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Fraudsters Target Kolkatans With Message-Forwarding Software


As online financial transactions became simpler and easier to conduct, the number of fraudulent transactions involving digital financial transactions also increased. Taking advantage of the increased sophistication of the fraudsters does not seem to be a problem. Cybercriminals, especially those inexperienced with financial transactions, have slowly begun using other platforms to dupe naive and gullible people after phishing and lottery scams.

Another way fraudulent activity is being carried out by fraudsters is by sending links via text messages to Kolkatans who are being targeted by them. The links on the website are the ones that notify users that a substantial amount has been credited into the accounts of these players. 

The police said that if one clicks on such a link to claim the money, the entire amount of funds may be transferred from the victim's account to the fraudsters' account and they will not even require them to share any OTP as part of the fraud. 

The UPI platform is used for several fraud types. Neither of these is a result of UPI problems but rather a consequence of deceptions by criminals. 

Analysts call it APK fraud as victims are tricked into downloading APK files that compromise their phones. This is done by clicking links sent by fraudulent parties to download APK files.  

An APK file download will result in an SMS-forwarding application being installed on the device and it will divert all incoming text messages to another number, so the victim isn't alerted when the money is debited from his or her account because the SMS will be forwarded to another number. According to an officer at the Lalbazar cyber cell, an SMS alert isn't received by the victim. 

There is a new method of gaining remote access to the phones of their victims that has become a weapon of choice for fraudsters. According to the officer, the scammers are claiming in their fake message to have received a large amount credited to their gaming account. 

It was reported by the Calcutta Telegraph that some Calcuttans who have been contacted had received messages saying: "Hi 9830xxxxx9 (mobile number of the recipient), The transaction of Rs 96793 has been completed to your (the name of the online gaming app). "

According to the police, victims of fraud never realize how they were cheated because they had never given their personal identification number to anyone else before being duped. 

According to a senior police officer, unlike other fraud attacks that are sent from random phones and do not address the recipient directly, the messages sent as part of the APK scam target specific individuals and are customized to them. 

There was a time when text messages were sent randomly, but that has changed. There is one thing though, the officer said, that makes it look authentic and trustworthy to be sending these messages to someone, and that is the phone number of the person to whom the message is addressed. 

In the immediate aftermath of clicking the link in the message, the recipient will see two attachments appear on his or her screen.

If the first attachment is clicked, a screen-sharing application will be silently installed on the phone and will allow fraudsters to gain direct access to the phone. A second attachment, if clicked, triggers the installation of an SMS forwarding product in the person's phone so that if fraudsters are using this software to carry out transactions on our bank account, the person will not receive any text messages from their bank, the officer explained.

According to Assistant Commissioner Atul V., their top priority area is creating awareness among their officers about the APK fraud, which has been a major problem for some time. 

Moreover, a cyber expert told that the APK fraud program is designed to make it difficult for the police to track down the fraudsters through the link in the message if a victim reports such a matter to the authorities. This is because the link in the message is active for a short period. 

Several people have been scammed in this way by sending text messages with spurious links. The sender then asks them to click on the link. A browser on the computer after a certain period will only be redirected to a popular search engine if you click on the link after that time. This means that the links remain active for only a few hours, if that long, then even the law-enforcement agencies will have no way to track the APK files or the transactions that have taken place after that explained a cyber expert in Kolkata.

VPN Split Tunneling: A Better VPN Option?


As long as your VPN connection is encrypted, you can protect your privacy and security because you cannot see your IP address. A VPN is an application that offers users a secure tunnel through which they can send and receive data securely from and to their devices. 

A cybercriminal (crime ring, invasive advertiser, etc.) attempting to spy on your online activities so as to discover your VPN's IP address, instead of your own, which sabotages your privacy will be met with 'built-in encryption' which will prevent him from intercepting your traffic. 

Using a virtual private network can also be a great way to circumvent geographic restrictions on online content, allowing you to watch content that isn't available in your region or country.  

It would be extremely useful to have this feature while connected to a local area network (LAN), to be able to access foreign networks and at the same time protect bandwidth by accessing foreign networks. There is no need to worry about security threats when you are accessing a network printer or downloading sensitive files, for example.   

Due to the encryption applied to all data traveling through it, you may experience slower network speeds and bandwidth issues when using a VPN.

Split Tunneling - What Does it Mean? 

The splitting of tunnels is a feature that many VPN software providers offer so that you can choose which apps, services, and games connect to your VPN and which are connected to your standard Internet connection. An encryption-based VPN setup is different from regular VPN setups, which send all traffic on your system, regardless of its origins or destinations, through an encrypted tunnel on your system. Using split tunneling will allow you to use your standard connection when you wish to use your VPN and disable it when you desire additional security as you would need to do otherwise.  

Newer split tunneling techniques usually allow you to choose which apps you want to secure and which apps you want to leave open. It is possible to send some of the internet traffic through an encrypted VPN tunnel and allow the rest of it to travel through another tunnel that is available on the open internet through a VPN split tunnel connection. There is a default option in the settings of a VPN which routes 100% of the internet traffic through the VPN, but if you require higher speeds while encrypting certain data and being able to access the local devices, then splitting tunneling might be an option for you. 

You might find this to be a helpful feature if you are trying to keep some of your traffic private, yet at the same time want to maintain access to some device on your local network. Thus, you can have access to both local networks as well as foreign networks at the same time. Additionally, you can save some bandwidth in the process by using this method. 

The VPN Split Tunneling Process: How Does it Work?

Having the ability to split the tunnel through a VPN is a very useful feature because it allows you to select what data you wish to encrypt via a VPN and what data you wish to leave open for other users to see. Traditionally, a VPN is used to route your traffic over a private network through a tunnel that is encrypted to ensure integrity. 

Using VPN split tunneling, you can route some traffic from your applications or devices through a VPN. You can also point other applications or devices to the internet directly, while others are routed through an encrypted VPN.

If you want to enjoy the benefits of services that perform best when your location is recognized while enjoying the security of accessing potentially sensitive communications and data through this method, it may be particularly useful to you.  While considering this option, it is essential to keep in mind that there can be some security risks involved. 

Split tunneling is a technique that encrypts your traffic like a VPN and it comes with two main benefits: speed and security. The full tunnel option is the most secure because all traffic is routed through your VPN connection, making it the safest option; however, since there is so much traffic to be encrypted, it will also result in slower speeds. This is because when all traffic passes through headquarters, the infrastructure gets overloaded as well. 

Split tunneling allows you to only send a small amount of your traffic through a VPN, which means that things like video streaming and video calls will have better performance, and this will mean that the infrastructure in HQ will be under less strain because only part of your traffic goes through a VPN. 

