Monthly selection of cyber news
March 2021, issue 12
In 2020, malware distribution, phishing and DDoS accounted for the majority of attacks. However, the number of Botnet-type incidents fell 59.7% due to the timely intervention of the authorities.
The KZ-CERT Computer Incident Response Service has monitored the Kazakhstan Internet segment for potentially vulnerable Microsoft Exchange mail server IP addresses and through a memorandum of understanding, Nitro Team has presented details on similar Microsoft Exchange vulnerabilities it identified. Thanks to the two organisations’ efforts, over 170 potentially vulnerable Microsoft Exchange IP addresses have been discovered in Kaznet to date.
Internet scammers have taken advantage of the increase in online trading during the pandemic, scamming buyers of medical masks, antiseptics, medicines, fur coats, cell phones and furniture through fake accounts and social network ads, which are subsequently identified and blocked.
In February 2021, Twitter activity in Azerbaijan fell by 0.7% compared to January. As of 1 March, Twitter's social media share in Azerbaijan was 23%, which is 13.6% higher than last year, according to the Global Stats Statistical Centre, making it the country's social media market leader.
Mobile payment projects being developed in Azerbaijan
MasterCard is intending to develop QR payment facilities in Azerbaijan in 2021, according to company representative for Azerbaijan, Erdem Chakar.
Azerbaijan ranks 70th out of 158 countries in terms of readiness to apply leading ICT technology, and 1st in the Caucasus region according to a United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) report "Technology and Innovation Report 2021", which incorporates the results of a critical study of border technology capabilities such as artificial intelligence, robotics and genetic correction to expand existing inequalities and create new solutions.
Hackers have been found to be actively exploiting security vulnerabilities in Microsoft Exchange Server products, hijacking email servers belonging to a number of organisations, and creating unauthorised access to system and server files and mailboxes, as well as capturing system login information. By using the gaps, hackers can gain control of corporate networks.
The International Data Corporation (IDC) has organised its first regional online event called “IDC Future of Infrastructure”, with representatives from Central Asia, Ukraine, Belarus, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Mongolia taking part.
According to the State Statistics Committee, “in January-February 2021, 75% of services provided by information and communication enterprises in Azerbaijan, and worth 354.9 million Manat, belonged to the public sector”.
According to Kaspersky, in 2020, 44% of home users and 35% of corporate users in Azerbaijan were exposed to local threats (i.e. on computers or removable media such as USB flash drives and memory cards, external hard drives, etc.). 11% of home users and 7% of corporate users are at risk of Internet infection. In 2020, the frequency of bank Trojan attacks on Azerbaijan users began to increase.
A database of 21 million free VPN application users on Android operating systems has been leaked, CyberNews cybersecurity experts have found. The applications in question include GeckoVPN, SuperVPN, and ChatVPN. The database, which was reviewed by Kommersant, dates back to 24 February 2021 and contains user email addresses, passwords and usernames, including from Russia, as well as country and premium account data. Samples from the archive for sale contain information about VPN user devices, including serial numbers, phone types and brands.
Kaspersky Lab has recorded a series of targeted attacks on 10 Russian financial and transport companies since December 2020. The attacks, which are backed by the Russian-speaking RTM group, use a previously unknown cryptographer called “Quoter”, the company said in a statement.
The first malware capable of exploiting Spectre vulnerability, which affects most modern computers, has appeared, Izvestia writes, referring to the independent information security researcher Julien Voisin.
In Russia, 69% of cyber threat analysts are prohibited from sharing their research results with colleagues in professional communities, according to a study by Kaspersky Lab.
In March, over 700 phishing sites appeared selling fake airline tickets, Izvestia writes.
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