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Hackers Send Fake Census Form Alerts to UK Respondents

 


The United Kingdom, like every other country, runs a census every ten years. The census asks residents a number of questions regarding the address of individuals, their age, name, nationality, employment, health, education, and language. (The census here is mandatory and participants are obliged to provide answers)
 
The census happens in the year that ends with number-1, except Scotland, the census is postponed until 2022 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, most of the respondents are filling their services online, they are getting a unique 16 digit access code from the government to each resident via snail-mail. The participant can go to the official government census website, enter the 16 digit login code, saving him the arduous work of filling the form by hand, and snail-mail it back. If the participant fails to fill the census form before 21-03-2021, the government will send a chain of warning notifications with a unique 16 digit code, requesting the participant to fill the form and also fining €1000 if he fails to do so.
 
Naked Security reports, "the criminals did make some grammatical mistakes in their forms that a native speaker of English might notice, and these would be another giveaway, along with the fake domain name, but the crooks have cloned the UK Office for National Statistics “look and feel” very believably."
 
Stay alert of forged forms-
 
If the participant hasn't filled the form yet but may soon do it, he/she should stay wary of fake "census reminders" that are sent by the hackers. And if you've already filled your form, be on alert if you think there have to be some modifications in the details. The hackers are trying to take advantage of the online census by luring the participants into phishing attacks and stealing their data.
 
The fake form may ask for your postcode instead of your 16 digits unique code (the hackers could've also sent a fake 16 digit code but they chose not to), after that, the hackers will ask you similar questions that you may answer while filling out the original forms. However, in the fake form case, you end up exposing your personal details to the hackers, instead of sending your details to Office for National Statistics.

 
How to stay safe?

 
1. Check the Domain name before filling the form on the official website.
 
2. Don't open links that you may receive via SMS or e-mail.
 
3. Stay alert of the text messages that you may receive, please go through the message before filling the form.
 

Attackers Targeted Robinhood with a Phishing Campaign

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

What are Smishing Attacks? How to Prevent Them?

 

Smishing is a cyber assault that utilizes SMS text messages to delude its victims into giving sensitive data to a cybercriminal. Sensitive data incorporates your account name and password, name, banking account, or credit card numbers. The cybercriminal may likewise implant a short URL link into the text message, inviting the client to tap on the link which in most cases is a redirect to a pernicious site. Smishing is identified with two other 'smishing' cyber assaults, phishing and vishing. 

Cybercriminals today are essentially inspired by monetary benefit. They create code intended to obfuscate your sensitive data for benefit. At the point when they acquire this information, they may hope to sell your compromised credit card or credentials on the dark web. They may likewise utilize sensitive information to open an account in your name or hold your information ransom in exchange for a large pay-out. 

Back in May 2018, Fifth Third Bank clients were the targets of a smishing assault. The assailants claimed to represent Fifth Third Bank. They contrived a plan to caution clients that their accounts were locked. Within the body of the text message, they gave a link to the clients to open their accounts. The link took the clueless client to a phony webpage that seemed to be like Fifth Third's genuine site. The phishing site prompted the visitors to enter their user name and password, one-time code, and PIN codes to open their account. The cybercriminals then utilized the stolen account data to expunge almost $68,000 from 17 ATMs across three states. 

Some of the ways to prevent smishing attacks are: 

• Try not to react to text messages that demand private or monetary data from you. 

• On the off chance that you get a message that has all the earmarks of being from your bank, financial institution, or other entity that you work with, contact that business directly to decide whether they sent you a genuine solicitation. Review this entity’s policy on sending text messages to clients. 

• On the off chance that a text message is encouraging you to act or react rapidly, pause and consider the big picture. Recall that crooks utilize this as a strategy to get you to do what they need. 

• Never reply to a dubious text message without doing your research and checking the source.

“Netbounce” Threat Actor Tries to Evade Detection

 

On the 12th of February, FortiGuard Labs got a solicitation through email from an individual representing an organization called Packity Networks asking to whitelist their software. The sender guaranteed it to be a false-positive that causes a critical effect on their business. At that point, the file at the link was named malevolent only by Fortinet and Dr.Web sandbox. 

Despite the fact that, from the start, the solicitation appeared to be innocent, and basically no other security vendor had flagged the file, FortiGuard said it generally investigates such demands thoroughly before complying. The investigation prompted the disclosure of another group called "Netbounce" and it uncovered their malware delivery infrastructure. What made this stand apart among others is their one-of-a-kind set of tools and techniques. FortiGuard was able to discover a few variations created in-house by this group, each serving a different purpose. 

