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Security News, Exploits, and Vulnerabilities.

Who Is Marcus Hutchins?

In early August 2017, FBI agents in Las Vegas arrested 23-year-old U.K. resident Marcus Hutchins on suspicion of authoring and/or selling “Kronos,” a strain of malware designed to steal online banking credentials. Hutchins was virtually unknown to most in the security community until May 2017, when a British newspaper revealed him as the “accidental hero” who inadvertently halted the global spread of WannaCry, a ransomware contagion that had taken the world by storm just days before.

Relatively few knew it before his arrest, but Hutchins for many years authored the popular cybersecurity blog MalwareTech. When this fact became more widely known — combined with his hero status for halting Wannacry — a great many MalwareTech readers quickly leapt to his defense to denounce his arrest. They reasoned that the government was overstepping on flimsy evidence, noting that Hutchins has worked tirelessly to expose cybercriminals and their malicious tools. To date, some 226 supporters have donated more than $14,000 to his defense fund.

At first, I did not believe the charges against Hutchins would hold up under scrutiny. But as I began to dig deeper into the history tied to dozens of hacker forum pseudonyms, email addresses and domains he apparently used over the past decade, a very different picture began to emerge.

In this post, I will attempt to describe and illustrate more than three weeks’ worth of connecting the dots from what appear to be Hutchins’ earliest hacker forum accounts to his real-life identity. The clues suggest that Hutchins began developing and selling malware in his mid-teens — only to later develop a change of heart and earnestly endeavor to leave that part of his life squarely in the rearview mirror.

The return of Mamba ransomware

At the end of 2016, there was a major attack against San Francisco’s Municipal Transportation Agency. The attack was done using Mamba ransomware. This month, we noted that the group behind this ransomware has resumed their attacks against corporations.

A King’s Ransom It is Not

The first half of 2017 began with two intriguing ransomware events, both partly enabled by wormable exploit technology dumped by a group calling themselves “The ShadowBrokers”. These WannaCry and ExPetr ransomware events are the biggest in the sense that they spread the quickest and most effectively of known ransomware to date.

No Free Pass for ExPetr

Recently, there have been discussions around the topic that if our product is installed, ExPetr malware won’t write the special malicious code which encrypts the MFT to MBR. Some have even speculated that some kind of conspiracy might be ongoing.… Read Full Article

In ExPetr/Petya’s shadow, FakeCry ransomware wave hits Ukraine

While the world was still shaking under the destructive ExPetr/Petya attack that hit on June 27, another ransomware attack targeting Ukraine at the same time went almost unnoticed.

ExPetr/Petya/NotPetya is a Wiper, Not Ransomware

After an analysis of the encryption routine of the malware used in the Petya/ExPetr attacks, we have confirmed that the threat actor cannot decrypt victims’ disk, even if a payment was made. This supports the theory that this malware campaign was not designed as a ransomware attack for financial gain. Instead, it appears it was designed as a wiper pretending to be ransomware.

Schroedinger’s Pet(ya)

Earlier today (June 27th), we received reports about a new wave of ransomware attacks spreading around the world, primarily targeting businesses in Ukraine, Russia and Western Europe. Our investigation is ongoing and our findings are far from final at this time. Despite rampant public speculation, the following is what we can confirm from our independent analysis.

KSN Report: Ransomware in 2016-2017

In early 2017, Kaspersky Lab’s researchers have discovered an emerging and dangerous trend: more and more cybercriminals are turning their attention from attacks against private users to targeted ransomware attacks against businesses.

WannaCry mistakes that can help you restore files after infection

Sometimes ransomware developers make mistakes in their code. These mistakes could help victims regain access to their original files after a ransomware infection. This article is a short description of several errors, which were made by the WannaCry ransomware developers.

WannaCry and Lazarus Group – the missing link?

Moments ago, Neel Mehta, a researcher at Google posted a mysterious message on Twitter. The cryptic message in fact refers to similarity between samples that have shared code between themselves. The two samples Neel refers to post are a Wannacry cryptor sample and a Lazarus APT group sample.

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