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InfoSec News Nuggets 05/20/2021

1 – Introducing Site Isolation in Firefox

When two major vulnerabilities known as Meltdown and Spectre were disclosed by security researchers in early 2018, Firefox promptly added security mitigations to keep you safe. Going forward, however, it was clear that with the evolving techniques of malicious actors on the web, we needed to redesign Firefox to mitigate future variations of such vulnerabilities and to keep you safe when browsing the web! We are excited to announce that Firefox’s new Site Isolation architecture is coming together. This fundamental redesign of Firefox’s Security architecture extends current security mechanisms by creating operating system process-level boundaries for all sites loaded in Firefox for Desktop. Isolating each site into a separate operating system process makes it even harder for malicious sites to read another site’s secret or private data.


2 – Scammers Use The Public’s Fear Of Copyright Culture To Trick People Into Installing Malware

It isn’t some novel revelation that scammers and malware purveyors have used the public’s fear and lack of knowledge about copyright laws and processes to pull off their nefarious deeds. For more than a decade, bad actors have looked at the shady methods of copyright trolls and noticed that those tactics are perfectly suited to convince the public to download malware or fraudulently extract money from people’s wallets. None of this is new or surprising. What should be surprising, however, is that absolutely nothing has been done about any of this. Never has a hard look been taken as to why copyright enforcement so resembles these illegal activities, nor has any serious consideration been given to what this culture of permission and fear has done to so well prepare the public to be susceptible to these scams.


3 – Apple cites ‘significant’ malware on Mac while defending iOS App Store in Fortnite trial

As Apple has notched the most successful sales of Mac computers in history, its head of software engineering, Craig Federighi, says attacks have risen as well. “Today, we have a level of malware on the Mac that we don’t find acceptable,” he said Wednesday during testimony defending Apple in a lawsuit with Fortnite maker Epic Games in a California court. Each week, Apple identifies a couple pieces of malware on its own or with help of third parties, Federighi added, and it uses built-in systems to automatically remove them from customers’ computers. But still, the malware can infect hundreds of thousands of computers before Apple stamps it out. Since last May, Federighi said, there have been 130 types of Mac malware, and one of them alone infected 300,000 systems. 


4 – Russian scammer ‘Kusok,’ who stole $1.5 million via tax fraud, sentenced to 5 years

A U.S. federal judge on Wednesday sentenced a Russian man to five years in prison for his role in a scheme to use malicious software to steal the equivalent of $1.5 million in tax returns meant for American taxpayers. Anton Bogdanov, 35, worked as part of a small crew that used vulnerabilities in accounting software to redirect tax refunds into their own accounts. By logging into the software, Bogdanov and his associates would access customer information and change the recipient information, directing money from the Internal Revenue Service to debit cards under their control, according to an indictment. Bogdanov, who was better known by the alias “Kusok,” lived in Russia during the crime spree, and would take a cut of the stolen money.


5 – The strange story of the world’s first ramsomware attack

In December 1989, Eddy Willems’ boss asked him to review a floppy disk sent to attendees at the World Health Organization’s AIDS conference in Stockholm. Willems, who worked for an insurance company, hoped to find information on medical research, but he did not. Days later, the computer crashed and a message appeared demanding that he send $ 189 in an envelope to a P.O.box in Panama. It was the first reported ramsomware attack. The diskette that Willems had received was sent to about 20,000 people. Fortunately, Willems fixed the problem, and he did not pay the money or lose any information on the computer. But many people were victims of the cyber attack, recalled in an interview with CNN, Willems, who is now an expert in cybersecurity at G Data.

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