Split tunneling is beneficial in terms of conserving bandwidth since it allows you to use less of it. You will be able to enjoy faster internet access by choosing certain applications to send traffic through the VPN server, which will not clog up your bandwidth as it will filter applications through the VPN server. 

It is planned to offer a complete split tunneling solution within the next few months as NordLayer works on this area. NordLayer is currently only able to assist us partially in resolving the use cases related to split tunneling. 

Split Tunneling is Advantageous for VPNs 

There may be a situation where VPN split tunneling is not a suitable choice for all organizations, but it is an option you can set up when setting up your VPN service. VPNs are often a problem for organizations with restricted bandwidth, primarily because the VPN is responsible for encrypting the data and sending it to a server located in another location at the same time. Without split tunneling, performance issues can result in the implementation of a virtual private network. 

Ensure Bandwidth Conservation

Split tunneling is a method that allows traffic that would have been encrypted on one tunnel to be sent through the other tunnel that is likely to transmit more slowly, as opposed to being encrypted by the VPN. In the case of routing traffic through a public network, there is no need to encrypt the traffic, which leads to improved performance. 

Connect Remote Workers Securely

Through a VPN, remote employees can have access to sensitive files and email that they would normally be unable to get to without a secure network connection. Additionally, their internet service provider (ISP) can also offer them access to other internet resources at a faster speed, allowing access to a wider variety of resources.

Developing a Network For the Local Area Network (LAN)

A VPN may prevent you from accessing your LAN when connected to it through encryption. Split tunneling allows you to use LAN resources like printers, while still utilizing VPN security and also having access to local resources like printers through your local network. 

Without the use of foreign IP addresses, stream content 

The ability to stream YouTube videos while traveling abroad is a very convenient way to get access to web services that rely on an IP address local to that area of the globe. When the split tunneling feature is enabled on the VPN, you will be able to use websites and search engines that work better when they know your location in your home country, and you will be able to access content in your home country by connecting to your VPN.

AI: the cause of the metaverse's demise?


In a dramatic change from its past plans to create a virtual world known as "the metaverse," Facebook has taken a completely different direction that has not been seen before. It was a project that consumed billions of dollars and resulted in a cumulative loss of $26 billion, despite spending billions on it. As a result, Facebook and other companies were forced to die in the metaverse due to investor pressure, forcing them to pursue the latest trend: artificial intelligence.

After being abandoned by the business world, the Metaverse, a once-hot technology that promised to give users a disorienting video-game-like virtual world in which to interact awkwardly, has died years after being touted as a future new era in communication technology. It had been around for three years at that time. 

As CEO of Meta Platforms, Mark Zuckerberg abandoned his ambitious project, Metaverse, to focus on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the AI industry. Zuckerberg was planning to launch the Metaverse as his next big thing, but he chose to quietly shelve the project indefinitely. 

Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced in a post on Monday, 27 February, that Meta would establish an artificial intelligence product group dedicated to generative artificial intelligence. 

There was a time when the advent of the Metaverse was touted as the dawn of a dynamic, remote interactive environment. It was regarded as a turning point in technology. Despite its success, it faced severe criticism and backlash when it became the talk of the town. This was when it became a phenomenon. In recent years, people's interest in these topics has rapidly declined. Mark Zuckerberg reintroduced the metaverse concept, he is no longer pitching it to advertisers for the same reason. 

The virtual estate is becoming more popular. The price of Ethereum, the cryptocurrency that powers so much of this activity has a direct impact on the value of virtual land in this metaverse. While Ethereum prices have been volatile recently, many buyers and sellers struggle to keep up with the market. 

WeMeta also reports that virtual land parcel average sale prices have plummeted from over US$11,000 over the past year to under US$2,000, a significant drop compared to physical land parcel average sales prices. 

There has also been a remarkable 85% decline in virtual land sales in 2022. Ethereum-based metaverse projects, such as Decentraland and Sandbox, are seeing significant reductions in their valuations and other significant metrics as a result. 

In February 2022, some of the highest prices for land sold across Decentraland ever reached, at the time of this writing, an average of US$37,200 per acre. As a result, by August, their average value had fallen to US$5,100, a decrease of approximately 25 percent. Furthermore, Sandbox's average sale price dropped between US$35,500 in January and US$2,800 in August. This was with the same price falling from around US$35,500 in January. 

A substantial level of uncertainty has been introduced to the market by the volatility of cryptocurrency prices, specifically Ethereum. This has left investors uncertain about virtual investments. Furthermore, there is a lack of proper infrastructure, governance, and collaboration within this version of the metaverse at present. In that regard, it may be that some people believe the metaverse is nothing more than a marketing gimmick at the moment. 

The Metaverse has now joined the list of failed tech ideas buried at the deep end of the graveyard. The fact that the Metaverse was born and died in a way that angers the tech world shows the extent to which the industry was influenced by technology. 

As technology advances through AI, there is a real possibility of revolutionizing how consumers and businesses run their businesses. This is evidenced by the shift to AI. A chatbot powered by artificial intelligence can help automate repetitive tasks efficiently. A search engine powered by AI, such as ChatGPT, can interact with queries in a human-like fashion. As Reality Labs places more emphasis on AI, it may reduce company losses and open new possibilities for the company to tap into in the future.

AI, one of the fastest-developing fields, continues to make rapid advances in many industries today. These industries include marketing, media, and even healthcare, as the sector develops rapidly. According to Gartner, a leading research company, generative AI in these fields is predicted to grow dramatically shortly. By 2025, large organizations will create more outbound marketing messages from less than 2 percent to 30%. This is a dramatic increase from outbound marketing messages in 2022. However, generative AI won't be the only impact on society. 

In the transition from text to video, 90% of the content could be handled by AI by 2030, according to Gartner's projections. This would be possible because 90% of the content would come from AI and the rest from human input. 

Generative artificial intelligence has vast possibilities, but its access is not as wide as it could be. As an example, ChatGPT, as well as its mechanisms, are not open-sourced, meaning it is not available to the public in any way. Other companies would find it difficult to replicate this model because of this limitation. While Facebook intends to make these types of AI models smaller, this will, in turn, make them more accessible and easier to use for companies. This will enable generative AI to become more widespread and widely available in the future. 

