The CyberWire

The CyberWire Daily The daily cybersecurity news and analysis industry leaders depend on. Published each weekday, the program also includes interviews with a wide spectrum of experts from industry, academia, and research organizations all over the world.

  • Free malware with cracked software. [Research Saturday]
    by CyberWire, Inc. on July 24, 2021 at 7:00 am

    Guest Christopher Budd, Senior Global Threat Communications Manager at Avast, joins Dave to talk about some research his team did when they looked into a Reddit report saying their Avast folder was empty and other reports like it. The team found a new malware they’re calling “Crackonosh” in part because of some possible indications that the malware author may be Czech. Crackonosh is distributed along with illegal, cracked copies of popular software and searches for and disables many popular antivirus programs as part of its anti-detection and anti-forensics tactics. The research can be found here: Crackonosh: A New Malware Distributed in Cracked Software

  • Cyber threats to, and around, the Olympic Games. Kaseya got a decryptor, from somewhere…. NSO says it’s not responsible for Pegasus misuse. US cyber policy toward China. Fraud Family busted.
    by CyberWire, Inc. on July 23, 2021 at 8:20 pm

    The Olympics are underway, and the authorities are on the alert for cyberattacks. Kaseya has a decryptor for the REvil ransomware, but it hasn’t said how it got the key. NSO Group says it’s not responsible for customer misuse of its Pegasus intercept tool. US policy toward Chinese cyber activities shows continuity, with some diplomatic intensification, but hawks would like to see more action. Our guest Jack Williams from Hexagon joins Dave to discuss the promises and challenges of smart cities. Podcast partner Chris Novak of Verizon talks about advancing incident response. And Dutch police make arrests in their investigation of the Fraud Family. For links to all of today’s stories check out our CyberWire daily news briefing: https://www.thecyberwire.com/newsletters/daily-briefing/10/141

  • Extortion is the motive in the Saudi Aramco incident. Updates on the Pegasus Project. Chinese cyberespionage and Beijing’s tu quoque. FIN7 resurfaces, and a post-mortem on Egregor.
    by CyberWire, Inc. on July 22, 2021 at 7:40 pm

    It’s extortion after all at Saudi Aramco. Controversy and investigation over alleged misuse of NSO Group’s Pegasus intercept tool continues. Warning of Chinese espionage from ANSSI, and China’s denunciation of all this kind of “baseless slander.” Phishing in Milanote. FIN7 resurfaces after the conviction of some key members. Dinah Davis from Arctic Wolf on the importance of identity management. Our guest Jenn Donahue shares key strategies for mentoring and supporting female engineers, scientists, and leaders of the future. And IBM sifts through the ashes of a ransomware gang for a look at the business of crime. For links to all of today’s stories check out our CyberWire daily news briefing: https://www.thecyberwire.com/newsletters/daily-briefing/10/140

  • Historical threats to industrial control systems inform current security practices. Ransomware privateering and side-hustling. Updates on the Pegasus Project.
    by CyberWire, Inc. on July 21, 2021 at 8:20 pm

    CISA warns of threats to industrial control systems, profusely illustrated with examples from recent history. Ransomware can be operated either in the course of privateering or as an APT side hustle. Security firms outline new and evolving threats and vulnerabilities. Reaction continues to the Pegasus Project’s reports on intercept tools. Joe Carrigan unpacks recent Facebook revelations and allegations. Our guest is Dave Humphrey from Bain Capital on his tech investment bets and predictions. And do you know what “military grade” means? Neither do we, but we think we have an idea. For links to all of today’s stories check out our CyberWire daily news briefing: https://www.thecyberwire.com/newsletters/daily-briefing/10/139

  • APT side hustles and evidence of espionage. NSO replies to the Pegasus Project, and AWS removes NSO from its CloudFront CDM. Other data breaches and ransomware incidents.
    by CyberWire, Inc. on July 20, 2021 at 7:50 pm

    The US says China contracted with criminals to carry out cyberespionage campaigns. Norway says China was behind an attack on its parliamentary email system. China denounces accusations of cyberespionage as slander, and says it’s the real victim, because the CIA is the one stealing IP from China. AWS expels NSO Group from its CloudFront CDM. NSO denies it permits its intercept tools to be abused. Saudi Aramco sustains a data breach. Ben Yelin describes calls for bans on government use of facial recognition software. Our guest is Tom Kellermann from VMware on the potential cybersecurity threats facing the Olympic Games. And an MSP struggles with ransomware. For links to all of today’s stories check out our CyberWire daily news briefing: https://www.thecyberwire.com/newsletters/daily-briefing/10/138

