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Cyware Monthly Threat Intelligence, March 2020

Cyware Monthly Threat Intelligence, March 2020

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The Good
The month of March started off with several new developments and large data breaches in the cybersecurity world, but it ended with our timelines filled with COVID-19 updates. To begin with, Google developers created a new USB Keystroke Injection Protection tool to defend users against USB keystroke injection attacks. Meanwhile, The DHS’s CISA along with NIST has published guidelines for federal workers and contractors on securing data and systems while working remotely during the COVID-19 epidemic. Also, the NIST published its first draft for SP 800-53 (revision 5) after seven long years.

  • Google’s open-source developers released a new tool dubbed USB Keystroke Injection Protection to fend off stealthy USB keystroke injection attacks. The tool is effective on machines using the Linux operating system.
  • Academics at the University of Notre Dame came up with a project that utilizes artificial intelligence to identify deep fake videos, disinformation online and manipulated images. The project aims at protecting online users from spreading inaccurate information that can be harmful.
  • Amid the Coronavirus epidemic, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) issued guidelines for federal workers and contractors working remotely to prevent cyberattacks on their networks.
  • The NIST published the draft for SP 800-53 (revision 5). This publication, titled “Security and Privacy Controls for Information Systems and Organizations,” reflects the major changes to the security landscape over the last few years. It  intends to protect organizational operations and assets from cyberattacks.
  • The Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) announced the launch of a new Cybersecurity Labelling Scheme (CLS) to improve the security of IoT products against cyberattacks. The scheme is part of the country’s new Safer Cyberspace and will initially include Wi-Fi routers and smart home hubs.

The Bad
Amidst Coronavirus fears, data breach incidents did not come to a halt. While Weibo witnessed a major backlash after 538 million users were uploaded on a hacking forum, General Electric suffered a breach too, revealing the PII of its employees. In other news, AMD also reported the theft of its confidential source code of its graphics products.

  • Personal data of 538 million Weibo users were put up for sale on the dark web this week. The stolen data were priced at $250 as it did not include passwords. Among the personal data exposed, it included  real names, site usernames, gender, and locations of users.
  • Hackers stole Advanced Micro Devices’ (AMD) source code files for both its current and future graphics processing units (GPUs) and demanded the company $100 million in return . The stolen blueprints, seemingly written in Verilog, were uploaded on GitHub over the previous weekend.
  • Virgin Media is facing a potential class-action lawsuit that could cost the company up to $5.6 billion in compensation payout for the customers affected in an April 2019 incident that left the personal details of 900,000 customers exposed online.
  • An unprotected Elasticsearch database exposed over 5 billion records collected by a UK-based research firm between 2012 and 2019. The leaky database contained extensive information on the breaches including domains, sources, contact email addresses, and passwords.
  • A data leak at Doxzoo affected over 270,000 records belonging to more than 100,000 users. The incident occurred due to a leaky S3 bucket. The leaked data included print jobs for many high-profile clientele, such as elite universities, Fortune 500 companies, and more.
  • General Electric (GE) suffered a data breach, affecting the PII of current and former employees as well as beneficiaries. The information exposed in the breach included direct deposit forms, drivers’ licenses, passports, birth certificates, marriage certificates, tax withholding forms, Social Security numbers, and more.
  • Personal data of over 6.9 million organ donors was compromised following the loss of two external hard storage drives. The external hard drives belonged to the Dutch government and included electronic copies of all donors filed with the Dutch Donor Register between February 1998 and June 2010.
  • Whisper app leaked 900 million secret posts and all the metadata related to those posts due to a misconfigured database. The firm took down the database on March 9, 2020, after it learned about the leak from other sources.
  • A web server containing records of about 76,000 unique fingerprints was left exposed on the internet. The unsecured fingerprint data along with employees’ email addresses and telephone numbers, had been collected by a Brazilian company called Antheus Tecnologia.
  • An unsecured database hosted on Google Cloud had exposed more than 200 million records related to US residents. The exposed data included a victim’s name, address, email address, age, gender, ethnicity, employment, credit rating, and property information. 
  • The wireless carrier T-Mobile came under fire again for failing to protect users’ information after a security breach. The potentially leaked data included names, addresses, phone numbers, account numbers, rate plans, and billing information of users.
  • Sodinokibi ransomware operators published over 12 GB of stolen data belonging to a company named Brooks International for not paying the ransom. The exposed data includes usernames and passwords, credit card statements, tax information, and much more.

New Threats
Further, as we know, hackers are always innovating and experimenting with new hacking techniques. Security experts stumbled upon the notorious TrickBot trojan disguised as a malicious TrickMo app to bypass 2FA protection. Another cybercrime group targeted D-Link and Linksys’ DNS settings to infiltrate the routers with Oski information-stealing malware. The APT41 group was also spotted, exploiting vulnerabilities in Cisco routers, Citrix ADC, and Zoho ManageEngine last month.

  • The TrickBot gang used a malicious Android application called TrickMo to bypass 2FA protection and infect Android devices. Though it could be used anywhere and against any target, or bank or region, the campaign was observed focusing on German users for now.
  • Researchers discovered a new version of Ginp Android trojan that targeted online banking users in Spain and the UK. The operators were found sending a special command that opened a fake website called ‘Coronavirus Finder.’
  • Attackers were found hijacking D-Link and Linksys’ DNS settings to propagate the Oski information-stealing malware. Once the attacker gained access to the router and changed the DNS settings, the victims were notified with a fake COVID-19 alert that distributed the malware.
  • In a widespread attack campaign, the APT41 threat actor group exploited vulnerabilities in Cisco routers, Citrix ADC, and Zoho ManageEngine to infect several organizations across the US, the UK, France, Italy, Japan, Saudi Arabia, and Switzerland.
  • Many Intel CPU processors were found to be affected by a new Snoop-assisted L1D Sampling vulnerability. The flaw is a variant of domain-bypass transient execution attack and it takes advantage of CPU mechanisms like cache levels, cache coherence, and bus snooping.
  • Ransomware operators continue to dominate the threat landscape with their newly adopted ‘naming-and-shaming’ technique. This week, the authors of Nemty ransomware launched a website to disclose the data and files of victims that refused to pay ransoms. Apart from this, there was also a discovery of a new ransomware called PwndLocker targeting the US businesses and local government with ransom demands over $650,000.
  • Attacks from a new variant of Pysa ransomware and a newly discovered Nefilim ransomware were also discovered this week. While the latest Pysa ransomware variant uses the .newversion file extension at the end of each encrypted file, the new Nefilim ransomware uses a combination of AES-128 and RSA-2048 algorithms to encrypt victims’ files.
  • A group of academics from universities demonstrated a new variant of the Rowhammer attack that bypasses Target Row Refresh (TRR) protections on RAM cards. Termed as TRR-bypassing Rowhammer, the flaw affects all DDR3 and DDR4 memory chips. It also impacts  LPDDR4 and LPDDR4X chips embedded in most modern smartphones.
  • A group of hackers from Vietnam infected hacking tools of fellow hackers with a version of the njRAT trojan. The widespread hacking campaign was aimed at hijacking hackers’ machines to conduct DDoS attacks and steal sensitive data.
  • A MalBus attack that involved the use of four popular Korean language transit apps were compromised to target military and political data. These applications, all related to bus information, were available for more than five years on the Google Play Store.


revilsodinokibi ransomware
ginp banking trojan
general electric
rowhammer attack

Posted on: April 02, 2020

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