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

January 18, 2018

An Indiana hospital paid a ransom of $55,000 to get rid of ransomware that had infected its systems and was hindering operations last week. The infection took root last week, on Thursday, January 11, when attackers breached the network of Hancock Health, a regional hospital in the city of Greenfield, Indiana.

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A powerful malware, dubbed Triton or Trisis, which allows hackers to gain remote access to energy facilities’ safety systems, has reportedly been accidentally leaked online for anyone to download. The malware is considered by some experts to be a next-generation cyberweapon and has already been used in December 2017 to shut down an oil and gas facility in the Middle East.

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Security researchers from US cyber-security firm ICEBRG have spotted four Chrome extensions featuring malicious code that were available through the official Chrome Web Store. According to researchers, the four Chrome extensions were designed to allow attackers to send malicious commands to users’ browsers in the form of JavaScript code, but attackers only used this ability to perform click fraud by loading a site in the background and clicking on ads.

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French President Emmanuel Macron, announced plans for a new law to impose tighter restrictions and heavy sanctions on social networks like Facebook and Twitter to stop spreading fake news during an election campaign. Though the exact details of the proposed bill are not yet known, Macron said that the new law would boost transparency by requiring online social media platforms, including Instagram, Pinterest, Reddit, Snapchat, Telegram, WhatsApp and YouTube, to reveal who is paying for sponsored content, and impose a cap on how much one can spend on it.

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While the vast majority of global companies (95%) have adopted cloud services, there is a wide gap in the level of security precautions applied by companies in different markets. Organizations admitted that on average, only two-fifths (40%) of the data stored in the cloud is secured with encryption and key management solutions.

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