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Cyber Security News & Trends

This week, one city is back to using pen and paper after a ransomware attack, cybercriminals utilize popular video game Fortnite in a money laundering scam and construction industry cranes are alarmingly vulnerable to being hacked.


SonicWall Spotlight

SSL, TLS Certificates Expiring on US Government Sites During Federal Shutdown – SonicWall Blog

  • SonicWall’s Brook Chelmo explains why US Government websites are starting to suffer during the ongoing Government Shutdown, explaining that security certificates are not being updated and what kind of messages you might be seeing as a result.

Cyber Security News

Hack Brief: An Astonishing 773 Million Records Exposed in Monster Breach – Wired

  • Wired details the mega-breach where at least 773 million emails and 21 million unique passwords have been released in a folder called “Collection #1.” Some are calling this the largest collection of breached data ever found, although it should be noted that Collection #1 is a compilation of both old and new leaked details.

Fortnite Is Being Used by Criminals to Launder Cash Through V-Bucks – ZDNet

  • Criminals have been using the in-game currency in Fortnite for laundering money from stolen cards. It is not known exactly how much profit the cybercriminals have made, but Fortnite coins sold on eBay alone have grossed over $250,000 in two months.

Defense Department Continuously Challenged on Cybersecurity – Security Week

  • A report has revealed that while the U.S. Department of Defense has been making strides to improve their cybersecurity stance, they are still struggling. In September of last year there were 266 open cybersecurity‑related recommendations, some dating as far back as 2008.

NotPetya Victim Mondelez Sues Zurich Insurance for $100 Million

  • Zurich insurance rejected a $100 million claim by Mondelez saying that since the NotPetya ransomware attack has been seen by some, including the UK government, as a Russian military attack it is not covered by standard insurance against malware. Mondelez are taking legal action in response.

Oklahoma Gov Data Leak Exposes FBI Investigation Records, Millions of Department Files – ZDNet

  • A storage server belonging to the Oklahoma Department of Securities was found with terabytes of confidential data exposed and accessible to the public.

Yes, You Can Remotely Hack Factory, Building Site Cranes. Wait, What? – The Register

  • Cybersecurity protection on cranes, drilling rigs, and other heavy machinery has been found to be severely lacking with a report into the area finding that none of the radio remote controllers investigated had “implemented any protection mechanism to prevent unattended reprogramming.”

WEF: Cyber-Attacks a Major Global Risk for Next Decade – Infosecurity Magazine

  • The World Economic Forum released a reporting stating that cyberattacks remain as one of the risks facing the world today with 82 percent of those queried stating they expect data and monetary theft attacks to increase.

Ransomware Attack Sends City of Del Rio Back to the Days of Pen and Paper – ZDNet

  • Officials at Del Rio, Texas, had to abandon their computers and switch to pen and paper after a ransomware attack last week. It has not been revealed who is behind the ransomware but the FBI have been informed and are investigating.

Emotet Malware Returns to Work After Holiday Break – BankInfoSecurity

  • Whether coincidence or a sign that the criminals were actually on holidays, a number of malware strains including Emotet have returned in 2019 after falling out of use towards the end of the year. BankInfoSecurity trace the history and usage of Emotet, including information on where in the world it has and has not been striking.

In Case You Missed It

Cyber Security News & Trends

Adware apps downloaded by millions, German politicians have their data leaked, and how is the government shutdown affecting cybersecurity? SonicWall has collected this week’s best cybersecurity stories, just for you.


SonicWall Spotlight

What Is Driving the Workforce of the Future? – IT News Africa

  • SonicWall threat data is used to examine the potential dangers of a workforce dependent on the Internet of Things and 5G mobile connection.

Cyber Security News

German Man Confesses to Hacking Politicians’ Data, Officials Say – New York Times

  • The December leak of the personal information of German politicians was carried out by a young German student who used very basic techniques like guessing the passwords. The authorities are treating him as a juvenile and he has been released while the investigation is ongoing.

Google Removes 85 Adware Apps That Were Installed by Millions of Users – ZDNet

  • Google removed 85 apps from the Play Store after complaints that they were blatantly adware where every page on the apps triggered a full screen advert. At the time of removal one of the apps had already been downloaded over five million times.

Class-Action Lawsuit Filed Over Marriott Data Breach Washington Times

  • 76 plaintiffs from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are suing Marriott International Inc. in federal court over the data breach in 2018 that saw millions of people’s data released.

Who Should Be Responsible for Protecting Our Personal Data?World Economic Forum

  • The World Economic Forum explores the growing cybersecurity challenges that are presented by the fact that 89% of Americans and 70% of Europeans use the internet daily, and half the world’s population is online in some way. They ask if governments are reacting fast enough to the changes and if cybersecurity is a personal or public responsibility.

Zeroday Exploit Prices Are Higher Than Ever, Especially for iOS and Messaging Apps – ArsTechnica

  • The going rate for a zero-day jailbreak for Apple’s iOS is currently as high as $2 million. That’s the highest end of the scale but the market for exploits has been going higher and higher with no sign of leveling off.

