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Hacking & Security Posts - Page 26

LG, McAfee team up to bring anti-theft technology to G3

Smartphone maker LG Electronics and security vendor McAfee have partnered to bring McAfee Mobile Security built-in on new LG G3 smartphones. Devices are popular targets of attack, with physical theft, malware attacks, and other vulnerabilities posing greater risk to users - which McAfee wants to help LG owners defend against.


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The McAfee Mobile Security and kill switch was activated on LG G3 phones on May 28, and other LG customers are welcome to download the McAfee app from the Google Play Store.


"We are working with LG to build and implement unique security measures that empower users to live a safer, worry-free digital life," said John Giamatteo, McAfee consumer business GM, in a press statement. "Partnering with global mobile leaders such as LG is one of the many ways that we're working tirelessly to deliver innovative solutions that enable safer mobile computing for consumers."

Continue reading 'LG, McAfee team up to bring anti-theft technology to G3' (full post)

School ends entire reading programme over fears book promotes hacking

A US school has shut down a reading programme because it's scared a book on the reading list will encourage hacker culture.


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When Little Brother, by Boing Boing blog editor Cory Doctorow, made the One School/One Book list, Florida's Booker T Washington Public High School decided it would rather cancel the programme instead of let in an allegedly subversive book.


Now Doctorow has responded in a blog post, Ars Technica reports, where he suggests the school's move is political.

Continue reading 'School ends entire reading programme over fears book promotes hacking' (full post)

TweetDeck back online after XSS attack caused users to RT mystery code

Tweetdeck has been compromised by an XSS vulnerability, causing some users to retweet a mysterious line of code.


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At first, Tweetdeck said the vulnerability had been fixed but users later reported continuing attacks, such as the code retweets, leading to it being taken offline. It has since returned.


"We've temporarily taken TweetDeck services down to assess today's earlier security issue," the company said. "We'll update when services are back up."

Continue reading 'TweetDeck back online after XSS attack caused users to RT mystery code' (full post)

P.F. Chang's restaurant latest to be hit by data breach

Popular restaurant P.F. Chang's reportedly suffered a data breach and customer debit and credit card information is at risk, the restaurant chain recently confirmed. The information was stolen between March and May, however, it's uncertain how many of the restaurant's locations have been affected in the breach.


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Law enforcement and financial institutions have contacted P.F. Chang's and a full investigation is currently underway.


"P.F. Chang's takes these matters very seriously and is currently investigating the situation, working with the authorities to learn more," said Anne Deanovic, P.F. Chang's spokesperson, said in a statement. "We will provide an update as soon as we have additional information."


Companies are suffering data breaches, exposing customer personal information for use by cybercriminals. Much of the stolen information ends up available for sale in underground hacker forums, where criminals can purchase bulk data.

Former vice president Al Gore says Edward Snowden not a traitor

Former vice president Al Gore said former NSA contractor Edward Snowden did "an important service" when he publicly disclosed mass spying and surveillance. It's the most vocal support Snowden has received from a U.S. lawmaker, and shows there is still a fierce debate regarding his loyalties.


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Gore was careful not to paint Snowden as a traitor, nor did he describe Snowden as a whistleblower: "What he revealed in the course of violating important laws included violations of the US constitution that were way more serious than the crimes he committed." Gore also said organized surveillance by the NSA was "a threat to democracy, to the heart of democracy."


Politicians are continually voicing their opinion on Snowden and his actions, with Secretary of State John Kerry saying Snowden is a "coward." Former U.S. president Jimmy Carter said he personally would consider pardoning Snowden, while Sen. Dianne Feinstein said the former NSA contractor never raised any snooping concerns.

Gartner: Security software market grew 4.9 percent during 2013

The worldwide security software revenue increased 4.9 percent up to $19.9 billion in 2013,

Considering the large volume of cyberattacks, just 4.9 percent growth is rather slow, but two of the top five major security vendors saw a decline in growth.


