News – February 2018


  • Australian universities and NGOs targeted by Iranian and Chinese hackers

    February 27, 2018

    Australian universities have been targeted by hackers with connections to Iran in recent months, and “a number of investigations” are in progress, according to cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike. “There are a lot of things that are happening geopolitically that are driving a lot of attacks,” the company’s vice president for technology strategy Michael Sentonas told journalists in ...

  • Massive Malspam Campaign Targets Unpatched Systems

    February 27, 2018

    Cybercriminals are leveraging a recently patched critical Adobe Flash Player vulnerability in a massive spam campaign targeting unpatched computers. According to the research firm Morphisec, cybercriminals are blasting spam messages that urge recipients to click a link to download a Word document. And when a victim opens the document and enables macros, malware attempts to exploit an ...

  • Ransomware: Get ready for the next wave of destructive cyberattacks

    February 26, 2018

    It might look to be out of the limelight compared to 2017, but it would be foolish to write ransomware off yet, as more attacks using the file-encrypting malware are ahead. High profile incidents like WannaCry, NotPetya and Bad Rabbit made ransomeware infamous last year. WannaCry and NotPetya have since both been attributed to be the work of nation-states – the former to North ...

  • Phone-Cracking Firm Found a Way to Unlock Any iPhone Model

    February 26, 2018

    Remember the infamous encryption fight between Apple and the FBI for unlocking an iPhone belonging to a terrorist behind the San Bernardino mass shooting that took place two years ago? After Apple refused to help the feds access data on the locked iPhone, the FBI eventually paid over a million dollar to a third-party company for unlocking the ...

  • Insights on industrial vulnerability: How secure is your OT infrastructure?

    February 26, 2018

    IT (Information Technology) and OT (Operational Technology) have traditionally had fairly separate roles within an organisation. However, with the emergence of the Industrial Internet and the integration of complex physical machinery with networked sensors and software, the lines between the two teams are blurring. While greater connectivity and integration is beneficial for smart analytics, control and ...

  • FBI Warns of Spike in W-2 Phishing Campaigns

    February 23, 2018

    The Federal Bureau of Investigation is warning businesses about a spike in phishing campaigns requesting W-2 information from payroll personnel. In a recent security advisory the FBI warned it has seen an increase since January in reports of compromised or spoofed emails involving W-2 forms. These emails, coming during the IRS’s tax filing season, can put staffers’ social ...

  • Hackers are selling legitimate code-signing certificates to evade malware detection

    February 22, 2018

    Security researchers have found that hackers are using code-signing certificates more to make it easier to bypass security appliances and infect their victims. New research by Recorded Future’s Insikt Group found that hackers and malicious actors are obtaining legitimate certificates from issuing authorities in order to sign malicious code. Read more… Source: ZDNet  

  • Global economy loses more than half a trillion dollars through cybercrime

    February 22, 2018

    The global economy loses roughly $600 billion every year due to cybercrime, experts have warned. A new worldwide study from McAfee added that global losses are also set to increase more and more going forward, given that in 2014, the damage stood at $445 billion. “Crime is more efficient, less risky, more profitable and has never been easier to ...

  • How airplane crash investigations can improve cybersecurity

    February 21, 2018

    While some countries struggle with safety, U.S. airplane travel has lately had a remarkable safety record. In fact, from 2014 through 2017, there were no fatal commercial airline crashes in the U.S. But those years were fraught with other kinds of trouble: Security breaches and electronic espionage affected nearly every adult in the U.S., along with the power grid in Ukraine and the 2016 ...

  • Bot and drone misuse could lead to cybercrime explosion

    February 21, 2018

    The rapid development of drones and artificial intelligence is a “game-changer” that will present a serious threat to national security if it isn’t addressed. The assessment, made by 26 experts from institutions including Cambridge and Oxford Universities, warns of the potential for malicious use of artificial intelligence (AI) by rogue states, criminals, and terrorists. The panel forecast ...

