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Weekly Cyber Security News

Redcar cyber-attack: Council using pen and paper

pen-and-paperMore than 135,000 UK residents have been without online public services for nearly a week, as their council struggles with a cyber-attack.

Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council’s website and all computers at the authority were attacked on Saturday.

One cyber-security expert told the BBC the incident had all the hallmarks of a ransomware attack, in which files are scrambled until a ransom is paid.

But the council refused to confirm the nature of the hack.

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Powerful Cyber Attack Takes Down 25% Of Iranian Internet

iranian-flagHot on the heels of a “serious” cyber-attack that compromised United Nations servers, and in the same week that the head of the European Central Bank, Christine Lagarde, warned of the global financial implications of cyber-attacks, Iran has seemingly come under cyber-attack. Indeed, so powerful was the impact of this alleged attack that the internet was disrupted across the country.

The NetBlocks internet observatory, which maps internet freedom in real-time, confirmed that there was extensive Iranian telecommunications network disruption on the morning of February 8. The internet observatory, an accurate and impartial monitor of internet availability, uses a combination of measurement and classification techniques to detect disruptions and critical infrastructure cyber-attacks in real-time. In a NetBlocks tweet, the national internet connectivity drop to 75% was said to be due to Iranian authorities activating the “Digital Fortress” cyber-defense mechanism, also known as DZHAFA.

Ransomware Costs May Have Hit $170bn in 2019

There were nearly half a million ransomware infections reported globally last year, costing organizations at least $6.3bn in ransom demands alone, according to estimates from Emsisoft.

The security vendor analyzed submissions to the ID Ransomware identification service during 2019 and found a total of 452,121 records.

However, around half of these were related to a type of ransomware called STOP which is mainly targeted at home users, so its financial calculations are based on more like 226,000 victims.

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Chinese military personnel accused of Equifax hack

A US federal grand jury has indicted four Chinese army personnel over the 2017 Equifax breach.

Four alleged members of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) 54th Research Institute conspired with one another to hack vulnerable networks and access and steal the personal data of millions of customers of credit agency Equifax, according to an indictment unveiled by the US Department of Justice (DoJ).