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FIN7 recruits specialists to carry out ransomware attacks

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FIN7 created a fictitious information security company with the aim of hiring experts, ostensibly to conduct penetration tests.

It appears that cybercriminal group FIN7 is trying to find a new source of income by joining the ranks of ransomware hackers. In particular, FIN7 created a fictitious information security company with the aim of hiring cybersecurity experts, ostensibly to conduct penetration testing, but in fact – to carry out ransomware attacks.

According to investigation specialists Gemini Advisory (a division of the information security company Recorded Future), the group posted hiring advertisements on the website of a company called Bastion Secure, allegedly specializing in providing penetration testing services to companies and organizations around the world. The “company” was interested in specialists in the field of reverse engineering, system administrators, programmers with knowledge of C ++, Python and PHP. The proposed salary ranged from $ 800 to $ 1200 per month.

Gemini Advisory managed to get an insight into Bastion Secure’s work with the help of an “insider”. As it turned out, job seekers were asked to complete a three-stage interview, which, however, did not include any explanation or legal documents authorizing penetration tests.

In practical terms, applicants were only allowed to use certain tools that were not detectable by security solutions, and to search for backups and file storage systems on the company’s network. At the same time, the tasks set “coincided with the steps taken in the preparation of ransomware attacks.” During the attacks, the ransomware Ryuk or REvil was installed, experts say.

Proposed testing tools included Carbanak and Lizar / Tirion malware, which security experts have linked to FIN7 attacks.

This is not the first time the group has used fictitious companies to attract specialists. For example, a few years ago FIN7 set up a company called Combi Security that looked for pentesters to hack companies’ networks and install malware on PoS terminals.

Although creating and running fictitious companies is a laborious process, hiring an information security expert will cost FIN7 much less than partnering with hackers or hacker groups recruited through cybercriminal forums, which are likely to demand a share of the proceeds from ransomware attacks, the researchers explained.

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Security

Hackers hacked the BitMart crypto exchange and stole $ 150 million.

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The company is investigating the incident, and the withdrawal operations are temporarily suspended.

Crypto exchange BitMart reported that it was hacked, as a result of which it lost $ 150 million worth of cryptocurrency.

Exchange founder and CEO Sheldon Xia confirmed the incident and clarified that the vulnerability was related to hot wallets Ethereum (ETH) and Binance Smart Chain (BSC).

“We have identified a large-scale security breach involving one of our hot ETH wallets and one of our hot BSC wallets. At the moment, we are still drawing conclusions about the possible methods used. The hackers managed to withdraw assets worth about $ 150 million, ”Xia wrote on his Twitter account.

On the evening of December 4, PeckShield recorded an abnormal number of withdrawals from BitMart. Among the tokens that were withdrawn from the trading platform were “meme” tokens, including Shiba Inu, as well as the USDC stablecoin.

Recall that earlier hackers stole about $ 120 million in bitcoins and ether from the decentralized financial (DeFi) platform Badger, which allows users to borrow and lend and speculate on fluctuations in cryptocurrency prices.

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Cyberattack Electric Utilities Lost All Data in 25 Years

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All indications are that the company has fallen victim to ransomware.

Colorado’s Delta-Montrose Electric Association (DMEA) is painfully recovering from a devastating cyberattack that destroyed all of its data over the past 25 years. An attack last month forced the company to shut down 90% of its internal computer systems.

A new notice sent out by DMEA to its customers this week says the company will begin accepting payments through the SmartHub platform and other payment terminals by December 6th. The company hopes to restore billing on December 6-10, so customers should expect an influx of electricity bills. At the same time, DMEA noted that it will not turn off services for non-payment and will not impose fines until January 31, 2022.

Employees of the company began to notice that something was wrong on November 7, and after a while almost the entire computer network of DMEA was turned off. The attack affected all support systems, payment processing tools, billing platforms and other tools provided to customers. According to the company, the hackers attacked certain segments of the internal network and damaged documents, tables and forms, indicating a ransomware attack.

Telephone systems and e-mail were also affected, but power plants and fiber-optic networks were not affected. The personal data of DMEA customers or employees has not been compromised.

DMEA has hired cybersecurity experts to investigate the incident, but is still struggling to rebuild the network.

“We are currently working with limited functionality and are focused on completing investigations and restoring services as efficiently, cost-effectively and securely as possible. We strive to restore our network and get back to normal operations, but this will take time and requires a phased approach, ”the company said.

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Hundreds of malicious Tor nodes are used to de-anonymize users

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Malicious servers were added to the Tor network on an ongoing basis, and there were hundreds of them.

Since at least 2017, a mysterious attacker (or group), tracked by cybersecurity experts as KAX17, has been adding malicious servers to the Tor network, acting as entry, intermediary, and exit nodes. How thinks a security researcher using the pseudonym Nusenu, the campaign aimed to de-anonymize users.

Nusenu, which itself is the Tor node operator, discovered malicious activity in 2019, but says KAX17 has been in effect since at least 2017. According to Nusenu, malicious servers with no contact information were added to the Tor network on an ongoing basis, with hundreds of them. At its peak, the network included over 900 malicious servers.

In general, servers added to the Tor network must contain contact information (such as an email address) so that Tor administrators or law enforcement agencies can contact node operators in the event of misconfiguration or reports of abuse. Despite this rule, servers without contact information are often added to the network, mainly to maintain their numbers.

KAX17 servers are located in data centers around the world and are mostly configured as exit and intermediary nodes, with only a small number of them operating as exit nodes. As Nusenu notes, this is strange enough, since most attackers who manage malicious nodes configure them as exit nodes, which allows them to modify the traffic. For example, the BTCMITM20 group managed a network of thousands of malicious exit nodes to attack users visiting cryptocurrency-related sites.

According to the researcher, KAX17 collects information about users connecting to the Tor network, and then determines their routes. Nusenu reported its findings to the Tor Project last year, and the servers were removed from the network in October 2020. Soon after, another group of exit nodes appeared in Tor with no contact information, but whether it was associated with KAX17 is unclear.

In October and November 2021, the Tor Project also removed hundreds of KAX17 servers. Neither Nusenu nor the Tor Project have speculated yet on who is behind KAX17.

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