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Most Organisations Experience Cyber Threats During Coronavirus Pandemic: Checkpoint Survey

Cybercriminals will always seek to capitalise on the latest trends to try and boost the success rates of attacks, and the coronavirus pandemic has created a perfect storm of a global news event together with dramatic changes in working practices and the technologies used by organisations

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Cyber Threat
In phishing attacks, a bad actor steals sensitive information by tricking people to open an email, instant message, or text message containing malicious links or attachments. Pixabay

 Most organisations have seen a rise in security threats and attacks during the coronavirus pandemic, a new survey by cybersecurity firm Check Point said on Tuesday.

While 71 per cent of those IT and security professionals who were surveyed reported an increase in security threats or attacks, 61 per cent of respondents said they were concerned about security risks of changes made to enable remote work.

Phishing attempts (55 per cent) and websites claiming helpful information on coronavirus (32 per cent) have emerged as the leading threats to the organisations, the respondents said. In phishing attacks, a bad actor steals sensitive information by tricking people to open an email, instant message, or text message containing malicious links or attachments.

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The findings showed that the rapid changes to enterprise working practices, and broader concerns about the pandemic, are both being exploited by cybercriminals as they step up their attacks, generating a raft of new challenges for security professionals.

“Cybercriminals will always seek to capitalise on the latest trends to try and boost the success rates of attacks, and the coronavirus pandemic has created a perfect storm of a global news event together with dramatic changes in working practices and the technologies used by organisations,” said Rafi Kretchmer Check Point’s Head of Product Marketing.

Cybersecurity
Most organisations have seen a rise in security threats and attacks during the coronavirus pandemic, a new survey by cybersecurity firm Check Point said on Tuesday. Pixabay

“This has meant a significant increase in the attack surface of many organizations, which is compromising their security postures. To ensure security and business continuity in this rapidly evolving situation, organizations need to protect themselves with a holistic, end-to-end security architecture,” Kretchmer added.

The survey was conducted in a bid to examine the severity of impact coronavirus has had on enterprise security. It involved 411 IT and security professions — all from organisations over 500 people. As many enterprises rely on Zoom to facilitate their employees working from home, Check Point recently saw a spike in the number of “Zoom” domains registered and spotted malicious “Zoom” files targeting people working from home.

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Check Point documented 1,700 new “Zoom” domains registered since the advent of pandemic, 25 per cent of which were registered in the past week days, and has deemed 70 domains as suspicious. (IANS)

 

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This Hacker Group is Selling User Data From 10 Firms For INR 13.6 Lakh Approx

The same hacker group was also behind selling a database of 22 million user records form online learning platform Unacademy on the Dark Web

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Hackers
The hacker group is known as ShinyHunters, the same group behind breaching private repositories on Microsoft-owned GitHub (the hacker is believed to have acquired around 1,200 private repositories) and Tokopedia. Pixabay

A hacker group is selling data of 10 companies including online dating app Zoosk, US newspaper Star Tribune and food delivery service Chef that contains over 73 million user records over the Dark Web for $18,000 (nearly Rs 13.6 lakh).

Other companies are printing service Chatbooks, South Korean fashion platform SocialShare, online marketplace Minted, online newspaper Chronicle of Higher Education, South Korean furniture magazine GGuMim, health magazine Mindful and Indonesia online store Bhinneka, reports ZDNet. The listed databases have 73.2 million user records, with each database sold separately.

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The hacker group is known as ShinyHunters, the same group behind breaching private repositories on Microsoft-owned GitHub (the hacker is believed to have acquired around 1,200 private repositories) and Tokopedia, Indonesia’s largest online store where a database of over 90 million user records was sold. A Microsoft spokesperson was quoted as saying that the company is investigating the incident.

The same hacker group was also behind selling a database of 22 million user records form online learning platform Unacademy on the Dark Web. Bengaluru-based edtech firm Unacademy said the all the sensitive data of its users was safe and the company was addressing the security issue.

Hackers
A hacker group is selling data of 10 companies including online dating app Zoosk, US newspaper Star Tribune and food delivery service Chef that contains over 73 million user records over the Dark Web for $18,000 (nearly Rs 13.6 lakh). Pixabay

“We would like to assure our users that no sensitive information such as financial data or location has been breached,” said Hemesh Singh, Co- Founder and CTO, Unacademy. Encouraged by the profits from the Tokopedia sale, the same group has now listed the databases of 10 more companies.

“Some believe the ShinyHunters group has ties to Gnosticplayers, a hacker group that was active last year that sold more than one billion user credentials on dark web marketplaces, as it operates on a nearly identical pattern,” according to the report.

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BleepingComputer reported that cyber intelligence firm ZeroFox informed them that Shiny Hunters had begun selling databases for the meal kit delivery service HomeChef, photo print service ChatBooks, and Chronicle.com, a news source for higher education. (IANS)

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Our Work Has Become More Critical Amid Coronavirus Pandemic: Twitter India

The company has also increased its use of machine learning and automation to take a wide range of actions on potentially abusive and manipulative content

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Twitter
Since introducing its updated policies on March 18, Twitter has removed more than 2,400 tweets containing misleading and potentially harmful content. Pixabay

As disinformation related to COVID-19 is spreading faster than the virus itself, micro -blogging platform Twitter feels that its work has never been more critical and its service has never been in higher demand than ever before globally, including in India.

