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Cyberscoop 12/06/2019 10:10
Amy Hess has spent nearly three decades at the FBI, rising to become the highest-ranking woman in the bureau and head of the Criminal, Cyber, Response, and Services Branch. Now, she’s heading to Louisville, Kentucky, where, starting in February, she will be chief of public services, overseeing things like emergency services and public works. Mayor Greg Fischer announced Hess’s appointment last month in a statement picked up by local media but little noticed inside the Beltway. It is a homecoming of sorts for Hess, who previously served as special agent in charge in the FBI’s Louisville field office. It was not immediately clear who would replace Hess as head of the Criminal, Cyber, Response, and Services Branch. CyberScoop has asked request.
Cyberscoop 12/06/2019 08:06
Huawei is suing the Federal Communications Commission over a measure passed last month that limits the Chinese telecommunication firm’s ability to conduct business in the U.S. The suit, filed in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which has jurisdiction over Huawei’s headquarters in Texas, involves the FCC’s recent decision to designate Huawei as a security risk.
Cyberscoop 12/05/2019 15:01
Facebook is taking action against two Chinese nationals and a Hong Kong advertising firm for allegedly using the social media platform to distribute malware, then push misleading advertisements to try to make money. The lawsuit filed Thursday in the Northern District California accuses ILikeAd Media International Company Ltd. and two individuals, Chen Xiao Cong and Huang Tao, of involvement with a scheme to dupe users into downloading malware. Then, the suit states, conspirators would use hacked accounts to advertise counterfeit goods and diet pills. Since April, Facebook has been notifying hundreds of thousands of users that their accounts may have been compromised by the scheme and instructing them to change their passwords, according to
Cyberscoop 12/05/2019 10:57
U.S. prosecutors have charged two Russian nationals, including one member of the FBI’s “Most Wanted” list, in connection with two years-long hacking and fraud campaigns that resulted in the theft of millions of dollars from American organizations. The Department of Justice charged Maksim Yakubets and Igor Turashev with involvement in the development and distribution of the malicious software known as Bugat. Bugat is a predecessor to Dridex, a banking malware strain that has haunted international victims for more than eight years, while prosecutors said Yakubets also was involved with Zeus, another pernicious hacking tool. Both suspects remain at large in Russia. Prosecutors unsealed the indictment against Yakubets and Turashev in conjunctio.
Cyberscoop 12/05/2019 09:27
Scammers fleeced a Chinese venture capital firm out of a $1 million payment meant for a startup by using malicious emails to steal the cash, according to new findings from Check Point Technologies. As part of the scheme, thieves posed as employees from an Israeli company hoping to raise seed funding from Chinese venture capitalists. By using email addresses that appeared remarkably similar to the actual startup, thieves posed as real Israeli employees in communications with an account manager at the Chinese investment firm. It was only after the $1 million payment went through when the actual startup realized it hadn’t received its payment, and the Chinese VC firm began to understand it’s money was gone. Check Point did not identify either
Cyberscoop 12/04/2019 11:03
IBM’s security experts said Wednesday they have uncovered previously unknown malware developed by Iranian hackers that was used in a data-wiping attack against unnamed energy and industrial organizations the Middle East. The newfound malware, dubbed ZeroCleare, “spread to numerous devices on the affected network, sowing the seeds of a destructive attack that could affect thousands of devices and cause disruption that could take months to fully recover from,” Limor Kessem, an Israel-based analyst with IBM’s X-Force incident response team, wrote in a blog post. The discovery adds to years of evidence that hackers linked to the Iranian government have developed and deployed data-destroying code against multiple targets in the Middle East. Secu.
Cyberscoop 12/03/2019 19:00
A candidate for office from the United Kingdom’s Labour Party says Russian hackers sent him malware-laced email in what he deemed a “sophisticated” attack. Ben Bradshaw, who has spoken up about Russian interference in British politics, revealed Tuesday that he had received a suspicious email purporting to be from a Russian whistleblower. Cyber & security experts I consulted found a mysterious email I received from a Kremlin “whistleblower” last week contained sophisticated malware. Reported to the @NCSC. Still waiting for publication of that #RussiaReport, Johnson. #ReleaseTheRussianReport https://t.co/U3O3Bdp38l — Ben Bradshaw (@BenPBradshaw) December 3, 2019 The email included a ruse that used the signature of a Russian envoy and PowerPoi.
Cyberscoop 12/02/2019 17:14
All mobile apps developed by Russian entities may be counterintelligence threats to the United States, the FBI has assessed in a letter sent to the Senate’s minority leader. “The FBI considers any mobile application or similar product developed in Russia … to be a potential counterintelligence threat, based on the data the product collects, its privacy and terms of use policies, and the legal mechanisms available to the Government of Russia that permit access to data within Russia’s borders,” Jill Tyson, the assistant director for the FBI’s office of congressional affairs, wrote in a letter to Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY, that CyberScoop obtained. The bureau’s concerns about Russian counterintelligence operations comes in response to an inquir.
