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Cyware Monthly Threat Intelligence, September 2021

Cyware Monthly Threat Intelligence, September 2021

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The Good

Does the oft-repeated phrase ‘cybercrimes are getting graver’ bum you out? Let’s change that as we scan through the bright side of the cybersecurity space. A research group from the U.K has obtained a patent for a hardware device that sits between a USB and a computer system for malware detection. Meanwhile, another group bets on enhancing the detection process of phishing websites via ML models. Also, for the first time, experts successfully experimented with QKD over a hollow-core fiber cable.

  • Researchers at the U.K’s Liverpool Hope University developed a new device that acts as a gateway or barrier between a USB drive and a computer to scan for malicious software. The device essentially aims to keep the malicious code busy with a disguised OS.
  • A paper published by security researchers from the University of Plymouth and the University of Portsmouth found a way to speed up the detection of phishing websites. According to the paper, ML models trained on the visual representation of website codes can enhance the accuracy and speed of the process.
  • Under the Mutually Agreed Norms for Routing Society (MANRS), the Internet Society aims to launch an Equipment Vendor Program to address the most common threats to the internet routing system. 
  • A six-kilometer-long optical fiber with a hollow core has been found to be effective in conducting Quantum Key Distribution (QKD). The QKD protocol is unhackable and can efficiently protect sensitive data from intruders.
  • The Brazilian government issued a data protection guide that aims to raise awareness among the public. The guide delineates the rights of data holders and provides recommendations on how they can protect their information.

The Bad

This month, ransomware adversaries targeted an unprecedented number of victims across the region with a majority of firms located in the U.S. Threats mounted for firms in agriculture, healthcare, auto, transportation, and other sectors. Moreover, a blackmailing scam aimed at the LGBTQ community was also spotted.

  • A ransomware attack at TiteLive disrupted operations at more than 1000 bookstores across France, Belgium, and the Netherlands. The attack has impacted bookstore chains such as Libris, Donner, Aquarius, Malperthuis, Atheneum Boekhandels, and others. The firm had to pull its IT plug to prevent the ransomware spread.
  • ZeroFox researchers uncovered a new ransomware family called Colossus that claims to have stolen 200GB of data from an automotive group of dealerships based in the U.S. The group has demanded $400,000 in ransom. The group doesn’t own a public ransomware leak site as of yet.
  • A Japanese multinational electronics giant JVCKenwood disclosed being hit by a $7 million ransomware attack by the Conti actors, who allegedly exfiltrated around 1.7TB of data. The gang further went on to upgrade its tactic by hiring affiliates to demolish backups.
  • NEW Cooperative was hit by a $5.9 million ransom demand after the BlackMatter group claimed to have stolen a terabyte of data. This incident was soon followed by Crystal Valley Cooperative, one of the largest U.S. agriculture businesses, being hit by a potential ransomware attack.
  • Internet service provider Yandex experienced one of the biggest DDoS attacks in the history of RuNet. The attack was launched by a new DDoS botnet named Meris that gains its power from more than 250,000 compromised devices.
  • United Health Centers revealed experiencing a ransomware attack by the Vice Society gang that disrupted IT systems across all of their 21 locations. The breach came to light after criminals leaked stolen sensitive data, such as patient benefits, financial documents, audits, and patient lab results.
  • Student storybook provider FarFaria blurted out approximately 38GB of data pertaining to 2.9 million users due to a misconfigured and exposed MongoDB database. The exposed details include emails, authentication tokens, encrypted passwords, social media-related data, and others.
  • Japanese company Fujitsu confirmed that 4GB of customer data was dumped on a cybercrime marketplace called Marketo. However, the site claims it also contains company data, budget data, and other reports. 
  • About 1GB of data from sportswear manufacturer Puma, allegedly containing source code of internal management apps, was dropped for sale on an infamous cybercrime marketplace called Marketo.
  • Transportation organizations such as Forward Air and Navistar were affected by different security breach incidents that affected the sensitive details of their customers and employees.
  • Delta Medical Center in Missouri and Barlow Respiratory Hospital in Los Angeles suffered ransomware attacks by Hive and Vice Society ransomware gangs, respectively. The groups stole confidential patient data.
  • A popular hacker forum was found selling a database allegedly containing 3.8 billion Clubhouse and Facebook user records. While the entire database has a price tag of $100,000, the owner would split it into parts.
  • Experts uncovered a phishing scam wherein hackers masqueraded as officials from the U.S. Transportation Department to acquire login credentials of targeted firms. The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development of South Africa suffered a ransomware attack that knocked off several of its IT services, including the national bail services.
  • The U.S. FTC released alerts against fraudsters imitating potential romantic partners on online dating apps to carry out extortion targeting the LGBTQ+ community.
  • A cybercriminal, allegedly from the Groove ransomware gang, dumped approximately 500,000 Fortinet VPN login credentials on a hacker forum and a telegram channel for free.

