News – January 2021


  • The ‘offensive cyber’ used by UK National Cyber Force to confuse Islamic State militants and prevent drone attacks

    February 8, 2021

    The UK has revealed new details about a secret cyber operation against Islamic State that targeted the group’s ability to fly drones, meddled with their phones and hit their propaganda. The mission – told to Sky News by the head of GCHQ and a top general in their first joint interview – gives a sense of ...

  • UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) suffers ransomware attack

    January 30, 2021

    The UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is dealing with a ransomware incident that encrypted data and impacted two of its services, one offering information to subscribers and the platform for peer review of various parts of the agency. UKRI is a public body of the Government of the United Kingdom, tasked with investing in science and ...

  • Chopper ASPX web shell used in targeted attack

    January 29, 2021

    Based on Trend Micro researchers investigation, the Chopper web shell is dropped via a system token, potentially via a Microsoft Exchange Server vulnerability. One notable vulnerability in the Microsoft Exchange Server is CVE-2020-0688, a remote code execution bug. Microsoft issued a patch for this vulnerability in February 2020. However, the malicious actors behind this attack ...

  • Fonix ransomware shuts down and releases master decryption key

    January 29, 2021

    The Fonix Ransomware operators have shut down their operation and released the master decryption allowing victims to recover their files for free. Fonix Ransomware, also known as Xinof and FonixCrypter, began operating in June 2020 and has been steadily encrypting victims since. The ransomware operation was not as widely active as others, such as REvil, Netwalker, ...

  • Post Office Phishing Hits Credit Card Users in 26 Countries

    January 28, 2021

    Phishing remains a popular and effective tactic that malicious actors continue to deploy against internet users. The current retail climate brought about by the global health crisis has only worsened the problem. Many countries across the globe have seen a surge in online shopping, and malicious actors are quick to deploy campaigns that take advantage ...

  • Hezbollah’s cyber unit hacked into telecoms and ISPs

    January 28, 2021

    A Hezbollah-affiliated threat actor known as Lebanese Cedar has been linked to intrusions at telco operators and internet service providers in the US, the UK, Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Jordan, the Palestinian Authority, and the UAE. The year-long hacking campaign started in early 2020 and was discovered by Israeli cyber-security firm Clearsky. In a report published ...

  • Google researcher discovers new iOS security system

    January 28, 2021

    With the release of iOS 14 last fall, Apple has added a new security system to iPhones and iPads to protect users against attacks carried out via the iMessage instant messaging client. Named BlastDoor, this new iOS security feature was discovered by Samuel Groß, a security researcher with Project Zero, a Google security team tasked with ...

  • Pro-Ocean: Rocke Group’s New Cryptojacking Malware

    January 28, 2021

    In 2019, Unit 42 researchers documented cloud-targeted malware used by the Rocke Group to conduct cryptojacking attacks to mine for Monero. Since then, cybersecurity companies have had the malware on their radar, which hampered Rocke Group’s cryptojacking operation. In response, the threat actors updated the malware. Here, we uncover a revised version of the same cloud-targeted ...

  • New cybercrime tool can build phishing pages in real-time

    January 28, 2021

    A cybercrime group has developed a novel phishing toolkit that changes logos and text on a phishing page in real-time to adapt to targeted victims. Named LogoKit, this phishing tool is already deployed in the wild, according to threat intelligence firm RiskIQ, which has been tracking its evolution. The company said it already identified LogoKit installs on ...

  • Apple Patches Three Actively Exploited Zero-Days, Part of iOS Emergency Update

    January 27, 2021

    Apple continues to put out potential security fires by patching zero-day vulnerabilities, releasing an emergency update this week to patch three more recently discovered in iOS after a major software update in November already fixed three that were being actively exploited. The newly patched bugs are part of a security update released Tuesday for iOS 14.4 ...

  • World’s Most Dangerous Malware Emotet Disrupted Through Global Action

    January 27, 2021

    Law enforcement and judicial authorities worldwide have this week disrupted one of most significant botnets of the past decade: EMOTET. Investigators have now taken control of its infrastructure in an international coordinated action. This operation is the result of a collaborative effort between authorities in the Netherlands, Germany, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Lithuania, ...

  • US Department of Justice Launches Global Action Against NetWalker Ransomware

    January 27, 2021

    The Department of Justice today announced a coordinated international law enforcement action to disrupt a sophisticated form of ransomware known as NetWalker. NetWalker ransomware has impacted numerous victims, including companies, municipalities, hospitals, law enforcement, emergency services, school districts, colleges, and universities. Attacks have specifically targeted the healthcare sector during the COVID-19 pandemic, taking advantage of the ...

  • A look at Linux, Threats, Risks, and Recommendations

    January 26, 2021

    Linux, which started as a personal project 30 years ago, is presently one of the most powerful operating systems dominating cloud platforms and servers around the world today. In fact, Linux usage has now exceeded that of Windows on Azure, Microsoft’s own cloud platform. Linux is also undeniably ubiquitous. According to the Linux Foundation’s 2017 State ...

  • DreamBus botnet targets enterprise apps running on Linux servers

    January 25, 2021

    Chances are that if you deploy a Linux server online these days and you leave even the tiniest weakness exposed, a cybercrime group will ensnare it as part of its botnet. The latest of these threats is named DreamBus. Analyzed in a report published last week by security firm Zscaler, the company said this new threat is ...

  • Tesla sues ex-employee over alleged ‘brazen’ theft of confidential code

    January 25, 2021

    Tesla is suing a former member of staff for allegedly stealing confidential information and attempting to cover his tracks in the aftermath. The lawsuit, filed in the US Northern District of California Court, names Alex Khatilov as the alleged perpetrator, a Quality Assurance software engineer. According to Tesla’s complaint, only three days after being hired on December ...

  • Hacker leaks data of 2.28 million dating site users

    January 24, 2021

    A well-known hacker has leaked this week the details of more than 2.28 million users registered on MeetMindful.com, a dating website founded in 2014, ZDNet has learned this week from a security researcher. The dating site’s data has been shared as a free download on a publicly accessible hacking forum known for its trade in hacked ...

  • Another ransomware now uses DDoS attacks to force victims to pay

    January 24, 2021

    Another ransomware gang is now using DDoS attacks to force a victim to contact them and negotiate a ransom. In October 2020, we reported that ransomware gangs were beginning to utilize DDoS attacks against a victims’ network or web site as an extra tool to force them to pay a ransom. At the time, the two ...

  • Russian government warns of US retaliatory cyberattacks

    January 23, 2021

    The Russian government has issued a security warning to organizations in Russia about possible retaliatory cyberattacks by the USA for the SolarWinds breach. Last month, the SolarWinds network management company disclosed that they suffered a sophisticated cyberattack that led to a supply chain attack affecting 18,000 customers. The US government believes that this attack was conducted by ...

  • SonicWall firewall maker hacked using zero-day in its VPN device

    January 23, 2021

    Security hardware manufacturer SonicWall has issued an urgent security notice about threat actors exploiting a zero-day vulnerability in their VPN products to perform attacks on their internal systems. SonicWall is a well-known manufacturer of hardware firewall devices, VPN gateways, and network security solutions whose products are commonly used in SMB/SME and large enterprise organizations. On Friday night, ...

  • Malware found on laptops given out by UK government

    January 23, 2021

    Some of the laptops given out in England to support vulnerable children home-schooling during lockdown contain malware, BBC News has learned. Teachers shared details on an online forum about suspicious files found on devices sent to a Bradford school. The malware, which they said appeared to be contacting Russian servers, is believed to have been found on ...