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Hacking & Security Posts - Page 73

NC State researchers create compromised Android detection software

Researchers from North Carolina State University have created the Practical Root Exploit Containment (PREC) tool aimed to look for root exploits in malicious apps.


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Since most malicious apps targeting Google Android are based on C programming, not Java, researchers can compare apps with a database that describes how apps are expected to operate. Software anomaly detection isn't new, but researchers focused strictly on C code, greatly reducing the number of false positives by searching for C only.


"We have implemented PREC and evaluated our methodology on 140 most popular benign applications and 10 root exploit malicious applications," researchers wrote in their paper. "Our results show that PREC can successfully detect and stop all the tested malware while reducing the false alarm rates by more than one order of magnitude over traditional malware detection algorithms."

Continue reading 'NC State researchers create compromised Android detection software' (full post)

Europol warns public Wi-Fi users of privacy, security risks

European Union law enforcement agency Europol is urging citizens to be careful using public Wi-Fi hotspots, due to an increase in the number of cybercriminals trying to steal information.


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There is even greater concern when people use these hotspots to log into social media, make online purchases, or use online banking. However, the majority of consumers don't tend to focus on security, and aren't aware of the risks.


"We should teach users that they should not address sensitive information while being on an open insecure Wi-Fi Internet," said Troels Oerting, head of the Europol cybercrime unit, in an interview with BBC Click. "They should do this from home where they know actually the Wi-Fi and its security, but not if you are in a coffee shop somewhere you shouldn't access your bank or do all of these things that actually transfer very sensitive information."

Continue reading 'Europol warns public Wi-Fi users of privacy, security risks' (full post)

Visiting Chicago? Use cash instead of credit or debit to pay for cabs

First American Bank sent out a public memo warning members to be on alert when paying for taxicabs in Chicago using debit or credit cards - and urge those traveling in the Windy City to use cash payments.


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First American Bank made the issue public almost three weeks after it was alerted of fraudulent behavior in Chicago cabs. To date, more than 200 new cards have been issued and at least $62,000 in suspected fraudulent activity has been flagged by the bank.


"We have become aware of a data breach that occurs when a card is used in Chicago taxxis, including American United, Checker, Yellow, and Blue Diamond and others that utilize Taxi Affiliation Services and Dispatch Taxi to process card transactions," said Tom Wells, First American Bank chairman, in a statement.

Continue reading 'Visiting Chicago? Use cash instead of credit or debit to pay for cabs' (full post)

Study: Forty percent of those hit with Cryptolocker ransomware pay up

Companies infected with the Cryptolocker ransomware are willing to pay up, with 40 percent of companies hit sending around $500 to recover files.


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Cryptolocker is plaguing companies, encrypting certain file formats that cause workplace disruption, which is likely why companies are so quick to make a payment to cybercriminals overseas.


"If the results reported on the rate of Cryptolocker victims who pay a ransom are to be strengthened by further research, these figures would be extremely troubling, netting criminals behind the ransomware hundreds of millions." said Dr. Julio Hernandez-Castro, University of Kent School of Computing professor, said in a statement. "This would encourage them to continue with this form of cybercrime, potentially prompting other criminal gangs to jump into an extremely profitable cybercrime market."


Cryptolocker is extremely tricky because a malware scan will remove the malware, but the encrypted files stay encrypted until the countdown ends.

Continue reading 'Study: Forty percent of those hit with Cryptolocker ransomware pay up' (full post)

Russia reportedly using cyberattacks to disrupt Ukraine

Russia and Ukraine are locked in a tense political situation which has spilled over into the digital world, with both countries reportedly launching cyberattacks against one another. Security experts believe even if physical military skirmishes don't take place, there will be continued cyberattacks on both sides.


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The Russian military is accused of knocking out mobile phone networks in the Ukraine, with social media and news sites defaced and temporarily replaced with propaganda.


"I confirm that an... attack is underway on mobile phones of members of the Ukrainian parliament for the second day in a row," said Valentyn Nalivaichenko, Ukrainian security chief, at a press conference.

