This week saw a spate of hacking-related activity in Iran. On Wednesday, a joint report by the USA, Great Britain and Australia said that Iranian nation-state hackers were targeting critical infrastructure targets. The following day, the US Department of Justice indicted two Iranian men in connection with the 2020 election interference. Russia and China may typically lead discussions on foreign hacker threats, but Iran has become increasingly prevalent in recent years.
Another country that has been surprisingly active lately with its cyber attacks? Belarus! As of 2019, it has been widely believed that the so-called ghostwriter hacking and misinformation group was Russia, given both its tactics and its goals. But security firm Mandiant revealed this week that ghostwriting is actually an operation with ties to the Belarusian military focused on meddling in the interests of NATO and the country’s neighbors.
We’ve also looked at the best password managers – and yes, you need one. Android users may also want to try a new feature of DuckDuckGo that blocks trackers in apps on your phone. Speaking of blocking: NordicTrack has made it difficult for its customers to access a “god mode” with which they can see whatever they want on the giant display of their treadmill – so they fight back by sharing workarounds online.
Finally, take a few minutes to read this in-depth investigation into how Amazon’s lax data security is failing its customers. It’s full of details that you won’t soon forget.
And there is more! Each week we round up all the security news that WIRED has not covered in detail. Click the headlines for the full stories and stay safe out there.
In a “Kids of the Day” for the record books this week, a Canadian teenager was arrested for allegedly stealing $ 36.5 million worth of cryptocurrency from a single US victim. This is the largest theft of its kind. As with so many youth-related cryptocurrency thefts recently, the ostensible method has been what is known as a SIM swap attack, in which the perpetrator transfers a target’s phone number to their own device and allows them to be SMS-based Intercept two-factor authentication codes. There are ways to protect yourself from a SIM swap, but no guaranteed way to stop it; even Jack Dorsey’s own Twitter account fell victim to the method. In this case, investigators claim that the teen partially used his loot to buy a high quality gamer tag that is popular with the SIM swap community.
Of the many criminal hacker gangs operating in Russia, few have done as much damage over the years as Evil Corp. According to the FBI, by 2019 the group had amassed at least $ 100 million from thefts from hundreds of banks around the world. Like so many online gangs, they have recently adopted malware and appear to have targeted the National Rifle Association in a recent attack. This week a BBC reporter traveled to Moscow and a nearby city to look for members of the Evil Corp, Igor Turashev and Maksim Yakubets.
Over the past weekend, the FBI sent thousands of emails warning that recipients had been cyberattacked. In fact, the FBI itself had been compromised. A hacker compromised the agency’s email system, which means they were able to send fake messages with legitimate FBI headers. Fortunately, according to cybersecurity reporter Brian Krebs, their interest was more joke than chaos.
In an incident reminiscent of the Cam4 leak last year, the adult streaming site Stripchat disclosed data from 65 million users, 421,000 models and 719,000 chat messages over a three-day period earlier this month. The bug was discovered by a security researcher and appears to have been fixed fairly quickly; It is unclear whether malicious actors accessed the data before Stripchat secured it. However, the stakes for this type of website are high for artists and customers alike, so the disclosure of private information is of particular concern.
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