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Showing posts with label Phishing Attack. Show all posts

A Provider of Cyber Security Training Loses 28,000 Items of Personally Identifiable Information (PII) In a Data Breach


A provider of cybersecurity training and certification services, 'The Sans Institute', lost roughly 28,000 items of personally identifiable information (PII) in a data breach that happened after a solitary staff part succumbed to a phishing attack. 

The organization discovered the leak on 6 August 2020, when it was leading a systematic review of its email configuration and rules. 

During this process, its IT group identified a dubious forwarding rule and a malignant Microsoft Office 365 add-in that together had the option to forward 513 emails from a particular individual's account to an unknown external email address before being detected. 

While the majority of these messages were innocuous, however, a number included files that contained information including email addresses, first and last names, work titles, company names and details, addresses, and countries of residence. 

Sans is currently directing a digital forensics investigation headed up by its own cybersecurity instructors and is working both to ensure that no other data was undermined and to recognize areas in which it can harden its systems. 

When the investigation is complete, the organization intends to impart all its findings and learnings to the extensive cybersecurity community. 

Lastly, Point3 Security strategy vice-president, Chloé Messdaghi, says that "Phishers definitely understand the human element, and they work to understand peoples’ pain points and passions to make their emails more compelling. They also know when to send a phishing email to drive immediate responses." 

And hence she concluded by adding that "The final takeaway is that we all need to stay aware and humble – if a phishing attack can snag someone at the Sans Institute, it can happen to any of us who let our guard down."

Android Malware, FakeSpy Spying on Users' Banking Information Acting as Postal Services


A new Android malware, FakeSpy that can potentially steal an individual's banking details, read contact lists, application, and account information along with other personal data, is seen to be spreading across the globe. Earlier, the Android malware was targeting limited regions; the new campaign propagating the malware spreads itself using SMS phishing attacks.

The Android malware was originally discovered in 2017 while it was attacking users in Japan and South Korea, however, now security researchers have identified more potent variants of the malware attacking users in various countries like United States, Germany, France, Taiwan, United Kingdom, and China to name a few.

FakeSpy, labeled as 'the information stealer', is evolving rapidly, undergoing active development that can be seen in the weekly release of new variants of malware with different levels of potential and evasion capabilities.

"The malware authors seem to be putting a lot of effort into improving this malware, bundling it with numerous new upgrades that make it more sophisticated, evasive, and well-equipped. These improvements render FakeSpy one of the most powerful information stealers on the market. We anticipate this malware to continue to evolve with additional new features; the only question now is when we will
see the next wave," Security researchers at Cybereason told.

The tailored attacks are being found to be linked with a financially motivated Korean-or Chinese-speaking cybercriminal group known as 'Roaming Mantis' that had been involved in other similar operations, according to the research carried out by researchers at Cybereason.

FakeSpy is operating with the agenda of making financial gains through stolen credentials and banking information of users, the campaign includes sending postal-themed messages to the targeted user's contacts.

While giving insights into the attack, Assaf Dahan, senior director and head of threat research at Cybereason told ZDNet, "We are under the impression that this attack is what we often refer to as "spray and pray." I don't believe they are aimed at a particular individual, but instead, the threat actors try their luck, casting a rather wide net, and waiting for someone to take a bite."

"We see new developments and features added to the code all the time, so my guess is that business is good for them," he further added.

Email Phishing Scam: Scammers Impersonate LogMeIn to Mine Users' Account Credentials


A Boston, Massachusetts based company, LogMeIn that provides software as a service and cloud-based remote connectivity services for collaboration, IT management and customer engagement has fallen prey to the scammers targeting companies' work from home schemes set up due to the ongoing pandemic, the campaign impersonates the remote access tool (RAT) LogMeIn and mines the unsuspecting users' account credentials.

As the number of people working from home increased rapidly, scammers saw it as a golden opportunity to carry out impersonations of remote tools such as Zoom and LogMeIn more blatantly than ever; the first incident being spotted in the month of May confirms the attributions made by the researchers in regard to COVID-19.

In this particular attack, the phishing email appears to be coming from LogMeIn, cautioning the user at the receiving end, of a zero-day exploit present in the LogMeIn Central and LogMeIn Pro- two of the company's products. It goes unsaid that in reality there exists no such vulnerability and victims' are made to follow a link that claims to be LogMein URL but takes the user to a phishing page where they would enter the credentials that would be obtained by the scammers behind the attack. Additionally, the threat actors are also exploiting the security issues that already existed in remote access platforms as a part of this phishing campaign.

