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Data Breach Targets Fast Company News

Fast Company's Apple News website currently displays a statement from the business confirming that it was hacked on Sunday afternoon, followed by another intrusion on Tuesday night that let threat actors to send bigoted notifications to smartphones via Apple News.

In a press release issued last night, the company claimed that "the statements are repulsive and are not by the contents and culture of Fast Company.  We have suspended FastCompany.com while we look into the matter and will not reopen it until it is resolved."

As soon as individuals on Twitter noticed the offensive Apple News notifications, the company disabled the Fast Company channel on the news network.

Data breach tactics

The website's webpage started to load up with articles headlined "Hacked by Vinny  Troia. [redacted] tongue my [redacted]. Thrax was here. " on Sunday afternoon, which was the first indication that Fast Company had been compromised.

In their ongoing dispute with security analyst Vinny Troia, members of the breached hacking group and the now-defunct RaidForums regularly deface websites and carry out attacks that they attribute to the researcher. Fast Company took the website offline for a while to address the defacement, but on Tuesday at around 8 PM EST, another attack occurred.

Hackers claim that after discovering that Fast Company was using WordPress for their website, they were able to compromise the company. The HTTP basic authentication which was supposed to have protected this WordPress installation was disregarded. The threat actor goes on to claim that they were able to enter the WordPress content management system by utilizing a relatively simple default password used on dozens of users.

Fast Company, according to the post, had a 'ridiculously easy' default password that was used on numerous accounts, including an admin account. The compromised account would have then been utilized by the threat actors to gain access to, among other things, authentication tokens and Apple News API credentials.

They assert that by using these tokens, they were able to set up administrator accounts on the CMS platforms, which were then used to send notifications to Apple News.

Threat actors gained access to an undefined number of customer names, birthdates, contact numbers, email, physical addresses, and personal documents, including license and passport numbers, through this same forum, which was at the center of the previous Optus breach. The hacker in question claims to have made 10,200 records available thus far. It's uncertain whether or when Apple News would reactivate the Fast Company channel.



School Kid Uploads Ransomware Scripts to PyPI Repository as 'Fun' Project

 

An apparently school-age hacker from Verona, Italy, has become the latest to highlight why developers must be cautious about what they download from public code repositories these days. As an experiment, the teenage hacker recently posted many malicious Python packages containing ransomware programmes to the Python Package Index (PyPI). 

The packages' names were "requesys," "requesrs," and "requesr," which are all typical misspellings of "requests," a valid and extensively used HTTP library for Python. According to the Sonatype researchers who discovered the malicious code on PyPI, one of the packages (requesys) was downloaded around 258 times — probably by developers who made typographical errors when attempting to download the genuine "requests" package. 

The bundle included scripts for exploring directories such as Documents, Pictures, and Music. One version of the requesys package included plaintext Python encryption and decryption code. However, a later version included a Base64-obfuscated executable, making analysis more difficult, according to Sonatype. 

Developers whose systems were encrypted received a pop-up notice urging them to contact the package's author, "b8ff" (aka "OHR" or Only Hope Remains), on his Discord channel for the decryption key. According to Sonatype, victims were able to receive the decryption key without having to pay for it. 

"And that makes this case more of a gray area rather than outright malicious activity," Sonatype concludes. 

Information on the hacker's Discord channel shows that at least 15 victims had installed and run the package. According to the company, Sonatype identified the virus on July 28 and promptly reported it to PyPI's authorities. Two of the packages have subsequently been deleted, and the hacker has renamed the requesys package so that developers do not confuse it with a valid programme. 

"There are two takeaways here," says Sonatype's Ankita Lamba, senior security researcher. First and foremost, be cautious while spelling out the names of prominent libraries, as typosquatting is one of the most prevalent malware attack tactics, she advises. Second, and more broadly, developers should always use caution when obtaining and integrating packages into their software releases. Open source is both a necessary fuel for digital innovation and an attractive target for software supply chain threats, explains Lamba.

Following the newest finding, Sonatype researchers contacted the creator of the malicious code and discovered him to be a self-described school-going hacker who was evidently fascinated by exploits and the simplicity with which they might be developed.

According to Lamba, b8ff assured Sonatype that the ransomware software was totally open source and part of a hobby project.

"As they are a school-going 'learning developer,' this was meant to be a fun research project on ransomware exploits that could have easily gone much further astray," Lamba says. "The author went on to say that they were surprised to see how easy it was to create this exploit and how interesting it was."

Neopets Hacked, 69 Million Accounts Potentially Breached

 

The virtual pet website Neopets has announced that it has been hacked. JumpStart Games, as announced yesterday on Twitter and the official forums, is requesting that all 69 million accounts reset their passwords. 

"Neopets recently became aware that customer data may have been stolen," reads the official Twitter announcement. "We immediately launched an investigation assisted by a leading forensics firm. We are also engaging law enforcement and enhancing the protections for our systems and our user data." 

