open source and cybersecurity news

April 12, 2023

Latitude Financial Rasom, North Korea Cyber Prowess, CrowdStrike Government Summit

In this Episode:

Episode Transcription:

[00:00:00] Pokie Huang: 

Hey, it’s 5:05 on Wednesday, April 12th, 2023. From the Sourced Podcast Network in New York City, this is your host, Pokie Huang. Stories in today’s episode, come from Edwin Kwan in Sydney, Australia, Derek Weeks in Bethesda, Maryland, Katy Craig in San Diego, California, Marcel Brown in St. Louis. 

Let’s get to it.

[00:00:32] Edwin Kwan: 

This is Edwin Kwan from Sydney, Australia. 

Latitude Financial has announced that they have received a ransomware demand from the criminals behind the cyber attack. The company disclosed last month that they had suffered a data breach, which exposed 14 million customer records. The breach had originated from a third party service provider and was the latest in a series of major attacks on Australian companies following hacks at Optus and Medibank last year. 

Latitude said that it will not pay the ransom and says that the decision is consistent with the position of the Australian government. They believe that paying a ransom will be detrimental to their customers and cause harm to the broader community by encouraging further attacks.

They have started contacting all customers whose information was compromised to outline the details of stolen information along with support and remediation plans. They have also said that to the best of their knowledge, there have been no suspicious activity inside their systems since Thursday, 16th of March, 2023.

[00:02:13] Derek Weeks: 

North Korea remains one of the most repressive countries in the world. Its government does not tolerate pluralism, bans independent media, civil society organizations, and trade unions, and systematically denies all basic liberties, including freedom of expression, public assembly, and religion. 

All media in the country is strictly controlled. Accessing phones, computers, televisions, radios, or media content that are not sanctioned by the government there is illegal and considered anti-socialist behavior. 

While its people are severely repressed, the country is investing significantly in its offensive cybersecurity program. 

I’m Derek Weeks reporting from Bethesda Maryland. 

Axios this week laid out a series of cybersecurity attacks that have been led by North Korea over the past nine years. We can go back as far as 2014 to remember the highly publicized cyber attack against Sony Pictures. That hack leaked the release of personal information about Sony Pictures employees and their families, emails between employees, executive salaries at the company, and copies of then unreleased Sony films. The perpetrators then also employed a variant of the Shamoon Wiper Malware to erase Sony’s computer infrastructure. 

In 2016, North Korean hackers got more attention after attempting to steal over a billion dollars from Bangladesh’s National Bank. 

Next its Cyber Warriors created the malware used in the 2017 WannaCry 2.0 global ransomware attack. It’s estimated that since 2017, North Korean hacker groups have stolen an estimated 1.2 billion worth of cryptocurrency according to the Associated Press. 

The National Security Agency warned earlier this year that North Korea linked hackers were exploiting known log4j vulnerabilities to deploy ransomware against healthcare organizations around the world.

Then late last month, researchers found North Korean state backed hackers attacking malware in a system update for video conference tool 3CX. The thing about this particular attack is it mirrored the tactic Russian hackers used in the infamous SolarWinds espionage campaign. 

So what can you make of all of this? For being one of the poorest countries on the planet, it has access to the internet, and for them, access to the internet provides opportunities to spy, steal, and wreak havoc on our internet based or internet attached systems. 

The lesson: be wary. It’s not just our largest, most well funded adversaries that pose cyber threats today.

[00:05:45] Katy Craig: 

I attended the CrowdStrike Government Summit yesterday where leaders from CISA, DoD, FBI, and NSA gathered to discuss the latest cybersecurity trends, threats and solutions. These are the highlights. 

This is Katy Craig in San Diego, California. 

Keynotes focused on the importance of resilience, speed, and identities in the fight against cyber attacks. One important theme that emerged from the summit was the need for a zero trust approach to cybersecurity. With the rise of remote work and cloud-based systems, traditional perimeter based security measures are no longer enough. Instead, organizations need to adopt a zero trust mindset, which assumes that no user or device can be implicitly trusted and requires continuous authentication and authorization.

Another key theme at the summit was threat hunting and intelligence. As cyber attacks become increasingly sophisticated and difficult to detect, organizations need to be proactive in searching for and identifying potential threats. This requires a combination of human expertise and advanced technology, including artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Overall, the CrowdStrike Government Summit provided valuable insights into the state of cybersecurity. By focusing on resilience, zero trust, and threat hunting organizations can stay ahead of the bad guys and keep their systems and data secure. 

This is Katy Craig. Stay safe out there.

[00:07:32] Marcel Brown: 

This is Marcel Brown, the most trusted name in technology, serving you up some technology history for April 12th. 

April 12th, 1961. Yuri Gagarin, age 27 becomes the first man to orbit the earth, abort the Soviet spacecraft, Vostok 1. He remains in space for an hour and 48 minutes before reentering the atmosphere. This ultimately was Gagarin’s only space flight. He died on March 27th, 1968, when the MIG 15 he was piloting crashed near Moscow. Reportedly, at the time of his death, Yuri Gagarin was in training for a second space mission. 

April 12th, 1976. Ronald Wayne, one of the three co-founders of Apple Computer, leaves the company just 11 days after it was established selling, his 10% share for $800.

In his short time with the company, Wayne illustrated the first Apple logo, wrote the company’s partnership agreement, and wrote the manual for the Apple One. He chose to leave the company because the partnership agreement imposed unlimited personal liability on all three co-founders, regardless of which partner incurred the debt.

Unlike Jobs and Wozniak, 21 and 25, Wayne had personal assets that potential creditors could seize. The failure of a slot machine company he had started five years earlier also contributed to his decision to exit the partnership. Wayne would later say that ,”Either I was going to be bankrupt or the richest man in the cemetery.”

By 1982, a 10% share of Apple computer was worth 1.5 billion, and in 2010 it was worth 22 billion. They say hindsight is 2020 or perhaps 22 billion? 

April 12th, 1981. NASA launches the first space shuttle Mission, STS-1, sending the Columbia on its maiden voyage. This mission intended to prove the feasibility of the space shuttles in specific and reusable spacecraft in general.

Originally set to launch on April 10th, problems delayed the launch by two days, which caused the launch to occur exactly 20 years after Yuri Gagarin became the first man to fly into space. 

That’s your tech history for today. For more, tune in tomorrow and visit my website

[00:09:54] Pokie Huang: 

That’s it for today’s open source and cybersecurity updates. For direct links to all stories and resources mentioned in today’s episode, go to, where you can listen to our growing library of over 100 episodes. You can also download the transcript of all episodes for easy reference.

5:05 is a Sourced Networks Production with updates available Monday through Friday on your favorite audio streaming platform. Just search for “It’s 5:05!”. And please consider subscribing while you’re there. 

Thank you to Edwin Kwan, Derek Weeks, Katy Craig, and Marcel Brown for today’s contributions. The Executive Producer is Mark Miller. The editor and the sound engineer is Pokie Huang. Music for today’s episode is by Blue Dot Sessions. We use Descript for spoken text editing and Audacity to layer in the soundscapes. The show distribution platform is provided by This is Pokie Huang. See you tomorrow… at 5:05.



Leave the first comment