Infosec Round-Up Aug 27th
Bug Bounty, Crypto Heist & $2.3 Million BEC Scam
This is the Hut Six InfoSec Round-Up, where we look at some of the most pressing matters, latest trends, and industry news from across the world of information security.
$500,000 Bug Bounty
The hacker responsible for the recent Poly Network hack, has been gifted $500k following the return of over $600 million worth of digital currency.
With the incident occurring on the 10th of August, it was not originally known by the company that the funds would be repaid, though in light of its return, the Chinese-based blockchain network has stated no intention of holding the hacker legally accountable – even going as far to offer him a role as Chief Security Advisor.
The hacker, known only as ‘Mr. White Hat’, received the half a million dollar “thank you” without publicly responding to the job offer, nor providing any comment on the bounty.
Whether the decision to return the funds was motivated by claims of the security company SlowMist that it had tracked the hacker’s email and IP addresses, is unknown, though many remain sceptical.
In a public statement, Poly Network explained, “At this point, Poly Network has completed the recovery of all affected user assets… Other advanced functions will be gradually restored to the Poly Network after completing the necessary security requirements.”
Japanese Crypto Heist
The Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Liquid has been attacked by cyber criminals, reportedly loosing almost $100 million worth of tokens in the incident.
First announcing the loss late last week, Liquid was founded in 2014, operates in over 100 countries, and is one of the world’s top 20 exchanges by daily trading volume.
Having assured customers that there will be no impact to user balances, the funds were stolen from so-called ‘hot-wallets’, digital accounts which, contrary to ‘cold-wallets’, are usually based online and are designed to allow users easier access to their assets.
Additionally noting that no personal data is believed to have been compromised during the attack, the incident comes hot on the heels of the much publicised Poly Network hack.
In a public announcement, the organisation has stated: “Deeper investigation into the attack and the identification of the responsible parties is ongoing. We are in contact with the relevant authorities in both Japan and Singapore regarding the incident.”
$2.3 Million BEC Scam
A US town has lost around $2.3 million after Business Email Compromise (BEC) scammers managed to intercept several bank transfers with forged documents.
Affecting Peterborough, a small New Hampshire town, the increasingly common form of social engineering attack was discovered late last month when the ConVal School District notified the town’s finance department that a $1.2 million monthly transfer had not been received.
Discovering several weeks later that two other bank transfers had been misdirected, with total losses rising to $2.3 million, officials have stated that they do not believe funds will be recovered given the sophistication of the attack and that it originated from overseas.
In a public statement the town noted: “The U.S. Secret Service Cyber Fraud Task Force immediately began tracing the funds through transactions that ultimately converted them to cryptocurrency.”
Adding, “These criminals were very sophisticated and took advantage of the transparent nature of public sector work to identify the most valuable transactions and focus their actions on diverting those transfers.”
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