May 09 2024

Polish Government Under Sophisticated Cyber Attack From APT28 Hacker Group

Category: APT,Cyber Attackdisc7 @ 8:55 am

The Polish computer emergency response team has issued a warning about an ongoing cyberattack campaign by the notorious APT28 hacking group, also known as Fancy Bear or Sofacy. The campaign is targeting various Polish government institutions with a new strain of malware.

According to the analysis, the attack begins with spear-phishing emails containing malicious attachments or links.

The malware is deployed once the victim opens the attachment or clicks the link, establishing a foothold in the targeted network.

Subject: I solved your problem

Hello Paweł!
I did a little research and found this mysterious Ukrainian woman.
Now she is in Warsaw.
She runs a rather unusual company that sells used underwear.
also has clients from senior authorities in Poland and Ukraine.
All information on this subject is available at this link - ALINA-BOKLAN (Link)

Threat actors are increasingly using free, commonly-used services like and to deliver malware while evading detection.

This technique involves redirecting through these services to obfuscate the final malicious payload. The link first goes to, a free API testing service, which then redirects to for logging requests.

A ZIP archive disguised as an image file (e.g. is downloaded from

With default Windows settings hiding extensions and hidden files, the victim sees the ZIP as an image, potentially leading them to open the malicious payload.

entire attack flow

Using free services reduces costs and makes malicious links harder to flag as they blend in with legitimate developer traffic. This stealthy approach is becoming a trend across many APT groups.

“The malware used in this campaign is a new variant of the X-Agent backdoor, which allows the attackers to execute arbitrary commands, exfiltrate data, and move laterally within the compromised network,” explained in their report. urges all Polish government agencies and critical infrastructure operators to remain vigilant and implement security measures.

APT28 is a highly sophisticated cyber-espionage group believed to be associated with the Russian military intelligence agency GRU.

The group has been active since at least 2007 and has been linked to numerous high-profile cyberattacks, including the 2016 Democratic National Committee email leak and the 2017 NotPetya ransomware outbreak.

This latest campaign highlights the persistent threat posed by state-sponsored hacking groups and the importance of maintaining robust cybersecurity measures, especially for critical government and infrastructure systems.

The report details the attack flow, providing indicators of compromise (IOCs) and recommendations for detecting and mitigating the threat.

The Bear Roars: Russia’s Cyber Spies And Global Threat To Security

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Tags: APT28, Hacker Group

Apr 08 2024

Social Engineering Attacks Targeting IT Help Desks in the Health Sector

Category: Cyber Attack,social engineeringdisc7 @ 5:17 pm

Cyberwarfare & Social Engineering

Explore Social Engineering

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Tags: cyberwarfare, social engineering

Apr 05 2024

Attempted hack on NYC continues wave of cyberattacks against municipal governments

Category: Cyber Attackdisc7 @ 6:08 pm

2024 has already seen dozens of local governments slammed by ransomware incidents and cyberattacks, limiting services for millions of people across the United States.

The latest high-profile incident involves New York City, which was forced to take a city payroll website offline and remove it from public view after dealing with a phishing incident.

The incident was first reported by Politico, which spoke to city workers who complained of the New York City Automated Personnel System, Employee Self Service (NYCAPS/ESS) being offline right as many tried to file their taxes. 

New York City’s Office of Technology and Innovation and told Recorded Future News that NYC Cyber Command “was made aware of a smishing campaign targeting NYCAPS users.” Smishing is essentially phishing via text messages instead of emails. 

“NYC Cyber Command has been advising and working with FISA-OPA and DCAS to implement enhancements to security measures,” the office  said. “City employees have been advised to remain vigilant and confirm the legitimacy of any NYCAPS and payroll-related communications and activity.”

A city official reiterated that the NYCAPS website is still online and accessible to all employees through the city’s secure internal network.

The smishing campaign allegedly involved messages sent to city workers asking them to activate multi-factor authentication, with a link to a phishing domain. 

Shashi Prakash, CTO at security firm Bolster.AI, told Recorded Future News that his team saw the domain “essnyc{.}online” the day it was registered. Other researchers said the domain was registered in Lithuania. 

Prakash explained that his team’s data shows it has been live since December 9 and shared a screenshot of the page, which looks exactly like the NYCAPS website. 

“There is one additional domain cityofanaheim{.}online on the same infrastructure which does make it look like they were targeting other cities,” Prakash said. 

Keeper Security’s Teresa Rothaar said more than 80 percent of breaches happen because of weak or stolen passwords, credentials and secrets, much of which is acquired through the kind of phishing and smishing attacks New York City is currently dealing with. 

To make matters worse, the New York City attackers clearly knew that multi-factor authentication is a critical layer of security and played on that concept while trying to steal credentials. 

“Often, innocent people who are not trained on phishing prevention will focus on the ‘pinstripes’ of the email or illegitimate site, meaning the aesthetics that they are familiar with, such as the logo or colors of their banking site,” she said.  

“Cybercriminals spend a lot of time making ‘lookalike’ sites appear authentic so that users are tricked into entering login credentials. Employees should always err on the side of caution and assume that all of their work-related (and even personal) passwords have been compromised – especially if they reuse the same passwords across accounts (a big no-no, and this situation illustrates why).”

Countrywide problem

The campaign targeting New York City is one of many specifically going after city, county and state-level governments across the United States. 

Just in the last week, the cities of Birmingham, Alabama, and East Baton Rouge, Louisiana, have announced security incidents affecting public services. Jackson County in Missouri was forced to declare a state of emergency after discovering a ransomware attack last month. 

On Thursday, the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice in Tallahassee admitted to local news outlets that it was dealing with a cyberattack that forced some systems offline. 

Florida’s Hernando County similarly announced a cyberattack on Thursday, warning that while 911, police and EMS systems were still operational, several other government services would be down for an unknown amount of time. Local news outlets reported that the FBI is involved in the response to the incident. 

Rebecca Moody, head of data research at Comparitech, has been looking into ransomware attacks on U.S. government offices and said she has found 18 confirmed ransomware attacks so far this year. 

Other researchers have tracked at least 25 ransomware attacks on U.S. government offices. 

While several states have banned government organizations from paying ransoms to groups, the offices continue to be ripe targets for ransomware gangs and hackers. Washington County in Pennsylvania recently revealed that it paid a $350,000 ransom to hackers following a January ransomware attack. 

James Turgal, who spent 22 years working at the FBI, told Recorded Future News that attacks against state, local and tribal governments have accelerated over the last year. 

“From the threat actors’ point of view, these municipalities are a target-rich environment with an abundant source of victims. By my estimation, with just around 95,000 soft targets nationwide, there are 40,000 cities, towns and municipalities, approximately 50,000 special government districts nationwide, and then the additional tribal governments that round out the numbers,” he said. 

“There needs to be a sense of urgency on the part of state and local governments and municipalities to get ahead of the threat, as these local entities have the most direct impact on our citizens, and a cyber focused disruption can be potentially life-threatening when considering the health and public safety services our local governments control.”

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Tags: municipal governments, NYC

Mar 29 2024

Compromised SaaS Supply Chain Apps: 97% Of Organizations At Risk Of Cyber Attacks

Category: Cloud computing,Cyber Attack,Information Securitydisc7 @ 7:55 am

Businesses increasingly rely on Software as a Service (SaaS) applications to drive efficiency, innovation, and growth.

However, this shift towards a more interconnected digital ecosystem has not come without its risks.

According to the “2024 State of SaaS Security Report” by Wing Security, a staggering 97% of organizations faced exposure to attacks through compromised SaaS supply chain applications in 2023, highlighting a critical vulnerability in the digital infrastructure of modern businesses.

