September cyber news round-up
Ransomware gang resurfaces, hackers crack new iPhone defences and threat actors have been giving out tutorials for Windows vulnerabilities
It’s been another busy month in the world of cyber risk, and September is no exception. In the past month, we've seen big players like Apple and Microsoft suffer zero-day vulnerabilities as well as ransomware continuing to wreak havoc across the globe.
The return of the REvil ransomware group
The REvil ransomware gang has returned and is attacking new victims and publishing their stolen files.
Following a massive attack on July 2nd, which exploited a zero-day vulnerability in the Kaseya VSA platform to encrypt 60 managed service providers and over 1,500 businesses, REvil shut down their infrastructure and completely disappeared. The attack’s impact was felt worldwide, bringing the attention of international law enforcement, and the REvil gang suddenly shut down on July 13th.
To everyone's surprise, the REvil ransomware gang came back to life on 7th September under the same name when the Tor payment/negotiation and data leak sites suddenly turned back on and became accessible. Proof of new attacks emerged on September 9th when someone uploaded a new REvil ransomware sample compiled on September 4th to VirusTotal. On September 11th, the group published screenshots of stolen data for a new victim on their data leak site.
Windows MSHTML zero-day exploits shared between attackers
Threat actors are sharing Windows MSHTML zero-day (CVE-2021-40444) tutorials and exploits on hacking forums, allowing other hackers to start exploiting the new vulnerability in their own attacks.
On 7th September, Microsoft disclosed a new zero-day vulnerability in Windows MSHTML that allows threat actors to create malicious documents, including Office and RTF docs, to execute commands on a victim's computer remotely. After the vulnerability was disclosed, Microsoft Defender and other security programs were configured to detect and block parts of this attack.
While these mitigations will help, as the exploit has been modified not to use ActiveX controls, users are still at risk until an official security update is released. Until Microsoft releases a security update, everyone should treat all Word and RTF attachments suspiciously and their source manually verified before opening them.
Olympus hit with BlackMatter ransomware
Olympus, a leading medical technology company, is investigating a "potential cybersecurity incident" that impacted some of its EMEA IT systems last week. Olympus has more than 31,000 employees worldwide and over 100 years of history developing for the medical, life sciences, and industrial equipment industries.
While Olympus did not share any details on the attackers' identity, ransom notes left on systems impacted during the breach point to a BlackMatter ransomware attack. The same ransom notes also point to a Tor website the BlackMatter gang has used in the past to communicate with victims.
Apple patches zero-day flaw exploited by NSO Group
Apple has released security updates for a zero-day vulnerability that affects every iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch. Citizen Lab, which discovered the vulnerability and was credited with the find, urges users to immediately update their devices.
Citizen Lab said it has now discovered new artifacts of the ForcedEntry vulnerability which it first revealed in August as part of an investigation.
This exploit is significant because it breaks through new iPhone defenses that Apple had baked into iOS 14, dubbed BlastDoor, which were supposed to prevent silent attacks by filtering potentially malicious code. Citizen Lab calls this exploit ForcedEntry for its ability to skirt Apple’s BlastDoor protections.
Citizen Lab said it attributes the ForcedEntry exploit to NSO Group with high confidence, citing evidence it has seen that it has not previously published.
Want to learn more about cyber? Check out our other great cyber-related resources.