Monday January 20, 2020
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Dark Web Exposes Computer-server Data Transfer to Hackers

In comparison, there were just 531 mentions for ransomware

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Cyber criminals now have access to the most-secured data files used to facilitate confidential communication between organisations’ servers and clients’ computers on the Dark Web, say researchers.

According to the team from Georgia State University and the University of Surrey, a thriving marketplace for Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and Transport Layer Security (TLS) certificates exists on a hidden part of the Internet.

SSL and TLS are security technology (https protocol) that protects the transfer of data and information between computers and servers.

Networked machines use keys and SSL/TLS certificates to identify and authenticate themselves when connecting to each other, much like humans employ user names and passwords to go online.

According to the researchers, when these certificates are sold on the darknet, they are packaged with a wide range of crimeware that delivers machine identities to cybercriminals who use them to spoof websites, eavesdrop on encrypted traffic, perform attacks and steal sensitive data, among other activities.

“One very interesting aspect of this research was seeing TLS certificates packaged with wrap-around services — such as Web design services — to give attackers immediate access to high levels of online credibility and trust,” informed lead author David Maimon, Associate Professor in Georgia State.

Two days before the major cyber-hack on Wednesday, Dr.Krishna warned about the growing number of hospitals that could be shut down by ransomware attacks.

A search of five marketplaces in the darknet uncovered 2,943 mentions for SSL and 75 for TLS.

In comparison, there were just 531 mentions for ransomware.

It was surprising to discover, he added, how easy and inexpensive it is to acquire extended validation certificates, along with all the documentation needed to create very credible shell companies without any verification information.

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“This study found clear evidence of the rampant sale of TLS certificates on the Dark Net,” said Kevin Bocek, Vice President of Security and Threat Intelligence for cyber security firm Venafi.

“Every organisation should be concerned that the certificates used to establish and maintain trust and privacy on the Internet are being weaponised and sold as commodities to cyber criminals.” (IANS)

Next Story

Microsoft Works To Fix Security Bug Issue in Internet Explorer

The vulnerability was found in how Internet Explorer handles memory

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Microsoft
Overall, Microsoft said all supported versions of Windows are affected by the flaw, including Windows 7, which after this week will no longer receive security updates. Pixabay

 Microsoft has confirmed a security flaw affecting Internet Explorer is currently being used by hackers and it is working on a fix, to be released at a later date.

The vulnerability was first reported by US Homeland Security on Friday evening, although the issue is not limited to American devices. Overall, Microsoft said all supported versions of Windows are affected by the flaw, including Windows 7, which after this week will no longer receive security updates.

The vulnerability was found in how Internet Explorer handles memory. An attacker could use the flaw to remotely run malicious code on an affected computer, such as tricking a user into opening a malicious website from a search query or a link sent by email, TechCrunch reported recently.

“The company is only aware of limited targeted attacks for which it is already working on a fix,” the report quoted a Microsoft spokesperson. The tech giant assigned the bug with a common vulnerability identifier, CVE-2020-0674, but specific details of the bug have yet to be released.

Qihoo 360, a China-based security research team helped Microsoft in finding this flaw and it is believed to be a similar vulnerability as one disclosed by Mozilla, the maker of the Firefox browser.

As per report, neither Qihoo, Microsoft, nor Mozilla said how attackers were exploiting the bug, who the attackers were, or who was being targeted. Microsoft assigned the bug with a common vulnerability identifier, CVE-2020-0674, but specific details of the bug have yet to be released.

Microsoft
Microsoft has confirmed a security flaw affecting Internet Explorer is currently being used by hackers and it is working on a fix, to be released at a later date. Pixabay

Additionally, according to information gathered by PreciseSecurity.com, Microsoft Office products were the most commonly exploited by cybercriminals around the world and nearly 73 per cent of cyber exploits were performed in MS Office products in the third quarter of 2019.

ALSO READ: Tesla Owners Unintentionally Buy Software Updates, Face Troubles in Getting Refunds

MS Office products were followed by Browsers with 13.47 per cent of the total number of exploits by cybercriminals, Android with 9.09 per cent, Java with 2.36 per cent, Adobe Flash with 1.57 per cent and PDF with 0.66 per cent. (IANS)