The background checks directed by FortiGuard on Secured Network Stack and Packity Networks Inc. yielded no outcomes; there were no enrolled organizations or official references to these elements, nor could they discover any employee profiles online. However, based on a Twitter account, Packity appears to have had some online presence other than their site for at least two years, and they found reviews for the software.

Despite the fact that the executables were signed with the same certificate, FortiGuard saw that the certificate was issued with an unrelated email address, session123@me.com. The certificate was issued on September 2nd, 2020, so they looked for more seasoned certificates utilized by Packity and tracked down an older installer. Looking at the more seasoned signature affirmed that the contact data is indeed unrelated to the organization. In spite of the fact that it might appear to be odd that an alternate email was utilized, the new certificate was issued precisely when the previous certificate expired, on September 3rd, 2020, which may indicate it's not vindictive. 

The signature with the new certificate doesn't have a timestamp countersignature. This is highly uncommon when signing code, and the "official" setup file from the site has a timestamp. Along these lines, FortiGuard's suspicions were still not resolved.

SITA Data Breach Exposes Numerous Airlines

 


After SITA gave an official statement last Thursday affirming it had been the subject of a sophisticated cyberattack, more airlines affirmed they had been directly influenced. It seems the SITA security breach affected all carrier members of Star Alliance and the One World alliance. In a statement, SITA representative Edna Ayme-Yahil declined to say the number of airlines that were affected by the breach. The organization additionally didn't give numerous details on the kind of information compromised, however it noticed that the information incorporates some personal data of airline customers, including frequent flyer account data. 

"Each affected airline has been provided with the details of the exact type of data that has been compromised, including details of the number of data records within each of the relevant data categories,"Ayme-Yahil said. Up until now, Singapore Airlines, Air New Zealand, Lufthansa, Malaysia Airlines, Finnair, Japan Airlines, Cathay Pacific, and South Korea's Juju Air have independently disclosed the impact from the breach, she noted. 

Star Alliance member Singapore Airlines, for instance, said that 580,000 members from its KrisFlyer and PPS loyalty program have had information exposed by the breach, despite the fact that the carrier isn't a SITA Passenger Service System client. Singapore said the breach doesn't include credit card information or data such as itineraries, passport numbers, and email addresses. Star Alliance member Lufthansa said 1.35 million Miles and More members have been affected by the breach. Member names and status levels were exposed, however, no passwords or email addresses were exposed. 

Tomi Pienimaki, the chief digital officer for Oneworld member Finnair, said around 10% of the carrier's loyalty customers have been targeted. "To be honest, I was not surprised in itself that the air industry was subjected to such an attack, because the industry is in a difficult situation and therefore vulnerable," he wrote in a LinkedIn post. "Once we have been informed, all we have to do is clarify the matter and ensure the integrity of our own systems day and night." 

"SITA acted swiftly and initiated targeted containment measures," the company said. "The matter remains under continued investigation by SITA's Security Incident Response Team with the support of leading external experts in cybersecurity."

Cybercriminals Finding Ways to Bypass 3D Secure

 


Security researchers with threat intelligence firm Gemini Advisory say that they have noticed dark web exercises identified with bypassing 3D Secure (3DS), which is intended to improve the security of online credit and debit card transactions. Designed as an additional protection layer for these transactions, 3DS has seen a few releases, with the recent one, namely version 2.0, likewise intended to accommodate cell phones, allowing for authentication using a fingerprint or facial recognition. 

In addition to different social engineering strategies that assailants can use to go around 3DS, phishing and scam pages permit them to fool victims into revealing their card details and payment verification information. Gemini's security researchers say that vulnerabilities in prior renditions of 3DS might have been abused to bypass security. The utilization of a password for the transaction was one of these issues, as this was sometimes a personal identification number (PIN) that cybercriminals had been able to acquire utilizing different methods. 

Utilizing different social engineering methods, for example, impersonating bank representatives, cybercriminals can collect a great deal of data from victims, including name, ID number, telephone number, physical and email address, mother's maiden name, driver's license numbers, and such. Armed with some personally identifiable information (PII), the assailant could fool the victim into sharing additional details. 

One technique suggested by some cybercriminals for bypassing 3DS includes calling up the victim from a telephone number that spoofs the number on the rear of the payment card and fooling them into verifying a transaction currently being made by the fraudster by claiming it is needed for identity verification purposes. The utilization of phishing sites that copy real online shops can likewise permit hackers to gather the victims' card data and trick them into approving a payment employing 3DS. Sometimes, the attackers may utilize malware to target clients' cell phones and recover 3DS verification codes.

