This week included reports on several different cases of nation state cyber-espionage, Symantec acquiring Blue Coat Systems & the ransomware epidemic is being seen all over the map, especially in Ohio.
Highlighting the cyber-security news from the past week in a 120 sec. read. Starting now.
Cyberespionage group, Sofacy, targets the US government by using a spear phishing tactic.Why is this significant?
- Cyberespionage groups are being more detected lately and are reinventing their malware to be less detectable. Sofacy has been evading detection by a mechanism that was updated in a malware that only activates when a Microsoft Office product is being used.
- The group Sofacy is also linked to other previous attack campaigns such as Operation Pawn Storm which hit US military, NATO and the Ukraine.
- Also, this week on cyber-espionage, the DNC was compromised by "CozyBear" - what originally surfaced as a "lone hacker" that went undetected for a full year before being detected. There are new suspicions due to several factors that point toward a state-sponsored attack posing as a single hacker.
/** enSilo blocks out of the box "MiniDionis" and "KJ_W0rm-Najaf" used by the two groups**/
Read the full story on Internation Business Times
Symantec is acquiring Blue Coat Systems for $4.64B
Why is this significant?
- AV’s, what was once a cyber saving grace, is losing out on the continuous battle of malware and the sophistication level of attacks.
- In fact, it’s not just the threatscape that is forcing the AV’s to adapt, but the market is calling that out too: “Symantec has struggled to translate increased corporate concern about cyber threats into new revenue. Sales of the company’s corporate-security products were down 2%, totaling $2.1 billion, during its 2015 fiscal year.”
- The acquisition is expected to be completed in the third quarter and Blue Coat’s CEO, Greg Clark, will then also lead Symantec after the former boss, Michael Brown stepped down in April. Bain Capital, the private equity firm that acquired Blue Coat last year, also has CEO ties within Symantec.
Read the fully story on Wall St. Journal
Ransomware is spreading thick over Ohio
Why is this significant?
- A recent study reports that for the month of March, 93% of phishing emails were infected with ransomware -and it is very evident in Ohio.
- Fortunately, ransomware readiness with an updated stored backup looked to save some Ohio based entities such as the Ohio-based Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission from paying the extortion sum.
- Unfortunately, while the article provides some interesting dollar figures on actual extortion costs, it is lacking the hidden costs. Ransomware costs are not limited to just the extortion, but also include the time and hindered productivity that come with dealing with the encrypted machines and restoring the data.
- Ransomware is an epidemic that is stealing money and time from enterprises, even if the backups are in place.
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Read the full story on American City and Council