The hacker responsible, as first reported by Neopets community site JellyNeo (via Polygon), has been found offering the whole Neopets database and source code for 4 Bitcoins (approximately $100,000). For an extra cost, the hacker would provide live access to the database. It's unclear whether this hack involves credit card information. Neopets charges a fee to eliminate adverts from the site and gain access to the forums and other premium services. In-game cash called NeoCash is also utilised for numerous microtransactions. 

Neopets, which debuted in 1999, were a brief phenomenon. Neopets, a website where players take care of a virtual pet, soon grew to millions of users, with original developer Adam Powell selling the service to Viacom for $160 million in 2005. Viacom eventually sold the site to JumpStart Games, which still owns it. The Neopets themselves require frequent food and care, yet even if neglected, they will not perish. 

One may also take them on a tour to Neopia (the Neopets world), where they and their Neopet can participate in a variety of minigames and enjoy the site's comprehensive social features. Although it is no longer at its peak, Neopets still has a committed user base. This isn't the first time that Neopets has been compromised. In 2016, a similar data breach compelled all Neopets users to change their passwords. 

This current attack is also unlikely to help the site's tattered reputation, especially in light of the recent announcement of the Neopets Metaverse Collection, a new NFT initiative that fans have slammed as a brazen cash grab.

 New Confluence Remote Code Execution Flaw is Exploited by Cryptocurrency Miners

 

Atlassian has issued a security advisory on a severe unpatched remote code execution vulnerability that affects Confluence Server and Data Center products and is being actively abused in the field, according to the company. The CVE-2022-26134 vulnerability was found as an extensively exploited zero-day towards the end of May, and the vendor issued a patch on June 3, 2022. 

Several proof-of-concept (PoC) exploits for the CVE-2022-26134 bug have been made public. Following the disclosure of the RCE, Check Point Research (CPR) researchers observed a large number of exploitation attempts, with some of the malicious payloads used in the attacks being used as part of the same campaign carried by a crypto mining gang known as the "8220 gang" by doing bulk net scans to discover vulnerable Windows and Linux endpoints to plant miners. 

Miners are special-purpose programs that mine cryptocurrency like Monero for the threat actor using the host's available computational capabilities. Reduced server performance, increase hardware wear, greater operating costs, and even business disruption are all direct consequences of this action. These actors can also improve their attack at any time and dump more potent payloads because they have access to the system.

Multiple infection chains are used to target Linux and Windows operating systems. The attack starts with a specially crafted HTTP request which exploits CVE-2022-26134 and dumps a base64-encoded payload on both Linux and Windows platforms. The payload then downloads an executable, a Linux malware injects script and a Windows child process spawner. Both scenarios try to set up reboot persistence, then delete all current devices before activating the miner. 

The miner will deplete all system resources in both circumstances, therefore the "8220 gang" is aiming for maximum profit until the malware is uprooted, rather than silently mining on infected servers and attempting to remain undiscovered by using only a portion of the available processing capacity. Eventually, the Linux script looks for SSH keys on the host in an attempt to expand to other computers nearby. 

The web shell is believed to have been used to distribute two further web shells to disk, namely China Chopper and a bespoke file upload shell for exfiltrating arbitrary files to a remote server. The news comes within a year of another severe remote code execution issue in Atlassian Confluence (CVE-2021-26084, CVSS score: 9.8) was actively exploited in the open to install cryptocurrency miners on compromised servers (CVE-2021-26084, CVSS score: 9.8). 

"Attackers can get direct access to highly valuable systems by exploiting such type of vulnerability," Volexity stated. "Furthermore, because they lack the necessary monitoring or logging capabilities, these systems can be difficult to investigate."

1.6 Million Vulnerable Websites hit by Cyber Attack

 

Wordfence researchers indicate that in the last few days, they have spotted a significant series of attacks emerging from 16,000 IP addresses and targeting over 1.6 million WordPress websites. 

Four WordPress plugins including fifteen Epsilon Framework themes are targeted by the malicious attackers, one of which has no patch available. Some of the vulnerable plugins have been fixed recently as of this week, while others were updated as recently as 2018. 

The affected plugins and their versions are: 
  • PublishPress Capabilities 
  • Kiwi Social Plugin 
  • Pinterest Automatic 
  • WordPress Automatic 
The targeted Epsilon Framework themes are: 
  • Shapely 
  • NewsMag 
  • Activello 
  • Illdy 
  • Allegiant 
  • Newspaper X 
  • Pixova Lite 
  • Brilliance 
  • MedZone Lite 
  • Regina Lite 
  • Transcend 
  • Affluent 
  • Bonkers 
  • Antreas 
  • NatureMag Lite – No patch available 

"In most cases, the attackers are updating the users_can_register option to enabled and setting the default_role option to administrator," Wordfence explains. "This makes it possible for attackers to register on any site as an administrator effectively taking over the site." 

To see if one's site has already been infiltrated, one should go through all user accounts and search for any unauthorized modifications that need to be removed right away. 

