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Cybersecurity News: Russian Fancy Bear's Target List, Kaspersky Explains NSA Malware, Social Media Sites on the Congressional Hot Seat, & More

The Week in Cybersecurity (ending 11/3/2017)

Russian Hackers Target List Revealed

Cybersecurity firm Secureworks found a target list from the Russian hacking group Fancy Bear (widely assumed to be linked to Russian military intelligence). The list contains19,000 malicious links used by Fancy Bear to conduct cyber espionage against more than 4,700 targets in the U.S., Ukraine, Russia, Georgia, and Syria. U.S. targets included the Democratic National Committee chairman and current and for, mer U.S. officials and U.S. defense companies. (Source: Associated Press, 2 Nov 2017)

Kaspersky Explains NSA Malware

Kaspersky Lab published an explanation of how it came to have copies of the stolen NSA malware known as Equation Group. Kaspersky claims it found Equation Group when one of its anti-virus (AV) packages, deployed on the computer of an NSA contractor, detected a backdoor in a pirated copy of Microsoft Office. The AV also detected a previously unknown type of malware, which turned out to be Equation Group. (Source: TechTarget.com, 31 October 2017)

Wanna Buy Some Ransomware?

Security researchers at Carbon Black monitored sites on the dark web in September and learned a lot about ransomware for sale. They reported more than 6,300 marketplaces on the dark web selling ransomware with more than 45,000 ads. Prices range from as low as one dollar to more than $1,000. (Source: www.carbonblack.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Carbon-Black-Ransomware-Economy-Report-101117.pdf">https://cdn.www.carbonblack.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Carbon-Black-Ransomware-Economy-Report-101117.pdf.)

Social Media Firms on the Congressional Hot Seat

Lawyers from Facebook, Twitter, and Google were pressed by Congressional committees to explain their sale of ads to Russian buyers during the 2016 election and lack of control over the resulting dissemination of the ads and troll bait in the companies’ widely popular sites. The consensus opinion appears to be that the main Russian goal was to disrupt the U.S. political process. (Multiple media sources, week of 30 October 2017)