U.S. Initiative Warns Firms of Hacking by China, Other Countries – Reuters

  • A new initiative by The National Counter-Intelligence and Security Center (NCSC) has been launched, aimed with improving cybersecurity in U.S. companies. Videos, brochures, and online informational materials have all been made available in an attempt to address ongoing concerns that many companies are not currently doing enough to protect themselves from cyberthreats.

Cybersecurity May Suffer as Shutdown Persists – Roll Call

  • The partial government shutdown may be leaving departments open to cybersecurity risks since many of the shutdown departments are on the “hit-list for hackers.” As more time passes there is a fear that minor setbacks may become irreversible.

This Old Ransomware Is Using an Unpleasant New Trick to Try and Make You Pay Up – ZDNet

  • First spotted in 2016, Cryptomix is a ransomware that seemed to have disappeared until it was rediscovered recently with a new distasteful trick; using information scraped from children’s charity organizations to make it seem like the ransom payment will be used to help people in need.

  The Cybersecurity Skills Shortage Is Getting Worse – CSO Online

  • With 53 percent of respondents of one survey reporting a problematic shortage of people with the right skills, the cybersecurity job situation is seen by some as actively getting worse rather than better. CSO Online recommend massive federal leadership, a more thorough public/private partnership and an integrated industry effort to solve the problem.

In Case You Missed It

Cyber Security News & Trends

How long did it take before 2019’s first cyberattack took place? Find out this and more. SonicWall has collected this week’s best cybersecurity stories, just for you.


SonicWall Spotlight

SonicWall Celebrates Key EMEA Milestones  – Enterprise Channels MEA

  • SonicWall’s Michael Berg comments on SonicWall’s boosted presence in EMEA, crediting channel expertise and commitment to speaking the local language as key factors in growth.

Ransomware Attacks Hit Legal System – Today’s General Counsel Magazine

  • An investigation into the growing threat of ransomware in the legal world uses SonicWall 2018 data as its jumping off point.

Cyber Security News

The Elite Intel Team Still Fighting Meltdown and Spectre – Wired

  • The Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities were first announced a year ago and made major waves in the news cycle due to their scope and impact. Wired follow up on the story with an in-depth look at how STORM, Intel’s strategic offensive research and mitigation hacker group, have been dealing with the problem.

Town of Salem Breach Affects 7 Million Accounts – SC Magazine

  • Some payment information was exposed in the breach, but the main leak was of usernames, email addresses, hashed passwords, IP addresses, game and forum activity. The developers have stressed that no card numbers were leaked.

What We Still Don’t Know About the Cyberattack on Tribune Newspapers – Washington Post

  • A cyberattack seriously hampered printing several papers owned by Tribune Publishing, including The L.A. Times. While the Tribune group say they suspect the cyberattack originated from abroad, they have given little other information and the identity and motive of attackers remain unclear.

Dublin’s Luas Tram System Threatened With Private Data Leak – ZDNet

  • Dublin’s tram system is hit with what looks like a ransomware attack that threatens to expose online users unless a ransom of one bitcoin is paid.

Your Data Was Probably Stolen in Cyberattack in 2018 – and You Should Care – USA Today

  • Marriott, Quora, Facebook, Dunkin’ Donuts; USA today summarize the biggest hacks of 2018 and come to the conclusion that very few people have escaped unscathed.

German Politicians Targeted in Mass Data Attack  – BBC

  • Hundreds of German politicians, including Chancellor Angela Merkel, had personal details stolen and published on Twitter throughout December. No one has publicly taken responsibility for the attack yet but all parties except those on the far right were affected.

This Data-Stealing Android Malware Infiltrated the Google Play Store, Infecting Users in 196 Countries – ZDNet

  • When an App is first uploaded into the Google Play Store it is subject to tough reviews to ensure it is safe for users, but some malware developers have been taking advantage of less stringent checks later down the line and injecting malware as an update.

2019’s First Data Breach: It Took Less than 24 Hours – CBR Online

  • The first data breach of 2019 was reported less than 24 hours into the New Year when an estimated 30,000 Australian civil servants had work emails, phone numbers and job titles leaked. Thankfully, no financial information is said to have been affected.

In Case You Missed It

Cyber Security News & Trends

Quantum Cryptography, Malware spreading through the cloud, and Fortnite making teenagers a lot of money; SonicWall has collected and compiled this week’s best cybersecurity stories, just for you.


SonicWall Spotlight

CEO Outlook: Five Questions on 2019  – CRN.com

  • SonicWall CEO Bill Conner gives his five predictions for 2019; from the biggest market opportunities to his thoughts on why staying up-to-date will be key for Channel Partners. He also predicts that 2019 will be the year of the SonicWall Capture Cloud Platform.

SonicWall Increasing Local Partner Support Across EMEA – Computer Weekly

  • SonicWall celebrates key EMEA milestones including the hiring of industry-leading talent and the opening of three new offices in the UK, Spain, and the UAE.

