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This Week in Security News: How the Cybercriminal Underground Has Changed in 5 Years and the NSA Warns of New Sandworm Attacks on Email Servers

Welcome to our weekly roundup, where we share what you need to know about the cybersecurity news and events that happened over the past few days. This week, learn about how, over the past five years, the cybercriminal underground has seen a major shift to new platforms, communications channels, products, and services. Also, read about a new wave of Sandworm cyberattacks against email servers conducted by one of Russia’s most advanced cyber-espionage units.

Read on:

How the Cybercriminal Underground Has Changed in 5 Years

Trend Micro has been profiling the underground cybercrime community for many years. Over the past five years, it has seen a major shift to new platforms, communications channels, products, and services, as trust on the dark web erodes and new market demands emerge. Trend Micro expects the current pandemic to create yet another evolution, as cyber-criminals look to take advantage of new ways of working and systemic vulnerabilities.

Shadowserver, an Internet Guardian, Finds a Lifeline

In March, internet security group Shadowserver learned that longtime corporate sponsor Cisco was ending its support. With just weeks to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to move its data center out of Cisco’s facility—not to mention an additional $1.7 million to make it through the year—the organization was at real risk of extinction. Ten weeks later, Shadowserver has come a long way toward securing its financial future. This week, Trend Micro committed $600,000 to Shadowserver over three years, providing an important backbone to the organization’s fundraising efforts. 

#LetsTalkSecurity: No Trust for the Wicked 

This Week, Rik Ferguson, vice president of Security Research at Trend Micro, hosted the fourth episode of #LetsTalkSecurity featuring guest Dave Lewis, Global Advisory CISO at Duo Security. Check out this week’s episode and follow the link to find information about upcoming episodes and guests.

Principles of a Cloud Migration – Security W5H – The HOW

Security needs to be treated much like DevOps in evolving organizations, meaning everyone in the company has a shared responsibility to make sure it is implemented. It is not just a part of operations, but a cultural shift in doing things right the first time – security by default. In this blog from Trend Micro, learn 3 tips to get you started on your journey to securing the cloud.

What’s Trending on the Underground Market?

Trust has eroded among criminal interactions in the underground markets, causing a switch to e-commerce platforms and communication using Discord, which both increase user anonymization, a new Trend Micro report reveals. Determined efforts by law enforcement appear to be having an impact on the cybercrime underground as several forums have been taken down by global police entities.

Is Cloud Computing Any Safer from Malicious Hackers?

Cloud computing has revolutionized the IT world, making it easier for companies to deploy infrastructure and applications and deliver their services to the public. The idea of not spending millions of dollars on equipment and facilities to host an on-premises data center is a very attractive prospect to many. But is cloud computing any safer from malicious threat actors? Read this blog from Trend Micro to find out.

Smart Yet Flawed: IoT Device Vulnerabilities Explained

The variety and range of functions of smart devices present countless ways of improving different industries and environments. While the “things” in the internet of things (IoT) benefits homes, factories, and cities, these devices can also introduce blind spots and security risks in the form of vulnerabilities. Vulnerable smart devices open networks to attack vectors and can weaken the overall security of the internet. For now, it is better to be cautious and understand that “smart” can also mean vulnerable to threats.

Cyberattacks Against Hospitals Must Stop, Says Red Cross

Immediate action needs to be taken to stop cyberattacks targeting hospitals and healthcare organizations during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic – and governments around the world need to work together to make it happen, says a newly published open letter signed by the International Committee of the Red Cross, former world leaders, cybersecurity executives and others.

Securing the 4 Cs of Cloud-Native Systems: Cloud, Cluster, Container, and Code

Cloud-native technologies enable businesses to make the most of their cloud resources with less overhead, faster response times, and easier management. Like any technology that uses various interconnected tools and platforms, security plays a vital role in cloud-native computing. Cloud-native security adopts the defense-in-depth approach and divides the security strategies utilized in cloud-native systems into four different layers.

Coinminers Exploit SaltStack Vulnerabilities CVE-2020-11651 and CVE-2020-11652

Researchers from F-Secure recently disclosed two high-severity vulnerabilities in SaltStack Salt: CVE-2020-11651, an authentication bypass vulnerability, and CVE-2020-11652, a directory traversal vulnerability. These can be exploited by remote, unauthenticated attackers, and all versions of SaltStack Salt before 2019.2.4 and 3000 before 3000.2 are affected. Trend Micro has witnessed attacks exploiting these vulnerabilities, notably those using cryptocurrency miners.

PonyFinal Ransomware Targets Enterprise Servers Then Bides Its Time

A Java-based ransomware known as PonyFinal has emerged, targeting enterprise systems management servers as an initial infection vector. It exfiltrates information about infected environments, spreads laterally and then waits before striking — the operators go on to encrypt files at a later date and time, when the likelihood of the target paying is deemed to be the most likely.

Qakbot Resurges, Spreads through VBS Files

Trend Micro has seen events that point to the resurgence of Qakbot, a multi-component, information-stealing threat first discovered in 2007. Feedback from Trend Micro’s sensors indicates that Qakbot detections increased overall. A notable rise in detections of a particular Qakbot sample (detected by Trend Micro as Backdoor.Win32.QBOT.SMTH) was also witnessed in early April.

CSO Insights: SBV’s Ian Keller on the Challenges and Opportunities of Working Remotely

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced businesses to change the way they operate. These abrupt changes come with a unique set of challenges, including security challenges. Ian Keller, Chief Security Officer of SBV Services in South Africa, sat down with Trend Micro and shared his thoughts on how SBV is coping with the current pandemic, the main challenges they faced when transitioning their staff to remote work, as well as how they plan to move forward.

NSA Warns of New Sandworm Attacks on Email Servers

The US National Security Agency (NSA) has published a security alert warning of a new wave of cyberattacks against email servers, attacks conducted by one of Russia’s most advanced cyber-espionage units. The NSA says that members of Unit 74455 of the GRU Main Center for Special Technologies (GTsST), a division of the Russian military intelligence service, have been attacking email servers running the Exim mail transfer agent (MTA).

Forward-Looking Security Analysis of Smart Factories <Part 2> Security Risks of Industrial Application Stores

In the second part of this five series column, Trend Micro looks at the security risks to be aware of when promoting smart factories by examining overlooked attack vectors, feasible attack scenarios, and recommended defense strategies. This column is especially applicable for architects, engineers, and developers who are involved in smart factory technology.

Factory Security Problems from an IT Perspective (Part 2): People, Processes, and Technology

This blog is the second in a series that discusses the challenges that IT departments face when they are assigned the task of overseeing cybersecurity in factories and implementing measures to overcome these challenges. In this article, Trend Micro carries out an analysis to uncover the challenges that lie in the way of promoting factory security from an IT perspective.

21 Tips to Stay Secure, Private, and Productive as You Work from Home on Your Mac

If you brought a Mac home from the office, it’s likely already set up to meet your company’s security policies. But what if you are using your personal Mac to work from home? You need to outfit it for business, to protect it and your company from infections and snooping, while ensuring it continues to run smoothly over time. In this blog, learn 21 tips for staying secure, private, and productive while working from home on your Mac.

Surprised by the new wave of Sandworm attacks? Share your thoughts in the comments below or follow me on Twitter to continue the conversation: @JonLClay.

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