The power of a uniquely open service during a public health emergency is crystal clear, says Mahima Kaul, Director, Public Policy, India and South Asia at Twitter, adding that they are continuing to review the rules in the context of COVID-19 and considering ways in which they may need to evolve to account for new behaviours.

Since introducing its updated policies on March 18, Twitter has removed more than 2,400 tweets containing misleading and potentially harmful content. “Our automated systems have challenged more than 3.4 million accounts targeting manipulative discussions around COVID-19. We will continue to use both technology and our teams to help us identify and stop spammy behaviour and accounts,” Kaul told IANS.

Twitter has received positive response to its efforts in curbing COVID-19 related fake news and misinformation in India. The efforts include an events page dedicated to COVID-19 information called “Coronavirus Tweets from Indian authorities”, which is essentially a timeline of tweets from verified Indian officials and bodies such as Prime Minister Narendra Modi (@narendramodi), Health Minister Harsh Vardhan (@drharshvardhan), the official Citizen Engagement Platform of the Government of Indian (@mygovindia, Press Information Bureau (@PIB_India) and other state and Central ministers, as well as public health agencies.

“Every account holder in India can see this page on the top of their home timeline. If someone has their settings set to Hindi, then they will see the same page with Hindi Tweets. The timeline also lets people track developments around the latest social distancing and healthcare information,” informed Kaul. The platform recently onboarded the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (@MoHFW_INDIA) to Twitter Seva to help Indians with a speedy resolution to their health-related queries.

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“This public service is allowing the Ministry to communicate effectively and at scale with the public, especially in crisis situations like the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The dedicated account @CovidIndiaSeva establishes a direct channel between the Government and citizens to provide access to authoritative health and public information,” Kaul elaborated.

She said that Twitter India is regularly working with trusted partners, including public health authorities, researchers, NGOs, and governments to keep improving its fight against COVID-19. “To tackle misinformation related to COVID-19, we have broadened our definition of harm and expanded our safety rules to address content that goes directly against guidance from authoritative sources with the intent to influence people into acting against recommended guidance,” said Kaul.

Twitter
As disinformation related to COVID-19 is spreading faster than the virus itself, micro -blogging platform Twitter feels that its work has never been more critical and its service has never been in higher demand than ever before globally, including in India. Pixabay

The company has also increased its use of machine learning and automation to take a wide range of actions on potentially abusive and manipulative content. “Additionally, we’re continuing to review and require the removal of Tweets that do not follow the Twitter Rules – half of which we catch before they’re ever reported to us. We continue to remain vigilant,” Kaul added.

Twitter is releasing a new endpoint into Twitter Developer Labs to enable approved developers and researchers to study the public conversation about COVID-19 in real-time. Tweets by people on the service will be made available to researchers and developers for free. According to Kaul, the data will help research the spread of the disease, understand the spread of misinformation, crisis management, emergency response, and communication within communities.

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“As we’ve said on many occasions, our approach to protecting the public conversation is never static. That’s particularly relevant in these unprecedented times. We intend to review our thinking daily and will ensure we’re sharing updates on any new clarifications to our rules or major changes to how we’re enforcing them,” Kaul told IANS. (IANS)

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Facebook, YouTube, Twitter Struggle to Remove Pandemic Conspiracy Video Called Plandemic

Social media platforms struggling with removal of pandemic conspiracy video.

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Facebook, YouTube, Twitter
Facebook, YouTube, Twitter struggling to take down Pandemic conspiracy videos. Pixabay

Social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter are finding it difficult to remove a coronavirus conspiracy video called Plandemic that has spread faster that the virus and can still be accessed on these platforms.

The 26-minute video features a famous vaccine conspiracist who defy the advice of medical experts like saying that “sheltering in place harms consumers’ immune systems and that masks can make people sicker”.

“The video tries to argue that the coronavirus pandemic was created to make profits off vaccines,” reports CNBC.

The video features Judy Mikovits, a figure best known for her anti-vaccine activism in recent years.

The video on Facebook received more than 1.7 million views as of Thursday and been shared more than 140,000 times.

Facebook
Social media platforms struggle to remove conspiracy video plandemic. Pixabay

One of the YouTube videos had received more than 1 million views before it was removed, according to the MIT Technology Review.

According to Twitter, “tweets by Mikovits apparently don’t violate the platform’s rules around COVID-19 misinformation, but it has marked the video’s URL as “unsafe” and blocked the related hashtags.

A Facebook spokeswoman earlier said the video “is eligible for fact-checkers to review and rate.”

Later, the spokeswoman said that “Suggesting that wearing a mask can make you sick could lead to imminent harm, so we’re removing the video”. However, it was still streaming on the platform till late Thursday.

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In the video, Mikovits accuses Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, of suppressing treatments like hydroxychloroquine � falsely touted by President Donald Trump as a wonder drug to cure coronavirus. (IANS)