List of Data Breaches, Malware, Vulnerabilities, Scams, and Issued Patches in December 2019

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Wishing a happy 2020 to everyone with more adventures and opportunities!

As we step into the new year with more optimism and vigor, let’s not forget the major cybersecurity events that occurred in December 2019.

The month of December witnessed several malicious campaigns due to Emotet trojan. For most of the attacks, the malware was distributed through phishing emails disguised as festival-themed parties or climate change invitation. In other cases, the attackers exploited the known vulnerabilities to spread the trojan variants.

Security researchers also came across several newly discovered malware such as Poison Frog, ZeroCleare, Snatch ransomware, Lampion trojan, Krampus-3PC, Mozi botnet, and Buer downloader. Variants of VegaLocker ransomware, Echobot, and Glupteba were also uncovered wreaking havoc on different systems, processes, and networks.

Ransomware operators came up with a new tactic to name and shame the affected organizations and cities on their websites if they do not receive the ransom. In one such incident, operators of Maze ransomware had publicly disclosed around 2GB of stolen information from the city of Pensacola on its websites after the latter rejected the demand of a $1,000,000 ransom.

Two new critical vulnerabilities, named Plundervolt and Magellan 2.0, were also found affecting Intel CPU and Google Chrome versions prior to 79.03945.79.

Amid all these new threats and malware, there was also a massive crackdown on the internal infrastructures used by the Imminent MonitorRAT and Thallium threat actor group. Their operations were shut down after security experts got hold of their systems, networks, and malicious domains.

A pool of security updates was also issued to fix multiple flaws affecting Apple, Intel, and Siemens products. While Siemens Industrial control systems were affected by a total of 54 vulnerabilities, Apple’s macOS Catalina was impacted by 52 flaws.

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