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.

In Case You Missed It

Cybersecurity News & Trends

This week, the Mid-Year Update to the 20201 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report shook up a lot of people with the headline “304.7 million ransomware attacks eclipse 2020.” That’s a 151% increase, year-over-year. In other news, “Wipers” in the Middle East, Emma Willard, UC San Diego, rebranded hacker groups, fake Microsoft 11 installers, the sinister case of Plugwalkjoe, and flirty aerobics instructors.

SonicWall in the News

Record 304.7 Million Ransomware Attacks Eclipse 2020 Global Total in Just 6 Months SonicWall Press

  • Straight off the Mid-Year Update to the 2021 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report: high-profile attacks against established technology and infrastructure are now more prevalent than ever. Through the first half of 2021, SonicWall recorded global ransomware volume of 304.7 million, surpassing 2020’s full-year total (304.6 million) — a 151% year-to-date increase. If that doesn’t rock your boat, keep in mind that just about every business sector is targeted.

Over 300 million ransomware attacks recorded in first half of 2021, claims study Tech Digest

  • The cyberthreat quote of the week came from SonicWall President and CEO Bill Conner: “In a year driven by anxiety and uncertainty, cybercriminals have continued to accelerate attacks against innocent people and vulnerable institutions. This latest data shows that sophisticated threat actors are tirelessly adapting their tactics and embracing ransomware to reap financial gain and sow discord…”

Fresh data shows a 600% rise in education-related cybercrime FENews

  • This publication focused on data from SonicWall Capture Labs that shows a 615% rise in ransomware – just on education alone! Threat researchers also recorded alarming ransomware spikes across other key verticals, including government (917%), healthcare (594%) and retail (264%).

Record 304.7 Million Ransomware Attacks Eclipse 2020 Global Total in Just 6 Months IT Supply Chain

  • Data from the Mid-Year Update to the 2021 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report revealed that 2021 ransomware numbers “eclipse” all of 2020 global attacks.

SonicWall: Record 304.7 Million Ransomware Attacks Eclipse 2020 Global Total in Just 6 Months VM Blog

  • Writers here focused on the fact that data from the Mid-Year Update to the 2021 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report shows the sharp rise in the number of ransomware attacks was achieved in just 6 months.

SonicWall makes the move to Globalization Partners to help grow global team WhaTech

  • Noting SonicWall’s 30-year history, writers here point out a Globalization Partners solution to hire talent around the world.

Teleworking: how much risk is there for your Company security Dealer World

  • SonicWall’s Sergio Martínez participated in a special issue about teleworking and cybersecurity.

Industry News

Researchers Link Mysterious ‘MeteorExpress’ Wiper to Iranian Train Cyberattack Security Week

  • Security researchers at SentinelOne stumbled upon a hitherto unknown data-wiping malware that was part of a disruptive cyberattack against Iran’s train system earlier this month. “Wipers,” as they are euphemistically called, are the most destructive of all malware types. The genre logs most of its attacks in the Middle East, with the 2012 Shamoon attacks against Saudi Aramco being the most prominent example.

New York’s Emma Willard School suffers ransomware attack Edscoop

  • Following a 615% rise in ransomware targeting education this year, leaders at the prodigious Emma Willard School in Troy, NY are reeling from a recent cyberattack. They’re still identifying the extent of the attack but said that some employee Social Security numbers and financial information were stolen, according to a letter obtained by the Times-Union.

As Cyberattacks Surge, Security Start-Ups Reap the Rewards The New York Times

  • Responding to the severe uptick in cyberattacks, investors have poured $12.2 billion into cybersecurity companies so far this year, nearly $2 billion more than the total for all of 2020.

UC San Diego Health discloses data breach after phishing attack Bleeping Computer

  • UC San Diego Health, one of nation’s highest ranked hospitals, and a leading academic medical school, disclosed that they discovered a data breach that compromised some employees’ email accounts that may have revealed personal information of patients, employees, and students. The breach occurred between December 2, 2020, and April 8, 2021, and was the result of a phishing attack.

Scammers are using fake Microsoft 11 installers to spread malwareCyberscoop

  • Security firm Kaspersky issued warnings that hackers are circulating fake installers to people who are eager to get their hands on the Microsoft operating system update due this fall.

Cyber insurance rates fail to match catastrophe riskReuters

  • Rising prices of insurance against cyberattacks fail to take account of the potential catastrophic effects of a widespread attack, Chubb Ltd. CEO Evan Greenberg said on Wednesday. Chubb is a major underwriter for various insurance for business.