Next, go over to "http://examplesite[.]com/wp-admin/options-general.php" and look through the Membership as well as the new user default role settings. Even if the plugins and themes aren't on the list, it's a good idea to upgrade them as soon as possible. If one is using NatureMag Lite, which has no solution, then they should uninstall it right away. 

It is critical to note that upgrading the plugins would not remove the threat if the site has already been hacked. In this scenario, it is recommended that first follow the methods provided in detailed clean-up manuals. In general, one must aim to minimize the number of plugins on the WordPress site to a bare minimum, as this significantly reduces the possibility of being attacked and hacked in the first place.

Pegasus Spyware Reportedly Hacked iPhones of U.S. State Department & Diplomats

 

An unidentified party used NSO Group's Pegasus spyware to attack the Apple iPhones of at least nine US State Department officials, as per a report published Friday by Reuters. 

After receiving a query about the incident, NSO Group indicated in an email to The Register that it had barred an unnamed customer's access to its system, but it has yet to determine whether its software was engaged. 

An NSO spokesperson told The Register in an email, "Once the inquiry was received, and before any investigation under our compliance policy, we have decided to immediately terminate relevant customers’ access to the system, due to the severity of the allegations." 

"To this point, we haven’t received any information nor the phone numbers, nor any indication that NSO’s tools were used in this case." 

The Israel-based firm, which was recently sanctioned by the US for reportedly selling intrusion software to repressive regimes and is being sued by Apple and Meta's (Facebook's) WhatsApp for allegedly assisting the hacking of their customers, says it will work cooperatively with any relevant government authority and share what it learns from its investigation. 

NSO's spokesperson stated, “To clarify, the installation of our software by the customer occurs via phone numbers. As stated before, NSO’s technologies are blocked from working on US (+1) numbers. Once the software is sold to the licensed customer, NSO has no way to know who the targets of the customers are, as such, we were not and could not have been aware of this case." 

According to Reuters, the impacted State Department officials were situated in Uganda or were focused on Ugandan issues, therefore their phone numbers had a foreign nation prefix rather than a US prefix. When Apple launched its complaint against the NSO Group on November 23rd, the iPhone maker also stated that it will tell iPhone customers who have been the target of state-sponsored hacking. On the same day, Norbert Mao, a communist, was assassinated. On the same day, Norbert Mao, a lawyer and the President of Uganda's Democratic Party, tweeted that he'd gotten an Apple threat notification. 

According to the Washington Post, NSO's Pegasus software was involved in the attempted or accomplished hacking of 37 phones linked to journalists and rights activists, including two women connected to Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The findings contradicted NSO Group's claims that their software was only licenced for battling terrorists and law enforcement, according to the report. 

The NSO Group released its 2021 Transparency and Responsibility Report [PDF] the same month, insisting that its software is only used against groups with few sympathisers, such as terrorists, criminals, and pedophiles. 

Several reports from cybersecurity research and human rights organisations, not to mention UN, EU, and US claims about the firm, have disputed that assertion. The US State Department refused The Register's request for confirmation of the Reuters claim but said the agency takes its obligation to protect its data seriously. They were also told that the Biden-Harris administration is seeking to limit the use of repressive digital tools.

Israeli Company Spyware Targets US Department Phones

 

According to four individuals familiar with the situation, the iPhones of at least nine U.S. State Department workers had been compromised by an unidentified man using advanced spyware produced by the Israel-based NSO Group. 

The attacks, which occurred in the previous few months, targeted U.S. officials who were either based in Uganda or focused on issues about the East African country, according to two of the sources. 

The attacks, which were first revealed here, are the most extensive known hacks of US officials using NSO technology. Earlier, a database of numbers with prospective targets that included certain American leaders surfaced in NSO reporting, although it was unclear if incursions were always attempted or successful. 

NSO Group stated in a statement that it had no evidence that its tools had been used, but that it had canceled access for the relevant clients and therefore would investigate. 

"If our investigation shall show these actions indeed happened with NSO's tools, such customer will be terminated permanently and legal actions will take place," said an NSO spokesperson, who added that NSO will also "cooperate with any relevant government authority and present the full information we will have." 

NSO has always stated that it exclusively sells its products to government law enforcement and intelligence agencies to assist them in monitoring security concerns and that it is not intimately associated with surveillance operations. 

A State Department official refused to respond to the intrusions and pointed to the Commerce Department's recent decision to place the Israeli corporation on an entity list, making it more difficult for US businesses to do business with them. 

NSO Group and another spyware firm were "added to the Entity List based on a determination that they developed and supplied spyware to foreign governments that used this tool to maliciously target government officials, journalists, business people, activists, academics, and embassy workers," the Commerce Department said in an announcement last month. 

According to product instructions reviewed by Reuters, the NSO application is capable of not just stealing encrypted messages, images, and other confidential material from compromised phones, but also turning them into recording devices to watch their surroundings. 

The developer of the spyware employed in this hack was not named in Apple's advisory to affected consumers. According to two of the people who were alerted by Apple, the victims included American residents who were easily identified as U.S. government officials because they paired email addresses ending in state.gov with their Apple IDs. 

