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IT Security Newsletter

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IT Security Newsletter - 5/18/2020


U.S. Secret Service: "Massive Fraud" Against State Unemployment Insurance Programs

A well-organized Nigerian crime ring is exploiting the COVID-19 crisis by committing large-scale fraud against multiple state unemployment insurance programs, with potential losses in the hundreds of millions of dollars, according to a new alert issued by the U.S. Secret Service. The Secret Service said the fraud network is believed to consist of hundred of "mules," a term used to describe willing or unwitting individuals who are recruited to help launder the proceeds of fraudulent financial transactions. READ MORE...

Transportation Agency Hacked in 2nd Texas Government Attack

Texas' transportation agency has become the second part of the state government to be hit by a ransomware attack in recent days. On Thursday, someone hacked into the Texas Department of Transportation's network in a "ransomware event," according to a statement the department posted on social media Friday. The departments' website says some features are unavailable due to technical difficulties, but it is not clear what functions were affected by the attack. READ MORE...


European supercomputers hacked in mysterious cyberattacks

Several high-performance computers (HPCs) and data centers used for research projects have been shut down this week across Europe due to security incidents. About a dozen of these supercomputers are affected in Germany, U.K., and Switzerland, leaving researchers unable to continue their work. Some were compromised as early as January. Supercomputers are extremely powerful systems built on traditional hardware to perform high-speed computations. READ MORE...

Romanian police bust hackers allegedly plotting ransomware attacks on hospitals

Romanian authorities said Friday they had disrupted a cybercriminal group that planned to conduct ransomware attacks on hospitals in the country. The hackers intended to pose as government officials and send malicious emails to public health institutions that purported to contain information on the coronavirus, according to the Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT), one of Romania's top law enforcement agencies. READ MORE...


'Mandrake' Android Spyware Remained Undetected for 4 Years

Security researchers at Bitdefender have identified a highly sophisticated Android spyware platform that managed to remain undetected for four years. Dubbed Mandrake, the platform targets only specific devices, as its operators are keen on remaining undetected for as long as possible. Thus, the malware avoids infecting devices in countries that might bring no benefit for the attackers. READ MORE...

Hoaxcalls Botnet Exploits Symantec Secure Web Gateways

Cyberattackers are targeting a post-authentication remote code-execution vulnerability in Symantec Secure Web Gateways as part of new Mirai and Hoaxcalls botnet attacks. Hoaxcalls first emerged in late March, as a variant of the Gafgyt/Bashlite family, it's named after the domain used to host its malware, Hoaxcalls.pw. Two new Hoaxcalls samples showed up on the scene in April, incorporating new commands from its command-and-control (C2) server. READ MORE...

On This Date

  • ...in 1950, composer/visual artist Mark Mothersbaugh, best known as lead singer for '80s new wave band Devo, is born in Akron, OH.
  • ...in 1955, actor and international action star Chow Yun-fat ("Hard Boiled", "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon") is born in Hong Kong.
  • ...in 1969, the Apollo 10 mission is launched, a final test run of orbit and landing systems before the historic Apollo 11 landing two months later.
  • ...in 1991, chemist Helen Sharman becomes the first Briton to orbit space on the Soyuz TM-12 mission.