Intelligence Briefing #70

Welcome to the Nucleon Cyber Intelligence podcast.

This podcast will give you a summary of the latest news related to cyber intelligence and proactive cyber security in only a few minutes.

The podcast is aimed at professionals who are short on time, or for anyone who would like to know a bit more about what is REALLY happening out there in the cyber world.

The focus of this podcast will be on the latest cyber events for non-technical people; anyone can listen and understand.

COVID related cyber attacks are attractive targets as they are usually well funded and time-sensitive so ransomware should be easier.
German pharmacies have stopped issuing digital COVID-19 vaccination certificates after hackers created passes from fake outlets. 
Germans who have been fully vaccinated are entitled to a certificate that allows them more freedoms, especially to travel. 
Pharmacies and vaccination centers issue them but The German Pharmacists Association said hackers had managed to produce two vaccination certificates by accessing the portal and making up pharmacy owner identities. 

In a statement they released they said: “The DAV, in consultation with the Health Ministry, stopped issuing certificates to investigate further”, adding it had so far found no other indication of unauthorized access to the portal. “It can therefore be assumed that the more than 25 million vaccination certificates issued so far through pharmacies have all been issued by legally registered pharmacies”, said the DAV. 
After a slow start, due to supply problems and bureaucratic hurdles, Germany’s vaccine rollout picked up in May and June but now the pace of doses being administered is slowing. 

The Saudi Arabian Oil Company, better known as Saudi Aramco, told that it “recently became aware of the indirect release of a limited amount of company data which was held by third-party contractors.” 

Saudi Arabia’s state oil giant acknowledged Wednesday that leaked data from the company – files now apparently being used in a cyber-extortion attempt involving a 50 million USD ransom demand – likely came from one of its contractors. 

The oil firm did not say which contractor found itself affected nor whether that contractor had been hacked or if the information leaked out another way. 

“We confirm that the release of data was not due to a breach of our systems, has no impact on our operations and the company continues to maintain a robust cybersecurity posture,” Aramco said. 

A page on the darknet offering Aramco a chance to have the data deleted for 50 million USD in cryptocurrency, while another timer counted down from 5 million USD, likely in an effort to pressure the company. 

It remains unclear who is behind the ransom plot. 

Aramco has been targeted before by a cyberattack. In 2012, the kingdom’s oil giant found itself hit by the so-called Shamoon computer virus, which deleted hard drives and then displayed a picture of a burning American flag on computer screens. The attack forced Aramco to shut down its network and destroy over 30,000 computers. In 2017, another virus swept across the kingdom and disrupted computers.

Pipeline and pipe rack of petroleum industrial plant with sunset sky background


That’s it for this podcast, stay safe and see you in the next podcast.

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