Cyberscoop 12/02/2019 16:26
Australian and European law enforcement officials say they have taken down a remote-access hacking tool that had been sold to 14,500 buyers in 124 countries. The demise of the so-called Imminent Monitor Remote Access Trojan’s (IM-RAT), which officials said had been used to steal personal data from tens of thousands of victims, is a major victory for law enforcement officials in Australia and Europol, the European Union’s law enforcement agency. The invasive RAT gave anyone willing to pay $25 full access to a victim’s machine to steal photographs, passwords, and video footage. Months of investigative work culminated last month in the dismantling of IM-RAT’s infrastructure, and the arrest of 13 of its most prolific users. Where exactly the su.
Cyberscoop 12/02/2019 13:14
Cybercriminals have gone on a spree in Brazil’s hospitality industry, infecting the networks of hotels and tourism companies with malware that steals credit card data, according to researchers at Kaspersky. All told, the hackers have struck hospitality organizations in eight states across Brazil, and 20 hotels in that country and others around the world, Kaspersky said last week. Active since 2015, the hackers have stepped up their activity this year. They are brazenly selling access to hotel networks they’ve breached to whoever is buying. Some Brazilian criminals tout the extracted credit card data “as high quality and reliable” because it came from a hotel administration system, the researchers wrote in a blog post. The breaches often beg.
Cyberscoop 12/02/2019 12:43
An American man has been arrested for allegedly trying to help the North Korean government evade U.S. economic sanctions by using blockchain technology. Virgil Griffith, 36, is accused of traveling to North Korea against the advice of U.S. officials to deliver a presentation on blockchain and cryptocurrency at the DPRK Cryptocurrency Conference in April. There, U.S. officials allege, Griffith interacted with attendees who apparently worked for the North Korean government. The North Koreans allegedly quizzed Griffith about the technical aspects of blockchain, the distributed ledger technology that creates a secure record of transactions and is the backbone of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. The American also allegedly discussed how cryptoc.
Cyberscoop 12/02/2019 12:36
A new kind of mobile malware that can steal victim’s personal information, including files and victims’ location data is hidden under the guise of a chat app, according to new research from Trend Micro. Since May, the new mobile malware, which Trend Micro dubs CallerSpy, has appeared on multiple occasions on a phishing site http://gooogle[.]press imitating apps such as Chatrious and Apex App. All users have to do to get infected is click the download button on the site, and then the spyware monitors for commands from the attackers’ command and control server. It appears to only target Android users for now, according to Trend Micro. The company has not discovered any victims, according to its research. CallerSpy, which Trend Micro assesses
Cyberscoop 11/27/2019 15:57
A contractor who has been working at the National Security Agency since 2017 has been charged with five counts of falsifying her timesheet, according to an indictment filed in the U.S. District Court of Maryland. The contractor, Melissa Heyer, allegedly filed hours claiming to have been working in a sensitive compartmented information facility (SCIF), meant to function as a highly classified work environment, when she was actually elsewhere. She allegedly filed these false claims on five separate occasions between May 2017 and July 2018. The false work Heyer claimed to have completed amounted to the government paying her and her company $100,000 in all, the indictment claims. The wages she falsely claimed to have earned amount to more than
Cyberscoop 11/27/2019 15:16
Data analytics platform Splunk has told users to patch a flaw in the company’s platform that, starting next year, would cause all sorts of problems for people trying to read and search data. The problem lies in how the data is timestamped on Splunk, which ingests information from a variety of sources.Starting Jan. 1, unpatched “instances” of the Spunk platform won’t recognize data that is stamped with a two-digit year. The issue, which affects all iterations of the Splunk platform on any operating system, would mean that users won’t get accurate results when they query threat data for key information. “As this is a critical update, there is no option to defer it,” the San Francisco-based company said in an advisory released this week. To pr.
Cyberscoop 11/27/2019 14:23
The federal government should do more to protect its most sensitive information from potentially being deleted or leaked by insiders, according to a new report from the intelligence community inspector general (ICIG). The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) must “improve controls to efficiently and effectively manage and mitigate the risk that a trusted privileged user could inappropriately access, modify, destroy, or exfiltrate classified data,” the intelligence community inspector general, Michael Atkinson, writes in the report. The potential for trouble extends even to classified information that is restricted to a trusted few at the ODNI, the report says. The ICIG’s specific recommendations about how to address the is.
Cyberscoop 11/27/2019 11:31
The Department of Homeland Security’s cybersecurity division is trying something new. Instead of simply ordering civilian agencies to take a specific action to shore up their cybersecurity, it is asking the public to weigh in on the order first. On Wednesday, DHS’ Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency issued a draft Binding Operational Directive (BOD) that compels civilian agencies to establish programs to work with outside security researchers to find and fix software flaws in agency websites and applications. The appeal for public input is in the collaborative spirit of vulnerability disclosure programs (VDP), which crowdsource an organization’s security by asking ethical hackers to improve it. VDPs are common in the private se.

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