Cybersecurity News & Trends

The news outlets are back to quoting the Mid-Year Update to the 2021 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report, with a big hit in Germany in Handelsblatt, a major news outlet. In industry news, analysts debate the significance of “killware,” hackers are stealing telecom records, hosting admins sentenced with RICO charges, Dark Web goes darker, Macs are still safer, and beware of YouTube trojans.

SonicWall in the News

The invisible war – how global hacker gangs threaten our security and prosperity

Handelsblatt (Germany): An outstanding article in one of Germany’s most important daily newspapers mentions SonicWall as an expert in cybersecurity and quotes the 2021 Cyber Threat Report Mid-Year Update. The authors cite several vital stats from the report to explain the rise of various threats that have weakened cybersecurity throughout the world. The article appeared online and in the print issue of the publication.

SonicWall’ Returns Choice’ To Customers by Securing Different Network Environments

Security Brief (Asia): SonicWall has declared that organizations should no longer change how they operate to secure their networks, devices and people, prompting the company to bring ‘customer choice’ back into its range of cybersecurity solutions.

Protect any network combination

LANline (Germany): This article picked up SonicWall’s media alert on protecting virtual, hybrid, cloud-based and local systems with SonicWall.

SonicWall Webinar: Can small companies and branches survive the crisis?

Infopoint Security (Germany): This article promotes a SonicWall webinar that shows how small businesses can best protect themselves during the “crisis” of increased cyberattacks.

Could your company recover from a ransomware attack?

BizJournals (U.S.): Citing SonicWall’s mid-year update on the 2021 Cyber Threat Report, the author notes the sharp rise in ransomware attacks in North America as a reason for companies to create contingency plans.

How to Create a Relevant Cybersecurity Strategy

Accounting Web (U.S.): Using SonicWall’s Mid-Year Update on the 2021 Cyber Threat Report, the author illustrates the sharp rise in cybersecurity attacks. The article is mostly about how CPAs and other accounting professionals play a crucial role in protecting financial data. However, the author also provides an overview of the most common cyberattacks, such as malware and phishing, and offers tips on making sure your organization has the proper protections in place.

‘Clumsy’ BlackByte Malware Reuses Crypto Keys, Worms into Networks

Dark Reading (U.S.): A unique malware named “BlackByte” was discovered during a recent incident response engagement. The malware reportedly avoids Russian computers and uses a single symmetric key for encrypting every compromised system. Additionally, the report cites SonicWall’s “Cyber Threat Report: Mid-Year Update” and notes that the number of ransomware attacks in the first half of the year rose 150% to almost 305 million.

The Ransom Disclosure Act Proposed — Gives 48 Hours to Report Ransom Payments

LinkedIn Pulse: Citing Ransom Disclosure Act legislation proposed in the U.S. Senate, the author offers “hard-numbers perspective” of data from the Mid-Year Update on the 2021 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report, ransomware attacks surged a staggering 304.7 million attempted ransomware attacks within SonicWall Capture Labs’ Capture Threat Network, which monitors and collects information from global devices.

Industry News

DHS Secretary: “Killware” Malware Designed to Do Real-World Harm

CPO Magazine: This article opens with comments made by U.S. Department of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas where he asserts that “killware is poised to be world’s next breakout cybersecurity threat.” The reference is on recent attacks on water treatment plants and hospitals where hackers could – in theory – trigger events that may harm or kill people. Mayorkas’ claim appears to be backed up by research from Gartner that projects that threat actors will be weaponizing operational environments to harm and kill people within the next four years. While the danger is real, other analysts believe that the “hype is bigger than the threat, for now.” While the attacks on SolarWinds and the Colonial Pipeline are very worrisome, and the recent attempted attack on a water treatment plant in Florida is alarming to the extreme, they are not necessarily harbingers of imminent danger. Since nearly all cybercrime is motivated by profit, we need to define… “exactly when a given cyberattack moves from being a purely criminal matter to a national security threat,” said one analyst. “If cyberattacks, especially those perpetrated across international boundaries, regularly cause bodily harm or loss of life, they will receive treatment as a threat to national security.”

Cybercrime Group Hacking Telecoms to Steal Phone Records

Gizmodo: A new report shows that a particular hacker group, believed to be based in China, has been targeting telecommunication companies all over the world. The report, which goes into a significant amount of detail, shows that the hackers behind the campaign have managed to infiltrate 13 different global telecoms in the span of just two years. Reuters reports that this has included exfiltrating “calling records and text messages” directly from carriers.

Hosting Administrators Sentenced for Helping Cybercrime Gangs

Bleeping Computer: Two Eastern European men were sentenced to prison on Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organization (RICO) charges for bulletproof hosting services used by multiple cybercrime operations to target U.S. organizations. They provided cybercrime-affiliated clients with the infrastructure needed to host exploit kits and run malicious campaigns distributing spam emails and malware for roughly seven years, between 2008 and 2015.

The Dark Web Goes Darker and Busier

TechSpot News: Cybercrime services cost less than $500, and stolen data now spreads 11 times faster than it did six years ago, according to a recent study by BitGlass. Why this matters: The dark web is not only alive and kicking, and it’s growing more dangerous than ever.

Cybersecurity Offers Jobs, High Wages — If Enough People Can Be Trained

Argus Leader: As people consider careers or new options in work, high-paying jobs in traditional fields like health may come to mind, but one industry is prospering from protecting the data of others. Cybersecurity, the protection of computer systems and networks, is emerging as a promising industry with more than enough jobs. The issue? There aren’t enough faculty to train people to fill that work.

Macs Still Targeted Mostly with Adware, Less with Malware

Dark Reading: For people who rely on Macs, the news is a little better. An ongoing study of vulnerabilities, the top 10 categories of digital threats on macOS are all adware programs, with only a sliver of the share of victims affected by actual malware. Apple Macs are not immune to malicious attacks. Still, outside of some significant nation-state efforts, new research shows that bad actors continue to use adware as the method of choice to make money from infecting the macOS operating system.

Massive Campaign Uses YouTube to Push Password-Stealing Malware

Tech Times: Widespread malware campaigns are creating YouTube videos to distribute password-stealing trojans to unsuspecting viewers. Initially reported by Bleeping Computer, video descriptions may contain links that lead to password-stealing trojan malware. These infections quietly run on a computer while stealing passwords, screenshots of active windows, cookies, credit cards stored in browsers, FTP credentials, and arbitrary files decided by the threat actors. When installed, the malware will communicate with a Command & Control server, where it waits for commands to execute by the attacker, which could entail the running of additional malware. According to this report, the best way to avoid the attack is not to click links in the video description.

In Case You Missed It


Cybersecurity News & Trends

SonicWall’s push for the cloud generated quite a bit of attention. The company’s growing virtual, cloud, and hybrid offerings leverage the best of SonicWall’s Boundless Cybersecurity approach and return choice to the customer. In industry news, the unfortunate rise of “killware,” the world is talking about Russian hackers without Russia, Verizon’s Visible problem, Quest fertility clinic has a breach, and a Pentagon cyber official quits.

SonicWall in the News

SonicWall Returning Choice to Customers by Securing Any Mix of Cloud, Hybrid and Traditional Networks

ITNews: SonicWall, a global leader in physical, virtual and cloud-focused cybersecurity solutions, emphasizes the return of customer choice for securing and scaling a mix of cloud, hybrid and traditional environments.

SonicWall Returning Choice to Customers by Securing Any Mix of Cloud, Hybrid and Traditional Networks

BusinessInsider: SonicWall’s growing virtual, cloud and hybrid offerings leverage the best of the company’s Boundless Cybersecurity approach returning deployment choices to the customer.

SonicWall Secures Mix of Cloud, Hybrid and Traditional Networks

TheHackPosts: SonicWall’s cloud innovation and collaboration with organizations worldwide to build some of the safest and strongest hybrid networks.

SonicWall Gives Organizations Freedom of Choice In All Types Of Security Architectures 

Byte (Spain): With its virtual, cloud and hybrid offerings, SonicWall takes full advantage of the enterprise’s unlimited cybersecurity approach to return deployment choice options to the customer.

A Brief Insight into The Complex Topic Of IoT Security

Industry of Things (Germany): This article deals with attacks on IoT devices and the complex issue of defending networks. It cites the SonicWall mid-year update on the 2021 Cyber Threat Report to raise the urgency.

SonicWall Is a Company Highly Valued by The Channel

Newsbook (Spain): SonicWall’s Sergio Martinez was interviewed about the company’s great first fiscal semester in Spain.

Industry News

The Next Big Cyberthreat Isn’t Ransomware. It’s Killware.

