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Sextortion, digital usury and SQL brute-force

Sextortion, digital usury and SQL brute-force

ESET Analysis

Closing intrusion vectors drive cybercriminals to revisit previous assault avenues, but additionally to search for new methods to assault their victims

Sextortion emails and different text-based threats have been on a large enhance in H1 2023 and the query stays why. Are criminals simply lazy? Are they making an attempt to earn simple cash throughout their days off? Or is that this part of one thing larger, probably involving generative AI?

And that’s simply scratching the floor of the tendencies noticed within the newest ESET Menace Report, the main target of this episode. One other intrusion vector that has seen elevated consideration from cybercriminals was MS SQL servers that needed to stand up to a renewed enhance in brute drive assaults.

Oh, and let’s not overlook the legal observe of usury, showing within the type of malicious Android apps. Attempting to find victims within the international locations across the equator and within the southern hemisphere, cybercriminals attempt to stress and threaten victims into paying exorbitant rates of interest on short-term loans – which generally, they don’t even present.

But, it wasn’t all dangerous in H1 2023. One piece of fine information was that infamous Emotet botnet confirmed little exercise, operating only some minor and surprisingly ineffective spam campaigns in March. After these had been over, it went silent. What caught the eye of researchers was a brand new performance resembling a debugging output. This feeds into the rumors that Emotet has been – no less than partially – offered to a different risk group that’s uncertain of how issues work.

One other optimistic story got here relating to Redline stealer. This infamous malware-as-a-service (MaaS) utilized by criminals to steal sufferer’s info and ship different malware has been disrupted by ESET researchers and their associates at Flare programs. The disruption took down a sequence of GitHub repositories essential to run RedLine management panels for the associates. As there was no backup channel, operators behind the MaaS must discover a completely different path to run their “service”.

For all these subjects and extra from ESET Menace Report, hearken to the newest episode of ESET Analysis podcast, hosted by Aryeh Goretsky. This time, he directed his inquiries to one of many authors of the report, Safety Consciousness Specialist Ondrej Kubovič.

For the total report from H1 2023, together with different subjects resembling adjustments in cryptocurrency threats, malicious OneNote recordsdata, the primary double supply-chain assault – courtesy of Lazarus group – or the newest developments within the ransomware scene, click on right here.


  • Sextortion and text-based threats 1:46
  • Brute drive assaults on MS SQL servers 7:10
  • Usury on Android apps 9:20
  • Emotet exercise 13:25
  • RedLine Stealer disruption 16:45

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