Gigantic ad fraud: A group of Russian hackers are believed to have built a bot called ‘Methbot’ that can automatically generate ad views resulting in $3 to 5Million of revenue per day for themselves. To make things look real – the bot is capable of spoofing faked clicks, social network login information, and mouse movements. The hackers run fake websites hosted in Dallas / Amsterdam to run real ads, the bots generate fake traffic and fool the ad world.
Power outage in Ukraine – hackers suspected: Last weekend – Russian hackers are suspected to have downed the power station in Ukraine rendering half of its capital powerless. The power station was switched to manual mode and power was restored within 75 minutes. Over the last month – hackers have been attempting the disrupt the energy and financial infrastructure of Ukraine.
Alice malware makes ATM’s spit cash: Crooks with physical access to ATMs can insert this malware called ‘Alice’ into the ATM via USB. The crooks also connect a keyboard to authenticate and run their malware which will empty all the cash in the ATM. Issue 79 – we discussed Thailand ATM hack and in Issue 92 – the European ATM hacks.
Post the Russian Ambassador’s killing: After the Ambassador was shot dead by an off-duty police man, conflicting reports in the media have emerged which claim that Apple has been approached by Turkey/Russia to break the police Man’s iPhone 4s. Some reports claim Apple has not been approached. FBI had approached Apple in the San Bernardino’s attack resulting in the famous Apple V/s FBI case.
Android malware found in Ukraine links Russia to DNC hacks: An Ukrainian artillery officer developed an App that could expedite the processing of targeting data for D-30 Howitzers. A Russian hacker group called Fancy bear managed to insert its malware into this app, thereby compromising the location of the officers and Howitzers. The same group was held responsible for the DNC hack in the US, earlier this year.
Free Ransomware alert tool: A free tool called ‘Ransomfree’ has been released which is capable of alerting the user to take action just before the Ransomware starts to encrypt the files. The tool currently works for Windows. A similar tool for Mac called ‘Ransomwhere?’ was built by a researcher in April this year.
Flaws in In-flight entertainment system detected: A researcher has found holes in the Panasonic Avionics in-flight system that is used in planes run by 13 major airlines. Using these vulnerabilities hackers can spoof flight information like map routes, speed statistics, altitude values, and access credit card information of frequent filers that is stored in the automatic payment system. In 2015 – a cybersecurity researcher Chris Roberts caused an airplane’s engine to climb after hacking its software.
NSA hack was insider job: Issue 78 – we discussed the NSA hack by ‘The Shadow Brokers’ group which dumped several NSA hacking tools online. Last week an Intelligence report suggests that this was an insider job rather than outside hack. A rogue NSA insider just handed over the tools to ‘The Shadow Brokers’. It is important for sensitive organizations to have tools that can monitor and block insider threats.
Security and demonetization: There is widespread increase in digital transactions across India, which is moving towards a ‘less cash’ society. The Security challenges are now being discussed and addressed at various levels. The other challenges and the areas that need to be immediately addressed are Internet speeds, bandwidth. India also tops the world in terms of Ransomware attacks with almost no hacker being convicted to date. The investigations into recent big hacks in India – 3.2M debit card details stolen or Legion attacking Twitter accounts – have yielded no results yet.
16 Going on 17 (2017): From a cyber security perspective – 2016 was bad and it now appears that 2017 will be worse. After having supposedly influenced the US elections – hackers have apparently set their eyes on the upcoming German elections. 2017 not safe for ordinary folks either, Artificial intelligence and autonomous hacking machines are being built that will actively and rapidly seek vulnerabilities and exploit them. Human security operations will be outdone by AI.