Lucian Constantin

About the Author Lucian Constantin


Shadow Brokers boasts of more Windows exploits and cyberespionage data

A group of hackers that previously leaked alleged U.S. National Security Agency exploits claims to have even more attack tools in its possession and plans to release them in a new subscription-based service.

The group also has intelligence gathered by the NSA on foreign banks and ballistic missile programs, it said.

The Shadow Brokers was responsible for leaking EternalBlue, the Windows SMB exploit that was used by attackers in recent days to infect hundreds of thousands of computers around the world with the WannaCry ransomware program.

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New ransomware Jaff demands $3,700 payments

Attackers behind the highly successful Locky and Bart ransomware campaigns have returned with a new creation: A malicious file-encrypting program called Jaff that asks victims for payments of around $3,700.

Like Locky and Bart, Jaff is distributed via malicious spam emails sent by the Necurs botnet, according to researchers from Malwarebytes. Necurs first appeared in 2012 and is one of the largest and longest-running botnets around today.

According to an April analysis by researchers from IBM Security, Necurs is made up of about 6 million infected computers and is capable of sending batches of millions of emails at a time. It is also indirectly responsible for a large percentage of the world’s cybercrime because it’s the main distribution channel for some of the worst banking Trojan and ransomware programs.

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Microsoft finally bans SHA-1 certificates in Internet Explorer, Edge

The Tuesday updates for Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge force those browsers to flag SSL/TLS certificates signed with the aging SHA-1 hashing function as insecure. The move follows similar actions by Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox earlier this year.

Browser vendors and certificate authorities have been engaged in a coordinated effort to phase out the use of SHA-1 certificates on the web for the past few years, because the hashing function no longer provides sufficient security against spoofing.

SHA-1 (Secure Hash Algorithm 1) dates back to 1995 and has been known to be vulnerable to theoretical attacks since 2005. The U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology has banned the use of SHA-1 by U.S. federal agencies since 2010, and digital certificate authorities have not been allowed to issue SHA-1-signed certificates since Jan. 1, 2016, although some exemptions have been made — for example, for outdated payment terminals.

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Supply chain attack on HandBrake video converter app hits Mac users

Hackers compromised a download server for HandBrake, a popular open-source program for converting video files, and used it to distribute a macOS version of the application that contained malware.

The HandBrake development team posted a security warning on the project’s website and support forum on Saturday, alerting Mac users who downloaded and installed the program from May 2 to May 6 to check their computers for malware.

The attackers compromised only a download mirror hosted under download.handbrake.fr, with the primary download server remaining unaffected. Because of this, users who downloaded HandBrake-1.0.7.dmg during the period in question have a 50/50 chance of having received a malicious version of the file, the HandBreak team said.

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Snake cyberespionage malware is ready to bite Mac users

A sophisticated Russian cyberespionage group is readying attacks against Mac users and has recently ported its Windows backdoor program to macOS.

The group, known in the security industry as Snake, Turla or Uroburos, has been active since at least 2007 and has been responsible for some of the most complex cyberespionage attacks. It targets government entities, intelligence agencies, embassies, military organizations, research and academic institutions and large corporations.

“Compared to other prolific attackers with alleged ties to Russia, such as APT28 (Fancy Bear) and APT29 (Cozy Bear), Snake’s code is significantly more sophisticated, it’s infrastructure more complex and targets more carefully selected,” researchers from Dutch cybsersecurity firm Fox-IT said in a blog post Wednesday.

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Network management vulnerability exposes cable modems to hacking

Hundreds of thousands of internet gateway devices around the world, primarily residential cable modems, are vulnerable to hacking because of a serious weakness in their Simple Network Management Protocol implementation.

SNMP is used for automated network device identification, monitoring and remote configuration. It is supported and enabled by default in many devices, including servers, printers, networking hubs, switches and routers.

Independent researchers Ezequiel Fernandez and Bertin Bervis recently found a way to bypass SNMP authentication on 78 models of cable modems that ISPs from around the world have provided to their customers.

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