Kaspersky Lab researchers have found a new crypto-currency miner – PowerGhost – which has hit corporate networks in several regions, mostly in Latin America. This is the latest in a worrying trend of cybercriminals increasingly using miners in targeted attacks, in their pursuit of money. As this trend grows, enterprises will be put at risk, as miners sabotage and slow down their computer networks, damaging overall business processes and lining their own pockets in the process.
Crypto-currency miners are a hot cybersecurity topic right now.
This specialist “mining” software creates new coins by using the computing power of a victim PC and mobile devices. Malicious miners do so at the expense of other users, capitalizing on the power of their computers and devices without their knowledge. The threat has sky rocketed in recent times, replacing ransomware as the main type of malicious software, as previous Kaspersky Lab research has shown. However, the emergence of PowerGhost adds a new dimension to the trend. It demonstrates that malicious miner developers are shifting to targeted attacks to make more money, as Kaspersky Lab researchers had previously predicted.
PowerGhost is distributed within corporate networks, infecting both workstations and servers. The main victims of this attack so far have been corporate users in Brazil, Colombia, India, and Turkey. Interestingly enough, PowerGhost uses multiple fileless techniques to discreetly gain a foothold in corporate networks – meaning that the miner does not store its body directly onto a disk, increasing the complexity of its detection and remediation.
Machine infection occurs remotely through exploits or remote administration tools. When the machine is infected, the main body of the miner is downloaded and run without being stored on the hard disk. Once this has happened, cybercriminals can arrange for the miner to automatically update, spread within the network, and launch the crypto-mining process.
“PowerGhost raises new concerns about crypto-mining software. The miner we examined indicates that targeting consumers is not enough for cybercriminals anymore – threat actors are now turning their attention to enterprises too. Crypto-currency mining is set to become a huge threat to the business community,” said David Emm, Principal Security Researcher at Kaspersky Lab.
Kaspersky Lab products detect the threat as
To reduce the risk of infection with miners, users are advised to:
- Always keep software updated on all the devices you use. To prevent miners from exploiting vulnerabilities, use tools that can automatically detect vulnerabilities and download and install patches.
- Don’t overlook less obvious targets, such as queue management systems, POS terminals, and even vending machines. Such equipment can also be hijacked to mine cryptocurrency.
- Use a dedicated security solution that is empowered with application control, behaviour detection, and exploit prevention components that monitor the suspicious actions of applications and block malicious file executions. Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Business includes these functions.
- To protect the corporate environment, educate your employees and IT teams, keep sensitive data separate, and restrict access.
To learn more about the PowerGhost threat, please read the blog post available at Securelist.com.
British Airways prepares for travel restart with testing kit plan
LONDON (Reuters) – British Airways has struck a deal with a COVID-19 testing kit provider as airlines prepare for the desperately-needed restart of summer travel, which is likely to include tests for passengers.
After months of lockdown, airlines hope Britain will give the go-ahead from mid-May for holidays to restart, boosting an industry whose finances have been slammed by the pandemic.
But it is not yet clear how mass foreign travel will resume. The government will provide more information on April 12.
Travel corridors, which allowed unrestricted movement between Britain and some low-risk countries, could be re-introduced, but there could also be requirements for a negative COVID-19 test before departing for abroad and arriving home.
British Airways (BA) said on Thursday its new testing deal would make it easier for travellers to take a test when abroad to fulfil any requirements for their return to Britain.
For 33 pounds ($46), its passengers can buy a testing kit which is delivered to their home before they depart. They would take the kit abroad and carry out the test there, with guidance from an adviser on a video call.
The result would be given in 20 minutes and the “fit to fly” certificate downloaded onto a customer’s phone.
BA said the deal with Qured for its government-approved antigen test kits would remove uncertainty for customers unsure of where to get a test when abroad.
The 33 pound price is discounted for its customers, said BA, and compares to some alternative COVID-19 tests that can cost over 100 pounds.
“As we look forward and prepare for a safe return to travel, we remain focused on finding and offering the most convenient and affordable testing options for our customers,” BA chief executive Sean Doyle said.
Travel from the United Kingdom is currently banned for all but essential reasons.
For those who do travel, there is a requirement for three COVID-19 tests: one before departure, one on day two after arrival, and one on day eight. Arrivals must also self-isolate for ten days.
($1 = 0.7178 pounds)
(Reporting by Sarah Young. Editing by Mark Potter)
L’Oreal responds to push for natural ingredients in make-up
PARIS (Reuters) – Maybelline and Lancome maker L’Oreal aims to derive nearly all its ingredients from renewable plant sources and abundant minerals by 2030, it said on Thursday, as demand for organic and environmentally-friendly cosmetics grows.
The world’s leading beauty groups face increasingly savvy consumers who want creams and make-up made from natural components as well as products that can be recycled, a trend compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic, which put the onus on safe and healthy goods.
That poses a major challenge in terms of adapting packaging, but also developing products that can be preserved and deliver similar results to non-natural ones.
L’Oreal said over the next 10 years, 95% of the ingredients across all its brands and ranges would come from plants and flowers that can renewed or replanted, and minerals that can be found in abundance, up from around 70% now.
The move towards a “green science” approach in research and development will also involve developing formulas that are not harmful to aquatic ecosystems when dissolved in water, L’Oreal said.
“We decided it was the right moment to do this as there has been a lot of scientific progress,” said Laurent Gilbert, director of sustainable innovation at L’Oreal.
This includes developing new ways of extracting or producing ingredients such as Vitamin-C or hyaluronic acid.
Some products were harder to adapt with the same degree of effectiveness as those containing chemicals, Gilbert said, including sun screen and wholly-natural hair dyes which are available in a smaller range of colours.
Like peers, the French cosmetics group, which also makes Garnier shampoo, has faced pressure from shoppers growing increasingly picky about ingredients, and relying on consumer guides and mobile apps to help them choose products.
L’Oreal, which posted rebounding sales in the fourth quarter despite a 2020 hit from the pandemic, has sought to counter doubters by publishing lists of the ingredients used in its formulas.
(Reporting by Sarah White; Editing by Alexandra Hudson)
Deliveroo to deliver $7 billion dual-class London listing
By Abhinav Ramnarayan and Pushkala Aripaka
LONDON (Reuters) – Deliveroo plans a London stock market listing that could value the British food delivery firm at around $7 billion and mark the biggest new share issue in Britain in three years.
It said it will use a dual-class share structure for the first three years of the listing, which will give co-founder and chief executive Will Shu more control over the company.
This means Deliveroo will not initially be eligible for a “premium” listing that would allow it to join the major FTSE indices, although it said in a statement on Thursday it will move to a single structure after three years.
The Deliveroo IPO is one of the most eagerly watched-for initial public offerings (IPOs) expected in London in the first half of 2021, after petcare firm IVC Evidensia abandoned its immediate IPO plans in favour of private funding.
Dual-class share structures are a common feature of listed technology companies in the United States but are frowned on by some British investors as they can give executives outsized influence on shareholder votes relative to their stake sizes.
Britain signalled this week that companies may soon be eligible for a “premium” listing using a dual-class structure after a review commissioned by Finance Minister Rishi Sunak, although not in time for Deliveroo’s listing.
Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan are leading the deal, while Bank of America, Citi, Jefferies and Numis are also part of the syndicate of banks managing the transaction, sources told Reuters earlier this year.
(Reporting by Abhinav Ramnarayan in London and Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni, Rachel Armstrong and Alexander Smith)
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