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As users struggle with sophisticated malware that traditional anti-virus software cannot detect, it's possible the market will see an uptick in sales. Threats are evolving and it will be up to these companies to try to create next-generation security platforms.


"Overall, the larger trend that emerged in 2013 was that of the democratization of security threats, driven by the easy availability of malicious software and infrastructure (via the underground economy) that can be used launch advanced targeted attacks,"Ruggero Contu, Gartner research director, in a statement. "This ubiquity of security threats has led organizations to realize that traditional security approaches have gaps, thereby leading them to rethink and invest more in security technology."

Continue reading 'Gartner: Security software market grew 4.9 percent during 2013' (full post)

Organized Chinese hacker group targeting western defense companies

A hacker group from Shanghai, China is responsible for using cyberattacks to target aerospace companies in the United States and Europe, according to a recent report from CrowdStrike. An alleged hacker group with ties to the People's Liberation Army, dubbed "Putter Panda," operates command and control servers and intelligence-gathering operations.


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Launching phishing attacks using custom-designed malware, the hacker group targeted Adobe Reader, Microsoft Office, and other popular apps.


"Putter Panda is a determined adversary group, conducting intelligence-gathering operations targeting the government, defense, research and technology sectors in the United States, with specific targeting of the U.S. defense and European satellite and aerospace industries," according to a recent release from CrowdStrike.

Continue reading 'Organized Chinese hacker group targeting western defense companies' (full post)

Millions of smart TVs vulnerable to 'red button' attack

Internet-enabled smart TVs can be compromised quickly and effectively by hackers, using the "red button attack" aimed at compromising users by sending spam and launching attacks. Hackers also have had success by hijacking built-in audio and video into smart TVs, the researchers warn. Any smart TV that is utilizes the hybrid broad-cast broadband (HbbTV) standard is vulnerable to the exploit - which is the majority of TVs in Europe, and about to become even more prevalent in the United States.


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"For this attack you do not need an Internet address, you do not need a server," said Yossef Oren, Network Security Lab researcher from Columbia University. "You just need a roof and an antenna and once you are done with your attack, there's completely no trace of you."


The Internet of Things is expected to explode in popularity, but anti-virus and additional security measures need to be in place to keep devices secure. After first discovering the flaw in late 2013, it wasn't seen as widespread enough to change the standard - but security experts are finally paying attention.

Two Russians confess for using Apple iCloud 'ransomware' tactics

The Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs announced two people have been arrested - and confessed - for their role in compromising Apple device owners with ransomware attacks. The suspects phished users and compromised iCloud logins, and used the stolen credentials to lock iPhones, iPads and Mac devices. Most users were affected in Australia, but Apple owners in the United States, United Kingdom, and New Zealand also fell victim. Both hackers, living in Moscow, are reportedly 17 and 23 years of age.


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Russian authorities have seized PCs, mobile phones, and SIM cards reportedly used to launch the ransomware attacks.


Ransomware attacks are becoming increasingly common, as cybercriminals are able to compromise users and demand payment for access to devices and technology. In addition to the two people already arrested in Russia, other groups are reportedly trying to launch similar attacks on users.

Study reveals cyberattacks a multi-billion dollar problem worldwide

Cyberattacks have a global ripple effect that leads to costs from $375 billion up to $575 billion per year, and the problem isn't getting any better, according to a recent report. Security firm McAfee and the Center for Strategic and International Studies teamed up to interview economists, lawyers and government officials specializing in cyberattack data. In 2013, the same group estimated cyberattacks costs around $100 billion to U.S. companies per year.


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Companies are struggling to keep data secure, and as learned from the massive Target and eBay breaches, consumers often are on the losing end. However, it's difficult to try to analyze the actual cost of cyberattacks, with some companies unaware they were targeted - or don't want to run the risk of negative public perception caused by a breach.


A company that suffers a data breach should be proactive and inform customers, rather than burying the evidence and keep it secret.

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