Kaspersky: North Korean hackers attack banks in Nigeria, 18 other countries

A Russian online cyber security firm, Kaspersky, Thursday, alleged that North Korean hackers are allegedly attacking banks in Nigeria and 17 other countries.

The organisation noted in its report that this could be regarded as the biggest bank heist in world history.

Reports said banks and security researchers had previously identified four similar cyber-heists attempt on financial institutions in Bangladesh, Ecuador, the Philippines and Vietnam.

But on Thursday, researchers at Kaspersky said the same hacking operation, known as “Lazarus”, also attacked financial institutions in Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Gabon, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Kenya, Malaysia,
Poland, Taiwan, Thailand, Uruguay and Nigeria.

But the Central Bank of Nigeria has since said it was not aware of the development.

The new report is coming after more than a year-long investigation into the activity of “Lazarus”, the hacking group allegedly responsible for the theft of $81 million from the Central Bank of Bangladesh last year.

The claims that North Korea could have been behind the attack has added to concerns that the country is becoming bolder in its cyber attacks against global financial institutions.

CNN reports that North Korea’s mysterious Lazarus hacking operation has been blamed for several large international cyber attacks in recent years.

Reserchers at Kaspersky said the hackers can be traced back to North Korea, adding that to hide their location, hackers typically launch cyber attacks from computer servers far from home.

The Lazarus hackers, according to Kaspersky, carefully routed their signal through France, South Korea and Taiwan to set up that attack server but a connection that briefly came from North Korea was spotted by Kaspersky.

Vitaly Kamluk, who leads Kaspersky’s Asia-Pacific research team, said, “North Korea is a very important part of this equation,” but the North Korean government has reportedly denied allegations of the hack.

Kaspersky Lab has, however, said despite the evidence of the North Korean IP address, it “is not enough proof to provide definitive attribution given that the connection session could have been a false flag operation.”


Source: Premium Times

Yahoo suffers world’s biggest hack on 1 billion users.

Yahoo has discovered a three-year old security breach that enabled a hacker to compromise more than 1 billion user accounts, breaking the company’s own humiliating record for the biggest security breach in history.

The digital heist disclosed on Wednesday occurred in August 2013, more than a year before a separate hack that Yahoo announced nearly three months ago. That breach affected at least 500 million users, which had been the most far-reaching hack until the latest revelation.

“Simply everyone that has a Yahoo account should be concerned,” Robert Siciliano, a US-based security analyst, told Al Jazeera. “Once a criminal hacker has access to your email, that is a portal to reset the passwords for all of your critical accounts, which that Yahoo account is associated with.”

Both lapses occurred during the reign of Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, a once-lauded leader who found herself unable to turn around the company in the four years since her arrival. Earlier this year, Yahoo agreed to sell its digital operations to Verizon Communications for $4.8bn – a deal that may now be imperilled by the hacking revelations.

Yahoo didn’t say if it believes the same hacker might have pulled off two separate attacks. The Sunnyvale, California, company blamed the late 2014 attack on a hacker affiliated with an unidentified foreign government, but said it hasn’t been able to identify the source behind the 2013 intrusion.

Yahoo: Users need not worry

Yahoo has more than a billion monthly active users, although some have multiple accounts and others have none at all. An unknown number of accounts were affected by both hacks.

In both attacks, the stolen information included names, email addresses, phone numbers, birthdates and security questions and answers.

The company says it believes bank-account information and payment-card data were not affected. But hackers also apparently stole passwords in both attacks. Technically, those passwords should be secure; Yahoo said they were scrambled twice – once by encryption and once by another technique called hashing.

But hackers have become adept at cracking secured passwords by assembling huge dictionaries of similarly scrambled phrases and matching them against stolen password databases.

That could mean trouble for any users who reused their Yahoo password for other online accounts. Yahoo is requiring users to change their passwords and invalidating security questions so they can’t be used to hack into accounts. (You may get a reprieve if you’ve changed your password and questions since September.)

Security experts said the 2013 attack was likely the work of a foreign government fishing for information about specific people. One big tell: It doesn’t appear that much personal data from Yahoo accounts has been posted for sale online, meaning the hack probably wasn’t the work of ordinary criminals.

That means most Yahoo users probably don’t have anything to worry about, said JJ Thompson, CEO of Rook Security.

Hackers Attack Website Of Ghana’s Election Commission

Hackers yesterday targeted the website of Ghana’s electoral commission as votes were counted after tightly contested elections.

The commission said the website was up again, and an attempt to put up “fake results” failed.

In a tweet, it urged people to ignore the “fake results” circulating on social media.

Also yesterday, tension, confusion and suspicion greeted the exercise, as the umpire, Electoral Commission (EC), was silent over the outcome. Results were yet to be officially announced at the time of filing this report. However, about 80 per cent of the results had been declared from the 29,000 polling booths nationwide.

