Weekend Update

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

IRS Warns of New Email Scam

Original release date: August 23, 2019

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued a warning about a new email scam in which malicious cyber actors send unsolicited emails to taxpayers from fake (i.e., spoofed) IRS email addresses. The emails contain a link to a spoofed IRS.gov website that displays fake details about the targeted recipient’s tax refund, return, or account. The emails instruct the recipient to access their refund information by entering a provided password on the spoofed website. By entering the password, the victim unintentionally downloads malware that could enable the malicious cyber actors to take control of the affected system or obtain sensitive information.

WannaCry hero avoids prison

No good dead goes unpunished.  Marcus Hutchins, known as @MalwareTechBlog on Twitter, and who was credited with creating a “kill switch” for WannaCry, was arrested in 2017 in Las Vegas after attending DEF CON. British-born Hutchins has remained in the US on bail ever since. He has been spared jail over malware charges.

Vulnerabilities in Multiple VPN Applications

Original release date: July 26, 2019

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is aware of vulnerabilities affecting multiple Virtual Private Network (VPN) applications. A remote attacker could exploit these vulnerabilities to take control of an affected system. CISA encourages administrators to review the following security advisories and apply the necessary updates:

EvilGnome – Linux malware aimed at your laptop, not your servers

It happened to Apple, and now Linux sees a malware exploit.  EvilGnome was written to target the comparatively small but committed community who use Linux on their laptops.

Microsoft Nabs Russian Hackers Exploiting Flimsy IOT Security

Week after week we’ve documented how internet of things devices are being built with both privacy and security as a distant afterthought, resulting in everything from your television to your refrigerator creating both new attack vectors and wonderful new surveillance opportunities for hackers and state actors. And CIA leaks have indeed confirmed that “smart” TVs and other devices with embedded microphones make for wonderful surveillance tools.

So it’s not too surprising to see Microsoft’s Security Response Center proclaim this week that it has caught Russian hacking group “Strontium” (aka Fancy Bear and APT28) using poorly secured printers, VoIP phones, and video decoders to gain access to sensitive networks. As is usually the case, Microsoft found that once these devices’ security was bypassed (often an easy feat given there’s sometimes little to no security measures in place), they were able to use them as a beach head to gain broader access to the networks they were connected to…[more]

Ring Is Teaching Cops How To Obtain Doorbell Camera Footage Without A Warrant

To be part of your local law enforcement’s surveillance network, all you need is a little tech from Amazon. Amazon’s Ring doorbell/camera is being handed out to cops, who can then give them to citizens with the implication the recipients of this corporate/government largess will deliver recordings upon request.

Google removes option to disable Nest cams’ status light

It’s more of a “post-purchase middle finger” to customers than a privacy plus, say some outraged users who use the cams to catch crooks.

Firefox fixes “master password” security bypass bug

The bug’s in Firefox, but our advice is worth reading whether you use Firefox or not



About the Author:

I am a cybersecurity and IT instructor, cybersecurity analyst, pen-tester, trainer, and speaker. I am an owner of the WyzCo Group Inc. In addition to consulting on security products and services, I also conduct security audits, compliance audits, vulnerability assessments and penetration tests. I also teach Cybersecurity Awareness Training classes. I work as an information technology and cybersecurity instructor for several training and certification organizations. I have worked in corporate, military, government, and workforce development training environments I am a frequent speaker at professional conferences such as the Minnesota Bloggers Conference, Secure360 Security Conference in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, the (ISC)2 World Congress 2016, and the ISSA International Conference 2017, and many local community organizations, including Chambers of Commerce, SCORE, and several school districts. I have been blogging on cybersecurity since 2006 at http://wyzguyscybersecurity.com
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