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Cyberscoop 10/01/2020 13:25
Anyone who helps ransomware victims pay off hackers who are under U.S. sanctions could face stiff punishment themselves, the Treasury Department said Thursday. The advisory from Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control served notice to financial institutions and cyber insurance companies — as well as cybersecurity firms that help ransomware victims identify and respond to attacks — that they could suffer fines if they aided payments to attackers from places like Russia, North Korea or Iran that are on the U.S. sanctions list. And OFAC indicated it would be inclined to be strict about it: Those civil penalties could be levied against companies that didn’t know they were facilitating ransom payments to hackers on its sanctions list. “OFAC
Cyberscoop 10/01/2020 10:04
Intelligence from the FBI prompted Twitter to take down roughly 130 accounts that “appeared to originate in Iran,” and were trying to generate conflict during the presidential debate Tuesday, the social media company reported. In an announcement Wednesday, Twitter did not offer more details about the origin of the accounts or the extent of the FBI’s tip, but said it would publish the results of its full investigation later. The takedowns are the latest in a series of announcements from U.S. social media giants about their efforts to block foreign information operations and other inauthentic behavior ahead of the 2020 elections. Russia, China and Iran are considered to be the primary sources of such activity, each with its own distinct set o.
Cyberscoop 09/30/2020 13:19
Anthem has agreed to pay $39.5 million in penalties and fees resulting from a sweeping 2015 cyberattack on the health insurer as part of a multi-state settlement, the company announced Wednesday. It’s the latest fallout from a major data breach that exposed data on some 79 million people, and which U.S. authorities have blamed on a Chinese hacker. The settlement with attorneys general of over 20 states, from Alaska to New York, requires Anthem to implement a security program that includes penetration-testing, and logging and monitoring of networks. It also bars Anthem from misrepresenting how the company protects its customers’ privacy and security, according to the New York attorney general’s office. “The company is pleased to have resolve.
Cyberscoop 09/30/2020 09:00
A hacking group that typically spies on targets in the Middle East has updated its malware and is distributing it through a fake Android app store and bogus versions of popular messaging apps such as Telegram, researchers say. The malware has been circulating since at least May 2019, according to Slovakia-based cybersecurity company ESET, which identified it in collaboration with researchers at MalwareHunterTeam. ESET does not speculate about the intentions of APT-C-23, but 2017 and 2018 it was linked to the Palestinian group Hamas. In most cases, victims are infected by visiting a fake app store, “DigitalApps,” that contains clean and malicious software, ESET says. The malware was hidden in apps posing as Telegram, another messaging platfo.
Cyberscoop 09/30/2020 09:00
A hacking group that typically spies on targets in the Middle East has updated its malware and is distributing it through bogus versions of popular messaging apps such as Telegram, researchers say. The malware has been circulating since May 2019, according to Slovakia-based antivirus company ESET, which identified it in collaboration with researchers at MalwareHunterTeam. ESET does not speculate about the intentions of APT-C-23, but in 2017 and 2018, other researchers linked it to the Palestinian group Hamas. In most cases, victims are infected by visiting a fake app store, “DigitalApps,” containing both clean and malicious software, ESET said in findings published Wednesday. The malware was hidden in apps posing as Telegram, another messag.
Cyberscoop 09/29/2020 18:43
One of the most-watched cybercrime cases in recent memory has come to a close. A U.S. judge on Tuesday sentenced Yevgeniy Nikulin to 88 months in prison, or more than seven years, in prison, capping an international legal drama that’s involved three countries over a span of eight years. A jury in California found Nikulin, now 33, guilty in July of hacking LinkedIn and Formspring in a pair of 2012 data breaches in which he stole credentials belonging to 117 million Americans. He was charged in 2016 with felony counts including computer intrusion and aggravated identity theft for stealing Americans’ usernames and passwords, then trying to sell them to other members of a Russian-speaking cybercriminal forum. “This is a hard one because when he.
Cyberscoop 09/29/2020 18:31
A cybersecurity incident has forced the computer systems of an Ohio medical center offline for multiple days and prompted the clinic to postpone elective procedures for patients. A statement Tuesday from the Ashtabula County Medical Center, which includes a 249-bed hospital, said the emergency department remains open and that outpatient care has continued as outside security experts investigate the disruption. The medical center did not specify the cause of the security incident, though Wired reported that ransomware was the cause. A spokesperson for the medical center did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday. NBC News first reported on the incident. The disruption at Ashtabula County Medical Center comes as Universal Health Servi.
Cyberscoop 09/29/2020 11:44
A federal judge on Monday ordered polling places across Georgia to keep updated, backup paper records of eligible voters to avoid long lines and disenfranchisement on Election Day. The ruling is intended to prevent a repeat of the June primary election in Georgia, in which voting integrity groups say the malfunctioning of electronic pollbooks caused long waits at the polls. It comes as election officials across the country prepare for an unprecedented election marked by changes in procedure because of the coronavirus. The order from U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg instructs Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, to “provide at least a modicum of the voting backup plan tools essential to protect” voters’ rights to cas.
Cyberscoop 09/29/2020 10:03
More than two decades since its last initial public offering, McAfee is planning another one. The Silicon Valley cybersecurity giant filed Monday for an IPO on the Nasdaq, a move that would fully separate the company from Intel, which acquired it in 2010 and spun it off in 2017. McAfee set a placeholder valuation of $100 million for the IPO, but the actual number is expected to be about $8 billion. There is no guarantee the company will have a successful IPO, or raise that amount of money, even as investors pour funds into public firms at a breakneck pace. The IPO market is nearing the end of the busiest third quarter for deals since 2000, the Wall Street Journal reported. Another company with cybersecurity interests, the big-data firm Pala.