According to the sources, they and other victims alerted by Apple in multiple countries have been affected by the same graphics processing vulnerability. 

The Israeli embassy in Washington stated in a statement that targeting American officials would be a major violation of its norms. 

"Cyber products like the one mentioned are supervised and licensed to be exported to governments only for purposes related to counter-terrorism and severe crimes," an embassy spokesperson said. "The licensing provisions are very clear and if these claims are true, it is a severe violation of these provisions."

Google to Pay $31,337 to Hackers for Linux Kernel Exploitation

 

Google reportedly is rewarding the bug bounty hunters who uncovered and exploited privilege escalation bugs in the Linux kernel. 

Google intends to pay US$31,337 for privilege escalation attacks based on a previously fixed vulnerability, and $50,337 for a zero-day kernel issue or perhaps a unique exploitation approach during the following three months. 

These amount to a treble of Google's bug bounty payouts and are intended to incentivize hackers to reveal zero-day exploits or mitigation bypasses for Linux kernel flaws with significant security repercussions. 

Google is continually investing in the security of the Linux Kernel since it is critical to the safety of the internet and Google—from the gadgets in your pockets to the services running on Kubernetes in the cloud. Researchers investigate its flaws and attacks, as well as examine and improve its defenses. 

“We hope the new rewards will encourage the security community to explore new Kernel exploitation techniques to achieve privilege escalation and drive quicker fixes for these vulnerabilities,” Google said in a note announcing the program. 

Google stated that the base price for exploiting a publicly fixed vulnerability is $31,337 (at most one exploit for every vulnerability), with the payout increasing to $50,337 in two cases: 

  • If the bug in the Kernel was somewhat unpatched (0day). 
  • If Google determines that the exploit employs a novel attack or approach. 

Google is managing the new rewards in a specific CTF-style lab environment, and the simplest exploitation primitives are not available owing to strengthening done on Container-Optimized OS. According to the business, the initiative supplements the existing Android vulnerability rewards program, so exploits that operate on Android may also be considered for up to $250,000.

The Hacker who Stole $16 Million of Indexed Finance, Gets Identified

 

Indexed Finance, decentralized finance (DeFi) technology that enables token holders to monitor market indices, has identified the attacker who stole their $16 million. 

On Thursday, October 14th, the DeFi protocol stated that it had been the victim of a flash loan attack in which the attacker stole $16 million. The attacker reportedly created new tokens valued for millions after overloading the system with fresh assets and causing price fluctuations. 

The Indexed team stated in a post-attack statement that the breach "was a pretty devastating one" and damaged the DEFI5 and CC10 indexes. The address utilized to take the cash, according to the investigation report, was 0xba5ed1488be60ba2facc6b66c6d6f0befba22ebe. 

Indexed Finance urged the attacker to retain 10% of the cash and refund the remainder within hours after the attack. However, once this deadline passed and an ultimatum to refund 100 percent of the stolen monies passed, the team stated that it had established connections that identified the hacker.

The team went on to explain that, while the attack was initially overlooked, investigations revealed that the attacker funded their wallet with accounts at crypto exchanges FTX and Kraken. Both exchanges required users to perform know your customer checks, which Indexed Finance was able to examine to identify the person behind the $16 million crime. 

"In the minutes before the deadline elapsed, @ZetaZeroes made changes to his accounts that have made us realize at the last minute that the attacker is significantly younger than we thought," the protocol wrote. 

Until the hacker's identity has been determined, Indexed Finance has placed a "hold" on disclosing any more information whereas an internal discussion on how best to proceed considering the hacker's age takes place. 

Nevertheless, the NDX coin is still under pressure in the marketplace, having dropped by 7% in the last week due to the attack. Currently, the token was trading at roughly $2.65 per US dollar with a -2.11% drop.

25-Yr Old Hacker Detained by Ukraine Police

 

Following a collaborative international law enforcement investigation, two ransomware syndicates were apprehended in Ukraine. On Sept. 28, police investigators from Ukraine, the United States, and France arrested a 25-year-old hacker in Kyiv to put an end to a large cybercrime incident that cost more than $150 million worldwide. 

According to authorities, the suspect allegedly sought a ransom in turn of the victims' stolen information as of Oct. 4. The hacker is thought to have obtained this information by sending malware-infected phishing emails to workers of the organizations he targeted. 

As per the authorities, the cybercriminal, who hadn't been recognized, attacked over 100 enterprises in Europe and the United States, including world-famous energy and tourism companies. Europol noted that the hacker had a co-conspirator who assisted him in withdrawing funds from victims. 

Law enforcement investigators discovered and seized $375,000 in cash, two luxury automobiles, computers, and smartphones in the suspect's Scandinavian-styled Kyiv flat. 

