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  • Top 5 hacker groups that made the internet a battleground in 2016

    IBTimes UK looks back at the top 5 elite hacker groups that are believed to be responsible for conducting some of the most prominent cyberattacks of the year.

    1.The Kremlin hackers – Fancy Bear and Cozy Bear

    Throughout the US presidential elections, Russian state-sponsored hackers featured prominently in allegations Putin's government was interfering with the elections. US authorities have now officially accused Russian hackers of the election cyberattacks. Here's looking into what the groups have been up to the past year.

    1.1.Fancy Bear

    The Fancy Bear hacker group – which is also known as APT 28, Sednit, Sofacy and Pawn Storm, among others – made headlines this year after security researchers identified the group as being responsible for conducting the high-profile hack of the Democratic National Committee (DNC). The group is believed to be affiliated with the Russia's Main Intelligence Agency (GRU).

    According to CrowdStrike, the group has been active since early 2000 and is believed to have been actively engaged in cyberespionage activities. Other security researchers believe that the group has been actively conducting cyberattacks on targeted individuals and organisations. According to ESET, in one of their active campaigns, Fancy Bear hackers were found to have a set 9-5 working period, likely indicating that the group was a state-sponsored outfit.

    Some of Fancy Bear's most notable cyberattacks, apart from the DNC hack, include the Wada hack, the series of zero-day cyberattacks and the recently uncovered targeted attacks against a Ukrainian artillery unit, which saw the threat actors deploy customised Android malware to collect information.

    2.Cozy Bear

    The Cozy Bear hacking group, which is also believed to be involved in the DNC hack, are considered to be a separate unit of Kremlin hackers, allegedly affiliated with the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB – the successor of the infamous KGB). The threat actors are also believed to have launched long-term cyberespionage campaigns, aimed at gathering sensitive intelligence.

    In the months leading up to the US presidential elections, security researchers uncovered that the hacking group was targeting prominent Washington-based think tanks which focus on Russia.

    The group is also believed to have launched a wave of cyberattacks, targeting non-government organisations' US government entities, hours after Donald Trump was declared victorious in the 2016 presidential elections.

    3.Shadow Brokers NSA cyberweapons hack

    In August, the mysterious hacker group dubbed Shadow Brokers claimed responsibility for stealing and leaking National Security Agency (NSA) cyberweapons. The group claimed to have hacked the NSA elite hacker group known as the Equation Group, only to steal powerful hacking tools and put them up for auction on the dark web (an encrypted internet network).

    The attack made headlines, highlighting how even the most notorious government intelligence agencies in the world could potentially be targeted by cybercriminals.

    Despite the notoriety of the hack and various security experts having confirmed that the stolen cyberweapons appeared to be legitimate, Shadow Brokers have not found any buyers.

    The group eventually abandoned its auction and now appears to have moved to directly selling the stolen goods on an underground hacker site ZeroNet. It remains to be seen whether the move actually garners any further interest from buyers.

    4.Cyber thieves hacking banks

    The year 2016 saw several high profile bank hacks, which led to millions of pounds stolen by hackers.

    Although most of the investigations into the global bank hacks remain ongoing, with little to no new intel on the identity of the hacker groups responsible for the thefts, cyber thieves played a prominent role in ramping up cybercrime this year.

    The Bangladesh Bank hack tops the list of the most notable attacks. However, it has been a busy year for cyber thieves. Hackers even hit ATMs across the globe, deploying customised malware to trick machines into spitting out large amounts of cash. ATMs in Thailand and Taiwan, among others were affected.

    Meanwhile, hackers also successfully conducted cyberheists against banks in Ukraine, Ecuador and more. In Britain, the recent Tesco Bank hack made headlines after it was uncovered that hackers successfully stole £2.5m ($3.09m) from 9,000 customers.

    5.Islamic State hackers

    The year 2016 saw many "kill lists" and cyberthreats brought forward by hackers working for Islamic State (Isis).

    In April, pro-IS hackers made headlines by publicly releasing a hit list of thousands of New Yorkers. However, according to non-profit organisation Ghost Security Group (GSG), which monitors terrorism-related activity online, these hit lists are not real.

    Instead, GSG analysts claimed that these lists were more often created by script kiddies – novice hackers – attempting to build a reputation by publically displaying their skills.

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  • Locky Rises to the Top of the Email Threat Heap

    The Locky ransomware has become the No. 1 email-borne threat, overtaking Dridex and making good use of JavaScript attachments to lead an explosion of malicious message volume.

    According to the latest Proofpoint Threat Summary, malicious mails were up 230% quarter-over-quarter, with campaigns peaking at hundreds of millions of messages per day. Among email attacks that used malicious document attachments, 69% featured the new Locky ransomware in Q2, versus 24% in Q1.

    The report noted that the Necurs botnet went offline in June, silencing the massive Locky and Dridex campaigns that defined the first half of 2016. But by the end of that month, the first large Locky email campaigns began again, with all signs pointing to a regrowth of the Necurs botnet.

    The report noted that despite the volume of messages, threat actors were able nonetheless to conduct highly personalized campaigns—even at scales of tens to hundreds of thousands of messages. There is also a trend towards variety in approaches to increase the effectiveness and scale of the attacks. Bad actors repeatedly shifted tactics with new loaders, document attachment types, and obfuscation techniques to evade detection. Also, social media phishing attempts rose by 150%, due to the proliferation of things like fake customer service Twitter accounts and the like.

