Zombie Virus Via Free Wifi
Weve already discovered how hackers can piggyback off your Wifi hotspot to transmit illegal data but they can also set up their own WiFi booby traps.
A hacker can clone the name and characteristics of a public network, like “Starbucks.” Once your phone automatically connects to the signal, your device is wide open to attacks. The hacker can gain control of your operating system, and spam everybody in your address book with malware. With one accidental click, the recipient is then also infected and their address book is targeted. This is how damaging viruses can spread very quickly.
Security Tip: Never connect to public WiFi, unless youre absolutely sure that its secure.
Your Credit Card Can Be Stolen Without Leaving Your Wallet
PayWave. Zip. ExpressPay. PayPass. These are some of the names of contactless cards, and if you own one you should be extra vigilant. These cards are fitted with a Radio Frequency Identification Chip and the idea was to simplify purchases. While retail transactions may be a little easier, so is stealing your money. Some modern smartphones are equipped with Near Field Communications which means they can read and transmit RFID data easily.
With the right malware, a hacker can access your phone and scan your pocket for the RFID enabled credit card. They can then take this data, and use a magnetizing device to upload the stolen credit card data onto a blank card. Your credit card has just been cloned, without even leaving your pocket. A hacked smartphone can read an RFID chip through your pants or even a leather wallet!
Security Tip: There is a wide range of RFID blocking security wallets available on the market, keeping out any would-be digital pickpockets.
Russias Government Website Hacked With Pro
A Russian government website appears to have been hacked over the weekend, causing an Internet search for the site to lead to a “Glory to Ukraine” sign in Ukrainian.
Russia’s Ministry of Construction, Housing and Utilities website was targeted after many of the countrys state-owned companies and news organisations suffered hacking attempts since the Russian governments invasion of Ukraine on February 24.
Russia’s state news agency RIA quoted a ministry representative on Sunday as saying that the site was down but users’ personal data were protected. The website was working as normal by Monday.
RIA said that other media had reported that hackers were demanding a ransom to prevent the public disclosure of users’ data.
Russias war on Ukraine is being fought not only with bombs but with bytes as cyber warfare plays an increasingly major role in the invasion.
Before the outbreak of the war, Ukraine saw a rise in cyberattacks on several of its banks and government departments. Many of the attacks came in the form of so-called wiper attacks which destroy data on machines or DDoS attacks, which uses multiple, distributed devices to flood systems.
The study showed that Ukraine and Latvia, which both have an index of 75, surpass the European average by 3 per cent.
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United States V Michaud
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON AT TACOMA Jan 28, 2016 CASE NO. 3:15-cr-05351-RJB
As part of the investigation into the case, the FBI hacked and took control of this website. While controlling Website A, the FBI sought to identify the specific computers, and ultimately the individuals, accessing the site, by deploying a network investigating technology that cause an activating computerwherever locatedto send to a computer-controlled by or known to the government, network-level messages containing information that may assist in identifying the computer, its location, other information
However, following a complaint from the defendant, the judge found that the way in which this investigation was performed did not directly address the kind of situation that the NIT Warrant was authorized to investigate, and the case was struck down.
The China Connection To The Solarwinds Attack
While it is suspected that the initial Sunburst code and the attack against SolarWinds and its users came from a threat actor based in Russia, other nation-state threat actors have also used SolarWinds in attacks.
According to a Reuters report, suspected nation-state hackers based in China exploited SolarWinds during the same period of time the Sunburst attack occurred. The suspected China-based threat actors targeted the National Finance Center, which is a payroll agency within the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
It is suspected that the China-based attackers did not use Sunburst, but rather a different malware that SolarWinds identifies as Supernova.
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What Is The Government Doing To Stop Hacking
In the USA, there is government support available to help you identify and defend yourself against government hacking. The central agency charged with this task is CISA, part of the US Department of Homeland Security. This agency frequently issues alerts that detail current security issues, vulnerabilities, and exploits.
CISA reports are offered at various levels of technicality:
- Current Activity Provides up-to-date information about high-impact types of security activity affecting the community at large.
- Alerts Provide timely information about current security issues, vulnerabilities, and exploits.
- Bulletins Provide weekly summaries of new vulnerabilities. Patch information is provided when available.
- Analysis Reports Provide an in-depth analysis of a new or evolving cyber threat.
While this support is certainly useful, you should not rely on it to prevent all types of attacks. Specifically, CISA cannot help you to avoid insider threats, and there is typically a delay between a threat being discovered and it becomes the subject of an alert. For this reason, you still need to perform your own threat modeling, and factor in the likelihood of government-sponsored attacks into this.
