(WORLDWIDE) Pegasus Report: Rights activists, journalists and lawyers around the world have been targeted with phone malware sold to authoritarian governments by an Israeli surveillance firm, media reports say #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – July.20: They are on a list of some 50,000 phone numbers of people believed to be of interest to clients of the company, NSO Group, leaked to major news outlets.

#AceDailyNews says Pegasus Spyware sold to governments that ‘targets activists’ according to AFP sold to Israeli surveillance firm media reports and it was not clear where the list came from – or how many phones had actually been hacked as NSO denies any wrongdoing by leaking to major news outlets….

It says the software is intended for use against criminals and terrorists and is made available only to military, law enforcement and intelligence agencies from countries with good human rights records.

It said the original investigation which led to the reports, by Paris-based NGO Forbidden Stories and the human rights group Amnesty International, was “full of wrong assumptions and uncorroborated theories”.

The allegations about use of the software, known as Pegasus, were carried on Sunday by the Washington Post, the Guardian, Le Monde and 14 other media organisations around the world.

Pegasus infects iPhones and Android devices to enable operators to extract messages, photos and emails, record calls and secretly activate microphones and cameras. 

What do we know about the people targeted?

The numbers on the list were unattributed, but media outlets working on the investigation said they had identified more than 1,000 people spanning over 50 countries. 

Among them are politicians and heads of state, business executives, activists, and several Arab royal family members. More than 180 journalists were also found to be on the list, from organisations including CNN, the New York Times and Al Jazeera.

Many of the numbers were clustered in 10 countries: Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Hungary, India, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Morocco, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, according to the reports. 

When contacted by the outlets involved in the investigation, spokespeople for these countries either denied that Pegasus was used or denied that they had abused their powers of surveillance.

It was not clear how many of the devices on the list had actually been targeted, but forensic analysis of 37 of the phones showed there had been “attempted and successful” hacks, the Washington Post reported.

This included people close to Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was murdered while visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, in October 2018 and his body dismembered.

The investigation found that spyware was installed on his fiancée’s phone days after his murder, and that his wife’s phone was targeted with spyware between September 2017 and April 2018. 

EPA: Jamal Khashoggi’s fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, was targeted in the days after his murder, the investigation found

The NSO Group said its technology was “not associated in any way with the heinous murder”.

The phone of Mexican journalist Cecilio Pineda Birto also appeared twice on the list, including in the month before he was murdered, the investigation found. 

His phone disappeared from the scene of the murder so a forensic examination was not possible, but NSO said that even if his phone was targeted, that did not mean that data collected was connected with his murder. 

More details about who has been targeted are expected to be released in the coming days.

WhatsApp sued NSO in 2019, alleging the company was behind cyber-attacks on 1,400 mobile phones involving Pegasus. At the time, NSO denied any wrongdoing, but the company has been banned from using WhatsApp.

The allegations here are not new but what is new is the scale of the targeting of innocent people that’s allegedly taking place. Nearly 200 reporters from 21 countries have their phone numbers on this list and more names of high-profile public figures are expected to be revealed.There are plenty of unknowns in these allegations – including where the list comes from and how many of the phone numbers were actively targeted with spyware.

NSO Group have once again come out swinging and deny all accusations but it’s a blow for the company that is actively trying to reform its reputation.Only two weeks ago they released their first “transparency report” detailing human right policies and pledges. Amnesty International brushed the 32-page document off as a “sales brochure”.These latest allegations will do further damage to its image, but they won’t hurt the company financially: There are very few private companies able to produce the sort of invasive spy tools that NSO sells, and clearly the largely unregulated market for the software is booming.

#AceNewsDesk report ……….Published: July.20: 2021:

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#activists, #israeli, #malware, #pegasus, #spyware

(CONNECTICUT) Federal Court Report: Convicts a Russian national on Tuesday for operating a “crypting” service used to conceal “Kelihos” malware from antivirus software, including Ransomeware #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – June.17: According to court documents and evidence introduced at trial, Oleg Koshkin, 41, formerly of Estonia, operated the websites “Crypt4U.com,” “fud.bz” and others.

The FBI’s New Haven Division investigated the case through its Connecticut Cyber Task Force: Russian National Convicted of Charges Relating to Kelihos Botnet: The websites promised to render malicious software fully undetectable by nearly every major provider of antivirus software. Koshkin and his co-conspirators claimed that their services could be used for malware such as botnets, remote-access trojans, keyloggers, credential stealers and cryptocurrency miners.

“The defendant designed and operated a service that was an essential tool for some of the world’s most destructive cybercriminals, including ransomware attackers,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicholas L. McQuaid of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “The verdict should serve as a warning to those who provide infrastructure to cybercriminals: the Criminal Division and our law enforcement partners consider you to be just as culpable as the hackers whose crimes you enable — and we will work tirelessly to bring you to justice.”

