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Auction house eBay has banned the sale of smartphones from Chinese manufacturer Star, as the company's N9500 cheap Google Android-powered device ships with the Usupay.D Trojan malware pre-installed. The device tracks phone user activity and cybercriminals can remotely control and manipulate the phone, if necessary.
The only app shown running on the device is the Google Play Store icon, and the malware is completely hidden. After reports showed the phone was compromised, eBay decided to pull all sales of the Star N9500, which has become popular due to its low cost and close design to the Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone.
"The options with this spy program are nearly unlimited," said Christian Geschkat, G DATA Product Manager of Mobile Solutions, in a press statement. "Online criminals have full access to the smartphone. G DATA customers reported a detection by our security solutions and thus alerted us to this criminal tactic."
Major phone manufacturer Nokia suffered a data breach more than six years ago that led cybercriminals to demand a ransom of a few million dollars. Alarmingly, the criminals stumbled across the mobile Symbian operating system's encryption key, and threatened to make the source code public. Nokia quickly paid the ransom.
Coordinating with the Finnish police, Nokia officials made the drop in central Finland, but authorities lost track of the criminals. It's a felony blackmail case that is years old, but police haven't said if they have new leads in the investigation.
Following a drop in Symbian dominance, Nokia later switched to Microsoft Windows Phone OS - and the U.S. based company purchased the Finnish handset manufacturer in early 2014 for $7.6 billion.
Over 600,000 Domino's Pizza customers in Belgium and France have had their personal data stole, and now an anonymous online bandit says the information will be published unless the company pays a cash ransom.
Phone numbers, email addresses, passwords, names and addresses were all pinched, reportedly from a server propping up an online ordering system the business is about to replace.
Somebody listed on Twitter as Rex Mundi has claimed that all the data will find its way online unless Domino's pays 30,000 euros. The account was suspended.
Children at younger ages are frequently using smartphones or tablets, and that has led to some problems for parents trying to limit technology use. Since 2011, children smartphone and tablet use has tripled, according to Common Sense Media, and that number is expected to only accelerate further.
The DinnerTime Parental Control app, designed for both Apple iPhones and Google Android devices, will let parents pause activity - giving children the chance to finish schoolwork, exercise, finish chores, or other activities. There also is a feature so parents are able to purchase app usage details, giving them a better look at how much time kids are using certain apps on their devices.
However, critics say parents should speak with their children about appropriate and inappropriate use of their devices - but that won't slow down the market for apps that provide parents with a better ability to limit technology use.
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."