Sat. Dec 14th, 2019

Layer 7 Weekly Round Up: 11/11 Edition

THE BIG STORY

1. New Group of Hackers Targeting German, Italian, and US Organizations

Proofpoint researchers have uncovered malware campaigns from a new actor, called TA2101, which impersonates government agencies to target firms and organizations in the United States, Germany, and Italy. TA2101 has been sending email messages with malware attachments to a wide range of companies in these countries, with a focus on business and IT services, manufacturing, and healthcare. In Germany, the attackers posed as the German Federal Ministry of Finance and tried to trick recipients into clicking the malicious attachment by claiming the document relates to a 2019 tax refund. In the United States, the scammers pretended to be from the U.S. Postal Service, and in Italy, they posed as the Italian Ministry of Taxation

 

WE’RE KEEPING AN EYE ON

2. New ‘ZombieLoad’ Flaw Impacting Intel CPU’s

In May, EU-based researchers shared details about a flaw impacting Intel computers. This week, they released a follow-up report about additional vulnerabilities. According to the research firm delayed, they the release of information about the additional vulnerabilities so that Intel could fix the flaws and issue security advisories. The vulnerabilities could be exploited by attackers to modify the Windows kernel or device firmware and escalate privileges while sidestepping security protections. Using these privileges, attackers could steal data, damage the system, and remain on the system undetected

 

INCIDENTS

3. Hosting Provider SmarterASP.NET Taken Down by Ransomware

A ransomware attack encrypted data on servers of SmartASP.NET customers over the weekend. The customers said that their website files and their backend databases were encrypted. “Your hosting account was under attack and hackers have encrypted all your data,” read a message from SmarASP.NET. The attack also took down the hosting provider’s website.

 

WORTH NOTING

4. Leaked Documents Reveal That Facebook Gave Dating Apps Special Access to User Info

Facebook apparently “whitelisted” several dating apps such as Tinder and Bumble, giving them special access to user data because of their high profile, leaked documents reveal. Tinder was specifically given data access in exchange for sharing in the rights to its trademark of “MOMENTS,” back in March 2015.

 

INTERESTING READ

5. I Got Access to My Secret Consumer Score. Now You Can Get Yours, Too

It’s no secret that companies use your data to do all sorts of things. But did you know that they are using your data to determine things such as how long you wait on the phone when calling a business? They also use it to determine whether you can return items at a store or what type of service you receive. How are these decisions determined? Through a hidden rating system called your consumer score. According to Kashmir Hill at the New York Times, a lot of apps and services you use are quietly passing on your data to companies tasked with judging you and coming up with a rating for what you’re like as a consumer. Read the full piece and learn how you can request your own data. — NY Times