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

August 6, 2020

Black Hat 2020 session discusses how high-wattage connected devices like dishwashers and heating systems can be recruited into botnets and used to manipulate energy markets. Researchers are warning that a new class of botnets could be marshaled and used to manipulate energy markets via zombie armies of power-hungry connected devices such as air conditioners, heaters, dryers and digital thermostats. A coordinated attack could cause an energy stock index to predictably go up or down – creating an opportunity for a rogue operator to cash in.

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Cisco recently patched the high-severity flaw, which could allow remote, unauthenticated attackers to launch DoS attacks against its popular small business switches. Cisco is warning of a high-severity flaw that could allow remote, unauthenticated attackers to cripple several of its popular small-business switches with denial of service (DoS) attacks. The vulnerability stems from the IPv6 packet processing engine in the switches. IPv6 (also known as Internet Protocol version 6) is the most recent version of the Internet Protocol (IP), the communications protocol that provides an identification system for computers on networks and routes traffic across the Internet.

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Cybersecurity researchers today highlighted an evasive phishing technique that attackers are exploiting in the wild to target visitors of several sites with a quirk in domain names, and leverage modified favicons to inject e-skimmers and steal payment card information covertly. “The idea is simple and consists of using characters that look the same in order to dupe users,” Malwarebytes researchers said in a Thursday analysis. “Sometimes the characters are from a different language set or simply capitalizing the letter ‘i’ to make it appear like a lowercase ‘l’.”

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A United States regulator has fined the credit card provider Capital One Financial Corp with $80 million over last year’s data breach that exposed the personal information of more than 100 million credit card applicants of Americans. The fine was imposed by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), an independent bureau within the United States Department of the Treasury that governs the execution of laws relating to national banks.

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For much of this year, IT professionals all over the globe have had their hands full, finding ways to help businesses cope with the fallout of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In many cases, it involved a rapid rollout of significant remote work infrastructure. That infrastructure was called into service with little to no warning and even less opportunity for testing. Needless to say, the situation wasn’t ideal from a cybersecurity standpoint.

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It turns out that the root cause behind several previously disclosed speculative execution attacks against modern processors, such as Meltdown and Foreshadow, was misattributed to ‘prefetching effect,’ resulting in hardware vendors releasing incomplete mitigations and countermeasures. Sharing its findings with The Hacker News, a group of academics from the Graz University of Technology and CISPA Helmholtz Center for Information Security finally revealed the exact reason behind why the kernel addresses are cached in the first place, as well as presented several new attacks that exploit the previously unidentified underlying issue, allowing attackers to sniff out sensitive data.

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