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Researchers from Johns Hopkins University confirmed it's possible to turn on a laptop's web camera without turning on a light that informs users the camera is on. Just a few years ago, it didn't seem possible to hack a webcam like this, but it's something consumers need to be somewhat vigilant about.
The team focused on Apple MacBook and iMac models available before 2008, but said the exploit can be used on a variety of different models. Although Apple initially opened up communication with Johns Hopkins University to discuss the problem, there reportedly haven't been any further updates.
Using a Remote Administration Tool (RAT), for example, works around the computer's security and remotely controls the computer webcam.
For users worried about being remotely spied on, security researchers recommend simply placing a piece of tape over your web camera when it isn't in use. It may seem like a rather archaic method, but is successful in case the camera has been compromised.
Target today confirmed that 40 million customers might be at risk of credit and debit card fraud, due to cyber criminals reportedly gaining access to the Target system. Customers that made purchases from Nov. 27 to Dec. 15 with a debit or credit card are at risk, with stolen data including customer names, credit and debit card numbers, three-digit security codes, and card expiration dates.
With a data breach nationwide, it seems unlikely that a credit card skimmer device was used - and seems more likely that criminals accessed the company's servers - or installed malware on point-of-sale machines. The company is now working with a third-party forensics team to identify how the breach occurred, and to ensure it doesn't happen again in the future.
Customers should contact their banks and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) if any fraudulent activity is detected. The U.S. Secret Service and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) are currently helping with the ongoing investigation. Online Target shoppers do not need to worry about the data breach.
Bogdan Alecu, a system administrator at Dutch IT services company, Levi9, has discovered an issue that leaves Google Nexus devices open to DDoS attacks that would reboot the smartphone, or fail to connect to mobile Internet services.
Alecu discovered the issue in all Android 4.x firmware versions of Google's Nexus, Nexus 4 and Nexus 5 smartphones. If a Nexus smartphone was to receive the message, it would display itself on top of every other active window, and is surrounded by a semi-transparent black overlay that has a dimming effect on the screen. If this message isn't saved, or dismissed, a second message is received, which is placed on top of the first message, and the dimming effect continues.
These messages will hit the Nexus phones without a notification, so if they're being sent when you're asleep, or the phone is in your pocket, you'll be none the wiser. Most of the time, Alecu says the phone will reboot, and if a PIN is required to unlock the SIM card, the phone won't connect back to the network for hours. During this time, the phone is useless, as it is unable to receive messages, phone calls, or any other notifications.
Alecu is taking his findings to the DefCamp security conference in Bucharest, Romania today.
If you happened to visit WhatsApp's website early this morning, you might have noticed things looked a little bit different. Some time in the wee hours of Thursday morning, a pro-palestinian message replaced the websites homepage with political rhetoric and the message "You Got Pwned."
The hacker group known as KDMS Team took responsibility for the hack, and boasted that "no security measures could stop them from attacking again." The hack was not a direct intrusion of the company's web server, but rather an exploit conducted on the website's DNS records to spoof the DNS and hijack the website's URL. As of this writing, WhatsApp's website has been restored to normal and no further attacked on the messaging service have been reported.
Adobe has been hit with a cyber attack, with the hackers taking information from up to 2.9 million Adobe customers. The hackers were able to access Adobe IDs and encrypted passwords, but customer names, encrypted debit and credit card numbers, expiration dates and order information was stolen.
As you can imagine, this is quite bad. Adobe says that the intruders most likely didn't access any decrypted information, which means your credit card details should be safe. The 2.9 million affected customers will see their passwords reset, with Adobe offering one year of free credit card monitoring to make sure that malicious purchases aren't made.
A separate, but possibly related attack also saw the source code to a number of Adobe's products taken, including Acrobat and ColdFusion. Adobe says there is no "specific increased risk to customers" due to its source code being stolen.
There has been a complaint filed in a San Jose federal court, with a group of people alleging that LinkedIn hacked into their e-mail accounts and took their contact lists so that LinkedIn could send spam-like e-mails.
The suit claims that "Linkedln is able to download these addresses without requesting the password for the external email accounts or obtaining users' consent." The complaint argues that this is hacking, since "the users' email accounts and downloading of all email addresses associated with that users' account is done without clearly notifying the user or obtaining his or her consent."
Once the e-mail account is hacked, endorsement e-mails follow. The document goes on to explain: "These endorsement emails contain the name and likeness of those existing users from whom Linkedln surreptitiously obtained the list of email addresses." We don't know how LinkedIn is hacking into these accounts, but the suit has claimed that LinkedIn "pretends" to be its users in order to download contact lists "if a LinkedIn user leaves an external email account open."
Google has finally provided the ability for Android users to remotely change their passwords on any Android device. The Android Device Manager is what you'll require, which allows you to track and locate any Android device associated with your Google account.
This is all done without the need of a third-party application, which is nice, but until now Google has held back the ability to remotely lock or change your password. The Mountain View-based giant is slowly rolling this new feature through its Google Play Services, but if you'd like to check now, you just have to go into the Device Administrators panel under the Security section in your settings.
Early Sunday morning, the Chinese government says that it faced what is described as the largest Direct Denial of Service (DDoS) attack that the country has ever seen. The attackers targeted China's Top Level Domain (TLD) .cn and effectively took down all Chinese websites using the .cn TLD.
China's Internet Network Information Center said that the attacks began around 2 AM early Sunday morning and lasted for about two hours with the DDoS attack falling off around 4 AM. The Wall Street Journal spoke with web host CloudFlare about the incident and how it affected Internet traffic. It said that there was a 32 percent drop in traffic across all the Chinese domains hosted on its network during the attack. "It is not necessarily correct to infer that the attacker in this case had a significant amount of technical sophistication or resources," CloudFlare CEO Matthew Prince wrote to the Journal. "It may have well have been a single individual."
At the moment, Chinese officials and industry analysts are not sure why the attacks occurred or if there was a specific target they were hoping to take down. With the attacks lasting only two hours, not much damage occurred, but we've seen this sort of thing in the past with short attack serving as a way to test the waters for a much larger future attack. In 2013, China has come under several major cyber attacks but has also led several cyber attack campaigns itself.
UK-based developer Robb Lewis is behind the site, which is a directory of URLs that highlight links to pages you can remove yourself from so that you don't have to go through the usual clicks and hassle that would be associated with disconnecting yourself from those sites. These sites include the big ones like Facebook, Foursquare, Dropbox and Feedly.
Some sites are hard to remove yourself from, and this is intentional and something called a "dark pattern" technique. But, JustDelete.me makes this easier by ranking each site's removal from 'easy' to 'impossible' so that you know what to expect.
Something that just hit my inbox minutes ago is from Riot Games, announcing that they've had their US-based servers hacked. The attack didn't hit all of its servers, but just a 'portion' of its US servers.
The hackers were able to access usernames, e-mail addresses, salted password hashes, and some first and last names. Riot Games is also investigating that approximately 120,000 transaction records from 2011 that contained hashed and salted credit card numbers has been accessed. The League of Legends developer is contacting these players to alert them.
In order to hopefully escape more issues, Riot Games will require players in the US to change their passwords within the next 24 hours. Once this time hits, you'll be automatically prompted to change your password anyway.