Cyber Security Monthly Recap: February 2024

February 2024 was a busy month that brought various cybersecurity threats and incidents across the digital landscape, and here is a summary of some of the main topics that kept the cyber researchers busy:

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Cyber Security Monthly Recap: February 2024

“Mother of All Breaches” Exposes 26 Billion Records

In what’s being called the “Mother of All Breaches,” researchers stumbled upon a massive data leak encompassing 26 billion records. This event ranks as one of the most significant breaches, with a 12-terabyte database found openly accessible.

The leaked data spans across multiple major platforms including social media giants, cloud storage services, and even U.S. government organizations, and raises alarms about the potential for identity theft, phishing schemes, and cyberattacks.

At first, it was unclear who was behind this huge collection of stolen data, but a search engine called Leak-Lookup admitted that it was holding onto this massive dataset. They found out that the reason all this data got leaked was because of a mistake in the security system.

For those worried about their information being compromised, services like SWK Technologies offer Dark Web Monitoring to detect leaked credentials, providing a crucial defense in the wake of this unprecedented breach.

Global Crackdown on LockBit Ransomware

The fight against cybercrime saw a significant victory with the disruption of the LockBit ransomware operations. In a concerted effort by global law enforcement, dubbed Operation Cronos, two key members of the LockBit gang were arrested in Poland and Ukraine, leading to the seizure of over 200 crypto wallets. This operation also yielded a free decryption tool, that helps victims in reclaiming access to their encrypted files.

Spearheaded by the UK National Crime Agency, this collaborative mission compromised LockBit’s infrastructure by taking down 34 servers and seizing crucial data, and marked a hopeful turn in the ongoing battle against ransomware. The success of this operation reflects the international commitment to combating cyber threats and underlines the potential for disrupting even the most entrenched cybercriminal networks.

Apple’s Revolutionary PQ3 Cryptographic Protocol

Apple sets a new standard in secure communications with the introduction of PQ3, a post-quantum cryptographic protocol designed for iMessage. This innovative update provides unmatched Level 3 security, ensuring protection against current and future quantum computing threats. PQ3 stands out by utilizing post-quantum cryptography for both key establishment and message exchange, a notable advancement from conventional end-to-end encryption methods.

This protocol not only protects against classical computing attacks but also prepares iMessage for the era of quantum computing, featuring a self-healing mechanism for key compromise. Developed with input from cryptography experts and subjected to extensive testing, PQ3 affirms Apple’s dedication to leading-edge security solutions that can protect user privacy against evolving technological threats.

New Microsoft Outlook Vulnerability Alert

Microsoft unveiled a significant vulnerability in Outlook, dubbed CVE-2024-21413, identified by Haifei Li of Check Point Research. This vulnerability, enables an attacker to exploit the system by sending an email containing a malicious Moniker Link to a target. Upon clicking the hyperlink, Outlook unwittingly transmits the user’s NTLM credentials to the attacker. This presents a significant security risk, as it effectively grants unauthorized access to sensitive user information.

AnyDesk’s Cyber Incident Response

In the beginning of February 2024, AnyDesk addressed concerns regarding a cyber incident, emphasizing the swift actions taken to mitigate any potential harm. AnyDesk released a public statement on 2 February 2024 about a cyber incident in some of their systems. According to the official announcement on the company website, this incident is not related to ransomware and there have been no evidence that any end-user devices have been affected.

Their reassurance to users about the safety of downloading software from official sources, coupled with the implementation of a forced password reset for their customer portal, showcases a commitment to user security. AnyDesk’s transparent communication post-incident, including the establishment of an FAQ section and direct lines for customer inquiries, reflects a model for handling cybersecurity events with integrity and openness.

The incidents observed in February 2024 indicate that cybersecurity is still a pressing concern. Therefore, individuals and organizations alike need to remain vigilant and informed about the ever-evolving landscape of cyber threats and take proactive measures to stay safe in today’s dynamic cybersecurity environment.

About the author


Lidia Howler

Lidia is a web content creator with years of experience in the cyber-security sector. She helps readers with articles on malware removal and online security. Her strive for simplicity and well-researched information provides users with easy-to-follow It-related tips and step-by-step tutorials.

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