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  1. Hackers with access to the Signaling System 7 (SS7) used for connecting mobile networks across the world were able to gain access to Telegram messenger and email data of high-profile individuals in the cryptocurrency business. In what is believed to be a targeted attack, the hackers were after two-factor authentication (2FA) login codes delivered over the short messaging system of the victim’s mobile phone provider. Well-prepared hackers Hackers pulling an SS7 attack can intercept text messages and calls of a legitimate recipient by updating the location of their device as if it registered to a different network (roaming scenario). The attack occurred in September and targeted at least 20 subscribers of the Partner Communications Company (formerly known as Orange Israel), all of them involved at a higher level in cryptocurrency projects. Tsachi Ganot, the co-founder of Pandora Security in Tel-Aviv, who investigated the incident and assisted victims with regaining access to their accounts, told BleepingComputer that all clues point to an SS7 attack. Pandora Security specializes in building secure digital environments and provides cyber technology and services for high-profile individuals such as prominent business figures and celebrities. According to Ganot, customers include some of the wealthiest people in the world. Ganot told us that the hackers likely spoofed the short message service center (SMSC) of a mobile network operator (unidentified at the time of writing) to send an update location request for the targeted phone numbers to Partner (other providers may still be vulnerable to this type of attack). The update request essentially asked Partner to send to the fake MSC all the voice calls and SMS messages intended for the victims. source: Cellusys Ganot says that the attackers had good knowledge about their victims' various accounts and leaked passwords. They knew unique international subscriber numbers (MSISDN - Mobile Station International Subscriber Directory Number) and International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) numbers. SS7 attacks, while more frequent in the past years, are not easy to pull and require good knowledge of home mobile networks interact and route communication at a global level. In this case, the goal of the hackers was to obtain cryptocurrency. Ganot believes that some of the inboxes compromised this way acted as a backup method for other email accounts with richer data, allowing the threat actor to achieve their goal. “In some cases, the hackers posed as the victims in their [Telegram] IM accounts and wrote to some of their acquaintances, asking to exchange BTC for ETC and the like” - Tsachi Ganot This method is well known in the cryptocurrency community, and users are typically wary about such requests. Ganot says that “as far as we're aware no one fell for the bait.” Although sending verification codes over SMS is widely regarded as insecure in the infosec community, and for good reason, many services still rely on this practice, putting users at risk. Better authentication methods exist today than SMS or call-based 2FA authentication. Apps specifically created for this purpose or physical keys are among the solutions, Ganot says, also adding that telecom standards need move away from legacy protocols like SS7 (developed in 1975), which cannot address modern issues. Israeli newspaper Haaretz published details about this attack earlier this month, saying that Israel's national intelligence agency (Mossad) and the country's National Cyber Security Authority were involved in the investigation. The publication also notes that Ganot and his partner (founders of Pandora Security) worked for the NSO for a few years. Source
  2. Verizon says the archivists it has blocked breached its terms of service. Verizon, which bought Yahoo In 2017, has suspended email addresses of archivists who are trying to preserve 20 years of content that will be deleted permanently in a few weeks. As Verizon announced in October, the company intends to wipe all content from Yahoo Groups. As of December 14, all previously posted content on the site will be permanently removed. The mass deletion includes files, polls, links, photos, folders, database, calendar, attachments, conversations, email updates, message digests, and message histories that was uploaded to Yahoo servers since pre-Google 1990s. Verizon planned to allow users to download their own data from the site's privacy dashboard, but apparently it has a problem with the work of The Archive Team who wants to save content to upload it to the non-profit Internet Archive, which runs the popular Wayback Machine site. "Yahoo banned all the email addresses that the Archive Team volunteers had been using to join Yahoo Groups in order to download data," reported the Yahoo Groups Archive Team. "Verizon has also made it impossible for the Archive Team to continue using semi-automated scripts to join Yahoo Groups – which means each group must be rejoined one by one, an impossible task (redo the work of the past four weeks over the next 10 days)." News of the apparently aggressive move from Verizon was first reported on boingboing.net. The Yahoo Groups Archive Team argues that it is facing a near total "80% loss of data" because Verizon is blocking the team members' email accounts. The Yahoo Groups site isn't widely used today but it was in the past. The size of the archive that the group is trying to save is substantial and the group had saved about 1.8 billion messages as of late 2018. According to the Archive Team: "As of 2019-10-16 the directory lists 5,619,351 groups. 2,752,112 of them have been discovered. 1,483,853 (54%) have public message archives with an estimated number of 2.1 billion messages (1,389 messages per group on average so far). 1.8 billion messages (86%) have been archived as of 2018-10-28." Verizon has issued a statement to the group supporting the Archive Team, telling concerned archivists that "the resources needed to maintain historical content from Yahoo Groups pages is cost-prohibitive, as they're largely unused". The telecoms giant also said the people booted from the service had violated its terms of service and suggested the number of users affected was small. "Regarding the 128 people who joined Yahoo Groups with the goal to archive them – are those people from Archiveteam.org? If so, their actions violated our Terms of Service. Because of this violation, we are unable reauthorize them," Verizon said. "Also, moderators of Groups can ban users if they violate their Groups' terms, so previously banned members will be unable to download content from that Group. If you can send the user information, we can investigate the cause of lack of access." Additionally, Verizon mentioned that the email functionality of the platform will still continue to work, at least for members who haven't been expelled. "While users will no longer be able to post or upload content to the site, the email functionality exists. If you are having issues with this feature, please reach out to [email protected] and we will work to fix the problem with any delay," the Verizon spokesperson wrote. ZDNet has contacted Verizon for comment and will update the story if it responds. Source
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