While giving further insights, Abnormal Security said “Other collaboration platforms have been under scrutiny for their security as many have become dependent on them to continue their work given the current pandemic,”

“Because of this, frequent updates have become common as many platforms are attempting to remedy the situation. A recipient may be more inclined to update because they have a strong desire to secure their communications.”

In order to avoid being scammed by such phishing campaigns, Ken Liao, vice president of Cybersecurity Strategy at Abnormal, alerted users, "Many of the recent attacks have masqueraded as updates--even more specifically--security updates,"

"As always, users should default to updating applications via the application itself and not via links in emails to prevent not only credential loss but the potential introduction of malware onto their machines."

Users May Risk Losing their Passwords on Dark Web For Sale


In April, Zoom became one of the many victims of the companies that lost their user data to the hackers. Zoom, which is one of the top online video conference platforms, lost more than half a million of account logins on the dark web. The leaked passwords could be bought either for free or for a minimal amount of money. Understandably, the users are blaming the Zoom company for losing its accounts, and they have every right to do so. It is, however, a part of much bigger trouble that includes hackers, some criminal niches on the Internet, and the fault of our own to set very weak user passwords.


How passwords end up on the dark web? 

Every year, more than hundreds of millions of user accounts end up getting exposed to the dark web, either through malware or phishing attacks. According to a report by Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, a non for profit organization in California, around 11.6 Billion user accounts have been hacked since the year 2005. The hacked accounts are then either uploaded on hacker websites or posted on the dark web for sale.

These websites and dark web can be accessed only through a specific browser called Tor. "Then there's Tor, the darkest corner of the Internet. It's a collection of secret websites (ending in .onion) that require special software to access them. People use Tor so that their Web activity can't be traced -- it runs on a relay system that bounces signals among different Tor-enabled computers around the world," says Jose Pagliery from CNN Business.] The hackers use these purchased passwords and try logging in with them to several other websites until they are successful, a technique known as credential stuffing.

The hackers used credential stuffing to steal more than 500,000 Zoom user accounts and uploaded them later on the dark web. In response to this, Zoom spokesperson has confirmed that they suspect the hackers used credential stuffing to breach the accounts. "You can help prevent some of these attacks by banning the use of bad passwords, blocking legacy authentication, and training employees on phishing," says Microsoft's security website on "how to prevent your company from web attacks."

Cisco “critical security advisory” part of a phishing campaign ?


Amidst the coronavirus pandemic, there is an influx of telecommuters who, have come to heavily depend on online conferencing tools like Webex, Zoom and a few others.

With this rise in online meetings and ongoing phishing campaign is affecting more and more users with a recycled Cisco security advisory that cautions of a critical vulnerability and further urges the victims to "update," with the sole aim to steal their credentials for Cisco's Webex web conferencing platform.

Ashley Tran in a recent analysis said with Cofense's phishing defense center stated, “Targeting users of teleconferencing brands is nothing new, but with most organizations adhering to guidelines that non-essential workers stay home, the rapid influx of remote workers is prime picking for attackers trying to spoof brands like WebEx. We anticipate there will continue to be an increase in remote work phishing in the months to come.”

Researchers are of the view that phishing emails are being sent with various 'attention-grabbing subject lines', for example, "Critical Update" or "Alert!" and originate from the spoofed email address, "meetings@webex[.]Com".

They said to Threatpost, this was a mass "spray and pray" phishing campaign with "numerous end-users" accepting and reporting the email from a few several industries, including the healthcare and financial ones. The body of the email installs content from a real Cisco Security Advisory from December 2016, alongside Cisco Webex branding.

The advisory is for CVE-2016-9223, a legitimate vulnerability in CloudCenter Orchestrator Docker Engine, which is Cisco's management tool for applications in numerous data-center, private-cloud and open cloud environments.

This critical flaw permitted unauthenticated, remote attackers to install Docker containers with high benefits on the influenced system; at the hour of disclosure in 2016, it was being exploited extensively. Notwithstanding, the vulnerability was fixed in the Cisco CloudCenter Orchestrator 4.6.2 patch discharge (likewise in 2016).
 


The email tells victims, “To fix this error, we recommend that you update the version of Cisco Meetings Desktop App for Windows” and directs them to a "Join" button to become familiar with the "update."

The attackers behind this campaign focus explicitly on the details, right down to the URL linked to the "Join" button. On the off chance that cautious email beneficiaries hover over the button to check the URL, they'll discover the URL [hxxps://globalpagee-goad webex[.]com/signin] to be strikingly like the authentic Cisco WebEx URL [hxxps://globalpage-prod[.]webex[.]com/signin].