Quantum Cryptography: The Next-Generation of Secure Data Transmission – Information-Age

  • With SonicWall Threat Data showing an increase in encrypted threats throughout 2018, Information Age speculate that quantum cryptography could be the future in encryption.

Cyber Security News

Public Clouds: Fertile Ground to Spread Malware – Security Boulevard

  • A general trust in cloud services is leaving an easy entry point open for threat actors to spread malware. Researchers have already found browser hijacker adware Linkury making its way across Microsoft Azure.

Hackers Have Earned $1.7 Million so Far From Trading Data Stolen From US Gov Payment Portals – ZDNet

  • Click2Gov, a US government self-service payment system owned by Superion, was hit by a data breach in September 2017. Security researchers are estimating that the hackers have earned at least $1.7 million to date selling the information on the Dark Web.

Google Finds Internet Explorer Zero-Day Exploited in Targeted Attacks – Security Week

  • Microsoft released a patch for Internet Explorer fixing a dangerous zero-day bug. SonicWall Captures Labs also issued a signature to provide protection.

Fortnite Teen Hackers ‘Earning Thousands of Pounds a Week’ – BBC

  • With Fortnite estimated to have earned more than £1 billion through selling in-game “skins” there is a growing black-market, often run both by and for very young teenagers.

Irish Data Authority Probes Facebook Photo Breach – Security Week

  • A GDPR investigation has been launched in Ireland after it was revealed that up to 6.8 million users may have had their photos exposed to third party apps. A fine of up to four percent of annual global turnover can be issued to a corporation if they are found to be in breach of GDPR.

New Malware Pulls Its Instructions From Code Hidden in Memes Posted to Twitter – Tech Crunch

  • Researchers have found a type of malware that appears to be activated by memes on Twitter. The good news for those who can’t resist a link to a laugh is that it still looks to be in a testing stage and may never be released.

NASA Discloses Data Breach – ZDNet

  • NASA confirmed a data breach in October 2018 where a third party gained access to personal data, including Social Security Numbers, of current and former employees. No missions are believed to jeopardized by the hack but the investigation into the incident will “take time.”

The Nightmare Before Christmas: Cybersecurity Risks for Children’s Toys – EURACTIV (Europe)

  • As the Internet of Things enters toy manufacturing a host of problems are coming with it; open Bluetooth connections, cheap manufacturing standards, and cybersecurity laws that cannot yet be effectively applied.

In Case You Missed It

Cyber Security News & Trends

Each week, SonicWall collects the cyber security industry’s most compelling, trending and important interviews, media and news stories — just for you.


SonicWall Spotlight

DHS Has New Cyber Collaboration Center, But Private Companies May Hesitate to Share — Law.com

  • SonicWall CEO Bill Conner discusses the challenges faced by the new DHS National Risk Management Center initiative in relation to cooperation from the private sector.

ADT Acquires MSSP SDI, Eyes Small Business Cybersecurity Market Growth — MSSP Alert

  • ADT, the monitored security and home and business automation solutions provider, has acquired Secure Designs Inc. (SDI), a well-known MSSP and SonicWall partner that manages firewall equipment for small business customers.

The Changing Data Security Landscape — Database Trends and Applications

  • The SonicWall 2018 Cyber Threat Report is used in an analysis of the overall risk landscape for cybersecurity.

SonicWall to expand product engineering facility in India — ETCIO

  • Debasish Mukherjee, Country Manager India & SAARC SonicWall sat down with ETCIO to discuss the country’s expansion in Bangalore, India.

Cyber Security News

The Sensors That Power Smart Cities Are a Hacker’s Dream — Wired

  • Research from IBM Security and data security firm Threatcare that looked at sensor hubs from three companies—Libelium, Echelon, and Battelle—that sell systems to underpin smart city schemes.

Network of 15,000 bots used to spread cryptocurrency giveaway spam via Twitter — SC Magazine

  • A recently developed methodology for identifying Twitter bot accounts in large quantities turned up a cryptocurrency scam botnet operation found to leverage at least 15,000 bots to submit bogus tweets and likes.

Internet of Things Adoption to Rise Despite Security, Data Integration Challenges — The Wall Street Journal

  • Firms continue to adopt Internet of Things technologies, but believe large-scale deployments and returns on investment may take longer than expected to materialize due to ongoing security and implementation challenges.

iPhone Chipmaker Blames WannaCry Variant for Plant Closures — Bloomberg

  • Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. blamed a variant of the 2017 WannaCry ransomware for the unprecedented shutdown of several plants, as it ramps up chipmaking for Apple Inc.’s next iPhones

Atlanta’s Reported Ransomware Bill: Up to $17 Million — Bank Info Security

  • The cost of the city of Atlanta’s mitigation and subsequent IT overhaul following a massive SamSam ransomware infection earlier this year could reach $17 million.

In Case You Missed It