The report, which analyzed data from 493 companies in the fourth quarter of 2023, illuminates the multifaceted nature of SaaS security threats.

From supply chain attacks taking center stage to the alarming trend of exploiting exposed credentials, the findings underscore the urgent need for robust security measures.

Supply Chain Attacks: A Domino Effect

Supply chain attacks have emerged as a significant threat, with 96.7% of organizations using at least one app that had a security incident in the past year.

The MOVEit breach, which directly and indirectly impacted over 2,500 organizations, and North Korean actors’ targeted attack on JumpCloud’s clients are stark reminders of the cascading effects a single vulnerability can have across the supply chain.

The simplicity of credential stuffing attacks and the widespread issue of unsecured credentials continue to pose a significant risk.

The report highlights several high-profile incidents, including breaches affecting Norton LifeLock and PayPal customers, where attackers exploited stolen credentials to gain unauthorized access to sensitive information.

MFA Bypassing And Token Theft

Despite adopting Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) as a security measure, attackers have found ways to bypass these defenses, targeting high-ranking executives in sophisticated phishing campaigns.

Additionally, the report points to a concerning trend of token theft, with many unused tokens creating unnecessary risk exposure for many organizations.

Looking Ahead: SaaS Threat Forecast For 2024

As we move into 2024, the SaaS threat landscape is expected to evolve, with AI posing a new threat.

The report identifies two primary risks associated with AI in the SaaS domain: the vast volume of AI models in SaaS applications and the potential for data mismanagement.

Furthermore, the persistence of credential-based attacks and the rise of interconnected threats across different domains underscore the need for a holistic cybersecurity approach.

Practical Tips For Enhancing SaaS Security

The report offers eight practical tips for organizations to combat these growing threats, including discovering and managing the risk of third-party applications, leveraging threat intelligence, and enforcing MFA.

Additionally, regaining control of the AI-SaaS landscape and establishing an effective offboarding procedure are crucial steps in bolstering an organization’s SaaS security.

The “2024 State of SaaS Security Report” by Wing Security serves as a wake-up call for businesses to reassess their SaaS security strategies.

With 97% of organizations exposed to attacks via compromised SaaS supply chain apps, the need for vigilance and proactive security measures has never been more critical.

As the digital landscape continues to evolve, so must our approaches to protect it.

Mitigating Supply Chain Attacks in the Digital Age

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Tags: supply chain attacks

Mar 27 2024


Category: Cyber Attackdisc7 @ 9:44 am

On an unexpected Tuesday, the collision of a container ship with the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore not only disrupted the normal flow of traffic and commerce but also sparked a vigorous debate on the potential causes of this incident. Among the various theories proposed, the role of cybersecurity—or the lack thereof—has emerged as a focal point of discussion. This event has served as a catalyst for a broader examination of cybersecurity practices within the maritime industry, revealing both vulnerabilities and the sometimes-overlooked factors that suggest other causes for such incidents. In the digital age, the maritime industry’s reliance on technology for navigation, communication, and operational functions has grown exponentially. This shift towards digitalization, while beneficial in terms of efficiency and connectivity, has also increased the sector’s exposure to cyber threats. Systems that control navigation, cargo handling, and engine operations are all potential targets for cyberattacks, which can lead to severe safety and financial risks.


In recent years, the maritime industry has increasingly embraced technology, relying on digital systems for navigation, communication, and operational functions. This digital transformation has enhanced efficiency and connectivity but has also exposed the sector to cyber threats. Cyberattacks can target systems controlling navigation, cargo handling, and even the engines of these colossal vessels, posing a significant risk to safety and commerce.

Could Cybersecurity Have Been a Factor in the Baltimore Incident?

To understand whether a cybersecurity breach could have led to the collision with the Francis Scott Key Bridge, it is essential to consider several factors:

  1. Navigation Systems Vulnerability: Modern ships use sophisticated navigation systems like the Automatic Identification System (AIS) and the Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS). If these systems were compromised, it could lead to inaccurate positioning information or erroneous navigational instructions.
  2. Operational Control Systems: Beyond navigation, ships rely on complex systems for operational control, including engine management and steering control. A cyberattack on these systems could impair a vessel’s ability to maneuver, potentially leading to accidents.
  3. Human Error vs. Cyber Intrusion: Distinguishing between human error and the consequences of a cyberattack can be challenging. Incidents might initially appear as operational or navigational errors but later investigations could uncover tampering with digital systems.
  4. Historical Precedents: The maritime industry has witnessed cyberattacks before, such as the 2017 cyberattack on the shipping giant Maersk, which led to significant operational disruptions. These precedents highlight the plausibility of cybersecurity breaches leading to physical incidents.


While the possibility of a cybersecurity breach cannot be dismissed outright, several arguments suggest that other factors could be more plausible:

Technical Safeguards and Redundancies

Maritime vessels are equipped with numerous technical safeguards and redundant systems designed to prevent total system failure in case of a cyber intrusion. These include manual overrides for navigation and control systems, allowing crew members to maintain control over the vessel even if digital systems are compromised. Such safeguards can mitigate the impact of a cyber attack on a ship’s operational capabilities.

Cybersecurity Protocols and Training

The maritime industry has been increasingly aware of the potential cyber threats and has implemented stringent cybersecurity protocols and training for crew members. These measures are aimed at preventing unauthorized access and ensuring the integrity of the ship’s systems. Crews are trained to recognize and respond to cybersecurity threats, reducing the likelihood of a successful cyber attack impacting vessel navigation or control systems.

Physical Factors and Human Error

Many maritime incidents are the result of physical factors or human error rather than cyber attacks. These can include adverse weather conditions, navigational errors, mechanical failures, and miscommunication among crew members. Such factors have historically been the most common causes of maritime accidents and cannot be overlooked in any thorough investigation.

Complexity of Executing a Targeted Cyber Attack

Executing a cyber attack that leads to a specific outcome, such as causing a ship to collide with a bridge, requires an intimate knowledge of the vessel’s systems, current position, and intended course. It also necessitates overcoming the vessel’s cybersecurity measures without detection. The complexity and specificity of such an attack make it a less likely cause of maritime incidents compared to more conventional explanations.

Lack of Evidence Indicating a Cyber Attack

In the absence of specific evidence pointing to a cyber intrusion, such as anomalies in the ship’s digital systems, unauthorized access logs, or the presence of malware, it is prudent to consider other more likely causes. Cybersecurity investigations involve detailed analysis of digital footprints and system logs, and without concrete evidence suggesting a cyber attack, attributing the incident to such a cause would be speculative.


Regardless of whether a cyberattack played a role in the Baltimore bridge incident, this event underscores the importance of robust cybersecurity practices in the maritime industry. Enhancing cyber defenses, conducting regular security assessments, and training personnel in cybersecurity awareness are crucial steps in safeguarding maritime operations.

However, it is equally important to recognize and mitigate the non-cyber risks that ships face. A comprehensive approach to safety and security, encompassing both cyber and traditional factors, is essential for protecting the maritime industry against a wide range of threats.

The collision of a container ship with the Francis Scott Key Bridge has highlighted the critical role of cybersecurity in modern maritime operations, while also reminding us of the myriad other factors that can lead to such incidents. As the investigation into this event continues, the maritime industry must take a holistic view of security, embracing both digital and physical measures to ensure the safety of its operations in an increasingly complex and interconnected world.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the U.S. Coast Guard Sector NCR, multiple first responders, and all those affected by the tragic incident at the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore. According to reports, a 948-foot Singapore-flagged containership collided with the bridge causing it to collapse, with persons reported to be in the water.”

