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Friday Five: Dark Web Revenue Falling, Pig Butchering Scams and Other Attacks on the Rise, & Critical Infrastructure at Risk

by Robbie Araiza on Friday February 17, 2023

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The dark web isn’t what it once was with Hydra, but cybercriminals are staying busy with ransomware, targeted attacks against developers, and more. Catch up on all these stories and more in this week’s Friday Five!

RANSOMWARE ATTACKS SURGE AGAINST US MANUFACTURING PLANTS BY CHRISTIAN VASQUEZ

According to a recent report, cyberattacks against critical infrastructure are on the rise, with the manufacturing industry suffering at least 437 ransomware attacks in 2022. The report also found that the number of attacks against manufacturing plants jumped roughly 107% compared to 2021 and that 605 ransomware attacks were recorded in the industrial sector last year, a 92% increase over the 315 attacks the firm detected in 2021. Learn more about some of the cybersecurity-related issues that manufacturing facilities face, who is likely responsible for many of the attacks, and more in the full story from Cyberscoop.

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‘PIG BUTCHERING’ SCAMS ON THE RISE, LURING VICTIMS WITH PROMISES OF RELATIONSHIPS AND RICHES BY TONYA RILEY

After the FBI warned this past December that pig butchering scams were on the rise, recent evidence has shown that such scams can be both financially and mentally damaging. In pig butchering scams, scammers attempt to extract as much money as possible from their victims under the guise of friendship or love, often via fake apps or websites posing as trading platforms. According to an in-depth investigation of these scams, both Apple and Google were found to have malicious apps in their respective app stores, while some other companies had their infrastructure used for scams.

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DARK WEB REVENUE DOWN DRAMATICALLY AFTER HYDRA'S DEMISE BY BECKY BRACKEN

In the wake of the takedown of the dark web marketplace known as Hydra this past April, dark web revenue has seen a sharp decline, dropping by more than $4.1 million per day according to Chainalysis. OMG!OMG! Market, Blacksprut, and Mega Darknet Market have all reportedly been competing for the top spot in the post-Hydra dark web marketplace ecosystem, but have all struggled to replicate or replace Hydra's money-laundering services for cybercriminals, and some have faced issues of their own, including a damaging DDoS attack this past June targeting OMG!OMG! Market. 

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LATEST ATTACK ON PYPI USERS SHOWS CROOKS ARE ONLY GETTING BETTER BY DAN GOODIN

Software developers are continuing to be targeted in attacks, with Phylum recently uncovering 451 malicious packages that were recently uploaded to PyPI (Python Package Index). The packages reportedly contained almost identical malicious payloads and, once installed, create a malicious JavaScript extension that loads each time a browser is opened on the infected device. Software developers that have recently downloaded a package from the repository are urged to cross-check their package with the list of 451 malicious packages compiled by Phylum.

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SPAIN, U.S. DISMANTLE PHISHING GANG THAT STOLE $5 MILLION IN A YEAR BY BILL TOULAS

This past week, Spain's National Police and the U.S. Secret Service have dismantled a Madrid-based international cybercrime ring specializing in online scams, employing social engineering, phishing, and smishing that successfully stole over €5,000,000 from individuals and North American companies. Police reportedly arrested eight people in Spain and one in Miami, USA, seized luxury items valued at €200,000, and froze assets worth over €500,000.

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Tags:  Ransomware Cybercrime Phishing

Robbie Araiza

Robbie Araiza

Robbie is a Content Creator for the Data Protection team at Fortra. Prior to joining the organization, he studied psychology and social work at Texas State University in San Marcos, TX.

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