Victims who click on the "Join" button are then diverted onto the phishing landing page, which is identical to the real Cisco WebEx login page.

Researchers said that there is one tiny difference is that when email addresses are typed into the authentic Webex page, entries are checked to confirm if there are associated accounts. On the phishing page, in the meantime, any email format entry takes the beneficiary straightforwardly to the following page to request a password.

Researchers, therefore, caution users to remain on the watch for bad actors 'spoofing' web conferencing and virtual collaboration applications on the grounds that in general.

The attackers are exploiting the frenzy around the coronavirus with phishing messages and emails around financial relied, guarantees of a cure and symptom data subtleties thus the users are advised to be on the lookout.

Mobile Banking Malware On The Rise, 50% Hike In Attacks! WhatsApp a Dependable Medium?


According to studies, with an increase of 50% malware attacks have known no bounds in the past year. Most common of all happen to be malware that steals users’ financial data and bank funds.

The banking malware is on the rise in India. According to several sources, over 35% of organizations and institutions in India have been affected by such attacks in 2019 alone.

Among the most common types of malware that India often faces, that steal photographs and contact details from the phone, Adware is a big name as it generates ads on your phone to make money for some other party.

Another variant that isn’t all that trendy in India is a malware that kicks off surveillance on the target’s phone, tracks its GPS location and snips their personal data. What’s more, they could even control your microphone and other mobile phone operations.

What makes banking malware scary is its ability to steal data while the target’s on their phone making payments. Unaware of any malicious activity, the user would have let some cyber-con know all their bank credentials.

WhatsApp is becoming an accessory in the procedures of banking malware. Despite the hefty encryption that’s done on the chat app, hackers keep finding creative ways to exploit even the most minute of vulnerabilities.

In a recent zero-vulnerability case, the malware which was on the video-file message got transmitted as it is onto the receiver’s device.

To make sure that you don’t get malware installed on your device via WhatsApp, keep cleaning all the data and do not open any doubtful files and links.

Phishing attacks are among other common tactics of hackers to attack users and their devices. Suspicious emails, if opened could help the hackers kick off malware in the mailbox and then the attack goes in a way that takes the target to a website and asks them to fill in their personal information.

Downloading apps from third-party stores and straight from the internet is a strict no! Do not open any suspicious files and treat each link and file with equal distrust. If you’re not sure who the sender is, do not consider the file at all, be it on text message or on email.

Connecting to unauthorized or unknown Wi-Fi networks could also pose security issues. With the tag of free networks to lure you in, “man-in-the-middle” attacks could easily be launched.

Mobile phone security is as paramount as the security of your house or any other electronic device. There has got to be a set of security measures in place to work if anything goes south.

Phishing Attack Alert! Los Angeles County Says No Harm Done!


A Phishing attack last month surfaced over the LA County which was immediately contained before any devices got compromised.

The attack was discovered by the staff, last month. The containment of the attack was done by the staff instantaneously before much damage was done.

The hackers were apparently after the county’s residential data.

Per sources, it all began when the Los Angeles County received a phishing email which extended malicious activities. The malicious campaign was aimed at stealing the receiver’s personal data.

The hackers’ plan was to get the recipient to click on the links/attachment in the email. Reportedly, the email had come from a “third-party account”. Allegedly, the distribution list of the third party got leaked and was sent to more than 25 county employees.

Per website sources, The LA County happens to be the most populated area in the US. It has over 35,000 personal computers, 12,000+ cell phones and 800+ government network locations.

According to reports the “Internal Services Department” happens to support the “Countrywide Integrated Radio System” which extends essential services during emergencies.

Most local governments have faced attacks along the same lines including Los Angeles County as well. Per sources, in the Minnesota case where the phishing attack targeted over 100 LA County employees, the personal data including targets’ names, social security numbers, dates of birth, card details and other personal data was compromised.

It is evident that the phishing attack could have taken a gigantic form if it hadn’t been for the prompt skills of the employees and staff of the LA County.

Given that such a humongous number of devices and networks could have been jeopardized this attack must necessarily be taken as a serious warning.

The already existing and well-established security controls of the county also had a lot to contribute to this successful aversion of the accident.

Reportedly, the county’s Chief Executive Officer had taken this incident as quite a forewarning and mentioned that they would work stalwartly towards improving the security provisions and strengthening them.

The overall incident is still under investigation by the county along with help from a few private participants.

Same Phishing Risks Faced By Start-Ups and Big Corporations



Reports of a near-perfect phishing attempt have surfaced after a large number of remote employees with health and work environment benefits through human resources giant TriNet received such emails.

