Kerbs on Security

Exclusive: Dutch Cops on AlphaBay ‘Refugees’

1 day 20 hours ago
Following today's breaking news about U.S. and international authorities taking down the competing Dark Web drug bazaars AlphaBay and Hansa Market, KrebsOnSecurity caught up with the Dutch investigators who took over Hansa on June 20, 2017. When U.S. authorities shuttered AlphaBay on July 5, police in The Netherlands saw a massive influx of AlphaBay refugees who were unwittingly fleeing directly into the arms of investigators. What follows are snippets from an exclusive interview with Petra Haandrikman, team leader of the Dutch police unit that infiltrated Hansa. Vendors on both AlphaBay and Hansa sold a range of black market items -- most especially controlled substances like heroin. According to the U.S. Justice Department, AlphaBay alone had some 40,000 vendors who marketed a quarter-million sales listings for illegal drugs to more than 200,000 customers. The DOJ said that as of earlier this year, AlphaBay had 238 vendors selling heroin. Another 122 vendors advertised Fentanyl, an extremely potent synthetic opioid that has been linked to countless overdoses and deaths. In our interview, Haandrikman detailed the dual challenges of simultaneously dealing with the exodus of AlphaBay users to Hansa and keeping tabs on the giant increase in new illicit drug orders that were coming in daily as a result.
BrianKrebs

After AlphaBay’s Demise, Customers Flocked to Dark Market Run by Dutch Police

1 day 22 hours ago
Earlier this month, news broke that authorities had seized the Dark Web marketplace AlphaBay, an online black market that peddled everything from heroin to stolen identity and credit card data. But it wasn't until today, when the U.S. Justice Department held a press conference to detail the AlphaBay takedown that the other shoe dropped: Police in The Netherlands for the past month have been operating Hansa Market, a competing Dark Web bazaar that enjoyed a massive influx of new customers immediately after the AlphaBay takedown.
BrianKrebs

Trump Hotels Hit By 3rd Card Breach in 2 Years

2 days 23 hours ago
Maybe some of you missed this amid all the breach news recently (I know I did), but Trump International Hotels Management LLC last week announced its third credit-card data breach in the past two years. I thought it might be useful to see these events plotted on a timeline, because it suggests that virtually anyone who used a credit card at a Trump property in the past two years likely has had their card data stolen and put on sale in the cybercrime underground as a result.
BrianKrebs

Experts in Lather Over ‘gSOAP’ Security Flaw

4 days ago
Axis Communications -- a maker of high-end security cameras whose devices can be found in many high-security areas -- recently patched a dangerous coding flaw in virtually all of its products that an attacker could use to remotely seize control over or crash the devices. The problem wasn't specific to Axis, which seems to have reacted far more quickly than competitors to quash the bug. Rather, the vulnerability resides in open-source, third-party computer code that has been used in countless products and technologies (including a great many security cameras), meaning it may be some time before most vulnerable vendors ship out a fix -- and even longer before users install it.
BrianKrebs

Porn Spam Botnet Has Evil Twitter Twin

6 days 2 hours ago
Last month KrebsOnSecurity published research into a large distributed network of apparently compromised systems being used to relay huge blasts of junk email promoting "online dating" programs -- affiliate-driven schemes traditionally overrun with automated accounts posing as women. New research suggests that another bot-promoting botnet of more than 80,000 automated female Twitter accounts has been pimping the same dating scheme and ginning up millions of clicks from Twitter users in the process.
BrianKrebs

Thieves Used Infrared to Pull Data from ATM ‘Insert Skimmers’

1 week 1 day ago
A greater number of ATM skimming incidents now involve so-called "insert skimmers," wafer-thin fraud devices made to fit snugly and invisibly inside a cash machine’s card acceptance slot. New evidence suggests that at least some of these insert skimmers -- which record card data and store it on a tiny embedded flash drive are -- equipped with technology allowing it to transmit stolen card data wirelessly via infrared, the same technology built into a television remote control.
BrianKrebs

Adobe, Microsoft Push Critical Security Fixes

1 week 3 days ago
It's Patch Tuesday, again. That is, if you run Microsoft Windows or Adobe products. Microsoft issued a dozen patch bundles to fix at least 54 security flaws in Windows and associated software. Separately, Adobe's got a new version of its Flash Player available that addresses at least three vulnerabilities.
BrianKrebs

Self-Service Food Kiosk Vendor Avanti Hacked

1 week 6 days ago
Avanti Markets, a company whose self-service payment kiosks sit beside shelves of snacks and drinks in thousands of corporate breakrooms across America, has suffered of breach of its internal networks in which hackers were able to push malicious software out to those payment devices, the company has acknowledged. The breach may have jeopardized customer credit card accounts as well as biometric data, Avanti warned.
BrianKrebs

B&B Theatres Hit in 2-Year Credit Card Breach

2 weeks ago
B&B Theatres, a company that owns and operates the 7th-largest theater chain in America, says it is investigating a breach of its credit card systems. The acknowledgment comes just days after KrebsOnSecurity reached out to the company for comment on reports from financial industry sources who said they suspected the cinema chain has been leaking customer credit card data to cyber thieves for the past two years.
BrianKrebs

Who is the GovRAT Author and Mirai Botmaster ‘Bestbuy’?

2 weeks 3 days ago
In February 2017, authorities in the United Kingdom arrested a 29-year-old U.K. man on suspicion of knocking more than 900,000 Germans offline in an attack tied to Mirai, a malware strain that enslaves Internet of Things (IoT) devices like security cameras and Internet routers for use in large-scale cyberattacks. Investigators haven’t yet released the man’s name, but news reports suggest he may be better known by the hacker handle “Bestbuy.” This post will follow a trail of clues back to one likely real-life identity of Bestbuy.
BrianKrebs

Is it Time to Can the CAN-SPAM Act?