There have been some reports suggesting that this is the end of the metaverse. However, other reports have suggested that we shouldn't think of Meta's redirection as a rejection of the metaverse at large. As an example, computer scientist Roy Amara developed Amara's Law. This states that humans often misjudge technology's timing and potential, overestimating or underestimating their short-term impact, and drastically underestimating their lasting impact in the long run. Skepticism and hype surrounding emerging technologies, such as self-driving cars, virtual reality (VR), and augmented reality (AR) are examples of this tendency. This is evident in the skepticism and hype surrounding these systems. It was once considered a fad to think that the internet would be a thing of the past. 

It may also be that AI, especially generative AI, can lead to more convincing environments and characters in the metaverse. This could lead to significant advancements in the metaverse as a whole.  

The fact is that some deny the metaverse's death and even its waning popularity. This is especially true for women. It is predicted that the metaverse will succeed in the future as many companies employ it. 

Nevertheless, for this to happen, it will be necessary to implement some structural changes within the organization. For VR headsets to be affordable and more private, they will need to be sold at a significantly lower price. 

In the beginning, all inventions were just ideas—ones that had the potential to be terrifying, despite this, as time goes on, these small technological innovations become increasingly integrated into our daily lives to such a degree that we cannot imagine a world without them any longer. It may be that the metaverse tends toward this fate. Perhaps another immersive technological invention will replace it as soon as possible, so it must be discussed whether or not it will emerge again.

A metaverse can be described as a virtual platform that creates a social network of sorts. There is potential here. Nonetheless, it should be remembered that a fully functional system should be able to integrate interactive technologies such as VR, AR, and AI. It should however be noted that generative AI does not necessarily spell the end of the metaverse itself. However, they could benefit each other's development by promoting each other's success.

Android Phone Hacked by 'Daam' Virus, Government Warns


It has been announced by the central government that 'Daam' malware is infecting Android devices, and the government has issued an advisory regarding the same. CERT-IN, the national cyber security agency of the Indian government, released an advisory informing the public about the possibility of hackers hacking your calls, contacts, history, and camera due to this virus.

The virus' ability to bypass anti-virus programs and deploy ransomware on targeted devices makes it very dangerous, according to the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team or CERT-In, which provided the information. 

As quoted by the PTI news agency, the Android botnet is distributed primarily through third-party websites or apps downloaded from untrusted or unknown sources, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. 

The malware is coded to operate on the victim's device using an encryption algorithm known as AES (advanced encryption standard). The advisory reports that the other files are then removed from local storage, leaving only the files that have the extension of ".enc" and a readme file, "readme_now.txt", that contain the ransom note. 

To prevent attacks by such viruses and malware, the central agency has suggested several do's and don'ts. 

The CERT-IN recommends that you avoid browsing "untrusted websites" or clicking "untrusted links" when they do not seem trustworthy. It is advisable to exercise caution when clicking on links contained within unsolicited emails and SMS messages, the organization stated. Specifically, the report recommends updating your anti-virus and anti-spyware software regularly and keeping it up to date.

Once the malware has been installed, it tries to bypass the device's security system. In the case it succeeds in stealing sensitive data, as well as permissions to read history and bookmarks, kill background processing, and read call logs, it will attempt to steal sensitive information of the user. 

"Daam" is also capable of hacking phone calls, contacts, images, and videos on the camera, changing passwords on the device, taking screenshots, stealing text messages, downloading and uploading files, etc. 

In the Sender Information field of a genuine SMS message received from a bank, the Sender ID (abbreviation of the bank) is typically mentioned instead of the phone number, according to the report. 

A cautionary note was provided to users warning them to be aware of shortcut URLs (Uniform Resource Locators) such as the websites 'bitly' and 'tinyurl', which are both URLs pointing to web addresses such as "" "" and "" "/". 

To see the full domain of the website the user is visiting, it is recommended that they hover over the shortened URL displayed. As suggested in the consultation, they may also be able to use a URL checker that allows them to enter both a shortened URL and the complete URL when completing the check. 

This is being viewed as a serious warning by the government to Android phone users throughout the world to remain vigilant and to take all necessary precautions to protect their mobile devices.

The Central Government strives to educate citizens about "Daam" malware, as well as its potential impacts, so citizens can take proactive measures to protect their Android devices and stay safe from cyber threats in the ever-evolving environment we live in today.

OpenAI, the Maker of ChatGPT, Does not intend to Leave the European Market


According to the sources, the CEO of OpenAI, manager of ChatGPT, and creator of artificial intelligence technology, Sam Altman, in the past, has publicly favored regulations on AI technology development. However, more recently, he has indicated that he opposes overregulation of this technology. Reports indicate that Altman, who led Microsoft's AI research initiative, has stated that his company may leave the European Union (EU) if it can not comply with the EU rules. There has been a sudden change of heart by the top executive about his threat to leave the region in the recent past. 

In a conversation on Friday, Altman retracted a statement saying that the company might leave Europe if pending laws concerning artificial intelligence make it too difficult to comply with them. This is in response to a threat earlier in the week that OpenAI might leave the region. 

Currently, the European Union is working on the first global set of rules governing artificial intelligence. Altman on Wednesday dubbed the current draft of the EU Artificial Intelligence Act over-regulatory and “over-regulated." 

In terms of regulating artificial intelligence globally to ensure a set of rules is established, the European Union is well on its way.

Furthermore, this action by the EU is in tandem with the advocacy of OpenAI, the ChatGPT development company. This company has sought regulation of 'superintelligent' artificial intelligence. Guardian reports that the IAE has the power to prevent humanity from accidentally creating something that can destroy it if not controlled correctly. As a result, the IAE needs to act as the equivalent of the IAE. 

It is proposed that these laws would require generative AI companies to disclose copies of the content used to train their systems. This would enable them to create text and images protected by copyright. 

AI companies want to imitate performers, actors, musicians, and artists. This is to train their systems to act as though they perform the work of those individuals. 

According to Time Magazine, Mr. Altman is concerned that if OpenAI complied with the AI Act's safety and transparency restrictions, it would be technically impossible to comply. 

Rules for AI in the EU 

A set of rules for artificial intelligence in the EU has already been developed. It is estimated that within the next few years, a significant amount of copyrighted material will have been used to develop the algorithms deployed by companies, such as ChatGPT and Google's Bard, as it is determined by these regulations. 

A draft of the bill has already been drafted and approved by EU officials earlier this month, and it will be discussed by representatives of the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union, and the European Commission to finalize the details for it to be enacted into law. 

It has been reported that Google CEO Sundar Pichai has also met with European Commission officials to discuss AI regulation. According to reports, he is working with legislators in Europe to develop a voluntary set of rules or standards. This will serve as a stopgap set of guidelines or standards while AI innovation continues in Europe. 