USA Today: The headline is just as bad as it sounds. As most Americans are still learning about ransomware, USA Today says our top security experts are worried about an even more dire development: killware, cyberattacks that can literally end lives. While the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack in April triggered a region-wide shortage of gasoline, another earlier attack tried to distribute contaminated water to residents. According to this news outlet and others, the Oldsmar Water Treatment facility’s attempted hack in Florida came “very close” to achieving its goal. The fact that the attack was not for financial gain but instead purely to harm, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas remarked that the incident “should have gripped our entire country.” Mayorkas and cybersecurity experts said the Oldsmar intrusion indicates that hackers are targeting critical parts of the nation’s infrastructure – everything from hospitals and water supplies to banks, police departments and transportation – in ways that could injure or even kill people.

U.S. talks global cybersecurity without a key player: Russia

A.P. News: The U.S. got into a week-long huddle with 30 other countries to discuss a unified cybersecurity strategy. Obviously absent: Russia. Russia is one country that, unwittingly or not, hosts many of the criminal syndicates behind the recent rise of ransomware attacks. The fact that none of the other participants invited Russia to the two-day meeting marks a big move to publicize the growing disapproval of Russia’s inability (or unwillingness) to reel in cybercrime gangs. White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan likened gathering “like-minded” governments as an urgent attempt to protect citizens and businesses. The virtual discussions will focus in part on efforts to disrupt and prosecute ransomware networks like the one that attacked a major U.S. pipeline company in May.

High-Profile Breaches Are Shifting Enterprise Security Strategy

DarkReading: The attacks against Microsoft Exchange and SolarWinds highlighted enterprise concerns over supply chain vulnerabilities and attack visibility. Dark Reading’s 2021 Strategic Security Survey shows that high-profile incidents drove changes in enterprise security strategies over the past year. In the survey, 54% of respondents describe top executives as paying more attention and prioritizing cybersecurity because of the increased media attention around incidents.

Verizon-owned Visible network suffers suspected data breach.

XDA: Visible, a Verizon-owned company, says that it is aware of an issue where some member accounts were accessed and charged without authorization. It’s not clear if Visible itself suffered a data breach or if the attackers used usernames and passwords obtained from other data breaches to log in — a tactic known as credential stuffing. Some Visible subscribers claim that they have randomly generated passwords for their accounts and that they are not used elsewhere, which would indicate Visible itself had a security breach.

Quest-owned fertility clinic announces data breach after August ransomware attack.

ZDNet: Quest Diagnostics informed the SEC about a ransomware attack in August that hit ReproSource, a fertility clinic owned by the company. The attack led to a data breach that exposed a significant amount of health and financial information for about 350,000 ReproSource patients. Quest released a statement to ZDNet, saying that ReproSource notified patients that it experienced a data security incident and that an unauthorized party may have accessed or acquired some patients’ protected health information and personally identifiable information.

Israel on heightened alert after hospital hit with a ransomware attack

Times of Israel: After a ransomware cyberattack targeted the Hillel Yaffe Medical Center in Hadera Wednesday, Israel’s National Cyber Directorate said there were heightened fears of other hospitals being targeted. The directorate also issued a general warning to Israeli businesses to be aware of potential cyberattacks as the country faces an uptick in hacking attempts. Separately, in a letter to hospitals around the country, the Health Ministry urged them to print out patients’ medical files amid the fear of more cyberattacks.

A Pentagon official said he resigned because U.S. cybersecurity is no match for China.

BusinessInsider: “We have no competing fighting chance against China in fifteen to twenty years,” said Nicolas Chaillan, formerly a high-ranking member of the software and security teams for the U.S. Pentagon and the U.S. Air Force. He quit in September and told the Financial Times last week that the U.S. was far behind China on A.I. security development, commenting that the U.S. capabilities and cyber defenses of some government departments were at “kindergarten level.”

In Case You Missed It


Cybersecurity News & Trends

It been a big news week as conversations about the Mid-Year Update to the 2021 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report, the Boundless Cybersecurity Model, and the 30th Anniversary filled up pages. SonicWall got a big boost from a story about a new ransom disclosure bill when the co-sponsoring senators (Warren and Ross) mentioned data from the Threat Report in their press releases. In industry news, MIT designs a cybersecurity fire drill, “urgently needed rules” fail to impress and Facebook is crystal clear: outage was not a hack.

SonicWall in the News

New Bill Would Require Ransom Disclosure Within 48 Hours

U.S. Senators Warren and Ross have introduced legislation requiring ransomware victims to report payments within 48 hours of the transaction. Warren and Ross cited figures from SonicWall’s Mid-Year Update to the 2021 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report noting that ransomware attacks rose 62% worldwide between 2019 and 2020 and 158% in North America.


Warren Drafts’ Ransom Disclosure Act’ as Ransomware Attacks Increase

Be In Crypto (USA): The legislation proposes that victims of ransomware attacks in the U.S. file an incident report within 48 hours of payment. The bill’s co-sponsors used data from the Mid-Year Update to the SonicWall 2021 Cyber Threat Report.


In The Face of More Lethal Attacks, A New Cyberdefense.

BYTE (Spain): The article notes that 2021 has already been a record year for cybercrime, and there is still a quarter to go. The article describes the cybercrime landscape by citing data from SonicWall’s Mid-Year Update to the 2021 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report.


Egnyte Expands Ransomware Protection and Adds Ransomware Recovery

ChannelProNetwork (Blog): Citing 304.7 million ransomware attacks in the first half of 2021 as reported by the Mid-Year Update to the 2021 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report. The author describes methods for recovery from ransomware attacks.


SonicWall Is Geared Up with the Boundless Cybersecurity Model to Address the New Business Normal

VARIndia (India): The article includes commentary from SonicWall’s Debasish Mukherjee, VP Regional Sales, APAC, about SonicWall’s role in helping companies and organizations transition. Debasish comments that the current era of the ‘anytime, anywhere business’ is forever changing the shape of the I.T. and business landscape.


5 Key Cybersecurity Trends to Know, for 2021

The Clinton Courier: The author describes significant trends for cybersecurity this year based on Mid-Year Update to the 2021 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report.


Celebrating 30 years, SONICWALL, the leader in CYBERSECURITY

TechFeedThai (Thailand): SonicWall Solution Provider Cybersecurity for SMBs and Large Enterprises Celebrates 30 years since its inception in August 1991. The story also announces an offer by a regional SonicWall product distributor to perform threat assessments for local businesses.


Why Email is Your Biggest Cybersecurity Threat

ACE IT (blog): According to SonicWall, email remains a primary way people share information, with over 320 emails sent per day. In addition, the blog notes that through the massive shift to work-from-home, email became “the most extensive channel for all forms of phishing and ransomware attacks.”


MSPs: Ransomware Is Your Wake-Up Call to Deliver Non-Negotiable and Comprehensive Security

MSP Insights: Noting that ransomware attacks are only becoming more prevalent, more dangerous, and more costly, the report cites ransomware attacks increased 158% in North America last year, from the Mid-Year Update to the 2021 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report.


Cybersecurity Report: Record 304.7 million Ransomware Attacks

vTechio Blog: Quoting SonicWall’s Mid-Year Update to the 2021 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report: the number of attacks eclipses 2020 global totals in just six months. With this data, the writers explain, it’s clear that cybercrime has reached a new and unsettling paradigm.


Cybersecurity – Attack and Defense Strategies

Packt: Promoting the Second Edition of a book, the publisher notes “32.7 million IoT attacks” from the Mid-Year Update to the 2021 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report as an example of the current threat landscape. They also note that malware leveraged during an IoT-related attack infects routers and can facilitate data theft.

Industry News

What Happened to Facebook, Instagram, & WhatsApp?

Krebbs on Security: Earlier this week, Facebook (with Instagram, WhatsApp) suffered a massive outage that lasted almost seven hours. While many news organizations speculated that attackers hacked Facebook, Krebbs Report suggested “something inside Facebook” triggered a company-wide revocation of vital digital records that point computers and other devices to Facebook’s assigned resources. Reportedly, during the early part of the outage, employees on-premises could not use passcodes and electronic I.D. badges. Krebbs also speculated that the company’s Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) was affected. The BGP is a chunk of code that Internet Service Providers worldwide share for routing traffic through the complex array of Internet Protocol addresses. On Wednesday, details about the outage appeared to confirm reporting from Krebbs. Also, in the face of rising concerns about cybersecurity, Facebook is crystal clear that the hours-long outage had nothing to do with hackers.


Cyberattack Fire Drills: Is Your Company Prepared?