The emails were shared with TechCrunch, an American online publisher, in order to 'verify their authenticity' and when two independent security researchers were approached to offer their evaluations, both were of the view that it was a phishing email indeed contrived to steal usernames and passwords.

Furthermore, even a $3.7 billion corporation like TriNet, let alone the other big giants are not doing what's needed to counteract such phishing attack on the grounds that had they proactively utilized basic email security techniques, it would have been significantly simpler to identify that the email was not in actuality a phish, but an authentic company email.

Anyway, the issue isn't even a new one for TriNet or for that matter any other big company.

For instance just the previous year, security firm Agari discovered that only 14% of all Fortune 500 companies were utilizing DMARC, a domain security feature that prevents 'email spoofing' and effectively implements it and the new data provided by Agari to TechCrunch shows that figure has risen to just a single percentage point in the last year, bringing it to a small 15%.

Nonetheless, it’s safe to assume that both phishing and impersonation are 'fundamentally' human issues with the intent to attempt to fool clueless victims into turning over their usernames, email addresses and passwords to hackers who at that point login and steal data or money. On that account, it is recommended for the users to always be vigilant when they are at the receiving end of such emails.

Cyber Criminals Stealing Customer Data By Tricking Bank Employees


Kaspersky Lab experts described a recently discovered method of corporate phishing. Attackers send an employee or organization email inviting them to pass an assessment of knowledge and skills on the fake HR portal. To do this, the victim is asked to log in to the site using a working username and password. The potential victim has the impression that it is a mandatory procedure, for the successful passage of which he will receive a monetary reward.

According to the senior content analyst of Kaspersky Lab Tatyana Shcherbakova, in this way, fraudsters get access to corporate mail, which may contain personal data of customers.

Employees of large banks are regularly trained, tested and certified, so they can take a fake invitation for a real one. For this reason, the new phishing method threatens to take on a massive scale.

According to analyst Anton Bykov, at the moment several thousand corporate accounts could already be hacked.

Sergey Terekhov, director of the Technoserv information security competence center, noted that in this case, the employees of the credit departments of banks, in whose mailbox client profiles are stored, are in the risk zone.

At the same time, Denis Kamzeev, head of the information security department of Raiffeisenbank, stressed that all emails in the financial institution are checked through anti-spam and anti-virus and blocked in case of suspicion.

VTB, in turn, said that they delimit access to customer information for employees and keep records of employees who have access to confidential information.

Arseniy Shcheltsin, CEO of Digital Platforms, noted that this type of social engineering is tied directly to a person, not to technology. "Therefore, regardless of security systems, a person can always give a login and password from the mail to attackers."

Income Tax Dept alerts taxpayers of phishing mails by fraudsters




The Income Tax department of India has alerted the taxpayers about a phishing email asking them to verify their tax return even though they have e-verified it.

A taxpayer Anika Gupta, received an email from a suspicious email ID, asking her to e-verify her return, while she had already e-verified her ITR through OTP generated by the Aadhaar card.

The email claiming to be from the Income Tax (I-T) Department, it read, “Hello anxxxxx@xxail.com, Income Tax Return for the Assessment Year 2019-2020 has been successfully filed. After Submission, It is mandatory for Tax Payers to e-Verify the Income Tax Return using various verification methods. For your Income Tax Return, e-verification is not d………..read more”

The mail contains three malicious links with the texts ‘read more’, ‘see here’, ‘pending’ and ‘click here’.

Soon after receiving the mail, Gupta alerted the matter to the grievance section of the I-T Department.

The I-T Department alerted the taxpayers by saying, “Income Tax Department never asks PIN, OTP, Password or similar access information for credit/debit cards, banks or other financial account-related information through e-mail, SMS or phone calls. Taxpayers are cautioned not to respond to such e-mails, SMS or phone calls and not to share personal or financial information.”

The I-T department also requests the user to carefully “Check the domain name. Fake emails will have misspelled or incorrect sounding variants of Income Tax Department web sites and will have incorrect email header.”

The Department further said, “In case if you have received such phishing / suspicious mail – do not open any attachments as it may contain malicious code. Do not click any links. Even if you have clicked on links inadvertently, then do not enter personal or financial information such as bank account, credit/debit/ATM card, income tax details, etc.”