Next Level Cybersecurity: Detect the Signals, Stop the Hack

Maritime Cybersecurity: A Guide for Leaders and Managers

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Tags: BALTIMORE BRIDGE COLLISION, Maritime Cybersecurity

Mar 25 2024

170K+ Python Developers GitHub Accounts Hacked In Supply Chain Attack

Category: Cyber Attack,Hacking,Pythondisc7 @ 8:38 am

Over 170,000 users have fallen victim to a meticulously orchestrated scheme exploiting the Python software supply chain.

The Checkmarx Research team has uncovered a multi-faceted attack campaign that leverages fake Python infrastructure to distribute malware, compromising the security of countless developers and organizations.

This article delves into the attack campaign, its impact on victims, the tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) employed by the threat actors, and the critical findings from Checkmarx’s investigation.

Attack Campaign Description

The core of this malicious campaign revolves around an attacker’s ability to combine several TTPs to launch a silent attack on the software supply chain, specifically targeting the Python ecosystem.

By creating multiple malicious open-source tools with enticing descriptions, the attackers lured victims into their trap, primarily through search engines.

Python mirror

The campaign’s sophistication is evident in distributing a malicious dependency hosted on a fake Python infrastructure, which was then linked to popular projects on GitHub and legitimate Python packages.

A chilling account from Mohammed Dief, a Python developer and one of the campaign’s victims, highlights the stealth and impact of the attack.

Dief encountered a suspicious error message while working on his laptop, the first sign of the compromise, leading to the realization that his system had been hacked.

Victims And Impact

Among the notable victims of this campaign is the GitHub organization, a community boasting over 170,000 members.

The attackers managed to hijack GitHub accounts with high reputations, including that of “editor-syntax,” a maintainer with write permissions to’s repositories.

The community (which boasts over 170K members) was also a victim of  this attack
The community (which boasts over 170K members) was also a victim of  this attack

This allowed them to commit malicious acts and increase the visibility and credibility of their malicious repositories.

The attack’s impact is far-reaching, affecting individual developers and larger communities alike.

Social engineering schemes, account takeovers, and malicious packages published on the PyPi registry have underscored the software supply chain’s vulnerability to such sophisticated attacks.

The Checkmarx Research team has uncovered an attack campaign aimed at the software supply chain.

The campaign appears to have successfully exploited multiple victims.

Threat Actors And TTPs

The threat actors behind this campaign demonstrated high sophistication and planning.

They employed a range of TTPs, including:

  • Account Takeover via Stolen Cookies: The attackers gained access to high-reputation GitHub accounts by stealing session cookies, bypassing the need for passwords.
  • Publishing Malicious Packages: By setting up a custom Python mirror and publishing malicious packages to the PyPi registry, they could distribute malware under the guise of legitimate software.
  • Social Engineering: The attackers used social engineering to trick users into downloading malicious dependencies, further spreading the malware.

By deploying a fake Python package mirror and utilizing typosquatting techniques, the attackers could deceive users and systems into downloading poisoned versions of popular packages like “Colorama.

“The malicious payload delivered through these packages is designed to harvest sensitive information, including passwords, credentials, and data from various software applications.

Malicious Package

The malware targets web browsers, Discord, cryptocurrency wallets, and Telegram, and even includes a keylogging component to capture victims’ keystrokes.

The final stage of the malware reveals its data-stealing capabilities, targeting not only personal and financial information but also attempting to gain unauthorized access to victims’ social media and communication platforms.

This attack campaign highlights the critical vulnerabilities within the software supply chain, particularly in open-source ecosystems like Python’s.

The sophistication and success of the attackers in exploiting these vulnerabilities underscore the need for heightened vigilance and robust security practices among developers and organizations.

Through continuous monitoring, collaboration, and information sharing, the cybersecurity community can mitigate risks and protect the integrity of open-source software.

Python for Cybersecurity: Using Python for Cyber Offense and Defense 

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Tags: supply chain attack

Feb 02 2024

FritzFrog Botnet Attacking Linux Servers To Steal SSH Credentials

Category: Botnet,Cyber Attackdisc7 @ 9:38 am

The FritzFrog botnet, originally identified in 2020, is an advanced peer-to-peer botnet built in Golang that can operate on both AMD and ARM-based devices. With constant updates, the malware has developed over time, adding and enhancing features.

A new strain of the FritzFrog botnet was discovered exploiting the Log4Shell vulnerability to target all hosts in the internal network. 

Additionally, by using weak SSH credentials, the malware attacks servers that are accessible over the internet. 

“Newer variants now read several system files on compromised hosts to detect potential targets for this attack that have a high likelihood of being vulnerable,” Akamai shared with Cyber Security News.

The Exploitation Chain

The only infection vector used by FritzFrog was SSH brute force; however, more recent iterations of the malware have added the Log4Shell exploitation dubbed “Frog4Shell”. 

A vulnerability called Log4Shell was found in the popular open-source Log4j web tool in 2021. Governments and security firms carried out a global initiative to patch the technology.

Presently, the malware targets every host on the internal network as part of its routine for spreading. The malware is attempting to connect to every address on the local network to accomplish this.

According to the researchers, internal computers, which were less likely to be exploited, were frequently overlooked and went unpatched—a situation that FritzFrog takes advantage of.

FritzFrog scanning the local network to identify targets
FritzFrog scanning the local network to identify targets

“This means that even if the “high-profile” internet-facing applications have been patched, a breach of any asset in the network by FritzFrog can expose unpatched internal assets to exploitation,” researchers said.

FritzFrog searches for HTTP servers on ports 8080, 8090, 8888, and 9000 to find possible Log4Shell targets. The malware is currently targeting as many vulnerable Java applications as possible.

Log4Shell exploitation flow
Log4Shell exploitation flow

Additionally, FritzFrog enhanced its capacity to identify targets for SSH brute force, which is its primary infection vector.

FritzFrog will now attempt to identify specific SSH targets by counting multiple system logs on each of its victims, in addition to targeting randomly generated IP addresses.

The malware now includes a module that exploits CVE-2021-4034, a privilege escalation in the polkit Linux component. On susceptible servers, this module allows the malware to operate as root.

“Since it is installed by default on most Linux distributions, many unpatched machines are still vulnerable to this CVE today,” researchers said.


  • The network segmentation can stop the lateral movement of the malware. Software-based segmentation has the potential to be a long-lasting protective measure that is comparatively easy to implement.
  • For use on SSH servers, a FritzFrog detection script is given that searches for the following FritzFrog indicators:

a. Running processes named nginx, ifconfig, php-fpm, apache2, or libexec, whose executable file no longer exists on the file system (as seen below)

b. Listening port 1234

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Jan 04 2024

Google Chrome Use After Free Flaw Let Attacker Hijack Browser

Category: Cyber Attack,Information Security,Web Securitydisc7 @ 10:26 am

The latest stable channel update for Google Chrome, version 120.0.6099.199 for Mac and Linux and 120.0.6099.199/200 for Windows, is now available and will shortly be rolled out to all users.

Furthermore, the Extended Stable channel has been updated to 120.0.6099.200 for Windows and 120.0.6099.199 for Mac.

There are six security fixes in this release. Three of these flaws allowed an attacker to take control of a browser through use-after-free conditions.

Use-after-free is a condition in which the memory allocation is freed, but the program does not clear the pointer to that memory. This is due to incorrect usage of dynamic memory allocation during an operation. 

CVE-2024-0222: Use After Free In ANGLE

Use after free in ANGLE in Google Chrome presents a high-severity vulnerability that might have led to a remote attacker compromising the renderer process and using a crafted HTML page to exploit heap corruption.

