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Russian engineer raised $5 million for Tamagotchi for hackers

Russian techno enthusiast Pavel Zhovner raised almost $5 million for the production of Tamagotchi for hackers Flipper Zero.  The project attracted 37,987 users of the Kickstarter crowdfunding platform.

Zhovner launched the campaign in early August and expected to be able to raise at least $60,000 within a month — the minimum amount needed to start production in China. However, the enthusiast received this money within 8 minutes after the start of the collection. A day later, the project raised $500,000, and by the end of the weekend - more than $1 million. The campaign ended on 29 August with an impressive result of $4 882 784.

“I’m even a little glad that this will finally end, I can breathe out. We are called to continue the campaign on all sorts of IndieGoGo, but we decided to take a break and go into development more tightly, without being distracted by marketing,” wrote Zhovner in his Telegram channel.

Flipper Zero is an electronic multitool equipped with a built-in radio module for receiving and transmitting signals at frequencies of 300-928 MHz, as well as an infrared transmitter for controlling household appliances.

The creator describes the device as a universal tool that can turn into anything in the hands of experts — from remote control for a TV to a device for hacking a Wi-Fi router.

The developers said that Flipper Zero does not fall under the description of a special tool or device for the secret collection of information. The device does not have the ability to capture audio-visual information and is not disguised as household items. The factory firmware will not contain jamming, brute force, or other potentially malicious features.

Also, inside Flipper Zero there is a cyberdolphin that needs to be fed. This mascot is a reference to Johnny Mnemonic, the cult cyberpunk film.

Kickstarter's sponsors are expected to be able to receive their devices as early as February 2021. Later, the creator plans to release Flipper Zero for free sale through online stores and resellers at a price of $169.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Bashkortostan intends to cooperate with white hackers to reduce cyber crime

The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Bashkortostan is ready to cooperate with white hackers and programmers to solve Internet crimes together with them. Law enforcement agencies want to attract volunteers-experts from among students-programmers to solve cybercrimes.

According to Major General of Justice, Deputy Minister, Head of the Main Investigation Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Bashkortostan Oleg Oleinik, the regional department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs is working together with the Regional Center of the Volunteer Movement and the police already have experience in cooperation with young programmers.

Recall that in the last two years, the number of cybercrimes in Bashkortostan has grown by almost 2.5 times: if in 2018, 2,500 cybercrimes were recorded, in 2019 – 6,300, then in the seven months of 2020, 6,500 cases have already been opened. Fraudsters use social engineering methods and debit money from cards of victims without any special technical means.

The Bashkortostan police said that they are ready to cooperate with IT companies that are also interested in eliminating cyber fraud. 

The interim head of the Department for Disclosure of General Criminal Frauds and Theft Committed Using Information and Telecommunication Technologies of the Criminal Investigation Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Marat Guzairov said that the crime is especially developed in the DarkNet, where databases are uploaded, weapons, drugs are sold, and pornography is distributed. Violation of the law occurs with the help of messengers, as well as resources blocked by Roskomnadzor, which can be accessed using certain programs.

According to the police, many young people are aware of this and could transfer their knowledge to law enforcement agencies.


Russians were warned about phishing emails on behalf of the tax service

Experts of the company Group-IB, specializing in the prevention of cyberattacks, together with the Federal Tax Service (FTS), identified the activity of fraudsters in the Network. Criminals send emails to legal entities and state institutions allegedly on behalf of the tax authorities.

All emails of attackers looked the same. They said that the recipient must appear at the Federal Tax Service to "give evidence about the flow of funds”. Before visiting the institution, the recipient of the letter was required to fill out a special form, which was attached in the letter as an archive with a password. The password was also attached in the email. This scheme allowed bypassing antivirus protection. When the archive was opened, a program for remote access to it was installed on the user's computer.

"The Federal Tax Service of Russia does not send letters to taxpayers about the existence of debt and offers to pay the debt online,” reported the press service of the FTS.

The mailing started at the end of July and continues to this day. Emails are sent to employees of oil and mining companies, airports, Telecom operators, and other organizations.

Experts are discussing the possibility of introducing a new article "Tax fraud” into the criminal code of the Russian Federation.

Moreover, according to Igor Bederov, General Director of the Internet Search company, in total, there are more than 1 million fake websites in Russia, up to 1 million messages are sent per day. He added that the share of phishing messages today can be up to 10% of the total volume of e-mail messages.

It is difficult to calculate the total amount of damage to organizations caused by phishing attacks, but one such successful attack can cost an average of 2,000 to 50,000 rubles ($27-680).

Earlier, E Hacking News reported that Kaspersky Lab experts described a discovered method of corporate phishing. Phishing attacks claiming to be from HR steals bank employees credentials.