“The older versions of 3DS, such as version 1.0 (which is still widely used around the world), are susceptible to hackers who find ways to bypass their security features. Gemini Advisory assesses with moderate confidence that cybercriminals will likely continue to rely on social engineering and phishing to bypass 3DS security measures,” Gemini concludes.

Hacker Attacked a Water Plant in Florida

 

A hacker penetrated computer networks at Oldsmar, Florida, water treatment plant, remotely delivering a 100-fold boost in a chemical that is exceptionally perilous in concentrated sums. In an assault with the possibility to harm public health, the hacker on February 5 accessed a city computer and changed the level of sodium hydroxide which is utilized to eliminate metals and control acidity, from 100 parts for each million to 11,100 parts for every million, as per Bob Gualtieri, who serves as the sheriff of Pinellas County. 

This is a “significant and potentially dangerous increase,” Gualtieri said at a Monday press conference. The attacker momentarily entered the computer system at 8 a.m. on Feb. 5, before leaving and returning at about 1:30 p.m. for roughly three to five minutes, Gualtieri said. In that window, the operator of the water plant could see the attacker on screen, “with the mouse being moved about to open various software functions that control the water being treated in the system,” Gualtieri said. 

When the hacker left the computer system, the operator whose computer was remotely taken over promptly brought down the level of the chemical, otherwise called lye. This move forestalled any harm to people in general and the drinking water, Gualtieri said. He said there were extra counteraction measures inside the water system that would have kept polluted water from reaching the public. It isn't yet known whether the break originated from the U.S., or outside of the country, Gualtieri said. Oldsmar, with a population of almost 15,000, is situated around 15 miles northwest of Tampa.

“Many of the victims appear to have been selected arbitrarily, such as small critical infrastructure asset owners and operators who serve a limited population set,” said Daniel Kapellmann Zafra, manager of analysis at Mandiant Threat Intelligence. Through “remote interaction with these systems,” the hackers have engaged in “limited-impact operations.” None of those examples brought about any damage to individuals or infrastructure, Zafra said. “We believe that the increasing interest of low sophisticated actors in industrial control systems is the result of the increased availability of tools and resources that allow malicious actors to learn about interactions with these systems,” he added.

CHwapi Hospital Suffers a Ransomware Attack

 

On Sunday night, the CHwapi hospital in Belgium witnessed a cyberattack that incited the facility to divert emergency patients to different emergency hospitals and defer surgeries. 

As per the attackers, they utilized Windows BitLocker to encrypt 40 workers and 100TB of information. In the wake of encrypting devices, the attackers state they left ransom notes named ransom.txt on the domain controllers and backup servers. 

"We attack chwapi hospital in Belgium 2 days ago. and set up a ransom note on servers. but the IT management team not give this information to hospital management. hospital management makes a press release and said there is no ransom note, but this is a lie. something is going on," the attackers wrote in an email. Rather than utilizing conventional ransomware, this group utilizes off-the-shelf software, for example, Windows BitLocker and DiskCryptor to encrypt documents and lock admittance to the disk partitions with a password. The attackers revealed that they don't encrypt each gadget on the network and only target servers holding a lot of records, for example, file servers and backup servers.

As reported by local media group L'Avenir, 80 of the hospital centers' 300 servers were affected by the attack, constraining staff and nurses to surrender computerized entries and turn to pen and paper for patient assessments. Patient information was not compromised, as per CHwapi. 

To communicate with the victims, this hacking group makes ransom notes containing a Bitmessage ID that can be utilized to negotiate a ransom. This group states that they are not part of a Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS) and do not steal or leak information. Some ransomware groups have expressed that they will try not to encrypt hospitals and give a free decryptor in the event that they are encrypted. 

As a precautionary measure, the hospital has totally cut off any communications with the rest of the world. “We do not communicate with the outside and we do not receive anything either before having made an even more precise diagnosis of what is happening internally,” Didier Delval, general director of CHwapi, said in a statement. Authorities said any patients affected by hospital service interruptions will be told by phone, where conceivable. 

While the hospital's services are gradually recuperating and surgical operations have resumed, CHwapi continues to cancel some services and divert dire cases to different hospitals.

Maze Ransomware: Exfiltration and Extortion

 

New research by New Zealand organization Emsisoft has discovered that a cyber-blackmail tactic initially debuted by ransomware gang MAZE has been adopted by over a dozen other criminal cyber gangs. Initially observed in May of 2019, the maze was a prominent part of consistent, yet unremarkable, extortion campaigns. However, as of late a sizable uptick have been seen in Maze campaigns, including numerous prominent, high-profile attacks. The attackers behind Maze have previously claimed credit for assaults on both Allied Financial just as well as the City of Pensacola Florida. 

