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

October 18, 2019

Kaspersky’s honeypots detected 105 million attacks on IoT devices from 276,000 unique IP addresses in the first half of 2019. Such attacks have increased by nine times than the numbers (about 12 million) recorded in H1 2018. Mirai-like botnet attacks accounted for 39% of the total attacks recorded. This means that these botnets usually exploit old and unpatched vulnerabilities in order to slip through the IoT devices. Another malware family named Nyadrop was sent in 38.75% of attacks. It is distributed via brute-forcing attacks and often serves as a Mirai downloader. Apart from these, Gafgyt was used in 2.12% of attacks. It also uses brute-forcing attacks to take over devices.

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A new strain of the banking malware Redaman is hiding dynamic command and control (C&C) server IP addresses inside the Bitcoin blockchain, researchers at Checkpoint say. Redaman is banking malware that mostly targets Russian speakers. It was first seen in 2015. Its creators have a track record of using innovative techniques to avoid detection.

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Over the years, there has been an ongoing battle between those looking to advance technology and those looking to pinpoint its weaknesses. Whether it be computers versus viruses, or encryption versus hacking, there is often an overarching theme of good vs. evil when it comes to technology. Perhaps this is to be expected. As the world has become more and more gadget-obsessed, we have seen a simultaneous rise in our dependence for effective cybersecurity. Hackers are getting smarter, and can now break down security defences using more innovative methods than ever before.

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A decryptor for the STOP Ransomware has been released by Emsisoft and Michael Gillespie that allows you to decrypt files encrypted by 148 variants of the infection for free.

While the decryptor can recover files for 148 variants, it needs to be noted that anyone who was infected after August 2019 cannot be helped with this service. With that said, it may be possible to decrypt using an offline key, so even with these variants there may be some success.

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Microsoft 365 is experiencing a multi-factor authentication (MFA) outage that blocks users from accessing multiple Microsoft 365 services such as Office 365 and Azure according to user reports. “Users may not receive authentication requests via phone call, SMS or within their authenticator app,” says Microsoft on the Microsoft 365 Service health status page. “This issue could potentially affect any of your users if they are routed through the affected infrastructure.”

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