Harvard Business Review: Preparing for the unexpected is much easier said than done. In the case of cyberattacks, many companies have vulnerabilities that they don’t know about. Many organizations can benefit from instituting fire drills and exercises that test a company’s response plan for a cybersecurity catastrophe. Drills can reveal gaps in security, response plans, and employees’ familiarity with their roles. Research for this article was supported by the Cybersecurity at MIT Sloan consortium and Boston Consulting Group.


Cybersecurity Budgets for Industrial Control Systems and Operational Tech Increasing

ZDNet: Nozomi Networks and the SANS Institute released a survey that revealed companies had invested more in cybersecurity to protect industrial control systems (ICS). Of 480 responses, 47% reported that their cybersecurity budgets increased over the past two years, 32% said there had been no change, and 15% said they had at least one cybersecurity event in the last 12 months. 


Senators Introduce Bill to Strengthen Federal Cybersecurity After Attacks

The Hill: A bipartisan bill was introduced in the U.S. Senate last Monday stipulating overhaul and improvement for federal cybersecurity policy. The legislation aims at the Federal Information Security Modernization Act, signed into law in 2014, and clarifies reporting requirements for federal agencies if hackers successfully target them.


New’ Urgently Needed’ Cybersecurity Rules for Pipelines Draw Mixed Reviews

Last July, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration issued “urgently needed” emergency rules to strengthen the cybersecurity of the nation’s most essential energy pipelines. The effort followed the Colonial Pipeline shut down earlier this year sparked massive fuel shortages and gasoline panic-buying. The regulations recognize that voluntary compliance is not working. However, according to industry officials and some analysts, TSA administrators wrote the new rules in such a way that implementing them could hamper pipeline reliability.


Why Today’s Cybersecurity Threats Are More Dangerous

With greater complexity and interdependence among networked digital systems, attackers have even more opportunities to conduct widespread damage. The report identifies unsecured Internet of Things (IoT) devices as the “big hairy monster under the bed” while noting that, in many cases, the barriers to cybercrime are low.

In Case You Missed It


Cybersecurity News & Trends

SonicWall’s Mid-Year Update to the 2021 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report comes back into the news cycle, and Terry Greer-King, VP of EMEA Sales at SonicWall, describes how AI-powered cybersecurity is setting the pace as threats evolve in real-time. In industry news, China bans crypto trading in the latest sign of growing frustration with the crypto community, and more hackers turn to cryptojacking to expand their enterprises. Then, there’s an ongoing struggle to hire cybersecurity personnel for governments, Neiman-Marcus customer database is breached, $311 million awarded for IT and cybersecurity, and Yahoo builds a culture. And separately, October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month – #BeCyberSmart

SonicWall in the News

Cybersecurity – Attack and Defense Strategies

Packt: Promoting the Second Edition of a book, the publisher notes “32.7 million IoT attacks” from the Mid-Year Update to the 2021 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report as an example of the current threat landscape. They also note that malware leveraged during an IoT-related attack infects routers and can facilitate data theft.


Ransomware-as-a-Service: Handy Services for your Friendly Neighborhood Cybercriminals

OneLogin: Did you know that cybercriminals can pay for a service to spread and manage ransomware attacks? Well, they can. And, in fact, it is called Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS). According to the Mid-Year Update to the 2021 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report, 304.7 million ransomware attempted attacks in the first six months of 2021.


The Top Ransomware Threats Aren’t Who You Think

Threat Post: Move over REvil, Ragnar Locker, BlackMatter, Conti et al.: Three lesser-known gangs account for the vast majority of ransomware attacks in the US and globally. The report mentions the Mid-Year Update to the 2021 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report as the source for a list of emerging ransomware threats in the first half of 2021.


Cryptocurrencies and telecommuting: fertile ground for cybercrime

Digis MAK: Ransomware threats to supply chains have rapidly escalated the list of concerns for businesses and governments in the wake of the pandemic. The story cites the Mid-Year Update to the 2021 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report, mentioning that in the first six months of this year, the security firm SonicWall recorded a volume of 304 million attacks, a number never seen before.


AI-powered cyber-security leads the pack

TEISS (UK): Terry Greer-King at SonicWall describes how AI-powered cyber-security is setting the pace as threats evolve in real-time. With a record-breaking year for ransomware, AI-powered cybersecurity could come at no better time. Citing the Mid-Year Update to the 2021 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report, the story mentions that in the first half of 2021, ransomware attacks skyrocketed to 304.7 million, smashing 2020’s total number of attacks (304.6 million) in just six months — a 151% year-over-year increase.


Ransomware victims need to warn of attack? Who investigates? 

Play Crazy Game (Brazil): Cyberattacks reached a record in the first half of 2021 worldwide. Brazil is the 5th biggest threat target, citing 9 million attempted attacks from the Mid-Year Update to the 2021 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report.

Industry News

China’s Regulators Ban Crypto Trading and Mining, Sending Bitcoin Tumbling

Reuters: Late last week, a new headline reverberated through the global cryptocurrency community: China declared all cryptocurrency transactions illegal. As the story gained steam, Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies fell sharply in trading. However, they then quickly recovered even as Chinese brokers like Huobi Global ceased account registrations for new users from mainland China. But the story does not end there. The US Department of Treasury previously announced strict sanctions against cryptocurrency exchange SUEX to allow ransomware transactions. While the two actions do not appear to be coordinated, they reveal growing frustration among governments over the lack of centralized controls and rules for cryptocurrency trades. According to the Treasury Department, ransomware payments in 2020 topped $400 million worldwide, more than four times their level in 2019. Thanks to hackers, the world of cryptocurrency – which savors its independence from regulation – will feel increasing pressure to regulate or face more actions such as those witnessed by China and the US.


States at a disadvantage in the race to recruit cybersecurity pros

Associated Press: Hiring people with strong cybersecurity skills into government security programs is difficult when the best that some agencies can offer are unpaid internships as a part of their candidate recruitment programs. Employment agencies working in the field estimate that state and local governments need to fill 9,000 cybersecurity jobs, with the footnote that the actual need total is probably much higher. The Department of Homeland Security recently acknowledged 2,000 job vacancies in newly formed cybersecurity task forces. The story from AP notes that salaries from government agency positions are often significantly lower than what is offered in the private sector.


Why Cryptomining Malware Is a Harbinger of Future Attacks

Dark Reading: With cryptocurrency values soaring, more and more organized hackers are jumping into cryptojacking to increase cashflows. They still rely on the same methods of injecting malware into victims’ networks and computers, but the risk of getting caught is very low. Many cryptojackers rely on behavior: most of their victims usually do not notice the installation of their tiny payload of malware, let alone the CPU cycles that are siphoned off to engage cryptomining. In addition, the effort to maintain the hack is far less risky for the hacker than ransomware or other types of breaches. The opinion here conforms with different views – as cryptocurrency valuation rises, the number of cryptojackers will also rise.


Cybersecurity Breach Affects More Than 4 Million Neiman Marcus Customers

CBS Dallas: Neiman Marcus Group, based in Dallas, TX, said in a news release that a security breach exposed personal information from 4.6 million customers, including contact details, payment card numbers, gift card numbers, usernames and passwords.


Four agencies win $311M to Modernize IT, Cybersecurity

Federal News Network: The first tranche of cybersecurity modernization awards worth about $311 million was awarded to four agencies for six projects. Funding is from the $1 billion that Congress specified in the Technology Modernization Fund earlier this year.


How Yahoo Built a Culture of Cybersecurity

Harvard Business Review: Yahoo studied employee responses to simulations to better understand how to make them take cybersecurity seriously. To make meaningful change, managers should take three key steps:

  1. They must identify critical employee behaviors.
  2. Managers must measure behaviors transparently.
  3. Managers must use awareness to explain why something is important.

Telling your employees that they should do something isn’t enough to inspire meaningful change. Just ask anyone who has ever watched a cybersecurity awareness video. While the videos do a good job of instructing employees to be mindful of data security, the videos seldom lead to a wholesale change in behavior. This article relates closely with another from HBR: Cyberattacks are Inevitable. Is Your Company Prepared?

In Case You Missed It


Cybersecurity News & Trends

SonicWall is in the news in Europe this week, with announcements about a support center in Romania and SonicWall’s country manager, Sergio Martinez, participating in regional discussions about cybersecurity. The FBI reportedly held onto a vital encryption key for three weeks before handing it to victims tops our industry news list. Plus, recent research reveals that multi-party breaches cause 26-times more damage than single-party breaches, SUEX is sanctioned, Biden and hackers debate “critical,” seven countries are being spoofed, and TinyTurla weighs in for big damage. 