Google awarded $15,000 to Toan (suto) Pham of Qrious Secure for reporting this vulnerability.

CVE-2024-0223: Heap Buffer Overflow In ANGLE

This high-severity flaw was a heap buffer overflow in ANGLE that could have been exploited by a remote attacker using a crafted HTML page to cause heap corruption. 

Toan (suto) Pham and Tri Dang of Qrious Secure received a $15,000 reward from Google for discovering this vulnerability.

CVE-2024-0224: Use After Free In WebAudio

A high-severity use after free in WebAudio in Google Chrome might potentially allow a remote attacker to exploit heap corruption through a manipulated HTML page.

Google awarded Huang Xilin of Ant Group Light-Year Security Lab a $10,000 reward for finding this issue.

CVE-2024-0225: Use After Free In WebGPU

A remote attacker may have been able to exploit heap corruption through a specifically designed HTML page due to high severity vulnerability in Google’s use after free in WebGPU.

The details about the reporter of this vulnerability were mentioned as anonymous. 

The use after free conditions existed in Google Chrome before version 120.0.6099.199. To avoid exploiting these vulnerabilities, Google advises users to update to the most recent version of Google Chrome.

How To Update Google Chrome

  • Open Chrome.
  • At the top right, click More.
  • Click Help About Google Chrome.
  • Click Update Google Chrome. Important: If you can’t find this button, you’re on the latest version.
  • Click Relaunch.

Browser Security Platform Checklist

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Tags: Google Chrome

Jan 02 2024

Hackers Attack UK’s Nuclear Waste Services Through LinkedIn

Category: Cyber Attack,Hackingdisc7 @ 10:48 am

Fortunately for Radioactive Waste Management (RWM), the first-of-its-kind hacker attack on the project was unsuccessful.

The United Kingdom’s Radioactive Waste Management (RWM) company overseeing the nation’s radioactive waste has revealed a recent cyberattack attempt through LinkedIn. While the attack was reportedly unsuccessful, it has raised eyebrows in the nuclear sector, sparking concerns about the security of critical nuclear infrastructure.

As reported by The Guardian, the hackers directed their attack at the company through LinkedIn. However, whether it was a phishing attack or an attempt to trick employees into installing malware on the system, the modus operandi remains unknown.

Typically, LinkedIn is exploited for phishing scams targeting employees of specific companies. An example from last year involves ESET researchers reporting a cyberespionage campaign by North Korean government-backed hackers from the Lazarus group. The campaign specifically targeted employees at a Spanish aerospace firm.

The RWM is spearheading the £50bn Geological Disposal Facility (GDF) project, aimed at constructing a substantial underground nuclear waste repository in Britain. As a government-owned entity, RWM facilitated the merger of three nuclear bodies—the GDF project, the Low-Level Waste Repository, and another waste management entity—to establish Nuclear Waste Services (NWS).

“NWS has seen, like many other UK businesses, that LinkedIn has been used as a source to identify the people who work within our business. These attempts were detected and denied through our multi-layered defences,” stated an NWS spokesperson.

However, the incident raises concerns, as experts warn that social media platforms such as LinkedIn are becoming preferred playgrounds for hackers. These platforms provide multiple avenues for infiltration, including the creation of fake accounts, phishing messages, and direct credential theft.

The FBI’s special agent in charge of the San Francisco and Sacramento field offices, Sean Ragan, has emphasized the ‘significant threat’ of fraudsters exploiting LinkedIn to lure users into cryptocurrency investment schemes, citing numerous potential victims and past and current cases.

In October 2023, email security firm Cofense discovered a phishing campaign abusing Smart Links, part of the LinkedIn Sales Navigator and Enterprise service, to send authentic-looking emails, steal payment data, and bypass email protection mechanisms.

In November 2023, a LinkedIn database containing over 35 million users’ personal information was leaked by a hacker named USDoD, who previously breached the FBI’s InfraGard platform. The database was obtained through web scraping, an automated process to extract data from websites.

Social engineering attacks, such as deceptive emails and malicious links, offer hackers a gateway to sensitive information. LinkedIn has taken steps to warn users about potential scams and provide resources for staying safe online. Still, concerns about digital security remain prevalent in the nuclear industry, especially after the Guardian exposé of cybersecurity vulnerabilities at the Sellafield plant. 

In 2023, the Sellafield nuclear site in Cumbria experienced cybersecurity issues, indicating a need for improved safeguards and tighter regulations. The RWM incident highlights the growing interest of cybercrime syndicates to target nuclear sites.

The NWS acknowledges the need for continuous improvement to strengthen cybersecurity measures, highlighting that emergency response plans must match evolving business needs.

Cyber Threats and Nuclear Weapons

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Tags: Cyber Threats and Nuclear Weapons, UK’s Nuclear Waste Services

Dec 29 2023

New Medusa Stealer Attacking Users To Steal Login Credentials

Category: Cyber Attack,Password Securitydisc7 @ 9:24 am

While the world celebrated Christmas, the cybercrime underworld feasted on a different kind of treat: the release of Meduza 2.2, a significantly upgraded password stealer poised to wreak havoc on unsuspecting victims. 

Cybersecurity researchers at Resecurity uncovered the details of New Medusa Stealer malware.

Resecurity is a cybersecurity company specializing in endpoint protection, risk management, and cyber threat intelligence.

Attention! The New Year’s Update
Before the New Year 2024, the Meduza team decided to please customers with an update. Under the 
Christmas tree, you can find great gifts such as significant improvements in user interface (panel), modal windows on loading, and expansion of data collection objects

A Feast Of Features

Meduza 2.2 boasts a veritable buffet of enhancements, including:

  • Expanded Software Coverage: The stealer now targets over 100 browsers, 100 cryptocurrency wallets, and a slew of other applications like Telegram, Discord, and password managers. This broader reach increases its potential for victimization.
  • Enhanced Credential Extraction: Meduza 2.2 digs deeper, grabbing data from browser local storage dumps, Windows Credential Manager, and Windows Vault, unlocking a treasure trove of sensitive information.
  • Google Token Grabber: This new feature snags Google Account tokens, allowing attackers to manipulate cookies and gain access to compromised accounts.
  • Improved Crypto Focus: Support for new browser-based cryptocurrency wallets like OKX and Enrypt, along with Google Account token extraction, makes Meduza a potent tool for financial fraud.
  • Boosted Evasion: The stealer boasts an optimized crypting stub and improved AV evasion techniques, making it harder to detect and remove.

These advancements position Meduza as a serious competitor to established players like Azorult and Redline Stealer

Its flexible configuration, wide application coverage, and competitive pricing ($199 per month) make it an attractive option for cybercriminals of all skill levels.

A Recipe For Trouble

The consequences of Meduza’s widespread adoption are grim.

  • Account Takeovers (ATOs): Stolen credentials can be used to hijack email accounts, social media profiles, bank accounts, and other online services.
  • Online Banking Theft: Financial data gleaned from infected machines can be used to drain bank accounts and initiate fraudulent transactions.
  • Identity Theft: Sensitive information like names, addresses, and Social Security numbers can be exploited for identity theft and financial fraud.

To combat this growing threat, individuals and organizations must:

  • Practice strong password hygiene: Use unique, complex passwords for all accounts and enable two-factor authentication where available.
  • Beware of phishing scams: Don’t click on suspicious links or download attachments from unknown sources.
  • Keep software up to date: Regularly update operating systems, applications, and security software to patch vulnerabilities.
  • Invest in robust security solutions: Implement comprehensive security solutions that can detect and block malware like Meduza.

