BadRabbit: NotPetya Hackers Likely Behind Ransomware Attack, Say Researchers

BadRabbit: NotPetya Hackers Likely Behind Ransomware Attack, Say Researchers

Technical indicators suggest a cyber-attack which hit Russia and other countries this week was carried out by hackers behind a similar but bigger assault on Ukraine in June, security researchers who analysed the two campaigns said on Wednesday.

Russia-based cyber firm Group-IB said the BadRabbitvirus used in this week’s attack shared a key piece of code with the NotPetya malware that crippled businesses in Ukraine and worldwide earlier this year, suggesting the same group was responsible.

The BadRabbit attack hit Russia, Ukraine and other countries on Tuesday, taking down Russia’s Interfax news agency and delaying flights at Ukraine’s Odessa airport.

Multiple cyber-security investigators have linked the two attacks, citing similarities in the malware coding and hacking methods, but stopped short of direct attribution.

Still, experts caution that attributing cyber-attacks is notoriously difficult, as hackers regularly use techniques to cover their tracks and sometimes deliberately mislead investigators about their identity.

Security researchers at Cisco’s Talos unit said BadRabbit bore some similarities with NotPetya as they were both based on the same malware, but large parts of code had been rewritten and the new virus distribution method was less sophisticated.

They confirmed BadRabbit used a hacking tool called Eternal Romance, believed to have been developed by the US National Security Agency (NSA) before being stolen and leaked online in April.

NotPetya also employed Eternal Romance, as well as another NSA tool called Eternal Blue. But Talos said they were used in a different way and there was no evidence Bad Rabbit contained Eternal Blue.

“It is highly likely that the same group of hackers was behind (the) BadRabbit ransomware attack on Oct. 25, 2017 and the epidemic of the NotPetya virus, which attacked the energy, telecommunications and financial sectors in Ukraine in June 2017,” Group-IB said in a technical report.

Matthieu Suiche, a French hacker and founder of the United Arab Emirates-based cyber security firm Comae Technologies, said he agreed with the Group-IB assessment that there was “serious reason to consider” that BadRabbit and NotPetya were created by the same people.

But some experts have said the conclusion is surprising as the NotPetya attack is widely thought to have been carried out by Russia, an allegation Moscow denies.

Ukrainian officials have said the NotPetya attack directly targeted Ukraine and was carried about by a hacking group widely known as Black Energy, which some cyber experts say works in favour of Russian government interests. Moscow has repeatedly denied carrying out cyber attacks against Ukraine.

The majority of BadRabbit’s victims were in Russia, with only a few in other countries such Ukraine, Bulgaria, Turkey and Japan.

Group-IB said some parts of the BadRabbit virus dated from mid-2014, however, suggesting the hackers used old tools from previous attacks. “This corresponds with BlackEnergy timeframes, as the group started its notable activity in 2014,” it said.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Money likely to move from India markets to China: Marc Faber

Money likely to move from India markets to China: Marc Faber

Equity markets across the world have performed very well as most markets in Asia have given a return of 20 to 25 percent in dollar terms. India is up 30 percent in dollar terms.

“I am positive on emerging markets for about a year relative to the US,” Marc Faber, the editor and publisher of The Gloom, Boom & Doom Report, said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”

“If I look back, after 2014, emerging markets grossly underperformed the S&P 500. If we look at major markets in Asia, India rose 30% in USD and Chin hasn’t gone up that much which bring me to conclude that some money will move from India to Chinese markets,” he said.

Why will the money move from Indian markets to China? “Sentiments around China were very negative in the past six months to a year but that is now turning positive,” added Faber.

Commenting on the dollar, Faber said that the U.S. dollar could “easily rebound” by 4 to 5 percent from current levels, but President Donald Trump and his administration stand in the way of the currency’s long-term strength.

The greenback has had a tough year, with the dollar index tumbling nearly 10 percent since the start of 2017. At the same time, gains among currencies such as euro and peso also added to the dollar’s pain, said a CNBC report.

Commenting on Gold, Faber said it is an under-appreciated asset. Data suggest that from December lows in 2015, the GDX, the Gold ETF is up more than 100% and this year the GDX is up more than 25 percent.

If we compare the performance of the S&P, it is a fabulous performance and some gold shares have even done very well, he said.

[“Source-moneycontrol”]

Qualcomm CEO Says Settlement Likely in Apple Dispute

Qualcomm CEO Says Settlement Likely in Apple Dispute

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Mollenkopf says out of court settlement possible with Apple
  • Qualcomm asked US authorities to ban imports of some iPhone, iPad models
  • It has also accused iPhones, iPads of infringing 6 of its mobile patents

Global chip maker Qualcomm that recently filed a new patent infringement lawsuit against Apple now expects ‘out of court’ settlement with the Cupertino-based iPhone maker.

According to a Fortune report on Tuesday, Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf said during the Brainstorm Tech conference in Aspen, Colorado, that “those things tend to get resolved out of court and there’s no reason why I wouldn’t expect that to be the case here.”

He was comparing the dispute with Apple to earlier fights Qualcomm has had with other tech companies that were settled out of court.

Mollenkopf, however, added he didn’t have any specific news announcing a settlement was on the way.

“I don’t have an announcement or anything so please don’t ask,” he told the gathering.

Earlier in July, Qualcomm asked the US authorities to ban imports of some iPhone and iPad models.

Qualcomm filed a complaint with the US International Trade Commission, accusing Apple’s iPhones and iPads of infringing six of its mobile patents.

Qualcomm said all iPhones and iPads that contain competing mobile communications chips should be barred from the country.

Apple responded to this, saying that the company had tried to negotiate before suing and that Qualcomm is abusing its position.

In April, Apple stopped paying royalties to contract manufacturers for phone patents owned by Qualcomm over an “unresolved issue”.

Apple reportedly stopped paying royalties starting with devices sold during the March quarter.

Qualcomm is one of the world’s biggest provider of mobile chips and derives revenue majorly from licensing that technology to hundreds of handset manufacturers and others.

The US chip manufacturer had lambasted Apple for breaching deals between the two companies and urged that the lawsuit filed in January against them by the iPhone maker should be rejected.

Qualcomm also accused Apple of harming its business and sought unspecified damages.

Apple sued Qualcomm in January for nearly one billion dollars over royalties, with the Cupertino-based tech giant alleging the wireless chipmaker that it did not give fair licensing terms for its processor technology.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Forget essays, more ‘objective’ questions likely in UP exams to simplify evaluation work

VCs conference

A number of interesting decisions were taken at the vice-chancellors’ conference held today in Lucknow, including increasing teaching days from 180 to 220 and use of technology in classes. However, the decision to introduce a “mix of objective and descriptive type of questions,” in examinations from next year, to simplify the work evaluators, was somewhat surprising.

In a media briefing after the conference of VCs of universities from all over Uttar Pradesh, the deputy chief minister Dinesh Sharma said that from next year the university will introduce objective type questions in examinations to ‘simplify’ evaluation work.

Sharma said evaluation of answers to descriptive type questions took time.Question papers would now have a mix of objective and descriptive type of questions.

Would the education system benefit from a system where answers in university and college-level examinations are required to be short just to make an evaluator’s work easy?

This is a question that demands a lengthy response.

 

 

[“source-hindustantimes”]