SonicWall in the News

SonicWall to open customer support centre in Romania

  • Telecompaper (NL): US cyber-security specialist SonicWall is in the process of opening a technical support centre in Romania, writes local paper Ziarul Financiar citing SonicWall sales director for Southeast Europe, Cosmin Vilcu. According to the news outlet, the operation has already recruited staff and begun regional marketing activities.

European recovery funds: a good way to improve corporate cybersecurity

  • Dealer World (Spain): Sergio Martínez, our country manager, participated in a special issue about the European recovery funds: “The rain comes, the European rain in the form of millions. Millions that will allow many companies to improve deficit aspects to be more competitive. Will cybersecurity be one of them?

SonicWall continues to expand its offering to combat cyberattacks

  • Director (Spain): In an interview with Sergio Martínez, SonicWall’s country manager, the publication discusses the layered security promoted by SonicWall based on a comprehensive portfolio of solutions. Martinez explains the latest developments in SonicWall’s offer, including its new generation of firewalls and solutions for secure access and protecting credentials.

IBM Launches New Lto-9 Tape Drives with More Density, Performance And Resiliency

  • TiBahia (Portugal): IBM is launching tape drives that give systems more resilience to cyberattack. Additionally, the company has repeatedly cited the Mid-Year Update to the 2021 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report as an example of the marketplace’s need for such products. In this release, they cite the Threat Report, noting ransomware is one of the costlier types of breaches, with an average cost of $4.62M per breach and one of the most common.

Industry News

FBI Held Back Ransomware Decryption Key from Businesses to Run Operation Targeting Hackers

  • Washington Post: After a devastating ransomware attack this summer, the FBI’s investigations uncovered the digital key needed to unlock maliciously encrypted computer systems. However, the FBI held onto the digital key for almost three weeks, knowing that the attack hobbled the computers of hundreds of businesses and institutions. According to the report, investigators discovered the digital key through access to servers operated by the Russia-based cybercrime gang behind the attack. Deploying the digital key immediately could have helped the victims, including schools and hospitals, avoid what analysts estimate was millions of dollars in recovery costs.

Multi-party breaches cause 26-times the financial damage of the worst single-party breach

  • ZDNet: The researchers found that when a ripple event triggers a loss of income, it can lead to losses of $36 million per event. RiskRecon, a Mastercard company, and the Cyentia Institute released a study on Tuesday showing that some multi-party data breaches cause 26-times the financial damage of the worst single-party breach. The researchers used Advisen Cyber Loss Database to investigate cybersecurity incidents since 2008. They report that nearly 900 multi-party breach incidents have been recorded in the database, with 147 newly uncovered “ripple incidents” across the entire data set, with 108 occurring within the last three years.

US Sanctions Crypto Exchange Accused of Catering to Ransomware Criminals

  • Wall Street Journal: The Biden administration blacklisted a Russian-owned cryptocurrency exchange – SUEX OTC – for allegedly helping launder ransomware payments. This is a genuinely unprecedented action meant to deter future cyber-extortion attacks by disrupting their primary means of profit. By targeting a digital currency platform, the Treasury Department is also renewing its warning to the private sector that businesses risk high penalties and fines for paying ransoms and – more importantly – that the Department is watching.

Biden Cybersecurity Leaders Back Incident Reporting Legislation As ‘Absolutely Critical’

  • Senior Biden administration officials are backing congressional efforts to enact new cyber incident reporting requirements for critical infrastructure operators and other companies, as well as other measures to entrench further the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) at the center of the civilian executive branch’s digital security apparatus. CISA Director Jen Easterly said that incident reporting is “absolutely critical” and called CISA’s “superpower” its ability to share cyberthreat information across agencies and critical infrastructure sectors.

After Biden Warning, Hackers Define ‘Critical’ as They See Fit

  • Bloomberg: After a furious run of ransomware attacks in the first half of the year, President Joe Biden in July warned his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, that Russia-based hacking groups should steer clear of 16 critical sectors of the US economy. But if a recent attack on a grain cooperative in Iowa is any indication, apparently hackers will define what should be considered “critical.”

Alaskan health department still struggling to recover after ‘nation-state sponsored’ cyberattack

  • CNN: Alaska is still dealing with the fallout of a hack. Many of their systems are offline after foreign government-backed hackers breached the department in May, a spokesperson told CNN on Monday. As the department continued to warn Alaskans that hackers might have stolen their personal data, the department’s spokesperson declined to comment on which foreign government was behind the intrusions or their motives. However, Alaskan officials now say that hackers exploited a vulnerability in the health department’s website to access department data. The hackers may have accessed Alaskans’ Social Security numbers and health and financial information.

Republican Governors Association email server breached by state hackers

  •  Bleeping Computer: The Republican Governors Association (RGA) revealed in data breach notification letters sent last week that its servers were breached during an extensive Microsoft Exchange hacking campaign that hit organizations worldwide in March 2021. This attack follows a breach on Synnex back in July, a network management contractor for the Republican National Committee (RNC).

BlackMatter Ransomware Has Infected Marketron’s Marketing Services

  • Cyber Intel: The BlackMatter ransomware group targeted Marketron, a cloud-based revenue and traffic management tools supplier. The company has a customer base of over 6,000 and reportedly manages about $5 billion in advertising revenue per year. This was the second ransomware attack by BlackMatter in so many days. Another one involved a ransom of $5.9 million when this group attacked the NEW Cooperative United States Farmers organization.

Epik data breach impacts 15 million users, including non-customers

  • Ars Technica: Epik has now confirmed that an “unauthorized intrusion” did, in fact, occur into its systems. The announcement follows last week’s incident of hacktivist collective Anonymous leaking 180 GB of data stolen from online service provider Epik. To mock the company’s initial response to the data breach claims, Anonymous had altered Epik’s official knowledge base, as reported by Ars.

TinyTurla: New Malware by Russian Turla

  • Cyware: According to Cisco Talos, TinyTurla is a previously unknown malware backdoor from the Turla APT group, in use since at least 2020. The malware got the attention of researchers when it targeted Afghanistan before the Taliban’s recent takeover of the government. Now, it is suspected in recent attacks against the U.S., Germany, and other countries.

Ongoing Phishing Campaign Targets APAC, EMEA Governments

  •  Security Week: Government departments in at least seven countries in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) and Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) regions have been targeted in a phishing campaign that has been ongoing since spring 2020. The attacks appear to be focused on credential harvesting. During the first half of 2020, operators transferred the phishing domains used as part of the campaign to their current host. In addition, investigators have found at least 15 active “spoofing” pages, posing as various ministries within the targeted country’s governments, including energy, finance, and foreign affairs departments. The spoofed pages target Belarus, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. Other pages posed as the Pakistan Navy, the Main Intelligence Directorate of Ukraine, and the email service.

In Case You Missed It

Cybersecurity News & Trends

While the Mid-Year Update to the 2021 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report continues to be recognized as an authoritative source of statistics, the company was also noted in an education piece and a product review for the SonicWall SWS12 switch. In industry news, discussions on launching security for commercial maritime, employees bypassing “inconvenient” security measures, the Nigerian aviation industry is grounded, cyberattackers hit with crypto-sanctions, and OMIGOD is getting more guidance.

SonicWall in the News

The weak points where hackers could hijack the supply chain — The Grocer (U.K.)

  • Like many businesses, the food system runs online – and, increasingly, many operations are from the homes of its workers. Consequently, the industry faces an increasing risk of cyberattack. This vertical market news outlet references the Mid-Year Update to the 2021 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report and SonicWall’s V.P. of Platform Architecture, Dmitriy Ayrapetov, to analyze increasing attacks on the U.K. food supply chain.

IT security for schools: New requirements. Limited resources. Unused funding — All About Security (DACH)

  • Schools have adopted more network mobility, but now they face greater cyberthreats. This report explores SonicWall solutions for schools. It outlines the challenges schools are confronted with in everyday life and how SonicWall can help.

Between blackboard and tablet: IT security in schools — All About Security (DACH)

  • To deliver safe classroom and distance learning experiences, schools need to secure wireless networks, cloud apps, and endpoints while stretching budgets through grants. This report also includes an invitation for readers to participate in an upcoming webinar for educators.

Why open source isn’t free: Support as a best practice — IBM (U.S.)

IoT: An Internet of Threats? — Maddyness (U.K.)

How Nonprofits Can Defend Against Ransomware Attacks — BizTech (U.S.)

Hybrid working: six steps to managing cybersecurity and data privacy risks — Raconteur (U.K.)