There has been a lot of excitement and alarm around chatbots powered by artificial intelligence (AI) since Microsoft launched ChatGPT, a powerful chatbot powered by AI. Its potential has provoked excitement and concern, but it has also caused conflict with regulations around AI applications.

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman irritated EU officials in London when he told reporters that if any future regulations forced OpenAI to stop operating in the bloc because they were too tight, it might have to cease operations. 

In March, the OpenAI app was shut down by Italian data regulator Garante. Garante accused OpenAI of violating EU privacy rules, leading to a clash between OpenAI and its regulators. After instituting enhanced privacy measures for users, ChatGPT has returned online and continues to serve its customers. 

In a blitz against Google, Microsoft also made several announcements like this the following month. It announced that it would spend billions of dollars supporting OpenAI and use its technology in a variety of its products.

In recent weeks, New York-based Altman, 38, has been greeted rapturously with rapturous welcomes from leaders across the globe, such as Nigerian leaders and London politicians. 

Despite that, Thierry Breton, the bloc's industry commissioner, found his remarks on the AI Act, a regulation aimed at preventing invasive surveillance and other technologies from causing people to fear for their safety, frustrating. 

In a recent statement, OpenAI said it would award ten grants of equal value from a fund of $1 million. This was to measure the governance of AI software. Altman described it as "the process of democratically determining AI systems' behavior. 

On Wednesday, Mr. Altman attended a University College London event. He stressed that he was optimistic AI would lead to increased job creation and decreased inequality across the world.

Several meetings took place between him and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, along with DeepMind and Anthropic AI heads. These meetings were to discuss the risks of artificial intelligence - from disinformation to national security to "existential threats" - as well as the voluntary actions and regulatory framework needed to address these risks. Some experts are concerned that super-intelligent AI systems may threaten mankind's existence. 

To implement a 'generative' Large Learning Model (LLM) system, massive sets of data are analyzed and generated to create resources.

If the law is put into effect, companies like OpenAI will be required to reveal the types of copyrighted materials they used to train their artificial intelligence systems. This is so they can produce text and images. 

According to the proposed legislation, facial recognition in public places and predictive policing tools may also be prohibited under an updated set of regulations. 

ChatGPT, backed by Microsoft, was introduced late last year and since then has grown exponentially, reaching 100 million users monthly in a matter of weeks. It is the fastest-growing consumer application in history. 

As part of its commitment to integrate OpenAI technology into all of its products, Microsoft acquired a 13 billion dollar stake in the company in 2019. 

As a result of a clash with European regulator Garante in March, OpenAI first faced regulators during its domestic launch. The company was accused of flouting data privacy rules in Europe. In an updated privacy measure, ChatGPT has committed to users' privacy and restored the chat service.

American Financial Data Exposed by Debt Collector


An NCB breach notification letter has been sent to affected customers informing them that their data has been hacked. Over 1.1 million people have been exposed by this breach. On February 1st, a US-based company claimed that its systems were breached by attackers, claiming they had penetrated its network. After the company's systems were breached, NCB noticed it within three days of the incident.

Cybernews reported this morning that debt collection agency NCB Management Services has begun notifying customers of data breaches following a breach in February. The breach was first reported by the agency in early 2017. 

It has been reported that an unauthorized third party gained access to confidential information NCB maintains on client accounts recently. The company's letter to potential victims began with the statement: "In the wake of this incident, we are unaware that any of the information you have provided has been misused." 

A report has emerged claiming that NCB had its systems hacked in February. Despite this, it took the company three days to realize this security breach had occurred. 

As a result of cybercriminals stealing personal information from consumers, cybercriminals have launched targeted phishing campaigns via email, phone or text message to defraud those individuals. 

Based on the debt collector's investigation, the type of data accessed from April 19th until now has been determined. Upon reviewing information the company provided to the Maine Attorney General, it appears that the attackers gained access to financial account numbers or payment card numbers. This was done by using security codes, access codes, passwords, or PINs associated with the accounts.

There is a trend of stolen financial data being sold on dark web forums. This is so criminals can mask their illicit activities using others' names. This is done by using stolen information from their bank accounts. 

In my opinion, the amount of financial information exposed is quite concerning as users' credit card numbers could be sold on the dark web if there is no hacking involved. 

In the event hackers are also able to access sensitive data on affected users, it may be possible for them to use their own data to commit crimes such as identity theft or fraud. 

In fact, NCB is a debt collection agency that banks hire to get rid of outstanding amounts owed to them. This is due to its nature as an enforcement agency. This looks like TD Bank and Bank of America have also been indirectly affected by this data breach. 

According to a recent report by JD Supra, the legal advice site, TD Supra, has detailed the possibility that NCB's data breach might impact TD Bank customers as well. This is in a similar manner to that of TD Bank. 

The Toronto-based bank also notified the US Attorney General that the hackers responsible gained access to its customers' names, addresses, account numbers, dates of birth and Social Security numbers. In addition, they gained access to their account balances. This is based on an official filing the bank made with the Main Attorney General. 

One of the recent companies to be breached is Dish, another highly regarded satellite broadcaster in the US. The company has also tried to reassure its affected customers by stating that it had "received confirmation that the extracted data has been deleted." 

Cyber security experts say organizations should never succumb to criminals' demands, as the results are usually high-frequency attacks by the criminals themselves. The FBI and other law enforcement agencies also believe ransomware payments should not be made.

It has been announced that NCB is offering free services to affected users for two years. This will enable them to monitor identity theft for two years and prevent further attacks. 

The National Bank of Boston, in a sample notification letter submitted to the Maine Attorney General, revealed that the bank may also affect Bank of America through the same problem.  

Bank of America has said that if TD Bank offers free access to one of the most effective identity theft protection services, Bank of America will also offer the same to its customers. Bank of America has assured affected customers that it will provide a two-year Experian IdentityWorks subscription. If you have received a data breach notification from NCB, you will have all the information you need about how to set up the subscription. This information is in that notification. 

In the coming year, users affected by this data breach should carefully review their credit reports and account statements. They should look for any unusual activity associated with the breach. 

NCB is working closely with federal law enforcement agencies to figure out who is responsible for the breach and what group of hackers are responsible. Despite that, it is highly likely that the company could pay a fine. This is because hackers accessed its systems for several days before being discovered and getting their hands on them.

Using Ransomware to Extort Employers by Impersonating a Gang


In a court in Fleetwood, Hertfordshire, a 28-year-old United Kingdom man has been found guilty of serving his employer with a forged document and unauthorized access to his computer with criminal intent. 

SEROCU has released a press release explaining the conviction of Ashley Liles, a 29-year-old IT Security Analyst at a company in Oxford that was the victim of a ransomware attack in February 2018. According to the press release, Liles worked as an IT Security Analyst at the time. 