Since virtual transactions are difficult to track, hackers frequently demand ransom in cryptocurrencies. Following inspections of the criminal's flat, authorities discovered that the Ukrainian cyber-criminal had over $1.3 million in cryptocurrencies in his possession. According to the authorities, he might face up to twelve years behind bars for breaching cybercrime and money laundering rules. 

"As a result, computer equipment, mobile phones, vehicles, and more than 360 thousand dollars in cash were seized. In addition, $1.3 million was blocked on the attacker's cryptocurrencies," the police said. 

Hackers from Ukraine and Russia rarely attack systems and networks in their nations, instead preferring to infect computers in Western Europe and the United States. Ukrainian cybercriminals are typically young, between the ages of 15 and 30, with no criminal history as well as a strong command of computer technology and mathematics. Their monthly income starts at $5,000, which is significantly higher than the $2,000 that tech experts in Ukraine might earn. 

Authorities all across the world are attempting to reverse the trend of ransomware assaults, which have become a lucrative business in recent years. Hackers, who are mostly from Eastern Europe, attack international companies, universities, government agencies, and even crucial infrastructures such as hospitals and gas stations.

Internet Browser Vulnerabilities Exploited by North Korean Hackers to Implant Malware

 

A threat actor from North Korea has indeed been found exploiting two flaws in the Internet Explorer to attack individuals with a specialized implant, targeting a South Korean online daily newspaper as a component of strategic web compromise (SWC). 

Volexity, a cybersecurity firm, has accredited these attacks and operations to a threat actor recognized by the name InkySquid also better known by the monikers ScarCruft and APT37. It is indeed a widely known North Korean hackers' body. Daily NK — the publication of concern, is believed to have been host to the malevolent code from at least the end of March 2021 to early June 2021. 

InkySquid, the infamous North Korean hacker group has been leveraging the vulnerability since 2020 to upload falsified Javascript code that is usually buried within the genuine code in cyberattacks against an Internet Explorer browser. 

However, according to security researchers, earlier in April this year, Volexity identified a suspicious code loaded via www.dailynk[.]com onto unlawful jquery[.]services subdomains. There are two types of URLs identified, which are listed below:

  • hxxps://www.dailynk[.]com/wp-includes/js/jquery/jquery.min.js?ver=3.5.1
  • hxxps://www.dailynk[.]com/wp-includes/js/jquery/jquery-migrate.min.js?ver=3.3.2 

Further, Volexity experts have noted that the "clever disguise of exploit code amongst legitimate code" as well as the usage of bespoke malware allows attackers to escape detection. 

These attacks involved manipulating the jQuery JavaScript libraries on the website to serve further obscured code from a remote URL and use it to abuse the exploits of two Internet Explorer vulnerabilities that were addressed by Microsoft in August 2020 and March 2021. A Cobalt Strike stagger, as well as the BLUELIGHT new backdoor, have successfully been deployed. 

  • CVE-2020-1380 (CVSS score: 7.5) - Scripting Engine Memory Corruption Vulnerability 
  • CVE-2021-26411 (CVSS score: 8.8) - Internet Explorer Memory Corruption Vulnerability 

It must be mentioned that both the vulnerabilities were actively leveraged in the wild by the North Korean hackers using them to target security scientists working in research and development on vulnerabilities in an operation that was uncovered earlier in January. 

After the timely implementation of the Cobalt Strike, BLUELIGHT is employed as a secondary payload, as a full-featured remote access technique that allows total access to an affected system. 

Along with obtaining system metadata and antivirus product information, malware can execute shellcodes, collect cookies and credentials through Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, and Google Chrome browsers, acquire files, and install arbitrary runs that are exfiltrated to a remote server.

OTP Generating Firm at a Risk, as Hacker Claims to have Sold its Sensitive Data

 

A hacker seems to sell confidential information that is claimed to have been robbed from an OTP firm. And this OTP firm perhaps has some of the most prominent technology and business giants on its customer's board list which includes Google, Facebook, Amazon, Emirates, Apple, Microsoft, Signal, Telegram, and Twitter, etc. 

A one-time password ( OTP ), also called a one-time pin or dynamic password is a legitimate password on something like a computer system, or even on a digital device, for a single login or transaction. Besides, the very same hacker claims to also have real-time access to the company's OTP device. The InfoSec researcher, Rajshekar Rajaharia, however, didn’t agree with the hacker behind the identification of such a suspected breach. 

“The seller was active on the dark web forum for a long time claiming to sell live access to OTP and 2FA but from what we have seen there are some chances that the data might be old as we have found some clues that changes have been made with dates. Nevertheless, we are still investigating because data seems real otherwise,” stated Rajaharia. 

Rajaharia also provided sample information with confirmation of the presence of one-time codes and even if not all of them are currently available or legitimate, a purchaser might find valuable work throughout the platform and its policies. It offered 50GB of exfiltrated data, among several other details. The cost of access was reduced from $18,000 to $5,000 for the introductory mark. Though the name of the company is listed in the listing, for security purposes it is considered unethical to disclose it. 