Cyberscoop 09/29/2020 07:00
Foreign espionage groups, including those bent on undermining the U.S. political process, have targeted non-government organizations and think tanks more than any other sector in a bid to gather intelligence, according to new data from Microsoft. Of the thousands of notifications Microsoft made to customers about state-linked hacking activity from mid-2019 to mid-2020, NGOs accounted for 32% of those alerts, the company said in a report released Tuesday. And over 90% of those “nation-state notifications” have been outside of critical infrastructure sectors, according to the report. The focus on targets outside Washington suggests hacking groups could be in search of softer targets during an election season when Democratic and Republican cam.
Cyberscoop 09/28/2020 17:52
Computer networks at Universal Health Services, which describes itself as one of the largest health care providers in the U.S., were down Monday due to what the company described as “an IT security issue.” Multiple media outlets, including NBC News, suggested UHS’s IT network had been hit by ransomware and that some nurses had reverted to pen and paper. In a statement, UHS, which says it oversees 400 hospitals, did not address whether the company had suffered a ransomware attack. A company spokesperson did not respond to multiple requests for comment. “Patient care continues to be delivered safely and effectively” and “no patient data appears to be compromised,” the UHS statement said. It’s the latest in a series of cybersecurity incidents
Cyberscoop 09/28/2020 10:19
Add the prefix “cyber” to any concept common in geopolitics — diplomacy, norms and so on — and the resulting phrase immediately becomes less precise than its parts. The latest example is “truce,” courtesy of none other than Russian President Vladimir Putin. Putin didn’t use “cyber truce” in a statement Friday that called for the U.S. and Russia to create “a comprehensive program of practical measures to reboot our relations in the field of security in the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs).” But the term fits. The former KGB agent’s proposal was otherwise broad and vague. He mentioned nothing about Russia’s well-documented misdeeds in cyberspace, and he made no accusations about what the U.S. might be doing in response.
Cyberscoop 09/25/2020 13:56
Israel and the United Arab Emirates say they are collaborating to track and block cyberthreats in a region where hacking remains rampant. For two countries that have invested heavily in offensive hacking tools in recent years, it’s a recognition that collective defense could be more effective than going it alone. The cooperation, which officials are touting just weeks after the countries normalized diplomatic relations, involves spotting hacking threats that could affect both countries and exchanging intelligence among government cybersecurity experts. “We are threatened by the same threats…because of the nature of the region because of the new relationship and because of who we are — strong economically and technologically,” Yigal Unna, he.
Cyberscoop 09/25/2020 09:37
Security researchers at Microsoft say they upended a hacking campaign that used the company’s own Azure commercial cloud service as part of the command-and-control network for its malware. The hacking group — labeled Gadolinium by Microsoft and also known as APT40 — was hosting apps on the Azure Active Directory and using open source tools “to enhance weaponization of their malware payload, attempt to gain command and control all the way to the server, and to obfuscate detection,” the researchers said in a report published Thursday. APT40 has been linked to China’s government, and recent targets have reportedly included organizations in Taiwan and Malaysia. The typical goal is data exfiltration for espionage, according to researchers at Fir.
Cyberscoop 09/24/2020 15:00
Facebook on Thursday removed over 200 phony accounts and dozens of pages that originated in Russia and pumped out information on sensitive geopolitical issues targeting people from Turkey to the U.S. Facebook said it traced the fraudulent activity to either people connected with Russian military intelligence services or the Internet Research Agency, a notorious Russia-based troll farm.
Cyberscoop 09/24/2020 14:19
Cybersecurity experts from the U.S. military and the private sector have spent recent weeks working with two American cities to test their ability to respond during a simulated cyberattack layered with several simulated physical disruptions. The virtual exercise, which has feigned malware and ransomware attacks against targets in Charleston, S.C., and Savannah, Ga., over the last several weeks, is aimed at testing participants’ ability to defend against digital threats while simultaneously facing an array of emergency scenarios in the physical realm. While grappling with seeming malicious software attacks, participants also have needed to deal with a fictional cargo ship accident, a flood and the failure of 911 systems. The U.S. Army, along.
Cyberscoop 09/24/2020 12:03
For the second time in a week, U.S. national security agencies have publicly reassured voters that election systems are being guarded from hacking and that the integrity of the vote is intact. The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency “have not identified any threats, to date, capable of preventing Americans from voting or changing vote tallies for the 2020 elections,” the agencies said in a statement published Thursday. “[A]ttempts by cyber actors to compromise election infrastructure could slow but not prevent voting,” the agencies said, adding that any threats to date have “remained localized and were blocked, minimal or easily mitigated.” The announcement follows an advisory from
Cyberscoop 09/23/2020 16:08
Olumide Ogunremi, a Nigerian national, was sentenced Wednesday to three years in prison for his role in a hacking operation aimed at U.S. government employees, the Department of Justice announced Wednesday. Ogunremi, along with other alleged co-conspirators, targeted government employees with spoofed email pages that imitated U.S. government agencies’ email systems in order to steal their access credentials, prosecutors said. After government personnel visited the pages and fell for the trick, the fraudsters used the stolen usernames and passwords to then fraudulently order office products from General Services Administration vendors, according to the DOJ. The operation, which lasted from approximately July 2013 through December 2013, convi.

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