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ChromeLoader Malware Campaign Punishes Pirating Users, HP warns

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HP Inc. yesterday issued its quarterly HP Wolf Security Threat Insights Report, showing threat actors are hijacking users’ Chrome browsers if they try to download popular movies or video games from pirating websites.

By isolating threats that have evaded detection tools on PCs, HP Wolf Security has specific insight into the latest techniques being used by cybercriminals in the fast-changing cybercrime landscape. To date, HP Wolf Security customers have clicked on over 30 billion email attachments, web pages, and downloaded files with no reported breaches.

Based on data from millions of endpoints running HP Wolf Security, the researchers found:

  •  The Shampoo Chrome extension is hard to wash out: A campaign distributing the ChromeLoader malware tricks users into installing a malicious Chrome extension called Shampoo. It can redirect the victim’s search queries to malicious websites, or pages that will earn the criminal group money through ad campaigns. The malware is highly persistent, using Task Scheduler to re-launch itself every 50 minutes.  
  • Attackers bypass macro policies by using trusted domains: While macros from untrusted sources are now disabled, HP saw attackers bypass these controls by compromising a trusted Office 365 account, setting up a new company email, and distributing a malicious excel file that infects victims with the Formbook infostealer.
  • Firms must beware of what lurks beneath: OneNote documents can act as digital scrapbooks, so any file can be attached within. Attackers are taking advantage of this to embed malicious files behind fake “click here” icons. Clicking the fake icon opens the hidden file, executing malware to give attackers access to the users’ machine – this access can then be sold on to other cybercriminal groups and ransomware gangs.

Sophisticated groups like Qakbot and IcedID first embedded malware into OneNote files in January. With OneNote kits now available on cybercrime marketplaces and requiring little technical skill to use, their malware campaigns look set to continue over the coming months.

“To protect against the latest threats, we advise that users and businesses avoid downloading materials from untrusted sites, particularly pirating sites. Employees should be wary of suspicious internal documents and check with the sender before opening. Organizations should also configure email gateway and security tool policies to block OneNote files from unknown external sources,” explainsPatrick Schläpfer, Malware Analyst at the HP Wolf Security threat research team, HP Inc.

From malicious archive files to HTML smuggling, the report also shows cybercrime groups continue to diversify attack methods to bypass email gateways, as threat actors move away from Office formats. Key findings include:

  • Archives were the most popular malware delivery type (42%) for the fourth quarter running when examining threats stopped by HP Wolf Security in Q1.
  • There was a 37-percentage-point rise in HTML smuggling threats in Q1 versus Q4.
  • There was a 4-point rise in PDF threats in Q1 versus Q4.
  • There was a 6-point drop in Excel malware (19% to 13%) in Q1 versus Q4, as the format has become more difficult to run macros in.
  • 14% of email threats identified by HP Sure Click bypassed one or more email gateway scanner in Q1 2023.
  • The top threat vector in Q1 was email (80%) followed by browser downloads (13%).

“To protect against increasingly varied attacks, organizations must follow zero trust principles to isolate and contain risky activities such as opening email attachments, clicking on links, or browser downloads. This greatly reduces the attack surface along with the risk of a breach,” comments Dr. Ian Pratt, Global Head of Security for Personal Systems, HP Inc.

HP Wolf Security runs risky tasks like opening email attachments, downloading files and clicking links in isolated, micro-virtual machines (micro-VMs) to protect users. It also captures detailed traces of attempted infections. HP’s application isolation technology mitigates threats that might slip past other security tools and provides unique insights into novel intrusion techniques and threat actor behavior.


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E-Business

Cybersecurity Firm Uncovers Scams Targeting Olympic Games Fans

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The first in-person Summer Olympics since the lifting of pandemic restrictions is set to begin on July 26, attracting millions of sports enthusiasts.

Kaspersky experts have noted a surge in scamming activity surrounding the event, with fraudsters targeting users’ money and data.

To understand how scammers are exploiting viewers’ interest, Kaspersky experts analysed Olympic-related phishing websites and identified the main schemes currently in use.

Fake Tickets

With the Olympic Committee warning of fake ticket offers and news of a UK swimmer’s family being scammed out of £2,500 while attempting to purchase tickets for the Paris Olympics, Kaspersky’s telemetry confirms that fraudsters are actively crafting phishing websites.

These sites offer tickets for Olympic competitions at exclusive prices or claim to have seats for sold-out events. This well-tested yet effective fraudulent scheme has resurfaced during many Olympic seasons, and Kaspersky’s experts expect such websites to proliferate during Paris 2024 events.

In this scenario, users fill out a data form and transfer both their personal information and money to scammers. As a result, they may receive invalid tickets or, more likely, nothing at all, leading to financial loss and their data being sold on Dark Web forums.

Fake Corporate Giveaways

Many organisations host giveaways for their employees, partners, and customers during major events. Recently, Kaspersky experts uncovered a fraudulent page impersonating a French bank, falsely promising a chance to win event tickets.

Employees are enticed to fill out a form with personal details, including their Internet account login credentials and passwords. This allows fraudsters to infiltrate victims’ corporate resources and potentially spread malicious content further.

Fake Merch Stores

Kaspersky experts have also discovered fraudulent online stores selling merchandise such as shirts, uniforms, accessories, and more. Needless to say, those who were enticed by these offers never received the items they ordered.

