Welcome to our weekly post where I will be sharing some of the major developments on the future of cybersecurity that you need to know about. Make sure to follow my LinkedIn page as well as Echelon’s LinkedIn page to receive updates on the future of cybersecurity!
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Away we go!
1. San Francisco 49ers Hit with Ransomware Attack
A few weeks ago, we wrote about the BlackByte ransomware group and how they have been making waves in the cybersecurity community with their novel ransomware software. Well, they are making waves once more, with their technology being blamed in the latest attack against the San Francisco 49ers. BlackByte is a Ransomware as a Service provider, meaning they provide the software and technology to those who carry out the actual attacks themselves.
The 49ers have confirmed the hack with several news outlets and have been working diligently to contain the threat and recover. The BlackByte group claimed responsibility for the attack just before the Super Bowl last week on their blog on the dark web (screen shot above). This attack came only days after the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), released a detailed advisory about the group with certain threat intelligence as well as mitigation advice.
2. As Russia/Ukraine Tensions Mount, So Do Cyber Concerns Globally
A cyberattack aimed at Ukrainian banks and government services was launched earlier last week. The attacks occurred last Tuesday through Wednesday and caused sustained outages and mass confusion for customers of the banks and consumers of government services. These DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks aim to insight mass confusion and chaos by overloading servers and other infrastructure with so many requests that they begin to fail.
In somewhat surprising news, the White House deputy national security adviser, Anne Neuberger, was quick to call out Russian government hackers as the source of the cyber-attack. Historically, it has taken government agencies months or years to successfully attribute cyber activity such as this. The UK Government also came to a similar conclusion, citing “technical analysis” as their source of truth for attributing the attacks to Russia.
This continued aggression against a sovereign Ukraine is not a surprise at all at this stage of conflict and shows just how one country may go to certain extremes and use every possible tool in their tool chest against their opponent.
3. No One Cares About Your Wordle Score, Or Your Privacy
A few weeks ago, the popular online game, Wordle, was purchased by the New York Times. While Wordle is still technically free to play, it no longer appears to be actually free. Have you ever heard the term, “if something is free, it is likely that you are the product”? Well, that appears to be the case here with Wordle. The game was well received not only for the brain teasing escapism, but also the fact that it was free to play on a simple site that was advertisement free and also free of ad-tracking.
A recent article from Forbes points out that the Times hosted version of Wordle is now tracking you with a number of different ad-trackers when playing online.