advertises that botnet cleaning tool is not replacement to anti-virus. "The vendor is trying to sell his other anti virus solutions which is totally unacceptable" according to an US based anti virus company.

"Antivirus and botnet cleaners should be constantly maintained,  Who is going to do this CERTIn or Indian vendor?" asks the US based anti-virus company.

According to CSPF "some samples of botnet were missed by this tool", the tool should have a facility to report malware missed by this tool.

"Launched USB Pratirodh, which will control the unauthorized usage of removable USB storage media devices like pen drives, external hard drives. Launched App Samvid, to protect Desktops from suspicious applications from running," the minister added.

USB Pratirodh is a desktop security solution that controls the usage of removable storage media like pen drives, external hard drives and other USB-supported mass storage devices.

AppSamvid is a desktop solution which protects systems by allowing installation of genuine applications through white listing. This helps in preventing threats from malicious applications.

According to Cyber Security & Privacy Foundation "Some of these tools developed by CDAC including white listing tool is far more complex for a normal user to understand.  White listing tool does not detect .msi files and other extension". 
Executable blocking / allowing has to be manually done. Most end users don't understand white listing, they don't know which to allow/block when there is an issue. users should not end up locking their own computers. Auto white listing that is available in some famous anti viruses should be included.
 
The reason cyber security is an issue among common man is because common man does not understand anything technical. If using the tool is more complex then the actual problem how are we going to solve the problem says a college student.

He also suggests "video should be released by CDAC showing what the tool is about and how to install and run" in multiple languages. 

During the launch, Prasad said that the 13 banks and Internet service providers are using this government facility presently and the government will co-ordinate with other ISPs and product/antivirus companies to spread its usage for a safer online space.

Prasad said that this Kendra will also enhance awareness among citizens regarding botnet and malware infection along with measures to be taken to secure their devices.

The minister also announced that the National Cyber Coordination Centre will be operational by June 2017 and CERT-Ins will be set up at state level as well.

"The government will set up 10 more STQC (Standardization Testing and Quality Certification) testing Facilities. Testing fee for any start-up that comes up with a digital technology in the quest of cyber security will be reduced by 50 per cent. We will also empower designated forensic labs to work as the certified authority to establish cyber crime," Prasad noted.

The move comes at a time when over 50,300 cyber-security incidents like phishing, website intrusions and defacements, virus and DDoS attacks have been observed in the country during 2016.

As per the information reported to and tracked by CERT-In, a total number of 44,679, 49,455 and 50,362 cyber-security incidents were observed during the years 2014, 2015 and 2016, respectively.

The Cyber Swachhta Kendra is part of the government of India’s Digital India initiative under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY). The Cyber Swachhta Kendra complies with the objectives of the National Cyber Security Policy which aims at creating a secure cyber Eco-system in the country.

The botnet and malware cleaning analysis centre was announced in 2015 with an outlay of Rs. 100 crores.

Industry experts wonder about the 100 crore outlay if it is going to used for building antivirus/botnet cleaning software, honeypots to track bots and take down botnets.

The threat of Cyber security has become more serious and visible in the past few years in the country. There is a need to collaborate and come forth with more solutions like the Cyber Swachhta Kendra. It was a much-needed move by the government. It should not be just another public relation exercise but it should be effective.

You can download the tools from here:
http://www.cyberswachhtakendra.gov.in/security-tools.html

Facebook’s notification to aware people about suspected cyber attack


Sample of the newly launched notification.
Don’t ignore a notification on Facebook by the Facebook which warns its users that their accounts have been targeted or compromised by an attacker suspected of working on behalf of a nation-state.

Along with other emotions, Facebook has recently launched the notification which warns the user if it finds his/her Facebook account has been targeted by an attacker working on behalf of a nation-state.

“Starting today, we will notify you if we believe your account has been targeted or compromised by an attacker suspected of working on behalf of a nation-state,” Alex Stamos, chief security officer at Facebook, said on October 17.

