witnessed this week Spree of hacker-related activities in Iran. On Wednesday, a joint advisory report from the US, UK and Australia said Iranian state hackers are targeting critical infrastructure targets. The following day, the US Department of Justice indicted two Iranian men in connection with interfering in the 2020 elections. Russia and China may usually lead the conversation about foreign hacking threats, but Iran has been increasingly asserting itself over the past several years.
Another country that has been surprisingly active lately with its cyber attacks lately? Belarus! Since 2019, the so-called Ghostwriter hacking and disinformation group has been widely assumed to be Russia, given its tactics and objectives. But security firm Mandiant revealed this week that Ghostwriter is in fact an operation that has ties to the Belarusian military, and is focused on interfering with NATO’s interests as well as those of the country’s neighbours.
We’ve also taken a look at the best password managers — and yes, you do need one. Android users may also want to check out a new feature from DuckDuckGo that blocks trackers in apps across your phone. And speaking of blocking things, NordicTrack has made it difficult for its customers to access “God Mode” that allows them to see whatever they want on the giant treadmill screen – so they’re fighting back by sharing solutions online.
Finally, take a few minutes out of your day to read this in-depth investigation into how lax Amazon data security has failed its customers. It’s full of details you won’t soon forget.
And there’s more! Each week we round up all the security news that WIRED hasn’t covered in depth. Click the headlines to read the full stories, and stay safe out there.
In The Children of These Days record books, a Canadian teenager was arrested this week for allegedly stealing $36.5 million worth of cryptocurrency from a single American victim. This is the biggest theft of its kind. As with many youth-related cryptocurrency thefts recently, an apparent method has been a so-called SIM swap attack, in which the perpetrator transmits a target’s phone number to their own device, enabling them to intercept SMS-based two-factor authentication codes. . There are ways to protect yourself from SIM swapping, but there is no foolproof way to stop it; Even Jack Dorsey’s Twitter account fell into this way. In this case, investigators allege that the teen used his stake in part to purchase a high-value gaming tag, common items in the SIM-swapping community.
Among the many criminal hacker gangs operating in Russia, few have done as much damage over the years as Evil Corp. According to the FBI, the group made at least $100 million by 2019 by stealing from hundreds of banks around the world. Like many online gangs, they have also recently adopted malware, and targeting the National Rifle Association appears to be in a recent offensive. This week the BBC traveled to Moscow and a nearby town in search of Evil Corp members Igor Turachev and Maxim Yakupets.
Last weekend, thousands of emails came out from the FBI warning that the recipients were victims of a cyber attack. In fact, it was the FBI itself that was compromised. A hacker hacked into the agency’s email system, which means they were able to send fake messages with legitimate headers to the FBI. Fortunately, their interest, cybersecurity reporter Brian Krebs was told, was a prank rather than an outright mess.
In an incident reminiscent of last year’s Cam4 leak, streaming site Stripchat disclosed data on 65 million users, 421,000 forms, and 719,000 chat messages over a three-day period earlier this month. The bug was discovered by a security researcher and appears to have been dealt with fairly quickly; It’s not clear if any bad actors had access to the data before Stripchat secured it. The risks of these types of sites are particularly high, though, for performers and clients alike, making any display of private information a cause for particular concern.
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