Special Cell Phone Plans

Fraudsters have set up phishing websites offering a free 48 GB data package for all networks. These sites entice users to provide personal information, such as phone numbers and payment details, under the guise of activating the data package.

Once submitted, this information is harvested for malicious purposes, leading to potential financial loss and privacy breaches.

“During major events like the Olympics, the sheer volume of offers can be overwhelming and deceptive,” says Anton Yatsenko, security expert at Kaspersky. “Scammers prey on the excitement and urgency people feel, making it crucial to approach every offer with a healthy dose of scepticism.

Remember, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Take the time to verify the authenticity of offers and protect your personal information. Your vigilance can be the difference between enjoying the event and falling victim to a scam.”


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Nigeria inflation rate hits 34.19%

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Nigeria’s annual inflation rate increased for the fifth consecutive month to 34.19 per cent as Nigerians battle with high living crisis.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), released on Monday, the June figure is 0.24 per cent higher than the 33.95 per cent recorded in May. The lowest figure in 2024 was 29.90 per cent, recorded in January.

On a year-on-year basis, the headline inflation rate was 11.40 per cent points higher compared to the rate recorded in June 2023, which was 22.79 per cent.

“This shows that the headline inflation rate (year-on-year basis) increased in the month of June 2024 when compared to the same month in the preceding year (i.e. June 2023),” the NBS said.

NBS said on a month-on-month basis, the headline inflation rate in June 2024 was 2.31 per cent, which was 0.17 per cent higher than the rate recorded in May 2024 (2.14 per cent) meaning that in the month of June 2024, the rate of increase in the average price level is higher than the rate of increase in the average price level in May 2024.

According to the NBS, the food inflation rate in June 2024 rose 40.87 per cent on a year-on-year basis, which was 15.62 per cent points higher compared to the rate recorded in June 2023 (25.25 per cent).


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Konga, CeraVe Ink MoU for Exclusive Launch of L’Oreal Product in Nigeria

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At long last, relief is here for the skincare enthusiasts in Nigeria! Konga Health, Nigeria’s premier digital healthcare distribution company, has sealed an exclusive partnership with CeraVe, a leading global skincare brand under the L’Oréal umbrella, to launch its product in the country. L’Oréal is the world leader in beauty: makeup, cosmetics, haircare and perfume in terms of quality, efficacy and safety.

Konga Health

Through Konga Health, a technology-driven healthcare solutions company focused on revolutionizing the healthcare value chain and a member of the Konga Group, this exclusive collaboration will debut with the renowned CeraVe line, offering unbeatable prices and free delivery to some locations Nationwide.

This enhanced partnership empowers Konga Health to onboard pharmacists, physicians, and other healthcare providers Nationwide to support the distribution of CeraVe’s product line. This initiative includes opportunities for recruitment, partnerships, and collaboration to ensure that high-quality skincare solutions are accessible to all nationwide.

This strategic alliance ensures that genuine CeraVe products reach Nigerian consumers swiftly and conveniently, leveraging Konga’s extensive e-commerce infrastructure. Concerns about counterfeit items that often plague the beauty and skincare market are now a thing of the past, as Konga becomes CeraVe’s official distributor in Nigeria.

CeraVe now boasts a dedicated official shop-in-shop (SIS) on Konga.com, serving as a one-stop destination for all authentic CeraVe products. Shoppers can directly access top-tier skincare solutions identical to those available globally.

Starting Monday, July 15th, CeraVe’s flagship products, such as the Cerave’s Hydrating Cleanser, Foaming Cleanser, SA Smoothing Cleanser, Fragrance-Free Moisturizer with 3 Essential Ceramides & Hyaluronic Acid, Barrier-Reinforcing Moisturizing Cream, Night Cream with Niacinamide, Exfoliating Salicylic Acid Foot Cream, Retinol Serum, Eye Repair Cream, Facial Moisturizers, Hyaluronic, and Vitamin C Serums, will be readily available on the Konga Health and Konga.com platforms, offering customers a seamless and convenient shopping experience.

Nnenna Emenyonu, Senior Vice President of Konga Health, expressed her excitement about the partnership, stating, “We are thrilled to partner with CeraVe, a brand synonymous with quality and scientific excellence in skincare. This collaboration allows our customers access to top-tier skincare products that are dermatologically tested and proven effective.”

Rabah Deroueche, LID LDB SSA and Business Development Director at L’Oreal, shared similar sentiments, noting, “Our partnership with Konga marks a significant milestone for CeraVe in Nigeria. By leveraging our commitment to quality skincare products and Konga’s platform, CeraVe can reach a wider audience and address the skincare needs of Nigerian consumers. This collaboration ensures Nigerian consumers can easily access our products and experience the benefits of our dermatologist-developed formulations.”

CeraVe has earned its stellar reputation globally through scientifically backed formulations. Developed in close collaboration with dermatologists, CeraVe products meet the highest standards of skincare and are celebrated for using essential ingredients that ensure optimal skin health.

The partnership between Konga and L’Oreal establishes Konga’s standing as a trusted e-commerce platform offering only high-quality products. As the official distributor of CeraVe, Konga is dedicated to maintaining the brand’s integrity by providing shoppers with authentic products that meet their skincare needs.


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