News – March 2021


  • Insurance Giant CNA Hit with Novel Ransomware Attack

    March 26, 2021

    A novel ransomware attack forced insurance giant CNA to take systems offline and temporarily shutter its website. The attack occurred earlier this week and leveraged a new variant of the Phoenix CryptoLocker malware. The Chicago-based company—the seventh largest commercial insurance provider in the world—said it “sustained a sophisticated cybersecurity attack” on Sunday, March 21, according to ...

  • Threat Assessment: Matrix Ransomware

    March 26, 2021

    Matrix is a ransomware family that was first identified publicly in December 2016. Over the years since its inception, it has primarily targeted small- to medium-sized organizations. As of 2019, it had been observed across geographic locations such as the U.S., Belgium, Taiwan, Singapore, Germany, Brazil, Chile, South Africa, Canada and the UK. While initially leveraging ...

  • Fleeceware Apps Bank $400M in Revenue

    March 25, 2021

    About 204 different “fleeceware” applications with a combined billion+ downloads have raked in more than $400 million in revenue so far, via the Apple App Store and Google Play, analysis has revealed. Fleeceware apps generally offer users a free trial to “test” the app, before commencing automatic payments that can be exorbitant. In an analysis from ...

  • Threat landscape for industrial automation systems. Statistics for H2 2020

    March 25, 2021

    There is no longer a downward trend in the percentage of ICS computers on which malicious objects were blocked. Starting with the second half (H2) of 2019, we observed a decline in the percentages of ICS computers on which malicious objects were blocked. This was observed in industrial control systems (ICS) as well as in corporate ...

  • Fake Websites Used in COVID-19 Themed Phishing Attacks, Impersonating Brands Like Pfizer and BioNTech

    March 25, 2021

    In April 2020, we reported on a large influx of COVID-19 themed phishing attacks starting in February 2020. With March 2021 marking the one-year anniversary that the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, we revisited the phishing trends we observed in the past year to gain deeper insight into the various COVID-related topics that ...

  • EU, Japan, and the US Conducted Joint Cybersecurity Training

    March 24, 2021

    Early this month, the EU, Japan, and the US recently conducted a joint cybersecurity training program as part of a series of dialogues on digital policies held last February 2021. The dialogues led to an agreement to strengthen the countries’ partnership on issues like platform regulation and industrial research. The training program was developed over the ...

  • Thousands of UK taxpayers’ personal details potentially exposed online through councils’ debt-chasing texts

    March 23, 2021

    Bulk SMS messages sent by local councils across the UK contained weblinks leading to pages that freely exposed to the public thousands of taxpayers’ names, addresses, and outstanding debts, The Register can reveal. Text messages sent by Telsolutions Ltd on behalf of a dozen local authorities contained shortlinks to webpages urging council tax defaulters to pay ...

  • Ransomware attack halts production at IoT maker Sierra Wireless

    March 23, 2021

    A multinational manufacturer of Internet of Things (IoT) devices has halted production after falling victim to a ransomware attack. Canadian IoT maker Sierra Wireless says it suffered a ransomware attack against its internal IT systems on March 20, which has led to production being halted at its manufacturing sites. Internal operations have also been disrupted by ...

  • Ransomware gang leaks data stolen from Colorado, Miami universities

    March 23, 2021

    Grades and social security numbers for students at the University of Colorado and University of Miami patient data have been posted online by the Clop ransomware group. Starting in December, threat actors affiliated with the Clop ransomware operation began targeting Accellion FTA servers and stealing the data stored on them. Companies use these servers to share ...

  • Energy Giant Shell Is Latest Victim of Accellion Attacks

    March 23, 2021

    Energy giant Royal Dutch Shell is the latest victim of a series of attacks on users of the Accellion legacy File Transfer Appliance (FTA) product, which already has affected numerous companies and been attributed to the FIN11 and the Clop ransomware gang. “Shell has been impacted by a data-security incident involving Accellion’s File Transfer Appliance,” the ...

