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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."
As promised, the Anonymous hacker group is currently launching cyberattacks against the World Cup in Brazil and its event sponsors. The campaign, #OpHackingCup, officially began on Wednesday at midnight, with multiple websites defaced and one government website temporarily downed. The Brazilian arm of Anonymous reportedly said its efforts are to help fight for the Brazilian people.
In addition, the group has hit the Brazilian Intelligence System, Hyundai Brazil, Brazilian Football Confederation, Brazil Department of Justice, Sao Paulo Military Police, Bank of Brazil, and the Africa.com.br website. More attacks are promised throughout the World Cup over the next few weeks, with companies trying to prepare to defend against cyberattacks.
Following news that the Brazilian Foreign Ministry's server was hacked, with hundreds of confidential emails leaked, Brazilian officials said only 55 email accounts were hacked - and no sensitive documents were released.
Smartphone maker LG Electronics and security vendor McAfee have partnered to bring McAfee Mobile Security built-in on new LG G3 smartphones. Devices are popular targets of attack, with physical theft, malware attacks, and other vulnerabilities posing greater risk to users - which McAfee wants to help LG owners defend against.
The McAfee Mobile Security and kill switch was activated on LG G3 phones on May 28, and other LG customers are welcome to download the McAfee app from the Google Play Store.
"We are working with LG to build and implement unique security measures that empower users to live a safer, worry-free digital life," said John Giamatteo, McAfee consumer business GM, in a press statement. "Partnering with global mobile leaders such as LG is one of the many ways that we're working tirelessly to deliver innovative solutions that enable safer mobile computing for consumers."
A US school has shut down a reading programme because it's scared a book on the reading list will encourage hacker culture.
When Little Brother, by Boing Boing blog editor Cory Doctorow, made the One School/One Book list, Florida's Booker T Washington Public High School decided it would rather cancel the programme instead of let in an allegedly subversive book.
Now Doctorow has responded in a blog post, Ars Technica reports, where he suggests the school's move is political.
Tweetdeck has been compromised by an XSS vulnerability, causing some users to retweet a mysterious line of code.
At first, Tweetdeck said the vulnerability had been fixed but users later reported continuing attacks, such as the code retweets, leading to it being taken offline. It has since returned.
"We've temporarily taken TweetDeck services down to assess today's earlier security issue," the company said. "We'll update when services are back up."
Popular restaurant P.F. Chang's reportedly suffered a data breach and customer debit and credit card information is at risk, the restaurant chain recently confirmed. The information was stolen between March and May, however, it's uncertain how many of the restaurant's locations have been affected in the breach.
Law enforcement and financial institutions have contacted P.F. Chang's and a full investigation is currently underway.
"P.F. Chang's takes these matters very seriously and is currently investigating the situation, working with the authorities to learn more," said Anne Deanovic, P.F. Chang's spokesperson, said in a statement. "We will provide an update as soon as we have additional information."
Companies are suffering data breaches, exposing customer personal information for use by cybercriminals. Much of the stolen information ends up available for sale in underground hacker forums, where criminals can purchase bulk data.
Former vice president Al Gore said former NSA contractor Edward Snowden did "an important service" when he publicly disclosed mass spying and surveillance. It's the most vocal support Snowden has received from a U.S. lawmaker, and shows there is still a fierce debate regarding his loyalties.
Gore was careful not to paint Snowden as a traitor, nor did he describe Snowden as a whistleblower: "What he revealed in the course of violating important laws included violations of the US constitution that were way more serious than the crimes he committed." Gore also said organized surveillance by the NSA was "a threat to democracy, to the heart of democracy."
Politicians are continually voicing their opinion on Snowden and his actions, with Secretary of State John Kerry saying Snowden is a "coward." Former U.S. president Jimmy Carter said he personally would consider pardoning Snowden, while Sen. Dianne Feinstein said the former NSA contractor never raised any snooping concerns.
The worldwide security software revenue increased 4.9 percent up to $19.9 billion in 2013,
Considering the large volume of cyberattacks, just 4.9 percent growth is rather slow, but two of the top five major security vendors saw a decline in growth.
As users struggle with sophisticated malware that traditional anti-virus software cannot detect, it's possible the market will see an uptick in sales. Threats are evolving and it will be up to these companies to try to create next-generation security platforms.
"Overall, the larger trend that emerged in 2013 was that of the democratization of security threats, driven by the easy availability of malicious software and infrastructure (via the underground economy) that can be used launch advanced targeted attacks,"Ruggero Contu, Gartner research director, in a statement. "This ubiquity of security threats has led organizations to realize that traditional security approaches have gaps, thereby leading them to rethink and invest more in security technology."