Cyware Weekly Cyber Threat Intelligence May 28 - June 1, 2018

The Good


From embarrassing data leaks and unique malware strains to cryptoattacks, this week was fraught with tales of cybercrime. Still, it is worth celebrating advancements made towards tackling these threats. Europol signed cybersecurity agreements with the World Economic Forum and EU agencies and unveiled a new Dark Web Investigations team. Meanwhile, researchers created a framework to help protect connected cars from attacks.

  • Europol signed two memorandums of understanding this week - one with the World Economic Forum and another with the European Defense Agency, European Union Agency for Network and Information Security and CERT-EU. The agreements establish a framework on cybersecurity, defenses, intel exchange and technical cooperation.
  • The EU’s law enforcement agency also unveiled a new team dedicated towards investigating activity across the deep dark web. Embedded within Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre, the Dark Web Investigations Team will be tasked with sharing information, providing operational support and expertise across various crime areas and developing TTPs to conduct dark web investigation and identify top threats and targets.
  • UTSA researchers have developed an authorization framework to protect connected cars against cyberattacks. Using this framework, researchers are looking to create and use security authorization policies in different access control decision points to prevent any unauthorized access to smart car sensors and data, and protecting it against attacks.
  • Federal and state officials in New York said they will be holding drills over the next few weeks leading up to the primary elections for the US House and State to prep against cyberattacks. The exercises will include voting system attack simulations like ransomware infections and social media manipulation. Information gathered from these exercises will help them identify and respond to any vulnerabilities involving the state’s voting systems.

The Bad


This week saw a fresh wave of data breaches and accidental data leaks due to cloud configuration errors. Coca-Cola suffered a data breach at the hands of an ex-staffer. Honda India and AgentRun accidentally exposed data of thousands of people. Cryptocurrencies Bitcoin Gold, Verge and Monacoin were hit with massive 51% attacks while Ghostery accidentally exposed hundreds of email addresses while notifying customers about GDPR compliance.

  • Coca-Cola said it suffered a data breach in September 2017 after an ex-employee possessed an external hard drive that contained some employees’ personally identifiable information. The company said that about 8000 workers were affected but there is no evidence the data was used to commit identity theft.
  • Honda India exposed the personal data of over 50,000 customers in two unsecured Amazon AWS S3 storage buckets. The data of Honda Connect app users included names, passwords, trusted contacts information, VIN, Connect IDs and more.
  • Similarly, insurance startup AgentRun exposed sensitive personal and medical details of thousands of insurance policy holders in a misconfigured AWS S3 storage bucket. The misconfigured bucket contained insurance policy documents, sensitive health information like individual prescriptions and dosages as well as scans of identification documents like Social Security cards, Medicare cards, voter IDs and more.
  • Multiple cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin Gold, Verge and Monacoin suffered nasty 51 percent attacks using overwhelming computing power to gain control of their network and alter transactions on its blockchain to steal millions worth of cryptocurrency. The attack targeting Bitcoin Gold saw the theft of about 388,000 BTG amounting to $17.5 million.
  • Ad-blocking service Ghostery suffered an embarrassing gaffe after it sent out notification emails about its GDPR compliance. However, it accidentally exposed recipients’ email addresses in the “Happy GDPR Day” email by sending the emails in batches of 500 users and CCing hundreds of recipients in every email. The company later apologized for the error saying it was caused due to an operator’s mistake while using their new self-hosted email delivery system.

New Threats


Security researchers found new pieces of malware, threats and botnets this week. ESET detailed a banking malware that uses unique methods to drain bank accounts. The FBI urged users to reboot their routers to thwart the VPNFilter malware. Ahead of the FIFA world cup, scammers are using football-themed scams to dupe victims.

  • ESET researchers uncovered the BackSwap malware that exploits Windows message loop to identify visited sites related to banking before injecting malicious JavaScript into the web page. Bypassing AV and browser protection mechanisms, the malware then replaces the recipient’s bank account number with a different one to transfer funds over to the attackers instead.
  • The FBI issued an urgent advisory asking people to reboot their routers to thwart the Russia-linked VPNFilter malware. Cisco Talos researchers said the malware has already compromised nearly half a million devices worldwide including those manufactured by  Linksys, MikroTik, NETGEAR, TP-Link and QNAP network-attached storage devices. The malware, believed to be created by the Sofacy hacking group, is capable of collecting data, blocking network traffic and even disabling the infected device completely.
  • As the 2018 FIFA World Cup draws near, opportunistic fraudsters are already deploying football-themed scams via messages and cloned websites advertising tickets and travel deals to dupe fans. Kaspersky Lab researchers observed spikes in spam emails and phishing pages particularly during match ticket sales.
  • The US Department of Homeland Security and FBI issued a joint advisory detailing two strains of North Korean malware named Joanap and Brambul. Officials said hackers associated with Pyongyang have used both to target critical infrastructure, aerospace, financial and media organizations worldwide since at least 2009.




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