Daily Digest (8/31)

Elon Musk’s Tesla Factory Targeted in Cyberattack; Iranian Hackers Use WhatsApp in Phishing-Malware Campaign; Blackbaud System Breach Brings Class-Action Lawsuit; Amazon Bucket Holds 54,000 Scanned Australian Driver’s Licenses. Click “Continue reading” below.

Elon Musk’s Tesla Factory Targeted in Cyberattack

Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirmed last week that the Tesla Gigafactory in Nevada was the target of a cyberattack earlier this month, Threatpost reports.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) foiled the attack before any information was leaked, Musk said Thursday.

The company’s lithium-ion battery and electric vehicle factory near Reno, supplies the battery packs for Tesla vehicles. 

According to the independent Tesla blog, Teslarati, a company employee, allegedly was approached by a Russian national who offered as much as $1 million to infect the company’s network with malware, according to Threatpost.

The employee reported the incident to Tesla officials, who alerted the FBI.

“This was a serious attack,” Musk tweeted in response Thursday to the Teslarati blog post.

The Teslarati report aligns with a criminal complaint filed Aug. 23 in U.S. District Court in Nevada.

This complaint accused Egor Igorevich Kriuchkov of trying to recruit a worker to introduce malware at an unnamed company, Threatpost reports.

“The purpose of the attack was to recruit an employee to transmit malware provided by the coconspirators into the company’s computer system, exfiltrate data and threaten to disclose the data online unless the company paid a ransom,” the complaint said.

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Iranian Hackers Use WhatsApp in Phishing-Malware Campaign

Iranian government hackers impersonated journalists in WhatsApp calls with users on LinkedIn to gain their trust before sharing links to phishing pages and malware-infected files.

The attacks occurred in July and August, according to the Israeli cybersecurity firm Clearsky, ZDnet.com reports.

Ohad Zaidenberg, Clearsky’s lead intelligence researcher, told ZDnet that the hackers were believed to be members of the “Charming Kitten” group.

The hacker’s campaign targeted academia, human-rights activists and journalists specializing in Iranian affairs, according to ZDnet.

The campaign was part of many attacks that happened last year and early this year, with “Charming Kitten” members posing as reporters from The Wall Street Journal.

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Blackbaud System Breach Brings Class-Action Lawsuit

Blackbaud, the software and data-services giant, is facing a class-action lawsuit with the U.S. District Court in South Carolina after a system breach exposed nonprofit donor data to hackers.

The company provides data services for nonprofit organizations, The NonProfit Times reports.

The breach was in the form of ransomware, where hackers downloaded information to gain control of Blackbaud’s data-hosting system.

Hackers demanded payment for the destruction of the stolen data, the Times reports. Blackbaud paid an undisclosed ransom in Bitcoin to meet the demands.

Attempts to access Blackbaud’s data ended by June 3, although the hackers remained in contact with the company until June 18, a spokesperson told the Times.

The company assured clients that bank-account information, credit-card data and Social Security numbers were not accessed.

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Amazon Bucket Holds 54,000 Scanned Australian Driver’s Licenses

More than 54,000 scanned driver’s license numbers in New South Wales were exposed in an open Amazon web service storage bucket, iTnews.com reports.

NSW officials said they did not know how the sensitive data ended up on the cloud.

The open bucket was found by Bob Diachenko of the Security Discovery consultancy.

“All the documents I observed were related to the NSW area — and there was no indication as to who the owner of the data might be,” Diachenko told iTnews.

A folder, for instance, contained 108,535 images of the scanned licenses, while another had scans of statutory declarations from the city’s Roads and Maritime Services department.

An NSW official told iTnews that the city’s Transport Agency was working to investigate the “data issue” regarding the leaked information. 

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— By DPN Staff