  • Microsoft Exchange Server hacks officially attributed to China. Indictment in industrial espionage case. Entities List expands. Abuse of NSO Group’s Pegasus tool reported.
    by CyberWire, Inc. on July 19, 2021 at 8:30 pm

    Allied governments formally attribute exploitation of Microsoft Exchange Server to China’s Ministry of State Security. A US Federal indictment names four MSS officers in conjunction with another, long-running cyberespionage campaign. The US Department of Commerce adds six Russian organizations to the Entities List. The Pegasus Project outlines alleged abuse of NSO Group’s intercept tool. Thomas Etheridge from CrowdStrike on the importance of real-time response, continuous monitoring and remediation. Our guest is Neha Joshi from Accenture on solving the cybersecurity staffing gap and how to stand up a successful, diverse security team. And there’s hacktivism in Southeast Asia. For links to all of today’s stories check out our CyberWire daily news briefing: https://www.thecyberwire.com/newsletters/daily-briefing/10/137

  • Peter Baumann: Adding value to data. [CEO] [Career Notes]
    by CyberWire, Inc. on July 18, 2021 at 7:00 am

    CEO of ActiveNav, Peter Baumann, takes us on his career journey from minor home electrical experiments to the business of data discovery. He began his career as an electrical engineer, but felt an entrepreneurial spirit was part of his makeup. Following his return to college to study business and finance, Peter talks about being set on the path to shine the light on the data to provide discovery capability. To those interested in the field, he suggests having a broad familiarity of different approaches. We thank Peter for sharing his story with us.

  • Enabling connectivity enables exposures. [Research Saturday]
    by CyberWire, Inc. on July 17, 2021 at 7:00 am

    Guest Nathan Howe, Vice President of Emerging Technology at Zscaler, joins Dave to discuss his team’s work, “2021 “Exposed” Report Reveals Corporate and Cloud Infrastructures More at Risk Than Ever From Expanded Attack Surfaces.” The modern workforce has resulted in an increase of users, devices, and applications existing outside of controlled networks, including corporate networks, the business emphasis on the “network” has decreased and the reliance on the internet as the connective tissue for businesses has increased. Zscaler analyzes the attack surface of 1,500 organizations and identifies trends affecting businesses of all sizes and industries, across all geographies. Key findings include: The attack surface impact based on company size The countries with the greatest attack surface The industries that are most exposed The research can be found here: “Exposed”: The world’s first report to reveal how exposed corporate networks really are.

  • DDoS at Russia’s MoD. Facebook disrupts Iranian catphishing operation. An intercept tool vendor’s activities are exposed. No signs of the US softening on Huawei bans.
    by CyberWire, Inc. on July 16, 2021 at 8:10 pm

    Russia’s Ministry of Defense says its website sustained a distributed denial-of-service attack this morning. Facebook disrupts a complex Iranian catphishing operation aimed at military personnel and employees of defense and aerospace companies. Microsoft and Citizen Lab describe the recent operations of an Israeli intercept tool vendor. The US shows no signs of relenting on Huawei. Johannes Ullrich from the SANS technology institute has been Hunting Phishing Sites with Shodan. Our guest is Rick Van Galen from 1Password with insights from their Hiding in Plain Sight report. And there’s nothing new on the REvil front–the gang is as much in the wind as it was early this week. For links to all of today’s stories check out our CyberWire daily news briefing: https://www.thecyberwire.com/newsletters/daily-briefing/10/136

  • Luminous Moth or Mustang Panda, it’s the same bad actor (probably). Updates on other cyberespionage and ransomware campaigns. Rewards for tips on cyberattacks.
    by CyberWire, Inc. on July 15, 2021 at 7:30 pm

    A Chinese APT is active against targets in Myanmar and, especially, the Philippines. Cyberespionage campaigns suggest that there’s a thriving market for zero-days. MI5 warns against spying, disinformation, and radicalization. REvil continues to lie low (and the Kremlin hasn’t seen anything). CISA offers ransomware mitigation advice. Bogus Coinbase sites steal credentials. Ransomware attacks on old SonicWall products expected. Daniel Prince from Lancaster University looks at Getting into the industry, and whether a degree is worth it. Our guest is Kurtis Minder from GroupSense, tracking 3 divergent ransomware trends. And Rewards for Justice offers a million dollars for tips on cyberattacks.  For links to all of today’s stories check out our CyberWire daily news briefing: https://www.thecyberwire.com/newsletters/daily-briefing/10/135