Justice Department officials urge Congress to pass ransomware notification law – The Hill

  • U.S. Justice Department officials came out in strong support of legislation requiring companies to report ransomware attacks and other severe data breaches to federal authorities. But DOJ also says that Congress should hold the brakes on banning ransomware payments.

PlugwalkJoe Does the Perp Walk – Krebs on Security

  • Brian Krebs takes a closer look at the “sinister criminal charges” in the indictment of Joseph O’Connor (aka “PlugwalkJoe”) that revealed a subculture where young men turned to sextortion, SIM swapping, and death threats to seize control of social media accounts.

Haron and BlackMatter are the latest groups to crash the ransomware party – Ars Technica

  • New groups – or rebranded old ones – are rising just as the number of high-severity ransomware attacks ratchet up.

FBI reveals top targeted vulnerabilities of the last two years – Bleeping Computer

  • Recommended read: A joint security advisory by cybersecurity agencies from the US, the UK, and Australia reveals the top 30 most targeted security vulnerabilities of the last two years.

Top FBI official advises Congress against banning ransomware payments – The Hill

  • Bryan Vorndran, the assistant director of the FBI’s Cyber Division advised members of the Senate Judiciary Committee against banning payments for ransomware attacks.

Praying Mantis Threat Group Targeting US Firms in Sophisticated Attacks – Dark Reading

  • Group’s advanced memory-resident attacks similar to those employed in sustained campaign against Australian companies and government last year, security vendor says.

In Case You Missed It

Cybersecurity News & Trends

This week, the SonicWall Threat Report, Microsoft vs Chinese hackers, Israeli hack tools, a $10 million reward, and more zero-days than we really want to hear about. Also, railroad hacks in Iran and UK, indictments for Chinese hacking group, Apple’s “five-alarm fire,” and Microsoft’s battle against “homoglyphs.”

SonicWall in the News

IBM Adds Enhanced Data Protection to FlashSystem to Help Thwart Cyberattacks — AI-Thority

  • IBM cites data from SonicWall’s annual threat report in an announcement about enhancements to their FlashSytem data protection. One bit of data that got everyone’s attention: ransomware attacks rose to 304.6 million in 2020, up 62% over 2019, mainly due to the highly distributed workforces caused by the pandemic.

The rise of ransomware: the multibillion-pound hacking industry where no one is safeThe Metro

  • If cybercrime was a country, it would be the world’s third largest in terms of GDP, according to Cybersecurity Ventures. This year, the total cost to the global economy is predicted to top $6 trillion (£4 trillion). SonicWall’s 2021 Threat Report was also included: 304.5 million ransomware attacks in total in 2020 – up 62% over 2019 – and the deluge of attacks shows no signs of slowing down.

The three best ways to neutralize Ransomware attacks – TEK Deeps

  • The question of your company or organization facing a ransomware attack is not an “if” but rather “when.” Most likely, you may have already faced several. SonicWall’s annual threat report was part of this story too, citing through May of 2021, a reported 226.3 ransomware attacks, up 116% year to date over 2020.

Industry News

Tulsa warns of data breach after Conti ransomware leaks police citations — Bleeping Computer

  • The city of Tulsa, Okla., is warning residents that their personal data may have been exposed after a ransomware gang published police citations online.

Saudi Aramco data breach sees 1 TB stolen data for sale — Bleeping Computer

  • Attackers stole 1 TB of proprietary data belonging to Saudi Aramco and are selling it on the darknet. The Saudi Arabian Oil Company, better known as Saudi Aramco, is one of the world’s largest public petroleum and natural gas companies. The sales price of the data, albeit negotiable, is set at $5 million.

Details Emerge on Iranian Railroad Cyberattack — Security Week

  • More details about the cyberattack on Iran’s railroad system emerged over the weekend. On July 9, Iran International reported that a system-wide disruption of Iran’s railroads was probably due to a cyberattack, citing the Revolutionary Guard-backed FARS news agency. Now it appears that the attackers had penetrated the system at least a month earlier.

Northern’s ticket machines hit by ransomware cyberattack BBC

The US Formally Accuses China of Hacking Microsoft – The New York Times

  • To bolster the accusations, the Biden administration may organize a broad group of allies to condemn Beijing for global cyberattacks. However, most analysts believe that such an effort will probably stop short of taking concrete punitive steps against China.

The US indicts members of the Chinese-backed hacking group APT40 – Bleeping Computer

  • The US Department of Justice (DOJ) indicted four members of the Chinese state-sponsored hacking group known as APT40 for hacking various companies, universities, and government entities in the US and worldwide between 2011 and 2018.

