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The battle against fake and malicious mobile apps is a global effort, with the United States, Japan, South Korea, and a few other nations dealing with advanced fake apps.
Researchers from RiskIQ found that malicious apps in the Android Google Play store increased by almost 400 percent from 2011 to 2013.
In Japan, fake business apps are unknowingly installed, then are updated so they are able to steal personal information and user credentials. Drugstore chain Matsumotokiyoshi has had to deal with a fake app, dubbed e! Matsumotokiyoshi, used the company's logo sending users to the company's official website - but the malicious app accepts user payments to place orders, with financial data stolen.
South Korea, where smartphone penetration has reached 70 percent of the population, researchers are finding increasingly advanced fraud tactics used to steal information and frustrate users.
Mobile phone metadata is more valuable than the National Security Agency (NSA) tries to imply, and it's possible to find sensitive information with phone metadata, using social media, and pattern matching, according to Stanford University researchers.
Computer science graduate students learned, using 546 volunteers, that 57 percent of volunteers made at least one medical-related call, with 40 percent calling financial services. In total, the callers made 33,688 unique numbers and were able to make corroborations related to medical conditions and firearm ownership.
"At the outset of this study, we shared the same hypothesis as our computer science colleagues - we thought phone metadata could be very sensitive," the researchers found.
Several public NATO websites were hit by cyberattacks that temporarily crippled them, though there was no risk to classified or sensitive information. Early indications point towards pro-Russian sympathizers and Vladimir Putin supporters, though it hasn't been confirmed if the attacks originated in Russia.
"It doesn't impede our ability to command and control our forces," a NATO official said following the attack. "At no time was there any risk to our classified networks."
A Crimea referendum website, referendum2014.ru, also has suffered cyberattacks from a likely Russian source, according to security experts.
The rising political tension in Crimea has led to a series of cyberattacks, with Russia interrupting Ukrainian infrastructure - and hacker groups attacking the Kremlin. Cyberattacks have been successful in gaining media attention and serving as an annoyance for those targeted.
Financial exchange operators are increasingly worried about cyber threats while hackers are becoming more organized and launching sophisticated attacks.
At least half of the world's major financial exchanges faced cyberattacks during 2012, a report from the World Federation of Exchanges Office revealed. To counter this, exchanges and financial institutions are trying to reinforce security methods to keep attacks from easily compromising networks and stealing information.
"We are worried a lot and we are far more worried now than we were just a couple of years ago," said Magnus Bocker, Singapore Exchange CEO, during a recent panel discussion.
Broadband and phone provider BT is being investigated by the UK data regulator following accusations that spammers were compromising its email accounts.
Last May, BT dropped Yahoo! Mail and went with Critical Path, and that relationship worked until Critical Path was purchased by Openwave Messaging - and a company employee informed the UK Information Commissioner's Office that BT customers were affected.
"BT takes the security of all products very seriously," a BT spokesperson told British media. "And in the process of developing new services with partners, we rigorously audit and test for security, and fix any identified issues before going into live service."
Both consumers and business users face a tremendous amount of security threats, despite next-generation security solutions trying to keep PCs and mobile devices protected.
"As often as not, malware gets into your systems become you invited it by clicking a link without thinking," said Bruce Campbell, VP of Marketing at Clare Computer Solutions, in a statement to TweakTown. "Take the dreaded CryptoLocker ransomware... most commonly, it was introduced as an attachment to an e-mail that said it was from UPS. The attachment looked like a PDF file and the e-mail said - Track Information, see attached."
More than 15,000 current and former New York City Metropolitan Transportation Agency (MTA) employees are at risk following a data breach, according to reports. Personal information was located on a CD that was found by a retailer inside of a refurbished CD drive, and an MTA investigation is underway to determine how and why the information was on a CD that hit the streets.
"While we do not suspect nor have seen any evidence of misuse of the data, every precaution is being taken to ensure that this is the case," said Sidney Gellineau, MTA CIO, in a recent letter.
Only salaried workers were exposed, with no hourly employees at risk, according to the MTA statement.
Microsoft founder and former CEO Bill Gates is not a big fan of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and his actions to leak so many documents related to organized NSA spying.
"I certainly wouldn't characterize him as a hero," Gates recently said in an interview with Rolling Stone. "If he wanted to raise the issues and stay in the country and engage in civil disobedience or something of that kind, or if he had been careful in terms of what he had released, then it would fit more of the model of 'Okay, I'm really trying to improve things.' You won't find much admiration from me."
U.S. politicians and lawmakers clearly don't think Snowden is a hero - while some citizens believe he should be applauded and others think Snowden is a traitor.
A data breach suffered by the Archdiocese of Seattle is now being investigated by the FBI and IRS, as personal information stolen has reportedly been used for false tax returns, so criminals can take the refunds.
Students from the Seattle Bishop Blanchet High School were released early on Friday, with school administrators hoping to give faculty and volunteers the ability to go home and check their IRS and credit reports. Students at the O'Dea High School had Friday off so administrators could try to further evaluate the data breach.
The Archdiocese of Seattle has created an online portal for those concerned following the data breach. Also, they recommend calling the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit: 1-800-908-4490, ext. 245 to learn if tax identity theft has occurred.
British supermarket Morrisons was recently hit by a successful data breach, with those responsible able to steal names, addresses, and bank account information of employees. Unlike recent data breaches in the United States, only employees were hit, with no customer information revealed.
The data breach affected employees throughout all levels of the organization, and initial investigation revealed the breach could have been an inside job.
In a message on the company's Facebook page and e-mailed to employees:
"We are extremely sorry to inform you that there has been a theft of colleagues' personal information, which was uploaded onto a website. As soon as we became aware of this last night we took immediate steps to ensure the data was removed from the website. It was closed down without hours of us being notified."