The globally renowned security software organization, Emsisoft declared a ransomware crisis in the last month of 2019. Their most recent ransomware report shows that this specific sort of malware has hugely affected the United States in 2020. Emsisoft threat analyst Brett Callow described the numbers in "The State of Ransomware in the US: Report and Statistics 2020" as "pretty grim." 

At least 2,354 US governments, medical services offices, and schools were affected by ransomware last year, including 113 federal, state, and municipal governments and agencies, 560 healthcare facilities, and 1,681 schools, universities, and colleges. Researchers noticed that the assaults caused huge, and in some cases perilous, disturbance: ambulances carrying emergency patients had to be redirected, cancer treatments were deferred, lab test results were difficult to reach, clinic workers were furloughed and 911 services were interfered with. 

In 2020, MAZE turned into the first ransomware group to be observed exfiltrating information from its victims and utilizing the threat of publication as extra leverage to coerce payment. As per a November report by Coveware, some ransomware gangs that exfiltrate information don't erase it, even in the wake of accepting a ransom from their victims. Coveware noticed REvil (Sodinokibi) requesting a second ransom payment for stolen information it had just been paid to delete.

Maze ransomware doesn't simply demand payment for a decryptor however exfiltrates victim information and threatens to leak it publicly if the target doesn’t pay up. This “double whammy” heaps on yet more strain to persuade the victim to cave into the cybercriminals' demand. The onus presently is on organizations to ensure they have a trusted security arrangement demonstrated to forestall ransomware from executing in the first place, as restoration of data from a backup won't save them.

Rogue: An Android Malware That Gives Hackers Full Control Over a Phone

 

Another sort of Android malware that provides hackers with nearly-full access to a client's Android cell phone is doing rounds on underground forums. Colloquially known as 'Rogue' Remote Administration Tool (RAT), the malware infects victims with a keylogger – permitting attackers to effectively monitor the utilization of sites and applications to take usernames and passwords, just as more delicate data like a client's financial data. The malware, as per reports, is accessible on underground forums for as low as $29.99 (generally Rs 2,200).

This low-cost malware undermines a full-scale takeover of a victim's cell phone, observing the GPS area on the target, taking screenshots, utilizing the camera to take pictures, secretly recording sound from calls, and more. The virus does this while being hidden from the owner of the cell phone. All an attacker requires is their own cell phone to give commands on an infected device. This malware has been detailed by cybersecurity researchers at Checkpoint Research as a mix of two past groups of Android RATs - Cosmos and Hawkshaw - and exhibits the advancement of malware improvement on the dark web. 

Rogue is crafted by Triangulum and HeXaGoN Dev, known Android malware creators that have been selling their vindictive products on underground markets for quite a long while. For the development of Rogue, the malware creator evidently joined forces with HexaGoN Dev, which specializes in the building of Android RATs. Beforehand, Triangulum bought projects from NexaGoN Dev. "The mix of HeXaGon Dev's programming skills and Triangulum's social marketing abilities clearly posed a legitimate threat," Check Point's security researchers note.

While there is no single manner by which hackers introduce Rogue, it is normally pushed on a victim's cell phone either by phishing, malevolent applications, or other such techniques. In the wake of being downloaded on a cell phone, Rogue asks for permissions that it needs for the hacker to remotely get to a cell phone. When the permissions are in all actuality, Rogue registers itself as the device administrator and conceals its icon from the home screen. 

The best way to try not to succumb to this is to not click on suspicious links or download applications from outside sources other than Google Play and Apple App Store. Further, it is additionally imperative to ensure all security updates are installed on the device.

PayPal Phishing Scam 2021, Here's How to Stay Guarded

 


Another PayPal phishing campaign attempts to take account logins and other personal data. Noxious individuals are sending clients instant messages warning them that their accounts are permanently "limited" and urging them to sign in and verify their identity and account via a given link. Just as it is run of the mill with PayPal phishing messages, this trick likewise incorporates all the vital parts to deceive clients – a short claim that threatens with the outcome and a phony link that diverts clients to a caricaturing site. 

Cybercriminals abuse clients' inexperience and lack of experience by employing infamous social engineering techniques. They create emails or messages that resemble those from real organizations, which persuades victims to give away their details readily. 

