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IT Security News Blast – 4-2-2021

Man charged for hacking Kansas water utility with intent to harm public
DOJ officials claim that Travnichek hacked into the computer network of the Ellsworth Rural Water District No. 1, also known as Post Rock Rural Water District, where he “performed activities that shut down the processes at the facility which affect the facilities cleaning and disinfecting procedures with the intention of harming the Ellsworth Rural Water District No. 1.”
Expanding healthcare digital and data infrastructure, including access to adequate, affordable broadband to enable telehealth and increase access to care, particularly for remote and underserved areas, hardening cyber defenses to protect patient privacy,  and modernizing data systems that support identifying issues that affect health equity, racial and ethnic disparities, care quality, and public health responses.
Iranian hackers targeting US, Israeli medical researchers: analysis
Proofpoint researchers described the victims in a blog post as “extremely senior personnel at a variety of medical research organizations,” and noted that the effort was likely part of an intelligence-gathering operation as well as the result of ongoing tensions between Iran and Israel.
Scammers steal New Yorkers' private info for benefits fraud
New York's Department of Financial Services (DFS) warns of an ongoing series of attacks resulting in the theft of personal information belonging to hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers. The warning follows another alert issued last month describing how this aggressive cybercrime campaign exploits cybersecurity flaws found in public-facing websites to steal Nonpublic Information (NPI).
How financial cybercrime targets shifted in 2020
In terms of specific numbers, Kaspersky noticed a slight decline in the number of users hit by phishing attacks in 2020, with only 13.21% being targeted, compared to 15.7% in 2019. There was also a significant drop in the number of users attacked by banking trojans, and Android banking malware attacks dropped by more than 55% in 2020.
Big Hack Takes Financial Toll On SolarWinds MSP Spinoff N-Able
[Our] reputation, our MSP partner and employee relations, and our operations and business as a result of both the impact it has had on our relationships with existing and prospective customers, and the significant time and resources that our personnel have had and may have to devote to investigating and responding to the cyber incident.”
Justice Department Warns About Fake Post-Vaccine Survey Scams
The Department of Justice has received reports that fraudsters are creating fraudulent COVID-19 vaccine surveys for consumers to fill out with the promise of a prize or cash at the conclusion of the survey. In reality, the surveys are used to steal money from consumers and unlawfully capture consumers’ personal information.
DHS Secretary Outlines 60-Day Cybersecurity Recovery Plan
The six areas include fighting against ransomware, improving the resiliency of industrial control systems that undergird water and sewage treatment facilities to withstand a cyber attack, protecting data that underlies transportation and pipeline systems, safeguarding election security, building international partnerships on cybersecurity and finding ways to fill open cybersecurity positions in the federal government.
Biden's cyber executive order to include new rules for federal agencies, contractors
Under a forthcoming White House order, companies that do business with the federal government would have to meet software security standards and swiftly report cyber incidents to a new entity within the Department of Homeland Security, sources familiar with a draft version of the document said.
Prepare National Security Systems Now for Quantum Threats
 “With an advanced quantum computer, adversaries could potentially thwart the cryptographic protection mechanisms and leave little or no trace even. This would threaten what we technically refer to as the confidentiality, the authentication and integrity of data and systems. That’s what a quantum computer could do.”
#LORCALive: Cybersecurity to Play a Key Role in Supporting Growing Space Sector
Ensuring this environment is secure is going to become a major frontier for the cybersecurity industry. “You can easily see how important it is for these systems to be trusted,” Meyerson commented, adding that “just like it’s critical here on earth to support healthcare, the financial sector and all the other important sectors that we have, our space sector needs that support of the cybersecurity industry.”
Russia suspected of stealing thousands of State Department emails
The hackers accessed emails in the department’s Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs and Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, the congressional sources said. It does not appear at this point that the classified network was accessed, a third official said.
How Russia Is Stepping Up Its Campaign to Control the Internet
On March 10, photos and videos on Twitter were loading more slowly than usual for users in Russia. It was not a network fault or server error but a deliberate move by Russia’s state internet regulator Roskomnadzor to limit traffic to the social media site, in what experts say was the first public use of controversial new technology that the Russian authorities introduced after 2019.
Google: North Korean hackers target security researchers again
Google's Threat Analysis Group (TAG) says that North Korean government-sponsored hackers are once again targeting security researchers using fake Twitter and LinkedIn social media accounts. [...] Just as in the attacks detected during January 2021, this site was also hosting the attackers' PGP public key, which was used as bait to infect security researchers with malware after triggering a browser exploit on opening the page.
NSA Opens Door to Domestic Internet Spying, Privacy Advocates Say
The latest king-sized, disastrous hack into U.S. government and corporate data servers is prompting the head of the National Security Agency to suggest that a surveillance giant built to look at foreign threats might need even greater powers to spy on internet usage domestically.
Client-Side XSS Vulnerabilities Growing Fast
When a user accesses a website, the browser is executing JavaScript, some of which may be coming from third parties which may have been compromised. In other words, an attacker may insert some malicious code into that third-party application, which then runs in the user’s browser. That code could be hidden in a banner advertisement, for instance, or some other element that runs within the browser.
Legacy QNAP NAS Devices Vulnerable to Zero-Day Attack
The bugs, tracked as CVE-2020-25099 and CVE-2021-36195, impact QNAP’s model TS-231 network attached storage (NAS) hardware, allowing an attacker to manipulate stored data and hijack the device. The vulnerabilities, also impact some non-legacy QNAP NAS gear. However, it is important to note that patches are available for non-legacy QNAP NAS hardware.
Chinese Police Dismantle ‘World’s Largest’ Video Game Cheating Operation
As online gaming becomes mainstream, there's an increased demand for cheats. Gaming companies routinely ban thousands of cheaters on their platforms, and the biggest companies in the world now develop sophisticated anti-cheat systems, and employ anti-cheat researchers.

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