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Cyberscoop 10/28/2020 11:38
Turla, a group of suspected Russian hackers known for pinpoint espionage operations, have used updated tools to breach the computer network of an unnamed European government organization, according to new research. The research from consulting giant Accenture shows how, despite a large body of public data on Turla techniques, and a warning from Estonian authorities linking the hackers with Russia’s FSB intelligence agency, the group remains adept at infiltrating European government networks. The hacking tools are tailored to the victim organization, which Accenture did not name, and have been used over the last few months to burrow into the internal network and then ping an external server controlled by the attackers. The stealth is typical.
Cyberscoop 10/28/2020 08:04
Iranian government-linked hackers have been sending spearphishing emails to large swaths of high-profile potential attendees of upcoming the Munich Security Conference as well as the Think 20 Summit in Saudi Arabia, according to Microsoft research. The Iranian attackers, known as Phosphorous, have disguised themselves as conference organizers and have sent fake invitations containing PDF documents with malicious links to over 100 possible invitees of the conferences, both of which are prominent summits dedicated to international security and policies of the world’s largest economies, respectively. In some cases the attackers have been successful in guiding some victims to those links, which lead victims to credential-harvesting pages, Tom B.
Cyberscoop 10/27/2020 17:58
The head of the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency has slammed a new inspector general report criticizing some of the agency’s election security work, calling the investigation “poorly timed” and its conclusions misleading. The Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general credited CISA for making progress in helping election officials mitigate cyberthreats, but also concluded the agency hadn’t invested enough resources in countering physical threats to election infrastructure. CISA officials say they’ve accounted for those threats in their preparation. Multiple federal agencies, including the FBI, also are working with state officials to guard against cyber and physical threats to the election. “While the OIG [offi.
Cyberscoop 10/27/2020 16:43
Scenes like what happened to Florida’s voter registration site on Oct. 6 has played out over and over again: A system goes down, and questions fly. Was there a cyberattack, specifically a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack meant to overwhelm a website site with traffic, knocking it offline? Could there have been too many legitimate visitors rushing to the site to beat the voter registration deadline — that surged past what the system could handle? Or, was it something weirder, as in this case, like pop singer Ariana Grande urging fans on Twitter to register to vote? Florida’s chief information officer eventually blamed misconfigured computer servers. The incident, though, was one of several over the course of the past month that ex.
Cyberscoop 10/27/2020 16:26
Facebook has removed a network of fake accounts and pages with connections to the Iranian government, one of which was peddling misinformation related to the U.S. elections, the company announced Tuesday. The Iranian network broadly focused on the U.S. and Israel, but it included one fake account that was operating as part of the Iranian email misinformation campaign that sent unsubstantiated threats about voting to Democratic voters in the U.S., Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy Nathaniel Gleicher told reporters in a phone call. The email campaign, which the U.S. government called out last week, threatened targets to vote for President Donald Trump in the upcoming presidential elections. After a tipoff from the FBI, which announced I.
Cyberscoop 10/27/2020 13:00
The FBI and departments of Defense and Homeland Security issued a joint alert Tuesday warning the private sector about what they say is a global hacking operation run by North Korean government-linked hackers. The hacking group, known as Kimsuky, tends to run intelligence-gathering intrusions against targets in South Korea, Japan and the U.S., according to the alert by the FBI, DHS’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and Cyber Command, DOD’s offensive hacking arm. Kimsuky commonly runs cyber-espionage campaign against South Korean think tanks, as well as targets related to sanctions, nuclear topics, and other issues affecting the Korean Peninsula, according to the U.S. government. To obtain initial access to victims, t.
Cyberscoop 10/27/2020 11:25
You can add travel-booking scams to the ways that cybercriminals have adapted to the pandemic-era economy. After slashing prices on the hacking tools sold on underground forums and targeting remote-access software used for remote work, crooks have been monitoring the fluctuations in travel restrictions around the world for an opportunity to hawk illicit travel schemes, according to research published Tuesday by the threat intelligence firm Gemini Advisory. The analysts found an uptick in travel-related chatter on over a dozen cybercriminal forums since July, around the time that countries in Europe began loosening travel controls. Mentions of travel-related issues on the forums went from roughly 100 per day in early June to more than 600 pe.
Cyberscoop 10/27/2020 09:33
Zoom says a key deal earlier this year helped it globally implement an important security feature at a time when the videoconferencing app became a household word. The company said Monday that it was officially rolling out end-to-end encryption (E2EE) for all free and paid users, and it credited the acquisition of messaging and file-sharing service Keybase as a crucial decision toward that milestone. “This has been a highly requested feature from our customers, and we’re excited to make this a reality,” Jason Lee, Zoom’s chief information security officer, said in a statement. “Kudos to our encryption team who joined us from Keybase in May and developed this impressive security feature within just six months.” Zoom announced the upgrade a c.
