Archive for November 14, 2023

LDI Connect Selects HYAS Advanced Threat Intelligence and Protective DNS 

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 14, 2023 by itnerd

HYAS Infosec and LDI Connect, a leading provider of managed IT, office and security services, today announced LDI’s selection of HYAS as a strategic addition to their cybersecurity services portfolio.

This partnership enables LDI Connect to enhance its clients’ cybersecurity defenses through the advanced protection capabilities of HYAS Protect protective DNS. By combining authoritative knowledge of attacker infrastructure and unrivaled domain-based intelligence, HYAS Protect lets LDI Connect proactively enforce security and block adversarial command-and-control (C2) communication, protecting customer organizations against malware, ransomware, phishing, and other forms of cyber attacks.

As early adopters of new and innovative technology, LDI Connect understands the critical role that protective DNS plays in their clients’ cybersecurity stack. Continually looking to improve the effectiveness of the services LDI Connect provides to their clients, the MSP recognized that the HYAS protective DNS solution has the highest efficacy rates in the industry in detecting new, unknown and emerging vulnerabilities. (Source: AV-Test) With HYAS Protect in place, LDI Connect clients gain greater visibility, efficacy and protection in their environments with a solution that integrates into any security architecture.

Game in 4K this holiday with Epson’s Home Cinema 2350 Projector

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 14, 2023 by itnerd

Whether you enjoy fantasy, sports, action or superheroes, we have to admit that there’s a bit of a gamer in all of us. Take video gaming to the next level by gifting yourself (or a family member) an Epson Home Cinema 2350 4K Smart Streaming Projector (MSRP: $1,699.99 CAD).

Spend time with family and friends immersing yourselves in the newest Assassin’s Creed or Spiderman with Epson’s innovative 4K PRO-UHD technology for a truly epic gaming experience. With the Home Cinema 2350, you can game up to 120 frames per second by connecting your consul to the dual HDMI 2.1 ports that allow for competitive 1080p gaming performance.

And with Android TV included, the Home Cinema 2350 Smart Streaming Projector also makes it easy to stream your favourite Twitch and YouTube channels—or watch the latest movies and TV shows on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max and more.

FBI and CISA Release Joint Advisory On The Royal Ransomware Gang

Posted in Commentary with tags , on November 14, 2023 by itnerd

The FBI and CISA have revealed in a joint advisory that the Royal ransomware gang has breached the networks of at least 350 organizations worldwide since September 2022.

Since approximately September 2022, cyber threat actors have compromised U.S. and international organizations with Royal ransomware. FBI and CISA believe this variant, which uses its own custom-made file encryption program, evolved from earlier iterations that used “Zeon” as a loader. After gaining access to victims’ networks, Royal actors disable antivirus software and exfiltrate large amounts of data before ultimately deploying the ransomware and encrypting the systems. Royal actors have made ransom demands ranging from approximately $1 million to $11 million USD in Bitcoin. In observed incidents, Royal actors do not include ransom amounts and payment instructions as part of the initial ransom note. Instead, the note, which appears after encryption, requires victims to directly interact with the threat actor via a .onion URL (reachable through the Tor browser). Royal actors have targeted numerous critical infrastructure sectors including, but not limited to, Manufacturing, Communications, Healthcare and Public Healthcare (HPH), and Education.

Frankly that’s a staggering number. John Gunn, CEO, Token had this comment:

It is ridiculous that organizations are left to fend for themselves. Imagine there were this many bank robberies without any action against the perpetrators – just more advice from the Feds on how to protect the bank from robbers – never. Our government needs to do more to proactively target and eliminate groups that are making US institutions their targets.

Perhaps he has a point and maybe it’s time to go on offence as being constantly on defence is tiring, and more importantly isn’t stopping these groups from operating. It’s certainly food for thought.

If You Criticize Elon Musk On Twitter, You Will Get Shadowbanned

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 14, 2023 by itnerd

Elon Musk once upon a time was highly critical of the use of shadowbans. He argued that shadow bans were anti free speech. But I am guessing that things have changed on that front as he’s now pro shadowban if you criticize him on Twitter:

In January, Elon Musk shared a post that railed against a moderation practice colloquially known as “shadowbanning”—where the visibility of a given account or post is secretly limited but not removed from the platform, creating a Kafka-esque experience where users unknowingly post into the void, only discoverable by people who know exactly where to look.

In August, after the self-appointed free speech crusader renamed the platform to X, he vaguely promised that a new mechanism that tells users if they have been shadowbanned would be coming “soon.”

