Microsoft Takes Action to Disrupt Botnet and Combat Ransomware

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  • Trickbot, one of the world’s most infamous botnets, was disrupted through a court order Microsoft obtained as well as technical action
  • The disruption of Trickbot, which has infected over a million computing devices around the world since late 2016, marks a crucial development for Asia Pacific

 

SINGAPORE – Media OutReach – 12 October 2020 – Today, Microsoft Corp. took action to disrupt a botnet, Trickbot, one of the world’s most infamous botnets and prolific distributors of malware and ransomware.

Trickbot was disrupted through a court order Microsoft obtained as well as technical action executed in partnership with an international group of industry and telecommunications providers including the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC), a global intelligence sharing community connecting nearly 7,000 financial institutions, and NTT, a leading global technology service provider. Key infrastructure has now been cut off so those operating Trickbot will no longer be able to initiate new infections or activate ransomware already dropped into computer systems.

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The disruption of Trickbot, which has infected over a million computing devices around the world since late 2016, marks a crucial development for Asia Pacific. The region experiences a higher-than-average encounter rate for ransomware attacks — 1.7 times higher than the rest of the world — of which developing countries, including Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, and Vietnam, were the most vulnerable to malware and ransomware[1].  

“In recent months, we have seen ransomware attacks impact a large number of governmental entities and businesses, ranging from large conglomerates to hospitals, schools and universities in Asia,” said Mary Jo Schrade, Assistant General Counsel, Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit, Asia. “Ransomware also poses a threat to the election infrastructure of a number of countries.  In addition to its threat to elections, Trickbot is known for using malware to steal funds from people and financial institutions. Financial institutions ranging from global banks and payments processors to regional credit unions have been targeted by Trickbot.”

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To disrupt Trickbot, Microsoft formed an international group of industry and telecommunications providers. The Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit (DCU) led investigation efforts, including detection, analysis, telemetry, and reverse engineering, with additional data and insights to strengthen the legal case from a global network of partners, including FS-ISAC, ESET, Lumen’s Black Lotus Labs, NTT, and Symantec, a division of Broadcom, in addition to our Microsoft Defender team. Further action to remediate victims will be supported by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and Computer Emergency Readiness Teams (CERTs) around the world.

Trickbot’s attack on computer systems in Asia

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In the course of Microsoft’s investigation into Trickbot, approximately 61,000 samples of Trickbot malware were analyzed. What makes it so dangerous is that it has modular capabilities that constantly evolve, infecting victims for the operators’ purposes through a “malware-as-a-service” model. Its operators could provide customers access to infected machines and offer a delivery mechanism for many forms of malware.

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Trickbot is known for using malware to intercept victims’ log in credentials for online banking websites, but it also is used to infect victims’ computers with the Ryuk crypto-ransomware, which has been used in attacks against a wide range of public and private institutions. Ransomware can have devastating effects. Most recently, it crippled the IT network of a German hospital resulting in the death of a woman seeking emergency treatment.

Beyond infecting victims’ computers, Trickbot has also infected “Internet of Things” (IoT) devices, such as routers, which extends its reach into households and organizations, expanding the scope of vulnerable targets to devices that are often not updated or patched in a timely way.

Trickbot’s spam and spear phishing campaigns, which are used to distribute malware, have leveraged lures such as Black Lives Matter and COVID-19, enticing people to click on malicious documents or links. Based on data from Microsoft Office 365 Advanced Threat Detection, Trickbot has been the most prolific malware operation using COVID-19 themed lures.

How businesses and home computer users can protect themselves

The top actions that businesses and home computer users can take to protect their systems are to use multifactor authentication, to always use good email hygiene, and to update and patch systems in a timely manner.  Multi-factor authentication can stop credential-based attacks dead in their tracks. Without access to the additional factor, the attacker cannot access the account or protected resource. As 90% of attacks start with an email, preventing phishing (and its voicemail- and text-based variants, vishing and SMiShing) can limit the opportunity for attackers to succeed. Email hygiene platforms that incorporate filtering on the way in and link checking, like Safe Links, when clicked (on the way out) provide the most comprehensive protection. Finally, it is important to ensure that computers are using the most up-to-date versions of software because these patches and updates repair known vulnerabilities. 

Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit will also continue to engage in operations to protect organizations involved in the democratic process and the entire customer base. Since 2010, Microsoft, through the Digital Crimes Unit, has collaborated with law enforcement and other partners on 23 malware and nation-state domain disruptions, resulting in over 500 million devices rescued from cybercriminals.

For more details on the disruption, please visit the following blog post: https://blogs.microsoft.com/on-the-issues/?p=64132  

About Microsoft

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

Microsoft Takes Action to Disrupt Botnet and Combat Ransomware

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Latest News

Spackman Entertainment Group’s Upcoming Musical Film THE BOX, Starring EXO’s Chanyeol, Scheduled To Be Released In The Spring Of 2021

  • Following the art film STONE SKIPPING, THE BOX is the next film production of the Company's wholly‐owned indirect subsidiary, Studio Take, founded by veteran movie producer, Mr. Song Dae‐chan
  • THE BOX will be EXO's Chanyeol's first lead acting role in a film
  • Directed by Yang Jung Woong, the Executive Producer of the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics opening and closing ceremonies, THE BOX is set to be screened in Korea in the spring of 2021

SINGAPORE - Media OutReach - 3 March 2021 - Spackman Entertainment Group Limited ("Spackman Entertainment Group" or the "Company" and together with its subsidiaries, the "Group"), one of Korea's leading entertainment production groups, wishes to announce that its upcoming musical film THE BOX, produced by the Company's indirect wholly-owned subsidiary, Studio Take Co., Ltd. ("Studio Take"), is set to be released in Korea in the spring of 2021.

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Following the art film STONE SKIPPING, THE BOX is the next film production of Studio Take, which was founded by veteran movie producer, Mr. Song Dae‐chan.

THE BOX is about the musical journey of an aspiring singer and a once popular producer.

Directed by Yang Jung Woong, the Executive Producer of the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics opening and closing ceremonies, THE BOX stars EXO's Chanyeol who plays the aspiring singer and Jo Dal Hwan who acts as the once popular producer. This is Chanyeol's first lead role for a Korean commercial film. Jo Dal Hwan is known for his role in SECRET HEALER (2016), TRAFFICKERS (2012) and THE CON ARTISTS (2014).


About Spackman Entertainment Group Limited

Spackman Entertainment Group Limited ("SEGL" or the "Company"), and together with its subsidiaries, (the "Group"), founded in 2011 by Charles Spackman, is one of Korea's leading entertainment production groups. SEGL is primarily engaged in the independent development, production, presentation, and financing of theatrical motion pictures in Korea. According to Variety, Korea was the world's fourth largest box office market in 2019, behind only North America, China and Japan.


The Group also invests into and produces Korean television dramas. In addition to our content business, we also own equity stakes in entertainment-related companies and film funds that can financially and strategically complement our existing core operations. SEGL is listed on the Catalist of the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Limited under the ticker 40E.

Production Labels

SEGL's wholly-owned Zip Cinema Co., Ltd. ("Zip Cinema") is one of the most recognised film production labels in Korea and has originated and produced some of Korea's most commercially successful theatrical films, consecutively producing 10 profitable movies since 2009 representing an industry leading track record. Recent theatrical releases of Zip Cinema's motion pictures include some of Korea's highest grossing and award-winning films such as CRAZY ROMANCE (2019), DEFAULT (2018), MASTER (2016), THE PRIESTS (2015), COLD EYES (2013), and ALL ABOUT MY WIFE (2012). For more information on Zip Cinema, do visit http://zipcine.com


SEGL also owns Novus Mediacorp Co., Ltd. ("Novus Mediacorp"), an investor, presenter, and/or post-theatrical distributor for a total of 79 films (58 Korean and 21 foreign) including ROSE OF BETRAYAL, THE OUTLAWS and SECRETLY, GREATLY, which was one of the biggest box office hits of 2013 starring Kim Soo-hyun of MY LOVE FROM THE STARS, as well as FRIEND 2: THE GREAT LEGACY. In 2012, Novus Mediacorp was also the post-theatrical rights distributor of ALL ABOUT MY WIFE, a top-grossing romantic comedy produced by Zip Cinema. In 2018, THE OUTLAWS, co-presented by Novus Mediacorp broke the all-time highest Video On Demand ("VOD") sales records in Korea. For more information on Novus Mediacorp, do visit http://novusmediacorp.com.


