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Prior to an attack, ransomware actors research publicly available information, such as a victim's stock valuation, as well as material nonpublic information.

The US has warned that ransomware hacking groups are now targeting companies involved in "significant, time-sensitive financial events" and people whose private financial information they have gained access to. In a latest advisory to private firms, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) said that ransomware actors are very likely using significant financial events, such as mergers and acquisitions, to target and leverage victimcompanies for ransomware infections.

"Prior to an attack, ransomware actors research publicly available information, such as a victim's stock valuation, as well as material nonpublic information. If victims do not pay a ransom quickly, ransomware actors will threaten to disclose this information publicly, causing potential investor backlash," the FBI said in its report. During the initial reconnaissance phase, cyber criminals identify non-publicly available information, which they threaten to release or use as leverage during the extortion to entice victims to comply with ransom demands.

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Photo by Bermix Studio on Unsplash
gold and silver round coin

By Tharini Ilanchezhian

Poly Network, a crypto currency platform had lost whooping amount of $610 million because of this heist. Sources say that it had offered the hackers an amount of $500,000.

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Surge in cybercrime due to work from home. Pixabay

With most people working from home, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, there has been a surge in cybercrime. The year 2021 saw 5,258 data breaches across the globe, a third more breaches analyzed than last year, according to a report on Thursday. The 14th edition of the Data Breach Investigations Report (2021 DBIR) by US-based Verizon Business, analyzed 29,207 security incidents from data collected from 83 contributors, with victims spanning 88 countries; 12 industries, and three world regions.

The report showed that with an unprecedented number of people working remotely, phishing and ransomware attacks increased by 11 percent and 6 percent respectively, with instances of misrepresentation increasing by 15 times compared to last year. Additionally, breached data showed that 61 percent of breaches involved credential data. About 95 percent of organizations suffering credential stuffing attacks had between 637 and 3.3 billion malicious login attempts through the year.

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Two variants of the attacks the team discovered can steal speculatively accessed information from Intel and AMD processors. Pixabay

An Indian-origin researcher has warned that billions of computers and other devices across the globe are vulnerable today owing to a vulnerability named ‘Spectre’ that was first discovered in 2018 but is open to hackers again. Since ‘Spectre’ was discovered, the world’s most talented computer scientists from industry and academia have worked on software patches and hardware defenses, confident they’ve been able to protect the most vulnerable points in the speculative execution process without slowing down computing speeds too much.

However, researchers, led by Ashish Venkat at the University of Virginia’s School of Engineering and Applied Science, UVA Engineering, discovered that computer processors are open to hackers again. They found a whole new way for hackers to exploit something called a “micro-op cache,” which speeds up computing by storing simple commands and allowing the processor to fetch them quickly and early in the speculative execution process.

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