Other details included in the selling package are PII, including SMS logs, mobile numbers, e-mail addresses, SMPP details, customer documentation, and much more. Since 2017, the data itself is comprehensive. The seller switched the listing from the dark web marketplace to Telegram, as per the latest revelation, where sales were continued, however, the number of buyers was unknown. Also, 10 million OTPs appear in the data packs. 

The company in conversation refused all data infringement charges by claiming that perhaps the systems were as stable as ever and it could not verify the authenticity of the alleged data. 

Also, the National Stock Exchange of India received a letter from them, which reads, “We would like to highlight that unverified posts and claims are being circulated about an alleged data breach at [company’s name retracted]. Based on the evidence we have seen thus far, it is not from any of our current systems, and therefore we cannot verify the authenticity of the alleged data breach.” 

However, the company stated that they were engaged with an expert in a third party to support them in its system audit, so it would be noticed and uprooted if there was a web shell in there.

The User Data of Swarmshop Card Shop has been Leaked Online

 

The details of the Swarmshop Darknet payment card market have been removed for the second time in two years and published on a competing underground website. The breach includes all of Swarmshop's records and all the data exchanged on the platform with the stolen credit card. 

Group-IB, the global threat chasing business, has detected that Swarmshop credit card shop consumer data was leaked on the internet on 17 March 2021. As per the Group IB, details of 623,036 bank cards provided by banks in the US, Canada, United Kingdom, China, Singapore, France, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, and Mexico have been dumped into the Swarmshop dump. 

Though recently, Swarmshop Carding Store seems to have been a common, illegal digital shopping market where cybercriminals were permitted to sell and buy stolen card and banking information. However, it remains unclear as to who has extracted this information, or how and when. The leak revealed massive amounts of data comprising data on four website operators, 90 sellers, and 12,250 purchasers. The researchers have written, "The dump included criminals' nicknames, hashed passwords and account balance and contact details for some entries.” 

The researchers also found that “498 sets of online banking account credentials and 69,592 sets of US Social Security Numbers and Canadian Social Insurance Numbers.” 

The one who breached Swarmshop did not warn the hacker and only sent a message with a connection to the database. At first, the administrators of the Card Shop claimed that the information was linked to a prior breach of the platform by a hacker in January 2020. However, their passwords were requested to be modified. Group-IB reviewed the current dump and found it fresh based on the most recent timestamps for user operation. 

“While underground forums get hacked from time to time, card shop breaches do not happen very often,” Dmitry Volkov, Group-IB’s CTO, said in a statement. “In addition to buyers’ and sellers’ data, such breaches expose massive amounts of compromised payment and personal information of regular users.” 

For decades, hackers have hacked other hackers. It seems quite simple for them to gain access to new hacking instruments, dumps, cards, PII, and value products than to hack people who steal them first of all. It is not surprising that Swarmshop has been successfully breached several times. Like everybody else, cybercriminals have security problems. It only shows that cybersecurity is a hard issue regardless of who you are. 

In Swarmshop's case, researchers seem to think that the attack is yet another criminal's business. About one year ago, a set of information has also been compromised. The site underwent a similar attack. No matter who is responsible, researchers believe that the breach would affect Swarmshop's position on cybercrime.

Top VPN Provider Zyxel Hacked, Here's a Quick Look into the Security Incident

 

Technology and networking have turned out to be the need of the hour and we must also be equally qualified to operate networking devices. One such innovation-oriented and customer-focused company is Zyxel. The network equipment company offers routers, gateways, security solutions along with several other services to make communication simpler and uninterrupted. One of the company's main services also includes providing VPN services to its patrons. Recently, the aforesaid communications corp. became a swift target for hackers because of undetected flaws in the networking devices and their VPN. 

Headquartered in Hsinchu, Taiwan Zyxel is a networking hardware company, focused on providing devices with eHome Shield that is geared up by F-Secure to give lasting protection against cybercriminals worldwide and other potential threats as well. It's a wide known fact how hackers employ specialized programming to easily break through the firewall of networking devices and access the other smart home gadgets and devices running on the compromised connection – for instance, Smart TVs, Mobile Phones, Laptops, etc. 

A while ago, an association of some cybersecurity researchers of a Dutch firm named 'Eye Control' discovered a prospective damaging the security of the system and a popular VPN solution and networking agency, Zyxel, making it more vulnerable. 

Although Zyxel has produced and transported some hundred thousand highly encrypted devices with zero percent of compromising security still it malfunctioned. This vulnerability was later confirmed by the firm itself. 

Now the question that arises is what happened and how did the hackers manage to enter the encrypted system of such a big firm with ease? 

According to the cybersecurity researchers, the backdoor account of Zyxel devices and VPN uses a username and password that were completely visible in the plain text within the Zyxel system binaries, that were running firmware version 4.60, patch 0. These credentials allowed hackers to completely access the confidential information of the users of Zyxel devices. 

After further investigation, the team of researchers concluded that the hundred thousand devices that were affected by the vulnerability were because of the latest version of the firmware update 4.60, patch 0. The Zyxel devices affected by the vulnerability included the Advanced Threat Protection series of devices, the company’s NCX series of devices, its VPN of Gateways, and a few more. 

