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09/01/2020
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An FBI guide instructs local cops on how to avoid harassment online amid ongoing protests against police brutality throughout the U.S. A look at the most-spoofed brands online. And CrowdStrike identifies a new hacking group connected to Iran. This is CyberScoop for Tuesday, September 1.

Free security advice from the FBI

Buried in the BlueLeaks data dump was a guide produced by the FBI that included a range of advisories for smaller police agencies on everything from how to avoid harassment on Facebook to the best ways to remove personal information from publicly available databases. The 354-page document, titled “Digital Exhaust Opt Out Guide,” was part of a trove of law enforcement materials made public by transparency activists calling themselves Distributed Denial of Secrets. One section includes advice on avoiding LinkedIn scammers, while another urges caution on Facebook. All in all, it's actually good advice whether you are in law enforcement or not. Jeff Stone breaks it down.


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The dumbest web scams just keep working

Wells Fargo, Netflix, Facebook, and Microsoft are among the sites that hackers mimic most often as part of cash-grabbing schemes, according to new Palo Alto Networks research. The typosquatting technique, which relies on victims glancing over typos in website names, also include PayPal, Royal Bank of Canada, LinkedIn, Google, Apple, Bank of America, Dropbox, Amazon, and Instagram, according to the research. And while these malicious domain schemes, are fairly common, many security vendors aren’t adequately prepared to protect against them, the researchers note. Shannon Vavra has the latest.


CrowdStrike christens a new kitten

“Pioneer Kitten,” an Iran-linked hacking group, has been around since 2017, according to new research from CrowdStrike. The hackers appear to be contractors, rather than Iranian government employees, and there’s evidence that they’re moonlighting on underground forums to raise money on the side. Iran’s familiar regional foes, including Israel, are among its targets. The full findings are here.


Alleged email scammer to plead not guilty

A man charged as part of a business email compromise money laundering scheme that allegedly stole $2 million over six years is facing a judge in U.S. court in the Southern District of New York this week. The man, a dual citizen of Britain and Nigeria, is denying the charges and plans to fight the accusations in his superseding indictment, his attorney says. It's the latest accusation involving BEC scams, which cost U.S. victims nearly $2 billion in (known) losses in 2019. Shannon had the news.


An accused hacker says he was framed

An Algerian man named in a California law enforcement advisory as the primary suspect in a virus-themed phishing campaign now says he was framed. In a series of emails, Samir Djelal told CyberScoop he is not the hacker known as Cazanova Haxor. That's the name of the scammer who sent phishing emails to California state employees, and who allegedly set up domains for spoofing major brands. When California cops tied the "Cazanova Haxor" identity to Djelal, though, they failed to understand that someone else--apparently an unnamed third party--has been posing as Djelal. At least according to Djelal. Jeff has the latest update.


FBI echoes warning about Fancy Bear imposter

When an eye-opening piece of private research is published, an FBI advisory generally isn’t far behind. In a memo to industry late last week, the Bureau reiterated the recent Akamai discovery of extortive denial-of-service attacks on financial, retail and travel institutions by someone posing as Russian hacking group Fancy Bear. The attacks are of the low-level DDoS variety, followed by a ransom demand. The FBI said the ransom notes were almost identical to the ones delivered in attacks in 2017 and 2019. The alert is here.


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That wasn’t what we meant by “weaponized meme.”


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