The development contradicts the smooth election environment that has been prevailing in the country since return of democratic dispensation in 1992.

Expectedly, the suspense created extreme tension in the country yesterday as security was beefed up to curtail untoward incidents although the exercise had been peaceful except pockets of misunderstanding in a few places.

However, the Ghanaian media had since midnight Wednesday been announcing the results declared by returning officers from most of the polling booths which put Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo ahead of the incumbent, John Dramani Mahama, hours after voting, but the tallies must be officially certified by the electoral body.

The commission’s delay in announcing the results yesterday forced Akuffo-Addo, the candidate of the largest opposition party, New Patriotic Party (NPP) to address a press conference where he claimed victory.



Confidential Medical Files of Serena Williams, Simone Biles, Other Female US Olympians Leaked By Russian Hackers

Confidential medical data of gold medal-winning gymnast Simone Biles, seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams and basketball player Elena Delle Donne was hacked from a World Anti-Doping Agency database and posted online on Tuesday.

The Russian cyber espionage group called Fancy Bear published records of “Therapeutic Use Exemptions” (TUEs), which allow athletes to use otherwise-banned substances if they have a verified medical reason to do so, the Independent reports.

Williams, who revealed in 2011 she had been diagnosed with Sjogren’s syndrome, an energy-sapping disease, issued a statement via her agent in which she said she was granted TUEs “when serious
medical conditions have occurred,” and those exemptions were “reviewed by an anonymous, independent group of doctors, and approved for legitimate medical reasons.”

  “I was disappointed to learn today that my private, medical data has been compromised by hackers and published without my permission,” Williams said. “I have followed the rules established under the Tennis Anti-Doping Program in applying for, and being granted, ‘therapeutic use exemption.'”

  Women’s basketball gold medalist Elena Delle Donne, who had thumb surgery on Tuesday and posted a post-op pic on Twitter, along with a statement saying she takes prescribed medication approved by WADA.

In a statement, USA Gymnastics said Biles — who won five medals, four gold, in Rio last month — was approved for an exemption and had not broken any rules. She wrote on Twitter that she’s taken medication to treat ADHD since she was a child.

  “Please know I believe in clean sport, have always followed the rules, and will continue to do so as fair play is critical to sport and is very important to me,” Biles posted.

Fancy Bear claimed the “therapeutic use of exemptions” constituted evidence of doping US Olympians.

“After detailed studying of the hacked Wada databases we figured out that dozens of American athletes had tested positive” a statement from the group reads. “The RIO Olympic medallists regularly used illicit strong drugs justified by certificates of approval for therapeutic use. In other words, they just got their licenses for doping.”

WADA previously warned of cyber attacks after investigators it had appointed published reports into Russian state-sponsored doping.

World Anti-Doping Agency director general Olivier Niggli said in a statement that it was “unthinkable for hackers to illegally obtain confidential medical information in an attempt to smear athletes to make it look as if they have done something wrong.
In fact, in each of the situations, the athlete has done everything right in adhering to the global rules for obtaining permission to use a needed medication.”

He added:

“These criminal acts are greatly compromising the effort by the global anti-doping community to re-establish trust in Russia,”

WADA said “extended its investigation with the relevant law enforcement authorities.”

Last month, hackers obtained a database password for Russian runner Yuliya Stepanova, a whistleblower and key witness for the WADA investigations. She and her husband, a former official with the Russian national anti-doping agency, are now living at an undisclosed location in North America.

A spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin rejected WADA’s statement blaming Russian hackers as unfounded.

  “There can be no talk about any official or government involvement, any involvement of Russian agencies in those actions. It’s absolutely out of the question,” spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in a statement carried by Russian news agencies. “Such unfounded accusations don’t befit any organization, if they aren’t backed by substance.”

 The International Olympic Committee said it “strongly condemns such methods which clearly aim at tarnishing the reputation of clean athletes.”

  “The IOC can confirm however that the athletes mentioned did not violate any anti-doping rules during the Olympic Games Rio 2016,” the Olympic body said.

The top American anti-doping official said it was “unthinkable” to try to smear athletes who followed the rules and did nothing wrong.

  “The cyberbullying of innocent athletes being engaged in by these hackers is cowardly and despicable,” said Travis Tygart, CEO of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.

The agency said it believed the hack was carried out using spear-phishing emails to gather passwords for the WADA Anti-Doping and Management System(ADAMS) database.

‘Exit This Race Within 24 Hours Or We Will Release All We Have Found.’- Hackers Threaten U.S Presidential Candidate Ted Cruz

Today, an individual purporting to be a representative of the hacker group Anonymous posted a disturbing Twitter video that threatened to expose ‘very dirty secrets’ of U.S Presidential candidate Ted Cruz including information about Cruz ‘visiting prostitutes!’