The company has already issued new patches for the Advanced Threat Protection series (ATP), Unified Security Gateway (USG), USG Flex, and VPN series. Alongside, it has also affirmed that it would release another patch for the remaining compromised devices like the WLAN access point controller, NCX series, etc., and will launch its new update around April for better fixation of devices and safety. Till then it has requested its consumers to download the available new patches with the latest updates for the devices to ensure their safety. 

Teen hacker-for-hire jailed for SIM-swapping attacks, data theft


A British teenager has been sentenced to 20 months in prison after offering hacker-for-hire services to cash in on trends including SIM-swapping attacks.

The UK's Norfolk police force said that 19-year-old Elliot Gunton, of Norwich, was sentenced at Norwich Crown Court on Friday after pleading guilty to hacking offenses. money laundering, the hacking of an Australian Instagram account, and the breach of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

In April 2018, a routine visit was conducted to Gunton's home with respect to the Sexual Harm Prevention Order that was imposed in 2016 for past offenses.

During the inspection, law enforcement found software which indicated the teenager may be involved in cybercrime, and the further investigation of a laptop belonging to Gunton and seized by police revealed that he had been offering himself as a provider of hacking services.

Specifically, Gunton offered to supply stolen personal information to those that hired him. This information, which could include personally identifiable information (PII) such as names, addresses, and online account details, could then be used to commit fraud and SIM-swapping attacks.

The theft and sale of PII is a commonplace occurrence today. However, SIM-swapping attacks are a relatively new phenomenon.

In order to conduct a SIM-swap, a fraudster will obtain some PII from a target and then call up their telephone subscription provider while pretending to be the true owner of the account. Social engineering then comes into the mix to convince the operator to switch the telephone number belonging to the victim to the attacker's control.

It might only be a short window in which the victim does not realize their number has been transferred, but this time frame can be enough for an attacker to bypass two-factor authentication (2FA), intercept calls and text messages, request password resets, and compromise online accounts ranging from email addresses to cryptocurrency wallets.

Hacker ordered to pay back £922k

A hacker who carried out cyber attacks on more than 100 companies has been ordered to pay back £922,978.14 of cryptocurrency.

Grant West had been jailed for fraud after carrying out attacks on brands such as Sainsbury's, Uber and Argos.

A police investigation, codename "Operation Draba", uncovered West's activity on the dark web under the moniker of "Courvoisier".

The confiscation order was made during a hearing at Southwark Crown Court.

West, from Sheerness, Kent, used phishing email scams to obtain the financial data of tens of thousands of customers.

He would then sell this personal data in different market places on the dark web, convert the profit made from selling financial details online into cryptocurrency, and store these in multiple accounts.

West, of Ashcroft Caravan Park, was jailed in May at Southwark Crown Court for 10 years and eight months.

Detectives had discovered evidence of West conducting cyber attacks on the websites of 17 major firms.

Following West's arrest, approximately £1m in cryptocurrency was seized from a number of his accounts. Taking currency fluctuations into account the currency is today valued at £922, 978.14.

The cryptocurrency will now be sold and the victims will receive compensation.

As well as financial data, he also sold cannabis which he shipped to customers, and "how to" guides instructing others how to carry out cyber attacks.

West also regularly used stolen credit card details to pay for items for himself, including holidays, food, shopping and household goods. West admitted conspiracy to defraud, possession of criminal property, unauthorised modification of computer material and various drugs offences.

Vulnerability in DHCP client let hackers take control of network

A critical remote code execution vulnerability that resides in the DHCP client allows attackers to take control of the system by sending malicious DHCP reply packets.

A Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) Client allows a device to act as a host requesting-configuration parameter, such as an IP address from a DHCP server and the DHCP client can be configured on Ethernet interfaces.

In order to join a client to the network, the packer required to have all the TCP/IP configuration information during DHCP Offer and DHCP Ack.

DHCP protocol works as a client-server model, and it is responsible to dynamically allocate the IP address if the user connects with internet also the DHCP server will be responsible for distributing the IP address to the DHCP client.

This vulnerability will execution the remote code on the system that connected with vulnerable DHCP client that tries to connect with a rogue DHCP server.

Vulnerability Details The remote code execution vulnerability exactly resides in the function of dhcpcore.dll called “DecodeDomainSearchListData” which is responsible for decodes the encoded search list option field value.

During the decoding process, the length of the decoded domain name list will be calculated by the function and allocate the memory and copy the decoded list.

According to McAfee research, A malicious user can create an encoded search list, such that when DecodeDomainSearchListData function decodes, the resulting length is zero. This will lead to heapalloc with zero memory, resulting in an out-of-bound write.

The vulnerability has been patched, and it can be tracked as CVE-2019-0547, The patch includes a check which ensures the size argument to HeapAlloc is not zero. If zero, the function exits.