New Threats

What more? New malicious campaigns took many by surprise. Nobelium, the actor believed to be behind the SolarWinds attack, was discovered working on two new malware. In another streak, a new malware threatened over two dozen public and private sector banks in India. Experts also took the wraps off Tanglebot, FamousSparrow, and more threats.

  • Nobelium APT has been linked with two new backdoors, dubbed Tomiris and FoggyWeb, that are capable of deploying additional payloads. The Tomiris malware was part of a cyberespionage campaign targeting organizations in Eastern Europe. 
  • New variants of Mirai botnet and FormBook infostealer, were spotted in different campaigns that exploited zero-day vulnerabilities in RUIJIE routers and Office 365 respectively. DoppelDridex, a variant of Dridex, was also found using Slack and Discord CDNs as channels for propagation. An upgraded version of FinSpy was also found using UEFI bootkit to infect its victims.
  • CERT-In cautioned against the new Drinik Android malware that imitated an Income Tax department app to harvest banking credentials and personal data of users. So far, the campaign has targeted customers of 27 public and private sector banks in India.
  • Sarwent, a brand new malware, was associated with a campaign that impersonated the Amnesty International website to lure users with a fake promise of safeguarding them from the Pegasus spyware. The malware contains the usual abilities of a RAT. 
  • SentinelLabs reported a new campaign delivering the ZLoader banking trojan via fake Google advertisements for various software, including Discord, Zoom, TeamViewer, and Java plugins.
  • A new TangleBot smishing campaign was discovered targeting Android users in the U.S. and Canada with lures related to COVID-19 regulations and vaccine information.
  • FamousSparrow, a new entrant to the cyberespionage space, was reportedly spying on users across multiple sectors, including government, engineering, legal, and hospitality.
  • The recently disclosed flaw in the Atlassian Confluence service was exploited in an attack to install a cryptocurrency miner. The flaw is tracked as CVE-2021-26084 and is related to an OGNL injection issue.
  • Ragnar Locker operators have adopted a new tactic to extort their victims. They have announced that they will leak the stolen data if the victims contact law enforcement agencies, negotiators, and data recovery experts.
  • The FBI, CISA, and CGCYBER issued a joint advisory warning against the exploitation of a critical bug in the Zoho ManageEngine ADSelfService Plus software by the nation-state actors.
  • ESET researchers stumbled across a mobile espionage campaign—active since March 2020—aimed at the Kurdish ethnic group. The campaign was conducted by the BlackHawk attackers who use Facebook and fake Android apps to trick users.
  • Microsoft laid bare a massive Phishing-as-a-Service operation called BulletProofLink that offers built-in hosting and email-sending services, and more, at a relatively low cost.


cisa advisory
fortinet vpn
conti ransomware gang
nobelium apt group
finspy spyware
united health centers
fujitsu ltd
new cooperative
famoussparrow apt group
lgbtq community
quantum key distribution qkd
forward air
vice society
phishing as a service phaas

Posted on: October 04, 2021

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