What Happened With Microsoft
Microsoft Exchange Server, a popular email and calendar application, has become the victim of four critical zero-day vulnerabilities. The hackers managed to exploit these vulnerabilities before security patches were released.
These loopholes allowed the Chinese-backed hacker group Hafnium to access the email accounts of various US organizations. The hackers used the vulnerabilities to access the Microsoft Exchange and then controlled the servers remotely using web shells . Hackers managed to steal and access email data, implement backdoors, and inject malware.
The attack impacted vital institutions including law enforcement, hospitals, energy companies, prisons, and various government and military organizations, mainly in the US. It then grew exponentially, with breaches affecting other countries such as the UK and Germany.
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Infiltrated Networks: Mr Herpig Speaks To Dw
Sven Herpig, a fellow at German technology think tank “Neue Verantwortung” and former cybersecurity specialist for the German army, told DW that the federal government boasted a robust security offering, although “it was not good enough to fend off the attackers in this case.”
“But you can never have 100 percent security,” Herpig added. “After all, we are talking about espionage here. Espionage is centuries old and has always been conducted. Now its been moved together with a digitalization into the cyber domain.”
Who Was Responsible For The Hack
Federal investigators and cybersecurity agents believe a Russian espionage operation — mostly likely Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service — is behind the SolarWinds attack.
The Russian government has denied any involvement in the attack, releasing a statement that said, “Malicious activities in the information space contradicts the principles of the Russian foreign policy, national interests and understanding of interstate relations.” They also added that “Russia does not conduct offensive operations in the cyber domain.”
Not the first time
The SolarWinds hack is the latest in a series of recent attacks blamed on Russian operatives. It is believed a Russian group known as Cozy Bear was behind attacks targeting email systems at the White House and the State Department in 2014. The group has also been mentioned as responsible for the infiltration of the Democratic National Committee’s email systems and members of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in 2015 in the lead-up to the 2016 election, as well as further breaches around the 2018 midterm elections.
Contrary to experts in his administration, then-President Donald Trump hinted at around the time of the discovery of the SolarWinds hack that Chinese hackers might be behind the cybersecurity attack. However, he did not present any evidence to back up his claim.
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Setting Up For Success
Terrifying Ways Hackers And The Government Could Access Your Smartphone
The government can listen in on your calls. Hackers can access your smartphone to steal your identity. Here’s how to fight back.
Once upon a time, cell phones were the size of briefcases and had an antenna that rolled out like a telescope. But things have changed. Phones are now smart. Really smart.
While Siri can coordinate your schedule, order your pizza, and play your favorite music your iPhone can become your worst enemy should the wrong person access it.
Most of us don’t even realize the incredible ways that our phones can be used by a third-party.
In 2017, WikiLeaks released a trove of internal CIA documents. They revealed that the CIA had been aggressively pursuing how to hack everyday items, such as smart televisions, cars, and of course cell phones.
The CIA had a list of hacking attacks for both Androids and iPhones, and could theoretically take full control of a device. That includes the camera, the microphone, and more.
Did you know about the following ways that hackers can access your phone?
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Getting The Basics Right
Whether they are victimized by a war on the other side of the world, a hacktivist group promoting its message or a criminal group trying to extort payment, local governments in the U.S. are enticing targets. Artificial intelligence hacking tools and vulnerabilities introduced by the spread of smart devices and the growing interest in creating smart cities put local governments even more at risk.
Theres no quick or foolproof fix to eliminate all cybersecurity problems, but one of the most important steps local governments can take is clear: Implement basic cybersecurity. Emulating the National Institute of Standards and Technologys national cybersecurity framework or other industry accepted best practices is a good start.
I believe government officials, especially at the local level, should develop and apply the necessary resources and innovative technologies and practices to manage their cybersecurity risks effectively. Otherwise, they should be prepared to face the technical, financial and political consequences of failing to do so.
Chinese State Apt Hacking Group Targets South China Sea Energy Industry As Tensions Rise
By Muhammad Zulhusni | 31 August, 2022
- Recent targeted phishing attacks that distribute the ScanBox reconnaissance framework using URLs imitating Australian media entities
- This campaign refers to threat behavior that used RTF template insertion and started in June 2021.
Most people imagine a cyber-attack as a one-time transfer when they think of them. A hacker gains access to a system, begins downloading crucial files and data, and then leaves. Its not always so simple, though, when a hacking could have an impact on a country like China, to be ranked third in the world for being the victim of cyber-attacks.
