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A new Trojan operating in the United States and United Kingdom, dubbed "Svpeng," demands $200 payment after locking smartphone users out of their devices. The likely Russian-made malicious code doesn't steal login credentials yet, but that is the likely next step, according to researchers from Kaspersky Lab.
Users that don't have some type of anti-malware solution on devices are at higher risk, and there are no easy ways to get around the Trojan once it has been installed. Unless a device has been previously rooted, the only other way to remove it is to boot into safe mode and erase all content on the phone.
The malware looks for the following mobile apps: USAA Mobile, Citi Mobile, Amex Mobile, Wells Fargo Mobile, Bank of America Mobile Banking, TD App, Chase Mobile, BB&T Mobile Banking, and Regions Mobile.
Karla Martinez Ignacio has the distinction of being the first person indicted in the Philippines under a new cybercrime law, with the government ushering in a new era under its controversial legislation. Ignacio is accused of transferring money into her personal bank account that was earned by fraud, and faces up to six years in prison for her crime if convicted.
The government hopes to crackdown on cyberfraud, child pornography and identity theft - a growing battle by national governments across the world - but critics said political dissidents could be heavily punished. Despite initially being passed in 2012, there was an active protest against the law, which the nation's Supreme Court ruled legal in early 2014.
There is a cybercriminal and Internet piracy revolution underway in the Philippines, as a crackdown against Internet-based crime is becoming more prominent. Copyright holders in the Philippines are now receiving greater support from the government, shutting down torrent sites, punishing repeat copyright offenders, and becoming more proactive to help copyright holders.
Movie studios in Australia will reduce the exclusive theatrical release window from 120 days down to 90 days, trying to limit movie piracy. Specifically, movie studios are still concerned of camcorder piracy - and with a strict clamp on movie rights, it takes some time before films are available via Netflix, Blu-ray and DVD, or other formats.
"This 120 days is not the hard and fast rule anymore and there will be some studios this year that will be coming in around the 90 days," said Simon Bush, Australian Home Entertainment Distributors Association CEO, in a recent interview. "[The studios] don't like the fact that they are losing out a lot of money to piracy."
In the United States, movie studios also have tried to shorten movie release windows - to compete with Redbox and other services - with cable and satellite providers expanding pay-per-view rentals of movies on the same day as theater releases.
Following news of a data breach, P.F. Chang's is temporarily swiping all credit and debit cards manually, trying to prevent another data breach. The procedure is now being done at all of its U.S. restaurants, and customers will now receive carbon copies of receipts. The restaurant still hasn't released additional details about the security incident.
"We have moved to a manual credit card imprinting system," confirmed Rick Federico, P.F. Chang's president, in a statement to journalists. "This ensures our guests can still use their credit and debit cards safely in our restaurants as our investigation continues."
It adds even more pressure to restaurant managers, but will be more secure until P.F. Chang's is able to sort out the problem. The breach is now being investigated by banks and law enforcement, with P.F. Chang's also running its own internal investigation.
The medical industry is under increasing threat of cyberattacks, with hackers compromising patient records that can be sold on the black market. Medical identity theft amounted to 43 percent of identity theft cases, according to research released earlier this year, as security experts warn of sophisticated attacks.
"Although you can't stop criminals from attempting a cyberattack, you can take several steps to reduce your risk of having your personal information stolen, misused, or deleted," according to Experiant Health. "Start by using strong passwords, avoiding malware and viruses, and protecting yourself against scams and security breaches."
Experiant urges the following practices: don't use the same password for multiple accounts; passwords should not be dictionary words; install antivirus security software; scan all drives for viruses or malware; never email personal information; and be careful not to click on links or download attachments from unknown/suspicious contacts.
Telephone giant AT&T confirmed subscriber personal information was accessed in a data breach that took place sometime from April 9 to 21. AT&T reported the incident in a California regulatory filing, confirming three employees working with a partner vendor accessed the information. It is believed they were trying to unlock devices for re-sale, and accessed Social Security numbers and birth dates along the way.
If a smartphone is unlocked, the device can be easily re-sold by AT&T and T-Mobile subscribers, and the phone can be used on most mobile phone networks outside of the country. Many lost smartphones are quickly available on international markets, outside of the United States.
"Employees of one of our service providers violated our strict privacy and security guidelines by accessing your account without authorization," AT&T warned customers in a letter. "AT&T believes the employees accessed your account as part of an effort to request codes from AT&T that are used to unlock AT&T mobile phones in the secondary mobile phone market."
The Iraqi Ministry of Communications recently issued an order to block access to social media websites and YouTube, in an effort to clamp down on communications by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The crackdown also targeted journalists and bloggers, with political tensions rising in Iraq, local media indicated.
Users trying to access social media websites are being greeted by an error page, informing them of the government-ordered block. Unfortunately, it seems unlikely that a website ban will prevent ISIS from sharing propaganda videos and news of their continued efforts in Iraq.
ISIS has growing control of towns and cities located in northern and western Iraq, including the second biggest city in the country, Mosul. The situation has grown so dire that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki released a statement saying civilians will be armed - and local rebel groups also are recruiting new members to fight.
Cybercriminals are using the 2014 World Cup as a perfect platform to compromise users, with security specialists warning of malicious apps. There are almost 400 apps, all targeting Google Android-powered smartphones, becoming extremely popular in third-party app stores.
Compromised devices will block incoming text messages, send SMS to premium numbers, and install even more malware. SMS Stealer and similar threats also steal contact phone numbers, email addresses, and other information from an infected device.
The SMS Stealer is the most troublesome World Cup malicious app, because of "the capacity of criminals to colonize Android devices, not just for premium messaging abuse, but for other malicious purposes," according to a statement from Trend Micro, in a statement sent to SC Magazine.
The United States Justice Department indicted Marcel Lazar Lehel, a Romanian hacker known as "Guccifer," accused of stealing personal information and posting it online. In a Romanian court last week, the hacker was sentenced to four years in prison for his activities, and it's unknown if the U.S. will try to extradite him after release.
The U.S. could try to extradite Lazar to face trial once he's released from prison in Romania. No official request has been made to the Romanian government, but prosecutors could be waiting.
Guccifer was responsible for hacking George W. Bush's email account, posting personal self-portraits the former president created. He also released email correspondence of former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and European Parliament member Corina Cretu, trying to hide an affair.
Fans of RSS reader Feedly have had a bad week with their favorite reader. Earlier this week the app was taken offline by a massive DDoS and admins behind the service were eventually able to get it back online. Feedly has again been taken offline by a second DDoS attack this week. The first attack came on Wednesday and left users unable to connect to their feeds.
Interestingly, Evernote was also the victim of a DDoS attack at roughly the same time that blocked the 100 million users of that service from using it. Feedly is now being attacked by a second DDoS attack. Feedly issued a statement that reads, "We are currently being targeted by a second DDoS attack and are working with our service providers to mitigate the issue."