Login Credentials: Username/Password Journal

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Tags: Medusa Stealer

Dec 27 2023


Category: Cyber Attack,Linux Securitydisc7 @ 8:07 am

Researchers warn of attacks against poorly managed Linux SSH servers that mainly aim at installing DDoS bot and CoinMiner.

Researchers at AhnLab Security Emergency Response Center (ASEC) are warning about attacks targeting poorly managed Linux SSH servers, primarily focused on installing DDoS bots and CoinMiners.

In the reconnaissance phase, the threat actors perform IP scanning to look for servers with the SSH service, or port 22 activated, then launch a brute force or dictionary attack to obtain the ID and password.

Threat actors can also install malware to scan, perform brute force attacks, and sell breached IP and account credentials on the dark web.

Common malware used in attacks against poorly managed Linux SSH servers include ShellBot [1][2]Tsunami [3], ChinaZ DDoS Bot [4], and XMRig CoinMiner [5]

Linux SSH servers

Once successfully logged in, the threat actor first executed the following command to check the total number of CPU cores.

> grep -c ^processor /proc/cpuinfo

“The execution of this command signifies that the threat actor has obtained the account credentials. Afterward, the threat actor logged in again using the same account credentials and downloaded a compressed file.” reads the analysis published by ASEC. “The compressed file contains a port scanner and an SSH dictionary attack tool. Additionally, commands accidentally typed by the threat actor can be seen, such as “cd /ev/network” and “unaem 0a”.”

These researchers believe that the tools employed in the attacks are based on the ones that have been created by the PRG old Team. Each threat actor created its custom version of the tools by modifying them.

Linux SSH servers

The researchers recommend administrators should use strong passwords that are difficult to guess and change them periodically. These measures should protect the Linux SSH servers from brute force attacks and dictionary attacks. The experts also recommend updating to the latest patch to prevent attacks exploiting known vulnerabilities.

“Administrators should also use security programs such as firewalls for servers that are accessible from the outside to restrict access from threat actors. Finally, caution must be practiced by updating V3 to the latest version to block malware infection in advance.” concludes the report.

Mastering Linux Security and Hardening: A practical guide to protecting your Linux system from cyber attacks

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Dec 18 2023

8220 Hacker Group Attacking Windows & Linux Web Servers

Category: Cyber Attack,Hacking,Linux Security,Windows Securitydisc7 @ 1:40 pm

The 8220 hacker group, which was first identified in 2017 by Cisco Talos, is exploiting both Windows and Linux web servers with crypto-jacking malware. One of their recent activities involved the exploitation of Oracle WebLogic vulnerability (CVE-2017-3506) and Log4Shell (CVE-2021-44228).

However, the history of this threat group had several exploited vulnerabilities such as Confluence, Log4j, Drupal, Hadoop YARN, and Apache Struts2 applications. Their TTPs are evolved with different publicly released exploits.

8220 Hacker Group

In addition to this, the group was also discovered to be exploiting (CVE-2020-14883), a Remote code execution vulnerability in Oracle WebLogic Server. This exploitation chain is combined with another authentication bypass vulnerability (CVE-2020-14882) in the Oracle WebLogic server.

The exploitation methods of these two vulnerabilities are publicly available, making it relatively easy for the threat actor to modify and exploit them for malicious purposes. 

Two different exploit chains were discovered, and one of them enables the loading of an XML file used for further phases of execution of commands on the OS, whereas the other one executes Java code without the use of an XML file.

Infection Chains

The first infection chain uses different XML files that depend on the target OS. In the case of Linux, the downloading of other files is performed via cURL, wget, lwp-download, and python urllib along with a custom bash function that encodes it to base64.

Custom bash function (Source: Imperva)

The method injects a Java code which also initially evaluates the OS and executes the same command strings executed in the first method. Once the download and execution process takes place, the compromised hosts are infected with AgentTesla, rhajk, and nasqa malware variants.

complete report has been published, which provides detailed information about the exploitation, command used, encoding, and other information.

Indicators Of Compromise



Source IPs

Source IPs
Malicious File Hashes

Common Windows, Linux and Web Server Systems Hacking Techniques

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Tags: Windows & Linux Web Servers

Dec 11 2023

How Well Do You Know Your Attack Surface? Five Tips to Reduce the Risk of Exposure

Category: Cyber Attackdisc7 @ 8:16 am

It’s no secret the attack surface is expanding at an unprecedented rate. We’ve hand-picked our top tips to reduce your exposure.

In an increasingly connected digital landscape, the security of your organization’s data and publicly facing assets is more critical than ever. According to the CrowdStrike 2023 Threat Hunting Report, more than 20% of all interactive intrusions are associated with the exploitation of public-facing applications. As an organization’s attack surface expands and cyberthreats proliferate, it is imperative IT and security teams take a proactive approach to safeguarding their digital footprint. This starts with implementing a strong exposure management program across the entire enterprise that drastically reduces all attack surface risks.

Do You Really Know Your Organization’s Attack Surface?

To stop an attack before it begins, you must first understand where critical exposures exist. You can think of your organization’s external attack surface as all of the doorways through which an attacker might attempt to sneak in. This includes anything from domain names, SSL certificates and protocols to operating systems, IoT devices and network services. These assets are scattered across on-premises environments, cloud environments, subsidiaries and third-party vendors, and they represent many of the easiest entry points to internal networks and the sensitive data they contain. 

Building a Successful Exposure Management Strategy with EASM

In an age where unknown entryways can lead to invaluable troves of information, external attack surface management (EASM) can find doors that may be left open. CrowdStrike Falcon® Exposure Management finds those potential access points before adversaries do. 

Our EASM technology, as part of Falcon Exposure Management, uses a proprietary engine to continuously scan the entire internet, enabling organizations to see their attack surface from an adversary’s perspective. The digital footprint of an organization is simple to generate, using only a company’s root domain. Once generated, it gives security teams a complete view of all of their internet-facing assets, including those on-premises and in the cloud. All exposed assets are automatically classified, analyzed and rated with a contextualized risk score, allowing teams to fix first what matters most.  

Reducing the size of your attack surface can minimize the risk of a breach. By following the five tips below, organizations can reduce the number of opportunities an adversary has, strengthen their cybersecurity posture and proactively  protect valuable assets from malicious actors. 

Top Tips to Reduce External Attack Surface Exposures

  1. Do not allow Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) connections from outside your organization’s networks

There are plenty of products and open source solutions offering remote access to company resources. When RDP is opened to the internet, it is often not monitored and is susceptible to attacks.


  • Stand up a server that sits outside of your network perimeter
  • Install nmap or any other network scanner you’re comfortable with
  • Grab a list of your IP ranges
  • Set up a cron job to scan continuously for port 3389
  • Grab the logs weekly 
  • Use this list to figure out the person inside your organization who owns or is responsible for each host that has responded on port 3389
    • Clues:
      • Domain name (if applicable)
      • IPAM IP range notes
      • Login banners
  • For any hosts that MUST have RDP exposed to the internet, enable multifactor authentication (MFA), remove them from your scan script above and continue the process of scanning
  • Use Network Level Authentication, a Remote Desktop Services feature that requires a user to authenticate before connecting to the server
  1. Avoid allowing directory listing on your web servers 

Directory listings expose the server to traversal attacks and a large variety of vulnerabilities. Moreover, the web server may contain files that shouldn’t be exposed through links on the website. Ensure your server does not expose directory listings, and if it must, make sure the directories do not contain sensitive information. 