  • As pandemic restrictions are eased and staff head back to the office, many will want to continue working from home for part of the week, raising cybersecurity concerns for employers. According to the Mid-Year Update to the 2021 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report, there was a 65% year-on-year increase globally in ransomware attacks.

Using Power over Ethernet to Support Connected Devices — Ed Tech

  • The SonicWall SWS12 switch is mentioned to “handles [PoE management] by adding deep power management to the suite of standard networking configuration options.” This is a good thing. The switch can provide up to 130 watts of power spread across ten ports, and each port can supply up to 30 watts of power.

IBM ships new LTO 9 Tape Drives with greater density, performance, and resiliency — IBM (U.S.)

  • IBM is launching tape drives that give systems more resilience to cyberattack. Additionally, the company has repeatedly cited the Mid-Year Update to the 2021 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report as an example of the marketplace’s need for such products. In this release, they cite the Threat Report, noting ransomware is one of the costlier types of breaches, with an average cost of $4.62M per breach and one of the most common.

Industry News

We Cannot Afford to Wait to Bolster Maritime Cybersecurity — Nextgov

  • This article summarizes the reality of cloud-connected businesses and industries and the cyberthreats they face. With the increased dependence of offshore activities on cyber-enabled systems, the author points out that maritime operations need more secure cybersecurity infrastructure at sea.

New Cybersecurity Challenges as Workers Commonly Bypass Inconvenient Measures — CPO Magazine

  • Working from home blurs lines between personal spaces and corporate security. And this may be why, in a recent survey conducted by Hewlett-Packard’s Wolf Security Division, a surprising 30% of remote workers under the age of 24 who claim that they circumvent or ignore certain corporate security policies when they get in the way of getting work done.

How cyber resilience will reshape cybersecurity – TechRadar

  • Businesses are operating in a world with myriad cybersecurity risks, but many are caught underprepared because they have not developed cyber resilience despite the headlines. The question, therefore, is how do businesses recognize resilience in cybersecurity?

Cryptocurrency launchpad hit by $3 million supply chain attack – Ars Technica

  • SushiSwap’s chief technology officer says a software supply chain attack has hit the company’s MISO platform. The report goes on to point out that an “anonymous contractor” with the GitHub handle AristoK3 and access to the project’s code repository had pushed a malicious code commit that was distributed on the platform’s front end.

Cyberattacks against the aviation industry linked to Nigerian threat actor – ZDNet

  • The investigation began after a Microsoft tweet concerning AsyncRAT. Researchers revealed a lengthy campaign against the aviation sector, starting with an analysis of a Trojan by Microsoft. The operator of the campaign reportedly used email spoofing to pretend to be legitimate organizations in these industries.

U.S. to Target Crypto-Ransomware Payments With Sanctions – The Wall Street Journal

  • The Biden administration hopes to disrupt the digital finance infrastructure that facilitates ransomware cyberattacks, a national security threat traced to Russia. According to people familiar with the matter, sanctions are among an array of actions, making it harder for hackers to use digital currency to profit from ransomware attacks.

FTC warns health apps to notify consumers impacted by data breaches – The Hill

  • The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) voted 3-2 Wednesday that a decade-old rule on health data breaches applies to apps that handle sensitive health information, warning these companies to comply. In addition, the FTC’s new policy statement will clarify the agency’s 2009 Health Breach Notification Rule.

FBI and CISA warn of state hackers exploiting critical Zoho bug – Bleeping Computer

  • TODAY, the FBI, CISA, and the Coast Guard Cyber Command (CGCYBER) warned that state-backed advanced persistent threat (APT) groups are actively exploiting a critical flaw in a Zoho single sign-on and password management solution since early August 2021. Zoho’s customer list includes “three out of five Fortune 500 companies,” including Apple, Intel, Nike, PayPal, HBO, etc.

Mirai Botnet Starts Exploiting OMIGOD Flaw as Microsoft Issues More Guidance – Security Week

  • Microsoft on Thursday published additional guidance on addressing recently disclosed vulnerabilities in the Open Management Infrastructure (OMI) framework, along with new protections to resolve the bugs within affected Azure Virtual Machine (V.M.) management extensions.

Ransomware attackers targeted app developers with malicious Office docs, says Microsoft – ZDNet

  • Hackers linked to ransomware deployments used a recently discovered flaw to target application developers. Microsoft reports how it recently saw hackers exploiting a dangerous remote code execution vulnerability in Internet Explorer through rigged Office documents and targeted developers.

Customer Care Giant TTEC Hit By Ransomware – Krebs on Security

  • TTEC, a company used by some of the world’s largest brands to help manage customer support and sales online and over the phone, is dealing with disruptions from a network security incident resulting from a ransomware attack by Ragnar Locker an aggressive ransomware group.

Free REvil ransomware master decrypter released for past victims – Bleeping Computer

  • A free master decryptor for the REvil ransomware operation has been released, allowing all victims encrypted before the gang disappeared to recover their files for free. Bitdefender created the REvil master decryptor in collaboration with a law enforcement partner.

Email scammers posed as DOT officials in phishing messages focused on $1 trillion bill – Cyberscoop

  • Shortly after Congress took action on a $1 trillion infrastructure bill, hackers posing as U.S. Researchers say that Transportation Department officials offered fake project bid opportunities to seduce companies into handing over Microsoft credentials.

Ransomware encrypts South Africa’s entire Dept of Justice network – Bleeping Computer

  • The justice ministry of the South African government is working on restoring its operations after a recent ransomware attack encrypted all its systems, making all electronic services unavailable both internally and to the public.

In Case You Missed It

Cybersecurity News & Trends

Global news outlets and bloggers continue to reference the Mid-Year Update to the 2021 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report and celebrate our 30th anniversary. Meanwhile, in industry news, the perfect ransomware victim, the biggest DDoS attack in history, phishing attacks are more numerous than we thought, the “FudCo” empire expands, hackers use our brains against us, and REvil has reappeared.

SonicWall in the News

What makes the perfect ransomware victim? — FinTech Global (U.K.)

  • Report about Kela, a cybersecurity company in the U.K. that studied profiles of victims of significant ransomware attacks. The report named the Mid-Year Update to the 2021 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report as it noted how the number of ransomware attacks in 2021 outperformed the entire year of 2020.

The Rise in Ransomware: HAUSER Insurance Wants You to Know the Risks — American Reporter

  • This report asks, “Are we actually seeing an increase in ransomware attacks, or are they just becoming more high-profile? According to experts, the answer is both. The Mid-Year Update to the 2021 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report shows that ransomware attacks rose by 62% worldwide and 158% in North America alone between 2019 and 2020.

Tips for SMEs: What to do in the event of a ransomware attack — ITUser (Spain)

  • According to Excem, small and medium-sized companies are particularly vulnerable to ransomware attacks as they do not have sufficient human, technological and financial resources to protect themselves.

The Rise of Ransomware and How the Education Sector Can Protect Itself — FENews (U.K.)

SonicWall turns 30 — Computing Es (Spain)

  • The cybersecurity veteran reflects on the vision, people, technology, customers, and partners that have shaped the company over three decades. In addition, the report mentions SonicWall’s celebrated legacy of product innovation, channel-based DNA, and cybersecurity innovations.

SonicWall celebrates three decades of innovation as a 100% channel company — ITReseller (Spain)

  • The report quotes Bill Conner, president and SEO of SonicWall: SonicWall has demonstrated over three decades that its mission is to ensure the long-term success of its customers, partners and employees.

SonicWall, three decades of cybersecurity innovation — Newsbook

  • SonicWall just celebrated 30 years in the cybersecurity market. Three decades dedicated to security innovation to tackle digital criminals.

Cybersecurity pioneer celebrates three decades of innovation — CyberSecurity

  • Cybersecurity veteran reflects on the vision, people, technology, customers and partners that have shaped the company over three decades.

Stellar Cyber: Partners with SonicWall for Advanced Prevention, Response — MarketScreener (U.S.)

  • Partnership delivers seamless integration between advanced prevention technology from SonicWall and AI-powered detection and automated response technology from Stellar Cyber.

SonicWall has been an attractive partner for the channel for 30 years — Infopoint Security (DACH)

  • The article reports on the development of the SonicWall Partner Programme, the SonicWall University, and the SonicWall MSSP Programme.

Industry News

Russia’s Yandex says it repelled biggest DDoS attack in history — Reuters

  • Russian tech giant Yandex reported “the largest known distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack in the history of the Internet.” The attack began in August and peaked on Sept 5, with more than 22 million requests per second sent to the company’s servers.

