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Cyberscoop 02/21/2020 18:21
U.S. officials have informed Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., that Russia is trying to boost his presidential campaign as part of a broader effort to interfere in the 2020 presidential elections and the crowded Democratic field. It was not clear what the assistance, first reported by The Washington Post, entailed. Sanders confirmed the news Friday, telling reporters in Nevada he had learned about Russian interference in his campaign approximately one month ago. “I don’t care, frankly, who Putin wants to be president. My message to Putin is clear: stay out of American elections, and as president I will make sure that you do,” Sanders said in a statement emailed to CyberScoop. “Unlike Donald Trump, I do not consider Vladimir Putin a good friend. H.
Cyberscoop 02/21/2020 17:30
Federal law enforcement officials have charged a California man for conducting cyberattacks on the website of California congressional candidate in 2018. Arthur Dam is accused of intentionally damaging a protected computer by carrying out distributed denial-of-service attacks (DDoS) that temporarily disrupted the Democratic primary in California’s 25th district. He was arrested Friday, according to local news reports. The complaint says Dam’s wife, identified only as “K.O.” worked for one of the victim’s opponents in the primary race. The Intercept identified that person as Kelsey O’Hara, a fundraiser for candidate Katie Hill. Hill went on to win the congressional race in November 2018, but resigned the following year. The FBI connected Dam.
Cyberscoop 02/21/2020 17:05
NRC Health, which sells software to some of the country’s largest health care organizations, shut down its computer systems last week following a ransomware attack, the company said in a statement Thursday. Nebraska-based NRC Health, whose clients include big health care providers like the University of Missouri Health System, collects data on patient habits that could be a prime target for cybercriminals. Asked by CyberScoop if his company had paid a ransom to regain access to its data, Chief Information Officer Paul Cooper would only say that NRC Health had “considered all options to restore systems as quickly as possible for our customers.” The FBI and an unnamed cybersecurity company hired by NRC Health are investigating, he said in an
Cyberscoop 02/21/2020 09:36
Google has removed another eight apps from the Play Store after researchers determined hackers had been using the games and utility programs to spread malicious software. Users who downloaded the eight Android apps thought they were adding new features for their camera, or installing games meant for kids. In fact the apps, which had been downloaded some 50,000 times, either enrolled victims in expensive premium services without their consent, or installed the “Haken” malware, which siphons user data, researchers from Check Point Software Technologies said in a blog post Friday. The announcement came one day after BuzzFeed News reported that Google had scrubbed another 600 apps that had pushed out “disruptive” advertisements. It’s the latest.
Cyberscoop 02/20/2020 19:12
Russia is working to interfere in the 2020 presidential election in an effort to get President Donald Trump re-elected, according to a briefing delivered to the House Intelligence Committee last week. According to a report in the The New York Times, the briefing detailed evidence that Moscow is trying to reach the same goal it had in mind when they interfered in the 2016 presidential elections — Russia has developed a “clear preference” for Trump and sought to “denigrate” the candidacy of the potential Democratic nominee. The briefing, delivered by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s election security lead Shelby Pierson, reportedly upset Trump because he suspected Democratic committee members would use the information aga.
Cyberscoop 02/20/2020 18:03
The Eastern European hacking group FIN7 has stolen an estimated $1 billion in recent years by sweeping up payment card data processed by hotels and other organizations. The fortune amassed by FIN7, despite the arrest of some of its senior members, has made it one of the most potent criminal threats to organizations around the world. Changes the group has made to its hacking tools in recent months have meant more breaches, and likely more money, for FIN7. Now, a U.S. government-funded organization is trying to put a dent in FIN7 hacks by evaluating the group’s attack techniques against widely used cybersecurity software. Vendors will be assessed on their ability to block FIN7-like intrusions and, with the results made public next year, hopef.
Cyberscoop 02/20/2020 12:09
The agency that secures the U.S. military’s IT infrastructure across the globe says sensitive personal data, including Social Security numbers, hosted on its network may have been compromised in a breach between May and July 2019. The Defense Information Systems Agency notified potential victims of the breach in a letter this month, saying it had tightened protocols for protecting personally identification information (PII) because of the incident. “We take this potential data compromise very seriously,” DISA Chief Information Officer Roger Greenwell said in the letter seen by CyberScoop. There is no evidence that compromised PII has been used maliciously, he said, adding that potential victims will have access to free credit monitoring. Pe.
