Monthly Archives: June 2021

Ukrainian Police Nab Six Tied to CLOP Ransomware

June 16, 2021

Authorities in Ukraine this week charged six people alleged to have been part of the CLOP ransomware group, a cybercriminal gang said to have extorted more than half a billion dollars from victims. Some of CLOP’s victims this year alone include Stanford University Medical School, the University of California, and University of Maryland.

How Does One Get Hired by a Top Cybercrime Gang?

June 15, 2021

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) last week announced the arrest of a 55-year-old Latvian woman who’s alleged to have worked as a programmer for Trickbot, a malware-as-a-service platform responsible for infecting millions of computers and seeding many of those systems with ransomware.

Just how did a self-employed web site designer and mother of two come to work for one of the world’s most rapacious cybercriminal groups and then leave such an obvious trail of clues indicating her involvement with the gang? This post explores answers to those questions, as well as some of the ways Trickbot and other organized cybercrime gangs gradually recruit, groom and trust new programmers.

Microsoft Patches Six Zero-Day Security Holes

June 8, 2021

Microsoft today released another round of security updates for Windows operating systems and supported software, including fixes for six zero-day bugs that malicious hackers already are exploiting in active attacks.

Justice Dept. Claws Back $2.3M Paid by Colonial Pipeline to Ransomware Gang

June 7, 2021

The U.S. Department of Justice said today it has recovered $2.3 million worth of Bitcoin that Colonial Pipeline paid to ransomware extortionists last month. The funds had been sent to DarkSide, a ransomware-as-a-service syndicate that disbanded after a May 14 farewell message to affiliates saying its Internet servers and cryptocurrency stash were seized by unknown law enforcement entities.

Adventures in Contacting the Russian FSB

June 7, 2021

KrebsOnSecurity recently had occasion to contact the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), the Russian equivalent of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). In the process of doing so, I encountered a small snag: The FSB’s website said in order to contact them securely, I needed to download and install an encryption and virtual private networking (VPN) appliance that is flagged by at least 20 antivirus products as malware.

The reason I contacted the FSB — one of the successor agencies to the Russian KGB — ironically enough had to do with security concerns raised about the FSB’s own preferred method of being contacted.