Beware of new phishing scam that’s attacking Google Calendar

No matter which corner of the internet you visit, you'll find scammers trying to take advantage of you. You may already know to be skeptical of emails, Facebook posts, and dating profiles that seem too good to be true. And some times they even try to take control of our data - primarily the financial data - using the alleged calls from customer care executives. Quite frankly, no one is immune to receiving such unsolicited messages or emails. But thanks to their popularity, everyone knows the drill to safeguard themselves. Just don't click on suspicious emails or links and don't reveal your financial information to anyone and you are good to go. You know this. I know this and even scammers know this. And so now, reports are that there's a new type of security threat that targets your Google Calendar.

Scammers are using Google Calendar and other calendar apps to target innocent users in a new type of phishing scam, according to a global security firm.

Findings from the threat intelligence firm Kaspersky show there's been a recent wave of scam artists using hyperlink-embedded events to gain access to people's sensitive information. They start by spamming Google Calendar users with seemingly benign calendar invites. Anyone can accept the invitations, but the real targets are users with the default setting that automatically adds every event they're invited to to their Google Calendar. Once it's been added, Google sends notifications related to the event, making it seem more trustworthy.

The scam is thought to have happened throughout May this year.

The fake invitations contained a malicious website link that encouraged users to input their personal details, often in the form of a simple questionnaire that promised the chance to win money or other prizes if completed.

Kaspersky researchers say that users can safeguard themselves by turning off the automatic adding of invites to your Google Calendar app.

Security Bug Discovered in Google's Titan Security keys, Provides Free Replacement




A security bug in Google’s Titan Security Key which can potentially allow fraudsters located nearby to bypass the security provided by the key. While the company provided a replacement key for free to all the already existing users, it blamed a “misconfiguration in the Titan Security Keys’ Bluetooth pairing protocols” for the security bug.
Although the defected keys are reported to be still protecting against phishing attacks, the company decided to provide a replacement key regardless. The affected keys include all those which are sold in packages priced a $50; it also includes a usual NFC/USB key.
In order to exploit the security bug, the fraudsters need to in a Bluetooth range of around 30 feet, he is supposed to act promptly as the victim activates the key by pressing the button, then the fraudsters can employ falsely configured protocol to intercept your device’s connection to the key and connect theirs instead. Then given, they would be having access to your username and password, they would be able to log in to the victim’s account.
Google has given students to ensure that the bug does not intercept the security key’s ultimate purpose that is to provide security against phishing attacks; Google also urged the users worldwide to keep utilizing the keys until a replacement is provided.
In an announcement, the company said, “It is much safer to use the affected key instead of no key at all. Security keys are the strongest protection against phishing currently available,”
Around the time when Google launched its Titan keys, Stina Ehrensvärd, Yubico founder, wrote, “While Yubico previously initiated the development of a BLE security key, and contributed to the BLE U2F standards work, we decided not to launch the product as it does not meet our standards for security, usability and durability,”



Hackers Now Tricking Users with Fake Address Bars on Chrome



Hackers now take the aid of another and a rather refined phishing attack on Android Chrome only so to shroud the original address bar's screen space by showing its very own fake URL bar when the user scrolls down the site's page.

The fake address bar that relates with the phishing website page posed with real webpage URL by intercepting the original chrome bar. Typically, when users scroll down the site's page, the browser shrouds the URL bar and the page covers overlaps on it in light of the fact that the page is accessible to by means of a "trustworthy browser UI".

Here, the phishing site manhandles this procedure by displaying its very own fake URL bar that acted like an authentic one and trapped users to give away their own personal information.
Security researcher James Fisher exhibited this phishing attack by facilitating his own domain (jameshfisher.com), as he exploited the blemish in chrome browser for mobile.

Fisher used the HSBC domain (www.hsbc.com) as a fake URL bar to proceed with the said demonstration  and by utilizing a similar way the attackers resort to when they utilize any legitimate site, intercept the URL bar and steal the information.

Specialist call it as "scroll jail", when this attack gets even worse for wear, for the most part when the users look up the site page however again reach the first URL bar, here the attackers trap the users to never return on the original URL bar.

According to Fisher, the attack resembles in a dream in inception, the user believes that they're in their own browser, yet they're actually in a browser inside their browser.

 “Is this a serious security flaw? Well, even I, as the creator of the inception bar, found myself accidentally using it! So I can imagine this technique fooling users who are less aware of it, and who are less technically literate. The only time the user has the opportunity to verify the true URL is on page load, before scrolling the page. After that, there’s not much escape”, says Fisher, who is also of the believe that it might be a security flaw in Chrome browser causing the commotion.

Over 30 Thousand Patient Records Exposed; Third-Party Breach To Blame




Cyber-cons recently targeted another health target. ‘Managed Health Services of Indiana Health Plan’ in recent times went public regarding the third-party data breach they had gotten imperiled by, which exposed 31,000 patients’ personal details out in the open. 