  • Patch notes. What’s happening with REvil remains unclear, but it would be rash to count the gang out.
    by CyberWire, Inc. on July 14, 2021 at 7:25 pm

    SolarWinds patches a zero-day exploited by a Chinese threat group. Patch Tuesday notes. What’s up with REvil: takedown, retirement, rebranding, or glitch? (Don’t bet against rebranding.) Joe Carrigan from JHU ISI on cell phone carriers sneaking us ads via SMS. Our guest is Nicko van Someren of Absolute Software with a look at endpoint risk. And bots like futbol. For links to all of today’s stories check out our CyberWire daily news briefing: https://www.thecyberwire.com/newsletters/daily-briefing/10/134

  • SolarWinds patches a zero-day. Trickbot is back. Bogus Twitter accounts, now suspended, were verified by the social medium. DarkSide hits Guess. Updates on REvil and Kaseya.
    by CyberWire, Inc. on July 13, 2021 at 7:15 pm

    SolarWinds addresses a zero-day that was exploited in the wild. A watering hole campaign lures users of online gaming sites. Inauthentic accounts (now suspended) get a blue check mark. Trickbot is back, with new capabilities. The DarkSide hits fashion retailer Guess. Malek Ben Salem from Accenture on Remediation of Vulnerabilities using AI. Our guest is Jeff Williams from Contrast Security with a look at Application Security in Financial Services. And some updates on Kaseya, its customers, and the current state of REvil. For links to all of today’s stories check out our CyberWire daily news briefing: https://www.thecyberwire.com/newsletters/daily-briefing/10/133

  • Kaseya and REvil–the state of recovery. President Biden calls President Putin to ask for action on ransomware. Cyber incident in Iran. Ukraine says its naval website was hacked. Tracking ransom.
    by CyberWire, Inc. on July 12, 2021 at 8:55 pm

    Kaseya has patched the VSA on-premises and SaaS versions affected by REvil ransomware. The US tries some straight talk about privateering with Russia, but with what effect remains to be seen. Russia’s autarkic Internet poses some challenges for international security. Iranian rail and government sites were hit with a cyber incident over the weekend. Ukraine says Russian threat actors defaced its Naval website. Carole Theriault looks at ethics in phishing simulations. Josh Ray from Accenture tracks real world incident response trends. And tracking just how much the ransomware gangs are taking in. For links to all of today’s stories check out our CyberWire daily news briefing: https://www.thecyberwire.com/newsletters/daily-briefing/10/132

  • APTs transitioning to the cloud. [CyberWire-X]
    by CyberWire, Inc. on July 11, 2021 at 7:00 am

    Cloud attacks have become so widespread that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has warned against an increase of nation states, criminal groups and hacktivists targeting cloud-based enterprise resources. APTs such as Pacha Group, Rocke Group and TeamTNT have been rapidly modifying their existing tools to target Linux servers in the cloud. Modifying their existing code to create new malware variants which are easily bypassing traditional security solutions. The solution? In order to detect and respond to these attacks security teams need visibility into what code is running on their systems. In this episode of CyberWire-X, guest Jonas Walker from Fortinet shares his insights with the CyberWire’s Rick Howard, and Ell Marquez of sponsor Intezer offers her thoughts to the CyberWire’s Dave Bittner.

  • Taree Reardon: A voice for women in cyber. [Threat Analyst] [Career Notes]
    by CyberWire, Inc. on July 11, 2021 at 7:00 am

    Senior Threat Analyst and Shift Lead for VMware Taree Reardon shares her journey to becoming leader for women in the cybersecurity field. A big gamer who has always been interested in hacking and forensics, Taree found her passion while learning about cybersecurity. She’s dedicated to diversity and inclusion and found her footing on a team made up of 50% women. Taree spends her days tracking and blocking attacks and as a champion for women. Trusting yourself is top on her list of advice. We thank Taree for sharing her story.