  • Year-Old Coldroot RAT Targets MacOS, Still Evades Detection

    February 20, 2018

    Researchers are warning users about the Coldroot remote access Trojan that is going undetected by AV engines and targets MacOS computers. The RAT is cross-platform and capable of planting a keylogger on MacOS systems prior to the OS High Sierra and is designed to steal banking credentials. Coldroot was found by researcher Patrick Wardle, chief research ...

  • UK local gov: 37 cyber attacks a minute but little mandatory training

    February 20, 2018

    Britain’s local governments were hit by almost 100 million cyber attacks in the last five years, while one in four councils’ systems were successfully breached, according to research. Privacy campaign group Big Brother Watch sent Freedom of Information to all the UK’s local authorities, asking for details of cyber attacks and data breaches from 2013-17. Read more… Source: ...

  • Sir Michael Fallon to host Counter Terror Awards at SCTX18

    February 19, 2018

    The organisers of Security & Counter Terror Expo have announced that Sir Michael Fallon MP, former Secretary of State for Defence and member of the National Security Council, will host the inaugural Counter Terror Awards during the event next month. The awards ceremony will take place at Olympia, London on 6 March 2018, with an audience ...

  • Lawsuits threaten infosec research — just when we need it most

    February 19, 2018

    This year, two security reporters and one researcher will fight for their professional lives in court. Steve Ragan, senior staff writer at tech news site CSO, and Dan Goodin, security editor at Ars Technica, were last year named defendants in two separate lawsuits. The cases are different, but they have a common theme: they are being sued by ...

  • Smart meters could leave British homes vulnerable to cyber attacks, experts have warned

    February 18, 2018

    New smart energy meters that the Government wants to be installed in millions of homes will leave householders vulnerable to cyber attacks, ministers have been warned. The intelligence agency GCHQ is said to have raised concerns over the security of the meters, which could enable hackers to steal personal details and defraud consumers by tampering with ...

  • Plague of the Cyber RATs: How a toxic computer code delivered by ‘Remote Access Trojans’ is an invisible army able to take over a petrochemical plant

    February 17, 2018

    On a broiling day last August, managers of a huge petrochemical plant in Saudi Arabia discovered to their horror that it had been attacked. The consequences could have been catastrophic: the invaders had seized command of its computerised control-and-safety system, and had the power to damage it severely. The attackers carried no guns, explosives, or conventional weapons. Yet ...

  • US special counsel indicts 13 members of Russia’s election meddling troll farm

    February 16, 2018

    Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office said Friday that a grand jury has indicted 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities accused of violating federal laws in order to interfere with US elections and political processes during the 2016 presidential race. The indictment says that the defendants, by early to mid-2016, were “supporting the presidential campaign of then-candidate Donald ...

  • Word-based Malware Attack Doesn’t Use Macros

    February 15, 2018

    Typically, inbox-based attacks that include malicious Microsoft Office attachments require adversaries to trick users into enabling macros. But researchers say they have identified a new malicious email campaign that uses booby-trapped Office attachments that are macro-free. The attacks do not generate the same type of default warning from Microsoft associated with macro-based attacks, according to research ...

  • Hack the Air Force 2.0 uncovers over 100 vulnerabilities

    February 15, 2018

    The second Hack the Air Force bug bounty challenge, Hack the Air Force 2.0, has resulted in 106 vulnerabilities being reported and fixed. On Thursday, bug bounty platform HackerOne revealed that the 20-day competition to find vulnerabilities in federal systems resulted in $103,883 in payouts, bringing the total amount of financial rewards to over $233,000 to date. Hackers from ...

  • Unsecured server exposed thousands of FedEx customer records

    February 15, 2018

    FedEx has exposed private information belonging to thousands of its customers after a legacy server was left open without a password. The discovery was made by security researchers at the Kromtech Security Center, which posted details of the exposure alongside ZDNet. The data, hosted on a password-less Amazon S3 storage server, was secured Tuesday after efforts were made ...