Another week, another wave of new threats and advances made towards preventing and tackling cyber threats. Companies are busy scrambling to get their data protection policies in compliance with GDPR. Meanwhile, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority will have 17 companies monitor and test its cyber defenses. A NATO team won the intense Locked Shields 2018 cyber defense exercise. Meanwhile, researchers unveiled solutions to protect autonomous vehicles, robots and drones against attacks.
- The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority awarded a £40 million contract until March 2021 to 17 companies to monitor, test and suggest improvements for its cyber defenses. Marking the first time the FCA has turned to external firms to improve its cybersecurity practices, companies like Deloitte, Cisco, and PwC will attempt to infiltrate the FCS’s security control, identify vulnerabilities and suggest improvements.
- A NATO team took home the top prize in the Locked Shields 2018 exercise, the largest and most complex international live-fire cyber defense exercise. The intense competition lets cyber defenders test the protection of complex IT networks against realistic, simulated challenges and cyberattacks.
- Israel-based security firm Regulus Cyber has unveiled new end-to-end solutions to protect the communication and sensor systems of autonomous cars and trucks, robots and drones against attacks. Having raised $6.3m in funding, Regulus’ Pyramid products could help protect autonomous vehicles’ GPS systems against spoofing attacks and safeguard drones from hacking and mission interference.
Phishing attacks were plentiful as scammers tried to impersonate multiple services like ProtonMail to trick victims into handing over their data. Australia’s Commonwealth Bank lost the financial histories of 12 million customers after losing several tape drives. A compromised version of software used to upload data to India’s Aadhaar is being sold for less than $30. Meanwhile, 4Chan hackers tried to change the voting results of NASA's student challenge.
- Australia’s Commonwealth Bank, the nation’s largest bank, lost the personal financial histories of 12 million customers from 2004 to 2014 after its subcontractor, Fuji Xerox, lost several magnetic tape drives of financial statements in 2016. However, the bank chose not to reveal the breach to customers. The Office of the Australia Information Commissioner was notified of the breach at the time and is now making further inquiries into the breach.
- Compromised copies of a software used to enroll Indian citizens into the country’s controversial biometric ID program named Aadhaar are reportedly being sold to anyone for up to $30. Authenticated private contractors typically use the program to upload the Indians’ personal and biometric data to the government-owned database. However, the compromised version could let anyone add or modify entries to the Aadhaar database with no checks, including the mandatory GPS check.
- Americas Cardroom, one of the world’s oldest online poker websites, was hit with a series of DDoS attacks. The company was forced to pause all running tournaments and take its website offline for days, leading many irked players to voice their fury on social media.
- Meanwhile, phishing attacks were abound as multiple companies warned users to be on the lookout for scams impersonating their platforms and requesting personal data. ProtonMail warned users that it noticed an “unusually high” number of phishing attempts targeting its users in recent days. Irish Netflix users were also cautioned against a “convincing” scam warning them about an expiring Netflix subscription to dupe victims into divulging their bank details.
- Britain’s TSB warned customers of phishing emails and texts attempting to steal their banking details - the latest blow to the company after up to 1.9 million customers have been left unable to access their accounts for two weeks in a major IT crisis.
- 4Chan hackers attempted to change the voting results of Nasa’s Optimus Prime Spinoff Promotion and Research Challenge to prevent a group of three African-American girls from winning. Nasa confirmed the cyberattack and was forced to end its public voting to protect the integrity of the final results.
Multiple new strains of malware reared their heads this week including the cryptomining worm MassMiner, the Drupal-focused Kitty malware and Blackheart ransomware that piggybacks the legitimate AnyDesk tool. Russian attackers have been impersonating LoJack software to hack computers.
- AlienVault researchers identified the MassMiner malware that targets web servers and uses multiple well-known exploits to infiltrate vulnerable systems and drop a Monero miner. MassMiner leverages NSA’s EternalBlue hacking tool, an exploit for the Apache Struts flaw seen in the Equifax breach, an exploit for Oracle’s WebLogic Java application server and the SQLck tool for brute-force attacks against Microsoft SQL Servers in its attacks.
- Over a month since the Drupalgeddon 2.0 exploit was uncovered, Imperva researchers discovered a new version of the Kitty malware targeting the Drupal content management system to mine cryptocurrency. Multiple types of malware, including Kitty, use this flaw as an entry point to gain a foothold in Drupal setups. Besides compromising the server and installing the XMRig Monero miner, Kitty can also spread to the machines of future users who visit infected domains to mine cryptocurrency.
- Trend Micro discovered the new Blackheart ransomware that comes bundled with the legitimate AnyDesk tool to evade detection. Once the ransomware is downloaded, AnyDesk begins running in the background while Blackheart begins the encryption process. Demanding $50 in bitcoins, Blackheart infects victims via malicious sites and functions like any other common ransomware.
- Russia-linked cyberespionage group Fancy Bear is believed to impersonating the popular anti-theft software LoJack to infiltrate enterprise networks. Arbor Networks’ said the APT group is likely behind malicious command and control (C2) domains found in five legitimate Lojack agents. While the legitimate actions of the software were unchanged, the C2 server addresses were subtly swapped with those of the attackers and were undetected by most AV software.