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The CyberDiplomat Daily

Date : 21st May 2024

The "King of cyber gambling" fell for having an illegal casino in San Telmo

Karapet Khachatryan, known as the "King of cyber gambling," was arrested for running an illegal

casino in Buenos Aires. Authorities seized 30 million pesos worth of machines during the raid at the

"Vulkano Ciber Club Vip" in the San Telmo neighborhood. The joint operation by multiple agencies

led to the closure of the establishment and the arrest of the owner. The illegal casino was found to

have 17 individuals gambling, including a minor. Jorge Macri, the Head of Government of Buenos

Aires, emphasized the ongoing efforts to combat clandestine gambling and criminal activities.

Minister of Security Waldo Wolff highlighted the interdisciplinary collaboration between different

departments of the City Government in dismantling the illegal casino.

'Cyber Talent' arrives in the Basque Country: the innovative project to create cybersecurity companies

Cybercrimes have risen and now make up 20% of criminal offenses in the Basque Country. To

address this, the "Cyber Talent" project has been launched to promote technological solutions and

support emerging cybersecurity companies. The program aims to train over 1,000 individuals for

free by May 30 and has already seen success in other Spanish cities. It also plans to train 9,000

people for free by 2026, focusing on regions with fewer cybersecurity companies. In Spain, about

60% of companies have faced at least one cybersecurity incident in the last year, with phishing,

malware, and ransomware being the most common online frauds.

Cyber security company CyberArk acquires Venafi for $1.54 billion

Cyber security company CyberArk on Monday announced it is acquiring Venafi, a leader in

machine identity management, from software-focused investor Thoma Bravo, for $1.54 billion in a

cash and stock deal.

Cyber Security Authority vows to fight fake news ahead of December 7 elections

The Cyber Security Authority is working with tech providers to combat misinformation and

disinformation, especially on social media, ahead of the 2024 general elections. Dr. Albert Antwi

Boasiako emphasized the need for vigilance among citizens and the media to ensure the integrity of

information leading up to the elections.

Iran-Linked Void Manticore Intensifies Cyber-Attacks on Israel

An Iranian threat actor known as Void Manticore, affiliated with Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and

Security, has been identified as responsible for destructive cyber activities targeting Israeli

organizations. The group has targeted over 40 Israeli organizations, leveraging data wiping and

public leaks to maximize disruption and psychological impact. They have collaborated with another

Iranian threat actor, Scarred Manticore, demonstrating a high level of operational coordination.

Their operations extend beyond Israel to include Albania, and they have exploited geopolitical

tensions, especially in the Middle East, to mask their activities. Their techniques involve simple

tools for manual deletions and custom wipers for both Windows and Linux systems, indicating a

strategy of rapid, high-impact attacks.

Pa. cyber charters show 'excessive profiteering,' amassing millions in assets, new report says

A recent report reveals that Pennsylvania's four largest cyber charter schools have amassed

hundreds of millions in assets, while school districts funding them continue to raise taxes. The

report by Education Voters PA highlights the rapid growth in net assets at these schools, calling it

"excessive profiteering" at the expense of school districts. Commonwealth Charter Academy, the

largest of the four, has been particularly active in purchasing properties. The report also raises

questions about the purpose of these properties and the benefits for students. Additionally, it

identifies significant spending by cyber charters on advertising and gift cards, which raises concerns

given the financial challenges faced by school districts statewide.The report discusses the ongoing

push for funding changes to cyber charters by Democrats and public school advocates. Cyber

charters are paid by school districts based on the districts' per-student spending, which is funded by

taxpayers. Currently, cyber charters are paid at the same level as brick-and-mortar charters, but the

rates can vary significantly depending on the amount spent by the school districts. Governor Josh

Shapiro has proposed setting a flat cyber charter payment rate of $8,000 per pupil, compared to the

current rates ranging from $8,639 to $26,564. The report also suggests that the state should conduct

forensic audits of cyber charters due to inconsistencies uncovered by a group. Additionally, the

report calls for a moratorium on new cyber charter schools, as many schools are operating under

expired charters.

Google releases : Google Workspace - A more secure alternative

In the wake of significant cybersecurity incidents with Microsoft, Google Workspace offers a safer


Global stability issues alter cyber threat landscape, ESET reports

One of the newer tactics ESET is seeing in North Korea leverages emotions to prevent the attack

from being reported, which will likely extend its use and effectiveness. The technique itself, Boutin

said, has been around for years, but North Korean APT groups are making a minor tweak.

The attack is sent to programmers and other technical talent, masquerading as a job application with

several major US companies. The attacker claims to be a recruiter for those businesses, and when

victims are asked to prove their technical skills with an online test, they are exposed to the malware

and the trap is complete.

China: A new China-aligned APT group called CeranaKeeper shares traits with Mustang Panda.

They target similar DLL hijacking and use shared tooling but act independently, according to ESET.

Iran: MuddyWater and Agrius have shifted focus to more aggressive strategies, moving from

cyberespionage and ransomware to access brokering and impact attacks. OilRig and Ballistic

Bobcat have reduced activities, suggesting a shift towards operations aimed at Israel.

Russia: "Operation Texonto" spreads false information about Russian election-related protests and

the situation in Kharkiv, causing uncertainty among Ukrainians.

Elsewhere: Winter Vivern found a zero-day vulnerability in Roundcube, and SturgeonPhisher,

aligned with Kazakhstan's interests, conducted a campaign in the Middle East.

‘Cyber offence’: Vizag man held for trying to smuggle 24 SIM cards out of India

The suspect is Nara Srinivas Rao from Daba Gardens in Visakhapatnam. On April 18, an X-ray

screening coordinator for DHL Express complained to the police that 24 SIM cards were found

inside denim trousers in a shipment booked for Taiwan in Rao’s name.

Huawei OceanStor Dorado Named One of DCIG Top 5 Cyber Secure High-End All Flash Arrays

Huawei OceanStor Dorado all-flash storage systems have been deployed in over 150 countries and

regions around the world, serving customers in industries like finance, telecom, manufacturing, healthcare, government, and public utilities. Going forward, Huawei will prioritize innovation and

investment to elevate storage performance, reliability, and resilience, aiming to establish itself as the

number one choice for customers across a vast range of industries.

UK and Finland sign partnership amid fears of 'Russian aggression’

The UK and Finland have expressed concerns about Russia's threat to European peace and stability

due to its border with Finland. Both countries have signed security agreements with Ukraine to

provide military and financial support. Finland joined NATO in April 2023, leading to deteriorating

relations with Russia. In response, Finland's defense ministry proposed a bill to ban property

purchases by citizens and companies from countries posing a national security threat. Additionally,

Russian hackers targeted Finnish institutional websites in retaliation for their support for Ukraine.

ICO: Organisations must do more to combat the growing threat of cyber attacks

In one example, a hacker was able to penetrate a retailer’s defences and install malware on over

5,000 payment terminals – and therefore could harvest customers’ card details when they paid. On

another occasion, a simple phishing email to a construction company compromised the personal

information of over 100,000 people.

UK is 5th lowest risk country for cyber threats

Finland has the lowest cyber threat risk with a score of 92.81, while Bolivia has the highest risk

with a score of 38.39. This data is based on evaluations of cyber safety across 70 countries using

various cybersecurity indices and research sources.

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