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Top 7 Cybersecurity Stories This Week 12-16-2016

December 16, 2016 - 3 min read

New ransomware encourages victims to attack other computers

A new ransomware variant has been discovered using an innovative system to increase infections: the software turns victims into attackers by offering a pyramid scheme-style discount. Any user who finds themselves infected with the Popcorn Time malware (named after, but unrelated to, the bittorrent client) is offered the ability to unlock their files for a cash payment, usually one bitcoin ($772.67/£613.20). Read more.

Legion hacker group hacks Indian journalists and politicians Twitter accounts

India’s Twitter is at risk. Last week the famous hacker group Legion, targeted Indian journalists and politicians revealing email credentials and other private information like passport details. After Rahul Gandhi and Vijay Mallya, Legion just hacked NDTV journalists Barkha Dutt and Ravish Kumar’s Twitter profiles. The hackers posted on credentials of Dutt’s email account and also a partial email dump. Read more.

Quest Diagnostics reports data breach

Quest Diagnostics Inc. said it is investigating a breach of one of its web applications, by which the health records of 34,000 individuals were accessed. The company says health records of 34,000 individuals, which included lab results and phone numbers in some cases, were accessed.Quest is undergoing an investigation to determine the source of the breach and is working with an unnamed cybersecurity company on the investigation. Read more.

CIA and Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) Disagree

Overseers of the U.S. intelligence community do not embrace the CIA assessment that Russian cyberattacks  were aimed at helping Donald Trump win the presidential election. “While the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) does not dispute the CIA's analysis of Russian hacking operations, it has not endorsed their assessment because of a lack of conclusive evidence that Moscow intended to boost Trump over Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton, said the officials, who declined to be named,” reports Reuters. Read more.

Ransomware spiked 6,000 percent in 2016 and most victims paid the hackers

Spam emails loaded with ransomware — malware that scrambles data and demands a ransom to decode it — increased 6,000 percent this year compared with 2015, a new study from IBM Security found. Ransomware was in almost 40 percent of all spam messages in 2016. The new study also found almost 40 percent of consumers would be willing to pay more than $100 to get data back. Read more.

A simple email typo may have led to the John Podesta’s email hack

Clinton's campaign chairman John Podesta fell victim to a cyberattack earlier this year when hackers breached his email account through a phishing message that purported to be from Gmail, telling him to change his password immediately because a third party had attempted to log into his account. Charles Delavan, a Clinton campaign aide, replied with a fatal typo. "This is a legitimate email," Delavan replied. "John needs to change his password immediately." Read more.

Yahoo sets hack record at 1 billion accounts; Imposes threat to national security

Yahoo revealed that it was hit by yet another hacking attack, this time affecting more than 1 billion user accounts. That's double the number affected by a hack revealed in September. Read more.


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