This breach was the result of one of the two security incidents that the institution had to face.



There are two major healthcare programs, namely, ‘Indiana’s Hoosier Healthwise’, and ‘Hooseir Care Connect Medicaid’ which this organization runs.


The MHS were informed about the breach by one of its vendors. The information was regarding someone having illegitimately gained access to their employees’ email accounts.


Disconcertingly, according to the reports, the unauthorized accessed had occurred between the month of July and September, last year.


During the investigation initiated by the MHS, it was found out that patients’ personal data including their names, insurance ID numbers, dates of birth, dates of services provided and their addresses were all potentially out in the open.


As the investigation unfolded, it was discovered that the incident was caused due to a phishing attack on the vendor’s system.


Rapid steps were taken by the vendor to counter the attack by the aid of a computer forensic company.


Some of the information in the email accounts that were affected was laid out pretty bare to be accessed. The email accounts “hacked” were the main source of information.


The easiest trick to harvesting personal data is performing a phishing attack. The phishing attack anywhere in the entire chain could affect all the people involved.


As a result of the overall effect on the chain, 31,ooo people got affected and had their data exposed and out in the open.


 Reportedly, this has been the 4th in the list of attacks made on the health plans, that too in the last month alone.


It gets evident after such an attack, that the health-care industry exceedingly requires better management and security cyber systems.

‘Aaron Smith’ Sextortion Scam Appears To Leverage On The Necurs Botnet Infrastructure




Sextortion scam campaigns that seem to leverage on the Necurs botnet infrastructure have been as of late revealed by security specialists from Cisco Talos. The specialists investigated the two campaigns, and named them 'Aaron Smith' sextortion scams after the 'From: header' of the messages.

In October the specialists the Cybaze ZLab detected a scam campaign that was focusing on a few of its Italian clients, crooks used credentials in Break Compilation Archive.

These law breakers utilize email addresses and cracked passwords acquired through phishing attacks and information breaches to convey the scam messages to potential unfortunate victims putting on a show to be in control of videos and indicating them while viewing these explicit videos and the scammer in turns requesting an installment in cryptocurrency for not sharing the video.

The Aaron Smith campaigns conveyed an aggregate of 233,236 sextortion messages from 137,606 unique IP addresses as revealed by the Cisco Talos.





 “Talos extracted all messages from these two sextortion campaigns that were received by SpamCop from Aug. 30, 2018 through Oct. 26, 2018 — 58 days’ worth of spam.” reads the analysis published by Talos.
Every message sent as a part of these two sextortion campaigns contains a From: header matching one of the following two regular expressions:
From =~ /Aaron\d{3}Smith@yahoo\.jp/
From =~ /Aaron@Smith\d{3}\.edu/ “

In total, SpamCop received 233,236 sextortion emails related to these “Aaron Smith” sextortion campaigns. The messages were transmitted from 137,606 unique IP addresses. The vast majority of the sending IP addresses, 120,659 senders IPs (87.7 per cent), sent two or fewer messages as a part of this campaign. “

As indicated by them, every sextortion spam message incorporates an installment request that arbitrarily differs from $1,000 up to $7,000 and the quantity of distinct email addresses targeted in the campaigns was 15,826, every beneficiary accepting by and large a 15 sextortion messages. In one case, a beneficiary alone got 354 messages.

Researchers found that around 1,000 sending IP addresses utilized in the Aaron Smith campaigns were additionally engaged with another sextortion campaign dissected by the experts from IBM X-Force in September and that ultimately leveraged the Necurs botnet as well.

Some of the top nations sending sextortion messages incorporate Vietnam (15.9 per cent), Russia (15.7 per cent), India (8.5 per cent), Indonesia (4.9 per cent) and Kazakhstan (4.7 per cent).

Most Common Types of Cyberattacks as Seen Today





As cyber-attacks are on a continuous rise they have resulted in being one of the major threats to the world. Since 2008 there has never been much concern given about the imminent threat of cyber-attacks but the steady and rapid evolution of time and technology has changed it. It is a major wake up call to the various existing companies and organisation to secure themselves as well as their customers to not fall victim to such attacks.

Therefore in order to comprehend different ways through which an attacker might resort to for hacking into an organisation, here’s an overview of some of the most common types of attacks seen today:
  • MALWARE

Alluding to the different types of harmful software, for example, viruses and ransomware. Once the malware enters the computer system it is more than capable of causing quite havoc. From taking control of the PC to observing your activities, to quietly sending a wide range of classified information from your PC or system to the attacker's home base.

