KW 32: Quality of cyberattacks increases, 17-year-old accused of masterminding Twitter bitcoin scam, Cloud security risks, Vatican hacked


Quality of cyberattacks increases: According to the latest report from software manufacturer VMware, the number of cyberattacks in Germany has increased less strongly this year compared to last. However, 82% of companies surveyed said the attacks had become more sophisticated. The vast majority of corporations, or 86%, want to invest more in cyber security next year. Small and medium-sized companies in particular are increasingly exposed to attacks. For them, the attack volume rose by 61%.

Urban businesses threatened by security gaps? A report by consulting firm Alpha Strike has warned of an IT security problem at Berliner Wasserbetriebe (BWB). In May, more than 30 security vulnerabilities were found at Berlin’s water supplier. The report said the supplier’s state of security was very poor. According to BWB, a whole series of problems have already been solved. But the existing security gaps could also affect other urban companies such as the Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) and the Berliner Stadtreinigungsbetriebe (BSR), who share their data center with the BWB. According to BSR spokeswoman Sabine Thümler, however, it is “impossible for anyone to paralyze the data center”.

17-year-old accused of masterminding Twitter bitcoin scam: A 17-year-old in Tampa, Florida, is accused of taking over the Twitter accounts of Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Barack Obama and numerous other celebrities to scam people into sending him bitcoin. The teen was arrested and charged, the office of Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren announced on Friday. Two adults were also charged: Mason Sheppard of Bognor Regis in the UK was charged in a criminal complaint in the Northern District of California with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and the intentional access of a protected computer. Nima Fazeli of Orlando, Florida, was charged in a criminal complaint in the Northern District of California with aiding and abetting the intentional access of a protected computer.

Kaspersky finds Lazarus is now operating its own ransomware: Security company Kaspersky has said that North Korean hacking group “Lazarus” is responsible for ransomware attacks in March and April. The aim of the attacks was to extort money from victims. “We knew that Lazarus’ activities were always geared towards financial gain,” confirmed Ivan Kwiatkowski, security researcher with Kaspersky’s Global Research and Analysis Team (GReAT). According to the company, the attacks were not as efficient as those of other groups, but “Lazarus” may be planning a new type of attack.

Garmin reportedly paid multimillion-dollar ransom after suffering cyberattack: Fitness brand Garmin paid millions of dollars in ransom after an attack took many of its products and services offline last month, Sky News reported. The payment was reportedly made through a ransomware negotiation company called Arete IR, in order for Garmin to recover data held hostage as a result of the attack.

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Berlin hasn’t rejected an application for phone or internet monitoring in over 12 years.


Cloud security risks: The Orca Security 2020 State of Public Cloud Security Report found that as organizations across industries rapidly deploy more assets in the public cloud with Amazon, Microsoft, and Google, they are leaving numerous paths open for exploitation. Cloud estates are being breached through their weakest links of neglected internet-facing workloads, widespread authentication issues, discoverable secrets and credentials, and misconfigured storage buckets.

Hackers increasingly target infrastructure: Amidst the coronavirus pandemic, hackers are increasingly focusing on large companies and infrastructure, including hospitals. Interpol Secretary General Jürgen Stock called the rate of increase in attacks alarming. The hackers are taking advantage of new opportunities arising through increased internet use, for example in the home office. In addition, many companies suffer from a lack of security measures. According to Interpol, the goal of recent cyberattacks has been to steal data by referencing the coronavirus.


“Workplace flexibility has increased massively since Covid at the latest. And the wheel will certainly not be turned back. It’s a huge challenge for IT when employees log in from their home office computers or from various mobile devices.”
Arne Petersen, Head of Business Development at Fleet Events, on the challenges in IT security for specialists.


Vatican hacked: The Vatican and the Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong have been the targets of alleged Chinese state-backed hackers ahead of talks on renewal of a landmark 2018 deal that helped thaw diplomatic relations between the Vatican and China. The alleged attacks began in May with an eye on September talks to renew a provisional agreement on bishop appointments, according to a report by the US-based Recorded Future, which tracks state-backed cyberattacks.

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