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Chinese Hackers Using Firefox Extension to Spy On Tibetan Organizations

Chinese Hackers Using Firefox Extension to Spy On Tibetan Organizations

February 25, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Cybersecurity researchers today unwrapped a new campaign aimed at spying on vulnerable Tibetan communities globally by deploying a malicious Firefox extension on target systems. "Threat actors aligned with the Chinese Communist Party's state interests delivered a customized malicious Mozilla Firefox browser extension that facilitated access and control of users' Gmail accounts," Proofpoint said in an analysis. The Sunnyvale-based enterprise security company pinned the phishing operation on a Chinese advanced persistent threat (APT) it tracks as  TA413 , which has been previously attributed to attacks against the Tibetan diaspora by leveraging  COVID-themed lures  to deliver the Sepulcher malware with the strategic goal of espionage and civil dissident surveillance. The researchers said the attacks were detected in January and February 2021, a pattern that has continued since March 2020. The infection chain begins with a phishing email impersonating the "Tib
The Top Free Tools for Sysadmins in 2021

The Top Free Tools for Sysadmins in 2021

February 25, 2021The Hacker News
It's no secret that sysadmins have plenty on their plates. Managing, troubleshooting, and updating software or hardware is a tedious task. Additionally, admins must grapple with complex webs of permissions and security. This can quickly become overwhelming without the right tools. If you're a sysadmin seeking to simplify your workflows, you're in luck. We've gathered some excellent software picks to help tackle different duties more efficiently.  Thankfully, these free tools are also respectful of tight budgets—without sacrificing core functionality. Best for Permissions Management: SolarWinds Permissions Analyzer for Active Directory Whether you are part of an organization with many members or numerous resources, keeping track of permissions can be challenging. Changes in responsibilities, titles, or even employment statuses can influence one's access to proprietary data. Each user has unique privileges. We not only need to visualize these but manage them on
Russian Hackers Targeted Ukraine Authorities With Supply-Chain Malware Attack

Russian Hackers Targeted Ukraine Authorities With Supply-Chain Malware Attack

February 25, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Ukraine is formally pointing fingers at Russian hackers for hacking into one of its government systems and attempting to plant and distribute malicious documents that would install malware on target systems of public authorities. "The purpose of the attack was the mass contamination of information resources of public authorities, as this system is used for the circulation of documents in most public authorities," the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (NSDC)  said  in a statement published on Wednesday. The NSDC's National Coordination Center for Cybersecurity (NCCC) termed it a supply chain attack aimed at the System of Electronic Interaction of Executive Bodies (SEI EB), which is used to distribute documents to officials. Calling it a work of threat actors with ties to Russia, the NSDC said the decoy documents came embedded with a macro that, when opened, stealthily downloaded malicious code to control the compromised system remotely. "The metho
Online Trackers Increasingly Switching to Invasive CNAME Cloaking Technique

Online Trackers Increasingly Switching to Invasive CNAME Cloaking Technique

February 24, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
With browser makers steadily clamping down on third-party tracking, advertising technology companies are increasingly embracing a DNS technique to evade such defenses, thereby posing a threat to web security and privacy. Called  CNAME Cloaking , the practice of blurring the distinction between first-party and third-party cookies not only results in leaking sensitive private information without users' knowledge and consent but also "increases [the] web security threat surface," said a group of researchers Yana Dimova, Gunes Acar, Lukasz Olejnik, Wouter Joosen, and Tom Van Goethem in a new study. "This tracking scheme takes advantage of a CNAME record on a subdomain such that it is same-site to the including web site," the researchers  said  in the paper. "As such, defenses that block third-party cookies are rendered ineffective." The findings are expected to be presented in July at the 21st Privacy Enhancing Technologies Symposium (PETS 2021). Rise
Experts Warns of Notable Increase in QuickBooks Data Files Theft Attacks

