Breaking News: Four Charged in $80 Million Crypto Scam! ????

Dec 19 2023

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Welcome to Gone Phishing, your daily cybersecurity newsletter that reckons cybercriminals would feel right at home in the House of Lords #MichelleMone ????????????

Today’s hottest cybersecurity news stories:

  • ???? Lu Zhang among 4 charged in US for $80m pig butchering scam ????

  • ????️ CISA begs manufacturers to ditch default passwords on systems ????

  • ????‍???? Introducing Rhadamanthys, the ‘swiss army knife’ of info-stealers ????

The (US) Police: I can’t, I can’t, I can’t stand Lu Zhang ????????????????????

???? Breaking News: Four Charged in $80 Million Crypto Scam! ????

The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) has nabbed Lu Zhang, Justin Walker, Joseph Wong, and Hailong Zhu for their roles in a cryptocurrency investment scam. The quartet faces charges of money laundering, including concealing and international money laundering.

⚖️ 20 years in prison ⚖️

???? The DoJ revealed the scam involved opening shell companies and bank accounts for pig butchering schemes, with over $80 million in victim losses. Zhang and Walker could face 20 years in prison if convicted, while co-conspirators remain at large.

???? What becomes of the broken hearted? ????

Pig butchering scams, a type of romance-investment scam, exploit victims through dating apps, promising high returns. Scammers then vanish or create new identities, making recovery difficult.

???? Emerging Trends ????

Scammers adapt using group chats, luring victims into fake investment groups. The FBI reports a staggering $2.57 billion in losses to crypto scams in 2022, up 183% from 2021. Cybercriminals leverage leaked databases for personal info, highlighting the need for vigilance.

????️ Stay Informed, Stay Safe ????️

Be cautious online, verify investments, and report suspicious activity to protect yourself and others from falling victim to crypto scams. ????????

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Fairplay, can’t default them for that ????

???? Cybersecurity Alert! ???? CISA Urges Action Against Default Password Risks!

The U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is sounding the alarm on manufacturers using default passwords, posing severe risks of exploitation. Iranian threat actors linked to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps are targeting operational technology with default passwords, gaining access to critical infrastructure in the U.S.

???? Default Password Danger ????

Threat actors can exploit publicly known default passwords, gaining root access and causing havoc. CISA recommends manufacturers adopt secure design principles, provide unique setup passwords, disable them after a set period, and enforce phishing-resistant multi-factor authentication (MFA).

????️ Top Tips ????️

CISA advises vendors to conduct field tests, bridging the gap between developer expectations and actual product usage. Meanwhile, it's crucial for organisations to:

  • Enforce strong passwords and phishing-resistant MFA

  • Review and limit running ports, protocols, and services

  • Configure service accounts with minimal necessary permissions

  • Change all default passwords

  • End the reuse or sharing of administrative credentials

  • Implement consistent patch management

  • Establish network segregation controls

  • Evaluate and discontinue unsupported hardware and software

  • Encrypt sensitive data like personally identifiable information (PII)

???? Stay Secure ????

CISA's guidance comes amid rising cyber threats, emphasising the importance of proactive measures to safeguard critical infrastructure.

???? Catch of the Day!! ????????????

???? The Motley Fool: “Fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again.” Good ol’ George Dubya ???? Let us tell who’s not fooling around though; that’s the Crüe ???? at Motley Fool. You’d be a fool (alright, enough already! ????) not to check out their Share Tips from time to time so your savings can one day emerge from their cocoon as a beautiful butterfly! ???? Kidding aside, if you check out their website they’ve actually got a ton of great content with a wide variety of different investment ideas to suit most budgets ???? (LINK)

???? Wander: Find your happy place. Cue Happy Gilmore flashback ????️⛳????????️ Mmmm Happy Place… ???? So, we’ve noticed a lot of you guys are interested in travel. As are we! We stumbled upon this cool company that offers a range of breath-taking spots around the United States and, honestly, the website alone is worth a gander. When all you see about the Land of the free and the home of the brave is news of rioting, looting and school shootings, it’s easy to forget how beautiful some parts of it are. The awe-inspiring locations along with the innovative architecture of the hotels sets Wander apart from your run of the mill American getaway ????️???? (LINK)

???? Digital Ocean: If you build it they will come. Nope, we’re not talking about a baseball field for ghosts ???????? (Great movie, to be fair ????). This is the Digital Ocean who’ve got a really cool platform for building and hosting pretty much anything you can think of. If you check out their website you’ll find yourself catching the buzz even if you can’t code (guilty ????). But if you can and you’re looking for somewhere to test things out or launch something new or simply enhance what you’ve got, we’d recommend checking out their services fo’ sho ???? And how can you not love their slogan: Dream it. Build it. Grow it. Right on, brother! ???? (LINK)

Rhadical dude ????????????

???? Malware Alert: Rhadamanthys Evolves with New Threats! ????

Cybersecurity researchers have uncovered alarming developments in the information stealer malware, Rhadamanthys. In a recent deep dive, Check Point revealed that the malware's developers are actively enhancing its features, introducing a plugin system for greater customization.

????️ MaaS Model and Evolution ????️

Initially documented in October 2022 and sold under the malware-as-a-service (MaaS) model, Rhadamanthys is continuously evolving. The malware, distributed through malicious sites mimicking genuine software, harvests sensitive data from web browsers, crypto wallets, email clients, VPNs, and more.

???? Latest Features ????

Rhadamanthys version 0.5.2 boasts a new plugin system, making it a versatile tool for malicious actors. The update allows customers to tailor additional tools to their targets, marking a shift towards modularization. The malware includes active components for process manipulation and passive components for credential retrieval.

???? Swiss Army Knife of Malware ????

The malware's use of a Lua script runner, capable of loading up to 100 scripts, emphasises its multifunctionality. It targets cryptocurrency wallets, email agents, FTP services, instant messengers, and more. Version 0.5.1 introduces a clipper function to divert cryptocurrency payments and recover Google Account cookies.

????️ Risks and Mitigation ????️

The evolving nature of Rhadamanthys poses a serious threat, and users are urged to stay vigilant. Check Point recommends staying updated on security measures and adopting a proactive approach to cybersecurity.

???? Stay Protected ????

As malware continues to evolve, it's crucial to implement robust security practices. Regularly update security measures, employ reliable antivirus software, and exercise caution while interacting online. ????????

????️ Extra, Extra! Read all about it!

Every few weeks, we carefully select three hot newsletters to show you. Reputation is everything, so any links we share come from personal recommendation or carefully researched businesses at the time of posting. Enjoy!

  • The GeekAI: A daily 3 min newsletter on what matters in AI, with all the new AI things coming to market its good to stay ahead of the curve.

  • Libby Copa: The Rebel Newsletter helps writers strengthen their writing and creative practice, navigate the publishing world, and turn their art into an act of rebellion.

  • Techspresso: Receive a daily summary of the most important AI and Tech news, selected from 50+ media outlets (The Verge, Wired, Tech Crunch etc)

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So long and thanks for reading all the phish!

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