Cyberscoop 10/26/2020 14:13
Twitter launched a feature on its platform Monday that seeks to debunk misinformation about voting in a last minute effort to inform users of weaponized information operations. The feature, which appears as a a banner that greets Twitter users at the top of their feeds, already had a message for American voters Monday: People are spreading misinformation about election fraud and voting by mail. “You might encounter misleading information about voting by mail,” the banner reads. “Election experts confirm that voting by mail is safe and secure, even with an increase in mail-in ballots. Even so you might encounter unconfirmed claims that voting by mail leads to election fraud ahead of the 2020 US elections.” President Donald Trump has claimed
Cyberscoop 10/26/2020 12:43
When Facebook said in August it had removed a network of fake accounts that had been trying to amplify criticism of President Donald Trump, it gave some external researchers a sense of déjà vu. After all, Facebook had taken intermittent action against accounts, pages and groups that were misrepresenting themselves to promote China’s Communist Party, including specific removals of a campaign known as Spamouflage Dragon. The Spamouflage campaign apparently began in the summer of 2019 as a scheme to denounce pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong, eventually shifting to demonize critics of Beijing and to praise China’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. By August 2020, Facebook, like Twitter and YouTube, was still removing Spamouflage-affili.
Cyberscoop 10/26/2020 10:18
Not everyone in the cybersecurity community is entirely optimistic about a new U.S. military program meant to extend educational resources to historically Black colleges and universities. For years, the Department of Defense has worked to extend cybersecurity resources to historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). A new initiative meant to improve access to cybersecurity resources at HBCUs and Minority Serving Institutions, though, is being met with some skepticism among prominent cyber practitioners and educational advocates. Backed by the National Security Agency and the Pentagon’s Office of Small Business Programs, the goal is to connect Black and minority universities with other colleges that already meet NSA cybersecurity cu.
Cyberscoop 10/23/2020 16:00
The U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned a Russian government research institute on Friday that it said was connected to the strain of destructive malware frequently labeled the most dangerous in the world. Known as Trisis or Triton, the malicious software is designed to target systems used to safely control emergency shutdowns of industrial plants. Last year, security researchers at Dragos determined that the hackers behind the tool had scanned the networks of U.S. electrical utilities, after the malware initially surfaced in 2017 at a Saudi petrochemical plant. The sanctions mark the first time any government has publicly connected Trisis to Russia. “In recent years, the Triton malware has been deployed against U.S. partners in the Middle
Cyberscoop 10/23/2020 12:25
When it comes to defending against foreign cyber powers, many U.S. national security experts tend to hype up countries with powerful hacking capabilities, such as China, Iran, Russia, and North Korea. Regarding state-sponsored malware campaigns, though, the security community needs to dig deeper, says Cooper Quintin, a security researcher and programmer at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “We’ve found lots of countries now are starting to get hacking programs. It’s a lot of countries you wouldn’t expect,” Quintin said Friday during CyberTalks, a virtual event produced by Scoop News Group. “We’ve seen state-sponsored malware coming out of Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Morocco, Ethiopia, and all sorts of countries that haven’t previously been well
Cyberscoop 10/22/2020 19:39
The Treasury Department on Thursday announced sanctions against five Iranian organizations for allegedly trying to influence the U.S. election through disinformation campaigns and other attempts to sow discord. Those sanctioned for the activity included the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, one of its alleged front companies, the IRGC’s Quds Force and media companies allegedly linked to the Quds Force. It’s part of a broader federal effort to push back on foreign influence operations less than two weeks from Election Day. The Iranian media outlets are accused of using English-language articles that amplify “false narratives” to sow divisions among U.S. audiences. “As recently as summer 2020, Bayan Gostar was prepared to execute a series of.
Cyberscoop 10/22/2020 15:18
It’s no secret that the hacking group often referred to as Energetic Bear or TEMP.Isotope — linked by multiple security firms to Russia — is the prime suspect in a handful of breaches of state and local networks in recent weeks. But now U.S. federal officials are formally blaming the hackers for the activity. It’s part of a broader U.S effort to more swiftly accuse foreign adversaries of wrongdoing ahead of Election Day while reassuring voters that the election is being protected. In this case, federal officials said the Russian group had used a combination of old and new software vulnerabilities to breach some IT infrastructure used by state and local officials, but that there was no evidence that the “integrity of elections data has been
Cyberscoop 10/22/2020 12:45
The European Union on Thursday sanctioned the head of a Russian military intelligence unit, an alleged hacker wanted by the FBI and a Russian government-linked hacking group over a 2015 cyberattack against Germany’s parliament. It’s only the second time the EU has issued cyber-related sanctions, following July sanctions against Russia, China and North Korea in connection with a string of unrelated cyberattacks. Now, as then, the General Staff Main Intelligence Directorate, commonly known as the GRU, is among the targets of the EU’s ire. Igor Kostyukov, head of the GRU, was hit with sanctions in Thursday’s action over the Bundestag hack. So, too, was alleged intelligence officer Dmitry Badin, previously indicted in the U.S. for his role in 2.


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