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IT Security Newsletter - 4/30/2021


Top News

NSA warns defense contractors to double check connections in light of Russian hacking

The National Security Agency warned defense contractors in a memo on Thursday to reexamine the security of the connections between their operational technology and information technology in light of recent alleged Russian hacking. The alert is meant to convince operational technology (OT) owners and operators in the defense industrial base to limit the scope and scale of any potential attack surface for U.S. adversaries to exploit, the NSA said in the alert. READ MORE...

Multi-Gov Task Force Plans to Take Down the Ransomware Economy

Ransomware has reached crisis levels across business sectors and across the globe, but a public-private Ransomware Task Force aims to stem the tide of attacks by disrupting the crooks' business model. The Institute for Security and Technology (IST) put together the coalition, which includes more than 60 members from software companies, government agencies, cybersecurity vendors, financial services companies, nonprofits and academic institutions. READ MORE...


COVID-19 Results for 25% of Wyoming Accidentally Posted Online

The Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) said on Wednesday it accidentally posted COVID test results of state residents onto their public-facing storage buckets. The WDH said in a public advisory that an employee fumbled the health information of about 164,021 Wyoming residents and of people from other states as early as Nov. 5. The department learned about the data exposure on March 10. The 2020 census showed that Wyoming has about 577,000 residents, meaning that this spill affected about 25% of its population. READ MORE...


Anti-Vaxxer Hijacks QR Codes at COVID-19 Check-In Sites

Quick-response (QR) codes used by a COVID-19 contact-tracing program were hijacked by a man who simply slapped up scam QR codes on top to redirect users to an anti-vaccination website, according to local police. He now faces two counts of "obstructing operations carried out relative to COVID-19 under the Emergency Management Act," the South Australia Police said in a statement announcing the arrest. His arrest may just be a drop in the bucket: Reports of other anti-vax campaigners doing the same thing abound. READ MORE...

Suspected Chinese hackers are breaking into nearby military targets

Chinese hackers with suspected ties to the People's Liberation Army have been hacking into military and government organizations in Southeast Asia over the course of the last two years, according to Bitdefender research published Wednesday. The Chinese hackers, known as the Naikon group, have been conducting espionage against the organizations and stealing data from the victims since at least June of 2019, the researchers said in a blog post on the campaign. Bitdefender does not identify victims by name in its report. READ MORE...


QNAP warns of AgeLocker ransomware attacks on NAS devices

QNAP customers are once again urged to secure their Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices to defend against Agelocker ransomware attacks targeting their data. In a security advisory published earlier today, the company says that its security team has discovered AgeLocker ransomware samples in the wild, with "the potential to affect QNAP NAS devices." READ MORE...

Information Security

What is Smishing? The 101 guide

Smishing is a valuable tool in the scammer's armoury. You've likely run into it, even if you didn't know that is its name. It doesn't arrive by email or social media direct message, instead choosing a route directly aimed at what may be your most personal device: the mobile phone. So, what is Smishing? We're glad you asked. Smishing is a combination of the words "phishing" and "SMS", to indicate phishing sent across your mobile network in the form of a text. READ MORE...


'BadAlloc' Flaws Could Threaten IoT and OT Devices: Microsoft

Microsoft today disclosed more than 25 critical memory allocation vulnerabilities in Internet of Things (IoT) and operational technology (OT) devices that could enable an attacker to bypass security controls and execute malicious code or cause a system to crash in industrial, medical, and enterprise networks. These remote code execution (RCE) flaws are collectively dubbed "BadAlloc" and they exist in standard memory allocation functions spanning broadly used operating systems, SDKs, and libraries. READ MORE...

On This Date

  • ...in 1789, George Washington is sworn in as the first U.S. president.
  • ...in 1916, mathematician and engineer Claude Shannon, known as "the father of information theory", is born in Petosky, MI.
  • ...in 1969, The Beatles record "Let It Be" at Abbey Road Studios.
  • ...in 1985, actress Gal Gadot ("Wonder Woman", "Fast & Furious") is born in Petah Tikva, Israel.