Cyberscoop 02/20/2020 10:58
In a rare public announcement, the State Department is formally blaming Russian intelligence for a cyber incident that disrupted thousands of websites in Georgia last year. The incident, carried out by the Russian General Staff Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) last October, according to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, disrupted and defaced thousands of Georgian government websites and the broadcast of two television stations. “This action contradicts Russia’s attempts to claim it is a responsible actor in cyberspace and demonstrates a continuing pattern of reckless Russian GRU cyber operations against a number of countries,” Pompeo said in a statement Thursday. “These operations aim to sow division, create insecurity, and undermine democ.
Cyberscoop 02/20/2020 10:06
There has never been a better time to invest in email fraud techniques. Cybercriminal forums are bursting with advertisements from scammers who are selling pre-made tools necessary for carrying out phishing attacks. The average cost of a tutorial that includes instructions on how to carry out a scam is under $25, while templates for malicious websites meant to dupe victims out of their usernames and passwords are typically worth $3 apiece. The numbers are included in research published Tuesday by Digital Shadows, a threat intelligence firm which monitors illicit web forums for criminal activity. The sales figures, if not always surprising, help illustrate how business email compromise (BEC) attacks, which sometimes begin with compromised ac.
Cyberscoop 02/19/2020 17:30
Dmitri Alperovitch, CrowdStrike’s chief technology officer and co-founder, has left the company to launch a nonprofit. The organization will be a nonpartisan “policy accelerator,” Alperovitch said in a tweet Wednesday. Under Alperovitch’s leadership, CrowdStrike has gained notoriety for attributing the 2016 Democratic National Committee breach to two Russian APT groups, known as Cozy Bear and Fancy Bear. In recent months, the company has dealt with accusations from President Donald Trump that CrowdStrike had participated in a coverup of the breach. That theory, which has been debunked, came to light last year when a memorandum about a phone call between Trump and Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy became public. That call would later b.
Cyberscoop 02/19/2020 10:07
A stealthy hacking technique that could make it possible for attackers to access different components inside PCs made by the likes of Dell, HP and Lenovo still exists, five years after researchers first warned of it. Security researchers from Eclypsium, in findings published Tuesday, demonstrated how much of the firmware inside modern computers, such as webcams, USB hubs, trackpads and other internal hardware could be updated with “unsigned” code that’s not designed by the device vendor. That firmware, left unprotected, could provide outsiders with a gateway into more sensitive computer networks, all while PC customers implicitly trust their machine to safeguard their data. (The company only pointed to theoretical attacks, rather than an ac.
Cyberscoop 02/18/2020 17:44
A nation-state actor that is linked to Chinese hackers is exploiting two new backdoors to run a cyber-espionage campaign against gambling entities in Southeast Asia, according to Trend Micro research. The new activity, which is also reportedly occurring in Europe and the Middle East, was first unearthed last year when cybersecurity consultancy Talent-Jump Technologies found a Microsoft Windows backdoor and contacted Trend Micro while conducting incident response for a company based in the Philippines. Upon further investigation, it wasn’t immediately clear if the group itself, which Trend Micro has dubbed “DRBControl,” is a newcomer, according to Trend Micro researchers Daniel Lunghi, Cedric Pernet, Kenney Lu, and Jamz Yaneza. Based on DRBC.
Cyberscoop 02/18/2020 16:40
The Department of Homeland Security’s cybersecurity agency recently responded to a ransomware attack on a natural gas compression facility that led the organization to shut down its operations for two days, the agency said Tuesday. The hackers were able to encrypt data on the organization’s IT and “operational technology” network, a broad term for a network that oversees industrial processes. No longer able to read data coming from across its enterprise, the facility shut down its various assets, including its pipelines, for two days. The incident serves as a warning for industrial companies of the ways that ransomware can impact operations. “Although the victim’s emergency response plan did not specifically consider cyberattacks, the decis.