In particular, Koshkin worked with Peter Levashov, the operator of the Kelihos botnet, to develop a system that would allow Levashov to crypt the Kelihos malware multiple times each day. Koshkin provided Levashov with a custom, high-volume crypting service that enabled Levashov to distribute Kelihos through multiple criminal affiliates. Levashov used the Kelihos botnet to send spam, harvest account credentials, conduct denial of service attacks, and distribute ransomware and other malicious software. At the time it was dismantled by the FBI, the Kelihos botnet was known to include at least 50,000 compromised computers around the world.

“By operating a website that was intended to hide malware from antivirus programs, Koshkin provided a critical service that enabled other cyber criminals to infect thousands of computers around the world,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Leonard C. Boyle for the District of Connecticut. “We will investigate and prosecute the individuals who aid and abet cyber criminals as vigorously as we do the ones who actually hit the ‘send’ button on viruses and other malicious software.”

“Koshkin and his associates knowingly provided crypting services designed to help malicious software bypass anti-virus software,” said Special Agent in Charge David Sundberg of the FBI’s New Haven Division. “The criminal nature of the Crypt4U service was a clear threat to the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of computer systems everywhere. We at the FBI will never stop pursuing those like Koshkin for perpetrating cyber crimes and threats to the public at large.”

Koshkin was arrested in California in September 2019 and has been detained since his arrest. He faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 20.

Koshkin’s co-defendant, Pavel Tsurkan, is charged with conspiring to cause damage to 10 or more protected computers, and aiding and abetting Levashov in causing damage to 10 or more protected computers.

Levashov was arrested by the Spanish National Police in April 2017 and extradited to the United States. In September 2018, he pleaded guilty to one count of causing intentional damage to a protected computer, one count of conspiracy, one count of wire fraud, and one count of aggravated identity theft.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward Chang of District of Connecticut, and Senior Counsel Ryan K.J. Dickey of the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section are prosecuting the case with assistance from the Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs. The Estonian Police and Border Guard Board also provided significant assistance.

This case is part of the Department of Justice’s Ransomware and Digital Extortion Task Force, which was created to combat the growing number of ransomware and digital extortion attacks. As part of the Task Force, the Criminal Division, working with the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, prioritizes the disruption, investigation, and prosecution of ransomware and digital extortion activity by tracking and dismantling the development and deployment of malware, identifying the cybercriminals responsible, and holding those individuals accountable for their crimes. The department, through the Task Force, also strategically targets the ransomware criminal ecosystem as a whole and collaborates with domestic and foreign government agencies as well as private sector partners to combat this significant criminal threat.

#AceNewsDesk report ……Published: Jun.17: 2021:

Editor says #AceNewsDesk reports by https://t.me/acenewsdaily and all our posts, also links can be found at here for Twitter and Live Feeds https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/ and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#connecticut, #botnet, #cyber, #malware, #ransomeware, #russian

(NEVADA) Justice Dept Report – Two foreign nationals — one Russian, the other North Macedonian national — were sentenced today for their role in the Infraud Organization, a transnational cybercrime enterprise #AceNewsDesk report

Foreign Nationals Sentenced for Roles in Transnational Cybercrime Enterprise: ‘They were engaged in the mass acquisition and sale of fraud-related goods and services, including stolen identities, compromised credit card data, computer malware, and other contraband & the Infraud Organization victimized millions of people in all 50 states and caused more than $568 million in financial losses’

Sergey Medvedev, aka “Stells,” “segmed,” and “serjbear,” 33, of Russia, pleaded guilty in the District of Nevada to one count of racketeering conspiracy in June 2020 and was sentenced today to 10 years in prison. According to court documents, Medvedev was a co-founder of Infraud along with Syvatoslav Bondarenko of Ukraine. From November 2010 until Infraud was taken down by law enforcement in February 2018, Medvedev was an active participant in the Infraud online forum, operating an “escrow” service to facilitate illegal transactions among Infraud members. For several years, Medvedev served as Infraud’s administrator, handling day-to-day management, deciding membership, and meting out discipline to those who violated the enterprise’s rules.

Marko Leopard, aka “Leopardmk,” 31, of North Macedonia, pleaded guilty in the District of Nevada to one count of racketeering conspiracy in November 2019 and was sentenced today to five years in prison. According to court documents, Leopard joined Infraud in June 2011, offering his services as an “abuse immunity” web hoster to Infraud members who wished to create websites to sell contraband. Unlike a legitimate host, Leopard would knowingly cater to websites offering illegal goods and services, ignoring any abuse reports from internet users. He hosted a number of sites for Infraud members in this fashion, providing the infrastructure that allowed his co-conspirators to profit off of their criminal activities.

