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2 Million Credit Card Numbers From Earl Enterprise Restaurants Are Being Sold Online Following A 10-Month Breach

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Millions of credit card numbers leaked from Earl Enterprise restaurants

April Fools is over, and there’s no kidding anymore. Millions of customers of a known restaurant chain have had their data exposed on the internet for anyone to see including high-risk information such as credit card number. The breach was only confirmed by the restaurant chain on Monday and was determined to have been available for the last ten months in an unsecured database.

Two million credit card information was leaked from the Earl Enterprise Restaurant customers as the company confirms that the data has been exposed for ten months already before they were able to spot the breach. The company, who owns establishments such as Holywood and Mixology, among others, confirmed that the data of their customers are currently being sold online following the breach. While the company has fixed the breach, the company urges its customers to keep an eye on their credit card statements, especially if they have recently visited an Earl Enterprise store.

KrebsOnSecurity discovered the breach and contacted Earl Enterprise after the tech experts discovered “strong evidence” that customer credit card and debit card numbers were being sold online. The cybersecurity experts said that hackers used “malware installed on its point-of-sale systems” to steal 2.15 million credit card and debit card numbers, expiration dates, and some cardholder names from the different locations of the restaurant across 40 states.

Earl Enterprise confirmed that the cyber attack happened between May 2018 and March 2019 and that the incident has been “contained.” The affected restaurants include Buca di Beppo, Chicken Guy!, Mixology, Earl of Sandwich, Planet Hollywood, and Tequila Taqueria outlets.

Following the discovery of the breach, the company has put up a website where customers can check if the restaurants they have visited was one of the affected locations. They clarified that while credit card information was stolen from their POS, online orders were not impacted by the breach.

Stolen data are being sold online

The confirmed case of the cyber attack on Earl Enterprise is the latest on the swath of data breaches that have affected companies all over the world in the past couple of years. Last month, millions of data from six different companies were offered for sale online by a hacker who has previously sold three batches of similar data pools.

The hacker or hacker group named Gnosticplayers has put up for sale the data from six different companies, totaling to 26.42 million user data and records, for which he is exchanging to anyone who can pay him/they with 1.2431 bitcoin ($4,940.00).

Read More: 800 MILLION HACKED USER DATA FROM SIX COMPANIES ARE UP ON SALE IN THE DARK WEB

Since February 11, the hacker/group has put up data for sale of more than 32 companies on Dream Market, a dark web marketplace. Today, the hacker published a new batch of files from six new companies such as the game dev platform, GameSalad, Brazilian book store, Estante Virtual, online task manager and scheduling apps, Coubic and LifeBear, Indonesia e-commerce giant Bukalapak, and Indonesian student career site, YouthManual.

The data from the popular game development platform, GameSalad, that was hacked last February 2019 includes email addresses, passwords (SHA1/SHA256), username, and IP addresses of users. Similarly the Brazilian book shop, Estante Virtual includes names, username, passwords (SHA1), address, emails, and phone number. Similarly, the hacker/s is/are also selling data from Coubic, scheduling software that includes name, email, and passwords, as well as from LifeBear, a Japanese scheduling app. Furthermore, the hacked data from Bualapak, an Indonesian e-commerce website that was hacked since July 2017 that includes usernames, names, email addresses, password hashes (SHA512+salt), shopping details, and IP address. Lastly, the on-sale data also include hacked names, emails, password hashes, hobbies, and education details of users from the Indonesian youth and career site, YouthManual.

According to the hacker/s, the main reason that the data are on sale right now is that the said companies have failed to protect their data and passwords with robust encryption algorithms like bcrypt.

According to Gnosticplayers, most of the hash passwords that they have put on sale today can be cracked with various levels of difficulty – but they can be broken.

“I get upset because I feel no one is learning. I just felt upset at this particular moment, because seeing this lack of security in 2019 is making me angry,” the hacker added.

A Consumer Tech and Cybersecurity journalist who does content marketing while daydreaming about having unlimited coffee for life and getting a pet llama.