  • Stand up a server that sits outside of your network perimeter 
  • Install nmap or any other network scanner you are comfortable with
  • Grab a list of your IP ranges
  • Set up a cron job to scan continuously for open HTTP 
  • Grab the logs weekly 
  • For every host answering on an HTTP or HTTPS port, use this list as an input for your web app scanning tool of choice (such as nikto or dirsearch)
  • For any host allowing directory traversal, figure out the person inside your company who owns or is responsible for this website
    • Clues:
      • Domain name (if applicable)
      • IPAM IP range notes
      • Login banners
      • Other website info
  1. Place test environments behind a VPN 

Ensure none of your development, staging or test environments is exposed to the internet. These environments are often not well-secured and in many cases have access to restricted resources.


  • Identify all of your production environments:
    • Have a clear list of domains and IP ranges from IT admin, content delivery network providers and web application firewall providers
    • Query whois reverse search under your organization name (there are multiple vendors and open source tools for this) 
  • All other environments (domains, subdomains and machines with external-facing IPs) should be protected with a VPN and MFA
  1. Avoid hostile subdomain takeovers 

Confirm none of your subdomains is expired or points to third-party pages and accounts that no longer exist, as it might be vulnerable to hostile subdomain takeovers. If you find such subdomains, reconfigure the DNS settings or remove the DNS entry pointing to the external service.


  • Talk to your IT admin team and get access to your DNS (may be route53, may be self-hosted)
  • Do a zone transfer on all of the domains your organization owns
  • Get a list of all of your IP ranges
  • Parse the IP addresses against your known IP range list
  • For any IPs that aren’t part of your infrastructure, figure out who they belong to (whois lookup, published list of cloud provider IP ranges)
  • Determine if they are pointing at anything you know you own
  • Any unused subdomain should be retired properly:
    • Use “Null MX” record
    • Use DMARC configuration to prevent any email from being sent on behalf of the sub/domain
  1. Enforce input validation

Enforce input validation on all internal and external inputs to prevent injection attacks. Input validation best practices include: predefining input size limitation per field and type (str/int if applicable), applying maximum retries for password and user fields, and enforcing backend strict logic to prevent injections (prepared statements with parameterized queries, stored procedures, escaping all user inputs, etc.).


  • Forms fields
  • Uniform resource identifiers (URIs)
  • APIs
  • Attachments
  • And more

Bonus Tip: Continuously monitor your attack surface

Securing an expanding attack surface is challenging. The dynamic nature of most modern IT ecosystems means secure assets can suddenly become exposed unknowingly due to an error, misconfiguration or simple oversight. This category of forgotten assets can grow for many reasons: employees with revoked access, engineers with lingering cloud token permissions, or unmaintained databases that should have never been exposed in the first place. Moreover, there are instances of abandoned assets that remain unused or unclassified for extended periods, leaving IT departments without records and, consequently, unable to secure them. Regardless of their origin, these assets present significant security risks.

Having an effective exposure management program enables teams to stay vigilant and proactively  monitor and secure entire IT ecosystems, which  is essential in safeguarding an entire  attack surface. You need to add a scalable way to monitor your internet-facing assets and discover your unknown exposures and risks in real time.

Additional Resources

Mastering Attack Surface Management: A Comprehensive Guide To Learn Attack Surface Management

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Tags: Attack Surface

Nov 20 2023

Cyber Attack Forces World’s Biggest Bank to Trade via USB Stick

Category: Cyber Attackdisc7 @ 11:17 am

Cyber Attack Forces World’s Biggest Bank to Trade via USB Stick

On Thursday, trades handled by the world’s largest bank in the globe’s biggest market traversed Manhattan on a USB stick.

Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd.’s U.S. unit had been hit by a cyberattack, rendering it unable to clear swathes of U.S. Treasury trades after entities responsible for settling the transactions swiftly disconnected from the stricken systems. That forced ICBC to send the required settlement details to those parties by a messenger carrying a thumb drive as the state-owned lender raced to limit the damage.

The workaround — described by market participants — followed the attack by suspected perpetrator Lockbit, a prolific criminal gang with ties to Russia that has also been linked to hits on Boeing Co., ION Trading U.K. and the U.K.’s Royal Mail. The strike caused immediate disruption as market-makers, brokerages and banks were forced to reroute trades, with many uncertain when access would resume.

The incident spotlights a danger that bank leaders concede keeps them up at night — the prospect of a cyber attack that could someday cripple a key piece of the financial system’s wiring, setting off a cascade of disruptions. Even brief episodes prompt bank leaders and their government overseers to call for more vigilance.

“This is a true shock to large banks around the world,” said Marcus Murray, the founder of Swedish cybersecurity firm Truesec. “The ICBC hack will make large banks around the globe race to improve their defenses, starting today.”

As details of the attack emerged, employees at the bank’s Beijing headquarters held urgent meetings with the lender’s U.S. division and notified regulators as they discussed next steps and assessed the impact, according to a person familiar with the matter. ICBC is considering seeking help from China’s Ministry of State Security in light of the risks of potential attack on other units, the person said.

Late Thursday, the bank confirmed it had experienced a ransomware attack a day earlier that disrupted some systems at its ICBC Financial Services unit. The company said it isolated the affected systems and that those at the bank’s head office and other overseas units weren’t impacted, nor was ICBC’s New York branch.

The extent of the disruption wasn’t immediately clear, though Treasury market participants reported liquidity was affected. The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, or Sifma, held calls with members about the matter Thursday.

ICBC FS offers fixed-income clearing, Treasuries repo lending and some equities securities lending. The unit had $23.5 billion of assets at the end of 2022, according to its most recent annual filing with U.S. regulators.

The attack is only the latest to snarl parts of the global financial system. Eight months ago, ION Trading U.K. — a little-known company that serves derivatives traders worldwide — was hit by a ransomware attack that paralyzed markets and forced trading shops that clear hundreds of billions of dollars of transactions a day to process deals manually. That has put financial institutions on high alert.

ICBC, the world’s largest lender by assets, has been improving its cybersecurity in recent months, highlighting increased challenges from potential attacks amid the expansion of online transactions, adoption of new technologies and open banking.

“The bank actively responded to new challenges of financial cybersecurity, adhered to the bottom line for production safety and deepened the intelligent transformation of operation and maintenance,” ICBC said in its interim report in September.

Ransomware attacks against Chinese firms appear rare in part because China has banned crypto-related transactions, according to Mattias Wåhlén, a threat intelligence specialist at Truesec. That makes it harder for victims to pay ransom, which is often demanded in cryptocurrency because that form of payment provides more anonymity. 

But the latest attack likely exposes weaknesses in ICBC’s defenses, Wåhlén said. 

“It appears ICBC has had a less effective security,” he said, “possibly because Chinese banks have not been tested as much as their Western counterparts in the past.” 

Record levels

Ransomware hackers have become so prolific that attacks may hit record levels this year. 

Blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis had recorded roughly $500 million of ransomware payments through the end of September, an increase of almost 50% from the same period a year earlier. Ransomware attacks surged 95% in the first three quarters of this year, compared with the same period in 2022, according to Corvus Insurance.

In 2020, the website of the New Zealand Stock Exchange was hit by a cyberattack that throttled traffic so severely that it couldn’t post critical market announcements, forcing the entire operation to shut down. It was later revealed that more than 100 banks, exchanges, insurers and other financial firms worldwide were targets of the same type of so-called DDoS attacks simultaneously.

Caesars Entertainment Inc., MGM Resorts International and Clorox Co. are among companies that have been hit by ransomware hackers in recent months.

