Avast, NordVPN Breaches Tied to Phantom User Accounts

Antivirus and security giant Avast and virtual private networking (VPN) software provider NordVPN each today disclosed months-long network intrusions that — while otherwise unrelated — shared a common cause: Forgotten or unknown user accounts that granted remote access to internal systems with little more than a password. Based in the Czech Republic, Avast bills itself as the most popular antivirus vendor on the market, with over 435 million users. In…

October 22, 2019
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When Card Shops Play Dirty, Consumers Win

Cybercrime forums have been abuzz this week over news that BriansClub — one of the underground’s largest shops for stolen credit and debit cards — has been hacked, and its inventory of 26 million cards shared with security contacts in the banking industry. Now it appears this brazen heist may have been the result of one of BriansClub’s longtime competitors trying to knock out a rival. And advertisement for BriansClub…

October 17, 2019
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“BriansClub” Hack Rescues 26M Stolen Cards

“BriansClub,” one of the largest underground stores for buying stolen credit card data, has itself been hacked. The data stolen from BriansClub encompasses more than 26 million credit and debit card records taken from hacked online and brick-and-mortar retailers over the past four years, including almost eight million records uploaded to the shop in 2019 alone. An ad for BriansClub has been using my name and likeness for years to…

October 15, 2019
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Patch Tuesday Lowdown, October 2019 Edition

October 9, 2019

On Tuesday Microsoft issued software updates to fix almost five dozen security problems in Windows and software designed to run on top of it. By most accounts, it’s a relatively light patch batch this month. Here’s a look at the highlights. Happily, only about 15 percent of the bugs patched this week earned Microsoft’s most dire “critical” rating. Microsoft labels flaws critical when they could be exploited by miscreants or…

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Mariposa Botnet Author, Darkcode Crime Forum Admin Arrested in Germany

October 1, 2019

A Slovenian man convicted of authoring the destructive and once-prolific Mariposa botnet and running the infamous Darkode cybercrime forum has been arrested in Germany on request from prosecutors in the United States, who’ve recently re-indicted him on related charges. NiceHash CTO Matjaž “Iserdo” Škorjanc, as pictured on the front page of a recent edition of the Slovenian daily Delo.si, is being held by German authorities on a US arrest warrant for operating…

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German Cops Raid “Cyberbunker 2.0,” Arrest 7 in Child Porn, Dark Web Market Sting

September 29, 2019

German authorities said Friday they’d arrested seven people and were investigating six more in connection with the raid of a Dark Web hosting operation that allegedly supported multiple child porn, cybercrime and drug markets with hundreds of servers buried inside a heavily fortified military bunker. Incredibly, for at least two of the men accused in the scheme, this was their second bunker-based hosting business that was raided by cops and…

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MyPayrollHR CEO Arrested, Admits to $70M Fraud

September 27, 2019

Earlier this month, employees at more than 1,000 companies saw one or two paycheck’s worth of funds deducted from their bank accounts after the CEO of their cloud payroll provider absconded with $35 million in payroll and tax deposits from customers. On Monday, the CEO was arrested and allegedly confessed that the diversion was the last desperate gasp of a financial shell game that earned him $70 million over several…

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Interview With the Guy Who Tried to Frame Me for Heroin Possession

September 26, 2019

In April 2013, I received via U.S. mail more than a gram of pure heroin as part of a scheme to get me arrested for drug possession. But the plan failed and the Ukrainian mastermind behind it soon after was imprisoned for unrelated cybercrime offenses. That individual recently gave his first interview since finishing his jail time here in the states, and he’s shared some select (if often abrasive and…

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Before He Spammed You, this Sly Prince Stalked Your Mailbox

September 18, 2019

A reader forwarded what he briefly imagined might be a bold, if potentially costly, innovation on the old Nigerian prince scam that asks for help squirreling away millions in unclaimed fortune: It was sent via the U.S. Postal Service, with a postmarked stamp and everything. In truth these old fashioned “advance fee” or “419” scams predate email and have circulated via postal mail in various forms and countries over the years….

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Man Who Hired Deadly Swatting Gets 15 Months

September 17, 2019

An Ohio teen who recruited a convicted serial “swatter “to fake a distress call that ended in the police shooting an innocent Kansas man in 2017 has been sentenced to 15 months in prison. Image: FBI.gov “Swatting” is a dangerous hoax that involves making false claims to emergency responders about phony hostage situations or bomb threats, with the intention of prompting a heavily-armed police response to the location of the…

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