The given hyperlink in the new PayPal phishing campaign diverts telephone clients to a spoofing webpage that appears to be indistinguishable from that of PayPal, however, the web address is observably different. Also, prospective victims are quickly approached to sign in to their accounts. Along these lines, they are diverted to a page where a couple of clarifications on why their accounts have been limited are shown, and they are encouraged to secure their accounts. At that point, PayPal clients see another page where they are approached to give their data, such as complete name, date of birth, and billing address. When clients fill in these details, every one of them is then shipped off to the operators behind the scam. They could utilize them to abuse users' PayPal account, open new bank accounts, or utilize the individual's data for future phishing campaigns. 

On the off chance that you've been fooled into filling these fields, at that point the following steps should be taken to avoid becoming a cyber victim: 

 • Sign in to your PayPal account and change the password right away. 

 • On the off chance that a similar password is utilized for signing in to some other accounts, visit them and change it also. 

 • Inform PayPal regarding such a scam and that you might have got influenced. 

 • To ensure no false accounts are made in your name – issue a temporary freeze on your credit report.

To ensure safe, stay wary of such malicious links and stick to the terms and conditions of the organization. Additionally, please note that PayPal could never send its clients any instant messages or force them to visit and sign in to their system immediately, only cybercriminals operate that way. The organization just sends emails that incorporate such data, and it generally contains a clarification for the constraint.

Manchester United Hit By a Cyber Attack on their Systems

 

Manchester United affirmed the hacking on the club and revealed systems required for the match remained secure.

Have been hit by a cyber-attack on their systems however state they are not “currently aware of any breach of personal data associated with our fans and customers”. 

In a statement, United stated: “Manchester United can confirm that the club has experienced a cyber-attack on our systems. The club has taken swift action to contain the attack and is currently working with expert advisers to investigate the incident and minimize the ongoing it disruption.

Paul Pogba 'significant for us' says Solskjær after Deschamps comments, “Although this is a sophisticated operation by organized cybercriminals, the club has extensive protocols and procedures in place for such an event and had rehearsed for this eventuality.

Our cyber defenses identified the attack and shut down affected systems to contain the damage and protect data. Club media channels, including our website and app, are unaffected and we are not currently aware of any breach of personal data associated with our fans and customers. 

We are confident that all critical systems required for matches to take place at Old Trafford remain secure and operational and that tomorrow’s game against West Bromwich Albion will go ahead.”




The club told the British authorities about the incident, including the information commissioner's office. 

The united likewise dispatched a forensic investigation into the incident. 

A spokesperson for the club added: “These types of attacks are becoming more and more common and are something you have to rehearse for.” 

United have informed the information commissioner's office and added that forensic tracing is being completed by carrying out an attempt to set up additional insight regarding the attack.


Federal Agencies Warned the US Healthcare System on Facing An “Increased and Imminent” Threat of Cybercrime

 

A couple of days back the FBI and two federal agencies, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Health and Human Services issued a caution that they had “credible information of an increased and imminent cybercrime threat to US hospitals and healthcare providers”. 

This news comes after federal agencies cautioned that the US healthcare systems are confronting an “increased and imminent” danger of cybercrime, and that cybercriminals are releasing an influx of coercion endeavors intended to lock up hospital information systems, which could hurt patient care similarly to cases of Coronavirus are on a steady rise. 

The cyberattacks include ransomware, which scrambles information into the hogwash that must be opened with software keys given once targets pay up. Independent security specialists state it has 'already hobbled at least five US hospitals' this week, and might affect hundreds more. 

Charles Carmakal, chief technical officer of the cybersecurity firm Mandiant, said in a statement, “we are experiencing the most significant cybersecurity threat we’ve ever seen in the United States." 

The US has seen a plague of ransomware in the course of the recent 18 months with significant urban cities from Baltimore to Atlanta hit and local governments and schools hit especially hard.

In September, a ransomware attack shook all 250 US facilities of the hospital chain Universal Health Services, constraining doctors and nurses to 'depend on paper and pencil for record-keeping and slowing lab work'. 

Employees described disorderly conditions blocking patient care, including mounting trauma centers wait and the failure of wireless vital signs monitoring hardware. 

Alex Holden, CEO of Hold Security, which has been intently following the ransomware being referred to for over a year, said he informed the federal law enforcement after monitoring infection endeavors at various hospitals. 

Furthermore, added that the group was demanding ransoms above $10 million for each target and that criminals involved on the dull web were talking about plans to attempt to infect at least 400 or more hospitals, clinics, and other medical facilities.

“One of the comments from the bad guys is that they are expecting to cause panic and, no, they are not hitting election systems,” Holden said. “They are hitting where it hurts even more and they know it.”

