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Subscribed users on the New Skills Academy Online Learning Platform have been informed by the company of a data breach. In accordance with their notification of this incident, the exact number of users who were affected by the occurrence is still unknown. The British corporation, situated in Hertford, England, is one of the worlds most popular online learning platforms. The organization offers 800 courses to 800,000 registered users. The courses include a wide range of topics, including personal development, health and safety, professional growth, technology, business, and a variety of other subjects.
Personal info of 756 million users leaked. Popular business social network LinkedIn has suffered its second massive data leak of the year, with over 90% of its users affected. Back in February, it was reported that 500 million LinkedIn users had their data leaked by hackers online. The initial leak was part of a massive breach that covered several platforms, including Netflix. The latest leaks exposed the data of 756 million LinkedIn users and compromised the security of their accounts. The hackers are now selling the data, including phone numbers, personal information, email addresses, company details, names, and possibly more info yet to be revealed.
An attacker could gain root access to VMs running on Google Cloud Cybersecurity researcher Imre Rad has disclosed a potential vulnerability that can be exploited to get root access to virtual machines (VM) running on Google Cloud. Specifically, the attack exploits a weakness in Google Compute Engine (GCE), which is Google Clouds Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) product. Rad explains that attackers can take over GCE VMs by taking advantage of a weakness in the random number generator of the ISC DHCP server they use by default, together with an unfortunate combination of additional factors. The hijacking is done by impersonating the metadata server from the targeted virtual machines point of view. By mounting this exploit, the attacker can grant access to themselves over SSH (public key authentication) so then they can login as the root user.
Russian authorities have detained earlier this month a popular figure on the Russian hacking scene on charges of distributing malicious software via his Telegram channel. Pavel Sitnikov, known primarily for operating the now-suspended @Flatl1ne Twitter account and the Freedom F0x Telegram channel, was raided by law enforcement officials on May 20 at his home in the town of Velikiye Luki, in the Pskov region in Eastern Russia. He was charged the next day under Article 273, Part 2 of Russian criminal law, and forbidden to leave the town or use any electronic devices until his trial. Sources close to Sitnikov have told Recorded Future analysts that the Russian hacker was allegedly charged for posting the source code of the Anubis banking trojan on Freedom F0x, a Telegram channel where Sitnikov often posted data leaks and malware source code under the pretense of helping the security community. But in a video interview with Russian news site Readovka, which first reported on the arrest, Sonia Sitnikov, the suspects wife, claimed the arrest was actually related to a post her husband made on December 9, last year, when he shared a download link to the personal data of more than 300,000 COVID-19 patients that registered with the Moscow Department of Health. The data, which contained names, phone numbers, addresses, and COVID-19 status, sparked an outcry at the time, but Moscow officials eventually confirmed that the leak occurred because of a human error and not because of a malicious intrusion. Nevertheless, despite high-ranking officials admitting their mistake, Sitnikovs wife believes the investigation and the Anubis-related charges are payback for publicizing the leak last December. In an interview with The Record last year, Sitnikov touched on the sensitive nature of leaking data from Russian companies, such as banks, and the reason he did it. This data is obtained either from the banks themselves, or fraudulently by various cybercriminal groups or researchers. Either sold or leaked publicly. As long as the knowledge about the leak is hidden and not publicized, people affected by the leak continue to suffer. As soon as it is announced, the most important thing is that at least for the moment those who are mentioned in the leak think about their security. Sitnikov, who at one point claimed to have connections to Russian state-sponsored hacking group APT28 (Fancy Bear), has a long and muddled history on the cybercrime underground. A member of multiple underground hacking communities, Sitnikov previously sold and shared the source code of multiple malware strains, such as Carberp, Dexter, Alina, Rovnix, and Tinba; hence the reason why the recent charges did not surprise those who followed his past activity. Under Article 273, Part 2 of Russian criminal law, Sitnikov risks up to five years in prison.
One of the most visible manifestations of the EU General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) is the cookie banner that pops up when you visit many sites for the first time. These are designed to give visitors the opportunity to decide whether they want to be tracked, and if so by whom. Any business operating Internet sites in the EU should theoretically use them or something similar, or risk a GDPR fine of up to 4% of global turnover. Cookie banners may be tiresome, but at least they give users some measure of control over how much they are tracked online. But do they?
Two Python libraries containing malicious code were recently removed from the Python Package Index (PyPI), Pythons official repository for third-party packages. It is the latest incarnation of a problem faced by many modern software development communities, raising an important question for all developers who rely on open source software: How can you make it possible for people to contribute their own code to a common repository for re-use, without those repos becoming vectors for attacks? By and large, the official third-party library repositories for languages run as open source projects, like Python, are safe. But malicious versions of a library can spread quickly if unchecked. And the fact that most such language repositories are overseen by volunteers means that only so many eyes are on the lookout and contributions do not always get the scrutiny needed.