Continue reading 'Russia reportedly using cyberattacks to disrupt Ukraine' (full post)

New software goes on the hunt for infected apps in Google Play store

Researchers from Saarland University in Germany created a unique piece of software designed to help keep Google Android users more secure. Specifically, the "Chabada" detection software helps scan apps to see if they are possibly infected.


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App functionality is quickly scanned, and the software is able to identify if an app does something overly suspicious. Google reportedly is interested to have the entire Google App store searched to see which malicious apps may have slipped in.


"Apps whose functionality is described in the app store should behave accordingly," said Andreas Zeller, Saarland University professor of software engineering, in a statement. "If that is not the case, they are suspect."

Continue reading 'New software goes on the hunt for infected apps in Google Play store' (full post)

Target CIO Beth Jacob resigns due to chaos following data breach

Target is restructuring following a massive data breach in which the retailer was warned of security issues beforehand, and cybercriminals were able to deploy malware on the company's in-store point-of-sale machines.


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"It's a decision that should have been made by the CEO on January 1, not through the resignation of an employee that overlooked critical weakness in the operating model," said Brian Sozzi, Belus Capital Advisors CEO, in a statement to Reuters.


Jacob is the first Target executive to resign - and it's possible others will either receive walking papers, or "quit" - and an interim CIO will be chosen to help move Target's cybersecurity forward. It seems shocking that Jacob didn't quit earlier, or that CEO Gregg Steinhafel didn't show her the door earlier, but expect the company to find an external hire next.

Continue reading 'Target CIO Beth Jacob resigns due to chaos following data breach' (full post)

Mobile difficulties plague workers in the office, no easy choices

Tablets and smartphones helped force users into a mobile lifestyle, in which e-mails, content, work, and entertainment need to be optimized for non-PC devices.


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Businesses risk downtime, lost productivity, legal problems, and possible customer backlash if data is compromised, especially due to negligence, and presents a unique problem.


"I haven't seen a lot of good products to add to tablets and smartphones - yet," said Bruce Campbell, Clare Computer Solutions VP of Marketing, in a statement to TweakTown. "While malware for these devices is on the rise, the more common problem is these devices being lost or stolen with personal or company data. Software that will enable the device to be 'wiped' clean if stolen or lost is a good idea."


Consumers have a difficult time trying to keep devices secure, and the problem escalates in the workplace.

Continue reading 'Mobile difficulties plague workers in the office, no easy choices' (full post)

Israel wants to turn country into cybersecurity "global center"

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently discussed his country's budding cybersecurity industry, which is tasked with stopping attacks from Islamist militant organizations and cybercriminal groups.


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During the interview, Netanyahu was asked about companies purchasing Israeli technologies and whether they should be worried of NSA-like spying behavior.


"My point is that to build in Israel a global center for cybersecurity, in other words to prevent this spying to prevent the piracy, to prevent sabotage" Netanyahu said in an interview transcribed by BloomBerg. "You have user accounts. You have to protect them. You have bank accounts. You have to protect them. You have electricity grids. You have to protect them, traffic systems and aviation systems. All of these can be both individually and national infrastructures could be imperiled by cyber-attacks, are imperiled by cyber-attacks."


Netanyahu also said he has made it easier for Israeli startup companies to develop technologies and join other companies while trying to improve proprietary knowledge of cybersecurity.

Continue reading 'Israel wants to turn country into cybersecurity "global center"' (full post)

Court finds man guilty for "webcam" fix that spied on users

Andrew Meldrum, a 30-year-old British citizen, has been found guilty of three counts of unauthorized access to computer material after "fixing" webcams so he could remotely watch as many as three victims.


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Meldrum was first suspected after one of the victims reported her computer was acting strangely, and it snowballed from there - one victim spoke with someone else, and victim 2 contacted a third victim - all three had the convicted creeper work on their PCs.


"I would like to thank all witnesses in this investigation but especially the three victims who game evidence on matters that were clearly of a private, intimate and personal nature to them," said Nick Pailthorpe, Southwark Borough CID, in a press statement. "I hope that they can take some consolation in the guilty verdict that sends out a clear message to anyone that this type of intrusion into a person's private life is not acceptable and the Metropolitan Police will support all victims and pursue all suspects."

Continue reading 'Court finds man guilty for "webcam" fix that spied on users' (full post)

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