The cybercriminals launching the attacks are said to have been utilizing a strain of ransomware known as Ryuk, and while nobody has proved the speculated ties between the Russian government and groups that utilization the Trickbot platform, Holden said he has “no doubt that the Russian government is aware of this operation – of terrorism”.

BEC Scams Increase Year over Year; Reach Monthly Average of More Than $300 Million



Business email compromise (BEC) scams have been on a steady rise year over year and as per the suspicious activity reports (SARs) received month since 2016, the count has now reached at a monthly average of more than $300 million.

The  Financial Crimes Enforcement Network  (FinCEN) in the wake of assembling the statistics about BEC episodes happening in the course of recent years recognized the most common types of targets alongside the destination planned for the stolen assets and the procedures utilized by the scammers.

Companies have said to have lost around $1.2 billion to this kind of cybercriminal movement, who's aim is to acquire assets by acting like a customer or upper management personnel in a company so as to fool the key individuals within the organization into wiring funds to an 'attacker-control bank account'.

Commercial entities offering proficient services  like landscaping, retail, restaurants, and lodging turned out to be increasingly alluring targets, with 18% of the attacks being aimed at them.

FinCEN's analysis describes the broader picture of BEC scams

In contrast to financial organizations, which fell in the rankings from 16% to 9%, real estate firms ended up being all the more enticing, representing 16% of the BEC scam victim pie.

The attackers however don't stay adhered to only one way; they have various strategies to accomplish their goal. From impersonating company CEOs to impersonating customers and vendors all the while using fake invoices they have done it all.

Therefore users are recommended to pay special mind to any Malwares or Spywares as the attackers rely heavily on malware intended to steal the necessary information for executing the attack just as Spyware for stealing the information important to break into email accounts.

Yet Another Phishing Campaign by Hackers That Abuses QR Codes To Redirect Targets to Phishing Landing Pages



 Attackers come up with yet another phishing campaign that misuses QR codes to divert the targets to phishing landing pages. Researchers responsible for discovering this crusade distinguished that it quite effectively evades security solutions and controls intended to stop such attacks in their tracks.

The attackers previously utilized a URL encoded in a QR code target on the French Cofense customers to dodge the security software which dissects and accordingly blocks  suspicious or 'blacklisted areas' .

They even included a GIF image containing the QR code which would redirect them to the hxxps://digitizeyourart.whitmers[.]com/wp-content/plugins/wp-school/Sharepoint/sharepoint/index.php domain intended to act like a SharePoint-related site.

The phishing mails were disguised as a SharePoint email with a "Review Important Document" headline and a message body which would welcome potential victims to  "Scan Bar Code to View Document."
Phishing Email

Removing the victims from the overall safety of their computers thusly enables the cybercriminals to adequately sidestep any link protection services ,secure email portals, sandboxes, or web content filters set up by the targets' corporate information security department.

To make the attack considerably progressively fruitful against mobile users, the attackers have likewise upgraded their landing pages for smartphones with the phishing page and thus providing a custom view on the mobile devices.

Phishing landing page
Researchers from Cofense, the leading provider of human-driven phishing defense solutions world-wide, state that QRishing is a fairly notable technique utilized by cybercriminals to abstain from phishing filters and security solutions build especially to block such attacks before the pernicious emails reach the targets' inboxes.

Phishing landing page on a mobile

Along these lines , a conceivable protection against them named QRCS (Quick Response Code Secure), which would be "a universal efficient and effective solution focusing exclusively on the authenticity of the originator and consequently the integrity of QR code by using digital signatures, “was proposed in a paper from the Carnegie Mellon University's CyLab Study , which could perhaps prove to be valuable later on in the future.

Javascript-Based Trojan Disguised As Game Cheats By Attackers




Researchers have made a recent discovery on a modular downloader Trojan based on a new Javascript, disguised and circulated to target as game cheats by means of websites and owned by its designers.

They found that the Trojan dubbed as MonsterInstall — utilizes Node.js to execute itself especially on the victim's machines.

Found by Yandex, the malware was sent over to Doctor Web's research team for further investigation together with a little extra data on how the Trojan sample was distributed.

The MonsterInstall downloader Trojan after launch is known to 'gain persistence' by adding itself to the already infected computer's autorun to naturally be launched after the machine is rebooted.

It begins by gathering the system information and sends it to its command and-control (C&C) server, "In response, it receives links to the Trojan’s worker and updater modules, unpacks them and installs them into the system."