South African Justice Department Is Hit by Ransomware Attack — Bloomberg

  • South Africa’s Justice Department said its systems were attacked by a ransomware campaign earlier this week. All of the department’s information systems were encrypted and unavailable.

Russian cybercrime continues as government-backed attacks on companies dwindle, CrowdStrike says — Cyberscoop

  • The Russian approach to hacking shifted considerably over the past year, with state-sponsored attacks on commercial organizations dropping off even as the local cybercrime scene dominated the field, CrowdStrike said in a report Wednesday.

Ukrainian extradited to U.S. for allegedly selling computer credentials: DOJ — The Hill

  • The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Wednesday that a Ukrainian hacker was extradited to the U.S. for allegedly selling computer passwords on the dark web. If convicted, Ivanov-Tolpintsev faces up to 17 years in federal prison.

U.S. Gov Seeks Public Feedback on Draft Federal Zero Trust Strategy — Security Week

  • THIS WEEK, the U.S. government’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) announced they are seeking public feedback on draft zero-trust strategic and technical documentation.

SideWalk Backdoor Linked to China-linked Spy Group’ Grayfly’ — Threat Post

  • Grayfly campaigns have launched the novel malware against businesses in Taiwan, Vietnam, the U.S. and Mexico and target Exchange and MySQL servers. The attack revealed a “novel backdoor technique” that security experts dubbed “SideWalk.”

Microsoft: Attackers Exploiting Windows Zero-Day Flaw — Krebs on Security

  • Microsoft warned that attackers are exploiting a previously unknown vulnerability in Windows 10 and several Windows Server versions. The attack seizes control over P.C.s when users open a malicious document or visit a booby-trapped website.

Phishing attacks: One in three suspect emails reported by employees really are malicious — ZDNet

  • Up to a third of emails that were flagged as suspicious by employees were actually a threat, according to a new report released by F-Secure, an I.T. security company based in Finland. The analysis involved more than 200,000 emails during the first half of 2021.

Ransomware gang threatens to leak data if victim contacts FBI, police — Bleeping Computer

  • The Ragnar ransomware group is warning that they will leak stolen data from victims that contact law enforcement authorities. Ragnar previously hit prominent companies with ransomware attacks, demanding millions of dollars in ransom payment.

CISA Issues Guidelines on Choosing a Managed Service Provider — Security Week

  • The U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has issued new guidelines for government and private organizations to consider when looking to outsource services to a Managed Service Provider (MSP).

Dallas school district admits SSNs and more of all employees and students since 2010 accessed during security incident — ZDNet

  • If you were a student, employee or contractor of The Dallas Independent School District between 2010 and the present, your personal data was likely downloaded by an “unauthorized third party.”

Tech Industry Seeks Bigger Role in Defense. Not Everyone Is on Board — The Wall Street Journal

  • Tech-industry leaders are pushing the Pentagon to adopt commercially developed technologies on a grand scale to counter the rise of China. This initiative could transform the military and the multibillion-dollar defense-contracting business.

“FudCo” Spam Empire Tied to Pakistani Software Firm — Krebs on Security

  • In May 2015, KrebsOnSecurity briefly profiled “The Manipulators,” the name chosen by a prolific cybercrime group based in Pakistan that was very publicly selling spam tools and a range of services for crafting hosting and deploying malicious email. Six years later, a review of the social media postings from this group shows they are prospering. Brian Krebs reports.

Howard University shuts down network after ransomware attack — Cyberscoop

  • In Washington, the private Howard University disclosed that it suffered a ransomware attack late last week and is currently working to restore affected systems.

New Zealand banks, post office hit by outages in apparent cyberattack — Reuters

  • Websites of several financial institutions in New Zealand and its national postal service were briefly down on Wednesday, with officials saying they were battling a cyberattack.

How Hackers Use Our Brains Against Us — The Wall Street Journal

  • Cybercriminals take advantage of the unconscious processes that we all use to make decision-making more efficient. Blame it on our “lizard brains.”

Notorious Russian Ransomware Group ‘REvil’ Has Reappeared — Bloomberg

  • After vanishing this summer, the infamous criminal ransomware group behind the JBS SA cyberattack has returned to the dark web.

Juniper Breach Mystery Starts to Clear With New Details on Hackers and U.S. Role — Bloomberg

  • Tech company installed a flawed NSA algorithm that became a perfect example of the danger of government backdoors.’

Guntrader breach perp: I don’t think it’s a crime to dump 111k people’s details online in Google Earth format — The Register

  • A “pseudonymous person” reformatted Guntrader hack data as a Google Earth-compatible CSV and said they are prepared to go to prison, denying their actions are a criminal offense.

In Case You Missed It

Cybersecurity News & Trends

The Mid-Year Update to the 2021 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report continues to circulate through global news, and SonicWall rises to the status of an “admired brand.” In industry news, uncomfortable questions about U.S. cyber-intelligence methods, Autodesk’s admission, FIN7 hackers on the move, how Australia got hammered by hackers, and a Colorado man sues U.K. parents of hackers for a 3-year-old cryptocurrency hack.

SonicWall in the News

The Hybrid Workplace: The Next Frontier of Cyber Security — CPO Magazine

  • This story covers the aftermath of a REvil Kaseya attack. Thousands of business leaders are calculating their losses and cost of recovery, now dubbed the “worst ransomware attack on record.” The story cites the Mid-Year Update to the 2021 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report as a key source for the sharp rise of attacks via Microsoft Office documents that rose by 176% in 2020.

Ransomware threats explode in first-half 2021 — Frontier Enterprise

The Tech Industry Is Marching Ahead With These Admired Brands —

  • A report that assesses the importance of “admired” brands in tech recounts SonicWall’s origins as a private company headquartered in Silicon Valley to a significant brand in cybersecurity with more than 1 million active security solutions trusted by more than 500,000 organizations in more than 215 countries.

Industry News

Hacker kids’ parents sued over $780k of stolen cryptocurrency — P.C. Gamer

  • In January of 2018, Colorado resident Andrew Schober was relieved of 16.4 bitcoin, worth around $780,000 in today’s market, by unknown hackers. Schober hired private investigators to track down the hack to two UK-based computer science students then minors. He’s now suing the parents of the two he believes hacked his account and stole his cash.

SolarWinds hackers targeted Autodesk in latest confirmed fallout from cyber-espionage campaign — CyberScoop

  • The list of victims keeps growing of the hackers (believed to be Russian) who breached a U.S. federal contractor. The hackers, it is believed, collected intelligence from all over the federal government. Autodesk filed an SEC disclosure to its investors that the hackers compromised one of its servers.

Juniper Breach Mystery Starts to Clear With New Details on Hackers and U.S. Role — Bloomberg

  • Days before Christmas in 2015, Juniper Networks Inc. alerted users that it had been breached. Five years later, the hackers have not been publicly identified, and no victims from the hack have surfaced. This brings the uncomfortable question about the methods U.S. intelligence agencies use to monitor hackers.

FIN7 Hackers Using Windows 11 Themed Documents to Drop Javascript Backdoor — The Hacker News

  • Spear-phishing campaigns leveraging weaponized Windows 11 Alpha-themed Word documents with Visual Basic macros. The macros inject malicious payloads, including a JavaScript implant that attacks a U.S.-based point-of-sale (PoS) service provider.

How Hackers Hammered Australia After China Ties Turned Sour — Bloomberg

  • A few days after Prime Minister Scott Morrison called for an independent international probe into the origins of the coronavirus, Chinese bots swarmed onto Australian government networks. It was April 2020. Bloomberg brings the incident to light in this week’s article.  

Regulators Tighten Scrutiny of Data Breach Disclosures — The Wall Street Journal

  • Lawyers warn that companies must pay closer attention to what they say after hackers strike, as regulators crack down on inaccurate disclosures and Congress debates mandatory reporting of cybersecurity breaches.

Biden administration establishes program to recruit tech professionals to serve in government — The Hill

  • The Biden administration announced it was establishing a program to recruit and train people to serve in digital positions within the federal government and address the COVID-19 pandemic and cybersecurity concerns.

Bangkok Airways hit by LockBit ransomware attack, loses lots data after refusing to pay — The Register

  • Bangkok Airways has revealed it was the victim of a cyberattack from ransomware group LockBit on August 23, resulting in the publishing of stolen data.

LockFile Ransomware Uses Never-Before Seen Encryption to Avoid Detection — Threat Post 

  • Researchers from Sophos discovered the emerging threat in July, which exploits the ProxyShell vulnerabilities in Microsoft Exchange servers to attack systems.

