KW 39: Thousands of passport data leaked, Iranian hackers outsmart WhatsApp and Telegram encryption, Hackers have been trying to crack Bitcoin wallets for two years


Thousands of passport data leaked: Hundreds of thousands of travelers have had their data illegally made public by Argentinian hackers after blackmail demands were not met. The thieves published reams of personal data on the Darknet because the authorities refused to meet their ransom demands. The data includes names, dates of birth, passport numbers and travel destinations of a multitude of people who had traveled to Argentina between January and mid-March.

Iranian hackers outsmart WhatsApp and Telegram encryption: Iranian hackers, most likely employees or affiliates of the government, have been running a vast cyberespionage operation equipped with surveillance tools that can outsmart encrypted messaging systems, according to reports by Check Point Software Technologies, a cybersecurity technology firm, and the Miaan Group, a human rights organization that focuses on digital security in the Middle East. The operation not only targets domestic dissidents, religious and ethnic minorities and antigovernment activists abroad, but can also be used to spy on the general public inside Iran.

Hackers have been trying to crack Bitcoin wallets for two years: According to cybersecurity expert Alon Gal, who goes by the handle UnderTheBreach on Twitter, hackers have been trying to break open a bitcoin wallet holding around $720 million worth of BTC (considering today’s rates). However, Gal reported that no one has posted any success regarding the same.

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Member of hacking group sentenced to five years in prison: A US district judge has sentenced a British national to five years in federal prison for participating in the cybercrime activities of hacking collective group “The Dark Overlord.” Nathan Wyatt was extradited from the UK to the US in December 2019 for targeting computer networks of American companies. Victims include health care providers and accounting firms in the St. Louis, Missouri area where Wyatt faced charges.

Data protection shortcomings: could Facebook and Instagram be blocked in Europe? Facebook is in conflict with the Irish data protection authority DPC. Depending on how this conflict goes, the data transfer to the US could be stopped. Facebook threatens to withdraw from the EU, where 410 million people use the services of the social media platform, which also includes Instagram.

Critical infrastructure vulnerable to ransomware: Security experts have expressed concern about cyber attacks on critical infrastructure. After the University Hospital Düsseldorf was hacked and a woman died as a result, experts searched for vulnerabilities in the software. The Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) warns that with certain security vulnerabilities, attackers can still access the relevant scripts after installing updates.

Optima Schwäbisch Hall: Hackers paralyze operations
KRITIS: Cyber resilience in healthcare must be improved
Espionage: Check Point uncovered six-year espionage campaign by Iranian authorities
Exports: Amnesty International calls for strict controls on surveillance technologies

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According to Kaspersky, 53 percent of European companies are shifting their cybersecurity priorities and are saving more as a result of the Covid crisis.


Three foundations for a secure IoT ecosystem: The integration of IoT into business processes poses challenges for departments and managers – especially with regard to the security concerns associated with the technology. There are three tips to keep in mind when setting up IoT: First, every company should be able to use a security solution to identify all devices connected to the IoT infrastructure. Second, network segmentation – the subdivision of the infrastructure into subsections – is a measure that reduces the surface area for hackers to attack. Third, Virtual Local Area Networks (VLAN) should always be equipped with the latest generation of firewalls.


“Because the relationship between digitized and analog information storage is shifting more and more towards digitization, companies are increasingly offering larger attack surfaces for hackers.”
Patrick Kurtz, owner of the Kurtz detective agency, on increasing cyberattacks.


Big Brother Award given to companies with problematic data handling: The questionable honor of Germany’s Big Brother Award is awarded to companies and organizations that develop applications that are controversial under data protection law. This year, Tesla is also included on the list of award recipients – the company has installed a number of outdoor cameras in its cars that scan and analyze the environment. This data is sent to servers in California. The award jury commented on Tesla’s technology as follows: “We have nothing against vehicle assistance systems, and nothing against semi-automated driving. This requires sensors and so-called artificial intelligence. But from a data protection point of view, this data can and must largely remain in the car.”,

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