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Robert Abel

Content Coordinator/Reporter

Most recent articles by Robert Abel

APT-hunting group claims China’s Security Ministry is behind APT17

Researchers at Intrusion Truth are claiming the cyberespionage group APT17 is operated by the Jinan bureau of the Chinese Ministry of State Security (MSS). Intrusion Truth is an online anonymous group of cybersecurity analysts who investigate and expose APT groups linked to the Chinese government.    APT17 is believed to have been behind a series of…

Banner vulnerability allows remote access to records of more than 60 colleges

At least 62 colleges were affected by a software vulnerability in a program called Banner, operated by Ellucian, that allows threat actors to infiltrate colleges’ private records. The vulnerability, CVE-2019-8978, was reported in May 2019 and allows an attacker to log in to the Banner system with an institutional account and leverage scripts in the…

ICCS 2019: AG Barr criticizes strong encryption, European experiment offers teen hackers second chance

U.S. Attorney General William P. Barr criticized what he described as “warrant proof” encryption at the International Conference on Cybersecurity (ICCS 2019) this week, while European law enforcement announced a plan to help young hackers.  During his keynote address, Barr called strong encryption a threat to public safety while pushing for the need to “retain…

APT10

APT34 spread malware via LinkedIn invites

FireEye researchers identified a phishing campaign conducted by the cyberespionage group APT34 masquerading as a member of Cambridge University to gain their victim’s trust to open malicious documents.  Researchers noticed the campaign in late June 2019 using LinkedIn professional network invitations to deliver the malicious documents that included the use of three new malware families…

Icloud

Georgia man sentenced to prison for hacking iClouds of athletes and musicians

A Georgia man who used various phishing and social engineering attacks to break into the iCloud accounts of professional athletes and musicians was sentenced to three years in prison. Kwamaine Jerell Ford, 27, hacked into more than 100 Apple accounts belonging to high-profile individuals and spent nearly $325,000 using stolen financial information from several of…

IRS

GAO office audit finds more vulnerabilities at IRS

An annual Government Accountability Office (GAO) audit has found more security vulnerabilities at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and has made more security recommendations to solve the problems.  Some of the cybersecurity issues included access control vulnerabilities, a lack of encryption, identification and authorization issues, and a lack of contingency planning, GOA Director of Financial…

Man arrested for hacking Bulgaria’s tax agency released with reduced charges

The man accused of breaching Bulgaria’s tax agency has been released and charged on lesser counts. Kristian Boykov 20-year-old Bulgarian cybersecurity worker was arrested in Sofia, Bulgaria, last week on a charge of computer crime against critical infrastructure, which carries a maximum sentence of eight years in jail, after gaining unauthorized access to the data of…

A draft of the voluntary framework was released by NIST.

Securing Energy Infrastructure Act passes House

The House Thursday passed the bipartisan Securing Energy Infrastructure Act, which aims to remove vulnerabilities that could allow hackers to access the energy grid. The bill was sponsored by Representatives Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.) and John Carter (R-Tex.) and mirrors the Senate legislation introduced by Senators Angus King (I-Maine) and Jim Risch (R-Idaho). It seeks to…

Macbook

Ke3chang APT group linked to Okrum backdoor

ESET researchers linked the Ke3chang APT group to the newly discovered Okrum backdoor showing the group is still active and improving its code. Researchers have since discovered new versions of malware families linked to the Ke3chang group and believe the group is operating out of China. Overtime, the Ketrican, Okrum and RoyalDNS backdoors have all…

Cisco releases updates, one ‘Critical,’ two ‘High’ severity ratings

Cisco released security updates for multiple products, some of which contain vulnerabilities that if exploited would allow an attacker to take control of an affected system. The patches include fixes for a Cisco Vision Dynamic Signage Director REST API Authentication bypass vulnerability, FindIT Network Management Software static credentials vulnerability, and an IOS Access Points Software…

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