Initial Access Broker use, stolen account sales spike in cloud service cyberattacks — ZDNet

  • On Tuesday, Lacework published its 2021 Cloud Threat Report vol.2, outlining how today’s cybercriminals are attempting to cut out some of the legwork involved in campaigns against cloud service providers.

Cyberattackers are now quietly selling off their victim’s internet bandwidth — ZDNet

  • Another intrusion with a twist: attackers use “proxyware” to target their victim’s internet connection and generate illicit revenue.

Cybercriminal sells tool to hide malware in AMD, NVIDIA GPUs — Bleeping Computer

  • Cybercriminals are making strides towards malware attacks that execute code from the graphics processing unit (GPU) of a compromised system.

Boston Public Library discloses cyberattack, system-wide technical outage — Bleeping Computer

  • The Boston Public Library (BPL) has disclosed today that its network was hit by a cyberattack on Wednesday, leading to a system-wide technical outage. 

U.S. Justice Department Introduces Cyber Fellowship Program — Security Week

  • The program will train selected attorneys on emerging national security and criminal cyber threats and how to fight them. The trainees will be rotating department components focused on cyber defense, such as the Criminal Division, the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, and the National Security Division. 

Researchers, cybersecurity agency urge action by Microsoft cloud database users — Reuters

  • On Saturday, researchers who discovered a massive flaw in the central databases stored in Microsoft Corp’s Azure cloud platform urged all users to change their digital access keys, not just the 3,300 the company notified this week.

Bangkok Airways apologizes for passport info breach as LockBit ransomware group threatens data leak — ZDNet

  • The company said that it discovered a “cybersecurity attack which resulted in unauthorized and unlawful access to its information system” on August 23.

In Case You Missed It

Cybersecurity News & Trends

The Mid-Year Update to the 2021 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report found its way into the Wall Street Journal, CNN and other news outlets. Plus, SonicWall’s big 30th anniversary earned mentions all over the global news cycle. In industry news, China crushes cyberweakness, Trickbot links, Blackberry’s “BadAlloc,” hackers attack rural sewage, surgeries cancelled, care diverted, and the Dallas Police Department announces a serious breach – four months late.

SonicWall in the News

SonicWall and Fusion BPO Services enter into strategic partnership — CRN India

  • SonicWall has entered into a strategic partnership with Fusion BPO services, a global BPO with headquarters in Kolkata, India and Draper, Utah (US). The new partnership will feature SonicWall’s state-of-the-art next-generation firewalls (NGFW) for SMB, enterprise, and government organizations. Fusion incorporates a wide range of call center services from 18 centers located in nine countries.

The Ruthless Hackers Behind Ransomware Attacks on U.S. Hospitals: ‘They Do Not Care’ — Wall Street Journal

  • The Mid-Year Update to the 2021 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report continues to reverberate. This time by the Wall Street Journal reporting on recent ransomware attacks on hospitals in the U.S. The attacks were devastating: a chain in Las Vegas was all but closed; in Oregon, they shut down monitors tracking patient vital signs, and in New York, they briefly closed a trauma center. In addition, the report notes that a cybercrime gang known as “Ryuk” may account for one-third of the 203 million U.S. ransomware attacks in 2020 cited in SonicWall’s report.

Friday 13: 5 tips to protect yourself from ‘bad luck’ from cyber attacks — CNN Brazil

  • CNN, one of Brazil’s most prominent news outlets, drew a parallel between superstitions associated with “Friday the 13th” and the specter of falling victim to a cyberattack. The reporter playfully warns that readers can avoid the “bad luck” of cyberattacks on a then-upcoming occurrence of the day by taking certain precautions. However, the story turns very serious when it quotes data from the Mid-Year Update to the 2021 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report.

Newest Target of Cyber Attacks: America’s Hospitals — The Crime Report

  • Reporters here cited the Mid-Year Update to the 2021 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report as a reference point for the massive surge in ransomware attacks in the U.S. The story also noted a story from Arstechnica that describes how attackers knocked out staff access to I.T. systems across virtually all operations. The report also pointed out that the Ryuk cybercriminal gang was once called the “Business Club,” tied to Russian government security services.

Cyber threat warning to Fife businesses as attacks’ skyrocket’ — Dunfermline Press

CISA offers government and private sector guidance on ransomware prevention — FinTech Global

  • The U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) shared guidance on the roles government and private sector organizations may work together to prevent ransomware data breaches. The story cited the 151% spike in ransomware attacks that was reported in the Mid-Year Update to the 2021 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report.

SonicWall: Record 304.7 Million Ransomware Attacks Eclipse 2020 Global Total Just 6 Months — CRWE World

SonicWall: Record 304.7 Million Ransomware Attacks Eclipse 2020 Global Total in Just 6 Months — European Business Magazine

SonicWall: Record 304.7 Million Ransomware Attacks Eclipse 2020 Global Total in Just 6 Months — Digital Conqurer

SonicWall Cyber Threat Report 2021: 304.7 Million Record Ransomware Attacks In Just 6 Months, Eclipses Whole Of 2020 — SiliconVillage

SonicWall: Record 304.7 Million Ransomware Attacks Eclipse 2020 Global Total In Just 6 Months — MoneyFM

Ransomware was the most common attack among Brazilian companies in 2021 — Bahia Lighthouse

Ransomware was the most common attack among Brazilian companies in 2021 — InfoTec Computadores

Anniversary – 30 years of Sonicwall — Netzpalaver

  • The article notes SonicWall’s 30th anniversary to share its history, significant milestones, the growth of SonicWall technologies, and its commitment to its customers.

SonicWall turns 30: Cybersecurity pioneer celebrates three decades of innovation — All About SECURITY

  • This article also observes SonicWall’s 30th anniversary and shares comments from SonicWall President and CEO, Bill Conner, Exertis’ U.K. and Europe Security Sales Director, Jason Hill, Epicor’s I.T. Director of Hosting and Managed Services, Harry Hartnup, and SonicWall’s SVP and Chief Technology Officer, John Gmuender.

Sonicwall Turns 30: Cybersecurity Pioneer Celebrates Three Decades Of Innovation— SECURITY INSIDER

  • One more article celebrates SonicWall’s 30th anniversary, detailing SonicWall technologies and enduring customer loyalty.

Industry News

Crypto exchange Binance hires former U.S. Treasury criminal investigator — Reuters

  • Crypto exchange agency, Binance, says it appointed a former U.S. Treasury criminal investigator as its global money laundering reporting officer, part of an attempt by one of the world’s largest crypto exchanges to reinvent itself as a regulated financial firm.

China orders annual security reviews for all critical information infrastructure operators — The Register

  • China’s government has introduced rules for protection of critical information infrastructure. The announcement was issued the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) notes that security challenges facing critical information infrastructure are severe.

Japanese insurer Tokio Marine discloses ransomware attack — Bleeping Computer

  • Tokio Marine Holdings, a multinational insurance holding company in Japan, announced this week that its Singapore branch, Tokio Marine Insurance Singapore (TMiS), suffered a ransomware attack.

Diavol ransomware sample shows stronger connection to TrickBot gang — Bleeping Computer

  • A new analysis of a Diavol ransomware sample shows a more apparent connection between the gang behind the TrickBot botnet and the evolution of the malware.

BlackBerry’s popular operating system for medical devices affected by critical vulnerabilities — Cyberscoop

  • A critical set of software flaws first revealed in April affects code made by BlackBerry used in countless devices in the medical, automotive and energy sectors, the technology vendor confirmed on Tuesday. The disclosure expands the number of devices at risk due to the “BadAlloc” flaw.

Rural Sewage Plants Hit by Ransomware Attacks in Maine — Security Week

  • Local officials said that a pair of ransomware attacks on sewage treatment plants in rural Maine communities demonstrates that small towns need to be just as vigilant as larger communities in protecting against hackers.

Colonial Pipeline sends breach letters to more than 5,000 after ransomware group accessed SSNs — ZDNet

  • Colonial Pipeline is sending out notification letters to 5,810 current and former employees whose personal information was accessed by the DarkSide ransomware group  during an attack in May. The company admitted in an August 13 letter that on May 6, the ransomware group “acquired certain records” stored in their systems.

Malware campaign uses clever ‘captcha’ to bypass browser warning — Bleeping Computer

  • A malware campaign used a clever captcha prompt to trick users into bypassing browsers warnings to download the Gozi (aka Ursnif) banking trojan. Yesterday, security researcher Malware Hunter Team shared a suspicious URL with BleepingComputer that downloads a file when attempting to watch an embedded YouTube video about a New Jersey women’s prison.

