Cyware Weekly Threat Intelligence, October 28 - November 01, 2019

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The Good

Before we gear up for the weekend, let’s quickly brush through the cyberspace happenings of the week. We’ll begin on a good note with the positive events witnessed this week. The fifth edition of the European Cybersecurity Forum was inaugurated in the Polish city of Katowice. The Ohio Cyber Reserve has been established by the state of Ohio to assist governments in the incident of cyberattacks. Meanwhile, a new bill called ‘DOTGOV Online Trust in Government Act’ has been introduced to help local governments switch to secure internet domains that are administered by the federal government.

  • The European Cybersecurity Forum’s fifth edition was inaugurated in Katowice, Poland. It is a two-day event that is said to be the biggest cybersecurity forum in central and eastern European region. This conference aims to build a Europe-wide cybersecurity system and create a collaborative platform for multiple entities.
  • The state of Ohio has set up the Ohio Cyber Reserve to help governments in the case of ransomware or other cyberattacks. The reserve will consist of people trained to respond to cybersecurity emergencies affecting governments. The team is also said to be proactively involved by conducting vulnerability testing on computer systems and providing cybersecurity recommendations. 
  • A new bill, DOTGOV Online Trust in Government Act, has been introduced to help local governments with cybersecurity. This legislation requires the Department of Homeland Security to provide resources to assist governments to switch to secure internet domains managed by the federal government.
  • The Dubai Cyber Think Tank has been established by the Dubai Electronic Security Centre (DESC) to combat cyber threats. The newly-launched think tank can be used by private and public entities to address cybersecurity issues. Regular meetings involving the think tank, DESC, security experts, and government agencies are expected to be held.

The Bad

This week witnessed a number of security incidents. The country of Georgia suffered the biggest cyberattack it has ever seen, that affected around 15,000 websites. Around 7.5 million Adobe Creative Cloud users had their data exposed because of an unsecured Elasticsearch database. In another incident, TrialWorks suffered a ransomware attack that led to lawyers not being able to access the hosted documents.

  • Georgia was hit by a massive cyberattack, that impacted over 15,000 websites in the country including government and media sites. This attack, which is the country’s largest cyberattack so far, was launched by breaching the network of Pro-Service, a local web hosting provider.
  • An Elasticsearch database that was not password protected exposed the data of around 7.5 million Adobe Creative Cloud users. The exposed information included customer account details, and no passwords or financial information were compromised. The team from Adobe secured the database on the day they were notified about it.
  • TrialWorks notified its customers about a ransomware incident it fell victim to. This attack led to lawyers not being able to access documents hosted on the firm’s platform. TrialWorks said that it was working with cybersecurity firms regarding this incident.
  • First Aid Beauty, an online beauty store belonging to Procter and Gamble, was found to be injected with a MageCart script. This piece of malicious code stole payment data from victims in the U.S. If a shopper from any other country made a purchase, the script was observed to stay dormant.
  • Italian banking and financial services company UniCredit suffered a security compromise resulting in the potential compromise of information belonging to 3 million customers. This incident involved a file created in 2015 with names, cities, email addresses, and telephone numbers. The company said that relevant authorities were notified and an investigation was launched.
  • U.S. restaurant chain Krystal disclosed a security incident that affected some of its restaurants between July and September 2019. The incident was because of a payment processing systems that some of its restaurants used. The company said that around a third of its restaurants were not affected.
  • A ransomware attack hit Las Cruces Public Schools, following which the district shut down the computer systems to limit the infection. The crisis response team was activated by the district. Officials have not yet found any evidence of staff or student data being impacted.
  • Currys PC World customers were robbed of thousands of pounds after attackers breached the company’s eBay account. They changed the payment details of eBay listings and stole from customers who paid using a PayPal account. The affected customers were promised a refund.
  • One of India’s largest power plants, the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP) was infected by malware, said its parent company NPCIL. The malware was said to have infected only the administrative network and not the critical internal network.
  • The Utah-based renewable energy provider sPower was hit with a cyberattack exploiting unpatched firewall systems to disconnect the operator from its wind and solar power generation units.
  • Researchers discovered a new APT group dubbed Calypso that uses a backdoor RAT to deliver exploit tools like Mimikatz, EternalBlue, and EternalRomance. The group has targeted government organizations in six countries including India, Brazil, Russia, Kazakhstan, Thailand, and Turkey since 2016.
  • San Marcos city in California was hit by a cyberattack that disrupted its email systems and other internal functions. However, the City has stated that no data was compromised in this incident.
  • Marriott International has notified some of its associates regarding unauthorized access of their sensitive information by a third party. Official documents such as subpoenas and court documents, present on the systems of an outside vendor formerly used by Marriott were found to be compromised.

