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Over the weekend, a bug was discovered by XDA-Developer forum members that showed that Samsung devices running Exynos processors could be hacked with a kernal-level exploit. In other words, a serious vulnerability. Samsung has told Android Central that they intend to fix this bug as quickly as possible, an important thing when there are so many vulnerable devices running around.
Samsung is aware of the potential security issue related to the Exynos processor and plans to provide a software update to address it as quickly as possible.
The issue may arise only when a malicious application is operated on the affected devices; however, this does not affect most devices operating credible and authenticated applications.
Samsung will continue to closely monitor the situation until the software fix has been made available to all affected mobile devices.
In the meantime, Samsung suggests that users only use official markets to limit their exposure, though it doesn't make them completely safe. With spam botnets making the rounds via sketchy apps, it's important that Samsung get this fixed up quickly.
Mobile security firm Lookout has found a botnet as of December 3, which it is calling SpamSoldier. The threat was detected with the help of one of Lookout's carrier partners, though which has not been said. The botnet spreads through text messages and has not been detected on any major app store.
Two, of many, spam campaigns are shown below:
You've just won a $1000 Target gift card but only the 1st 1000 people that enter code 7777 at hxxp://holyoffers.com can claim it!
Download Grand Theft Auto 3 & Need for Speed Most Wanted for Android phones for free at hxxp://trendingoffers.com for next 24hrs only!
The link downloads an app which installs SpamSoldier and removes the icon from the launcher so you won't see it. Often it installs the free version of the game so that you won't notice that it has been installed. SpamSoldier, meanwhile, is sending out spam in the background through your SMS functions.
The malware attempts to remain hidden by deleting the outgoing texts and by attempting to intercept incoming replies to the texts it sent out. It gets a list of 100 US numbers and the message from a Command & Control server, spams those numbers, then connects back to the C&C for more numbers.
Of course, the main message here: never trust those unsolicited text messages, especially if they contain links.
Apple quick to update malware definitions, takes just two days after first OS X fake installer found
Apple, normally a company somewhat lax on security, seems to be stepping up its game. Just two days after a fake installer malware was found for Mac OS X, Apple has updated the definitions for its Xprotect.plist. The update is much quicker than Apple has been in the past and they should definitely be applauded for doing it so quickly.
The malware asks users to enter their mobile number for verification and activation. They have to then enter a code that is texted to the device to continue installation. Once a user inputs that code, their mobile account is billed an ongoing subscription. After this, the app either installs the app it pretended to be or spits out garbage.
Either way, the scammer has already made his money. This has been used on Windows for a while now, though it's not clear how many people would actually input their phone number. Clearly enough people do as the scam is still around and Apple was quick to block it. The malware is detected as "Trojan.SMSSend.3666" by DoctorWeb.
Oops, it looks like Microsoft's security may not be quite as good as every seems to think it is today. While it is massively better than it used to be, a new vulnerability that has just been discovered in Internet Explorer allows hackers to track your mouse movements across the screen, possibly allowing them to record what you enter on a virtual keyboard.
No longer will you be safe from keyloggers, nor advertising companies, apparently. Spider.io discovered the vulnerability in Internet Explorer versions 6 to 10 and told Microsoft about it back in October, though they have now gone public with the information. Microsoft recognizes the problem, but has said there are no current plans to fix it.
Apparently web analytic companies are making use of the vulnerability to track mouse movements. The movements can be tracked, even when the IE tab is minimized. This is just another reason to not use Internet Explorer, especially considering that Microsoft knows about the vulnerability and isn't planning on fixing it right now.
The times are changing and what better way to illustrate this than by telling you how many cyber attacks the Navy sees every hour? The number, by the way, is 110,000, at least according to HP. HP should know, too, as they run the Navy Marine Corps Intranet (NMCI) and protect it from intruders.
The HP's Discover event in Frankfurt, Mike Nefkens, head of enterprise services at HP, told V3, "For the US Navy we provide the network for 800,000 men and woman in 2,000 locations around the world, protecting them against 110,000 cyber attacks every hour. This means the attacks average out at about 1,833 per minute or 30 every second."
Wow. Let me grab a calculator. 24 * 365 * 110,000 = 963,600,000. That works out to 963 million attacks every year. That's an incredible number and really illustrates that our nation needs to secure its IT infrastructure more than anything else.