"When users attempt to download a cheat they download a password-protected 7zip archive to their computers , inside which there is an executable file; which upon launch, downloads the requested cheats alongside other Trojan’s components," says Doctor Web.

The Trojan at that point grabs every one of the segments it needs, to play out its pernicious undertakings with the crypto mining module being downloaded as xmrig.dll that will end xmr, xmr64, and windows-update processes it discovers running on the compromised system.

"Developers of this malware own several websites with game cheats, which they use to spread the malware, but they also infect other similar websites with the same Trojan. According to SimilarWeb’s statistics, users browse these websites at least 127,400 times per month," also note the Doctor Web researchers.

The gamers however have been quite recently being focused upon by the attackers yet this isn't the first time and it beyond any doubt isn't the last as well. For instance, the cybercriminals have used the pernicious game servers to endeavor to infect CS 1.6 players utilizing game client vulnerabilities just as to advance different servers for money.

Despite the fact that Doctor Web had the option to bring down the domains utilized by the Trojan to send gamers to the fake servers with the assistance of the REG.ru domain name registrar, safety measures are at any rate prescribed to the present and active users.


Confluence servers hacked to install malware

Cybercriminals are now exploiting a vulnerability in Confluence servers to install cryptojacking malware. According to a report by Trend Micro, the vulnerability has been well documented in the past. However, at the time, it was being used to target victims with DDoS attacks.

Confluence is a widely popular planning and collaboration software developed by the Australian software giant, Atlassian. Trend Micro reported that it had noticed one of the vulnerabilities, CVE-2019-3396, in April, a month after Atlassian published an advisory covering the same. CVE-2019-3396 is a template injection in the Widget Connector that allows cybercriminals to execute code remotely on their victims’ machines.

The vulnerability was first used for a DDoS attack in Romania. However, the cybersecurity and analytics company revealed that hackers are now using it to install a Monero crypto miner that comes with a rootkit. The rootkit serves to hide the malware’s network activity. It also shows false CPU usage on the affected machine, misleading the user and further concealing the mining process. The report further revealed that the rootkit re-installs the malware should the victim manage to remove it.

The attack begins by sending a command to download a shell script hosted on Pastebin, an online content hosting service where users store plain text for a set period of time. The malware then kills off some of the processes running on the host machine before downloading other resources, also from Pastebin.

The vulnerability mainly targets older versions of Confluence, with Atlassian urging its users to download patched versions of Confluence Server and Data Center to protect themselves.

In recent times, cryptojacking has become increasingly popular with cybercriminals. The tactics are also advancing, with the criminals seeking to stay ahead of the security experts. As we reported recently, a new malware that targets Linux servers has been modified to shut down other crypto miners in the host’s system. Known as Shellbot, the malware uses the SSH brute force technique to infect servers that are connected to the internet and that have a weak password.

Espionage Group Aka Apt33 Targeting Various Organization in Saudi Arabia and US by Deploying A Variety of Malware In Their Network




An unceasing surveillance group otherwise known as APT33 group (Elfin) known for explicitly targeting on corporate networks has now set its sights by focusing on various organizations in Saudi Arabia and US by sending an assortment of malware in their system.

The hacker group which has reportedly compromised around 50 organizations in various countries since 2015, so far its attackers have bargained a wide range of targets including, governments alongside associations in the research, chemical, engineering, manufacturing, consulting, finance, telecoms, and several other sectors.

The cybercriminals scan the defenseless sites of a particular target and later use it for either command and control server or malware attacks if the site will be undermined effectively.

In spite of the fact that the gathering fundamentally focused on Saudi Arabia, with the 42% of attacks since 2016 and it’s compromised 18 organizations in the U.S alone in the course of recent years.

 In any case, for this situation, Elfin focused on organization including engineering, chemical, research, energy consultancy, finance, IT, and healthcare sectors in the U.S alone.





Amid the attack, Elfin is said to have used an assortment of open source hacking instruments, custom malware, and commodity malware to compromise the diverse targets.

Elfin Adept utilizes various openly accessible hacking instruments, including:
  • LaZagne (SecurityRisk.LaZagne): A login/password retrieval tool
  • Mimikatz (Hacktool.Mimikatz): Tool designed to steal credentials
  • Gpppassword: Tool used to obtain and decrypt Group Policy Preferences (GPP) passwords
  • SniffPass (SniffPass): Tool designed to steal passwords by sniffing network traffic


Additionally, numerous commodity malware tools were utilized for these attacks and the malware accessible for purchase on the digital underground including:
  • DarkComet (Backdoor.Breut)
  • Quasar RAT (Trojan.Quasar)
  • NanoCore (Trojan.Nancrat)
  • Pupy RAT (Backdoor.Patpoopy)
  • NetWeird (Trojan.Netweird.B)

Other than these, the custom malware family incorporates Notestuk (Backdoor.Notestuk), a malware in order to access the backdoor and assembling the data, Stonedrill (Trojan.Stonedrill), a custom malware equipped for opening a secondary passage on an infected PC and downloading the additional records.