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  • TOP 5 Favourite Operating Systems Of Hackers of 2017

    So check out 5 best Linux distro for hacking purposes :

    1. Kali Linux

    Kali Linux maintained and funded by Offensive Security Ltd. is first in our list. Kali Linux is a Debian-derived Linux distribution designed for digital forensics and penetration testing. Kali is the one of the best and favourite operating systems of hackers.

    2. BackBox

    BackBox is an Ubuntu-based Linux distribution penetration test and security assessment oriented providing a network and informatic systems analysis toolkit. BackBox desktop environment includes a complete set of tools required for ethical hacking and security testing

    3. Parrot Security OS

    Parrot Security OS (or ParrotSec) is a GNU/LINUX distribution based on Debian. It was built in order to perform penetration tests (computer security), Vulnerability Assessment and Mitigation, Computer Forensics and Anonymous Surfing. It has been developed by Frozenbox’s Team. Like Kali Linux Parrot Security OS is also hackers favourite operating system.

    4. DEFT Linux

    DEFT stands for Digital Evidence and Forensic Toolkit and it’s an open source distribution of Linux built around the DART (Digital Advanced Response Toolkit) software and based on the Ubuntu operating system. It has been designed from the ground up to offer some of the best open source computer forensics and incident response tools that can be used by individuals, IT auditors, investigators, military, and police.


    Pentoo is a Live CD and Live USB designed for penetration testing and security assessment. Based on Gentoo Linux, Pentoo is provided both as 32 and 64 bit installable livecd. Pentoo is also available as an overlay for an existing Gentoo installation. It features packet injection patched wifi drivers, GPGPU cracking software, and lots of tools for penetration testing and security assessment. The Pentoo kernel includes grsecurity and PAX hardening and extra patches – with binaries compiled from a hardened toolchain with the latest nightly versions of some tools available.


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  • Reasons You NEED A VPN In Your Digital Life

    Why do you need a VPN in your life? The most obvious reasons are as follows: 

    • Anonymity: VPNs keep all your online activity and communications secure, along with your identity making them a must-have for anyone that is concerned about hackers, snooping or their privacy online. They also prevent your ISP from tracking your activities and allowing you to visit websites that aren’t allowed in your country, like Pirate Bay or streaming sites.
    • Different IP Addresses: You can browse the web from different IP addresses, which is great for when you’re traveling. For instance: say you’re a British national in the US and you want to watch the BBC. Simple, just login in with a UK IP and you can. And it works the same in reverse, giving US citizens access to US content while outside the US.
    • Wi-Fi Security: If you’re logging onto public Wi-Fi networks like the ones used inside airports and coffee shops, a VPN will keep your details secure, hiding you behind a layer of encryption thereby making it impossible for hackers to access your personal data.

    For Mobile:

    1.Psiphon: Open source web proxy designed to help Internet users affected by Internet censorship securely bypass content-filtering systems

    2 SUPER VPN FREE VPN CLIENT:Super VPN proxy app is the choice of millions of people because it is reliable, fast and secure. It converts your identity into someone else and allows you to open the prohibited websites in any country.

    3. HOTSPOT SHIELD FREE VPN PROXY: Hotspot Shield is the most standardized proxy server app for android. You can easily open the banned websites and restricted mobile applications.

    4. PROXYDROID: ProxyDroid offers the same features like the above proxy apps. The unique feature of this proxy app is that it will not drain your battery power as compare to other proxy apps for android.

    For Computers:
    1.Hotspot Shield: The most famous proxy software Hotspot Shield requires no introduction. The application is available in 2 different versions: an ad-supported free version and an add-free paid version. Despite the version, the proxy tool is available for an unlimited use and helps you access blocked websites and links. Hotspot Shield lets you take on a random IP from a number of countries, including America, Russia, China and Spain.
    2.Spotflux: Spotflux is a US-based proxy software. The proxy software is available for free and doesn’t serve any ads. Unblock and access all blocked sites with Spotflux, all without any kinds of ads or restriction.

    3.Tor:Tor is one of the most widely used and trusted proxy software. In addition to allowing you access for the restricted Internet spaces, it also provides traffic analysis and continuously monitors your Internet connection. The software is freely available for personal as well as commercial use.

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  • MazarBot Android Malware Can Root Your Device And Erase Everything

    How Mazar BOT Works
    Despite other Android malware that distributes itself by tricking users into installing an app from third-party app stores, Mazar spreads via a spam SMS or MMS messages that carry a link to a malicious APK (Android app file).

    How to protect yourself from Mazar BOT

    There are a few things you can do to keep your phone safe from Mazar BOT, and we recommend you take a moment now to verify and adjust these settings.

    1. First of all, NEVER click on links in SMS or MMS messages on your phone. Android phones are notoriously vulnerable and current security product dedicated to this OS are not nearly as effective as they are on computers.

    2. Go to Settings > Security and make sure this option is turned OFF: „Unknown Sources – Allow installation of apps from sources other than the playstore.”

    3. Install a top antivirus for Android. It may not be enough to protect your phone, but it’s certainly good to have

    4. Do not connect to unknown and unsecured Wi-Fi hotspots. There are plenty of dangers lurking out there

    Also, keep your Wi-Fi turned OFF when you don’t use it.

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