But as of November, the opposite was happening. Instead of shining a light on the practice, various accounts on X who made critical posts about Musk have been shadowbanned with no explanation.

The specific sort of shadowban applied to these accounts is known as a search suggestion ban, which limits an account from showing up in search results.

Several accounts have been slapped with search suggestion shadowbans in recent weeks, including: this journalist, USA Today journalist Will Carless, an NBC affiliate account focused on LGBTQ+ news, and a Texas anti-cryptocurrency activist group.

There’s plenty of debate around the exact definition of the term “shadowban,” but Musk made clear that search suggestion bans, which effectively deamplify accounts by making them harder to find, fit the definition.


My own account was shadowbanned in late October after I posted a thread noting that the Maine mass shooter Robert Card liked a number of Musk’s posts. 

I made a number of other posts critical of Musk around the same time. After a follower informed me that my account wasn’t showing up in search, I ran a quick check on the Shadowban Test website, which confirmed I had been slapped with a search shadowban. Comments from other users confirmed the results.

The same test showed that NBC Out, a division of NBC News featuring LGBTQ-centric news, was also saddled with a search suggestion ban in October after the account shared an article about how some LGBTQ people say the platform has become toxic under Musk’s leadership. 

X also shadowbanned Carless of USA Today, who writes about right-wing extremism and recently released a report about Chaya Raichik, the woman who runs the Libs of TikTok account and is friendly with Musk online. The report found a pattern of bomb threats against subjects of her viral posts—which often are schools and hospitals.

This illustrates how thin skinned Elon is. There’s no other way to describe this as clearly Elon cannot deal with any sort of criticism like a fully functional adult. Now I don’t expect that Elon will alter this behaviour now that this is public. But shining a light on it does expose just how much of a horrible person he is and how he’s killing Twitter (and beyond) by his actions.

Aussie Ports Pwned By Cyberattack

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 14, 2023 by itnerd

DP World Australia, port operators of 40% of Australia’s imports and exports, was forced to close operations at its Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Fremantle facilities after a cyber attack that occurred on Friday, according to the country’s national cyber security coordinator.

Over the weekend, ships could load and unload containers but delivery trucks were not able to pick up or drop off the storage units and consequently shipments piled up on docks.

As of Monday, the ports are slowly restarting operation, but it is said it could be weeks before ports are able to accept cargo; it is said the impact on imports and exports could have a “devastating impact”.

The Australian government is continuing to work with DP World Australia to support the management of any further consequences, including any ongoing disruption to Australia’s supply chains. Investigations into the incident remain ongoing and remediation work is likely to continue for some time,” national cyber security coordinator, Darren Goldie.

DP World Australia claimed that some data may have been stolen by threat actors before the operator isolated their network.

Dave Ratner, CEO, HYAS had this comment:

   “Attacks on critical infrastructure do more than just steal data – they have the potential for economic and consumer impacts, up to and including life-impacting ones. It’s why implementing operational resiliency is so important. No longer is it sufficient to try and prevent all attacks; organizations must have the appropriate level of visibility and resiliency to identify and stop breaches before damage of any kind ensues.”

This is yet another example of how crippling that a cyberattack can be. At this point it really should be clear that doing everything possible to prevent such attacks should be a priority. Or else the knock on effects can last weeks, or months.

Botnet Activity Surges in Q3 2023: Nuspire

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 14, 2023 by itnerd

 Nuspire today announced the release of its Q3 2023 Cyber Threat Report. This comprehensive quarterly assessment delves into the constantly shifting threat landscape, revealing vital information about malware, botnets, exploits and ransomware.

Nuspire’s latest report highlights the stark realities of today’s cyber realm, where ransomware groups like ALPHV, 8Base and Akira employ increasingly advanced tactics, and botnets like Torpig Mebroot nearly double in activity. The report reveals an alarming surge in botnet activity, with a staggering 67.51% increase in Q3 2023. It also examines the top threat groups and techniques used to target the hospitality services industry.

Notable findings from Nuspire’s newly-released cyber threat report include:

  • An explosion in botnet activity of 67.51% can largely be attributed to Torpig Mebroot, clocking an increase in activity of nearly 93% over Q2 and accounting for more than 69% of all Q3 botnet activities.
  • An older botnet, TorrentLocker, re-emerged in Q3 as a favorite attack method, supplanting Q2’s FatalRAT botnet in Nuspire’s list of top five botnets. TorrentLocker is primarily delivered through phishing emails, enticing victims with unpaid invoices, undelivered packages, or fines.
  • Total malware detections decreased by 5.94%; however, ransomware maintained the high level of activity Nuspire witnessed in Q2.
  • Two new contenders joined the list of most active ransomware families for Q3: 8Base and Akira.