$10 million rewards bolster White House anti-ransomware bid – Associated Press

  • The State Department will offer rewards up to $10 million for information leading to identifying anyone engaged in a foreign state-sanctioned malicious cyber activity, including ransomware attacks, against critical US infrastructure. In addition, a task force set up by the White House will coordinate efforts to stem the rise of ransomware.

Israeli Spyware Vendor’s Windows Zero-days Caught in the Wild Vice News

  • Cyber-sleuths from digital rights watchdog Citizen Lab recently released a study that reveals government hackers from several countries are using spyware made by Candiru, an Israeli-based spyware vendor, to target victims all over the world. The spyware leverages two unknown Windows vulnerabilities for zero-day exploitation. As far as we know, this is the first time anyone has published an analysis of Candiru’s malware with targeted individuals.

Google: Annoying LinkedIn Networkers are Russian Hackers Spreading Zero-day – Vice News

  • As if we can’t get enough of zero-days, Google’s Threat Analysis Group published a new report that offers details about several hacking campaigns that leverage a series of zero-day exploits. A quick read shows that there are several reasons for the uptick in zero-day incidents. For one, the industry is getting better at detecting and disclosing attacks. For another, cyber-criminals are taking full advantage of vulnerabilities while they still can.

Fighting an emerging cybercrime trend Microsoft

  • Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit (DCU) recently secured another court order to take down malicious infrastructure used by cybercriminals. They filed the case to target the use of “homoglyph” ­– imposter domains – used in an increasing number of attacks. A judge in the Eastern District of Virginia issued a court order requiring domain registrars to disable service on malicious domains used to impersonate Microsoft customers and commit fraud.

Law Firm for Ford, Pfizer, Exxon Discloses Ransomware AttackDark Reading

  • Campbell Conroy & O’Neil, a major law firm based in Boston, MA, reported an attack that compromised personal data, including Social Security numbers, passport numbers, and payment card data for some individuals. The firm discovered unusual activity on its network earlier this year. An investigation revealed its network was hit with ransomware and prompted Campbell to hire third-party forensics investigators to determine the information affected.

Apple’s iPhone has a “five-alarm fire” security problem with iMessage Business Insider

  • Apple’s iPhone isn’t as secure as Apple says it is according to this report from Amnesty International. The quote that caught our eye: “Apple has a MAJOR blinking red five-alarm-fire problem with iMessage security,” said Bill Marczak, a senior research fellow at Citizen Lab. The threat is related to a tool called Pegasus, created by NSO Group.

Microsoft to acquire cybersecurity firm RiskIQ as cyberthreats mount CNN

  • Microsoft on Monday announced that it is buying cybersecurity firm RiskIQ to help companies better protect themselves from the unique risks created by remote work and relying on cloud computing amid “the increasing sophistication and frequency of cyberattacks.” RiskIQ’s software allows organizations to monitor their entire networks — including operations running on various cloud providers.

IT provider for real estate, finance, insurance downed by ransomwareThe Register

  • Cloudstar, a Florida-based company IT provider, announced that it suffered a “highly sophisticated ransomware attack” that forced it to take down the vast majority of its services. A critical flaw in a Cloudflare service said to be used by 12.7 percent of all websites could have been hijacked by a malicious user-controlled package to compromise a good number of web pages. The company said it was negotiating with the crooks that infected its computers.

In Case You Missed It

Cybersecurity News & Trends

This week, attacks on cyber-insurers, Kaseya, Morgan Stanley and the Ukrainian government were brought to light, and two prominent cybercriminals were brought to justice.

SonicWall in the News

Ransomware demands are digital extortion: don’t pay — Financial Times

  • SonicWall’s report numbers on ransomware indicate attacks increased by more than 60%.
    Syndicated: California News Times

Review: SonicWall Cloud Edge Secure Access — Biz Tech

  • With least-privilege access and advanced microsegmentation, SonicWall leverages the principles of zero trust to protect cloud-first organizations.

Global cyber insurance pricing increases by 32% – Howden — Global Insurance

  • The rampage in ransomware now poses a threat to businesses of all sizes.

SonicWall Triples Threat Performance, Dramatically Improves TCO with Trio of New Enterprise Firewalls — ITWeb

  • With triple the firewall throughput compared to previous SonicWall appliances, new NSand NSsp models help organizations keep pace with the speeds of their growing networks.

Cybersecurity: how to invest in a thriving sector amid rising cybercrime — Proactive News

  • It’s a “cat and mouse” industry as hackers and defense software developers get more sophisticated.

CISA Releases Ransomware Readiness Assessment Audit Tool — HIPAA Journal

  • The U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency has launched a new tool that can be used by organizations to assess how well they are equipped to defend and recover from a ransomware attack.

