FixMeStick’s Weekly Cybersecurity Roundup: Feb 16th – 22nd

Hey there, FixMeFans and StartMeStars! We’re back with another edition of our weekly roundup where we deliver the most recent comings and goings of the cybersecurity world.

This week we’re coming to you with news regarding scammers threatening to cut off people’s power in Texas, how the US Department of Justice has charged three North Koreans for stealing $1.3 billion in money and cryptocurrency, and the new Silver Sparrow malware, which has been discovered on 30,000 infected Macs.

Let's talk about your Mac's cybersecurity.

Many people opt for Macs over PCs for a number of reasons, namely their hardiness, ease of use, and the fact that they typically get fewer viruses than their PC counterparts. But that’s not always the case.

Recently, over 30,000 Macs have been infected with Silver Sparrow, a new strain of Mac malware. What makes this strain so unusual is that it does not exhibit the same behaviours one what would normally find in a virus. Also because it’s one of the only piece of malware capable of targeting Apple’s new M1 ARM architecture Macs.

While there have been no reports of further malicious activity, researchers say that the malware has the ability to remove itself – effectively allowing itself to perform an action, then disappear.

Think you may have Silver Sparrow? Make sure to run a FixMeStick scan just to be safe.

Curious? You can read more about Silver Sparrow here.

An image of hydro readers. Let's discuss the cybersecurity attack in Texas.

On February 22nd, Texas electric utility Austin Energy warned of unknown individuals impersonating the company and threatening customers over the phone that their power will be cut off unless they pay fictitious overdue bills.

In these scam attempts, scammers would warn victims that their utilities would be cut off unless they provided the immediate payments, “typically using a reloadable prepaid debit card or other non-traceable form of payment.”

Austin Energy says that they will never call their residential customers to inform them of urgent cut-off deadlines or ask to pay bills immediately using untraceable forms of payment.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) also warned individuals to be aware regarding the rise of scammers taking advantage of Texas’ recent battle with stormy weather and loss of power.

You can read more about the situation here!

A gavel. Let's talk about a judge's ruling in a cybersecurity case.

Recently, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has charged three North Koreans for stealing $1.3 billion in money and cryptocurrency in a series of attacks on banks, the entertainment industry, and cryptocurrency companies.

The defendants are state-sponsored North Korean hackers and are members of Reconnaissance General Bureau (RGB) units, a North Korean military intelligence agency that has engaged in criminal hacking operations. According to the DOJ, the North Koreans were responsible for a series of destructive cyberattacks. Including stealing and extorting more than $1.3 billion of money and cryptocurrency from financial institutions and companies. As well as planning to create and deploy multiple malicious cryptocurrency applications.

If you’d like to read more about the case, you can check here!


That’s all for this week’s roundup folks! We hope you’re staying safe with all that’s going on, especially when it comes to your cybersecurity!

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