New Threats

Several malware strains and vulnerabilities emerged this week. Microsoft warned that the Fancy Bear threat group was targeting sporting and anti-doping organizations across the world. Researchers have discovered a new ransomware called FuxSocy that borrows several behavioral traits from the Cerber Ransomware. Meanwhile, European authorities have released patches for major vulnerabilities in the eIDAS authentication system.

  • Microsoft has published a report warning that the Fancy Bear threat group is targeting sporting and anti-doping organizations around the world. The report said that at least 16 organizations were targeted in a recent wave of attacks that began on September 16, 2019. 
  • A new ransomware called FuxSocy that shares a lot of similarities with the Cerber Ransomware has been discovered. After encrypting the files, it leaves a ransom note asking the victims to get in touch through the ToxChat messaging application. Because this is a recently discovered ransomware, a free decryptor is not available yet.
  • Two vulnerabilities have been patched in the EU’s electronic IDentification, Authentication and trust Services (eIDAS) system. These security flaws could potentially let attackers pose as an EU business or citizen by allowing them to provide fake certificates during the authentication process.
  • Researchers have uncovered a Maze ransomware campaign in Italy. This campaign sends spam emails that pretend to be from the country's Tax and Revenue Agency. The emails claim to contain new guidelines for citizens and businesses.
  • Security experts discovered a new remote execution bug in PHP 7. This security flaw affects instances running the Nginx web server and PHP FastCGI Process Manager (PHP-FPM). The PHP team has released a patch for this vulnerability.
  • A security researcher identified vulnerabilities in the API and firmware of Xiaomi FurryTail smart pet feeders. Without requiring a password, the feeding schedules on 10,950 devices could be reportedly modified by exploiting these vulnerabilities. It was also said that malicious attackers could hijack the pet feeders into an IoT DDoS botnet by leveraging these flaws.
  • A new variant of the Adwind remote access trojan that targets Windows and Chromium-based browsers has been discovered. This variant is delivered by a JAR (Java Archive) file through phishing emails or legitimate sites serving insecure third-party content. To remain undetected, this malware disguises its behavior by acting like a Java command.
  • A new malware strain dubbed ‘xHelper’ has reportedly infected 45,000 devices. It reinstalls itself even after manual uninstallation or factory resets. Its capabilities include displaying ads and downloading other threats on the infected device.
  • Rittal’s SK 3232-series chiller for cooling IT applications was found to have two critical vulnerabilities. These flaws allow attackers to potentially cause disruptions by turning the coolers on or off and changing the temperature. The impacted systems are said to be deployed in a number of industries across the world.
  • Researchers from FireEye have discovered the new MessageTap malware created by the Chinese state-sponsored hacking group APT41. The malware targets Short Message Service Center (SMSC) servers run by telecom operators in order to steal incoming SMS messages.
  • A new variant of the Gafgyt malware has been found targeting routers made by Zyxel, Huawei, and Realtek. Over 32,000 routers are affected by the vulnerabilities (CVE-2017-18368, CVE-2017-17215, CVE-2014-8361) that are exploited by this malware. The malware exploits target devices to conduct botnet attacks against gaming servers.
  • A popular Android keyboard app a.type with over 40 million downloads has been found conducting fraudulent transactions from targeted devices. The app tried to execute 14 million transactions amounting to $18 million from 110,000 Android devices. The malicious app was removed from Google Play Store in June 2019.
  • Google has disclosed an actively exploited zero-day vulnerability in the Chrome web browser. The vulnerability in question is a use-after-free bug designated as CVE-2019-13720. Google has fixed the issue in the new v78.0.3904.87 release of Chrome.
  • The German Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-Bund) has warned that thousands of QNAP NAS devices are vulnerable to the QSnatch malware. The agency has discovered over 7000 devices infected with QSnatch in Germany alone.


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