Oct 31 2023
Welcome to Gone Phishing, your daily cybersecurity newsletter that treats cybercriminals like hot tubs treat Chandler Bing 💀💀💀
Today’s hottest cybersecurity news stories:
👨💻 Slack attack! Cybercriminals use modified Wikipedia pages to attack 👊
📚 You lie very well: Toronto public library falls victim to cyber-crime 👾
📢 How to get ahead in malvertising: Dynamic Search Ads get got 🙈
Security experts at eSentire have uncovered a sneaky new method that cyber attackers are using to lead business professionals to dangerous websites. 🦠🖥️
👾 The Wiki-Slack Attack:
This crafty technique leverages modified Wikipedia pages and exploits a formatting glitch in Slack, a popular collaboration tool.
🤨 How It Works:
To execute the attack, the bad actors select a Wikipedia article relevant to their target, add a legitimate footnote to the end of the first paragraph, and then share the article on Slack. 😈
🔗 The Deceptive Link:
While the footnote is harmless, Slack's rendering of the page creates an invisible link that entices users to click it. 😮 Once clicked, it directs them to a harmful website housing browser-based malware. 🦠
💻 The Technical Details:
This attack relies on specific conditions in the first 100 words of the article, including a top-level domain in the second paragraph. Slack's formatting hiccup generates the deceptive link.
📈 A Numbers Game:
Attackers must modify multiple Wikipedia pages and register domains to improve their chances of infecting a desired target. 📊
📚 Why Wikipedia?:
Using Wikipedia pages, which are more trusted than Medium blogs, increases the chances of success. 😇
🛡️ Stay Protected:
To defend against such attacks, organisations are urged to raise awareness about browser-based threats, implement endpoint monitoring, and embed cyber resilience into their operations. eSentire has reported the issue to Slack for resolution. 🦸♂️🦸♀️
Be cautious when copying and pasting Wikipedia content in Slack, and remember to stay cyber safe 💪💻🔐
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:
Remove junk files and malware to free up space and improve performance
Protect your privacy by erasing sensitive data
Optimize your startup settings to speed up boot times
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.
🌐 Canada's largest public library system, the Toronto Public Library, is grappling with a disruptive cyberattack that has impacted its website, member services, and access to digital collections.
📈 Library's Scale:
Serving over 1.2 million members across 100 branches with more than 12 million items, the library reported technical difficulties affecting online services, in-branch WiFi, and printing.
🛡️ Cybersecurity Incident:
By Sunday, the organisation confirmed the presence of a cybersecurity incident, replacing its website with a temporary statement page. Key services like "your account," map passes, and digital collections are currently unavailable.
🔒 Data Security:
There's no evidence, as of now, that personal information of staff or customers has been compromised. The library has proactively prepared for cybersecurity issues and is taking measures to mitigate potential impacts.
👩💻 Recovery Efforts:
Cybersecurity experts have been engaged to resolve the issue, but full system restoration may take several days.
❓ Attack Details:
It remains unclear whether it's a ransomware incident, and no hacking group has claimed responsibility. The organisation has not disclosed plans for paying a ransom.
🌆 City's Cyber Challenges:
Toronto has faced previous cybersecurity incidents, including a data breach, a ransomware attack on its public transportation system, and most recently, data theft from suspected Russia-based ransomware hackers.
🌎 Nationwide Trend:
Cyberattacks have also plagued other prominent institutions in Canada, highlighting the need for increased vigilance against such threats.
Stay tuned for updates on the Toronto Public Library's recovery efforts! 📢🔒📚
🃏 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)
In the world of malvertising, where threats often stem from malicious intent, a peculiar incident has emerged. This time, malvertising unfolded entirely by accident. 🤷♂️
🌐 The Culprits:
Combining a compromised website and Google Dynamic Search Ads led to this unusual situation. A popular Python developer program unwittingly got involved.
📢 From the Site Owner's Viewpoint:
For a wedding planning business, some website pages were tainted with malware, spamming malicious content. An overlay surfaced, promoting software serial keys, including Pycharm for developers.
🌟 Dynamic Search Ads Twist:
Google's Dynamic Search Ads (DSA) automatically create ads based on website content. While convenient for advertisers, it can be exploited. In our case, a search for 'pycharm' revealed an ad with a misleading title and wedding-related keywords.
💻 The Twist:
Google Ads generated this ad from the compromised page, making the website owner an unwitting intermediary. Their own ad led to malware.
🛡️ The Malware Maze:
People clicking the misleading ad were directed to a compromised page with a link to download a serial key. Installing it unleashed a flood of malware, rendering the computer unusable. 😱
🤨 The Motive:
The criminal likely sought to monetize software loads for commissions, despite it being a blatant attack.
📚 A Different Breed:
This incident stands out as atypical malvertising. The website owner may not have been aware of the situation, and the ad quality was hard to spot as it was paid for by a legitimate business.
⚠️ Stay Safe:
For your online safety, practise cautious browsing, and avoid downloading cracked software. Always ensure it's clean before running it.
📣 Action Taken:
Malwarebytes detected the malicious payloads, and the compromised wedding planning business has been alerted to the situation.
Stay vigilant online, and beware of unintentional cyber twists! 🕵️♂️💻🦠
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)
Let us know what you think!
So long and thanks for reading all the phish!