Even when the first attempt at a cyberattack is unsuccessful, the threat does not always end there. It can require time and money to carry out a cyberattack against a well-organized system. Typically, APT groupscollectives of cybercriminalsare responsible for organizing them.
According to ComputerWeekly.com, advanced persistent threat groups targeted the Asia-Pacific region as their main target between June 2019 and June 2020. A total of 34 campaigns were launched in the APAC region during the review period.
Malware and APT hackers are more common and advanced than ever. With that said, Proofpoint and PwC Threat Intelligence have jointly identified a cyber espionage campaign, active from April 2022 through June, delivering the ScanBox exploitation framework to targets who visit a malicious domain posing as an Australian news website.
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Israel Says Government Sites Targeted By Hack
- URL Copied
Israel’s National Cyber Directorate said that the country suffered a cyber attack on Monday that briefly took down a number of government web sites.
In the last few hours, a denial of service attack has been identified on a communications provider which, as a result, has for a short time prevented access to a number of sites, including government sites, the government-funded directorate said on Twitter.
As of this hour all the sites are back for activity, it added.
But while accessible once again inside Israel, web monitoring group NetBlocks said late Monday Israel’s government network was unreachable internationally.
Attempts by AFP journalists to reach the home pages of several Israeli ministries and the National Cyber Directorate failed at just after 2000 GMT.
The Israeli daily Haaretz said a source in the country’s defence establishment believed it was the largest-ever cyber attack launched against the country.
Israel’s Ministry of Communications said it conducted an assessment of the situation with the emergency services in the Ministry of Communications, following a widespread cyber attack on government websites.
It was not immediately clear who carried out the hack.
Previous hacks on Israeli web sites have been attributed to attackers linked to Iran.
Iran and Israel have been locked in a shadow war that includes cyber attacks as well as targeting of physical sites.
The Nobelium Group Continues To Attack Targets
The suspected threat actor group behind the SolarWinds attack has remained active in 2021 and hasn’t stopped at just targeting SolarWinds. On May 27, 2021, Microsoft reported that Nobelium, the group allegedly behind the SolarWinds attack, infiltrated software from email marketing service Constant Contact. According to Microsoft, Nobelium targeted approximately 3,000 email accounts at more than 150 different organizations.
The initial attack vector appears to be an account used by USAID. From that initial foothold, Nobelium was able to send out phishing emails in an attempt to get victims to click on a link that would deploy a backdoor Trojan designed to steal user information.
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President Rodrigo Chaves Says Costa Rica Is At War With Conti Hackers
The president of Costa Rica says his country is “at war”, as cyber-criminals cause major disruption to IT systems of numerous government ministries.
Rodrigo Chaves said hackers infiltrated 27 government institutions, including municipalities and state-run utilities.
The Conti ransomware cartel, which is thought to be run from Russia, has upped its ransom demand to $20m .
The criminals posted an appeal online to Costa Ricans to “go out on the street and demand payment”.
Mr Chaves held a press conference on Monday to outline his “Plan for Implementation of Cyber-security Measures”.
He gave no indication that he was planning on paying the ransom, in spite of growing disruption to government departments.
On Wednesday, the Costa Rican Treasury told civil servants that the hack had affected automatic payment services. It warned that they would not be paid on time, and would need to apply for their salaries by email, or on paper by hand.
The ministry said: “Due to the temporary downturn of the institutional systems, the service of issuing certificates regarding the amounts of salaries owed to the civil servants of the Central Administration is suspended.
“All applications received via email or in the windows of the National Accountancy will be attended to once systems are restored.”
According to the government, the attacks also affected the country’s foreign trade by hitting its tax and customs systems.
The hackers were demanding $10m when the attack started last month.
Why Did It Take So Long To Detect The Solarwinds Attack
With attackers having first gained access to the SolarWinds systems in September 2019 and the attack not being publicly discovered or reported until December 2020, attackers may well have had 14 or more months of unfettered access.
The time it takes between when an attacker is able to gain access and the time an attack is actually discovered is often referred to as dwell time. According to a report released in January 2020 by security firm CrowdStrike, the average dwell time in 2019 was 95 days. Given that it took well over a year from the time the attackers first entered the SolarWinds network until the breach was discovered, the dwell time in the attack exceeded the average.
The question of why it took so long to detect the SolarWinds attack has a lot to do with the sophistication of the Sunburst code and the hackers that executed the attack.
“Analysis suggests that by managing the intrusion through multiple servers based in the United States and mimicking legitimate network traffic, the attackers were able to circumvent threat detection techniques employed by both SolarWinds, other private companies, and the federal government,” SolarWinds said in its analysis of the attack.
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