Facebook Takedown Infrastructure of Hacker Groups Targeting Various Government Entities

Hackers based in Vietnam and Bangladesh have been caught by Facebook after recently hacking into and taking control over user accounts and pages.

The unnamed Bangladeshi group predominantly targeted and compromised the accounts of local activists, journalists, those living abroad and religious minorities. Vietnamese group, known as APT32, instead focused on the spread of malware to their targets.
Trump Twitter ‘hack’: Police accept attacker's claim

Dutch prosecutors found that a hacker did in fact log in to former president Donald Trumps twitter account by guessing the password 'MAGA2020!'. The hacker in question, Victor Gevers, will not face charges as his actions have been deemed ethical.

In theory, the hacker would have had access to Trumps private messages and photos, bookmarked tweets and the profiles he had blocked. Gevers shared screenshots from inside the account from the 22 October, although at the time the White House denied the hack and twitter claimed they found no evidence.
Subway customers receive 'malware' emails

Subway customers in the UK are receiving phishing emails with malicious links. The emails can seem convincing with details such as the recipient’s name and appearing to come from the company’s loyalty scheme.

The issue was reported by cyber security news site, Bleeping Computer, who claimed to have found a form of malware called ‘TrickBot’ within the links contained in the malicious emails. TrickBot is designed to steal personal data from an infected system but can also install things like viruses and ransomware.
Cannock Chase District Council have started their 12 days to Christmas Campaign!

Check out their festive 'Ode to Online Shopping' here:
Purchasing New Devices

In last week’s sentinel news we briefly spoke about what to do to strengthen your cyber security if you buy or receive a new or second hand device. This week’s sentinel will go into more detail and provide handy tips on what to look for when buying new devices.

What to look for from a cyber-security perspective
When looking to buy a new device it is, of course, important to choose a device that will deliver on its promises and fits your needs and preferences. However, from a cyber-security standpoint, here are a few things to look out for:

  • Encryption-Is the data encrypted when in transit so that it cannot be captured and read by malicious actors?
  • Poor data storage- for example, often with phone apps, data can be accessible via other installed apps. It is important to ensure you manage app permissions robustly to prevent inadvertent accessibility. When utilising cloud storage it is vital to ensure available security measures are enabled, access control is managed and encryption keys kept secure to prevent compromise. 
  • Source code protection- ‘source code’ refers to the language or string of text, numbers or symbols that a computer program/application uses. Binary protection is a way of protecting the source code, it can run checks on the integrity and validity of an app to ensure it is running safely. A lack of binary protection can result in a cyber attacker reverse engineering an app, introducing malware into it and then distribute it publicly. This not only has the potential to put your data at risk but also could use your devices as a means to spread harmful malware including viruses, worms and trojans.
How this can affect you
  • You cannot transfer ownership of data meaning you, as the data owner, are responsible for ensuring your data is secure. If a data breach is identified the Information Commissioner's Office are empowered to penalise data owners with substantial fines. 
  • Financial Impact.
  • If the device was purchased for business use, consider your clients. It is unlikely that clients, customers or partners will be forgiving if their data is breached due to a lack of cyber security or the use of unfit systems on your part. A study conducted by Experian found that following a data breach 48% of users would stop using the organisation altogether and 44% would seek financial compensation.

Weekly Threat Report 18th December 2020
Guidance issued as SolarWinds compromised
Spotify reset passwords following data breach
Three million users installed 28 malicious Chrome or Edge extensions

The malicious extensions contained code that Avast found can be utilised to redirect users to ads or phishing sites, collect personally identifiable information, access browsing history and download further malware onto an infected system.  
Irish watchdog fines Twitter in landmark for EU data privacy regime

Ireland’s data regulator has fined twitter €450,000 as a result of a bug that made private tweets public. This fine marks the first sanction against a United States firm under the new EU data privacy system.
Wormable Gitpaste-12 Botnet Returns to Target Linux Servers, IoT Devices

A new ‘wormable’ botnet used to install cryptocurrency miners and backdoors on target devices is back with more capabilities, including the ability to compromise web applications, cameras, and routers.

45 million medical scans from hospitals all over the world left exposed online for anyone to view

Data breached included that of 23,000 British individuals with some servers containing this sensitive data also carrying malware.
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If you think you may have been the victim of fraud or cybercrime and incurred a financial loss or have been hacked as a result of responding to a phishing message, you should report this to Action Fraud 

Spotted a suspicious email? If you have received an email which you’re not quite sure about, forward it to the Suspicious Email Reporting Service (SERS):

Alternatively you can call 0300 123 2040
to report and obtain advice about fraud or cyber crime

Our lives are relying on technology more every day. Join us each week for your bitesize cybersecurity podcast. In this increasingly technical world we deliver non-technical cyber news, and identify the current threats we’re facing.
Registration for the CyberFirst Girls Competition 2021 is now open

The NCSC are working hard to get more girls interested in a career in cyber security. The CyberFirst Girls Competition provides a fun but challenging environment to inspire the next generation of young women to consider a career in cyber security.

The competition is a team event, with each one made up of 4 female students from Year 8 in England and Wales, Year 9 in Northern Ireland and S2 in Scotland.

Play the Winter Cyber Challenge, brought to you by the NCA for those UK residents age 18 years and under! 

Play each week throughout December (ends 31st December) for a chance to win an iPad Air or a 10.2in 32gb iPad!


The WMCRC work with local Universities and Police forces in Staffordshire, West Midlands, West Mercia and Warwickshire to provide you access to the latest information on emerging cyber threats, criminal trends and best practice to protect your business.
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