London hackers may be behind ransomware attack on Lucknow hotel

In a first-of-its-kind ransomware attack in Lucknow, cybercriminals breached and blocked the computer system of The Piccadily, a five-star hotel in the capital of Uttar Pradesh, and demanded a ransom to allow data access. Ransomware is a malware unleashed into the system by a hacker that blocks access to owners till ransom is paid.

The hotel management lodged an FIR with the cyber cell of police and also roped in private cyber detectives to probe the crime and suggest a remedy.

The hotel’s finance controller in Alambagh, Jitendra Kumar Singh, lodged an FIR on March 9, stating the staff at the hotel was unable to access the computer system on February 27 around 11:45 pm when they were updating monthly business data. This was followed by screen pop-ups which read — Oops, your important files are encrypted. The staff initially ignored the pop-ups and rebooted the system following which it crashed. Later, the hotel management engaged a software engineer to track down the malfunction after which it came to light the system has been hit by ransomware.

Nodal officer of the cyber cell deputy superintendent of police (DySP) Abhay Mishra said the case happens to be first of its kind of ransomware attack in the city. The demand for ransom in such cases are also made through ‘Bitcoin’, he said. “They are investigating into the matter, but are yet to make any breakthrough,” Singh told TOI. The staff initially ignored the pop-ups and rebooted the system following which it crashed.

The cyber cell of Lucknow police believes the ransomware attack could have been made from London. Sleuths of the cyber cell made these claims after authorities of the Piccadily said they had been getting frequent phone calls from London-based number after the attack.

Singh said, “We received for calls from the same number a day after the attack. The callers inquired about the ransomware attack and asked about the progress in the case. Later, they also agreed to offer assistance.”

Anubis Malware Re-Emerges Yet Again; Hackers Distributing It via Google Play Store





The Anubis banking malware arises once more with the threat actors allocating the malware on Google Play store applications keeping in mind the end goal to steal login credentials to banking apps, e-wallets, and payment cards.

Hackers are constantly known for finding better approaches to sidestep the Google play store security as well as ways to distribute the malware through Android applications that will additionally go about as the initial phase in an "infection routine" schedule that gets the BankBot Anubis mobile banking Trojans by means of C&C server.

Users as often as possible get tainted once they download and install the malevolent applications via the Google play store, despite the fact that the play store security investigates , all the applications that are transferred into Google Play, cybercriminals dependably execute the most complex and obscure strategies to evade the detection.

Researchers as of late discovered anew downloader’s in-app store that connected with Anubis banking malware. This campaign is known to contain no less than 10 malevolent downloaders masked as different applications. All the Downloader disseminated through Android applications is known to get in excess of 1,000 samples from the criminal's command-and-control (C&C) servers.

“In most Android banking Trojans, the malware launches a fake overlay screen when the user accesses a target app. The user then taps his or her account credentials into the fake overlay, which allows the malware to steal the data. BankBot Anubis streamlines this process.”

Cyber criminals transferring applications into Google play store influence it to resemble a live authentic one; they compromise the clients by controlling them to trust that they are giving an "expertise" as a service.

The researchers likewise found that these malignant play store applications that acted like the authentic ones, for the most part focus on the Turkish-speaking clients and the downloader applications in this specific crusade were intended to address Turkish clients just with a couple of various botnets and configurations.

All these applications are transferred to various categories, for example, online shopping to money related services and even an automotive app.

As indicated by an analysis by the X-Force, the adjustments in the downloader application propose that it is being kept up on a progressing premise, another sign that it is a ware offered to cybercriminals or a particular gathering that is centered on swindling particularly the Turkish mobile banking users.

Once the noxious downloader is effectively installed into the victims Android then the app brings BankBot Anubis from one of its C&C servers. The BankBot Anubis malware forces clients to concede the consent by acting like an application called "Google Protect." 

This accessibility will go about as a keylogger getting the infected user's credentials from infected users mobile.

BankBot Anubis is known to target users in numerous nations also for example, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, Georgia, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Israel, Japan Kazakhstan, Spain, Taiwan, Turkey, U.K. as well as U.S.