Europol Strikes Against Global Ransomware Gang! ????????

Nov 30 2023

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Welcome to Gone Phishing, your daily cybersecurity newsletter that pulls no cyber-punches ???? 

Today’s hottest cybersecurity news stories: 

  • ???? Woop, woop, that’s the sound of the Europol: hackers arrested ???? 

  • ????‍???? Google Workspace drama: design flaw could allow breaches ⚠️ 

  • ☠️ Feels like deja vu: DJVU’s new ‘Xaro’ looks like free software ????  

The Europolls are in; cybercriminals are DOWN ????


???? Breaking News: Europol Strikes Against Global Ransomware Gang! ????????

Europol, joined by international law enforcement allies, has apprehended five individuals accused of orchestrating widespread ransomware attacks affecting 1,800+ victims globally. The suspects, including the alleged ringleader, were nabbed in Ukraine following raids at 30 locations. ????????️

In a coordinated effort involving investigators from Norway, France, Germany, and the U.S., Europol set up a virtual command centre to process seized data. ????????

Ukraine’s Cyber Police reported the confiscation of computers, cars, SIM cards, and cryptocurrency assets, totaling almost $110,000. The arrests are part of a prolonged investigation that began in 2021, leading to the identification of suspects targeted in the recent action in Kyiv. ????‍♂️????

The accused hackers are charged with encrypting 250+ servers, extorting “several hundred million euros” from victims. Their roles ranged from brute-force attacks to laundering cryptocurrency payments. Europol highlighted the havoc wreaked on organisations using ransomware variants like LockerGoga, MegaCortex, Hive, and Dharma. ????????

In a positive twist, Europol’s probe enabled Swiss authorities, in collaboration with Bitdefender and the EU’s No More Ransom project, to develop decryption tools for LockerGoga and MegaCortex. Victims can now recover files without paying ransoms. ????️????

This crackdown marks a significant victory in the fight against cybercrime! ????????


Clean your Mac or PC


Cybersecurity is more important than ever, and your Mac or PC are no exception. Over time, your Mac or PC can accumulate junk files, malware, and other threats that can slow it down and make it vulnerable to attack.

That’s where MacPaw comes in. MacPaw offers a suite of easy-to-use apps that can help you clean, optimize, and secure your Mac. With MacPaw, you can:

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  • Manage your extensions and apps to keep your Mac or PC running smoothly

Since 2008 MacPaw is trusted by over 30 million users worldwide, and it’s the perfect solution for keeping your Mac or PC safe and secure.

Google has egg on Workface ????


???? Alert: Severe Design Flaw in Google Workspace Uncovered! ????️‍♂️???? 

Cybersecurity researchers have unearthed a critical flaw, codenamed DeleFriend, in Google Workspace’s domain-wide delegation (DWD) feature. ???????? This vulnerability could be exploited by threat actors for privilege escalation, enabling unauthorised access to Workspace APIs without super admin privileges. 

According to cybersecurity firm Hunters, exploitation of this flaw could lead to email theft, data exfiltration from Google Drive, and unauthorised actions within Google Workspace APIs across the entire target domain. Google disputed the characterization, stating it’s not an underlying security issue but emphasised minimising account privileges. ???????? 

The flaw is rooted in a domain delegation configuration determined by the OAuth ID, not specific private keys, allowing potential threat actors with less privileged access to create numerous JSON web tokens. This could pinpoint successful combinations, indicating domain-wide delegation permission. ???????? 

Successful exploitation poses severe consequences, allowing malicious actors to impact every identity within the Workspace domain, unlike individual OAuth consent. Hunters has provided a proof-of-concept for detecting misconfigurations. Stay vigilant! ????????️ 

???? 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)

From hero to Xaro ????


???? Alert: New Variant of DJVU Ransomware Emerges in Cracked Software! ???????? 

Cybereason, the American cybersecurity firm, has identified a fresh threat – a variant of DJVU ransomware dubbed Xaro. ???????? This variant is spreading through cracked software, appending the .xaro extension to files and demanding ransom for decryption. ???????? 

DJVU, a variant of STOP ransomware, often disguises itself as legitimate services or applications and arrives as a SmokeLoader payload. Notably, DJVU attacks deploy additional malware like RedLine Stealer and Vidar, heightening their damage potential. ???????? 

In the latest attack documented by Cybereason, Xaro is distributed as an archive file from dubious sources posing as legitimate freeware sites. Opening the archive triggers the execution of a fake installer, CutePDF, which is actually the PrivateLoader malware downloader. 

PrivateLoader connects to a command-and-control server, fetching various malware families like RedLine Stealer, Vidar, SmokeLoader, and more, in addition to dropping Xaro. This diverse approach aims to ensure attack success and double extortion by exfiltrating sensitive information. 

 Xaro encrypts files, drops a ransom note demanding $980 (reduced to $490 within 72 hours), and spawns Vidar to steal information. ???????? 

This incident highlights the dangers of downloading freeware from untrusted sources. ????⚠️ Enterprises must be vigilant against these tactics, as threat actors increasingly use freeware as a stealthy means to deploy malicious code. ????️???? 

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

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So long and thanks for reading all the phish!

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