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Cybersecurity

Indictment Against Hackers Involved In Anthem Data Breach Unsealed

Two men are indicted for allegedly part of a group of hackers from China linked in the Anthem Insurance data breach in 2015. Click To Tweet

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Twor men are indicted for allegedly part of a group of hackers from China linked in the Anthem Insurance data breach in 2015.
The indicted individuals are allegedly part of a group of hackers from China linked in the Anthem Insurance data breach in 2015. Photo: Tim Reckmann | a59.de | Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Two men were indicted in the U.S. in connection with the data breach at the health insurance company, Anthem, that siphoned more than 78.8 million customer and employee records between 2014 and 2015.

The Justice Department recently unsealed an indictment against two people who prosecutors say are part of a sophisticated hacking network group, based in China that was behind not only in Anthem data breach, but also the attacks against three other US businesses.

While the Justice Department did not name the said Chinese hacking group victimized the three other businesses who they said, they said that these companies were “data-rich.” One was a technology business, one was in necessary materials, and the third was in communications. They said that all of these three companies store a substantial amount – and some confidential – of data on their servers and data networks.

The suspects are 32-year-old Wang Fujie with the Western name of “Dennis” and another one that until now remained unnamed. The Justice Department could not find the real name of the unnamed man but said that he goes by various online nicknames such as “Daniel Jack,” “Kim Young” and “Zhou Zhihong.”

The charges are one count of conspiracy to commit fraud and related activity in relation to computers and identity theft, one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and two counts of intentional damage to a protected computer.

According to the indictment documents, the hacker group where Dennis and the unnamed man belongs have carried out attacks using “sophisticated techniques” including spearphishing and malware from February 2014 and up until around January 2015.

They allegedly sent tailored spearphishing emails with links to malware and sent them to employees at the target companies. Once the targeted employee opened the email, the system would get affected by the malware that would later plant a backdoor Trojan that gives the hackers remote access via their command and control servers.

Wang is also accused of having set up the servers, hosted in California and Arizona that were used in the Anthem attacks.

The cyber attack suffered by the insurance company has had them cough up large amounts of money as settlement, making it the most significant data breach settlement ever. In 2017, the company agreed to pay $115 million to settle a class action suit over the breach.

The Anthem attack is also the most massive health insurance data breach, and the amount of data lost to the hackers dwarfed the biggest data breaches in the following years with 11 million breached at Premera and 10 million from Excellus.

The DOJ through a press release and Assistant Attorney General Brian Benczkowski called the hacking event as “unprecedented.”

“The allegations in the indictment unsealed today to outline the activities of a brazen China-based computer hacking group that committed one of the worst data breaches in history. These defendants allegedly attacked U.S. businesses operating in four distinct industry sectors and violated the privacy of over 78 million people by stealing their PII. The Department of Justice and our law enforcement partners are committed to protecting PII, and will aggressively prosecute perpetrators of hacking schemes like this, wherever they occur.”

Meanwhile, another set of indictments were released by the Justice Department against European hackers over the hacking of different private and public institutions in the United States. Ten individuals were charged with conspiracy to commit computer fraud, conspiracy to commit wire and bank fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

The ten people who were charged were allegedly involved in the malicious software attacks that infected tens of thousands of computers and caused more than $100 million in financial losses, the US and European authorities announced Thursday.

According to the officials who filed the charges, the malware, which enabled cybercriminals and hackers from Eastern Europe infiltrate computer systems remotely and siphon funds from victim’s bank accounts, targeted companies and institutions across all sectors of American life.

The victims of the malware attacks included a Washington law firm, a church in Texas, a furniture business in California and a casino in Mississippi.

The investigation started following the dismantling of a network of computer servers, known as Avalanche, which hosted more than two dozen different types of malware. The Justice Department had successfully taken their operation apart in 2016.

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Cybersecurity

Winnti For Linux: Researchers Found Linux Variant Of Malware Used By Chinese Hackers In 2015

A Linux version of Winnti malware was discovered by tech researchers from Chronicle. The malware was used in 2015 by Chinese hackers. Click To Tweet

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A Linux version of Winnti malware was discovered by tech researchers from Chronicle. The malware was used in 2015 by Chinese hackers.
The discovered Linux malware bears significant similarities with its Windows counterpart. Photo: Christiaan Colen | Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Linux systems are cybersecurity kings, but on a historic first, tech researchers have found a variant of a widespread malware, a favorite of Chinese hackers, have been discovered in a Linux system.

