News wrap on trending cyber-attacks

October 12, 2017

The official website of Transportstyrelsen, Sweden’s Transport Agency (STA) came under a series of DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attacks on Thursday morning forcing it to go offline. The attack on Transportstyrelsen came a day after the IT systems of Sweden’s Transport Administration (Trafikverket), which monitors railway traffic, was attacked by hackers leading to delays in trains schedule.

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The total value of ransomware sales on dark web market places has rocketed from $250,000 to over $6m in just a year, as demand for the file-encrypting malware grows. Ransomware has hardly been away from the public eye this year, with global the outbreak of WannaCry making it a bringer of global chaos, while prominent ransomware families like Cerber and Locky continue to be a thorn in the side of organisation around the world.

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The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has temporarily suspended its contract with embattled credit reporting company Equifax. The contract would have had Equifax verifying identities when people create new accounts in the IRS site and help tackle tax fraud. It was reported earlier this month that Equifax was awarded this contract on September 30 as a “sole source order” – only Equifax was capable of providing this particular service to the IRS. The firm bagged the contract despite its failure to prevent a recent cybersecurity breach that affected over 140 million people.

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A new variant of what appears to be BTCWare ransomware is currently targeting victims and appending the .[email]-id-id.payday extension to encrypted files. This family of ransomware targets its victims by hacking into poorly protected remote desktop services and manually installing the ransomware. Below is a brief summary of changes in this new payday btcware ransomware variant.

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