Access Nuspire’s Q3 2023 Cyber Threat Report to view the data and learn key mitigation strategies for protecting your organization’s environment.

McGraw Hill Users’ Data Discovered On Hackers’ Forum By VPNMentor

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 14, 2023 by itnerd

While doing some research on clear web breach forums, VPN Mentor recently stumbled upon a post sharing McGraw Hill users’ data. The hacker posted a sample along with a description alleging that 90,875 users were affected. 

According to the post, among the leaked information are full names, phone numbers, email addresses, and more. 

If you want to know more about this, you will find all the details here:

Twitter Is Found To Have Not Addressed Hate Speech Related To The Israel/Gaza Conflict

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 14, 2023 by itnerd

The cesspool of hate speech that is Twitter has an old foe reappear to point it that it’s failing miserably at controlling hate speech. The Hill is reporting that Twitter isn’t removing hate speech related to the Israel/Gaza conflict as observed by the CCDH. Now if the CCDH sounds familiar, they should. They’re the group that got sued by Elon and clowns for calling them out on Twitter’s lack of will when it comes to stopping hate speech on Twitter. Here’s the TL:DR on the CCDH’s latest observations:

CCDH researchers reported 200 posts promoting hate speech, including antisemitism, Islamophobia and anti-Palestinian hate, using X’s own tools on Oct 31. A week later, 196 of the posts were still hosted on X, according to the report.  

The 200 posts reported were all posted after Hamas’ attacks on Israel on Oct. 7, and the majority directly addressed the conflict between Israel and Hamas.  

The posts that remained up accrued more than 24 million views collectively, according to the report.  

The 200 posts were published by 101 separate X accounts. According to CCDH, only one of the accounts was suspended and two of the accounts were “locked,” which meant they were unable to post content until removing the reported posts. 

Of the 101 accounts identified in the study, 43 were verified users through X’s monthly subscription platform, according to the report. Users that pay for the X monthly subscription get additional features, including a verified check mark.  

Imran Ahmed, the CEO and founder of CCDH, said the report to test X’s content moderation system capacity, “reveals that hate actors appear to have free rein to post viciously antisemitic and hateful rhetoric on Elon Musk’s platform.” 

Elon loves to complain that reports like these are driving advertisers from the platform and giving Twitter a bad name. But advertisers wouldn’t leave the platform and Twitter wouldn’t have a bad name if Elon did something about hate speech on the platform. But of course he won’t address this problem because he’s clearly fine with that. Which I guess tells you all you need to know about the character of Elon Musk and anyone who works for him in any area of responsibility at Twitter, like his puppet CEO Linda Yaccarino for example. At the end of the day, if when Twitter fails, it will be Elon’s fault for not addressing issues like this.

Truth Social Is Bleeding Cash And Likely Doesn’t Have Long To Live

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 14, 2023 by itnerd

Reuters is reporting that Truth Social, which is Donald Trump’s attempt at running a social network, is bleeding cash like a gunshot victim. How much cash you ask? Have a look at this:

Former U.S. President Donald Trump’s social media platform Truth Social has lost $73 million since its launch in early 2022, a securities filing by Digital World Acquisition Corp, the SPAC that plans to merge with the company, showed on Monday.

Trump had announced the launch of his social media app in Oct 2021, saying it would “stand up to Big Tech” companies such as Twitter and Facebook that previously barred him.

In 2022, Truth Social posted a loss of $50 million, with net sales of just $1.4 million. It lost $23 million in the first half of this year, with net sales of $2.3 million.

Trump Media & Technology Group’s (TMTG) independent registered public accounting firm has indicated that the financial condition raises substantial doubt as to its ability to continue as a going concern, according to the filing.

And what makes this a potentially terminal event for Truth Social is this:

“TMTG believes that it may be difficult to raise additional funds through traditional financing sources in the absence of material progress toward completing its merger with Digital World.”

Here’s why I find this to be absolutely hysterical. Trump swiped code from Mastodon to build Truth Social and got into trouble as a result. Then he had to do some quick tap dancing to make those issues go away. That code cost him $0. But he’s somehow still losing money. I guess it proves that everything that Trump touches dies. Though I have to ask, if when Truth Social joins the pile of failed Trump ventures, will he go back to Twitter? Or will he pop up somewhere else? That will be interesting to see what happens on that front.