Archive for hacking

Two Teens Charged And Accused Of Being Members Of Lapsus$

Posted in Commentary with tags on April 4, 2022 by itnerd

You might remember that London police arrested seven teens last week in relation to being members of the infamous Lapsus$ gang. Now two teens have been charged according to this:

While the above Tweet doesn’t name the teens, nor mention Lapsus$, this BBC report has this to say:

A 16- and 17-year-old appeared at Highbury Corner youth court, in London, on Friday charged with a number of cyber-offences.

The two boys have been released on bail, subject to certain conditions.

They were arrested as part of an international police investigation into the Lapsus$ gang, which has hacked major tech firms including Microsoft.

Both teenagers are charged with three counts of unauthorised access with intent to impair operation of, or hinder, access to a computer, and two counts of fraud by false representation.

The 16-year-old, has also been charged with one count of causing a computer to perform a function to secure unauthorised access to a programme.

I think it is safe to say that there may be more arrests on the way. And given that the scope of their crimes have been international, I’m also pretty sure that other law enforcement will be very interested in these teens.

Stay tuned for more on this as there will be more developments on this story.

74% Of Ransomware Revenue Ends Up In The Hands Of Russian Hackers

Posted in Commentary with tags , on February 16, 2022 by itnerd

A new analysis suggests that Russia is by far driving ransomware attacks and the overwhelming revenue ends up in the country. BBC News has a report on this:

Researchers say more than $400 million worth of crypto-currency payments went to groups “highly likely to be affiliated with Russia.” Russia has denied accusations that it is harboring cyber-criminals. Researchers also claim “a huge amount of crypto-currency-based money laundering” goes through Russian crypto-companies. Chainalysis, which carried out the research, said it was able to follow the flow of money to and from the digital wallets of known hacking groups using public blockchain transaction records. 

In the Chainalysis report, it’s highlighted that 9.9% of all known ransomware revenue is going to Evil Corp – an alleged cyber-crime group which the US has issued sanctions and indictments against, but who are operating in Russia with apparent impunity. A BBC investigation in November found that Igor Turashev, one of the accused leaders of Evil Corp, is operating several businesses out of Moscow City’s Federation Tower. The tower is one of Russia’s most prestigious addresses, home to prominent businesses and with apartments going for millions of dollars. Chainalysis claims several crypto-currency companies based in the tower were used by hackers to launder illicit funds, turning crypto-currency from digital wallet addresses to mainstream money. “In any given quarter, the illicit and risky addresses account for between 29% and 48% of all funds received by Moscow City crypto-currency businesses,” researchers allege.

Now Russia has always denied that it harbours cybercriminals. But this report makes it pretty clear that they do at least tolerate cybercriminals as it’s clearly an economic driver. Perhaps besides following the money, what needs to be done is to seize the money, or at least make it so expensive that it’s not worth their while to harbour cybercriminals.

US Holds North Korea Responsible For WannaCry

Posted in Commentary with tags , on December 20, 2017 by itnerd

You might recall that there was an epic cyberattack where a piece of ransomware pretty much pwned the entire planet including the UK’s National Health Service. Well, that was WannaCry and as far as the US is concerned, North Korea is behind it:

“The [WannaCry] attack was widespread and cost billions, and North Korea is directly responsible,” Thomas P. Bossert, Trump’s homeland security adviser, said in an op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal on Monday. “We do not make this allegation lightly. It is based on evidence. We are not alone with our findings, either.”

At the White House on Tuesday, Bossert called the WannaCry attack “a defining moment,” saying it affected individuals, businesses and governments worldwide, and put money as well as lives at risk.

“This was a reckless attack and it was meant to cause havoc and destruction,” he said at a news conference. Drawing a connection between North Korea’s alleged cyber activities and its development of nuclear weapons, he added, “I think, at this point, North Korea has demonstrated that they want to hold the entire world at risk, whether it be through its nuclear program or cyberattacks.”

Assuming that the North Koreans are behind it, I am not sure that they care that they’ve been called out by the US. After all, it’s not as if these two are on great terms at present. I am also dubious that this will alter their behavior if they are the ones behind it. So other than grabbing some headlines, I am not sure what this declaration really accomplishes other than to state what we already know. Which is that North Korea and those who act on their behalf do this sort of thing.

BREAKING: Researcher Who Stopped Ransomware Attack Busted At Def Con

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 3, 2017 by itnerd

This is an evolving story so you may want to check back for updates. But what is known via Motherboard at present is that Marcus Hutchins who also is known as “MalwareTech” got nabbed by the FBI at Def Con. Hutchins is best known as the UK national who upon analyzing a sample of the “WannaCry” malware that hit the planet earlier this year, stumbled upon a kill switch that was tied to a domain name. Upon learning that, he registered said domain and mitigated the spread of this malware. It isn’t clear what charges he’s facing. But it’s safe to say that if the FBI is involved, it’s a big deal.

More info as it comes.

UPDATE: The BBC is reporting that he’s been charged with being involved with a malware that steals banking credentials.


How To Check To See If Insecure I0T Devices On Your Network Are A Threat

Posted in Tips with tags , on October 24, 2016 by itnerd

Last week, there were some very high profile attacks that utilized insecure Internet Of Things devices such as cameras, DVR’s routers, printers and the like. The quesiton is, how do you know if you own any of these devices? Bullguard Security has created an IoT Scanner to help you to find out. Head to the site, click the scan button, and IoT Scanner will tell you where you stand. I recommend that you do the quick scan and the deep scan to ensure that you’re safe. 

