Cyber Security

GOT(IT) #24: Iranian attacks on Universities, Russian agent behind Guccifer 2.0’s mask, cryptojacking follows the tide

2018’s top cyber-threat tendencies are living up to their name: state-sponsored attacks and cryptojacking continues on the rise

Hard.jpg2018’s top cyber-threat tendencies are living up to their name: state-sponsored attacks and cryptojacking continues on the rise

GOT(IT) #24! Cyber-attacks campaigns are taking its toll on the US, who’s fighting this battle on many fronts; from education institutions and universities, to attacks against officials and the Democratic National Committee.

Department of Justice Implies Iranian Attack on Universities

According to the indictment, these attackers are directly linked to organizations like Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, as well as other state-related groups. Aside from the official charges presented, nine Iranians and a company is to be sanctioned for these actions.
Iranian Hackers Attack UniversitiesTrump officials communicated that the US managed to fend of a massive Iranian attack on American universities, professors, and students. In the report, they allege that government-linked hackers targeted about 8,000 accounts in local and foreign institutions.

The tactics utilized? We could say it was an elevated version of phishing. The team conducted heavy research, then contacted the victims as colleagues and stealed their credentials utilizing mimic-pages to collect login credentials.


Guccifer 2.0 Hacker Revealed to be Russian Int. Agent

The hacker Guccifer 2.0, responsible for the infamous ‘lone DNC’ attack that exposed the emails from the Democratic organization, has been
reportedly revealed to be a Russian intelligence agent, part of the GRU (Main Intelligence Directorate).Guccifer 2.0 revaled as russian agent

The counsel on the investigation, Robert Mueller, is already on the case and gathering a team with members of the FBI who had previously been tasked to track Guccifer down.

There’s still no insight on what next steps this team is going to take. There has been connections in the past between the hacker and Trump’s administration, and steps are being taken cautiously as the investigation could move forward into the Kremlin itself, and maybe come back to Trump’s doorstep.

It’s a double edged sword for the United States. While its infrastructure is constantly being harassed by outer threats, the theories behind external agents disrupting the elections are starting to gain force with each piece of news that arises.


Cryptojacking Tendencies Follow Bitcoin’s Growth

But they don’t work blindly, they do follow the tide when planning their attacks. A
new report by Symantec revealed that cryptojacking attacks made up for 24 percent of all blocked attacks in December 2017, and averaged at 16 percent in the last three months of the same year.Cryptojacking on the riseNew kind of threats arise when new opportunities appear, and cryptojacking’s story isn’t any different. The craze for Bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies sparked the interest of malicious attackers who now try to hijack the public’s computers and mobiles to pack their wallets.

It isn’t a surprise that these spikes are directly related to Bitcoin’s price spikes, which occurred during the very same periods. To that, Symantec adds that this kind of exploit grew exponentially due to how accessible and simple its implementation is.

The Monero platform is easy to enter, the CPU hijacking systems are easy to inject into websites, and avoiding them is quite difficult due to the magnitude of affected services.


We’re not far off from the spy versus spy era, but it has certainly taken a techy-turn which involves hackers and global suspicions.

About the author

Nicolas Poggi

Nicolas Poggi is the head of mobile research at Prey, Inc., provider of the open source Prey Anti-Theft software protecting eight million mobile devices. Nic’s work explores technology innovations within the mobile marketplace, and their impact upon security. Nic also serves as Prey’s communications manager, overseeing the company’s brand and content creation. Nic is a technology and contemporary culture journalist and author, and before joining Prey held positions as head of indie coverage at TheGameFanatics, and as FM radio host and interviewer at IndieAir.