News wrap on trending cyber-attacks

August 17, 2017

Hackers have mounted a “brute force” cyber-attack on the Scottish parliament’s computer systems, weeks after a similar attack on email accounts at Westminster. MSPs and Holyrood staff were warned on Tuesday that hackers were attempting to access numerous email accounts by systematically and repeatedly trying to crack their passwords. Holyrood officials said they were not aware of any compromised email accounts, but staff and MSPs were warned the attack could mean some people were locked out of their accounts.

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A Ukranian hacker called “Profexer” who built one of the tools used to penetrate the Democratic National Committee servers last year has turned himself in to authorities. According to a report today in the New York Times, the man, who first contacted Ukranian police earlier this year, claims he wrote a piece of software called the PAS Web shell, which the Department of Homeland Security has identified as malware used in the hack.

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Fibre-based and mobile services delivered by Cantv and Movilnet in Venezuela have been switched off as a result of a continued and concerted cyber-attack. The attack, directed at Venezuela’s public infrastructure, has been assumed by a group called The Binary Guardians and has not only affected telecom services, but has blocked many .ve-domain websites, including all the Government platforms and the Supreme Court’s site.

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After the WannaCry ransomware cyber attack spread like wildfire and paralysed computer systems across the world, isolated incidents were reported from Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Kerala and West Bengal. Now, the capital has seen its first ransomware cyber attack, with employees of Rachna Sagar Private Limited “locked” out of more than 200 computers. The cyber attack was reported on August 9 when staff at the publishing company found that they could not log into their user accounts, and could only use the “demo” account.

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