More evidence that running cybercrime schemes remains inexpensive and accessible to anyone with criminal intent: To send spam emails, admitted botnet herder Peter Levashov quoted customers $500 for 1 million emails. And that was just his 2016 pricing.
Russian national Peter Levashov, who was arrested in Spain last year and extradited to the U.S., has admitted to a two-decade crime spree that included running multiple botnets that harvested online credentials while also pumping out spam, banking Trojans and ransomware.
U.S. prosecutors have accused a 34-year-old North Korean man of involvement in some of the most destructive and profitable cyberattacks ever seen, including the WannaCry ransomware outbreak, the Sony Pictures Entertainment breach and the theft of $81 million from Bangladesh Bank.
Organizations should be on guard for attacks involving an apparent variant of Hermes ransomware - dubbed Ryuk - that attempts to encrypt network resources. It has already victimized several global organizations in the U.S. and elsewhere, according to a federal alert, which offers mitigation advice.
A recent incident involving a chronic care management company spotlights how paying a ransom to recover decryption keys from ransomware attackers can put sensitive data at additional risk. Security experts offer insights on how to prepare for the many challenges posed by attacks.
Ransomware creators, having already created "themes" for their crypto-locking malware ranging from Pokemon and horror movies to princesses and Donald Trump, have now debuted "Barack Obama" ransomware. In a sign of the times, the ransomware doubles as a monero cryptocurrency miner.
The March SamSam ransomware attack in Atlanta is reported to have cost the city $17 million to resolve. The attackers had asked for a $51,000 bitcoin ransom, which the city refused to pay. But Gartner Research analyst Avivah Litan stresses that paying ransoms has more cons than pros.
Leading the latest edition of the ISMG Security Report: An analysis of why it may be too late to secure the 2018 U.S. midterm elections. Also: A close look at the Anthem breach lawsuit settlement and a report on ransomware recovery lessons learned.
A WannaCry outbreak has hit unpatched Windows 7 systems at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., crippling its factories. The world's largest chipmaker, which traced the infection to a new software tool that it failed to scan for malware before installation, says the outbreak could cost it $170 million.
The cost of the city of Atlanta's mitigation and subsequent IT overhaul following a massive SamSam ransomware infection in March could reach $17 million, of which $6 million has already been budgeted for new devices, security enhancements as well as upgrades, according to news reports.
A "local network breakdown" - reportedly caused by a ransomware infection - led Chinese shipping giant Cosco to shut down all networks for its offices in the United States and seven other countries while it scrubbed and restored systems.