He added, “While we have always taken steps to secure accounts that we believe to have been compromised, we decided to show this additional warning if we have a strong suspicion that an attack could be government-sponsored. We do this because these types of attacks tend to be more advanced and dangerous than others, and we strongly encourage affected people to take the actions necessary to secure all of their online accounts.”

The company has also clarified that the warning is not related to any compromise of Facebook's platform or systems, and that having an account compromised in this manner may indicate that users’ computers or mobile devices have been infected with malware.

“Ideally, people who see this message should take care to rebuild or replace these systems if possible,” the security officer said.

However, at this point, the Facebook is still not able to explain how they attribute certain attacks to suspected attackers, in order to protect the integrity of our methods and processes.

“We plan to use this warning only in situations where the evidence strongly supports our conclusion. We hope that these warnings will assist those people in need of protection, and we will continue to improve our ability to prevent and detect attacks of all kinds against people on Facebook,” he added.

Lackadaisical VAPT leads to big hole in Cyber Security



Vulnerability analysis and penetration testing (VAPT) is the bedrock for cyber security. How can one fix problems if one does not know what the problem is? Ignorance is no bliss when it comes to cyber security - one estimate of annual cost of cyber crime to global economy ranges from US $ 375 billion – US $ 575 billion. That’s a lot of money.

Pity then that many companies undertake VAPT as an eye wash for ISO 270001, to secure for themselves a compliance certificate. IT vendors/IT Consultants are usually tasked with undertaking VAPT, and these firms in turn outsource it further to so called specialists, sometimes without the clients’ knowledge.

Vulnerability testing is deeply technical issue. When one is faced with situations such as Advanced Persistent Threats (APT) and 0 Day Vulnerabilities, it needs to be borne in mind that businesses are up against highly skilled and creative hackers. Such attackers typically belong to organized criminal groups, mafia groups, Black Hat hacker groups or state backed groups.

APT attack happens when committed adversaries persistently utilize advanced technologies to compromise targets. Extremely hazardous 0 Day exploits (vulnerabilities found by hackers and never reported to security vendors) are found in Operating Systems, Application Software, Browsers’ like Chrome, Firefox, Antivirus Software, Firewall, and Internal Application Software. On an average, twenty 0 Day vulnerabilities exist in any given server. O Days have the greatest amount of success and damage rates and least probability of detection by firewalls/IDS/AV's etc.

The lack of seriousness with respect to VAPT also extends to the “purchasers” of such services. Businesses are not fully equipped to understand the complexities of VAPT. One has heard of instances where a firm sought to dictate the nature of a Test, the date, time and even the server and port/s to be tested. All this fussiness may be relevant when it comes to a haircut, but not in the context of a VAPT. Hackers, of course, are famous for not following any rules whatsoever and thumbing their noses even at hyperactive cyber defenses, leave alone amateurish ones.

The crux of the whole problem appears to lack of senior management or CISO involvement in a VAPT or a similar exercise. This is a matter that cannot be left to systems administrators or developers who are better equipped to remediate the security issues than discovering vulnerabilities.

The lack of senior management attention is often seen in the nature of testing firms recruited to undertake the assignment. Inferior manpower (tool runners abound), no post exploitation skills, - no access to ultra critical 0 Day exploits, no APT “War Gaming” skills, no real white hat hackers on board with practical experience (only people with some theoretical knowledge), limited skills on network analysis – these are some of the downsides of testing firms normally used.

Businesses need to address such issues by ensuring senior level, even board level involvement in cyber security. Further their cyber security vendor selection process needs to be more precise and demanding. Vendors need to have very deep domain knowledge, years of penetration testing experience, sophisticated tools, access of hundreds of 0 Day exploits, and staffed by established and well networked bug bounty hunters and white hat hackers.

Author:
J Prasanna
Founder, Cyber Security & Privacy Foundation

New Android Ransomware locks Victim's Phone Permanently

Security researchers at ESET have discovered the first malware that could allow an attacker to reset the PIN of anyone’s phone to permanently lock them out of their own device.

“This ransomware also uses a nasty trick to obtain and preserve Device Administrator privileges so as to prevent uninstallation. This is the first case in which we have observed this aggressive method in Android malware,” the researchers said in a blogpost.