Attackers will utilize a miscellany of techniques to get the malware into your PC; however at some stage it regularly requires the user to make a move to install the malware. This can incorporate clicking a link to download a document, or opening an attachment that may look safe but in reality it has a malware installer hidden inside.
  •   PHISHING

At the point when an attacker needs the user to install the malware or unveil any sensitive data, they frequently resort to phishing attacks, an attacker may send you an email that will appear to be rather legitimate, it will contain an attachment to open or a link to click. When you do so it'll thereby install malware in your computer. There is likewise a probability that the link will connect you to a website that appears quite legitimate and requests you to sign in, in order to access a critical document—with the exception of the website actually being a trap used to capture your credentials when you attempt to sign in.
  •  CROSS-SITE SCRIPTING

When the attacker specifically focuses on a specific site's users it settles on Cross-Site Scripting attack. The attack includes infusing malignant code into a site; however for this situation the site itself isn't being attacked. Rather, the pernicious code the assailant has infused just keeps running in the user's program when they visit the infected site, and it pursues the user directly and not the site.

Cross-webpage scripting attacks can altogether harm a website's notoriety by setting the users' data in danger without any sign that anything pernicious even happened. Any sensitive data a user sends to the website, for example, their qualifications, credit card information, or other private information—can be captured by means of cross-site scripting without the site owners acknowledging there was even an issue in the first place.

  • CREDENTIAL REUSE

When it comes to credentials, variety is always essential. Users today however have so many logins and passwords to remember from that it's very tempting to reuse some of them to make life somewhat less demanding. Now despite the fact that it is suggested that you have interesting passwords for every one of your applications and sites, numerous individuals still reuse their passwords which unfortunately is a fact that attackers heavily rely upon. Once these attackers have a compilation of these usernames and passwords from an already breached site, they then utilize these same credentials on different sites where there's a shot they'll have the chance to sign in.

This nonetheless, is only a small selection of some very common attack types and methods as likewise with the advancement in time and innovation, new techniques will be developed by attackers. The users however are advised to be aware of such attacks and fundamentally try at enhancing their available security.

Virginia Bank Loses $2.4 Million In A Digital Heist



A regional Virginia bank, the National Bank of Blacksburg, following a fruitful phishing attack that compromised the entire organization's interior networks has lost $2.4 million in a digital heist that affected the STAR ATM along with the debit network.

As per an April 2018 profit proclamation from the National Bankshares, the parent organization of the bank, National Bank's computer system experienced two digital interruptions, in the month of May in the year 2016 as well as in January of 2017.

In the two cases, the interlopers could infiltrate an inner workstation with a phishing exertion and a weaponized Microsoft Word document. From that point onwards, the attackers installed the malware, and pivoted to a machine on the network that had access to the bank's interface with the STAR network.

The hackers made withdrawals at several ATMs, recommending a profoundly organized exertion. National Bank employed Foregenix to examine the 2016 episode and Verizon to deal with the forensics for the 2017 break, as indicated by the claim. According to the reports, the two organizations followed the movement back to the IP addresses situated in Russia.

Leroy Terrelonge, director of intelligence and operations at Flashpoint, in an interview said that,
 “Actors who target banks are primarily financially motivated, they want a large return on their investment in gaining access to the bank and performing reconnaissance. When attackers are able to establish a presence on a network through deployment of malware or using stolen credentials, they can often remain in stealth for a period of weeks or months, and they use that time to observe the activity of normal users at the bank and perform reconnaissance of the systems, processes and procedures used. ”  

The bank is presently suing its insurance carrier for not covering the full extent of the damage. In the claim, it clarified that it had two sorts of coverage for the cyber issues: The Computer and Electronic Crime Rider, which covers a wide swath of odious action and misfortunes up to $8 million for every hack; and the Debit card Rider, which has a $500,000 cap for each incident.

With respect to the bank's inner endeavors at cyber security in the wake of the hacks, National Bankshares president and CEO Brad Denardo issued a short media explanation addressing the matter:

“I would like to reassure our shareholders and our customers that we take cyber security very seriously. We have taken the necessary steps to avoid cyber intrusions of the sort we experienced in 2016 and 2017, and we continually work to monitor and prevent future threats.”



Password Theft Becomes The New Goal For Hackers

Barracuda Networks a month ago hailed a "critical alert" when it discerned an attack that endeavoured to steal user's passwords. This risk baits victims with Microsoft 365 Office files asserting to be tax documents or other official reports; assailants utilize dire dialect to persuade people to open the attachment.

