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Cyware Monthly Threat Intelligence, August 2021

Cyware Monthly Threat Intelligence, August 2021

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The Good

It’s always better to have strategic cybersecurity defenses and programs—and sufficient funds—in place than to be caught unaware by cyber threats. Realizing this, the DHS has taken the lead to fund cyber education for K-12 schools and the Senate has earmarked billions to help state and local agencies overcome security challenges. On the same lines, big tech companies have decided to come along and invest billions to bolster U.S. cybersecurity defenses.

  • The DHS is funding a program led by Cyber.org to bridge the infosec gap by teaching young children about cybersecurity. A framework of standards has been released, which details what needs to be taught to children until 12th grade. 
  • The CobaltSpam tool developed by Mario Henkel can flood Cobalt Strike servers with fake beacons to debauch the internal databases of compromised systems. This would prevent attackers from differentiating between real and fake infections.
  • The U.S. Senate set aside more than $1.9 billion in cybersecurity funds for state and local governments to strengthen their cybersecurity posture and help organizations defend themselves.
  • Researchers presented a scheme—Pretty Good Phone Privacy—that can hide users’ locations from carriers with just a software upgrade.
  • Post a cybersecurity meeting at the White House, several tech companies, including Microsoft, Google, and Amazon, pledged to invest billions to enhance the nation’s cyber resilience.
  • The World Bank launched a new Cybersecurity Multi-Donor Trust Fund under the broader Digital Development Partnership umbrella program.

The Bad

In August, cryptocurrency theft reached a new high after hackers fleeced over around $730 million in cryptocurrency funds from Liquid Global, Cream Finance, and Poly Network. In a different stream, massive troves of personal records were exposed across different sectors, including healthcare, telecom, government, and others. Furthermore, insider threats came under the limelight as cybercriminals eye employees to be recruited as rogue insiders to plant malware.

  • Hackers robbed Liquid Global of crypto-assets worth at least $90 million from warm wallets. The firm has published cryptocurrency addresses from which the criminals exfiltrated their funds.
  • Indiana-based Eskenazi Health disclosed that a ransomware attack pilfered patient data and leaked the stolen information. In the aftermath, its EHR experienced a downtime.
  • A glitch found in Palantir—a secretive software program used by the FBI—enabled some employees to gain unauthorized access to confidential data. This went on for more than a year.
  • Cybercriminals swindled nearly $2.3 million from the employees of the Town of Peterborough, New Hampshire, using spoofed email accounts and forged documents, the Town administrator announced in a press release.
  • Attackers walked off with over $29 million in cryptocurrency assets from Cream Finance. Hackers used a reentrancy attack in its flash loan feature to steal AMP tokens and ETH coins.
  • Continued investigation of the T-Mobile breach revealed that over 40 million records of former or prospective customers were stolen, along with the personal data of about 7.8 million current postpaid customers. The same threat actor was observed selling 70 million AT&T user records.
  • Abnormal Security identified and blocked some emails from a hacker who attempted to recruit insiders to infect their employers’ networks with ransomware. The threat actor, allegedly, has ties with the DemonWare group.
  • Patient care services at Memorial Health System were disrupted owing to a ransomware attack by the Hive group. Clinical and financial operations also suffered. An alert was released later by the FBI warning against its increased activities.
  • DeFi platform Poly Network lost more than $600 million in a massive cryptocurrency heist. Hackers reportedly reversed more than $4,772,000 worth of assets in less than 24 hours. However, a majority of the funds have been returned to the firm.
  • The Joplin City government had to pay $320,000 in ransom to a ransomware group that briefly impacted the city’s COVID-19 dashboard, online utility payments, and court functions.
  • WizCase reported a breach affecting Reindeer, an American marketing company. The incident exposed over 50,000 files in a 32GB trove of data, owing to a misconfigured Amazon S3 bucket.
  • An unsecured Elasticsearch database exposed the household details of about 35 million residents across Chicago, San Diego, and Los Angeles online. The data included gender, full names, dates of birth, and marital status of users.
  • Scammers masqueraded as members of the SEC, FINRA, and other state securities regulators to trick investors into sharing more information. They created fake social media profiles and fake websites as a part of the phishing campaign. 
  • An unsecured database at OneMoreLead laid bare a trove of PII containing around 126 million records for 63 million people in the U.S.

New Threats

Last but not least, a flurry of new threats emerged in the cybersecurity space last month. A new AdLoad malware variant was discovered bypassing Apple’s XProtect. In another rare occurrence, cybercriminals took advantage of Google’s reCAPTCHA function to hide their phishing campaigns. In other news, experts revealed that criminals can amplify DDoS attacks by abusing configurations in firewalls and middleboxes.

  • SentinelOne warned against a new AdLoad malware variant that bypasses Apple’s YARA signature-based built-in antivirus tech, XProtect, to infect macOS. The malware variant is connected with an ongoing attack campaign active since November 2020.
  • Pysa ransomware has been using a PowerShell script to seek out files containing the financial and personal information of victims. The script includes a list of 123 keywords that helps the threat actors perform manual sweeps of data.
  • A U.S.-based computer retail firm was targeted by the new SideWalk backdoor in a recent campaign by a Chinese APT. The backdoor shares multiple similarities with CROSSWALK, another backdoor used by the group.
  • A new malware campaign is distributing njRAT and AsyncRAT and targeting travel and hospitality facilities in Latin America. Techniques used in this campaign bear a resemblance to those of the Aggah group. 
  • The CISA and FDA warned against BadAlloc security flaws in BlackBerry’s QNX RTOS used by critical infrastructure organizations, including healthcare, aerospace and defense, and industrial networks.
  • Cybercriminals are increasingly deploying CAPTCHA-protected malicious URLs to bypass security walls while adding counterfeit login for lottery and survey pages, according to researchers at Palo Alto Networks.
  • New research explains how firewalls and other network middleboxes can be exploited by cybercriminals to launch massive TCP-based DDoS reflection amplification attacks.
  • AllWorld Cards, a new criminal carding marketplace, is being promoted by a threat actor who published a million credit cards stolen between 2018 and 2019. As per a ransom sampling of 98 cards, 27% of them were still active.
  • A new strain of the eCh0raix ransomware has been seen targeting Synology NAS and QNAP NAS devices. Findings until June suggest that the gang has earned a considerable amount of ransom from Small Office and Home Office (SOHO) users.
  • FlyTrap, a new Android trojan packaged under fraudulent apps, reportedly compromised Facebook accounts of more than 10,000 users in at least 144 countries since March 2021.
  • Virtual meetings, such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Skype, can fall prey to an exotic attack named Glowworm. This enables threat actors to eavesdrop on confidential conversations by measuring the LED power light changes in an audio output device and converting them to audio reproductions.


liquid global
poly network
glowworm attack
ech0raix ransomware
t mobile breach
pysa ransomware
sidewalk backdoor
ddos reflection amplification attack
adload malware

Posted on: September 02, 2021

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