  • Dealing illicit goods on encrypted chat apps. [Research Saturday]
    by CyberWire, Inc. on July 10, 2021 at 7:00 am

    Guest Daniel Kats, Senior Principal Research Engineer at NortonLifeLock, joins Dave to discuss his team’s work, “Encrypted Chat Apps Doubling as Illegal Marketplaces.” Encrypted chat apps are gaining popularity worldwide due to their central premise of not sending user data to tech giants. Some popular examples include WhatsApp, Telegram and Signal. These apps have also been adopted by businesses to securely communicate directly to their users. Additionally, these apps have been instrumental to subverting authoritarian regimes. However, NortonLifeLock found that encrypted chat apps are also being used by criminals to sell illegal goods. Because content moderation is, by design, nearly impossible on these apps, they allow for an easy vector for dealers of illicit goods to communicate directly to customers without fear of law enforcement involvement. The research can be found here: Encrypted Chat Apps Doubling as Illegal Marketplaces

  • Kaseya continues to work through its REvil days, as does the US Administration. In other news, there’s cyberespionage in Asia, the PrintNightmare fix, and Black Widow as phishbait.
    by CyberWire, Inc. on July 9, 2021 at 7:20 pm

    Kaseya continues to work through remediation of the VSA vulnerability exploited by REvil, with completion expected Sunday afternoon. And while REvil has made a nuisance of itself, this time they may not have seen a big payday, or at least not yet. The US is still considering its retaliatory and other options in the big ransomware case. China’s MSS is active against targets in Asia. Andrea Little Limbago from Interos looks at Government access to data analysis. Our guest is Leon Gilbert from Unisys with data from their Digital Workplace Insights report. And scammers are baiting their hooks with Black Widow lures. For links to all of today’s stories check out our CyberWire daily news briefing: https://www.thecyberwire.com/newsletters/daily-briefing/10/131

  • Cyber conflict sputters in Ukraine? Kaseya delays VSA patch, offers assistance to REvil’s victims. US mulls retaliation for privateering. PrintNightmare patch. Another extradition run at Julian Assange.
    by CyberWire, Inc. on July 8, 2021 at 8:20 pm

    Ukrainian government websites may have come under an unspecified cyberattack early this week. Kaseya delays its VSA patch until Sunday, and offers assistance to victims of VSA exploitation by REvil. The US continues to mull its response to Russia over REvil and Cozy Bear. A small electric utility’s business systems go offline after a ransomware attack. Microsoft continues to grapple with PrintNightmare. Caleb Barlow from CynergisTek on the changing Cyber Insurance landscape. Our guest is Kwame Yamgnane from Qwasar on how he seeks to inspire minority kids to code. And the US will try again to get Julian Assange extradited.  For links to all of today’s stories check out our CyberWire daily news briefing: https://www.thecyberwire.com/newsletters/daily-briefing/10/130

  • Kaseya works on patching VSA as Washington mulls retaliation and Moscow says it has nothing to do with it. Microsoft patches PrintNightmare. The Lazarus Group is back.
    by CyberWire, Inc. on July 7, 2021 at 8:05 pm

    Kaseya continues to work on patching its VSA products. The US mulls retaliation for the Kaseya ransomware campaign, as well as for Cozy Bear’s attempt on the Republican National Committee and Fancy Bear’s brute-forcing efforts. (Russia denies any wrongdoing.) Current events phishbait. Microsoft patches PrintNightmare. Joe Carrigan looks at recent updates to Google’s Scorecards tool. Our guest Umesh Sachdev of Uniphore describes his entrepreneurial journey. And the Lazarus Group is back, phishing for defense workers. For links to all of today’s stories check out our CyberWire daily news briefing: https://www.thecyberwire.com/newsletters/daily-briefing/10/129

  • The Kaseya ransomware incident. Ransomware threats to industrial firms. Malicious Android apps stole Facebook credentials. The Tokyo Olympics and cyber risk.
    by CyberWire, Inc. on July 6, 2021 at 8:30 pm

    Updates on the Kaseya ransomware incident, as REvil strikes again. Concerns about other ransomware attacks against industrial targets rise. Google expels credential-stealing apps from the Play Store. Online gamers draw various threat actors. Carole Theriault examines the elements that could put you in the crosshairs for ransomware. Ben Yelin has an update on the Facebook antitrust case. And the Tokyo Olympic Games will be on alert for cyberattacks. For links to all of today’s stories check out our CyberWire daily news briefing: https://www.thecyberwire.com/newsletters/daily-briefing/10/128

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