“Dismantling a cybercrime organization like Infraud requires aggressive pursuit of not only those who steal, sell, and use personal data, but also those who provide the infrastructure that allows cybercrime organizations to operate,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicholas L. McQuaid of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “Today’s sentences should serve as a warning to any web host who willingly looks the other way for a quick buck — and that the United States will hold these bad actors accountable, even when they operate behind a computer screen halfway across the world.”

“While criminal operators lurk in the deepest corners of the internet, they ultimately do not escape the reach of law enforcement,” said Special Agent in Charge Francisco Burrola of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Las Vegas. “We will continue to aggressively investigate, disrupt, and dismantle hidden illegal networks that pose a threat in cyberspace. HSI and our partners are at the forefront of combating cyber financial crimes and illicit activities spread by online criminals looking for financial gain.”

Infraud was a criminal enterprise that existed to enrich its members and associates through a myriad of criminal acts of identity theft and financial fraud. Infraud facilitated the sale of contraband by its members, including counterfeit documents, stolen bank account and credit account information, and stolen personal identifying information. Members and associates of Infraud operated throughout the world and the United States, to include Las Vegas. The enterprise, which boasted over 10,000 members at its peak and operated for more than seven years under the slogan “In Fraud We Trust,” is among the largest ever prosecuted by the Department of Justice.

Infraud was responsible for the sale and/or purchase of over 4 million compromised credit and debit card numbers. The actual loss associated with Infraud was in excess of $568 million USD.

HSI Las Vegas and the Police Department of Henderson, Nevada, investigated the case. The Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs provided significant assistance in securing the defendant’s extradition from Croatia.  

Deputy Chief Kelly Pearson and Trial Attorneys Chad McHenry and Alexander Gottfried of the Justice Department’s Organized Crime and Gang Section prosecuted the case.

#AceNewsDesk report ……….Published: Mar.20: 2021:

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#cybercrime, #doj, #fraud, #macedonian, #malware, #russian

(WASHINGTON) Justice Dept Report: A Russian national pleaded guilty in federal court today for conspiring to travel to the United States to recruit an employee of a Nevada company into a scheme to introduce malicious software into the company’s computer network #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Mar.19: As part of the conspiracy, Kriuchkov traveled from Russia to California through New York. On numerous occasions between Aug. 1, 2020, and Aug. 21, 2020, Kriuchkov traveled from California to Nevada in an attempt to entice the employee to participate in this hacking scheme, offering to pay the employee with Bitcoin if the employee transmitted the malware. After meeting with Kriuchkov, the employee reported his conduct to the victim company, which promptly contacted the FBI. The FBI then thwarted the scheme:

Russian National Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Introduce Malware into a U.S. Company’s Computer Network: ‘Defendant’s attempt to recruit employee to transmit malware to exfiltrate data and extort company thwarted by FBI: ‘According to court documents and admissions made in court, from July 15, 2020, to Aug. 22, 2020, Egor Igorevich Kriuchkov, 27, conspired with others to recruit an employee of a large U.S. company to transmit malware provided by the conspirators into the company’s computer network. Once the malware was installed, Kriuchkov and his co-conspirators would use it to exfiltrate data from the company’s computer network and then extort the company by threatening to disclose the data’

“The swift response of the company and the FBI prevented a major exfiltration of the victim company’s data and stopped the extortion scheme at its inception,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicholas L. McQuaid of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “This case highlights the importance of companies coming forward to law enforcement, and the positive results when they do so.”

“This case highlights our office’s commitment to protecting trade secrets and other confidential information belonging to U.S. businesses — which is becoming even more important each day as Nevada evolves into a center for technological innovation,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Christopher Chiou for the District of Nevada. “Along with our law enforcement partners, we will continue to prioritize stopping cybercriminals from harming American companies and consumers.”

“This is an excellent example of community outreach resulting in strong partnerships, which led to proactive law enforcement action before any damage could occur,” said Special Agent in Charge Aaron C. Rouse of the FBI’s Las Vegas Field Office.

Kriuchkov pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to intentionally cause damage to a protected computer and is scheduled to be sentenced May 10.

The investigation was led by the FBI Las Vegas Field Office with the assistance of the FBI Los Angeles Field Office, the FBI Sacramento Field Office, and the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office in Nevada.

The case is being prosecuted by Senior Counsel C.S. Heath and Trial Attorney Thomas Dettore of the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Casper of the District of Nevada.

