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WannaCry: The Global Ransomware Attack

By now, the ransomware cyber-attack which started on Friday has infected more than 200 000 computers in 150 countries, and, as per security researchers, this number will continue to rise. The ransomware, which is known as Wannacry, mainly target old or unpatched Microsoft Windows operating system by locking the device. To unlock the device, the user must pay a ransom of $300. This piece of malware lock the computer by encrypting its hard disk, preventing users from getting access to their files. They are presented with a screen where steps of how to decrypt their device is published. Big companies such as British NHS, FedEx and Telefonica have fallen victims of the cyber-attack.

Hackers behind this attack has been using EthernalBlue, an exploit developed by the NSA to identified flaws in Microsoft SMB protocol, and which was leaked in the dark web by a hacking group called Shadow Brokers. Microsoft released an update to patch the vulnerability on its newer version in March. Many users and administrators have failed to apply the updates, making it easier for the ransomware to spread more quickly.  As many small businesses and individuals are still using older version of operating system, Microsoft took an unusual step by releasing updates for Windows XP, Windows 8, and Windows Server 2003 so that all users can patch their system.

We advise our readers to apply the patch released by Microsoft as soon as possible and not to open any files received from an unknown source.

Microsoft Updates Catalogue [Click Here!]

Cybersecurity Seminar by BDO IT Consulting Ltd

There are only two types of company: those that have been hacked, and those that will be.

From anywhere and at any time, hackers can launch a cyber-attack on your organisation. Taking this into consideration, BDO IT Consulting Ltd is organising a full day cybersecurity seminar where, ideas, trends, technology and knowledge will be shared to keep you one step ahead of these attacks.
The key topics which will be discussed in the first session are:
•    Hacking Humans
•    In and Out: Strategies for Preventing, Detecting and Mitigating Cyber Risk
•    Building Cyber Capacity: Market Opportunities and Challenges
•    Bridging the gap between prevention and incident response
And the second session will be a three hours of live attack, where an expert ethical hacker from BDO South Africa Forensic and Cyber Lab will guide the audience through hacking methodologies.

For more details and to register [Click Here!]

Florida Man Pleads Guilty to Attempted Hacking of Clinton Foundation

Timothy Sedlak, a 43 years old man from Florida pleaded guilty on Thursday for attempted hacking of the Clinton Foundation. Sedlak was arrested in 2015 and according to the prosecutors, he launched about 390,000 unsuccessful attempts on the charitable organization's computer network. The police also discovered files of child pornography on his computer and he was sentenced to 42years of imprisonment, separately, by Orlando court

Describing himself as a private investigator, Timothy stated that he was searching whether charities were used to fund Islamic militant groups.

During the proceeding, the prosecutors did not mention the name of the New York-based charitable organization but Reuters managed to get a copy of the filing on February 3.

More can be read from Reuters Here!

Hard-to-Detect Malware Attacking Enterprise Networks

According to Kaspersky Lab's latest report, an "invisible" malware is spreading among banks, telecommunication companies and government agencies. This sophisticated worm uses legitimate system admin and security tools such as PowerShell, Metasploit and Mimikatz to inject malware into computer memory.

This particular malware was first discovered by the security team of a bank. They found a copy of Meterpreter on the physical memory of Microsoft domain controller. Forensic analysis reported that the Meterpreter code was downloaded and injected by using PowerShell commands. It was discovered that the NETSH utility was used for tunneling traffic from the victim's computer to the attacker's server. To run malicious PowerShell scripts, the attackers grabbed credentials from Service accounts with administrative privileges by using Mimikatz.

By now, over 140 enterprises in 40 countries have been affected by the new malware.

Source:[Securelist Blog]

Fined For Sending Embarrassing SMS

A 24 years old driver has been fined Rs 75000 for sending five embarrassing SMS to a bank staff in 2010. He was found guilty of violating the telecommunication law of Mauritius by sending four SMS and making eight phone calls on May 1, 2010.
The plaintiff registered a statement on May 20, 2010 and stated that she was humiliated and demoralized by these SMS. She also added that she did not know the person who send her the messages and that it was a man who spoke to her on the other end of the line. She even had to change her phone number.
Following the judge order, the police were able to get the identity of the SIM card owner. The plaintiff later added that the defendant went to her work place to apologize and begged her to withdraw her complaint.
In court the defendant pleaded not guilty and maintained that he was not the one who sent these SMS. However, he was not convincing and could not provide explanation as the SIM card was registered on his name.

We advise our readers not to register other people's SIM card on their name.

Source: [Defimedia]

HR Targeted Ransomware Campaign

Security researchers from Check Point came across a new Ransomware campaign targeting Human Resource departments. The attack start by an email pretending to be a job application. The email contains a brief message from the applicant and two attachments, a PDF file and an Excel document.

The PDF file is non malicious cover letter which trick the receiver into believing that the email is legitimate. The second document, is a macro-enable Excel file containing a picture of a flower with the word "Loading..." . A text asking the victim to enable the content can also be seen.

 As soon as the receiver enable the content, the macro in the excel document is executed and the encryption process of the files is started, preventing the user from accessing the files. Once encryption is completed, the victim is presented with a note: “YOUR_FILES_ARE_ENCRYPTED.TXT” . 

The device is then automatically rebooted and a fake “chkdsk” screen is displayed while the disk is been encrypted.

After disk encryption, the victim is presented with the below screen where steps to decrypt their disk has been given.

We advise people from HR departments to remain alert. Make sure a robust anti-Ransomware software is running on your device. Scan all downloaded document before opening.

Source: [CheckPoint Blog]


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