The cybercriminals contacted the company's executive team to demand a ransom payment, the same plan used in many ransomware attacks.

As part of the company's internal investigation efforts and the incident response initiative, Liles, as well as other company members and members of the police, joined the investigation and incident response effort. 

As a result, during this period, it is said that Liles tried to enrich himself from the attack by tricking his employer into paying him a ransom instead of the actual external attacker to enrich himself. 

The SEROCU announcement reads, "Instead of pursuing a criminal case against the company, Liles also began a further and secondary attack against the company unbeknownst to the police, his colleagues, or his employer." 

In addition to accessing more than 300 times the private emails of a board member, he also altered the original blackmail email sent by the original attacker and changed the payment information provided by the original attacker. 

A plan had been hatched to take advantage of the situation by diverting the payment from the payment account and sending it to Liles' cryptocurrency wallet. 

In addition to creating an almost identical email address, Lite created another email address that looked almost identical to the original attacker, and sent emails to his employer asking for payment, said SEROCU. 

Although the company owner refused to pay the attackers, a later internal investigation that had been underway at the time revealed that Liles had access to private emails, as evidenced by the IP address of his home, suggesting that he was responsible for the attack. 

By the time SEROCU's cyber-crime team stormed into Liles' home to take his computer, Liles was well aware of the investigation and had wiped all data from his devices. However, restoring incriminating data from Liles' computer was still possible, even though he had realized the investigation was closing in on him. 

During the hearing at Reading Crown Court, Liles pleaded guilty five years after he first denied any involvement in the case and pleaded guilty a second time. There is going to be a court date for this rogue employee on July 11th, 2023, he will be sentenced at that time.

Accusing someone of hacking into a computer without their permission is punishable by up to two years in prison in the UK, while blackmail is punishable by up to 14 years in prison.

Criminal Digitisation: How UK Police Forces Use Technology


Researchers and law enforcement communities have yet to fully understand cybercrime's scope and implications, even though it is a growing issue. As a result of the perception that the police were ill-equipped to deal with these types of crimes, according to reports issued by the UK government, victims of cybercrime are unlikely to report the crimes immediately. These reports also identify a lack of cybercrime knowledge among police officers according to the reports. 

In recent days, there have been numerous reports of people falling victim to online fraudsters despite being cautious about doing so. Marc Deruelle almost became one of them due to his actions. He was eager to visit Liverpool this May for the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest. He didn't immediately suspect that someone contacting him via WhatsApp was the receptionist at the accommodation he'd booked online. However, a few days later, he received a call from someone claiming to be the receptionist so he decided to contact them.  

It was good that Deruelle's bank noticed something was going on. It refused to permit £800 to be transferred to Uganda at the last moment. The situation has not been as fortunate for other victims. 

As late as 2022, a woman from North Wales forwarded almost £2,000 over Whatsapp to a scammer pretending to be her daughter and pretending to be based out of Nevada. The mother of two from North Lanarkshire, Scotland, told STV News how she sold her home to repay the loans she had invested in a bogus cryptocurrency investment scheme advertised on Facebook. Jennifer said she had to sell the house to pay. To invest in the bogus scheme, scammers coerced her into taking out further loans - and ultimately she owed £150,000 for the scam. 

Earlier this year, the NCA released the Cyber Crime Assessment 2016. This highlights the need for more partnerships between law enforcement and the private sector to fight cybercrime. Even though cybercrime accounts for only a small proportion of all reported crimes in the U.K., the National Crime Agency has found that cybercrime has overtaken all other types of crime, accounting for 36 percent of all reported crimes, and 17 percent of crimes committed with computers.

There is no denying the fact that cybercrime reports have been growing in the U.K. One explanation for this may be that the British are becoming more skilled at detecting this kind of crime than they used to be. According to the report, there is a conclusion that there is increasing evidence of cybercrime occurring in the U.K., as it was briefly covered in the most recent Crime Survey for England and Wales conducted by the U.K. Office of National Statistics last year. 

As of 2022, fraud will account for more than 40% of all crimes in England and Wales, making it the most common crime committed in the country.    

Moore believes that, when the government launched Action Fraud in 2009, the government had the right intentions. However, the government did not realize how fast fraud would grow, Moore explains. As a result, Moore and Hamilton believe that law enforcement may have lacked funds and expertise. This has caused law enforcement officers to struggle to keep up with cybercrime's rapidly evolving pace, an issue that has left them struggling to keep up. As a result, it has been challenging for public agencies, particularly rural police departments, for a long time to recruit and retain cybersecurity professionals. There is not much money to be made by the police and the local government. As an IT professional, why on earth would you stay in the police force when you can join the private sector if you’re in cybersecurity?   

Despite the growing scale and complexity of cybercrime as well as the intensifying attacks, the report concludes that "so far, the visible financial losses and damage do not have the potential to significantly impact the value of a company's equity over the long run." Cyber attacks on businesses in the UK have not been as damaging and as publicly visible as the ones that were carried out on the Target retail chain in the United States. 

A large, multinational European company would probably be hard-pressed to conceal a breach of the same magnitude as the breach at Target in 2013 if it was similar to that breach. Generally speaking, European nations have not been required to comply with the same kind of data breach disclosure laws on the books in nearly every state in the United States. U.S. companies are forced to publicly acknowledge data breaches each week by laws in effect in nearly every U.S. state.

As the new General Data Protection Regulation of the European Union comes into force, companies that conduct business in Europe or with European customers will be required to provide written notification if, as a result of a breach of security, personal data was accidentally or unlawfully destroyed, lost, altered, or unauthorizedly disclosed, or access was unauthorized. 

As it stands, there may still be some time before British businesses start coming forward about data breaches, especially since the GDPR requirements won't fully come into effect until 2021. Although the GDPR requirements will not take full effect until April 2018, the implementation is expected to take place sooner rather than later.   

China's Assessment of Micron's Security Was Rejected


As a result of Micron's failure to pass a security review, the Chinese government has banned the company from supplying memory chips to local industries that are critical to the country. 

The Chinese cyberspace regulator has announced that it will bar operators of key infrastructure from buying products made by American memory chipmaker Micron Technology Inc. (MU.O). Micron Technology Inc. is an American memory chip maker with international reach. 

Washington is looking to cut off Beijing's access to the most advanced semiconductors to limit its access to the United States' advanced chip manufacturing facilities. Despite the ongoing chip war between the two nations, the probe represents the latest effort by investigators to escalate the crisis. 

