A relatively new ransomware group calling itself Vice Society has begun leaking data it says was stolen from a California health care provider. The provider is called United Health Centres. The files being made public allegedly have information about patients including lab results. According to the Bleeping Computer news site, the provider was attacked in August. A reporter emailed the site asking why it attacks hospitals. Whoever replied said, ‘Why not?’
One of the alleged heads of the dismantled AlphaBay dark web marketplace says he has relaunched the site. If true it would give criminals another option for buying and selling drugs and hacked data. According to Wired magazine a person who calls themselves DeSnake says he wants to restore AlphaBay’s reputation as more than a marketplace that was busted. Four years ago the FBI seized AlphaBay’s server in Lithuania and police in Thailand arrested its administrator in Bangkok. That man, a Canadian, died in jail there shortly afterward in what was reported to be a suicide. DeSnake was also an administrator but wasn’t caught.
The European Union has formally associated Russia with the Ghostwriter cyber espionage group. That group has been hacking the computers of European politicians, government officials, members of the press and activist groups. In a statement the EU says such activities are unacceptable because they threaten democratic values. It urges Russia to adhere to the norms of responsible state behaviour in cyberspace. According to FireEye, the Ghostwriter campaign compromises websites, spoofs emails of victims and makes fake social media posts.
Finally, two security updates to tell you about: If you use the Google Chrome browser make sure it’s updated. A fix has been issued to close a serious vulnerability You should be running on a version that starts with 94 and ends with .61. And owners of iPhones, iPads and Macs should install the latest security updates to close serious vulnerabilities in their operating systems.