Federal authorities have arrested more than 35 suspects on charges that include selling illicit substances via darknet marketplaces - such as AlphaBay, Dream and Hansa - thanks in part to undercover agents posing as cryptocurrency money launderers. Authorities say the year-long investigation is continuing.
"This is not a crazy state; this is a rational state pursuing rational objectives." So said Robert Hannigan, former head of Britain's GCHQ intelligence service, when describing North Korea in a wide-ranging talk at the Infosecurity Europe conference that also touched on Russian hacking and cybercrime.
Reality Leigh Winner, 26, a former contractor for the NSA, has pleaded guilty to leaking a "top secret" five page document that describes Russian meddling with U.S. voting systems. She's agreed to a plea deal that calls for her to serve a 63-months prison sentence.
Many phishing campaigns are very targeted against specific types of users inside an organization, says Ironscale's Brendon Rod, who notes that "70 percent of attacks are targeting just 10 mailboxes or less and around 30 percent are just targeting one mailbox."
Attackers continue to shift their tactics to help evade improvements in defenses, says Rick McElroy, security strategist for Carbon Black. Recent trends include fileless attacks, shifting from PowerShell to WMI, plus cryptojacking and credential harvesting.
Leading the latest edition of the ISMG Security Report: A preview of next week's Fraud and Breach Summit in Chicago, which will feature keynoter Brett Johnson, a former cybercriminal who now advises organizations on fighting crime.
Just one click: That's all it takes for a victim to inadvertently grant attackers access to their email account via a third-party application. Here's how to spot signs of OAuth-related hacking and how to defend against it.
We need to talk about ransomware, says James Lyne, global research adviser at Sophos: "It's not the big, sexy security topic that it once was, but there's some really interesting evolution in their tactics." Lyne rounds up the latest tactics and describes how machine learning is offering new defensive hope.
To stop malware, it helps to spot it as fast as possible and keep tabs on what it might be trying to do. "We all know that a well-funded, patient, creative attacker - there's no way to keep them out," says Lastline's Patrick Bedwell.
The latest challenge to face CISOs: Finding the best way to keep their organization secure while at the same time navigating political edicts that may lack any technical detail or present solid facts or alternatives to suspect technology, says Jaya Baloo, CISO of KPN Telecom.
Financial services firms write off a certain level of online fraud as a cost of doing business, but these losses directly fund organized crime and help legitimize cybercrime as a career path, says Trusted Knight's Trevor Reschke, who stresses the sector must do more to combat fraud.
Never underestimate the human factor in attacks. Indeed, many of today's top attacks - from malware to phishing - require some level of interaction from victims. "They're targeting people - they're targeting the users within our businesses," says Proofpoint's Adenike Cosgrove.
Symantec says it has uncovered a cyber espionage campaign that targets telecommunications operators in Southeast Asia - as well as a defense contractor and satellite communications operator - and warns that the hacking group, dubbed Thrip, may be laying the groundwork for more destructive attacks.
In the past 12 months, there's been a blistering series of high-impact attacks that increasingly blur the lines "between statecraft and criminal organizations," says CrowdStrike's Zeki Turedi. How much of this blurring is intentional?
Email attacks continue to bite businesses, with organizations reporting not only a steady stream of ransomware, but also increasingly targeted social engineering attacks and account takeovers for cloud service users, says Barracuda's Hatem Naguib.