As a result of the incident, China tightened its enforcement of anti-espionage and national security laws, tightening its control over international espionage. 

In a report by the news agency Reuters, the US government has instituted a series of export controls on certain American components and chipmaking tools to prevent them from being used to advance China's military capabilities, following a series of export controls by the USA on certain American components and chipmaking tools. 

There was an additional phase in the bitter chip war between the United States and China. Washington was attempting to prevent Beijing from having access to top-of-the-line semiconductors and the latest technology.    

Chinese authorities launched a review of Micron, one of the world's largest chip manufacturers, in March last year. This was following several complaints related to its products available in the country.   

From transportation to healthcare, critical information infrastructure is broadly defined as the network infrastructure that supports the system of the country.   

On Monday, shares in several local chipmaker-related companies rose as a result of the move. Shares in corporations including Gigadevice Semiconductors, Ingenic Semiconductors, and Shenzhen Kaifa Technology opened up by 3% to 8% on Monday, according to Reuters. 

Based on Micron's financials for the year ended March 31, 2013, it was estimated that China contributed approximately 10 percent of Micron's USD 30.8 billion revenue. 

It was unclear whether the cybersecurity watchdog's decision would affect sales to foreign customers since a large portion of Micron products sold in the country were purchased by foreign manufacturers, analysts said earlier. Even if the decision does affect sales, the effect may not be felt for some time. 

Earlier this year, the Chinese government announced that it would pay more attention to protecting the critical infrastructure of its information systems by enforcing stricter data security regulations. There has been a recent intensification of its enforcement of its anti-espionage and data security laws, which have been implemented as well. 

During the last year, China and the United States stepped up their chip war by imposing restrictions on Chinese access to high-end chips, chipmaking equipment, and software used in the design of semiconductors. Yangtze Memory Technologies Co Ltd, a rival of Micron, was also placed on a blacklist by the United States government. 

Despite the high level of risk that the Chinese armed forces and intelligence services may possess technology that could be used in developing advanced military equipment, Washington cited national security concerns and insisted that it wanted to prevent the acquisition of such technology. 

One of the largest chip manufacturers in the world, Micron, has been surveyed by Chinese authorities regarding products sold within the country by the company. 

Based on the review, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) concluded that Micron's products pose significant security risks to China's critical information infrastructure supply chain, affecting the safety and security of the country's key infrastructure, an influence that could adversely affect China's national security. 

Several manufacturers of semiconductor technology equipment, such as the Netherlands and Japan, have recently announced new restrictions on the export of certain products, although neither of them named China as a major source of these restrictions. 

There has been a lot of opposition from Beijing to Washington's controversial move, which Beijing has called "bully tactics" and declared as "technological terrorism", saying it is not only strengthening its resolve to self-sufficiency in the sector but also strengthening US business interests.

There have been billions of dollars invested in domestic chip companies over the past few decades by the Chinese government to build up a robust semiconductor industry domestically. 

It is expected that by the year 2030, the chip industry in the world will generate a $1 trillion market, a figure that can be attributed to the fact that chips are the lifeblood of modern global economies, powering everything from cars to smartphones. 

In response to the ban, the United States opposes it; Micron is committed to engaging in negotiations with China. There was strong opposition to the Micron ban from the US Commerce Department. 

A spokesperson for the Commerce Department said in a statement that "we strongly oppose restrictions that have no basis in fact." China claims that they are open to a transparent regulatory framework and that they are committed to a transparent regulatory framework, which contradicts this action, along with raids and targetings of other American firms that have been reported in the past. 

It is now the department's responsibility to clarify the actions of the Chinese authorities in Beijing directly through direct communication with them.  

Beijing, which is China's largest manufacturer of semiconductors, has been forbidden from buying cutting-edge semiconductors as part of the US-China trade dispute. It's the latest escalation between the two countries. 

Despite Micron's review by the CAC, the company said it was looking forward to engaging with Chinese authorities in further discussions following its receipt of the review. The company said in a statement that it is evaluating the conclusion of the investigation and determining what we should do next.

Malware Detected on Millions of Mobile Phones


In the Google Play Store, you can often find apps that contain malware, adware, or spyware. Some of these apps are even labeled as spyware or malware. The fact that malware is installed through pre-installed apps is a less well-known fact; however, researchers are raising awareness regarding the increasing trend of malware targeting pre-installed software. Hackers only need to subvert one of the hundreds of apps included with millions of affordable Android phones to gain access to their data. It is imperative to realize, however, that managing the problem is significantly more difficult than handling rogue apps that find their way onto the Google Play Store in the first place. 

In a recent report published at Black Hat Asia, Trend Micro researchers claimed that criminals had used malware to infect millions of Android devices. This was before the devices left the factories. 

Hardware in this category focuses on Android mobile devices at lower prices. However, it includes smartwatches, televisions, and other products. 

Microsoft researchers investigating counterfeit software in China found that machines booting for the first time were already compromised with botnet malware right out of the box. This was due to brand-new devices being plugged in for the first time. 

A Chinese businessman is facing a lawsuit from Microsoft for using his domain name to commit computer fraud. 

This lawsuit alleges that Nitol malware on the new computer systems points to as the source of the compromise on the system. Several online activities are believed to be related to malicious activities and malware on this website, according to Microsoft. In addition to Nitol, Microsoft points out that the site is hosting 500 other types of malware. Reports have revealed that Microsoft has seen more malicious software stored in this repository than at any other time in history, according to a Washington Post story.

It is known that there have been many cases where devices have been received by customers with malware pre-installed as a part of the package. As a result of a Canadian security consultant's discovery of malware baked into the firmware of an Android TV box he purchased from Amazon, he decided to do some further research on it and found that it contained persistent, sophisticated malware. 

Daniel Milisic found this malware, which can be nullified by a script and instructions he created. This script and instructions can be used by users to disable the malware's communications with the command and control server (C2) as well as disable the payload.  

The devicebeing discussed here is the T95 Android TV box with a processor by AllWinner. This box is widely available on Amazon, AliExpress, and other major online stores. 

A malicious component has been found on this individual device, but it is not clear if this malicious component has been found in all devices from this model or brand. 

Original equipment manufacturers (OEM) are the companies that manufacture gadgets, and they outsource manufacturing. Researchers say that in the current manufacturing pipeline, organizations in the supply chain – for example, firmware suppliers – infect products with malicious code as they are shipped.

The problems could be much more serious and widespread if a virus is introduced into the device at the beginning of the manufacturing process. This could be done by a corrupt employee or a hacker when software is being uploaded or at some other early stage in the production process. 