ICBC was struck as the Securities and Exchange Commission works to reduce risks in the financial system with a raft of proposals that include mandating central clearing of all U.S. Treasuries. Central clearing platforms are intermediaries between buyers and sellers that assume responsibility for completing transactions and therefore prevent a default of one counterparty from causing widespread problems in the marketplace.

The incident underscores the benefits of central clearing in the $26 trillion market, said Stanford University finance professor Darrell Duffie.

“I view it as one example of why central clearing in the U.S. Treasuries market is a very good idea,” he said, “because had a similar problem occurred in a not-clearing firm, it’s not clear how the default risk that might result would propagate through the market.”

The Hacker and the State: Cyber Attacks and the New Normal of Geopolitics

In the Lair of the Cozy Bear: Cyberwarfare with APT 29 Up Close and Personal

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Tags: The Hacker and the State, Trade via USB Stick

Oct 30 2023


Category: Cyber Attackdisc7 @ 10:39 am

IT Army of Ukraine hacktivists have temporarily disrupted internet services in some of the territories that have been occupied by Russia.

Ukrainian hacktivists belonging to the IT Army of Ukraine group have temporarily disabled internet services in some of the territories that have been occupied by the Russian army.

After the invasion of the Crimea and the eastern Ukraine, Ukrainian telecommunications infrastructure was disable by Russian soldiers.

The hacktivists carried out DDoS attacks against the three Russian internet providers “Miranda-media,” “Krimtelekom,” and “MirTelekom.” The IT Army is inviting supporters to joint its operations by installing their software.

“We continue targeting internet and telecom providers to disrupt enemy communications. Today, our intel orchestrated a “thousand proxies” strike, disabling “Miranda-media,” “Krimtelekom,” and “MirTelekom.” This affects not only Crimea but also occupied parts of Kherson, Zaporizhia, Donetsk, and Luhansk regions. Another blow by our cyber army disrupting enemy military communication at the frontlines.” reads the message published by the group IT Army of Ukraine on its Telegram channel.

The Miranda Media ISP announced on Friday that is was facing a massive DDoS attack.

“Digital services operator Miranda-Media has been recording an unprecedented level of DDoS attacks from Ukrainian hacker groups since 9.05 am on October 27, 2023. As a result, there is a temporary unavailability of the services of Miranda-Media, Krymtelecom and MirTelecom.” reads the announcement.

“All technical and IT services of the company have been placed on high alert. All necessary measures are being taken to restore the network’s functionality. We will inform you further about the progress of the work.”

The Russian ISP managed to mitigate the attack by the end of Friday, it partially restored its services on Friday evening.

Telecommunication infrastructure and internet services are critical infrastructure and were targeted by both Russian and Ukrainian threat actors.

The Russia-linked APT group Sandworm (UAC-0165) has compromised eleven telecommunication service providers in Ukraine between May and September 2023, reported the Ukraine’s Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-UA).

According to public sources, the threat actors targeted ICS of at least 11 Ukrainian telecommunications providers leading to the disruption of their services.

“According to public sources, for the period from 11.05.2023 to 27.09.2023, an organized group of criminals tracked by the identifier UAC-0165 interfered with the information and communication systems (ICS) of no less than 11 telecommunications providers of Ukraine, which, among other things, led to interruptions in the provision of services to consumers.” reads the advisory published by the CERT-UA.

Internet Provider Security A Complete Guide

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Tags: Internet Provider Security, INTERNET PROVIDERS

Oct 20 2023

Hackers Using Secure USB Drives To Attack Government Entities

Category: Cyber Attack,Hacking,Information Securitydisc7 @ 9:36 am

An ongoing attack on government agencies in the APAC region has been claimed to have compromised a secure USB device with hardware encryption.

The nation’s government agencies utilize these safe USB devices to transfer and save data between computer systems.

The attacks had a very small number of victims and were highly targeted. The attacks are believed to have been conducted by a highly experienced and resourceful threat actor interested in conducting espionage operations in secure and private government networks.

Cyber Espionage Via Secure USBs

According to the Kaspersky APT trends report for Q3 2023, this long-running campaign comprises several malicious modules that may execute commands, gather data from infected workstations, and transfer it to further machines using the same or different secure USB drives. 

On the infected computers, the attacks can also carry out additional harmful files.

The attack uses sophisticated tools and methods, such as virtualization-based software obfuscation for malware components, self-replication through connected secure USB drives to spread to other air-gapped systems, and code injection into a legitimate access management program on the USB drive that serves as a loader for the malware on a new machine.

BlindEagle, a financially motivated threat group, has targeted both people and governmental organizations in South America. Although espionage is the threat actor’s main objective, it has demonstrated interest in obtaining financial data.

BlindEagle is characterized by its capacity to cycle through different open-source remote access Trojans (RATs), including AsyncRAT, Lime-RAT, and BitRAT, and utilize them as the ultimate payload to accomplish its goals.

The gang sends spear-phishing emails with Microsoft Office documents attached to its victims. This starts a multi-level infection strategy that results in installing a new Trojan that is primarily made to steal data from the victim’s computer and take over by executing arbitrary commands.

APT campaigns are still widely spread geographically. Attackers have targeted Europe, South America, the Middle East, and other regions of Asia this quarter.

Government, military, defense, gaming, software, entertainment, utilities, banking, and manufacturing are just a few of the industries being attacked.

Cyber espionage continues to be a top priority of APT campaigns, and geopolitics continues to be a major factor in APT development.

“It is therefore very important to build a deep understanding of the TTPs of this threat actor and to watch out for future attacks,” reads the report.

Kingston Ironkey Locker+ 50 16GB Encrypted USB Flash Drive | USB 3.2 Gen 1 | XTS-AES Protection | Multi-Password Security Options | Automatic Cloud Backup

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Tags: encrypted usb drive, USB Drives To Attack

Oct 06 2023

Microsoft Office XSS Flaw Let Attackers Execute Arbitrary Code

Category: Cyber Attack,Remote codedisc7 @ 6:46 am

A recently discovered vulnerability in Microsoft Office Word has raised concerns over the security of the popular productivity suite. 

This security flaw, classified as a Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) vulnerability, allows attackers to execute arbitrary JavaScript code within a Word document.

The XSS Vulnerability

Various Office products, including Microsoft Word, offer a feature that allows users to insert external videos into documents through the “Online Videos” tab.

The XSS Vulnerability

When a user attempts to play an external video embedded in a document, the Office checks to determine whether the source of the external video is trustworthy. 

This check involves applying a regular expression to the video’s URL, which includes trusted sources like YouTube.

If the source is deemed trustworthy, the Office requests to fetch data such as the video’s title or thumbnail. However, the vulnerability arises in how Office handles the video’s title within the HTML iframe tag.

The server responds with information, including the video’s title, description, and the HTML iframe tag. 

The issue is that the server adds the video’s title to the “title” attribute of the iframe tag without proper validation. 

As a result, attackers can manipulate the iframe tag by adding an “unload” attribute, enabling them to inject arbitrary JavaScript code.


To exploit this vulnerability, an attacker can create a YouTube video with a title that includes a payload for inserting the “onload” attribute, reads the PKsecurity report

Then, they insert the URL of this malicious video into a Word document using the Online Videos tab. When the video is played, the injected JavaScript code is executed.


Here is a simplified overview of the steps an attacker would take to exploit this flaw:

  1. Create a YouTube video with a payload in the title.
  2. Insert the URL of the malicious video into a Word document.
  3. Set up a web server to serve malicious JavaScript code.


This vulnerability allows attackers to execute arbitrary JavaScript code when a video embedded in a Word document is played. 

