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11 Nov 2022 | Asia Cyber Summary

In the spotlight this week:

  • China Casts Wary Eye as Japan Signs Up for NATO Cyber Security Platform
  • Australia's Medibank Says Hacker's Data Dump Could Happen Daily
  • Deloitte Employee Masterminds Global Hack Gang
  • Crypto Exchange Binance Helped Iranian Firms Trade $8 Billion Despite Sanctions
  • Russian-Canadian Arrested Over Global Lockbit Ransomware Campaign

China Casts Wary Eye as Japan Signs Up for NATO Cyber Security Platform

Last Friday, Japan announced that it would join NATO’s Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence, a platform designed to aid alliance members and their partners in better safeguarding themselves against cyber threats. Japan joins South Korea and Australia to become a contributing member of the platform, which is sponsored by 29 Nato members and involves nine other nations. Tokyo's choice coincides with a stronger military partnership between the West and the Indo-Pacific nations in an effort to counter China.

Australia's Medibank Says Hacker's Data Dump Could Happen Daily

More personal information from Australia's largest health insurance Medibank Private Ltd, which was the target of a significant cyber attack, was made public on Friday. The business anticipates this will continue to happen every day after it refused to pay the hacker's ransom. Health records related to mental health and alcohol use of hundreds of customers have been released in the dark web in the latest data dump after the attacker uploaded two data sets, local media reported.

Deloitte Employee Masterminds Global Hack Gang

The leader of a computer hacking gang that targeted British corporations, government officials, and journalists was discovered to be an employee of Deloitte's India office. The Deloitte employee, Arvind Jain, had been the mastermind of a network of computer hackers for the previous seven years. They were employed by British private investigators to use "phishing" methods to access their targets' email inboxes. Among those targeted were Philip Hamond, former chancellor, Michel Platini, the former head of European football, BBC’s political editor Chris Mason and Ignazio Cassis, president of Switzerland and his deputy, the report said.

Crypto Exchange Binance Helped Iranian Firms Trade $8 Billion Despite Sanctions

Blockchain data reveals that cryptocurrency firm Binance has processed USD 8 billion worth of Iranian transactions since 2018, despite U.S. sanctions aimed at cutting off Iran from the world banking system. Approximately USD 7.8 billion funds flowed between Binance and Iran’s largest crypto exchange, Nobitex, according to a data review by blockchain researchers. The new findings coincide with the U.S. Justice Department's investigation into alleged money-laundering violations by Binance, the market leader in the USD 1 trillion cryptocurrency sector with over 120 million users. Lawyers and trade-sanctions experts warned that the transactions put the company at risk of violating American laws prohibiting doing business with Iran.

Russian-Canadian Arrested Over Global Lockbit Ransomware Campaign

A Russian-Canadian national has been arrested over LockBit cyber attacks targeting critical infrastructure of more than 1,000 victims who had faced millions of dollars in ransom demands. Mikhail Vasiliev, 33, was arrested in Ontario, Canada, on 9 November, after over two-and-a-half-years of investigations into the LockBit ransomware group. If convicted, Mr Vasiliev faces up to five years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 (£215,000).

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