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Researchers are frustrated with Pastebin. The FBI reveals a huge uptick in fraud complaints. And hackers take some inspiration from ol' Billy Shakespeare. This is CyberScoop for Friday, April 17.

A helpful tool for detecting cybercrime is no more

Pastebin, a repository where users can share raw text files, says it has discontinued a service that charged users a $50 one-time fee to search the site for new data. Researchers had used the scraping API to scour Pastebin for cybercriminal activity, as hackers frequently posted stolen personal data and malicious code to the site. A number of Twitter feeds, like @ScumBots and @leak_scavenger, were dedicated to catching malicious uploads early, and then distributing details early so that security practitioners could proactively fend off a hacking tool. Jeff Stone breaks it down.

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Worried about hospital hacks? Keep an eye on the Czech Republic

The Czech Republic’s main cybersecurity agency says an “extensive campaign of cyberattacks” on IT systems and health care facilities could be carried out in the coming days and told critical infrastructure organizations to stay vigilant. A recent spearphishing campaign could indicate that “the preparatory phase of the attacks is already in progress,” the agency said. Experts said U.S. health care organizations should also heed the warning. “Attacks against Central and Eastern European countries can be leading indicators of future attacks elsewhere,” the Atlantic Council’s Beau Woods told CyberScoop. Sean Lyngaas has the latest.

Much ado about something

Researchers from Cisco Talos have revealed a hacking campaign they say targeted officials in Azerbaijan, using previously undocumented malware. Littered in the code were references to William Shakespeare. Why? Who knows. More to the point: The hackers are using a data-stealing remote access trojan and have taken an interest in the SCADA systems used in wind turbines. An unusual espionage campaign, to say the least. Sean has you covered.

Coronavirus researchers are the latest target

Nation-state hackers have been running cyber-espionage operations against medical research organizations in the U.S. that are studying the novel coronavirus, according to the FBI. The Deputy Assistant Director in the FBI’s Cyber Division, Tonya Ugoretz, said Thursday during a virtual Aspen Institute panel the FBI has seen “reconnaissance activity and some intrusions into some of those institutions.” Ugoretz did not specify which entities had been targeted or compromised, nor did she say which nation-state hackers were behind the activity. Shannon Vavra has more context.

Complaints to the FBI are growing

The FBI's Tonya Ugoretz also said the number of complaints the bureau’s Internet Crime Complaint center receives has skyrocketed since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. Typically, the bureau receives about 1,000 complaints each day, but now, it receives between 3,000 to 4,000 a day, Ugoretz said, and not all of which are coronavirus-related. “For cybercriminals there was this brief shining moment when we hoped that, 'Gosh, cybercriminals are human beings too, and maybe they would think that targeting or taking advantage of this pandemic for personal profit, that might be beyond the pale.' Sadly, that has not been the case." Find more FBI numbers here.

Coronavirus fraud comes to WhatsApp chains

A Hong Kong-based digital marketing firm is trying to steal personal information belonging to WhatsApp users in South Africa. Planet49 is promising a "relief promotion" from grocery chain, which asks them to enter their name, and asks for information related to at least 10 of their contacts. The problem is that no such promotion actually exists, and Planet49 was selling that information to advertising firms. What makes this scam unique from the countless other coronavirus-related fraud schemes is its use of WhatsApp, which has struggled to mitigate hoaxes, disinformation and other con-jobs that exploit the app's forwarding capabilities. DFR Lab published more details.

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