Incidents

UK child benefit data lost

HMRC [Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs] has mislaid two disks containing personal data on large numbers of people in the UK. It seems the disks became lost in transit between HMRC and the National Audit Office. The disks contain data on Child Benefit recipients and, according to a BBC report the Chancellor of the Exchequer puts the
number affected at ’25 million individuals and 7.25 million families’.

Anyone concerned about the potential impact of this data loss can find advice on the web site of APACS, the UK payments association.

APACS has pointed out that ‘sort code and bank account, national insurance number, date of birth, name and address details are not enough in themselves for an ID fraudster to access your bank account – as additional security information and passwords are always required’

Nevertheless, this data would represent an attractive haul for cyber criminals and provide a range of essential building-blocks needed to build up a comprehensive profile on potential victims.

You can find some basic guidelines for staying safe online here.

UK child benefit data lost

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Reports

Lazarus targets defense industry with ThreatNeedle

In mid-2020, we realized that Lazarus was launching attacks on the defense industry using the ThreatNeedle cluster, an advanced malware cluster of Manuscrypt (a.k.a. NukeSped). While investigating this activity, we were able to observe the complete life cycle of an attack, uncovering more technical details and links to the group’s other campaigns.

Sunburst backdoor – code overlaps with Kazuar

While looking at the Sunburst backdoor, we discovered several features that overlap with a previously identified backdoor known as Kazuar. Our observations shows that Kazuar was used together with Turla tools during multiple breaches in past years.

Lazarus covets COVID-19-related intelligence

As the COVID-19 crisis grinds on, some threat actors are trying to speed up vaccine development by any means available. We have found evidence that the Lazarus group is going after intelligence that could help these efforts by attacking entities related to COVID-19 research.

Sunburst: connecting the dots in the DNS requests

We matched private and public DNS data for the SUNBURST-malware root C2 domain with the CNAME records, to identify who was targeted for further exploitation. In total, we analyzed 1722 DNS records, leading to 1026 unique target name parts and 964 unique UIDs.

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