The malware dubbed LockerPin, which spreads via an adult entertainment app called Porn Droid, could change the infected device's lock screen PIN code and leaves victims with a locked mobile screen, demanding a $500 ransom.

Researchers said that there was no effective way to regain access to infected devices without losing personal data. Rebooting the device in Safe Mode, uninstalling the offending application and using Android Debug Bridge (ADB) could not solve the problem.

In order to unlock the device to perform factory reset that wipes out all the personal data and apps stored on users device.

According to the researchers, as the lock screen PIN is reset randomly, paying the ransom amount won't give the users back their device access, because even the attackers don't know the randomly changed PIN code of their device. This is a novelty among ransomware, usually they do everything possible to unlock the device, up to and including live tech support.

If the ransomware gets installed on anyone’s smartphone, the app first tricks users into granting it device administrator rights. It does so by disguising itself as an "Update patch installation" window.
After gaining the control over phone, the malicious app goes on to change the user's lock screen PIN code, using a randomly generated number. Though the majority of infected devices are detected within the United States, the researchers have spotted the infections worldwide.


Researchers have suggested that in order to protect our smartphone from the ransomware, please do not install apps outside of the Google Play Store. Similarly, don't grant administrator privileges to apps unless you truly trust them.

WhatsApp fixed a security flaw that could allow attackers to Hack WhatsApp accounts


Hey people! In order to make sure you are protected, update your WhatsApp Web right now.

Kasif Dekel, a security researcher at Check Point, discovered significant vulnerabilities that exploit the WhatsApp Web logic, allowing attackers to trick victims into executing arbitrary code on their machines .

“All an attacker needed to do to exploit the vulnerability was to send a user a seemingly innocent vCard containing malicious code. Once opened, the alleged contact is revealed to be an executable file, further compromising computers by distributing bots, ransomware, RATs, and other malwares,” the researchers wrote in a blog.

As per the researcher, in order to target an individual, the attacker needs is the phone number associated with the WhatsApp account.

According to Kasif, WhatsApp Web allows users to view any type of media or attachment that can be sent or viewed by the mobile platform/application. This includes images, videos, audio files, locations and contact cards.

While doing the research, he found that by manually intercepting and crafting XMPP requests to the WhatsApp servers, it was possible to control the file extension of the contact card file. This means, once the victim clicks the downloaded file (which he assumes is a contact card), the code inside the batch file runs on his computer.

The researcher said that they were surprised to find that WhatsApp failed to perform any validation on the vCard format or the contents of the file, and when they crafted an exe file into this request, the WhatsApp web client happily let us download the PE file in all its glory.

WhatsApp verified and have deployed deploy an initial mitigation against exploitation of this issue in all web clients, pending an update of the WhatsApp client.

Creepy Voice that you heard from Your Baby Monitor is not of a Ghost


Beware of the cameras connected to the Internet or the security cameras and monitoring as these systems can be easily hacked by the hackers. It camera hacking has become a serious issue now as of the potential for unauthorized people to make video recordings.

Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) issued a warning on Wednesday reminding people that these systems can be susceptible to hackers because many have an option to be used remotely enabled by default after a family from southwestern Ontario witnessed on July 7 a baby monitor watching their young child when it suddenly began playing music and a voice said they were being watched.

According to Liz Melvin, the OPP Const, the child was about to sleep in the nursery when the camera was remotely activated.  


“The camera played some eerie music and a voice could be heard indicating the parent and child were being watched,” Melvin told National Post. “Obviously it’s going to be disturbing.”

She said the family’s Internet service provider confirmed the router had been hacked and the source of the hack could be from anywhere in the world.

Although, such kid monitor hacking cases have been reported every month, Melvin said no other incidences have been reported and she wasn’t aware of any past investigations into this type of camera hacking in the area.

She said there are no suspects in the case and the investigation is ongoing.

In a bid to protect, people should use passwords to protect access to the Internet connection and access to monitoring systems. Similarly, buy cameras from trusted sources and cover them cameras when not in use.