This is actually [indirectly] courtesy of the US Government’s NSA, from a few years ago. They actually created the code that exploits Microsoft Servers that face the internet directly.
“It’s been almost a week since the City of Atlanta was hit by a ransomware attack, which encrypted city data and led to the shutdown of some services.
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said in a press conference Monday that the city’s government is working on recovering the network after ransom notes appeared on computer displays on Thursday afternoon. The city has hired local cybersecurity firm SecureWorks to assess the situation.
Reports say the notorious SamSam ransomware was used in the Atlanta attack, which exploits a deserialization vulnerability in Java-based servers. Details of the attack remain largely unknown, but an early investigation may have identified who is behind the attack, said SecureWorks chief executive Michael Cote. Almost a million dollars has been reaped from other businesses that were infected and paid the ransom. It’s not known if Atlanta will pay the ransom.”
Nothing to see here, folks …
“Backdoor in Captcha Plugin Affects 300K WordPress Sites”
“The WordPress repository recently removed the plugin Captcha over what initially appeared to be a trademark issue with the current author using “WordPress” [Editors note: the original page has been removed, we’re now linking to a screen shot.] in their brand name.
Whenever the WordPress repository removes a plugin with a large user base, we check to see if it was possibly due to something security-related. Wordfence alerts users when any plugin they are running is removed from WordPress repo as well. At the time of its removal, Captcha had over 300,000 active installs, so its removal significantly impacts many users.”
Incredible analysis in the below link. Nicely done by WordFence.
Full article or Blog here
“China is in the lead” … of blocked countries. My humble website is constantly being sniffed at from the outside. To me it makes no sense on the surface – I have no confidential data or business secrets whatsoever. I do not do eCommerce or any business transactions for that matter. I do not even make poor stock market predictions!
But it makes sense to the potential intruders. These are likely bots just doing recon, searching for WordPress, Plugin or theme weaknesses and other possible pots of gold. Thankfully, I am fully invested in “WordFence”, an outstanding WordPress firewall.
This is the only link [the first one, below] or site that matters when it comes to the Equifax hack. There are many phishing websites disguising themselves, and reports are coming in that hoax or fake emails are popping into Inboxes. Use caution. ONLY go through Equifax, seeming as though they are the ones who caused the mess. As they likely already have your identity, and then lost it via a hack, you may as well follow the steps off the link below to get yourself courtesy identity theft protection for a few years [that is their penance].
I would even emphasize that you should not take my [or anyone’s] word for it, and double check on Equifax’s website yourself.
Cross reference with the FTC:
Thousands of Hacked Home Routers are Attacking WordPress Sites
Fascinating blog from WordFence, one of the best WordPress firewall out there. They uncovered attacks coming from various countries and regions. The target is home networks. There is a router vulnerability called “Misfortune Cookie” [really] that is being exploited. It appears many home routers are hacked with this vulnerability and they in turn launch attacks. The tricky part here is that the launched attacks are actually small per home router, so detection is difficult.
The really weird thing is that the IPS are coming from all over the place, but attacks from Algeria [!] are increasing dramatically.
Read the WordFence Blog here
Security settings for Windows 10 are very important! In the Control Panel or via an “Ask Me Anything” search [Cortana – just type ‘Security’], can be found System and Security. The Firewall and anti virus/spam, and Internet Security [Edge + IE Browser ] are certainly must-haves.
But also required should be User Account Control(UAC) Settings. Although these may involve an extra click or 2 when certain functions are started or Windows Apps opened, it is WELL WORTH IT. A simple additional prompt asking you to verify whether you want to make a change can save you loss of your identity or money, or a complete system crash. What happens if your PC, laptop or tablet is secretly taken over by a group of hackers? Well, they would have to force UAC off or try to install small software to handle their nefarious goals, but you can stop them if a prompt occurs out of nowhere [in which case, run your Antivirus or Malwarebytes quickly!].
Why take chances? It is best to have all of these services active. Think of all of these settings as insurance, but it’s free.
“France faces 19,000 cyberattacks since terror rampage”
Hackers have targeted about 19,000 French websites since a rampage by Islamic extremists left 20 dead last week, France’s cyberdefense official said Thursday, as the president tried to calm the nation’s inflamed religious tensions.
France is on edge since last week’s attacks, which began Jan. 7 at the offices of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo. The paper, repeatedly threatened for its caricatures of the Muslim Prophet Muhammad, was burying several of its slain staff members Thursday.
Calling it an unprecedented surge, Adm. Arnaud Coustilliere, head of cyberdefense for the French military, said about 19,000 French websites had faced cyberattacks in recent days, some carried out by well-known Islamic hacker groups.
It appears the ‘Lizard Squad’ DDoS ‘service’ is already out of business. The sleazy service was relatively new and caused outrage on the Internet due to its, uh, illegal activity: basically it would bombard websites until they could no longer reply to other requests (http), i.e. people would get a ‘page cannot be displayed’ type of message during said bombardment.
DDoS is not new at all, but the Lizard Losers actually set up a business via Paypal or Bitcoin, where one could pay them online for periodic outages of chosen websites. So, they monetized illegal internet activity. They also set up an impressive website. And, to add insult to injury, there is a YouTube video demo of sorts. Check it at the ‘Engadget’ link below. It’s very interesting.
Their service did not last too long, but look for more of this in the coming months or years …
Engadget Article here