Cyberscoop 02/18/2020 15:30
A former CIA employee accused of being responsible for the largest leak in agency history thinks his case should be thrown out of court. Defense attorneys for Joshua Schulte, who’s on trial now in the U.S. Southern District of New York for allegedly providing WikiLeaks with a cache of the agency’s hacking tools, filed a motion on Tuesday for a mistrial. The argument undergirding the request remains classified, though the defense says the request is “based on Brady and other violations.” The mention of “Brady” is an apparent reference to the Brady Rule, which requires prosecutors to provide any favorable evidence to a defendant that could negate the guilt of the accused. The request comes after prosecutors and the defense have sparred over t.
Cyberscoop 02/18/2020 15:04
An Israeli court has ordered Facebook to unblock the account of an employee of NSO Group after a complaint from the software surveillance vendor, according to officials at both companies. It is the latest twist in a broader, high-stakes legal battle between Facebook and NSO Group, an Israeli company that sells hacking tools to governments. In a lawsuit last year, Facebook accused NSO Group, through its custom malware, of being complicit in a hack last year of 1,400 mobile devices running WhatsApp, the Facebook-owned messaging platform. NSO Group has denied the allegations. NSO Group employees had filed a petition in November asking an Israeli court to lift a block that Facebook had placed on their accounts. The NSO Group personnel accused F.
Cyberscoop 02/18/2020 14:17
RSA will soon have a new parent company. Dell Technologies said Tuesday it intends to sell RSA, a security vendor known for its access management, fraud prevention and threat detection offerings, to a consortium led by private equity firm Symphony Technologies Group. The two sides have entered into a “definitive agreement” for an all-cash transaction worth $2.075 billion, Dell said in a statement Tuesday. The deal was first reported Sunday by the Wall Street Journal. The deal includes products and services including RSA Archer, RSA NetWitness Platform RSA SecurID, RSA Fraud and Risk Intelligence and the RSA Conference, a large security conference scheduled to hold its 2020 event starting Feb. 25 in San Francisco. Symphony Technology Group e.
Cyberscoop 02/18/2020 13:07
When security researchers began warning about gaping vulnerabilities in virtual private network products months ago, they were hoping to head off the type of sweeping, data-stealing campaigns that could come from nation-state hacking groups. The VPN software, made by companies like Palo Alto Networks and Pulse Secure, and used by corporations around the world, offers an invaluable foothold into corporate networks for hackers able to breach the software. Iran-linked hackers are showing what happens when those warnings go unheeded. They are using the unpatched vulnerabilities as a tip of the spear in their long-running effort to spy on companies in the aviation, oil and gas, and telecommunications sectors, Israeli company ClearSky CyberSecuri.
Cyberscoop 02/18/2020 11:02
Former National Security Agency contractor Reality Winner is asking President Donald Trump to grant her clemency after she was sent to prison for leaking government secrets about Russian hacking. Winner was sentenced in 2018 after she allegedly mailed classified information from the NSA to The Intercept that explained how Russian hackers sent spearphishing emails to a voting software supplier and local election officials prior to the 2016 elections. Winner pleaded guilty at the time, and was sentenced to more than five years, the longest-ever term imposed by a federal court in a case of leaked government information to the media. Winner and her lawyer, who has submitted a formal petition for commutation at the Department of Justice, are ask.
Cyberscoop 02/18/2020 08:54
Defense attorneys representing the former CIA developer accused of carrying out the largest leak in agency history are trying to call U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as a witness. Joshua Schulte, 31, is on trial in the U.S. Southern District of New York for allegedly abusing his access in 2016 as a CIA employee to steal the agency’s hacking tools and eventually like them to WikiLeaks. While the prosecution has argued that Schulte endangered the security of the U.S. by stealing the so-called Vault 7 files, the defense has argued that so many CIA employees had access to the classified documents that it would be impossible for investigators to know who was behind the leak. The defense is argues that Pompeo, who was CIA director when WikiLe.
Cyberscoop 02/14/2020 12:54
Department of Energy officials have tapped a veteran of the National Security Agency to be the department’s top cyber official and lead an office that helps protect U.S. industry from hacking threats. In a message to department staff Thursday reviewed by CyberScoop, Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette said Alexander Gates’ decades of experience in signals intelligence and cyber operations would be critical in running the department’s Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security and Emergency Response. Gates replaces Karen Evans, a former Office of Management and Budget official and DOE chief information officer, who was sworn in as assistant secretary of Energy for cybersecurity, energy security and emergency response in September 2018. Gates w.

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