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Cyware Weekly Threat Intelligence, November 30 - December 4, 2020

Cyware Weekly Threat Intelligence, November 30 - December 4, 2020

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The Good

This week has definitely brought some good news for the cyberworld. New Zealand passed its new Privacy Act that requires organizations to report serious data breach incidents, while the U.S. Senate passed a bill that aims to protect individuals from student debt relief scams. In addition, Google is working on launching Chrome’s safety feature that would warn users against weak passwords. 

  • Google is working on Chrome’s Safety check feature that will alert users if their passwords were discovered in data breaches. This feature comes as a warning against weak passwords. 
  • A new privacy law in New Zealand came into effect from December 1. The law mandates that every data breach that might cause potential harm should be reported to the Privacy Commissioner and affected users as soon as the organization becomes aware of the incident. Moreover, the Privacy Act 2020 will penalize non-compliant data handlers up to $7,000.
  • The U.S. Senate passed a bipartisan bill in an attempt to stop frauds and scams against the Education Department’s tech systems. With the signing into law of the Stop Student Debt Relief Scams Act, scammers will be fined up to $20,000 or imprisoned for up to five years. 

The Bad

With the good news as a silver lining in the cloud, let us read about the dark clouds that loomed over businesses this week. There have been numerous ransomware attacks on organizations, including Banijay and Advantech. Delaware County and K12 were forced to pay a ludicrous ransom amount to stop the spread of sensitive info by threat actors. The pharma sector continues to be ravaged by threat actors; six pharma companies in the U.S., the U.K, and South Korea were targeted by North Korean hackers

  • nTreatment inadvertently exposed thousands of medical records online after it failed to add password protection to a cloud server. The misconfigured server included medical records, doctors’ notes, insurance claims, lab test results from third-party providers, and other sensitive patient information.
  • North Korean hackers targeted at least six pharmaceutical companies in the U.S., the U.K, and South Korea working on COVID-19 vaccines. The targeted firms include Johnson & Johnson, Novavax Inc., Genexine Inc., Shin Poong Pharmaceutical Co., and Celltrion Inc. 
  • A threat actor group tracked as Bismuth is responsible for a cyberespionage campaign that was carried out between July and August. The attackers used cryptocurrency miners to stay under the radar and establish persistence in targeted networks.
  • Another threat actor, dubbed BlackShadow, claimed to have hacked into the Israeli Shirbit insurance firm. The attackers demanded a ransom of almost $1 million in Bitcoins to stop further leaking of sensitive files. 
  • Conti ransomware operators demanded a $14 million ransom from IIoT chip maker Advantech to decrypt affected systems and stop leaking stolen company data. Besides, the online learning solutions provider K12 was hit by unknown ransomware and paid the ransom demanded by the threat actors.
  • The Clop ransomware gang claimed to have stolen 2 million credit cards from E-Land Retail over a one-year period. The ransomware gang revealed that it had breached the firm over a year ago and has been quietly stealing credit cards using POS malware installed on the network.
  • French multinational production and distribution firm, Banijay Group SAS, has become the latest target of DoppelPaymer ransomware. Certain personal data of current and ex-employees may have been compromised, along with commercially sensitive information. In addition to this, DoppelPaymer claimed Delaware County as another of its victims. The latter opted to pay the $500,000 ransom.
  • Kmart suffered a ransomware attack by Egregor. The attack knocked off back-end services offline by encrypting the devices and servers connected with the retailer’s networks. TransLink, Vancouver’s public transportation agency, was allegedly hit by Egregor too. 
  • The Huntsville City Schools district in Alabama was forced to shut down schools following a ransomware attack. The district, furthermore, made its systems and devices offline to contain the spread.
  • An unsecured Elasticsearch database associated with Apodis Pharma was under investigation for leaking over 1.7TB of confidential business data, including full names of Apodis Pharma’s partners and employees, shipment details, and addresses.
  • 123RF.com underwent a data breach incident in which the threat actors compromised an SQL database. The database contained more than 8,500,246 user records, including full names, email and IP addresses, passwords, locations, and hashed passwords. A sample file of 3GB was leaked on a Russian hacker forum.  

New Threats

Several new threats and vulnerabilities emerged this week. Take the case of a new backdoor related to the OceanLotus gang. The threat landscape has new additions in the form of Gootkit trojan forming a partnership with REvil ransomware to wreak maximum havoc. Moreover, the Oracle WebLogic vulnerability continues to be explored by the DarkIRC and Tsunami+Monero botnets. 

  • Details about a new backdoor, dubbed Backdoor.MacOS.OCEANLOTUS.F, that is related to the OceanLotus threat actor group had surfaced this week. The sample masquerades as a Word document, but in an effort to evade detection, it is an app package in a ZIP folder that contains unique characters. The abilities of the backdoor include fetching and running files, executing commands in the terminal, and getting configuration information.
  • A new form of biohacking technique has the potential to disrupt operations in the biological research sector. The attack form focuses on infecting a biologist’s computer with malware and replacing substring in DNA sequencing at the same time.
  • Russian hacking group, Turla, used a previously undocumented malware framework named Crutch to target high-profile personalities from 2015 to at least early 2020. The malware has been designed to harvest and exfiltrate sensitive documents and various other files of interest to Dropbox accounts controlled by the group.
  • Two malicious npm packages that installed Bladabindi RAT were removed from the npm library. The malicious packages were tracked as jdb.js and db-json.js. Both packages were downloaded more than 100 times before they were discarded.
  • The DarkIRC botnet is actively targeting thousands of exposed Oracle WebLogic servers in attacks designed to exploit the CVE-2020-14882 remote code execution vulnerability. Around 3,000 WebLogic servers are reachable over the internet and can allow attackers to execute remote code on targeted servers. In another incident, researchers have tracked the Tsunami botnet, distributed along with a Monero miner, exploiting the same Oracle WebLogic vulnerability.
  • Users in Germany were targeted in a cyberattack that delivered the Gootkit banking trojan and, in some cases, the REvil ransomware. In the latest campaign, threat actors relied on compromised websites to trick users into downloading malicious files through fake forum templates.
  • A new variant of TrickBot has been found including a module that probes for UEFI vulnerabilities. As of now, the target includes only Intel platforms (Skylake, Kaby Lake, Coffee Lake, and Comet Lake). 
  • A new botnet strain called Xanthe targets Linux-based systems with an aim to mine Monero cryptocurrencies. The threat actors use various methods, such as harvesting client-side certificates, to spread across the network. The main payload of the botnet is a variant of the XMRig Monero miner.
  • A vulnerability in the common container manager can allow bad actors to initiate containers with arbitrary contents and permission levels. 


revil ransomware
darkirc botnet
gootkit trojan
oracle weblogic vulnerability
tsunamimonero botnet
oceanlotus gang
delaware county

Posted on: December 04, 2020

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