Due to the lack of transparency maintained by electronics makers and the companies they work with to build their products, it is virtually impossible to know how many devices have been sold or how viruses have spread with any degree of precision.  There is no doubt that the numbers could be huge, given the nature of mass manufacturing. 

Research conducted by Trend Micro has raised alarm about the increased trend of Android devices being sold with malicious software pre-installed, and they are warning users of the dangers associated with this. Malware embedded in system apps or device firmware can be challenging to identify and remove. This is even though you can easily remove an app downloaded from the Play Store. 

“How can you infect millions of devices most quickly and easily?” was the question posed by Trend Micro researcher Fyodor Yarochkin at the conference in Singapore that he attended with colleague Zhengyu Dong.

As Yarochkin points out, infiltrating devices so early in their lifecycle is like putting a liquid in a tree: when the infection is put at the root of the tree, it spreads right out and into every single limb and leaf of the tree. 

During the decline in the price of mobile phone firmware, the insertion of malware began to become more common. It got so intense that firmware providers could not charge a price for their products because the competition among firmware distributors became so intense 

There has been an increase in pre-installed malware infections over the past couple of years, which Yarochkin says is partly due to the competition among mobile firmware developers to yield the cheapest product possible. Several developers started offering firmware for free on their websites once selling firmware became unprofitable. 

In part, the concern comes from the way the preinstalled malware operates, or, more precisely, the depth to which it is embedded in the system. Fortunately, there is still a high chance that malware can be identified and removed by many security software packages. Despite this, malware threats that operate at the kernel level of an operating system, or the BIOS level on a PC, often remain undetected by most antimalware programs. This is due to their nature of functioning at a level far deeper than the operating system. 

In the world of malicious software, there is money to be made. Criminals find several ways to spread malicious software. These methods can also prove clever and innovative. It is certainly possible to plant malware into laptops, smartphones, or tablets before they are even purchased, unboxed, and exposed to the public in the first place. 

Against these threats, what steps can you take?

In the first instance, you should buy your PC, tablet, or smartphone hardware from a respected and established brand. This is when you buy a brand-name computer from HP, Dell, Acer, Sony, etc. There is a low chance of it coming with pre-installed malware out of the box; unless you take the risk. 

A device with a high probability of being malware-free is an iPad, Nexus 7, or Kindle Fire if you purchase them from Apple, Google, or Amazon. 

A PC or knock-off tablet purchased online from an unknown, shady site can be the victim of malware infection if you go bargain shopping. 

You should not assume that your PC or mobile device is inherently safe and malware-free just because it is the first one you purchased. 

Likewise, it might not be advisable to rely on any pre-installed security software, since you cannot verify that it is genuine and is free from malware in the first place. 

To detect and identify any malware that may already be present on your machines, you should install a cross-device security tool that is reliable and able to detect malware.

Outdated Technology Could Cost Your Business a Lot

Owners and managers are constantly faced with tough choices in today's fast-paced business environment when cash allocation becomes one of the most pivotal factors in maintaining smooth operations. 

Business owners often take short-term approaches to saving money and reducing costs. However, many of these approaches ignore the cost of things such as outdated technology that introduces inefficiencies and vulnerabilities to their business. This results in increased costs in their operations. 

The truth is that newer technology is more expensive sometimes. However, by not updating to the latest technology, you will get stuck in a situation where your costs escalate over time. In such a case, it becomes extremely difficult to make an informed decision. This is because it is impossible to consider what long-term costs may be associated with outdated technology but you will have to do what's right for your business, not only what's expedient today. 

There are many VPN services out there, but Atlas VPN has gathered data from Skynova, a provider of small business software. Skynova conducted an online survey to understand what tech workers use at work, and it found lots of interesting information. 

By multiplying the average daily time lost by the typical number of workdays in a year, the Millennial generation achieved the maximum headline figure for hours lost. This gave them the highest headline figure for hours lost. A year's worth of working days is just over ten.  

Brands Suffer From Outdated Technology 

Productivity declines 

A time is money statement that states that if someone works for you or your company is unproductive, they are wasting their own time. In today's competitive business environment, technology plays a vital role in increasing productivity and efficiency. However, outdated systems can make it difficult for a company to get the most out of its technology. 

Outdated technology has its downsides

A lot of time is spent completing administrative tasks rather than participating in value-adding engagement with customers and each other as a collective.

It's impossible to compete today if you're still using outdated technology. However, this is the changing world of technology. 

When it comes to technology interaction, people expect an exceptional user experience, thanks in no small part to Apple products. When you judge people based on their mobile devices, your technological user experience doesn't meet up, you fail. 

As a result, when your organization uses outdated or cobbled-together technologies, it cannot take advantage of market changes and respond to the needs and needs of your organization. 

Atlas VPN, one of the most reliable VPN companies on the market, gathers information from Skynova. This company specializes in low-end business software. Skynova surveyed over a thousand residents in the US and gathered data about what type of technology they use during their daily work schedules. 

As a result, millennials were responsible for the highest headline estimate of time lost per day. This was calculated by multiplying the average time lost per day by the number of workdays in a year. This was done to get a headline figure for it. During a year, this would equate to approximately 10 days of work. 

There is an unwritten rule among most businesses that they must replace outdated equipment and software when it meets the criteria for being outdated or when it breaks down in the process. There are often reasons why this occurs, namely because people are worried that if they make a wholesale change, it will cause too much disruption in their lives, while if they make gradual changes, they would be happier. In more than one way, you probably have a piece of hardware or software that is old and needs to be replaced. However, you are just not getting around to it yet because you haven't had the time. 

Investing in cutting-edge technology is something that many business owners put off for several reasons, including    


Some recognize that replacing aging technology can involve considerable financial investment. Businesses are right to be concerned, as businesses worldwide are expected to spend over 2 trillion dollars per $1 on digital transformations by 2020, a huge amount.   

Productivity loss

Business owners are understandably concerned about how long it takes to update their hardware and software. It was stated that 65 percent of businesses believe they are prepared for and ready for the changes that are going to occur in the next few years,2 but it is also said that 35% of businesses are not certain about how they can cope with them. Additionally, you will need to train your team on how to use the updated technology effectively. This will also take a lot of time and effort that you cannot ignore.  


In the face of the fears associated with the fear of problems arising from implementing a brand-new concept, it is natural to want to keep things the same. Business owners refrain from changing their businesses to preserve their current balance. To do this, it is more common for them to stick to old systems for as long as possible. 

It should be remembered that older hardware and software do not have security updates like their newer counterparts do. Using data stored by the Identity Theft Resource Center, 1,579 data breaches occurred in 2017 a record level. As a result, the overall number of people grew by 44,7% over the past year. 

