Tag Archives: ransomware

Security Breach Disrupts Fintech Firm Finastra

March 20, 2020

Finastra, a company that provides a range of technology solutions to banks worldwide, said it was shutting down key systems in response to a security breach discovered Friday morning. The company’s public statement and notice to customers does not mention the cause of the outage, but their response so far is straight out of the playbook for dealing with ransomware attacks.

Zyxel Fixes 0day in Network Storage Devices

February 24, 2020

Networking hardware vendor Zyxel today released an update to fix a critical flaw in many of its network attached storage (NAS) devices that can be used to remotely commandeer them. The patch comes 12 days after KrebsOnSecurity alerted the company that precise instructions for exploiting the vulnerability were being sold for $20,000 in the cybercrime underground.

Based in Taiwan, Zyxel Communications Corp. (a.k.a “ZyXEL”) is a maker of networking devices, including Wi-Fi routers, NAS products and hardware firewalls. The company has roughly 1,500 employees and boasts some 100 million devices deployed worldwide. While in many respects the class of vulnerability addressed in this story is depressingly common among Internet of Things (IoT) devices, the flaw is notable because it has attracted the interest of groups specializing in deploying ransomware at scale.

The Hidden Cost of Ransomware: Wholesale Password Theft

January 6, 2020

Organizations in the throes of cleaning up after a ransomware outbreak typically will change passwords for all user accounts that have access to any email systems, servers and desktop workstations within their network. But all too often, ransomware victims fail to grasp that the crooks behind these attacks can and frequently do siphon every single password stored on each infected endpoint. The result of this oversight may offer attackers a way back into the affected organization, access to financial and healthcare accounts, or — worse yet — key tools for attacking the victim’s various business partners and clients.

Who Is Marcus Hutchins?

September 5, 2017

In early August 2017, FBI agents in Las Vegas arrested 23-year-old U.K. resident Marcus Hutchins on suspicion of authoring and/or selling “Kronos,” a strain of malware designed to steal online banking credentials. Hutchins was virtually unknown to most in the security community until May 2017, when a British newspaper revealed him as the “accidental hero” who inadvertently halted the global spread of WannaCry, a ransomware contagion that had taken the world by storm just days before.

Relatively few knew it before his arrest, but Hutchins for many years authored the popular cybersecurity blog MalwareTech. When this fact became more widely known — combined with his hero status for halting Wannacry — a great many MalwareTech readers quickly leapt to his defense to denounce his arrest. They reasoned that the government was overstepping on flimsy evidence, noting that Hutchins has worked tirelessly to expose cybercriminals and their malicious tools. To date, some 226 supporters have donated more than $14,000 to his defense fund.

At first, I did not believe the charges against Hutchins would hold up under scrutiny. But as I began to dig deeper into the history tied to dozens of hacker forum pseudonyms, email addresses and domains he apparently used over the past decade, a very different picture began to emerge.

In this post, I will attempt to describe and illustrate more than three weeks’ worth of connecting the dots from what appear to be Hutchins’ earliest hacker forum accounts to his real-life identity. The clues suggest that Hutchins began developing and selling malware in his mid-teens — only to later develop a change of heart and earnestly endeavor to leave that part of his life squarely in the rearview mirror.

‘Petya’ Ransomware Outbreak Goes Global

June 27, 2017

A new strain of ransomware dubbed “Petya” is worming its way around the world with alarming speed. The malware appears to be spreading using a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows that the software giant patched in March 2017 — the same bug that was exploited by the recent and prolific WannaCry ransomware strain.

FBI: Extortion, CEO Fraud Among Top Online Fraud Complaints in 2016

June 23, 2017

Online extortion, tech support scams and phishing attacks that spoof the boss were among the most costly cyber scams reported by consumers and businesses last year, according to new figures from the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).

The IC3 report released Thursday correctly identifies some of the most prevalent and insidious forms of cybercrimes today, but the total financial losses tied to each crime type also underscore how infrequently victims actually report such crimes to law enforcement.

Before You Pay that Ransomware Demand…

December 22, 2016

A decade ago, if a desktop computer got infected with malware the chief symptom probably was an intrusive browser toolbar of some kind. Five years ago you were more likely to whacked by a banking trojan that stole all your passwords and credit card numbers. These days if your mobile or desktop computer is infected what gets installed is likely to be “ransomware” — malicious software that locks your most prized documents, songs and pictures with strong encryption and then requires you to pay for a key to unlock the files.

San Francisco Rail System Hacker Hacked

November 29, 2016

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) was hit with a ransomware attack on Friday, causing fare station terminals to carry the message, “You Hacked. ALL Data Encrypted.” Turns out, the miscreant behind this extortion attempt got hacked himself this past weekend, revealing details about other victims as well as tantalizing clues about his identity and location.