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White House unveils initiatives to combat botnets

White House touts release of National Cyber Strategy


Eager to demonstrate a commitment to cybersecurity amidst criticisms over vulnerable election infrastructure, the White House yesterday unveiled its National Cyber Strategy. The plan is divided four “pillars” of strategy: protecting the homeland by fighting cybercrime and fortifying defenses, promoting American prosperity by adding cyber jobs and defending intellectual property, preserving peace through strength by…

Leahy bill would end bulk data collection, introduce reforms

Romanian woman pleads guilty to ransomware attack on D.C. police cameras before Trump Inauguration


A Romanian citizen pleaded guilty to federal charges stemming from her role in a ransomware attack which involved hacking Washington, D.C., police cameras days before the 2017 Presidential Inauguration. Eveline Cismaru, 28, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit computer fraud in charges stemming…

Report: Hackers used data mining tool, network sniffer to steal Click2Gov information


The malicious actor behind a year-old campaign targeting the web payment portal Click2Gov appears to have been using a malicious webshell, data mining utility program and network sniffer to steal information from users, according to a new report from FireEye researchers. The researchers note that while the perpetrator’s tools and techniques are “generally consistent with other financially…

Pegasus, flying horse

Pegasus spyware spotted in 45 countries, many with questionable human rights records


The Citizen Lab researchers identified 45 different countries in which operators of NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware may be conducting operations some of which targeting human rights advocates. The malware uses social engineering to encourage targets to click a specially crafted exploit link that will leverage a host of zero day exploits to penetrate a device’s…

Senate building

Bill to codify DHS cyber program introduced into Senate after passing House


Two weeks after it passed the U.S. House of Representatives, a bill that would codify and modernize the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Continuous Diagnostics Mitigation (CDM) cybersecurity program was introduced into the Senate. Known as the Advancing Cybersecurity Diagnostics and Mitigation Act, the legislation was originally proposed last July by Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Tex., and ushered into…


APT10 targets Japanese media company with upgraded UPPERCUT


Chinese cyberespionage group APT10 has been targeting Japanese corporations using updated TTPs. In July 2018, the threat group was spotted targeting the Japanese media sector using spearphishing emails containing malicious documents that prompted the installation of the UPPERCUT backdoor, also known as ANEL, according to a Sept. 13 FireEye blog post. The threat actors used…

WannaDeny: North Korean officials condemn U.S. indictment of alleged hacker


North Korean officials have denounced and denied a U.S. indictment that accuses one of its citizens of helping carry out the 2017 WannaCry global ransomware attack, the 2014 Sony Pictures hack, an $81 cyberheist of Bangladesh’s central bank in 2016, and other cyberattacks on behalf of his government. According to multiple news outlets [1, 2,…

Trump executive order calls for sanctions in the event of future election interference


President Donald Trump yesterday issued an executive order that sets forth a federal plan of action in the event of foreign interference in a U.S. election, including sanctions that can be imposed on overseas organizations and individuals. The declaration is arguably a response to wide-ranging criticism that the president has repeatedly dismissed evidence of Russian…


Domestic Kitten spyware targets ISIS supporters


An extensive spyware campaign targeting Iranian, Kurdish and Turkish natives as well as ISIS supporters has been active since 2016. Dubbed “Domestic Kitten” Check Point researchers discovered the targeted attacks which they say have remained under the radar due to the artful deception of its attackers towards their targets, according to a Sept. 7 blog…

Five Eyes nations push for access to encrypted content


Member countries of the Five Eyes signals intelligence alliance last week released a joint statement urging technology companies to voluntarily provide a mechanism for government authorities to review encrypted communications when investigating criminal and terror threats. Presenting a set of principles agreed to by the attorneys general and interior Ministers of the U.S., UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand, the notification warns companies that…

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