Bad news for ransomware groups: Experts find it's getting tougher to earn a crypto-locking payday at the expense of others. The bad guys can blame a move by law enforcement to better support victims, and more organizations having robust defenses in place, which makes them tougher to take down.
The total amount of ransom payments being sent by victims to ransomware groups appears to have taken a big dip, declining by 40% from $766 million in 2021 to $457 million in 2022 due to victims simply being unwilling to pay, blockchain intelligence firm Chainalysis reports.
Essential reading for network defenders: CircleCI's report into its recent breach, which began when malware infected an engineer's laptop. After stealing "a valid, 2FA-backed" single sign-on session cookie, attackers stole customers' secrets and gained unauthorized access to third-party systems.
Pity the overworked ransomware gang - say, LockBit - that just "discovered" one of its affiliates hit Britain's postal service. But until Western governments find a way to truly disrupt the ransomware business model, operators remain free to keep spouting half-truths and lies at victims' expense.
The prolific ransomware group LockBit has been tied to the recent disruption of Britain's national postal system, as Royal Mail reports it remains unable to send international letters or parcels. While LockBit has enjoyed unusual longevity, could this attack be its undoing?
Twitter says a massive collection of purported user data being sold and then leaked via cybercrime markets was not amassed by exploiting a vulnerability in its systems but is instead "likely a collection of data already publicly available online through different sources."
Anytime critical infrastructure gets disrupted, the first question inevitably seems to be: Was a cyberattack to blame? So it went Wednesday when the Federal Aviation Administration announced a "ground stop," prohibiting all U.S. flights from taking off, due to an overnight system failure.
Darknet markets offering illegal drugs and fraudster tools and services are thriving, despite the constant threat of law enforcement infiltration, disruption, takedown and arrests. In response, multiple drug markets have launched customized Android apps to handle buying, selling and fulfillment.
Seattle police have charged an online retailer's "shopping experience" software programmer with engineering a fraud scheme based on the movie "Office Space," in which malicious software was used to transfer a fraction of every transaction into an outside account.
Many ransomware-wielding attackers are expert at preying on their victims' compulsion to clean up the mess. Witness victims' continuing willingness to pay a ransom - separate to a decryptor - in return from a promise from extortionists that they will delete stolen data. As if.
Bad hackers so often get portrayed as bombastic villains who can "hack the Gibson" while breathlessly exclaiming, "We're in!" Real-world "hack attacks" are typically much more mundane, including an alleged scheme enabling taxi drivers to jump to the head of the line at JFK Airport.
Apple is advancing plans to allow Europeans to access third-party app stores via their iPhone and iPad, as will soon be required under European law. What this means in practice for its vaunted walled garden security model, and whether most users will bother, remains unclear.
Black Hat Europe returns to London, offering deep dives into the latest cybersecurity research and trends, including how to build an open, transparent, but also secure internet; harvesting zero-day flaws before attackers; what we can learn from "metaparasitical" scammers who scam scammers; and more.
Is a four-month delay between learning your systems were breached and notifying affected customers acceptable? After spotting an attack in August, private utility South Staffordshire Water in England is only beginning to alert customers that they're at risk of identity theft.
While the cybercrime story for 2022 has yet to be fully written, cryptocurrency theft will no doubt have a starring role. Buoyed by the collective pilfering of billions of dollars' worth of cryptocurrency this year, what's to stop attackers from doubling down in 2023?