This major criminal hacking group just switched to ransomware attacks

A widespread hacking operation that has been targeting organisations around the world in a phishing and malware campaign which has been active since 2016 has now switched to ransomware attacks, reflecting how successful ransomware has become a money-making tool for cyber criminals.

Dubbed FIN11, the campaign has been detailed by cybersecurity researchers at FireEye Mandiant, who describe the hackers as a ‘well-established financial crime group’ which has conducted some of the longest running hacking campaigns.

The group started by focusing attacks on banks, retailers and restaurants but has grown to indiscriminately target a wide range of sectors in different locations around the world, sending thousands of phishing emails out and simultaneously conducting attacks against several organisations at any one time.

For example, in just one week, Mandiant observed concurrent campaigns targeting pharmaceuticals, shipping and logistics industries in both North America and Europe.

But despite attacks targeting a wide variety of

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Microsoft takes down hacking network with potential to disrupt election

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Microsoft obtained a court order to disrupt the largest botnet in the world.


Angela Lang/CNET

This story is part of Elections 2020, CNET’s coverage of the run-up to voting in November.

A group of tech companies dismantled a powerful hacking tool used by Russian attackers just three weeks before the US presidential election. On Monday, Microsoft announced actions against Trickbot, a Russian botnet that’s infected more than a million computers since 2016 and that’s behind scores of ransomware attacks. 

Cybersecurity experts have raised concerns about ransomware attacks casting doubt on election results. While a ransomware attack wouldn’t change votes and could only lock up machines, the chaos stirred by a cyberattack could create uncertainty about the outcome of the results. 

Election officials in most states have offline backup measures in the event of a ransomware attack, but have a harder time tackling the disinformation that comes with getting hacked.

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Members Of Videogame Hacking Group The Xecuter Arrested, Face 11 Felony Charges

KEY POINTS

  • The FBI have arrested two members of The Xecuter abroad last month
  • The group is known for their videogame exploits that allow users to play pirated copies of games
  • Max Louarn and Gary Bowser will each face 11 counts of felony 

Two members of an infamous piracy group have been arrested for their involvement in developing and selling illegal devices that hack popular videogame consoles.

French national Max Louarn, 48, and Canadian Gary Bowser, 51, were arrested abroad last month and charged with 11 felony counts including conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to circumvent technological measures and to traffic in circumvention devices, trafficking in circumvention devices and conspiracy to commit money laundering, the Department of Justice said.

Shenzhen, China resident Yuanning Chen, 35, was also charged alongside Louarn and Bowser.

The Nintendo Switch has proved popular since launching in 2017 but the firm said it has entered a 'crucial' fourth year The Nintendo Switch has proved popular since launching in 2017 but the firm said it

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Member of ‘The Dark Overlord’ hacking group sentenced to five years in prison

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A UK national pleaded guilty today to extorting tens of companies across the world as a member of an infamous hacking group known as The Dark Overlord (TDO).

Nathan Francis Wyatt, 39, was sentenced to five years in prison and ordered to pay $1,467,048 in restitution to victims.

According to court documents, Wyatt was part of the TDO hacker group since 2016. The group operated by hacking into large companies, stealing their sensitive data, and then asking for huge ransoms.

If victims didn’t pay, the hackers would sell their data on hacking forums, leak it on the public internet, or tip journalists about the breach in order to generate negative press for the hacked company.

Wyatt’s role in the scheme was to contact victims and demand ransom payments. He was connected to the group after he used phone numbers registered in his name to contact some of the victims.

Wyatt

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