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Weekly rants and raves from cybersecurity’s trenches

Modern day thief, with penchant for Cognac, lives lavish life funded by data sold on the Dark Web

Self acclaimed Dark Web knight with the online handle of “Courvoisier” was arrested by British Police for hacking over 200 companies  including Apple, Uber, Just Eat and Groupon. Apparently, 26 year old Grant West, stole user data and sold it on the AlphaBay market on the Dark Web. One of his phishing methods involved a fake survey, used to steal login credentials of over 165,000 ‘Just Eat’ customers. The police found credit / debit card details of over 63,000 users and over 75M login credentials stolen during his hacking spree. West will face trial on May 25, and will serve time. With such a future, he will probably age less well than an average cognac. More   @Writerblues



Russia Telegram crackdown debacle continues… Viber could be next.
Although 50 VPNs and Anonymizers were blocked, the app is more popular in Russia than ever. .. News Agency TASS confirmed the censorship and reported that the decision affects the services providing access to the Telegram app. Telegram was blocked in Russia after refusing to hand over the encryption keys to Russian authorities. Next app possibly targeted for the chopping board is Viber. More



State sponsored Chinese hackers leave breadcrumbs, allaying their possible identity

A recent report reveals campaigns conducted over the past decade were linked to threat groups managed by China’s state intelligence, under an alleged “Winnti umbrella”. The umbrella hosted groups with wily titles such as; PlayfulDragon, Wicked Panda, and Deputy Dog, to harvest code-signing certificates, manipulate software, and when possible, make a financial gain. The hackers targeted cloud storage accounts for code-signing certificates. They also hunted for files and documents to move laterally inside the victim’s network. Their identity was uncovered after they mistakenly entered a victim’s machine without a proxy, linking them to the Unicom Beijing Network, Xicheng. More



Is Youtube taking moral responsibility for normalizing cheating on an industrial scale?

YouTube removes videos encouraging students to cheat! It’s no secret that many sites sell ghost-written papers for students desperate to pass their classes.  Unfortunately for them and the ‘shifty’ students using their services, recent investigations by the BBC have put a keg in this ‘online papermil’. As a result, 100s of videos were recently blacklisted after purported to sell essays to desperate students in pursuit of ready-made homework assignments.  Amongst them, Ukranian company EduBirdie, which offered ‘higher research” papers tailored to student’s colleges, using 1,400 videos, with over 700M views. More



Two Romanians, caught stealing Atlanta bank data up to $18M, face charges 

Laurentiu Costea and Robert Codrut Dumitrescu  apparently conducted phishing schemes which targeted banking data from Atlanta residents. They allegedly installed software on infected machines to prompt thousands of auto-calls and text messages. The messages, disguised as calls and texts from a financial institution, directed victims to call a number due to an account problem. When victims made the call, they were prompted to enter their account details and Social Security numbers. The data was even stored at the compromised PCs and accessed whenever they chose to. @FilipTrout More



Finally,…New Android OS to block Apps from monitoring network activity

Well, who would have guessed; apparently any app you install on your Android phone can monitor network activities without asking for sensitive permission, to detect when other apps are connecting to the Internet.  Although they cant see the traffic content, they can easily find which server you’re connecting to, without your knowledge. Google is finally addressing this outrageous privacy situation with the release of its flagship mobile operating system. Although the OS update appears minor, there will be huge implications for user privacy. More



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