  • Purple Fox malware worms its way into exposed Windows systems

    March 23, 2021

    Purple Fox, a malware previously distributed via exploit kits and phishing emails, has now added a worm module that allows it to scan for and infect Windows systems reachable over the Internet in ongoing attacks. The malware comes with rootkit and backdoor capabilities, was first spotted in 2018 after infecting at least 30,000 devices, and is ...

  • Office 365 Cyberattack Lands Disgruntled IT Contractor in Jail

    March 23, 2021

    A former IT contractor has been sentenced to two years in prison after hacking into a company’s server and deleting the majority of its employees’ Microsoft Office 365 (O365) accounts. The incident resulted in the company completely shutting down for two days. The 32-year-old contractor, Deepanshu Kher, was initially employed by an unnamed IT consulting firm ...

  • UK colleges and unis urged to prepare for ransomware before it’s too late

    March 23, 2021

    Britain’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has urged universities, schools, and colleges to be vigilant following an increase in ransomware attacks targeting educational institutions. “While operational details cannot be disclosed, the NCSC has dealt with a significant increase in the number of attacks since late February, when establishments were preparing to welcome students back to the ...

  • Microsoft Exchange servers now targeted by Black Kingdom ransomware

    March 22, 2021

    Another ransomware operation known as ‘Black Kingdom’ is exploiting the Microsoft Exchange Server ProxyLogon vulnerabilities to encrypt servers. Over the weekend, security researcher Marcus Hutchins, aka MalwareTechBlog, tweeted that a threat actor was compromising Microsoft Exchange servers via the ProxyLogon vulnerabilities to deploy ransomware. Based on the logs from his honeypots, Hutchins states that the threat actor ...

  • China takes aim at ‘spying’ Tesla cars, bans military staff use

    March 22, 2021

    Elon Musk has said Tesla would be “shut down” if accusations that the firm’s cars could be used for spying purposes were true. Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Chinese government has restricted the use of Tesla vehicles in military and key, state-owned company settings. Military and government staff are reportedly not permitted to ...

  • How Can the Trucking Industry Secure Their Telematics?

    March 22, 2021

    The trucking sector is essential to countless other industries. Without reliable transportation, supply chains would crumble, and companies and consumers would face shortages. With so much riding on it, it’s no wonder why the industry has fully embraced technology like telematics in recent years. Telematics refers to the suite of technologies fleets use to share data ...

  • Hacking group used 11 zero-days to attack Windows, iOS, Android users

    March 20, 2021

    Project Zero, Google’s zero-day bug-hunting team, discovered a group of hackers that used 11 zero-days in attacks targeting Windows, iOS, and Android users within a single year. The Project Zero team revealed that the hacking group behind these attacks ran two separate campaigns, in February and October 2020. This month’s report showcases the use of seven zero-days ...

  • Computer giant Acer hit by $50 million ransomware attack

    March 19, 2021

    Computer giant Acer has been hit by a REvil ransomware attack where the threat actors are demanding the largest known ransom to date, $50,000,000. Acer is a Taiwanese electronics and computer maker well-known for laptops, desktops, and monitors. Acer employs approximately 7,000 employees and earned $7.8 billion in 2019. Yesterday, the ransomware gang announced on their data ...

  • NHS boss’s Twitter accounts hacked by PS5 scammers

    March 19, 2021

    NHS executive Helen Bevan had her two Twitter accounts, with nearly 140,000 followers, stolen by hackers and used to promote fake PlayStation 5 sales. She now has the accounts back but has received dozens of messages from people who fell for the scam. Ms Bevan also paid money to someone who said they could help – but ...

  • CISA: Detecting Post-Compromise Threat Activity Using the CHIRP IOC Detection Tool

    March 18, 2021

    This Alert announces the CISA Hunt and Incident Response Program (CHIRP) tool. CHIRP is a forensics collection tool that CISA developed to help network defenders find indicators of compromise (IOCs) associated with activity detailed in the following CISA Alerts: AA20-352A: Advanced Persistent Threat Compromise of Government Agencies, Critical Infrastructure, and Private Sector Organizations, which primarily focuses ...