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Inside Security (May 17th, 2019)

Self-promotions dep’t. My analysis of the Verizon DBIR is out for HPE’s Enterprise.Nxt blog. I identify six megatrends, three of which aren’t generally accepted across the infosec industry. Let me know what you think of the analysis.

NB: Our publication schedule next week will be just two issues on Monday and Friday, due to my travel and speaking engagement. We will also be off in honor of Memorial Day the following week.

-- David Strom

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1. The South Carolina company Micfo used numerous shell companies and aliases to secure more than 700,000 IP addresses from the ARIN registrar. Micfo, which resold the addresses to spammers, had the audacity to sue ARIN, but lost the case and was ordered to pay $350,000 in legal fees. -- BLEEPING COMPUTER

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2. Members of an international cybercriminal syndicate supposedly responsible for creating the GozNym malware have been arrested and charged with stealing $100 million from more than 41,000 victims. The group combined two banking Trojans and operated for more than a year, starting in October 2015. The arrests were carried out in several eastern European countries, involving several different federal law enforcement agencies. -- HOT FOR SECURITY (BITDEFENDER)

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3. Steganography, or hiding data inside images, is very well-known. What is less known is using this method to hide malware executables. Researchers have found .Net-based code samples that are used to avoid detection as the first malware stage. This post shows how the image files are constructed, so that you can watch out for this attack vector. -- COFENSE BLOG

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Follow Friday: Justin Seitz

4. Perhaps no one has done more to spread the world of open source intelligence gathering than Justin Seitz, who is president of his own consulting firm called Dark River Systems and lives in Saskatoon, Canada. He writes a blog on the topic and is the developer of Hunchly, a Chrome add-on OSINT tool (here is one example of how it can be used). He has taught the online series of master classes on OSINT to thousands of students over the years. He has also written two books on Python development and is a frequent speaker and consultant to enterprises around the world. If you haven’t ever dipped your toe into the OSINT waters, this would be a great place to start educating yourself in this arena.

What makes OSINT so powerful is that you can do research on your targets without them ever knowing you are doing so, and learn their tactics and techniques of your adversaries without tipping them off. It is also useful to understand how much public information is available with just a few simple online searches that don’t require a great deal of skills or preparation.

Recent tweets have covered issues about law enforcement and cybersecurity, among other topics. You can find Justin Seitz on LinkedIn here.

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5. Since the enactment of the GDPR last May, regulators have seen 65,000 breach notices and levied more than $63M in fines for them. And this is just for the first nine months’ activities. None of the breaches was contested by their target companies, which is some small good news. -- EU DATA PROTECTION REPORT (PDF)

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6. The network of the Red Cross in Singapore has been breached and personal data of 4,000 potential blood donors has been leaked online. It is the third such leak in the past year in the city-state. -- PHYS.ORG

7. A bug in the WP Live Chat WordPress plug-in could allow script injections. It has been fixed with v.8.0.27 but could affect more than 60,000 users. -- SUCURI BLOG

8. This is a nice comparison between using DuckDuckGo and Google. The post discusses how the two services differ and how the former can protect your privacy. -- HEIMDAL BLOG

9. A UK-based private parking lot manager is being used as the lure for a new phishing scam that copies its website and email notifications. This post explains the details and what to watch out for. -- MY ONLINE SECURITY

10. The NY-based firm Proven Data Recovery regularly made ransom payments to SamSam hackers over more than a year, research has shown. These payments eventually were delivered to Iranians running various high-profile ransomware scams. They are just one of many “payment mills” that are documented in this report.-- PROPUBLICA

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This newsletter is written and curated by David Strom. I live in St. Louis MO and have covered the infosec industry for decades. I also ran editorial operations for various B2B IT publications including Network Computing (USA), Tom’s Hardware and ReadWrite.com’s business websites. You can find me at @dstrom or my personal site.

Finally, we note our Managing Editor Kim Lyons (freelancer for the NYTimes and also the editor of Inside Pittsburgh) and David Stegon (senior editor at Inside, whose reporting experience includes cryptocurrency and technology).  

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