While it may not seem immediately alarming, it’s worth noting that past critical exploits in Office applications often began with the execution of arbitrary JavaScript.

Exploiting this vulnerability could potentially lead to a critical Remote Code Execution (RCE) vulnerability if combined with a new vulnerable Uniform Resource Identifier (URI). 

This makes it crucial for Microsoft to address and patch this issue promptly. The Microsoft Office XSS flaw underscores the importance of keeping software up to date and being cautious about the content embedded in documents. 

Users should be aware of potential security risks associated with video content, especially when it comes from untrusted sources.

Cross Site Scripting: XSS Defense Made Easy

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Tags: cross site scripting, Execute Arbitrary Code, XSS Flaw

Oct 04 2023


Category: Cyber Attack,Zero daydisc7 @ 2:00 pm

Atlassian fixed a critical zero-day flaw in its Confluence Data Center and Server software, which has been exploited in the wild.

Software giant Atlassian released emergency security updates to address a critical zero-day vulnerability, tracked as CVE-2023-22515 (CVSS score 10), in its Confluence Data Center and Server software.

The flaw CVE-2023-22515 is a privilege escalation vulnerability that affects Confluence Data Center and Server 8.0.0 and later. A remote attacker can trigger the flaw in low-complexity attacks without any user interaction.

The company is aware that the vulnerability has been exploited in attacks.

“Atlassian has been made aware of an issue reported by a handful of customers where external attackers may have exploited a previously unknown vulnerability in publicly accessible Confluence Data Center and Server instances to create unauthorized Confluence administrator accounts and access Confluence instances.” reads the advisory published by the company.

“Instances on the public internet are particularly at risk, as this vulnerability is exploitable anonymously.”

According to the advisory, the vulnerability doesn’t impact Atlassian Cloud sites. If customer’s Confluence site is accessed via an domain, it is hosted by Atlassian and is not vulnerable to this issue.

“It’s unusual, though not unprecedented, for a privilege escalation vulnerability to carry a critical severity rating. Atlassian’s advisory implies that the vulnerability is remotely exploitable, which is typically more consistent with an authentication bypass or remote code execution chain than a privilege escalation issue by itself.” reads a post published by Rapid7. “It’s possible that the vulnerability could allow a regular user account to elevate to admin — notably, Confluence allows for new user sign-ups with no approval, but this feature is disabled by default.”

If admins are unable to upgrade their Confluence instances, as an interim measure the company recommends restricting external network access to them.

Atlassian also recommends mitigating known attack vectors for this vulnerability by blocking access to the /setup/* endpoints on Confluence instances.

The software firm also recommends checking instances for the following indicators of compromise:

  • unexpected members of the confluence-administrator group
  • unexpected newly created user accounts
  • requests to /setup/*.action in network access logs
  • presence of /setup/setupadministrator.action in an exception message in atlassian-confluence-security.log in the Confluence home directory

In September 2022, threat actors were observed targeting unpatched Atlassian Confluence servers as part of an ongoing crypto mining campaign.

Trend Micro researchers warned of a crypto mining campaign targeting Atlassian Confluence servers affected by the CVE-2022-26134 RCE vulnerability disclosed in early June 2022.

Atlassian Confluence 5 Essentials

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Oct 03 2023

Zip Slip Vulnerability Let Attacker Import Malicious Code and Execute Arbitrary Code

Category: Cyber Attack,Security vulnerabilitiesdisc7 @ 9:02 am

A critical Zip Slip vulnerability was discovered in the open-source data cleaning and transformation tool ‘OpenRefine’, which allowed attackers to import malicious code and execute arbitrary code.

OpenRefine is a strong Java-based, free, open-source tool for handling messy data. This includes cleaning it, converting it into a different format, and expanding it with web services and external data.

According to SonarCloud, the Zip Slip vulnerability in OpenRefine allows attackers to overwrite existing files or the extraction of contents to unexpected locations. This vulnerability is caused by insufficient path validation while extracting archives.

Details of the OpenRefine Zip Slip Vulnerability

The project import feature of OpenRefine versions 3.7.3 and earlier is vulnerable to a Zip Slip vulnerability (CVE-2023-37476) with a CVSS score of 7.8. 

Although OpenRefine is only intended to execute locally on a user’s computer, a user can be tricked into importing a malicious project file. Once this file is imported, the attacker will be able to run arbitrary code on the victim’s computer.

Web Interface of OpenRefine Tool

“The vulnerability gives attackers a strong primitive: writing files with arbitrary content to an arbitrary location on the filesystem. For applications running with root privileges, there are dozens of possibilities to turn this into arbitrary code execution on the operating system: adding a new user to the passwd file, adding an SSH key, creating a cron job, and more”, researchers said.

Fix Available

OpenRefine Version 3.7.4, published on July 17, 2023, has a fix for the issue.

In light of this, Users are recommended to update to OpenRefine 3.7.4 as soon as feasible.

The Hacker and the State: Cyber Attacks and the New Normal of Geopolitics

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Tags: Execute Arbitrary Code

Sep 25 2023

MOVEit fallout continues as National Student Clearinghouse says nearly 900 schools affected

Category: Cyber Attack,Information Securitydisc7 @ 2:18 pm

The National Student Clearinghouse (NSC) reported that nearly 900 colleges and universities across the U.S. had data stolen during attacks by a Russia-based ransomware gang exploiting the popular MOVEit file-sharing tool.

The nonprofit manages educational reporting, data exchange, verification, and research services for 3,600 colleges and universities as well as 22,000 high schools.

In June, the organization first confirmed that it was affected by exploitation of the tool, which was targeted via several critical vulnerabilities by the ransomware gang Clop.

Dozens of schools published notices confirming that student and alumni data was accessed in the breach but it was never clear just how many colleges or universities were affected.

In filings with California regulators last week, the National Student Clearinghouse provided a list of affected schools totalling nearly 890 — covering almost every state and including several of the largest, most prominent universities in the U.S.

The U.S. Department of Education requires 3,600 colleges and universities nationwide to use the MOVEit tool to share information with the NSC, which provides this data to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) on behalf of the schools.

The stolen information includes personally identifiable information such as Social Security numbers and dates of birth.

NSC says it notified law enforcement after discovering the incident and told regulators in Maine on August 31 that it is sending breach notification letters to 51,689 people. NSC also sent letters to each school affected by the breach.

“The unauthorized party obtained certain files within the Clearinghouse’s MOVEit environment, which may have included information from the student record database on current or former students,” NSC said in an advisory released this summer. “We have no evidence that the affected files included the enrollment and degree files that organizations submit to the Clearinghouse for reporting requirements and for verifications.”

The attack on NSC was one of several involving MOVEit that had wide-ranging downstream effects. The Clop ransomware gang targeted several organizations with connections to other companies or businesses, including PBI Research Services and the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America (TIAA).

Security firm Emsisoft estimates that more than 62 million people and 2,000 organizations were affected by the MOVEit breaches. Several class action lawsuits have been filed against Progress Software, the company behind MOVEit.

Sean Matt, one of the lawyers behind the lawsuits, called it a “cybersecurity disaster of staggering proportions.”

“Millions of individuals are now at the mercy of cybercriminals due to a single security vulnerability in the design of the MOVEit software. The data compromised in this incident — social security numbers, banking information and even the names of people’s children — will undoubtedly lead to years of strife and concern,” he said.

“This is not just a data breach, but an unacceptable breach of the public’s trust in Progress and other companies that have a responsibility to protect the private data they collect.”

North of the border

UnitedHealthcare Student Resources Notifies Individuals of Data Security Incident

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Tags: MOVEit, supply chain attack

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