Cybersecurity Weekly: Ryuk ransomware, U.S. pipeline outage, Chrome privacy update

May 11, 2021 by Sam Fay

A Ryuk ransomware attack was sprung by a frugal student. The U.S. declares a state of emergency after ransomware hits their largest fuel pipeline. Google Chrome’s new privacy feature restricts online user tracking. All this, and more, in this week’s edition of Cybersecurity Weekly.


1. Ryuk ransomware attack sprung by frugal student

A European institute involved in COVID-19 research lost a week’s worth of research data after a Ryuk ransomware attack. This attack was traced back to a student trying to save money by buying unlicensed software that unknowingly contained a remote-access trojan.
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2. U.S. declares state of emergency after ransomware hits largest pipeline

After a ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline forced the company to shut down 5,500 miles of fuel pipeline, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued a regional emergency declaration affecting 17 states and the District of Columbia. U.S. officials told multiple publications that Darkside ransomware is responsible for the attack.
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3. Google Chrome’s new privacy feature restricts online user tracking

Google is adding support for a new HTML tag that prevents user tracking by isolating embedded content from the page embedding it. With browser developers restricting third-party cookies to prevent user tracking, advertising companies proposed different programming APIs that advertisers can use for interest-based advertising.
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4. NatWest Bank scheduled payments bug may have cost clients money

Last week, the UK-based NatWest Bank emailed multiple customers to ask them to check their debit transactions over the last year. The email alerts state that due to a system error, many more payments may have been debited from customer accounts than the originally agreed-upon frequency.
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5. WhatsApp to restrict features if users refuse Facebook data sharing

WhatsApp says that it will not delete or deactivate the accounts of users who oppose its latest privacy policy update that requires sharing data with Facebook companies. The company backtracks on a previous decision that gave its users a harsh ultimatum to accept sharing their data with Facebook or delete their accounts.
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6. Fintech startup offers $500 for payroll passwords

A financial startup is offering up to $500 to anyone willing to hand over the payroll account username and password given to them by their employer, plus a regular payment for each month afterwards in which those credentials still work. It’s building a platform where people who work multiple jobs and/or side hustles can improve their credit and employment options.
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7. TsuNAME flaw exposes DNS servers to DDoS attacks

Researchers at SIDN Labs, InternetNZ and the Information Science Institute at the University of Southern California have discovered a vulnerability in some DNS resolvers. The flaw can be exploited by attackers to launch distributed denial-of-service attacks against authoritative DNS servers.
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8. 19 petabytes of data exposed across 29,000 unprotected databases

Cybersecurity researchers found more than 29,000 unprotected databases worldwide that are still publicly accessible, leaving close to 19,000 terabytes of data exposed to anyone, including threat actors. This makes databases a prime target for malicious actors who are eager to exploit unprotected systems and get their hands on profitable information.
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9. Fortnite trial exposing details about the biggest iPhone hack on record

As part of the trial against Epic Games, Apple released emails that show that 128 million users downloaded apps containing malware from the App Store. Apple never disclosed the exact number of victims, but it did say at the time that it would notify them.
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10. Qualcomm chip bug opens Android fans to eavesdropping

A vulnerability in a 5G modem data service could allow mobile hackers to remotely target Android users by injecting malicious code into a phone’s modem. This gives them the ability to execute code, access mobile users’ call histories and text messages, and eavesdrop on phone calls.
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Posted: May 11, 2021
Sam Fay
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