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  • Kathleen Maxted

Cyber Weekly Digest - Week #50

Updated: Dec 17, 2021

In this week’s Cyber Weekly Digest, we discuss this week’s cyber security stories, including 330 SPAR shops being forced to close due to a cyber attack and Google taking action against a botnet that controls more than 1 million Windows PCs. Keep reading to stay up to date on the biggest cyber security stories from the week.

Approximately 330 SPAR shops in northern England face severe operational problems following a weekend cyber attack, forcing many stores to close or switch to cash-only payments. Although it has not been confirmed as a ransomware attack just yet, the incident shows clear signs of a ransomware attack. UK’s national cybersecurity centre also released a statement to inform consumers that the agency is aware of the situation and working on evaluating the incident.

Google’s Threat Analysis Group has disrupted the blockchain-enabled botnet Glupteba, which is made up of around 1 million compromised Windows and IoT devices. Currently, Glupteba spreads via fake pirate software, fake YouTube videos, malicious documents, traffic distribution systems and more. Googles Threat Analysis Group disrupted critical command-and-control infrastructure, so those operating Glupteba should no longer have control of their botnet. Google also filed a lawsuit against the botnet’s operators.

Cryptocurrency trading platform BitMart has disclosed a “large-scale security breach” that it blamed on a stolen private key, resulting in the theft of more than $150 million in various cryptocurrencies. The breach is said to have impacted two of its hot wallets on the Ethereum blockchain and the Binance smart chain. The incident is the latest in a wave of hacks that have targeted cryptocurrency platforms such as PolyNetwork, Cream Finance, Liquid, and bZx.

Cox Communications is a digital cable provider and telecommunication company that provides internet, television, and phone services in the USA. This week, customers began receiving letters in the mail disclosing that Cox Communications learned on October 11th, 2021, that an “unknown person” impersonated a Cox support agent to access customer information. While Cox does not state that financial information or passwords were accessed, they advise affected customers to monitor their financial accounts and change passwords.

Apple reportedly notified several US Embassy and State Department employees that their iPhones might have been targeted by threat actors using the Pegasus Spyware. The attacks were carried out in the last several months and are the first known time the spyware software has been used against US government employees. NSO Group, the maker of Pegasus, has said it will investigate the claims and take legal action against any of its customers using the software illegally. NSO Group claims that it only sells its products to government law enforcement and intelligence clients to help monitor security threats against criminals.

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