FixMeStick’s Weekly Cybersecurity Round-Up: April 14th – 20th

Hey there FixMeFans and StartMeStars! We hope that you’re all staying safe and secure. While you’re at home keeping busy, it’s good to keep up to date on the comings and goings of the cyber world – you never know when some cyber security info will end up saving you a world of trouble down the road.

This week, we have some news concerning a bounty on North Korean hackers, malicious Google Chrome apps that are stealing cryptocurrency, and how the FBI have had their hands full with coronavirus cyber scams.

If you have any information concerning North Korean hackers and you’re in the mood to receive a 5 million dollar reward, then we have some good news for you!

The United States recently offered up to 5 million dollars for any leads on a group of cyber criminals sponsored by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). The FBI and the Departments of State, Treasury, and Homeland Security (DHS) had put out an advisory, indicating that North Korea had been responsible for numerous cyber attacks targeting the financial industry, namely cryptocurrency and banks.

The attacks aimed to steal up to 2 billion dollars – and while the US won’t disclose details concerning the amount they actually managed to take, one can only imagine considering the actions that they’re currently taking.
If you have any info, you can provide it here.

Recently, Google has booted 49 Chrome browser extensions from its Web Store that had been posing as cryptocurrency wallets, but had actually been draining the content of the wallet.

The malicious extensions didn’t directly steal money from its users, but instead surveyed their data for private information. In this case, organizations such as Ledger, Trezor, Jaxx, Electrum, MyEtherWallet, MetaMask, Exodus, and KeepKey (all used to store cryptocurrency) were targeted. 

Once the extensions scanned for vital information, such as users’ mnemonic phrases, private keys, and keystore files, they were then able to access accounts and drain them of their currency. 

Many users were often met with errors after trying to access their account and wouldn’t realize how much they lost until the entire account had been effectively emptied.

If you want to read more on the situation, you can check it out here.

As many of you are probably aware, cases of cyber attacks have risen dramatically since the onset of COVID-19 – and now, it seems the FBI is painfully aware of the fact.

Before the beginnings of the pandemic, the FBI would typically receive 1000 complaints per day concerning cyber criminal activity. Since then, the number has reached nearly 4000 complaints. And while a number of those complaints don’t concern any COVID-19 related scams, a large number of them do.

Lately, phishing emails have dominated the game – a large number relating to government payments or private loans. However, some scams are taking the form of fraudulent charities, in which the donations go towards providing food, face masks, and other types of aid to those who need it. Scammers promise the delivery of these goods, but the promises are never fulfilled.

With many people restricted to their homes during the outbreak, a large percentage will be using their computers for work, school, and other activities. Coupled with the fact that cyber criminals love to take advantage of panic, this all adds up to an increase in cyber criminal activity.

Are you looking to stay safe while you’re at home? You can check out our quick guide and how you can stay secure.

That’s all for this week, folks! As usual, we hope you’re all staying safe at home, protecting yourself from viruses, both biological and cyber!