The Company owns a 100% equity interest in Simplex Films Limited ("Simplex Films") which is an early stage film production firm. The maiden film of Simplex Films, JESTERS: THE GAME CHANGERS (2019), was released in Korea on 21 August 2019. Simplex Films has several line-up of films including A BOLT FROM THE BLUE (working title).


The Company owns a 100% equity interest in Take Pictures Pte. Ltd. ("Take Pictures") which produced STONE SKIPPING (2020) and shall release THE BOX and GUARDIAN (working title) in 2021 tentatively.


The Company owns a 100% equity interest in Greenlight Content Limited ("Greenlight Content") which is mainly involved in the business of investing into dramas and movies, as well as providing consulting services for the production of Korean content. Through the acquisition of Greenlight Content, the Group's first co-produced drama, MY SECRET TERRIUS, starring top Korean star, So Ji Sub, achieved #1 in drama viewership ratings for its time slot and recorded double digits for its highest viewership ratings. Greenlight Content was one of the main investors of MY SECRET TERRIUS.


The Company owns a 20% equity interest in The Makers Studio Co. Ltd., which plans to produce and release four upcoming films, the first of which will be THE ISLAND OF THE GHOST'S WAIL, a comedy horror film.


Our films are theatrically distributed and released in Korea and overseas markets, as well as for subsequent post-theatrical worldwide release in other forms of media, including online streaming, cable TV, broadcast TV, IPTV, video-on-demand, and home video/DVD, etc. We release all of our motion pictures into wide-theatrical exhibition initially in Korea, and then in overseas and ancillary markets.

Talent Representation

The Company holds an effective shareholding interest of 43.88% in Spackman Media Group Limited ("SMGL"). SMGL, a company incorporated in Hong Kong, together with its subsidiaries, is collectively one of the largest entertainment talent agencies in Korea in terms of the number of artists under management, including some of the top names in the Korean entertainment industry. SMGL operates its talent management business through renowned agencies such as MSteam Entertainment Co., Ltd. (Son Ye-jin, Lee Min-jung, Ko Sung-hee), UAA&CO Inc. (Song Hye-kyo, Yoo Ah-in, Park Hyung-sik), Fiftyone K Inc. (So Ji Sub, Ok Taec-yeon), SBD Entertainment Inc. (Son Suk-ku), and Kook Entertainment Co., Ltd. (Kim Sang-kyung, Kim Ji-young). Through these full-service talent agencies in Korea, SMGL represents and guides the professional careers of a leading roster of award-winning actors/actresses in the practice areas of motion pictures, television, commercial endorsements, and branded entertainment. SMGL leverages its unparalleled portfolio of artists as a platform to develop, produce, finance and own the highest quality of entertainment content projects, including theatrical motion pictures, variety shows and TV dramas. This platform also creates and derives opportunities for SMGL to make strategic investments in development stage businesses that can collaborate with SMGL artists. SMGL is an associated company of the Company.


The Company owns a 100% equity interest in Constellation Agency Pte. Ltd. ("Constellation Agency"). Constellation Agency, which owns The P Factory Co., Ltd. ("The P Factory") and Platform Media Group Co., Ltd. ("PMG"), is primarily involved in the business of overseas agency for Korean artists venturing into the overseas market. The P Factory is an innovative marketing solutions provider specializing in event and branded content production. PMG is a talent management agency which represents and manages the careers of major artists in film, television, commercial endorsements and branded entertainment.

Strategic Businesses

The Company owns a 100% equity interest in Frame Pictures Co., Ltd. ("Frame Pictures"). Frame Pictures is a leader in the movie/drama equipment leasing business in Korea. Established in 2014, Frame Pictures has worked with over 25 top directors and provided the camera and lighting equipment for some of Korea's most notable drama and movie projects including ITAEWON CLASS (2020), HOW TO BUY A FRIEND (2020), KIM JI-YOUNG, BORN 1982 (2019), FOUR MEN (2019) and ASADAL CHRONICLES (2019).

We also operate a café-lounge called Upper West, in the Gangnam district of Seoul and own a professional photography studio, noon pictures Co., Ltd.

For more details, do visit http://www.spackmanentertainmentgroup.com/

Microsoft Takes Action to Disrupt Botnet and Combat Ransomware - Brand Spur
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