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ALPHV, a prolific group of hackers who extort companies with ransomware and leak their stolen data, said earlier this week that they hacked security camera maker Ring and threatened to dump the company’s data online if it didn’t pay up. “There is always an option to allow us to leak your data…,” the hackers wrote in a post to Ring on its data breach site. Ring has so far denied it, telling Vice’s Motherboard, “At this point, we have no indication of a ransomware attack,” but it is reportedly aware of a third-party vendor that has encountered it. That provider, Ring says, doesn’t have access to customer records.
Meanwhile, ALPHV, which has previously used its BlackCat ransomware to attack companies such as Bandai Namco, Swissport and hospital firm Lehigh Valley Health Network, stands by its claim that Ring itself was hacked, not a third-party vendor. A member of the VX-Underground malware research group shared with WIRED screenshots of a conversation with an ALPHV representative, who says he’s still in “negotiations” with Ring.
With the ongoing ransomware epidemic, it’s no surprise that Ring isn’t the only one facing ransomware issues. So is Maximum Industries, supplier of rocket parts for Elon Musk’s SpaceX. The hackers, a notorious ransomware group known as LockBit, taunted Musk on their website, threatening to sell the stolen information to the highest bidder if Maximum didn’t pay by a March 20 deadline. “I’d say we’d be lucky if the Space-X contractors were more forthcoming. But I think that this material will find its buyer as soon as possible,” the hackers write. “Elon Musk, we’ll help you sell your drawings to other manufacturers.”
Google’s Project Zero research group, which searches for unknown vulnerabilities in widespread technology products, warned on Thursday that it had discovered serious flaws in Samsung chips used in dozens of Android devices. In total, the researchers found 18 different vulnerabilities in Samsung’s Exynos modems for smartphones, but they say four of them are particularly critical and would allow a hacker to “remotely compromise a phone at the baseband level without user interaction and that’s all it takes.” the attacker knows the victim’s phone number.” Project Zero rarely publishes information about unpatched vulnerabilities. But it says that Samsung was given 90 days to fix the flaws, but they haven’t done it yet. Perhaps a little public shaming might push Samsung to act faster to protect Google users from an insidious form of attack.
Since 2017, the cryptocurrency “mixer” service ChipMixer has quietly turned into a cryptocurrency money laundering hub, taking users’ coins, mixing them with others, and then sending them back to hide the money trail through blockchains. The Justice Department claims the process laundered $3 billion in criminal proceeds, including ransomware payments, stolen loot from North Korean hackers and even proceeds from the sale of child sexual exploitation material. Now, in a crackdown conducted by various European law enforcement agencies and coordinated by Europol, as well as the FBI and DHS, ChipMixer has been shut down and its infrastructure seized. The site’s alleged creator, 49-year-old Vietnamese citizen Minh Quoc Nguyen, remains at large, facing money-laundering charges in absentia.
But the most intriguing outcome of the case may have more to do with the collapse of the infamous FTX cryptocurrency exchange: some of the FTX funds that were stolen in the midst of bankruptcy proceedings in November were transferred to ChipMixer. Seizing the servers of this mixing service may well disrupt the FTX thieves’ attempt to evade detection and help solve one of the main mysteries of this high-profile theft.
In the cryptocurrency world alone, where more than half a billion dollars are now stolen several times a year, a $200 million theft is the lowest in the news. Earlier this week, distributed trading protocol Euler Finance lost nearly $200 million in cryptocurrency due to hackers who found a vulnerability in its code. At first, Euler, the company behind the protocol, offered the hackers $20 million if they returned the rest of the funds. But after that offer was ignored — in fact, the hackers sent funds to the Tornado Cash money-mix service in hopes of traces — the firm announced a $1 million reward for the hackers’ heads.