“Your lying during this presidential campaign has gotten out of control,” the video begins. A voice alleges, “You have committed voter fraud to steal votes that do not belong to you … The fraud you have committed against Mr. [Ben]Carson will not be tolerated.”

“Anonymous will not let this go without repercussions or consequences,” the video states. “We will not sit and watch the citizens of America fall for it any longer.” “Almost every word that comes out of your mouth is a complete lie … and you, Mr. Cruz, have been hiding behind some very dirty secrets that lie beneath the surface … secrets that you believed would never haunt you.” “It’s time that we tell America what’s hiding behind the curtain,” the voice states, taunting, “… Do you recall visiting prostitutes?” (The clip offers no suggestion or proof that Cruz actually did consort with hookers, however.) Finally, the video ends with an ultimatum: “Mr. Cruz, we are now demanding that you exit this race within 24 hours, or Anonymous will release all of the information we have found … Your so-called underground hacks that you think were done in the dark will be brought out for all the public to see …Your disgusting behavior … will go viral on every social media platform.”

ISIS Website Hacked And Replaced With Advert For Viagra

An ISIS propaganda website on the dark web has been hacked and replaced with an advert for a service selling prozac and viagra tablets which told extremists to ‘calm down.’ The site for the terror group appeared on the Tor browser of the dark web last week in a bid to get extremists to join up.

However, less than a week later, the site had been hacked and visitors to the page were greeted with a message for the medication.
It read:

‘Too much ISIS. Enhance your calm. Too many people are into this ISIS-stuff. Please gaze upon
this lovely ad so we can upgrade our infrastructure to give you ISIS content you all so desperately crave.’ 
It is believed to be the first time that a hacking group have taken down a website on the dark web.

Hackers Post 32 Million Names Of People Who Have Cheated On Their Spouses

Ashley Madison is owned by Avid Life Media, is designed to help married people cheat on their spouses. Its slogan is “Life is short. Have an affair.” The website claims to have nearly 39 million customers.

Hackers claim to have posted 32 million names, credit card numbers, email and physical addresses along with the sexual preferences of customers entered into the cheaters’ dating site.

The data is posted on what is known as the “Dark Web,” a part of the Internet that can’t be searched by Google or most common search engines. It can only be viewed with a special Tor browser.

But that information won’t likely stay hidden there for long — it’s easy to copy the information and paste it anywhere on the Internet for all to see.

The hackers mocked the site and the customer base, saying that 90% to 95% of the users were male.


Hacker Shuts Down ‘New York Magazine’ Over Alleged Bill Cosby Cover Story

Shortly after New York Magazine unveiled its attention-grabbing Bill Cosby cover story entitled “Cosby: The Women,” from a painstaking result of six months of interviews and careful planning, their entire site was abruptly taken offline by an anonymous hacker. Soon afterwards, critics began pointing some accusing comments on Cosby, alleging his conivance with the hacker who took down the site.

However, The hacker, known only as ThreatKing, said he did not care about Bill Cosby but hates the “many stupid people” of New York.

While in an interview with an online media, ThreatKing said he “overwhelmed the site with a
distributed denial of service attack” which overloaded its servers with traffic.

On his hatred of NYC, ThreatKing maintained that he found so many things wrong in New York, hence, his choice of the city for attacks.

News reaching Us says He also claimed that his hatred of New York  was based on some jeers and intimidations he received from the people when he visited New York city. “I’ve seen many pranks gone wrong at new york. That got me pissed. That’s why I chose New York,” he said.

“I went to new York 2 months ago. It was really bad. Someone pranked me. Everyone started laughing and shit. The first 10 hours being there. Some African-American tried to prank me with a fake hand gun,” lamented ThreatKing.

He  further maintained that he plans to continue instigating similar attacks on other New York media outlets. “I’ll try my best to keep [New York] offline for 14 hours,” ThreatKing said, adding, strangely, that “we would control the Internet if we had enough money. Because each server costs money.”

US State Department Network Shut Over Hackers Threat

The US State Department had to shut down its unclassified computer network over the weekend after evidence emerged that it could have been hacked, the US media reported late Sunday.

The State Department said in an email late Friday that the shutdown came as scheduled routine maintenance to its main unclassified network, and would impact email traffic and access to public websites.

But on Sunday reports emerged that there was evidence a hacker may have breached the security in portions of the system handling non-classified emails.

A senior official told the Washington Post there had been “activity of concern” but that none of the departments classified systems had been compromised.

If hacked, the State Department would be the latest in a series of government agencies to face cyber security breaches — though it is not clear if there is any link between the incidents.

Last week, the US Postal Service said hackers stole sensitive personal information from its employees in a large data breach this year, and got some customer data as well.

– See more at: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2014/11/us-state-department-network-shut-hackers-threat/?