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Bulgaria’s tax agency hacker released

A cybersecurity expert accused of hacking the data of more than 5 million Bulgarian taxpayers was released by police Wednesday after his charges were downgraded.

Kristian Boykov, a 20-year-old Bulgarian cybersecurity worker, was arrested in Bulgaria's capital Sofia last week in connection to the breach. Police raided his home and seized computers and mobile devices with encrypted information. The hacker was found by police through the computer and software used in the attack, according to the Sofia prosecutor's office.

Due to his work, which involves testing computer networks for potential vulnerabilities, some believe Boykov is a "white hat hacker" — a hacker that breaks into computer networks to expose vulnerabilities and push for the weaknesses to be fixed.

He has made news in Bulgaria before. In 2017, he hacked the Bulgarian education ministry's website to expose its vulnerabilities. In a television interview, he described the work as "fulfilling my civic duty."

Sofia prosecutors claim they tracked one of the stolen files from the latest data breach to a username used by Boykov. Boykov and his lawyer reject the allegations against him and say he was not involved in the incident.

The hack of the nation's tax agency database is believed to be the largest data breach in Bulgaria's history. Nearly every working adult in Bulgaria was impacted. In a country of 7 million, more than 5 million people had personal data such as social security information, addresses, incomes and names leaked and made easily accessible on the Internet.

Boykov was initially charged with a computer crime against critical infrastructure, with a maximum sentence of eight years in jail. Those charges were dropped and he was given a lesser charge of crime against information systems, which has a maximum jail sentence of three years.

The initial hack is believed to have happened in June. The breach remained undetected until an email from a Russian email address was sent to Bulgarian news outlets last week claiming responsibility for the attack. In the email, the sender claimed to be a Russian hacker, gave downloadable links to the stolen information and mocked Bulgaria's cybersecurity efforts.

Instagram account can be easily hacked, finds hacker

A professional hacker discovered what he considered a fairly simple way to seize control of any Instagram user's account. Fortunately for the site's 500 million active daily users, he told Instagram exactly how it could be done.

Laxman Muthiyah is a professional bounty hunter. Not the kind who tracks down bail jumpers, mind you. He uses his hacking skills to collect bug bounties, money companies pay to hackers who find and report vulnerabilities in their software.

Muthiyah found the account-breaking bug in the mobile version of Instagram's password reset system. When a user wants to reset his or her password, Instagram tries to validate their identity by sending a 6-digit code to a recovery phone number.

A six-digit code is child's play for a hacker with any amount of computing power at their disposal, which is why Instagram has a system in place that can detect brute-force attacks. Muthiyah found that out of 1,000 attempts around 75% were blocked.

By creating a race condition -- a nasty situation that occurs when a computer tries to process multiple requests at the same time -- and making attempts from a huge number of IP addresses -- Muthiyah was able to do an end run around Instagram's brute force blocker.

He bombarded Instagram with 200,000 codes from 1,000 different IP addresses. That might sound like a Herculean task, but Muthiyah notes that it's actually quite simple using cloud-based tools.

In his estimation it would have cost about $150 to reset anyone's password.

Gaining control of an account with hundreds of thousands -- or even millions -- of followers is well worth the investment. It provides an opportunity to spam users with links to infected downloads or phishing pages from an account they are likely to trust.

There's no telling how many unsuspecting fans would've blindly clicked a malicious link posted from a celeb's verified IG account. It's quite possible that a major incident was avoided thanks to Muthiyah's hard work and Facebook's (which owns Instagram) rapid deployment of a fix.

Hacker uses a nanocomputer to steal NASA data

It wasn’t a good day for NASA when an unidentified cyber-attacker was able to steal 500 MB of mission data, through a Raspberry Pi nanocomputer.

First introduced by the charity Raspberry Pi Foundation in 2012, the Raspberry Pi is a credit-card sized device intended for the general public, young and old, beginners and amateurs. It is sold for about $35 that plugs into home televisions and is used mainly to teach coding to children and promote computing in developing countries.

The Raspberry Pi organization has just announced the release of the fourth generation of its budget desktop PC, the completely re-engineered Raspberry Pi 4.

The April 2018 attack went undetected for nearly a year, according to an audit report issued on June 18, and an investigation is still underway to find the culprit.

The hacker infiltrated into NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory network and stole sensitive data and forced the temporary disconnection of space-flight systems, the agency has revealed.

Prior to detection, the attacker was able to exfiltrate 23 files amounting to approximately 500 megabytes of data, the report from NASA’s Office of inspector General said.

These included two restricted files from the Mars Science Laboratory mission, which handles the Curiosity Rover, and information relating to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations which restrict the export of US defense and military technologies.

“More importantly, the attacker successfully accessed two of the three primary JPL networks,” the report said.

"Officials were concerned the cyberattackers could move laterally from the gateway into their mission systems, potentially gaining access and initiating malicious signals to human space flight missions that use those systems."

NASA came to question the integrity of its Deep Space Network data “and temporarily disconnected several space flight-related systems from the JPL network.”