#AceNewsDesk report ……….Published: Mar.19: 2021:

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#russia, #doj, #fbi, #malware, #washington

‘Two Weeks’ To Prepare For Cyber Attack As Word Cyber War’s Begin

The National Crime Agency is warning computer users they have two weeks to protect against a “powerful computer attack”. It comes as US officials held a press conference accusing a Russian hacker of masterminding the scam and raking in £60m. Two pieces of malware software known as GOZeuS and CryptoLocker are at the centre of the alert. People are being warned to make sure their security software and operating system are both up to date, and to run scans to check for any problems. Important files should also be backed up, said the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA). The malware typically infects a computer via attachments or links in emails.

If a user clicks on one of them, the malware silently monitors activity and tries to capture any private information, such as banking details. “(The links or attachments) may look like they have been sent by genuine contacts and may purport to carry invoices, voicemail messages, or any file made to look innocuous,” the NCA warned.”These emails are generated by other victims’ computers, who do not realise they are infected, and are used to send mass emails creating more victims.” The agency said GOZeuS (also known as P2PZeuS) was responsible for hundreds of millions of pounds of fraud globally. Sky’s Technology Correspondent Tom Cheshire said: “We should all be concerned. It goes specifically after financial information, and if that is over a certain threshold it starts stealing it very silently without you necessarily noticing.”

The second threat comes from the Cryptolocker malware, activated if the first attack is not profitable enough. It locks a user out of their files, for example photos or music, and threatens to delete them unless a “ransom” of several hundred pounds is paid. More than 15,500 computers in the UK are infected and “many more” are at risk, according to the NCA.


Computers running Windows software are said to be most vulnerable

Stewart Garrick, a senior investigator with the NCA, told Sky News the threat was mainly against individuals or businesses running Windows-based computers. “It’s utterly indiscriminate – it doesn’t care what machine it falls on “It’s there purely for the criminals to harvest your money direct from your bank account, or by demanding a ransom to get your files back.” FBI action in the US had weakened the network of affected computers, said the NCA, “meaning that action taken now to strengthen online safety can be particularly effective”.

Thirty-year-old Russian Evgeniy Bogachev is the alleged leader of the gang behind the attacks, FBI executive assistant director Robert Anderson told a news conference in Washington DC. “They (the FBI) have disrupted the network and taken control of it,” said Sky’s Tom Cheshire. “So when the hackers try to speak to the computer that’s affected, that line of communication has been cut off. “You now have a chance to clean up. The first thing you should do is update your operating system – especially if you’re on Windows, then look to scan your computer for viruses and it should be able to find it.

#gozeus-and-cryptolocker, #malware, #national-crime-agency, #powerful-computer-attack, #russia-in-cyber-attack, #the-national-crime-agency, #tom-cheshire, #two-weeks-to-prepare, #world-cyber-attack

` Kaspersky has `Launched ‘ a `New Project ‘ that ` Demonstrates ‘ the `On-Going ‘ and `Real-Time ‘ Cyber-Attacks ‘

#AceSecurityNews – KASPERSKY – March 27 – The Internet has a service clearly demonstrates the ongoing real-time computer incidents worldwide.

According to the press service of Kaspersky Lab launched the project, an interactive map shows E-mail antivirus detected vulnerability and cyber-attacks.


“Our new map allows to see a scale of cyber-attacks actions in real time,” he said.

“Users can turn the globe and zoom to get an idea about the local situation in any part of the world. The different types identified threats on the globe pointed by different colours in real-time,” the company explained.

The user can display a description of each threat and if he want to turn off the display uninteresting types of threats.

The link for checking a computer for malicious software is also available on the company’s Web site – http://free.kaspersky.com/

According to the head of corporate communications Kaspersky Lab Denis Zenkina experts handle more than 300,000 malware every day.

#ANS2014

#antivirus, #cyber-attacks, #email, #kaspersky-lab, #malware

#NSA Pledges to Expand Powers to Obtain your Data it is Called Simply #Implant

The seal of the U.S. National Security Agency....

The seal of the U.S. National Security Agency. The first use was in September 1966, replacing an older seal which was used briefly. For more information, see here and here. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

#AceSecurityNews says this is the latest and most important invasion of our data and the privacy we attach hereto, with the new tool simply called implant. The aim is to install Malware and then control it at a click of a switch.

Take a look at the Video and leave your comment and please share this as many times as you can.

Thank you Editor.  

 

Examiner.com

 

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PLEASE NOTE THIS IS A COPYRIGHTED ARTICLE AND VIDEO SO USE THE LINK?

THANK YOU EDITOR.   

 

 

#acenewsservices, #edward-snowden, #computer-network, #examiner-com, #guardian, #kindle-fire, #law, #legal-information, #malware, #national-security-agency, #nsa, #united-states, #washington-post