Experts Warns of Notable Increase in QuickBooks Data Files Theft Attacks

February 24, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
New research has uncovered a significant increase in QuickBooks file data theft using social engineering tricks to deliver malware and exploit the accounting software. "A majority of the time, the attack involves basic malware that is often signed, making it hard to detect using antivirus or other threat detection software," researchers from ThreatLocker said in an analysis shared today with The Hacker News. QuickBooks is an accounting software package developed and marketed by Intuit. The spear-phishing attacks take the form of a PowerShell command that's capable of running inside of the email, the researchers said, adding, a second attack vector involves decoy documents sent via email messages that, when opened, runs a macro to download malicious code which uploads QuickBooks files to an attacker-controlled server. Alternatively, bad actors have also been spotted running a PowerShell command called  Invoke-WebRequests  on target systems to upload relevant data to
Everything You Need to Know About Evolving Threat of Ransomware

Everything You Need to Know About Evolving Threat of Ransomware

February 24, 2021The Hacker News
The cybersecurity world is constantly evolving to new forms of threats and vulnerabilities. But ransomware proves to be a different animal—most destructive, persistent, notoriously challenging to prevent, and is showing no signs of slowing down. Falling victim to a ransomware attack can cause significant data loss, data breach, operational downtime, costly recovery, legal consequences, and reputational damage. In this story, we have covered everything you need to know about ransomware and how it works. What is ransomware? Ransomware is a malicious program that gains control over the infected device, encrypts files, and blocks user access to the data or a system until a sum of money, or ransom, is paid. Crooks' scheme includes a ransom note—with amount and instructions on how to pay a ransom in return for the decryption key—or direct communication with the victim. While ransomware impacts businesses and institutions of every size and type, attackers often target healthcare, e
Critical RCE Flaws Affect VMware ESXi and vSphere Client — Patch Now

Critical RCE Flaws Affect VMware ESXi and vSphere Client — Patch Now

February 23, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
VMware has addressed multiple critical remote code execution (RCE) vulnerabilities in VMware ESXi and vSphere Client virtual infrastructure management platform that may allow attackers to execute arbitrary commands and take control of affected systems. "A malicious actor with network access to port 443 may exploit this issue to execute commands with unrestricted privileges on the underlying operating system that hosts vCenter Server," the company  said  in its advisory. The vulnerability, tracked as CVE-2021-21972, has a CVSS score of 9.8 out of a maximum of 10, making it critical in severity. "In our opinion, the RCE vulnerability in the vCenter Server can pose no less a threat than the infamous vulnerability in Citrix (CVE-2019-19781)," said Positive Technologies' Mikhail Klyuchnikov, who discovered and reported the flaw to VMware. "The error allows an unauthorized user to send a specially crafted request, which will later give them the opportunity
Experts Find a Way to Learn What You're Typing During Video Calls

Experts Find a Way to Learn What You're Typing During Video Calls

February 23, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
A new attack framework aims to infer keystrokes typed by a target user at the opposite end of a video conference call by simply leveraging the video feed to correlate observable body movements to the text being typed. The research was undertaken by Mohd Sabra, and Murtuza Jadliwala from the University of Texas at San Antonio and Anindya Maiti from the University of Oklahoma, who say the attack can be extended beyond live video feeds to those streamed on YouTube and Twitch as long as a webcam's field-of-view captures the target user's visible upper body movements. "With the recent ubiquity of video capturing hardware embedded in many consumer electronics, such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops, the threat of information leakage through visual channel[s] has amplified," the researchers  said . "The adversary's goal is to utilize the observable upper body movements across all the recorded frames to infer the private text typed by the target." To ach
5 Security Lessons for Small Security Teams for the Post COVID19 Era

5 Security Lessons for Small Security Teams for the Post COVID19 Era

February 23, 2021The Hacker News
A full-time mass work from home (WFH) workforce was once considered an extreme risk scenario that few risk or security professionals even bothered to think about. Unfortunately, within a single day, businesses worldwide had to face such a reality. Their 3-year long digital transformation strategy was forced to become a 3-week sprint during which offices were abandoned, and people started working from home. Like in an eerie doomsday movie, servers were left on in the office, but nobody was sitting in the chairs. While everyone hopes that the world returns to its previous state, it's evident that work dynamics have changed forever. From now on, we can assume a hybrid work environment. Even companies that will require their employees to arrive daily at their offices recognize that they have undergone a digital transformation, and work from home habits will remain. The eBook "5 Security Lessons for Small Security Teams for a Post-COVID19 Era" ( download here ) helps companies prepare
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