FBI held back ransomware decryption key from businesses to run operation targeting hackers

The FBI refrained for almost three weeks from helping to unlock the computers of hundreds of businesses and institutions hobbled by a major ransomware attack this summer, even though the bureau had secretly obtained the digital key needed to do so, according to several current and former U.S. officials.

Washington Post

Exclusive: An American Company Fears Its Windows Hacks Helped India Spy On China And Pakistan

Earlier this year, researchers at Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky witnessed a cyberespionage campaign targeting Microsoft Windows PCs at government and telecoms entities in China and Pakistan. They began in June 2020 and continued through to April 2021.


WSJ News Exclusive | U.S. to Target Crypto Ransomware Payments With Sanctions

The Biden administration is preparing an array of actions, including sanctions, to make it harder for hackers to use digital currency to profit from ransomware attacks, according to people familiar with the matter. The government hopes to choke off access to a form of payment that has supported a booming criminal industry and a rising national security threat.


Former NSA Hacker Describes Being Recruited for UAE Spy Program

Last week the Justice Department revealed that it had charged three former US intelligence personnel with helping the United Arab Emirates procure zero-day exploits and hacking expertise for a surveillance program that was used against US targets.


Apple Cyber Flaw Allows Silent iPhone Hack Through iMessage

An Israeli cybersecurity firm has been exploiting a significant Apple Inc. software vulnerability since February to silently infect iPhones using iMessage, the company's messaging software, according to the research group that discovered the issue. On Monday, Apple supplied a critical security update fixing the flaw, but the vulnerability had been used in attacks by Israel's NSO Group, according to Citizen Lab.


How the Mafia Is Pivoting to Cybercrime

Hacking. Disinformation. Surveillance. CYBER is Motherboard's podcast and reporting on the dark underbelly of the internet. "They are undergoing a transformation to the digital era." Do you have more information about how organized crime uses hacking?


Opinion | America Is Being Held for Ransom. It Needs to Fight Back.

Mr. Alperovitch, a computer scientist, is chairman of the Silverado Policy Accelerator, a think tank focused on cybersecurity, trade security and climate change, and a co-founder and former chief technology officer of CrowdStrike, a cybersecurity company. The digital scourge known as ransomware - in which hackers shut down electronic systems until a ransom is paid - is worse than ever.


How Accounting Giants Craft Favorable Tax Rules From Inside Government

Lawyers from top accounting firms do brief stints in the Treasury Department, with the expectation of big raises when they return. The Treasury Department. Credit... Stefani Reynolds for The New York Times For six years, Audrey Ellis and Adam Feuerstein worked together at PwC, the giant accounting firm, helping the world's biggest companies avoid taxes.


Treasury sanctions cryptocurrency platform for working with ransomware payments - CyberScoop

The Treasury Department on Tuesday announced sanctions against a cryptocurrency exchange for facilitating transactions involving money illegally gained via ransomware hacking, the first action of its kind. The sanctions against Russia-based exchange Suex are a significant step by the Biden administration in making it harder for cybercriminals to access payments, with the ultimate goal of disrupting the rapid rise of ransomware attacks.


Ragnarok Ransomware Gang Closes Up Shop, Leaves Master Decryptor Key Behind

The Ragnarok ransomware gang, which has terrorized all types of organizations around the world since 2019, appears to have gone out of business. The group has scrubbed its public presence from the dark web, leaving behind a master decryptor key at the "leak site" it used to blackmail its victims. The master decryptor key was [...]