News are increasingly coming out about so-called cyber-attacks; the battlefield is the World Wide Web

24 March 2016.

App Store was under the first big hackers' attack

Palo Alto Networks researchers,California, have revealed the cyber-attack on Apple computers by means of the malicious software aimed to blackmail (so-called ransomeware).

Ransomeware is the software, which encrypts data on the user's device or blocks access to them. It is possible to unblock the access to the data after paying the required sum only — in bitcoins (virtual currency unit) which allows the malefactor to hide his location and personality.

Palo Alto Networks specialists, who are developing the security system technologies, stated that the virus could get on Apple computers jointly with the new version of the Transmission program. As the representative of Palo Alto Networks Ryan Olson has declared, three days later after the downloading, the malicious software ciphers the part of data then demands the "ransom" from the user - one bitcoin which is circa $400 nowadays.

Transmission developers have removed the infected version of torrent-client from the server and have released the safe version Transmission 2.92. Apple company representatives have also declared that they have taken a number of measures to prevent the infection of computers with malicious software, including, including withdrawal of one of digital certificates which allowed installing the infected file.

According to the experts' opinion, similar types of viruses annually bring hackers hundreds of millions dollars.

Hacker pirates

Now we are going to tell about the brand new category of pirates who become more and more advanced users. This year pirates have breached the security system of shipping company; their target was to steal all the cargo ships data: schedule, cost and quantity of goods.

Hacker pirates now act intentionally according to the plan. Having seized the ship, they look for containers with a special barcode specifying the certain goods, take these containers and leave the ship without further conflicts and problems.

Dating website was hacked

The database of the popular dating website has been found on the Internet. The unknown hacker sells information about 27 million users of the resource for 20 bitcoins (ca. $8400).

The malefactor claims that he has managed to crack the Mate1 MySQL-server. Initially the data of nearly 40 million users was in hacker's disposal, but the burglar has removed all duplicates and bots from the base, number of users was reduced to 27 million.

Unlike last year's hacking of "the website for cheating" Ashley Madison, this case is less terrible as the hacker has received only users' e-mail addresses and unencrypted passwords. The base doesn't contain any personal data which would compromise the website users.

However, the leakage of 27 million passwords can hardly be called good news. It is well known that people are very often using the same password on different resources.

The management of Mate1 doesn't comment on the situation, have chosen to keep silence.

The racketeer Cerber has a heart-to-heart with a victim

Independent experts from Malwarebytes and Bleeping Computer have recorded the increasing number of various encrypters in the Net. The malicious application Cerber encrypts the victims' data and then demands ransom using a speech synthesizer.

Cerber was discovered by experts of the SenseCy company. According to their data, the ransomeware has been created by Russian-speaking hackers, and now is beeing spread as a service at Russian underground forums. The similar business model is very popularity among cybercriminals: authors provide the subscription on product usage which is ready to "turnkey" work and take small percent from the received repayments.

Prior to encrypting files, Cerber tricks the user to reboot the computer displaying fake mistakes.

The personal computer loads in Safe mode with networking and then is forced to reload again in Normal mode. After that the encrypter starts working and encrypts more than 380 file types with application of the symmetric algorithm AES. At the same time files' extension changes on .cerber.

When data are encrypted, the ransomeware leaves in all directories text, HTML and VBS files with the ransom demand. The message in VBS format is especially curious – using text-to-speech engine, the malware reads the requirement to pay 1,24 bitcoins (about $520) to the victim aloud.

Researchers announce that Cerber doesn't affect users from Russia and CIS countries. The similar regional restrictions are rather common.

Nobody managed to crack this ransomeware yet.



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November 2018 (English)