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Battlefield: Online

Forget about the troop amassing near North Korea’s border, the real battlefield nowadays is not putting boots on ground but rather gaining initiatives on the cyber world.

Battlefield: Online
Battlefield: Online. Forget about the troop amassing near North Korea’s border, the real battlefield nowadays is not putting boots on ground but rather gaining initiatives on the cyber world. This week, the team from Hackwarenews, saw some desperate hackings across the globe for various reasons. Be it political-motivated or simply for the roots of all evils – money.


Old school-style radio station break-in

During college days, what is the best way to confess your love to your sweetheart in a flamboyant manner?

One of the answers may be sending your “love” through airwave using public address (PA) system to let the whole world know. And that’s’ exactly what the pro-ISIS members were doing to a radio station in Sweden.

Well, we may have already known that the coalition forces have taken the last stronghold of ISIS in Raqqa. However, the extremism ideology still exist in the minds and some of the radicals decided to take their messages to the radio station.

The poor victim was a Malmo-based radio station with its morning show, being “hijacked” and played an ISIS propaganda song for 30 minutes. According to local media, the hack would be hard to trace and authorities are still investigating on this matter.


The Empire gets struck by the Kremlin

United Kingdom (UK)’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has confirmed Russian-backed cyberattacks on its energy grid, media and telecommunication over the past years.  The details of the attacks were not released in full, but prompted Theresa May, the prime minister of UK to issue this stern warning to Russia on Monday.

“We know what you are doing and you will not succeed.” addressed May regarding the Russian cyber-attacks on its soil.

UK has been on the iron sight of Russian-backed hackers such as the recent attempts to knock out parts of the national grid operating in Northern Ireland. In that incident, the engineers at Ireland’s electricity supply board (ESB) received emails from Russian-backed hackers in June 2017. The hacker’s intention was to trick staff into opening the email and downloading malicious software on to the ESB’s computer systems that could give them control of the network.

Apparently, the cyber-attack did not succeed as there was no power disruption in the power network but security analysts say the hackers could have stolen sensitive information such as passwords.

According to the NCSC’s data, since the formation of the security centre in October 2016, it had identified around 590 attacks or almost 2 cyberattacks per day. Among them, around 30 of the cyber-attacks were deemed as major enough that required a cross-government response.


Nothing is Forever

Los Angeles-headquartered fashion retailer, FOREVER 21 made an announcement on Tuesday, that there may be an unauthorized access to data from payment cards that were used at certain FOREVER 21 stores.

Thus, the retailer urged consumers to monitor their payment card statement closely and check if there any discrepancies. Upon seeing some unauthorized charge, consumers are to notify the bank immediately.

FOREVER 21 has since engaged a “leading security and forensics firm” to investigate on this issue and narrowed down their search to card transactions in FOREVER 21 stores from March 2017 to October 2017. The fashion retailer will schedule another additional notices to inform the public on the investigation outcome.

In conclusion, people hacks for a number of reasons, for fame, for fortune or simply out of boredom. However, the Hackwarenews team has increasingly seen cyber-attacks done for the sake of the country. Going forward, this trend is likely to continue and let hope the nations are prepared for this new kind of warfare.


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Ransom attacks on high profile Instagram accounts

Ransom attacks on high profile Instagram accounts

Ransom attacks on high profile Instagram accounts. There has been wave of attacks in which hackers demand bitcoin in order for the Instagram user to get their account back, they threaten to delete the account if the ransom isn’t paid.


There have been several victims of this attack, and they all claim to have received the same message from an attacker named “Pumpam”. The message lets the victim know that the hackers have possession of the account, and to email a particular address in order to start the recovery. It also mentions that the account will be deleted within 3 hours if there is no response.


Victims of the attack found that they could not recover the account through Instagram, as the account’s email address had been changed. This frustration and desperation to get possession of their accounts lead some users to pay the ransom. However, this wasn’t always successful, with some victims claiming that their account was still deleted.


Many of the victims feel let down by Instagram after they didn’t play an active role in helping them gain control of their accounts. Victims felt frustrated dealing with Instagram’s customer support when they only received generic responses to the issue, however this changed when vice’s tech arm Motherboard contacted Instagram about the issue and helped the users get possession back.


At present few details are known about the hacking campaign, including the hacker’s identities and where they are from. We urge Instagram users to be vigilant about their account security, make sure you have a secure password, that you back up your content in the event it is deleted, and don’t click on any nefarious looking links.

Photo by Katka Pavlickova on Unsplash

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50 Million accounts exposed after Facebook security breach

50 Million accounts exposed after Facebook security breach
50 Million accounts exposed after Facebook security breach. Facebook has revealed that almost 50 million of its users accounts were left exposed due to a security flaw. Facebook has more than two billion active monthly users, making security a high priority concern. The security breach has caused Facebook’s shares to drop by 3% on Friday, 28 September.


The breach was discovered this week, and is the latest controversy surrounding Facebook after British company Cambridge Analytica gained access to information of 87 million users, and the controversy surrounding disinformation in elections. However, this breach has been the largest in the company’s 14-year history.


Facebook has said the attackers exploited two bugs in the site’s “View as” feature. The feature, which was designed to give users a clearer view of their presence and more control over their privacy, allows users to check what information other people can see about them. The flaw allowed users to gain “access tokens” which allow access to accounts, through Facebook’s video-uploading program for birthday celebrations. Although it’s not yet known when the attack happened, it seems to occurred after the video-uploading program was introduced. Attacked attempted to harvest user’s personal identifiable information (PII). After the attack was discovered, Facebook forced 90 million users to log out. Facebook has not announced where in the world the 50 million users are.


There have been some major changes in Facebook’s security teams after its Chief Security Officer, Alex Stamos left in August this year for a teaching position at Stanford University. Facebook decided to split the team members so that security employees work within different teams across the company, in order to make security an innate part of Facebook.


Facebook’s data breach was a trending topic on Friday with users posting the breaking story as news outlets released it. User’s found that some of their posts were removed because Facebook’s algorithm saw them as suspicious activity or spam.

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US Online Retail Company suffered a data breach affecting 6.5 million customers

US Online Retail Company suffered a data breach affecting 6.5 million customers. SHEIN debuted in 2008, and steadily grew to become one of the most acclaimed online women’s fashion stores. Their aim is to provide cutting edge fashion with an affordable price tag. The website primarily caters to women age 16-35, and is US based but ships to over 80 countries.

They recently discovered that their servers had been compromised by hackers in an attack that spanned from June 2018 until 22 August 2018 when the threat was recognised. Once SHEIN were away of the threat, they acted immediately, scanning the servers for weaknesses that were exploited and removed all possible back door entry points to the servers.

SHEIN have been selective with what information they have shared with the public; however we do know that email addresses and encrypted password information was obtained from the attack. We recommend that if you have an account with SHEIN, that you change your password as soon as possible, it is also good practise to use different passwords as often as you can, and make them complex, a password manager can help you keep track of your passwords.

The only promising news about this incident is that SHEIN don’t believe any payment card details were obtained by the hackers. However, SHEIN have enlisted an international forensic cyber security team to conduct a thorough investigation into the breach, and as a result will update users on their data if new information comes to light over the coming months.

If you do believe your payment card information has been compromised, the best thing to do is to contact your bank immediately, they will be able to issue a new card and enact any necessary security measures.

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