Brazilian government discloses National Treasury ransomware attack — Bleeping Computer

  • The Brazilian Ministry of Economy disclosed a ransomware attack that hit the National Treasury’s computing systems on Friday night, right before the start of the weekend. “On Friday night (the 13th) a ransomware attack on the internal network of the National Treasury Secretariat was identified,” the Brazilian government announced.

Tech Hack Notification Delays Can Leave Corporate Customers in the Lurch — The Wall Street Journal

  • Some tech companies are slow to share details about hacks of their products, leaving customers vulnerable to disruptions and uncertain how to respond as information trickles out. Cyberattacks in which hackers target a service provider and then use that foothold to access their customers’ networks. The report goes on to describe how policy makers in the U.S. and Europe are scrutinizing “weak links.”

T-Mobile Investigating Claims of Massive Customer Data Breach — VICE

  • T-Mobile says it is investigating a forum post claiming to be selling a mountain of personal data. The forum post itself doesn’t mention T-Mobile, but the seller told Motherboard they have obtained data related to over 100 million people and that the data came from T-Mobile servers.

Dallas cops lost 8 T.B. of criminal case data during bungled migration, says the DA… four months later — The Register

  • According to local reports, a bungled data migration of a network drive caused the deletion of 22 terabytes of information from a U.S. police force’s system – including case files in a murder trial. Dallas Police Department confessed to the information blunder last week, revealing in a statement that a data migration exercise carried out at the end of the 2020-21 financial year deleted vast amounts of data from a network drive.

Surgeries canceled, care diverted as Memorial Health responds to cyberattack — S.C. Magazine

  • Memorial Health System in Ohio is currently operating under electronic health record (EHR) downtime procedures and diverting emergency care patients after a cyberattack struck its network during the early hours of Sunday, Aug. 15. All radiology exams and urgent surgical cases scheduled for Aug. 16 have also been canceled as a result.

In Case You Missed It

Cybersecurity News & Trends

This week, the tectonic Mid-Year Update to the 2021 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report continued to reverberate in the press, while SonicWall President and CEO Bill Conner finds himself selected for two CRN leadership lists. In other news, hackers hit Microsoft and diplomats, a Joint Cyber Defense Collaborative goes active, U.S. Senators’ “horror show,” the U.S. State Department (and other agencies) get low scores for cybersecurity, and Swisslog’s “Swiss cheese” problem.

SonicWall in the News

How remote work raises the risks of cyberattacks — Axios

  • SonicWall’s Mid-Year Update to the 2021 Cyber Threat Report continues to feature prominently in the press. Axios noted that as the pandemic drove more of the American workforce into remote offices, cyberattacks increased. The story cited stats from the report: Between 2019 and 2020, ransomware cyberattacks rose 62% worldwide and 158% in North America.

How remote work raises the risk of cyber and ransomware attacks— Yahoo! News

  • SonicWall’s Mid-Year Update to the 2021 Cyber Threat Report also appeared in Yahoo! News. The story highlighted the mention of stats from the FBI that observed a 20% rise in cyberattacks between 2019 and 2020. Also, from the report, the collective cost of ransomware attacks reported to the bureau rose more than 200% in 2020 to roughly $29.1 million.

The Challengers Power List— Forbes India

  • SonicWall’s own Debasish Mukherjee, VP of Regional Sales, APAC, was featured in a discussion about how businesses have faced pandemic challenges head-on and helped their companies grow. Mukherjee goes into detail on how SonicWall bridges cybersecurity gaps for enterprises, governments, and SMBs.

The Top 25 I.T. Innovators Of 2021— CRN

  • Bill Conner, President and CEO of SonicWall, was named to CRN’s Top 25 Innovators of 2021 list for his work evolving SonicWall beyond the firewall to deliver security for the endpoint, email and cloud. He also helped develop Cloud Edge Secure Access to allow customers to control and protect network access to managed and unmanaged devices based on identity, location and device parameters.”

The Top 100 Executives Of 2021— CRN

  • Bill Conner, President CEO of SonicWall, also found himself on CRN’s Top 100 Executives for 2021. CRN honors leaders who are setting the pace for the rest of the I.T. industry.

Industry News

Microsoft Exchange Used to Hack Diplomats Before 2021 Breach— Bloomberg

  • Late last year, while investigating the hack of an Italian retailer, researchers at the Los Angeles-based cybersecurity company Resecurity stumbled across five gigabytes of stolen data squirreled away on a cloud storage platform. During the previous three and half years, hackers stole the data from foreign ministries and energy companies by hacking their on-premises Microsoft Exchange servers.

U.S. Taps Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Others to Help Fight Ransomware, Cyber Threats— The Wall Street Journal

  • The U.S. launched the Joint Cyber Defense Collaborative and tapped Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and other companies to help combat ransomware and other cyberthreats. The creation of the joint initiative follows massive cyberattacks on critical U.S. infrastructure. “This will uniquely bring people together in peacetime so that we can plan for how we’re going to respond in wartime,” says Jen Easterly, director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.

Senators highlight national security threats from China during rare public hearing— The Hill

  • The Senate Intelligence Committee held a rare public hearing earlier this week to stress the increased threats posed by mainland Chinese hackers to U.S. national security, U.S. companies, and intellectual property. One top senator described the situation as a “horror show.” According to the committee, the threats include Chinese cyberattacks against U.S. companies and critical organizations that resulted in the theft of billions of dollars in U.S. intellectual property.

A US official explains why the White House decided not to ban ransomware payments— The Hill

  • The Biden administration backed away from banning ransomware payments after meetings with the private sector and cybersecurity experts. According to reports, experts and business leaders helped shift that view following high-profile hacks against Colonial Pipeline, JBS, and Kaseya, a Florida-based IT firm.

New Hacking Group Shows Similarities to Gang That Attacked Colonial Pipeline— The Wall Street Journal

  • Cyberthreat investigators say that a new hacking group recently emerged with similar techniques used by a group that successfully hacked the Colonial Pipeline Co. earlier this year. The new group, named BlackMatter, has cryptocurrency wallets and ransomware strains similar to those used by the former group.

Ransomware Gangs and the Name Game Distraction — Krebs on Security

  • Brian Krebs takes a deep dive into notable ransom gang reinventions over the past five years. “Reinvention is a basic survival skill in the cybercrime business,” says Krebs. “Among the oldest tricks in the book is to fake one’s demise or retirement and invent a new identity.”

Energy group ERG reports minor disruptions after ransomware attack — Bleeping Computer

  • This week, ERG, an Italian energy company, reported that it experienced “only a few minor disruptions” to its information and communications technology infrastructure following a ransomware attack on its systems.

The State Department and 3 other U.S. agencies earn a D for cybersecurity — Ars Technica

  • Cybersecurity at eight federal agencies is so poor that four of them earned D grades, three got Cs, and only one received a B in a report issued Tuesday by a U.S. Senate Committee. This report comes two years after another damning cybersecurity report. Again, auditors find that little has improved.

Nearly 450K patients impacted by Orlando Family Physicians phishing attack— S.C. Magazine

  • Orlando Family Physicians (OFP) recently notified 447,426 patients that their data was potentially compromised during a successful phishing attack in April. The breach tally makes the OFP incident among the ten largest reported in U.S. health care this year.

Supply chain attacks are getting worse, and you are not ready for them— ZDNet

  • The European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA) analyzed 24% supply chain attacks and warned that current defenses against threats are insufficient. The ENISA report focused on advanced persistent threat (APT) supply chain attacks, noting that the coding was not very advanced, the planning and staging were complex.

White House cyber chief backs new federal bureau to track threats — The Hill

  • On Monday, National Cyber Director Chris Inglis made a case for establishing an office within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to track and analyze cybersecurity incidents to ensure that the country has an early warning system to understand attack vectors and targets.

FTC’s right-to-repair ruling is a small step for security researchers, giant leap for DIY hackers— Cyberscoop

  • The Federal Trade Commission recently voted unanimously to enforce rules against manufacturers who make it difficult for consumers to fix their own devices. Unfortunately, while a significant win for the “right-to-repair” movement for consumer advocates and owners of devices, this move is also a big win for hackers.

PwnedPiper vulns have potential to turn Swisslog’s PTS hospital products into “Swiss cheese,” says Armis — The Register

  • An investigation by security experts at Armis discovered severe vulnerabilities in Swisslog PTS hospital products used by 80% of U.S. hospitals. Security problems were so bad that analysts said that they had the potential to turn Swisslog’s products into “Swiss cheese.”  Among the vulnerabilities that were uncovered: hardcoded passwords, unencrypted connections, and unauthenticated firmware updates. Patches have been released.

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