Weekend Update

A quick Saturday digest of cybersecurity news articles from other sources.


US-CERT: Alert (TA17-181A) Petya Ransomware

Systems Affected

Microsoft Windows operating systems

Overview

This Alert has been updated to reflect the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center’s (NCCIC) analysis of the “NotPetya” malware variant.

The scope of this Alert’s analysis is limited to the newest Petya malware variant that ...

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How Hard Is It To Become A Cyber-Criminal?

According to a recent article on Naked Security, not at all hard.  While at Black Hat in Las Vegas, researchers from Sophos gave a presentation that dissected the “Philadelphia” ransom software as a service (SaaS) model.

Anyone can buy the Philadelphia ransomware kit on the Dark Web for $400.  And for this nominal investment, the would-be attacker gets a simple executable file that sets up the whole system automatically. ...

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Will Artificial Intelligence Beat Real Intelligence?

One of the persistent memes that interest me is the impending event sometimes known as “the singularity.”  This is a probable future where our electronic devices become self-aware and fully autonomous.  We see the beginnings of this happening all around us in devices like Amazon’s Alexa and Echo, The Nest and Google communities of smart devices, self-driving vehicles, and all the Internet of Things (IoT) devices that listen to ...

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Email Account Hijacking – Part 3 Extending the Exploit

On Monday and Wednesday we looked at email account hijacking, how it happens, and what can happen after the account is controlled by an attacker.  Today we will see how an attacker could use the beachhead they established in your email account to extend their intrusion.

They have already proven that you are susceptible to phishing and other social engineering exploits.  So sending the victim other phishing emails that allow more access ...

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Latvian Cyber Crook Extradited for 2010 Star Tribune Malvertising Exploit

Back in February 2010, the Minneapolis StarTribune website was the victim of a malvertising exploit.  Visitors to the Strib website would download malware that caused the computer to become slow and malfunction.  Then a pop-up window would appear that advised the visitor that their computer was infected with malware, and the purchase of a $49.95 anti-malware product would solve the problem.  I remember working on the computers of several clients who ...

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Ransomware is not Dead Yet

Toward the end of last year I made a pair of bold predictions.  The first, that ransomware exploits would start declining, because anti-malware software companies were bringing products online that would prevent the encryption from taking place.  The second, there would be an increase in Business Email Compromise (BEC) exploits, as cyber-criminals turned to new income streams.  I was only half right.

BEC exploits have increased, because the potential returns are so ...

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New PowerPoint Exploit Launches on Hover

A new exploit that uses a PowerPoint feature that enables “mouse-over actions.”  This feature allows a PowerPoint slide show to initiate activity without having to actually click on a link.  Just hovering on a link is enough to advance to the next step.  Since we have been teaching people for years to reveal a link destination by hovering over a link to show the top tip box, this exploit would take ...

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Android Game Hides Crypto-Ransomware Exploit

There is a new encryption ransomware exploit hiding inside a spoofed copy of the popular Chinese game “King of Glory.”  Right now, this malware is affecting users in China, but it is a matter of time before another cyber-criminal group modifies it for English speaking victims.

This game is available on international gaming forums, and is being spread when gamers download a copy to ...

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This Will Make You Wanna Cry

A post about an alert I received first from AlienVault, and then from everybody.  There is a new crypto-ransomware variant called Wanna Cry that is taking advantage of a recent Microsoft vulnerability that was patched back on March 14.  If your computers have not been updated with MS17-010, then those computers are vulnerable.  Microsoft considers this vulnerability significant enough to release it for Windows XP, even though official support ended over two ...

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