2 weeks 5 days ago
Regulators at the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) are asking for public comment on the effectiveness of the CAN-SPAM Act, a 14-year-old federal law that seeks to crack down on unsolicited commercial email. Judging from an unscientific survey by this author, the FTC is bound to get an earful.
BrianKrebs

So You Think You Can Spot a Skimmer?

3 weeks ago
This week marks the 50th anniversary of the automated teller machine -- better known to most people as the ATM or cash machine. Thanks to the myriad methods thieves have devised to fleece unsuspecting cash machine users over the years, there are now more ways than ever to get ripped off at the ATM. Think you're good at spotting the various scams? A newly released ATM fraud inspection guide may help you test your knowledge.
BrianKrebs

‘Petya’ Ransomware Outbreak Goes Global

3 weeks 3 days ago
A new strain of ransomware dubbed "Petya" is worming its way around the world with alarming speed. The malware appears to be spreading using a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows that the software giant patched in March 2017 -- the same bug that was exploited by the recent and prolific WannaCry ransomware strain.
BrianKrebs

Got Robocalled? Don’t Get Mad; Get Busy.

3 weeks 5 days ago
Several times a week my cell phone receives the telephonic equivalent of spam: A robocall. On each occasion the call seems to come from a local number, but when I answer there is that telltale pause followed by an automated voice pitching some product or service. So when I heard from a reader who chose to hang on the line and see where one of these robocalls led him, I decided to dig deeper. This is the story of that investigation. Hopefully, it will inspire readers to do their own digging and help bury this annoying and intrusive practice.
BrianKrebs

FBI: Extortion, CEO Fraud Among Top Online Fraud Complaints in 2016

4 weeks 1 day ago
Online extortion, tech support scams and phishing attacks that spoof the boss were among the most costly cyber scams reported by consumers and businesses last year, according to new figures from the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). The IC3 report released Thursday correctly identifies some of the most prevalent and insidious forms of cybercrimes today, but the total financial losses tied to each crime type also underscore how infrequently victims actually report such crimes to law enforcement.
BrianKrebs

Why So Many Top Hackers Hail from Russia

1 month ago
Conventional wisdom says one reason so many hackers seem to hail from Russia and parts of the former Soviet Union is that these countries have traditionally placed a much greater emphasis than educational institutions in the West on teaching information technology in middle and high schools, and yet they lack a Silicon Valley-like pipeline to help talented IT experts channel their skills into high-paying jobs. This post examines the first part of that assumption by examining a breadth of open-source data. The supply side of that conventional wisdom seems to be supported by an analysis of educational data from both the U.S. and Russia, which indicates there are several stark and important differences between how American students are taught and tested on IT subjects versus their counterparts in Eastern Europe.
BrianKrebs

Credit Card Breach at Buckle Stores

1 month ago
The Buckle Inc., a clothier that operates more than 450 stores in 44 U.S. states, disclosed Friday that its retail locations were hit by malicious software designed to steal customer credit card data. The disclosure came hours after KrebsOnSecurity contacted the company regarding reports from sources in the financial sector about a possible breach at the retailer.
BrianKrebs

Inside a Porn-Pimping Spam Botnet

1 month 1 week ago
For several months I've been poking at a decent-sized spam botnet that appears to be used mainly for promoting adult dating sites. Having hit a wall in my research, I decided it might be good to publish what I've unearthed so far to see if this dovetails with any other research out there. In late October 2016, an anonymous source shared with KrebsOnSecurity.com a list of nearly 100 URLs that -- when loaded into a Firefox browser -- each displayed what appeared to be a crude but otherwise effective "counter" designed to report in real time how many "bots" were reporting in for duty. Here's a set of archived screenshots of those counters illustrating how these various botnet controllers keep a running tab of how many "activebots" -- hacked servers set up to relay spam -- are sitting idly by and waiting for instructions.
BrianKrebs

Microsoft, Adobe Ship Critical Fixes

1 month 1 week ago
Microsoft today released security updates to fix almost a hundred security flaws in its various Windows operating systems and related software. One bug is so serious that Microsoft is issuing patches for it on Windows XP and other operating systems the company no longer officially supports. Separately, Adobe has pushed critical updates for its Flash and Shockwave players, two programs most users would probably be better off without.
BrianKrebs

Following the Money Hobbled vDOS Attack-for-Hire Service

1 month 2 weeks ago
A new report proves the value of following the money in the fight against dodgy cybercrime services known as "booters" or "stressers" -- virtual hired muscle that can be rented to knock nearly any website offline. Last fall, two 18-year-old Israeli men were arrested for allegedly running a vDOS, perhaps the most successful booter service of all time. The pair were detained within hours of being named in a story on this blog as the co-proprietors of the service (this site would later suffer a three-day outage as a result of an attack that was alleged to have been purchased in retribution for my reporting on vDOS). That initial vDOS story was based on data shared by an anonymous source who had hacked vDOS and obtained its private user and attack database. The story showed how the service made approximately $600,000 over just two of the four years it was in operation. Most of those profits came in the form of credit card payments via PayPal. But prior to vDOS's takedown in September 2016, the service was already under siege thanks to work done by a group of academic researchers who teamed up with PayPal to identify and close accounts that vDOS and other booter services were using to process customer payments. The researchers found that their interventions cut profits in half for the popular booter service, and helped reduce the number of attacks coming out of it by at least 40 percent.
BrianKrebs
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1 hour 27 minutes ago
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