Anglo African weekly news wrap on trending cyber-attacks, to keep you alert

June 11, 2020

Honda has said it is dealing with a cyber-attack that is impacting its operations around the world. “Honda can confirm that a cyber-attack has taken place on the Honda network,” the Japanese car-maker said in a statement. It added that the problem was affecting its ability to access its computer servers, use email and otherwise make use of its internal systems. “There is also an impact on production systems outside of Japan,” it added. “Work is being undertaken to minimise the impact and to restore full functionality of production, sales and development activities.” The firm – which makes motorcycles, cars, generators and lawn mowers, among other products – said one of its internal servers was attacked externally. It added that “the virus had spread” throughout its network, but did not provide further details.

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The beta version of Android 11, the next version of Google’s operating system for mobile devices, comes with lots of security and privacy changes designed to allow the OS to protect users’ data from malicious attacks. On the privacy side, the new Android release will come with one-time permissions, automated permissions reset, and scope storage enforcement. When it comes to security updates, Android 11 will immediately encrypt the users’ data after over-the-air (OTA) updates without requiring user credentials input.

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Social networking giant Twitter disclosed today three new state-linked information operations that have been taken place on its platform this year. As a result of its investigation, Twitter said it banned and removed 32,242 accounts that were part of networks operated out of China, Russia, and Turkey, all three pushing local political agendas and narratives, and associated with state-sponsored entities.

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Misconfigured dashboards are at the heart of a widespread XMRIG Monero-mining campaign. A unique cyberattack campaign that targets Kubeflow, a machine-learning toolkit for Kubernetes, has affected large swathes of container clusters, according to Microsoft. The Kubeflow open-source project is a popular framework for running machine-learning (ML) tasks in Kubernetes. According to an analysis this week, a suspicious Kubeflow image was seen deployed to thousands of clusters in April, all from a single public repository. Closer inspection showed that the image runs a common open-source cryptojacking malware that mines the Monero virtual currency, known as XMRIG.

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The Gamaredon APT has started using a new VBA macro to target Microsoft Outlook victims’ contact lists. The Gamaredon threat group has given its post-compromise toolset a facelift with the addition of a new Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) macro. The VBA macro leverages compromised victims’ Microsoft Outlook email accounts to send spear-phishing emails to their contacts – rapidly widening the potential attack surface.  Researchers say, while abusing a compromised mailbox to send malicious emails is not a new technique, this is the first publicly documented case of an attack group using both an Outlook macro and an OTM file to do so. An OTM file stores macros that are written for Microsoft Outlook.

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