The Russian Federation leads in the number of users monitored via smartphones


In the first six months of 2020, the number of gadgets with Stalker software in Russia increased by 28% compared to the same period in 2019.

"This probably happened because as a result of self-isolation, many people began to spend much more time at home,” said Viktor Chebyshev, an expert on mobile threats at Kaspersky Lab.

He explained that such programs are often installed to spy on their loved ones, allowing them to access the contents of a mobile device, as well as to spy on a person through a smartphone camera in real-time. They are often used by initiators of domestic violence. All Stalker software is not free.

"There have always been jealous spouses and those who just want to look into someone else's life, and the development of IT has given such people additional opportunities," said Andrey Arsentiev, head of Analytics and special projects at InfoWatch Group.

According to Kaspersky Lab, the number of users on whose mobile devices Stalkerware is installed is increasing not only in Russia. In Europe, such programs are most often found in German, Italian and British users.

It is interesting to note that the anti-stalker software coalition was formed in November 2019. It was named Coalition Against Stalkerware. In addition to Kaspersky Lab, it includes 20 organizations. One part of them works in the field of information security, the other helps victims of domestic violence. The coalition is working to raise awareness among people about the threat of stalker software, as well as to counter the crimes that are committed using such programs. 

Experts fear an increase in the number of cyber attacks after the end of self-isolation


As 62% of respondents answered, when companies transferred employees to remote work at the beginning of the pandemic, the most concern was ensuring secure remote access and VPN. 47% of respondents reported that they were concerned about preventing attacks using social engineering methods, and 52% called the protection of endpoints and home Wi-Fi networks of employees one of the main challenges.

"Even before the introduction of self-isolation, many companies allowed employees to work remotely. As soon as the regime entered into force, organizations had no choice but to organize remote access for all their employees as soon as possible. Of course, these measures have led to the emergence of new opportunities for attackers to carry out attacks. Despite the fact that we are now gradually returning to the normal life, the threat of cyber attacks is not decreasing. Companies need to use comprehensive zero-day security solutions to avoid being hit by a large number of next-generation cyber attacks," explained Vasily Diaghilev, head of Check Point Software Technologies representative office in Russia and the CIS.

At the same time, 65% of information security experts noted that their companies are blocking the access of external computers to corporate VPNs. 51% of specialists said that the greatest threat comes from home devices, 33% see the main security threat in mobile devices of employees.

According to Dmitry Medvedev, Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, the number of cybercrimes in the past five months in Russia has exceeded 180 thousand, which is 85% more than in the same period of time in 2019.

He stressed the importance of taking into account that new schemes and techniques are being developed for cyber attacks.

The Federal Security Service (FSB) of the Russian Federation purchased equipment for hacking smart devices - Hacker group Digital Revolution


Hacker group Digital Revolution published documents according to which the FSB ordered the creation of the Fronton program for organizing cyberattacks using the Internet of things devices.

According to the technical documentation published by hackers, there are three versions of the program — Fronton, Fronton-3D and Fronton-18. They allow infecting smart devices (from digital assistants to smart homes), integrate them into a network and “crash” the servers responsible for the stability of large Internet services and the Internet in entire countries.

It's interesting to note that the Moscow company 0day (LLC 0DT) could have participated in the development of the programs. Previously, the company also carried out orders of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

According to the published documents, the Internet of things is "less secure, unlike mobile devices and servers." This is due to the fact that many users use smart devices instantly, without changing factory usernames and passwords.

FSB contractors cite the experience of Mirai, the largest network of infected IoT devices, which had 600,000 bots. In 2016, it disabled the DNS servers of the American company Dyn, which made PayPal, Twitter, Netflix and about 70 other services unavailable for some time. At the same time, the organizers of the attack did not use computers, but printers, children's monitors and IoT routers.
Hackers noted that Fronton can be used for "spying on the whole world". The BBC suggests that, most likely, the main targets of cyberattacks may be digital cameras.

The documents note that 95% of the botnet should consist of IP cameras and digital video recorders. Search server must find targets for hacking, which can be connected via a virtual private network or the Tor browser. Documentation also emphasizes that "the use of the Russian language and the connected Cyrillic alphabet is excluded". It is suggested to hack devices using a dictionary of typical passwords from the Internet of things devices.

In December 2018, Digital Revolution said that it hacked the server of the Kvant Scientific Research Institute, owned by the FSB, and found documents on the system of automatic monitoring of social networks for protest moods. In the summer of 2019, hackers said that they broke into the servers of the Moscow IT company Sitek, which carried out projects for Russian special services and agencies.