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Sophisticated phishing: a roundup of noteworthy campaigns

Phishing is a problem nearly as old as the Internet. Yet, criminals continue to reach into their bag of phishing tricks in 2019 because, in a nutshell, it just works. Dialing into the human psyche and capitalizing on emotions such as fear, anxiety, or plain laziness, phishing attacks are successful because they take aim at our weaknesses and exploit them—in much the same way an exploit kit takes … [Read more...]

Hacker destroys VFEmail service, wipes backups

An email service called VFEmail was essentially put out of business after a hack intended to delete everything in (and out of) sight. “Yes, @VFEmail is effectively gone. It will likely not return. I never thought anyone would care about my labor of love so much that they’d want to completely and thoroughly destroy it.” This wasn’t “just” a simple webpage compromise, … [Read more...]

Sextortion Bitcoin scam makes unwelcome return

Heads up: a particularly nasty sextortion Bitcoin scam from at least the middle of 2018 is making the rounds once again. The scam involves making use of old breach dumps, then emailing someone from the list and reminding them of their old password. When something lands in your mailbox with “Hey, remember this?” it’s a surefire way to focus the reader’s attention. Pressure is then applied to … [Read more...]

Movie stream ebooks gun for John Wick 3 on Kindle store

We discovered a novel spam campaign over the weekend, targeting fans of John Wick on the Amazon Kindle store. The scam itself involves paying for what appears to be the upcoming third movie, turns into a bogus ebook, and goes on to hyperlink potential victims to a collection of third-party websites. How does this begin? With a dog, a grieving assassin, and a pencil. Actually, it begins with me … [Read more...]

Sly criminals package ransomware with malicious ransom note

Ransomware continues to show signs of evolution. From a simple screen locker to a highly-sophisticated data locker, ransomware has now become a mainstream name, even if (historically), it has been around far longer than we want to look back. Although the criminals behind ransomware campaigns are observed to be refining their approaches—from the “spray and pray” tactic to something akin to wide … [Read more...]

Has two-factor authentication been defeated? A spotlight on 2FA’s latest challenge

Multiple news reports about the defeat of two-factor authentication (2FA) have been making rounds lately. In November 2018, our friends at ESET discovered a purported Android battery utility tool called “Optimization Android” from a third-party app store. This app was designed to steal money from a user’s PayPal account without relying on stolen credentials. It operates by modifying a device’s … [Read more...]

Hosting malicious sites on legitimate servers: How do threat actors get away with it?

How do threat actors manage to get their sites and files hosted on legitimate providers’ servers? I have asked myself this question many times, and many times thought, “The threat actors pay for it, and for some companies, money is all that matters.” But is it really that simple? I decided to find out. I asked some companies, as well as some of my co-workers who are involved with site takedowns on … [Read more...]

The Advanced Persistent Threat files: APT10

We’ve heard a lot about Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) over the past few years. As a refresher, APTs are prolonged, aimed attacks on specific targets with the intention to compromise their systems and gain information from or about that target. While the targets may be anyone or anything—a person, business, or other organization—APTs are often associated with government or military … [Read more...]

Luas data ransom: the hacker who cried wolf?

In a terrible start to the year for Irish tram firm Luas, their site was compromised a week ago and adorned with a stark ransom warning: Click to enlarge You are hacked. Some time ago I wrote that you have serious security holes. You didn’t reply. The next time someone talks to you, press the reply button. You must pay one bitcoin in five days. Otherwise I will publish all data and send emails to … [Read more...]

Social Security Number scammers are at it again

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) once again sounded the alarm in mid-December about the latest Social Security Number (SSN) scam that continues to affect thousands of Americans. While most of us were only able to read about this type of scam in the past, the FTC now has an audio recording of an SSN scam robocall, which they released two weeks after the warning. Play the audio below and … [Read more...]