CyberPeace Chronicles - September

Mr. Abhishek Singh
Mr. Abhishek Singh
Lead – Policy and Advocacy
Sep 26, 2023


CyberPeace Chronicles is a one-stop for the latest edition of news, updates, and findings in global cyberspace. As we step into the cyberage, it is pertinent that we need to incorporate cybersecurity practices in our day-to-day activities. From laptops to automated homes and cars, we are all surrounded by technology in some form or another. Thus, with the increased dependency, we need to eradicate the scope of vulnerabilities and threats around us and create robust and sustainable safety mechanisms for us and future generations. 

What, When and How? 

  • WIN-RAR Update: CVE-2023-33831, a serious vulnerability, was identified in WinRAR versions prior to 6.23 in April 2023. When users attempted to access seemingly harmless files inside ZIP archives, this vulnerability allowed attackers to run arbitrary code. Cybercriminals transmitted malware families like DarkMe, GuLoader, and Remcos RAT by taking advantage of this vulnerability. It is essential to update WinRAR to version 6.23 or later in order to protect your computer and your data. Follow the following steps to secure your device -
  • Checking Your Current WinRAR Version
  • Downloading the Latest WinRAR Version
  • Installing the Updated WinRAR
  • Completing the Installation
  • Verifying the Update 
  • Cleaning Up 
  • Indonesian Hacker Groups Target Indian Digital Infrastructure: As India geared up to host the G20 delegation as part of the Leadership Summit, various reports pointed towards different forms and intensity-based cyber attacks on Indian organisations and digital infrastructure. Tech firms in India have been successful in tracing the origination of the attacks to be from Indonesia. It is believed that hacker groups backed by anti-India elements have been trying to target the digital resources of India. Organisations and central agencies like Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In), National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre (NCIIPC), I4C (Indian Cybercrime Coordination Centre), Delhi Police, Intelligence Bureau (IB), Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW), National Investigation Agency (NIA) and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) have constantly been working in keeping the Digital interests of India safe and secure, and with the ongoing G20 summit, it is very pertinent to be mindful of potential threats prevailing to prepare counter tactics for the same. 
  • CLOP Ransomware: The CL0P ransomware is thought to have initially surfaced in 2019 and was developed by a cybercriminal organisation that spoke Russian. The threat actor FIN11 (also known as TA505 and Snakefly), who is notorious for being financially driven, is frequently connected to the CL0P ransomware, which had its roots at the beginning of 2019. By utilising this technique, CL0P has targeted businesses utilising the "Accellion FTA" file transfer appliance's vulnerable version. Accordingly, it has been asserted that the following vulnerabilities have been used to access victim data and maybe switch to victim networks. Numerous well-publicized attacks carried out by CL0P have had an impact on organisations all across the world. Especially for Managed File Transfer (MFT) programmes, the CL0P performers are well known for their talent in developing zero-day vulnerabilities. The gang went after Accellion File Transfer Appliance (FTA) devices in both 2020 and 2021, then early in 2023, they went after Fortran/Linoma GoAnywhere MFT servers, and then later in June, they went after MOVEit transfer deployments. Up to 500 organisations are thought to have been harmed by this aggressive operation. Some of the ways to mitigate the risk are as follows: 
  • Regular Software Updates: Updating programmes and systems helps prevent known security flaws that fraudsters frequently exploit.
  • Employee Training: Employee training can significantly lower the likelihood of successful penetration by educating staff members about phishing scams and safe internet conduct.
  • Network Segmentation: By separating networks and restricting lateral movement, a ransomware attack's potential effects can be reduced.
  • Regular Data backups: Data backups can lessen the effects of encryption and deter payment by regularly backing up data and storing it offsite.
  • Security solutions: Putting in place effective cybersecurity measures like firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and cutting-edge endpoint protection can greatly improve an organisation's defences.
  • Increased scrutiny for SIM card vendors: As phishing and smishing scams are on the rise in India, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has repeatedly issued notifications and consultation papers to address this growing concern. Earlier this year, TRAI notified that promotional calling will not be continued from 10-digit personal numbers. Instead, companies will now have to take authorised 9-digit numbers for promotional calls and SMSs. Similarly, to increase the efficiency of the same, TRAI has laid down that all the SIM card vendors will now have to be verified again, and any discrepancy found against any of the vendors will lead to blacklisting and penal actions against the vendor. 


In conclusion, the digital landscape in 2023 is rife with both opportunities and challenges. The recent discovery of a critical vulnerability in WinRAR underscores the importance of regularly updating software to protect against malicious attacks. It is imperative for users to follow the provided steps to secure their devices and safeguard their data. Furthermore, the cyber threat landscape continues to evolve, with Indonesian hacker groups targeting Indian digital infrastructure, particularly during significant events like the G20 summit. Indian organisations and cybersecurity agencies are working diligently to defend against these threats and ensure the security of digital assets. The emergence of ransomware attacks, exemplified by the CL0P ransomware, serves as a stark reminder of the need for robust cybersecurity measures. Regular software updates, employee training, network segmentation, data backups, and advanced security solutions are crucial components of a comprehensive defence strategy against ransomware and other cyber threats. Additionally, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India's efforts to enhance security in the telecommunications sector, such as stricter verification of SIM card vendors, demonstrate a proactive approach to addressing the rising threat of phishing and smishing scams. In this dynamic digital landscape, staying informed and implementing proactive cybersecurity measures is essential for individuals, organisations, and nations to protect their digital assets and maintain a secure online environment. Vigilance, collaboration, and ongoing adaptation are key to meeting the challenges posed by cyber threats in 2023 and beyond.

Sep 26, 2023
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