Good news, at least. 2 Months ago, the FBI decided to work 24/7 investigating hackers and network attacks, but even that might not be enough if the Navy alone is seeing that many attacks. Add in the other three branches of the armed forces, and then add to that all of the other governmental services and you start to see the real nature of the problem.
Windows users beware: cybercriminals are at it again and are trying to get you to download and install malware. The new trick is relying on forged iTunes invoices and IRS warnings and aims to get you to question the charges so that you'll infect your system with malware and they will get your banking details.
The scam is just about as elaborate as those fake Windows tech support calls are, so we'll try to explain it all. It begins with a fake Apple iTunes invoice being e-mailed to you. The invoice is for a Postcard and supposedly cost you $699.99. The links, if you dare to click them, will lead you to this weird IRS prompt:
If you see this and your system isn't completely patched up, the Blackhole Exploit kit will have you infected in no time. Should you decide to update your browser, you'll download a file called "upload.exe," which is the Zeus Trojan. The Zeus Trojan is a keylogger and aims to log your back credentials.
Be warned, stay fully patched, and never click on links in suspicious e-mails.
Hacker collective group Anonymous have reportedly asked member of the British police force by email to "join us", and yes, it's serious. The group hacked into the UKPoliceOnline forum, stole email addresses of police officers, where they then emailed a manifesto which reads like a recruitment message:
We know that most of you are working-class people, like the majority of us, and that you too have mortgages, student loans, or your children do, and other debts as well. Don't defend the traitors against us, your fellow citizens. We offer you our hands in friendship. Join us.
Why Anonymous did this, we don't know, but it is definitely an interesting turn of events. Anonymous look to be acting toward the human side of these officers, after all, they're in debt just as much as the next person. We've seen what police and hired enforcements can do to Occupy Wall St and the various riots in the EU lately, maybe this is a step toward Anonymous and the police working together, maybe it's just a huge troll.
Gary McKinnon hacked NASA looking for proof of UFOs, won't be extradited to the US due to Asperger's
UK citizen Gary McKinnon hacked NASA, the US Army and US Navy systems to the point of effectively crippling the entire US Army's Military District of Washington network. This attack had their systems down for 24 hours and affected over 2000 computers across many states.
At the same time, he gained access to a US Army server which was responsible for managing 2455 accounts, causing the systems to reboot and become inoperable. McKinnon hacked these systems over ten years ago, and has British officials refusing to send the hacker overseas due to concerns he may commit suicide, based on evaluations of McKinnon who suffers from Asperger's Syndrome and "depressive illness".
Because McKinnon's sentence is estimated at 60 years, mixed with his depressive illness, this is something the UK officials are saying will force McKinnon to take matters into his own hands. It has gone as far as making the UK push this as a matter of human rights.
More proof of cyber espionage has surfaced with the discovery of miniFlame, a virus that is small and highly flexible. miniFlame is designed to control systems and steal data and was originally discovered in July 2012. When first discovered, it was thought that the virus was simply a module for the Flame virus.
However, further analysis has shown that the "module" is actually an "interoperable tool that could be used as an independent malicious program, or concurrently as plug-in for both the Flame and Gauss malware." Kaspersky research suggests that there were several versions built during 2010 and 2011, some of which are still on infected machines.
Alexander Gostev, Chief Security Expert, Kaspersky Lab, commented: "miniFlame is a high precision attack tool. Most likely it is a targeted cyberweapon used in what can be defined as the second wave of a cyberattack. First, Flame or Gauss are used to infect as many victims as possible to collect large quantities of information. After data is collected and reviewed, a potentially interesting victim is defined and identified, and miniFlame is installed in order to conduct more in-depth surveillance and cyber-espionage. The discovery of miniFlame also gives us additional evidence of the cooperation between the creators of the most notable malicious programs used for cyber warfare operations: Stuxnet, Duqu, Flame and Gauss."
US Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, has earned of cybersecurity on Thursday during a speech that the agency is aware of foreign hackers that have remotely gained access to control systems for vital American infrastructure. Examples of this would be chemical, electricity and water plants.
We know that foreign cyber actors are probing America's critical infrastructure networks. We know of specific instances where intruders have successfully gained access to these control systems.
Panetta also warned of recent cyberattacks on US financial institutions have been "unprecedented" in both their scale, and speed. If you're a reader of our site, you might remember us reporting in August that the world's largest oil company, Saudi Aramco, were cyber-attacked.