The discovery was made by researchers from the Chronicle, Alphabet’s cybersecurity department. The researchers revealed that they found a Linux variant of the Winnti malware that works as a backdoor on infected hosts, granting attackers access to compromised systems. It was the malware used by Chinese hackers in the high-profile cybercrime against a Vietnamese game company in 2015.

Chronicle researchers said that they discovered the malware following the news that Bayer, one of the biggest pharma company in the world, had been hit by Chinese hackers, and the Winnti malware was discovered on its servers.

After the team scanned Bayer’s system using its VirusTotal platform, they found what appeared to be a Linux variant of the Winnti, dating back to 2015 when it was first used by Chinese hackers to attack a Vietnamese gaming company.

According to the Chronicle, the malware that they have discovered comes in two parts: a rootkit to disguise the malware in the infected host and the actual backdoor Trojan. Further analysis the discovered Linux variant of the Winnti malware bears a lot of similarities to the malware’s Windows version. Other connections with the Windows version also included the similar way in which the Linux variant handled outbound communications with its command-and-control (C&C) server — which was a mixture of multiple protocols (ICMP, HTTP, and custom TCP and UDP protocols).

“As with other versions of Winnti, the core component of the malware doesn’t natively provide the operators with distinct functionality. This component is primarily designed to handle communications and the deployment of modules directly from the command-and-control servers. During our analysis, we were unable to recover any active plugins. However, prior reporting suggests that the operators commonly deploy plugins for remote command execution, file exfiltration, and socks5 proxying on the infected host. We expect similar functionality to be leveraged via additional modules for Linux,” said the researchers in their comprehensive report.

Lastly, the Linux version, just like the Window’s version, also has the ability for Chinese hackers to initiate communication with the infected host without going through the C&C servers – distinct characteristics in Windows Winnti.

“This secondary communication channel may be used by operators when access to the hard-coded control servers is disrupted,” Chronicle researchers said in a report published last week.

While infecting Linux systems is something already done especially by American and Russian hackers, it is also extremely rare, as pointed out by the Chronicle.

“Clusters of Winnti-related activity have become a complex topic in threat intelligence circles, with activity vaguely attributed to different codenamed threat actors. The threat actors utilizing this toolset have repeatedly demonstrated their expertise in compromising Windows-based environments. An expansion into Linux tooling indicates iteration outside of their traditional comfort zone. This may indicate the OS requirements of their intended targets, but it may also be an attempt to take advantage of a security telemetry blindspot in many enterprises, as is with Penquin Turla and APT28’s Linux XAgent variant,” added Chronicle.

Meanwhile, malware have become one of the most common tools to attack computer systems, even those of public institutions. A few days ago, ten Europeans were indicted for the malware attacks that have victimized several businesses and government agencies in the U.S.

The ten people who were charged were allegedly involved in the malicious software attacks that infected tens of thousands of computers and caused more than $100 million in financial losses, the US and European authorities announced Thursday last week.

The victims of the malware attacks included a Washington law firm, a church in Texas, a furniture business in California and a casino in Mississippi.

The charged individuals are now facing conspiracy to commit computer fraud, conspiracy to commit wire and bank fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

The investigation started following the dismantling of a network of computer servers, known as Avalanche, which hosted more than two dozen different types of malware. The Justice Department had successfully taken their operation apart in 2016.

Officials reveal that the malware in the current court case has infected more than 41,000 computers by disguising as legitimate messages or invoice and was sent as spam emails. Once the email was opened, hackers will be able to record all keystrokes in the infected computer, sweeping data like baking information and wire money away from the victim’s account.

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Cybersecurity

10 European Cybercriminals Charged For Malware Attacks In The US

European and US Officials collaborated to pin down ten individuals in connection with the ransomware attacks in the US. The charges include facing conspiracy to commit computer fraud, conspiracy to commit wire and bank fraud and conspiracy… Click To Tweet

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European and US Officials collaborated to pin down ten individuals in connection with the ransomware attacks in the US.
European and US Officials collaborated to pin down ten individuals in connection with the ransomware attacks in the US. Photo: Christian Cohen | Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

The tech world has agreed that ransomware and malware are becoming one of the most prolific cyber attacks in recent (more…)

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