Files named "taxletter.doc" and phrases like ""We are apprising you upon the arisen tax arrears in the number of 2300CAD" are a major example of the strategy utilized by hackers. Users, when they download and open the malignant record are hit with the password stealer. At the point when the report opens, a macro inside launches PowerShell, which acts out of sight in the background while the victim views the document.

Fleming Shi, senior vice president of technology at Barracuda, comparing this threat with phishing attacks of the past, says "Today's documents are far more active … you're putting in a lot of content, media, links," he further added in this context "Bad guys are leveraging the dynamic, active manner of the documents today to weaponized their files."

Millions of individuals have known to be affected by these phishing emails as attackers figure out how to dodge detection by creating different emails. While Exchange server makes up an extensive segment of individuals affected the alternate sorts of email accounts are additionally focused with the malevolent records.

This password theft is expanding in general, an indication of attackers moving their objectives and procedures, Shi clarifies further. Ransomware was huge a year ago; but this year, password stealers are showing up in phishing emails, browser extensions, and different programs as hoodlums chase the login information.
The real reason however, concerning why usernames and passwords have been focused on is on the grounds that they are equipped for giving access to numerous frameworks and applications that a specific user is attached to and operates at a regular schedule.

"Some attackers try to be like a sleeper cell on your system," Shi notes. The subtle signs that slowly bring it to the users focus and lets them know that their system has now been compromised and that they’ve lost control over all their applications is the conventional slowing down of their systems and the sudden upsurge in the pop-ups displayed.

"Some attackers try to be like a sleeper cell on your system," Shi notes.

A month ago, the IRS Online Fraud Detection & Prevention Centre (OFDP) reported an ascent of compromised emails in the beginning of January 2017 as the IRS authorities are also prescribing alert in the midst of an expansion of tax related phishing emails.
Here and now the cybercriminals are going for mass information burglary, and it's a timely opportunity for assailants to exploit users' wariness of tax season and make their crusades more compelling. In this way, it is smarter to be mindful and watchful while opening any business related or official looking report got by means of mail or some other online medium on the grounds that around here, it's better to be as careful as possible.

Lazarus Hacking Group back with new hacking campaign targeting banks and bitcoin users

The North Korean Lazarus Hacking Group, which was believed to be behind the WannaCry ransomware attack last year, has returned with a new campaign targeting financial institutions and bitcoin users.

The new campaign, as discovered by the McAfee Advanced Threat Research (ATR) analysts and dubbed as “HaoBao”, was termed by McAfee as an “aggressive Bitcoin-stealing phishing campaign” that uses “sophisticated malware with long-term impact.”

It resumes Lazarus’ phishing emails, posed as job recruiters, from before but now targets global banks and bitcoin users.

It works by sending malicious documents as attachments to unsuspecting targets, who open the malicious document and unknowingly allow the malware to scan for Bitcoin activity, after which it establishes an implant for long-term data gathering on being successful.

According to the firm, McAfee ATR first discovered of the malware on January 15th, when they spotted a malicious document passed off as a job recruitment for a Business Development Executive at a multi-national bank based in Hong Kong.

More information can be found in a blog by McAfee regarding the campaign.

While the form of attack seems nothing new, the two-stage attack malware has surprised researchers.

“This campaign deploys a one-time data gathering implant that relies upon downloading a second stage to gain persistence,” said McAfee analyst Ryan Sherstobitoff. “The implants contain a hardcoded word ‘haobao’ that is used as a switch when executing from the Visual Basic macro.”

According to Sherstobitoff, the dropped implants have “never been seen before in the wild” and were not used in the last campaign either.

He believes that, because of a lack of solid regulations in respect to cryptocurrencies and the fact that sanctions against North Korea are difficult to enforce with digital currencies than with hard currency, such attacks will only grow — which could spell bad news for bitcoin users.

Aside from the link to the WannaCry attack, Lazarus is also believed to be linked to the Sony hack in 2014 and the attack on South Korean cryptocurrency exchanges last year.

Fake Verification of Twitter account could lead to Phishing and Credit Card theft

The verification of somebody's account on Twitter is a pretty big deal as you as an user cannot do anything about it. It is only if you are recognizable by thousands of people that Twitter verifies your account.

The chance to get a verified account on Twitter can seem very tempting and that is how somebody operating Twitter account 'Verified6379' is scamming people into divulging their payment details.

The user which claims to be an 'Official Verification Page' of Twitter redirects you using a shortened Goo.gl URL and lands you on a page that looks like twitter.

The page then demands secure information like username, password, credit card numbers and others to verify your account.

The URL has seen over 18,000 hits over the last month.