News – December 2020


  • From Geost to Locker: Monitoring the Evolution of Android Malware Obfuscation

    December 3, 2020

    In 2019, I looked into Geost, an Android trojan with interesting layers of obfuscation. This entry serves to show how its obfuscation method has evolved by comparing my findings from 2019 with new samples from 2020. It is also part of a larger research endeavor done with Masarah Paquet-Clouston, Maria Jose Erquiaga, and Sebastian Garcia. Our ...

  • Kmart, Latest Victim of Egregor Ransomware

    December 3, 2020

    Retail stalwart Kmart has suffered a ransomware attack at the hands of the Egregor gang, according to a report. The incident has encrypted devices and servers connected to the company’s networks, knocking out back-end services, according to BleepingComputer. The outlet obtained the purported ransom note that claims to have compromised Kmart’s Windows domain. The company was purchased ...

  • APT annual review: What the world’s threat actors got up to in 2020

    December 3, 2020

    Beyond Windows While Windows continues to be the main focus for APT threat actors, we have observed a number of non-Windows developments this year. Last year we reported a malware framework called MATA that we attribute to Lazarus. This framework included several components such as a loader, orchestrator and plug-ins. In April, we learned that MATA ...

  • Notable Enhancements to the New Version of NIST SP 800-53

    December 2, 2020

    In late September 2020, NIST published the official release of NIST SP 800-53 Rev. 5. The purpose of this new release was to provide a proactive and systemic approach to develop and make available to a broad base of public and private sector organizations a comprehensive set of safeguarding measures for all types of computing ...

  • K12 online schooling giant pays Ryuk ransomware to stop data leak

    December 2, 2020

    Online education giant K12 Inc. has paid a ransom after their systems were hit by Ryuk ransomware in the middle of November. K12 creates tailored online learning curriculums for students to learn from home while in kindergarten through 12th grade. Over 1 million students have utilized K12 to learn from home rather than in traditional public ...

  • Brazilian aerospace firm Embraer hit by cyberattack

    December 2, 2020

    Brazilian aerospace and defence group Embraer has been targeted by a cyberattack that has impacted the company’s operations. According to a statement released by the global firm on Monday (30) the attack resulted in the “disclosure of data allegedly attributed to the company”. The incident was reported five days after it took place to the Brazilian Securities ...

  • Cyberespionage APT group hides behind cryptomining campaigns

    December 2, 2020

    An advanced threat group called Bismuth recently used cryptocurrency mining as a way to hide the purpose of their activity and to avoid triggering high-priority alerts. Coin mining is typically regarded as a non-critical security issue, so the method allowed the actor to establish persistence and move laterally on the compromised network, at the same time ...

  • Turla’s ‘Crutch’ Backdoor Leverages Dropbox in Espionage Attacks

    December 2, 2020

    Researchers have discovered a previously undocumented backdoor and document stealer, which they have linked to the Russian-speaking Turla advanced persistent threat (APT) espionage group. The malware, which researchers call “Crutch,” is able to bypass security measures by abusing legitimate tools – including the file-sharing service Dropbox – in order to hide behind normal network traffic. Researchers ...

  • iPhone Bug Allowed for Complete Device Takeover Over the Air

    December 2, 2020

    Details tied to a stunning iPhone vulnerability were disclosed by noted Google Project Zero researcher Ian Beer. Apple patched the vulnerability earlier this year. But few details, until now, were known about the bug that could have allowed a threat actor to completely take over any iPhone within a nearby vicinity. The hack could of ...

  • The Impact of Modern Ransomware on Manufacturing Networks

    December 1, 2020

    Ransomware threats have disrupted the manufacturing industry significantly in 2020. In a disturbing trend during the third quarter of the year, attackers appeared to be singling out manufacturing organizations as a victim of choice in their ransomware operations. Ransomware threats have disrupted the manufacturing industry significantly in 2020. These attacks have resulted in substantial losses in ...

  • Malicious npm packages caught installing remote access trojans

    December 1, 2020

    The security team behind the “npm” repository for JavaScript libraries removed two npm packages this Monday for containing malicious code that installed a remote access trojan (RAT) on the computers of developers working on JavaScript projects. The name of the two packages was jdb.js and db-json.js., and both were created by the same author and described ...

  • Cayman Islands Bank Records Exposed in Open Azure Blob

    December 1, 2020

    A Cayman Island investment firm has removed years of backups, which up until recently were easily available online thanks to a misconfigured Microsoft Azure blob. The blob’s single URL led to vast stores of files including personal banking information, passport data and even online banking PINs — which in addition to a security problem, presents ...

  • CISA: Advanced Persistent Threat Actors Targeting U.S. Think Tanks

    December 1, 2020

    The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have observed persistent continued cyber intrusions by advanced persistent threat (APT) actors targeting U.S. think tanks. This malicious activity is often, but not exclusively, directed at individuals and organizations that focus on international affairs or national security policy. The following guidance ...

  • Dox, steal, reveal. Where does your personal data end up?

    December 1, 2020

    The technological shift that we have been experiencing for the last few decades is astounding, not least because of its social implications. Every year the online and offline spheres have become more and more connected and are now completely intertwined, leading to online actions having real consequences in the physical realm — both good and ...