Now, if IoT Scanner comes back saying that your network can be breached, that means some device that’s connected to your Wi-Fi network has an open port that makes it accessible from the internet. You should either look to close the open ports if you can, update the firmware of the IoT device in question if you can, or turn if off you can’t.

Remember, this is a starting point to make sure that your network is secure. But you should really make sure that you do simple things such as updating firmware and software to make sure that your network stays secure. 

ISIS Gives Tips To Members To Elude Anonymous

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 18, 2015 by itnerd

Things are clearly escalating in the Anonymous vs. ISIS online war. The latest salvo was fired by the terrorists who according to called the hacktivist group “idiots”:

In a message circulated via encrypted messaging app Telegram, an account allegedly linked to ISIS called Anonymous “idiots” and offered tips to avoid being hacked by the group. The message, which was posted in English and Arabic, was forwarded to multiple ISIS-affiliated Telegram channels, according to Business Insider.

Those tips include not responding to direct messages on Twitter and using a VPN. The way I see it, the only reason why ISIS would send a message like this out would be that they are feeling the heat. Thus they need to protect themselves. This is likely to get a response from Anonymous and it should be interesting to see what that response will be.

If You Think That Cybercrime Shouldn’t Be A Top Of Mind Concern For You…. Watch This Documentary

Posted in Commentary with tags , on November 13, 2015 by itnerd

Cybercrime is a threat to everyone, thus you need to take it seriously. If you don’t think so, this documentary will change your mind in a hurry. Titled “In Search of The Most Dangerous Town On the Internet” which is directed by Sean Dunne on behalf of Norton, you will take a visit to the Romanian town nicknamed “Hackerville” or “Most Dangerous Town on the Internet.” You’ll get to meet people like Guccifer who hacked Hilary Clinton’s e-mail, along with a variety of others who will show you that unless you take your online security seriously, chances are, you will get pwned by one of these people or their friends. The documentary is 20 minutes long, and I guarantee you that it will be the most eye opening 20 minutes that you’ll have all day.

If you want more info, pay a visit to as you’ll get additional background information as well as tips to keep you safe.

Cyber Liability Insurance In The UK Has Huge Potential

Posted in Commentary with tags , on August 31, 2013 by itnerd

It was only a matter of time before someone came up with an insurance product to protect businesses from being hacked and other cyber related maladies. According to a new report by Timetric, the market for cyber liability insurance remains largely untapped with a strong opportunity for growth. Why? Businesses are exposed to cyber threats such as hacking, extortion, and data leaks. The loss of business due to downtime and loss of functionality is another serious cyber threat to businesses.

A 2011 UK government report estimated that cyber crime costs the UK as much as GBP27 billion a year. GBP21 billion of this is estimated as costs to businesses. Of this GBP9.2 billion comes from theft of intellectual property, GBP7.6 billion for industrial espionage, GBP2.2 billion for extortion, GBP1.3 billion for online theft and GBP1 billion for loss or theft of customer data.

Thus insurance from these losses makes sense. As cyber liability insurance represents just 0.01% of the UK’s non-life insurance market, there is large scope for expansion. Cyber risk is not industry-specific; it spans financial services, healthcare, retail, charities, recruitment, e-commerce, legal services and any business using Information and Communications Technology (ICT).

You can bet that this sort of insurance will be coming to other nations shortly as cyber related maladies are not limited by borders.

Mandiant Shows How Chinese Hackers Did Their Dirty Work

Posted in Commentary with tags , , on February 21, 2013 by itnerd

Never heard of Mandiant? You’ll be paying attention to them after you read their report [Warning: PDF] on a group of Chinese hackers called APT1. Mandiant also has a video on this topic for your viewing pleasure:

Now, if you want to protect yourself, they can help with that too. The linked zip file contains everything you need to stop your organization from being attacked by APT1. At least they’re simply not scaring people.

Given how dangerous Chinese hackers are, I believe it’s prudent for companies to heed these warnings. Even if your not a corporation, the report is worth a read just to see how much hacking has evolved.

Anonymous Claims That They Hacked The Ontario Police Chiefs’ Website

Posted in Commentary with tags , , on February 26, 2012 by itnerd

Anonymous threatened to take action against those who supported a bill that will give Canadian police the ability to read Canadians’ emails and track their movements through cellphone signals without a warrant. It seems that they’ve acted upon of that threat by hacking the Ontario Police Chiefs’ website:

A cyber attack on the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police’s website has only bolstered the organization’s support for the government’s controversial online surveillance bill, a spokesman said Saturday.

The association took down the site after it was hacked late Friday afternoon by people claiming to be linked to the group Anonymous, association spokesman Joe Couto said.

Well, that’s really going to help derail that bill. In fact it appears to have bolstered the support of the bill:

“What this does is demonstrate quite clearly to Canadians the type of cyber crimes perpetuated every day,” Mr. Couto said Saturday.

“The citizens of this province and this country are asking us to address cyber crimes and we need tools for that,” he said.

Well, I suspect that it’s game on now. We’ll see what the next move is.