As technology evolves, cybercriminals' methods to penetrate your system are also evolving to stay one step ahead and achieve their goals. Cyber attacks can occur at any time, and when you use old technology, you will be deeply unprepared for it if it occurs. To protect yourself and your team from cyberattack threats, you have to stay on top of security demands. You also need to keep up with cybercriminal activity. You need to keep up with security demands and cybercriminal activity. If you are looking for the most effective defense against security threats for your business, the most recent version of any technology will serve you best. 

Using outdated technology is incompatible with the new generation of cyber threats and will not protect you. The problem with outdated systems is that in many cases, the company that designed them no longer supports them and therefore makes them more vulnerable since new issues cannot be removed through security updates and it is unlikely that you will ever be able to plug the hole until it is too late and by then the damage has already been done.

Convincing Phishing Pages are Now Possible With Phishing-as-a-Service


In several phishing campaigns since mid-2022, a previously unknown phishing-as-a-service (PaaS) offering named "Greatness" has been used as a backend component for various spam campaigns. In addition to MFA bypass, IP filtering, and integration with Telegram bots, Greatness includes features found in some of the most advanced PaaS offerings. These features include integration with some of the most advanced PaaS offerings. 

Phishing attacks are mostly social engineering attacks. Depending on who conducts the attack, they can target a wide range of people. There is a possibility that these emails are spam or scam emails looking to access PayPal accounts. 

There is also the possibility of phishing being an attack specifically targeted at a particular individual. Attackers often tailor their emails to speak directly to you and include information only available from an acquaintance. When an attacker gains access to your data, he or she usually obtains this information. Even if the recipient is very cautious in their responses, it is very difficult for them to avoid being a victim when an email of this kind is sent. Based on research conducted by PhishMe Research, over 97% of all fraudulent emails sent to consumers contain ransomware. 

As a result of the availability of phishing kits like Greatness, threat actors, rookies, and professionals alike, now can design convincing login pages that comply with the account registration process of various online services while bypassing the two-factor authentication protections offered by the service.

As a result of this, the fake pages that appear to be authentic behave as a proxy for the attacker to harvest credentials entered by victims and time-based one-time passwords (TOTPs). 

In addition to the possibility of conducting phishing through text messages, social media, and phone calls, the term 'phishing' is most commonly used in the context of attacks that appear via email. Oftentimes, phishing emails can reach thousands of users directly and disguise themselves among the myriad of benign emails that are received by busy users every day. As a result of attacks, malicious code may be installed on systems (such as ransomware), systems may be sabotaged, and intellectual property may be stolen. 

The focus of Greatness is, for now, limited to Microsoft 365 phishing pages, which allows its affiliates to create highly convincing decoy and login pages, using Greatness' attachment and link builder. The attack incorporates features such as pre-filling the victim's email address and showing the victim's appropriate company logo and background image, which were derived from the actual Microsoft 365 login page in which the victim worked or worked for the target organization. The complexity of the software makes Greatness a particularly attractive option for businesses that do phishing. 

A geographic analysis of the targets in a number of the various campaigns that are ongoing and have been conducted in the past revealed the majority of victims to be companies based in the U.S., U.K., Australia, South Africa, and Canada, with manufacturing, health care, and technology sectors being the most frequently targeted industries. There are slight differences in the exact distribution of victims between each campaign and each country in terms of the sector and location. 

Whenever affiliates deploy and configure the phishing kit provided by Greatness, they can access its more advanced features without technical knowledge. They may even take advantage of the service's more advanced features even if they are unskilled. There are two types of phishing kits. One uses an API to generate phishing claims. The other uses a phishing kit to perform a "man-in-the-middle attack" and generate phishing claims. 

In the latest UK government survey titled "Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2021", the UK government reports that phishing remains the "most common attack vector" when it comes to attack attempts involving their systems. Even though phishing is still being used due to its continued success, up to 32% of employees click on a phishing email link while up to 8% of employees are unaware of the sending. 

The risk of a data breach or malware infection is greatly increased when an individual clicks on a link in a phishing email and then enters their login credentials to access company resources. There are always going to be several levels of privilege escalation, even when an employee has lower access privileges. Cybercriminals put a lot of effort into making their phishing attack vector as convincing as possible to increase their chances of success. 

With the emergence of the Greatness product, Microsoft 365 users are at higher risk of being compromised. Phishing pages can appear more convincing and effective against businesses. Approximately 90% of the affiliates of Greatness target businesses according to the data that Cisco Talos collected. A study of the targeted organizations across several campaign campaigns indicates that manufacturing is the sector given the most attention. This is followed by the healthcare and technology sectors. 

The threat was first observed during mid-2022, and according to VirusTotal, a spike in activity was experienced in December 2022 and March 2023. This was a time when attachment samples increased considerably. 

As part of the attack chain, malicious emails often contain HTML attachments which are executed on opening. This code often contains obfuscated JavaScript code which redirects the recipient to a landing page with their email address pre-filled and prompts them for a password and two-factor authentication code to access the site. 

The credentials entered are forwarded via Telegram to the affiliate's Telegram channel. They will be used to gain unauthorized access to the accounts being accessed. 

If a victim opens an attachment that contains an HTML file, the web browser will execute some narrow JavaScript code that will establish a connection to the attacker's server to get the HTML code of the phishing page. In turn, the attacker's server will display the phishing page to the user in the same browser window. An image of a spinning wheel is displayed on the screen in the code, pretending to show that the document is being loaded, with a blurred image. 

The PaaS is then responsible for connecting to Microsoft 365 and impersonating the victim to log into the victim's account. As a result, if the service detects that MFA is being used, it will prompt the victim to authenticate by using their chosen MFA method (e.g., SMS code, voice call code, push notification, according to the website). 

After a service receives the MFA, the service will continue to impersonate the victim behind the scenes to complete the login process. This will enable it to collect authenticated session cookies associated with the victim. The affiliates will then receive these updates through their Telegram channel or via an email directly from the web panel, depending on which method they choose. 

As it works in conjunction with the API, the phishing kit creates a "man-in-the-middle" attack, asking the victim for information, which is then passed to the legitimate login page in real time, and is further logged by the API. 

If the victim uses MFA (Master Key Authentication), the PaaS affiliate can steal the user passwords and usernames associated with the account and the authenticated session cookies. This is one of the reasons why the Telegram bot is used - it notifies the attacker as soon as possible about valid cookies so that they can make a quick move if the target looks interesting. This likely is one of the reasons why authenticated sessions typically expire after a while, which is one of the reasons the bot is utilized.