SonicWall’s EMEA boss discusses what drove up sales by almost a third in 2020 — Channel Partner Insight

  • SonicWall EMEA VP Terry Greer-King discusses what drove up sales by almost a third in 2020, as well as partner support, growth plans in EMEA and challenges ahead.

Infiltrate, adapt, repeat: A look at tomorrow’s malware landscape — Intelligent CIO

  • Brook Chelmo, Software and Security Product Marketing Strategist at SonicWall, explains possible reasons for the growth in the varieties of new malware that were detected and featured in the SonicWall 2021 Cyberthreat Report.

Rebuilding after ransomware: Heartland Community College invests $1 million — EDSCOOP

  • According to a recent report by the cybersecurity company SonicWall, COVID-themed malware attacks spiked for the education industry in early fall as students returned to school.

Industry News

Morgan Stanley reports data breach after vendor Accellion hack — Bleeping Computer

  • Investment banking firm Morgan Stanley has reported a data breach after attackers stole personal information belonging to its customers by hacking into the Accellion FTA server of a third-party vendor.

Kaseya Left Customer Portal Vulnerable to 2015 Flaw in its Own Software — Krebs on Security

  • It appears that, until last week, Kaseya’s customer service portal was left vulnerable to a data-leaking security flaw that was first identified in the same software six years ago.

Letting Businesses ‘Hack Back’ Against Hackers Is a Terrible Idea, Cyber Veterans Say — The Wall Street Journal

  • Companies shouldn’t be allowed to strike back against hackers, cybersecurity specialists and former government officials warned, after senators last week introduced legislation floating the idea of such counterattacks.

Ransomware as a service: negotiators between hackers and victims are now in high demand — ZDNet

  • RaaS groups are hiring negotiators whose primary role is to force victims to pay up.

Use of Common Malware in Operation Targeting Energy Sector Makes Attribution Difficult — Security Week

  • Researchers at cybersecurity firm Intezer have been monitoring a campaign that appears to be mainly aimed at the energy sector, but attribution to a known threat group is made difficult by the fact that the operation involves several common malware families.

Attempted Hack of R.N.C. and Russian Ransomware Attack Test Biden — The New York Times

  • The breach of a Republican National Committee contractor, also linked to Russia, and the global ransomware attack occurred weeks after a U.S.-Russian summit.

Hackers attack websites of Ukraine’s president and security service — Reuters

  • A cyberattack hit the websites of Ukraine’s president, security service and other institutions on Tuesday afternoon, but they were working again by the evening.

Ransomware: US warns Russia to take action after latest attacks — ZDNet

  • The U.S. has warned Russia to take care of cybercrime operating in its own backyard — or the U.S. will take care of it themselves.

Alleged Cybercriminal Arrested in Morocco Following Interpol Probe — Dark Reading

  • The suspect operated under the name “Dr Hex” to target thousands of people through phishing, fraud and carding activities.

Fake Kaseya VSA security update backdoors networks with Cobalt Strike — Bleeping Computer

  • Threat actors are trying to capitalize on the ongoing Kaseya ransomware attack crisis. This time, they’re targeting potential victims in a spam campaign pushing Cobalt Strike payloads disguised as Kaseya VSA security updates.

In Crosshairs of Ransomware Crooks, Cyber Insurers Struggle — Security Week

  • In the past few weeks, ransomware criminals attacked at least three cyberinsurance brokerages — all of which offer policies to help others survive the very network-paralyzing, data-pilfering extortion attacks they themselves suffered.

Germany Thwarts Cyberattack, Denies Impact on Banking System — Bloomberg

  • German authorities thwarted a cyberattack on a data service provider used by federal agencies, but they pushed back on a report that a broad assault targeted critical infrastructure and banks.

NSA: Russian GRU hackers use Kubernetes to run brute force attacks — Bleeping Computer

  • The National Security Agency (NSA) warns that Russian nation-state hackers are conducting brute force attacks to access U.S. networks and steal email and files.

Colombia police collar suspected Gozi Trojan distributor — ZDNet

  • The alleged hacker is wanted in the United States.

In Case You Missed It

Three New Firewalls with Triple the Performance, Plus Three Powerful Updates — Atul Dhablania
Insights with Jayant: TZ Does It — Jayant Thakre
SD-WAN and VPN Orchestrations: Fast-Tracking Enterprise Growth — Ken Dang
New SonicWall NSsp 13700 Firewall: Security for Large Enterprises — Ajay Uggirala
SonicWall Announces Capture Labs Portal — Brook Chelmo
SonicWall NSa 4700 and 6700: The Newest Next-Generation Firewalls for Medium Enterprises — Ajay Uggirala