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IT Security Newsletter

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IT Security Newsletter - 2/3/2020


Advanced Obfuscation Marks Widespread Info-Stealing Campaign

A large-scale spam campaign bent on spreading info-stealing malware is applying advanced obfuscation techniques to get around security scanning and maximize infection rates. According to Lastline researchers, a large botnet is distributing malicious rich text format (RTF) documents that act as downloaders for well-known info-stealers, such as Agent Tesla or LokiBot.

Wuhan coronavirus exploited to deliver malware, phishing, hoaxes

The Wuhan coronavirus continues to spread and create anxiety across the globe, allowing malicious individuals and groups to exploit the situation to spread fake news, malware and phishing emails. IBM X-Force says that Japanese users have been receiving fake notifications about the coronavirus spreading in several prefectures, purportedly sent by a disability welfare service provider and a public health center.

Travelex hobbles back online, one month after ransomware hit it hard

Precisely one month ago, foreign currency exchange service Travelex was hit hard by ransomware. The firm was hit by the ransomware attack on New Year’s Eve, knocking out its own systems and preventing other banks including Barclays, HSBC, Sainsbury’s Bank, First Direct, and Virgin Money from offering online currency services. It’s been a long and sometimes painful journey, and Travelex’s communication strategy during the crisis was less than stellar, but its online presence is beginning to look a little more professional.


Iowa Prosecutors Drop Charges Against Men Hired to Test Their Security

On Sept. 11, 2019, two security experts at a company that had been hired by the state of Iowa to test the physical and network security of its judicial system were arrested while probing the security of an Iowa county courthouse, jailed in orange jumpsuits, charged with burglary, and held on $100,000 bail. On Thursday Jan. 30, prosecutors in Iowa announced they had dropped the criminal charges. The news came while KrebsOnSecurity was conducting a video interview with the two accused (featured below).


Ashley Madison Breach Returns with Extortion Campaign

Five years after a huge data breach at extramarital affair website Ashley Madison gave criminals access to the credentials of roughly 32 million users, some victims are being hit once again, this time with a highly personalized extortion attempt. The extortion message includes detailed personal and financial information on the victim and demands a Bitcoin payment (the equivalent of $1,000 on up) to ensure that incriminating details won't be shared with friends, family, and employers.


Sodinokibi Ransomware Group Sponsors Hacking Contest

White hats aren’t alone in holding hacking contests. Russian-language cybercriminals are known for running similar competitions on underground forums. However, an analysis of Dark Web activity has uncovered a trend towards offering increasingly high-stakes prizes during such battles. At the same time, increasingly sophisticated participants are throwing their hats into the mix — notably, the operators behind the Sodinokibi (a.k.a. REvil) ransomware.


'Hack' Creates Fake Google Maps Traffic Jams With 99 Cell Phones

A German artist illustrated how it is possible to create a virtual traffic jam in Google Maps. Google Maps utilizes GPS and location data from mobile devices to determine if there is traffic congestion on a particular street. The app will then redirect users to less trafficked streets to avoid traffic. Using a hand cart filled with 99 active cell phones connected to Google Maps, artist Simon Weckert showed how he could create fake traffic jams in Google Maps simply by walking around the streets of Berlin.