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Hacking & Security Posts - Page 86

Teenager faces 60 charges related to swatting, false bomb threats

A 16-year-old teenage "swatter" is in trouble and now faces 60 charges for his rude and reckless behavior, charged with crimes such as intent to harm, uttering death threats, mischief to property and public mischief. He also made at least 30 swatting calls against residents in both the United States and Canada.




Swatting remains a popular tactic typically used to send police and emergency responders to celebrities, though this Canadian teenager solicited Twitter users to recommend potential targets. Additional charges could be filed against the teenager, police confirmed.


"This is a fairly new phenomenon for Ottawa,"said Staff Sgt. Rick Baldwin-Ooms, an Ottawa police authority. "These irresponsible incidents have created real fear in people, put public safety at risk, and disrupted entire communities where these events have occurred."

United Bank of Union customers getting hit by phone phishing scam

Phishing attempts from criminals are again targeting bank members, with United Bank of Union customers falling prey to a continued phone scam. Criminals are using an automatic phone dialing program aimed at both landlines and mobile phones, with a warning message that customer bank cards are no longer functional.




Criminals behind the scam are somewhat clever, with victims either receiving automated calls - or in-person "support staff" calls - and debit card numbers and PIN numbers would be required. Furthermore, other victims were asked to provide their Social Security numbers to help "verify" personal information.


"Several people fell victim to this fraud and gave up their information to the answering machine," said Mike Elliott, United Bank of Union President, in a statement to local media. "Community Banks do not phone call for customer card numbers, PIN numbers or Social Security Numbers."

Continue reading 'United Bank of Union customers getting hit by phone phishing scam' (full post)

UPMC faces class-action lawsuit seeking monetary compensation

Fallout from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) data breach hasn't taken long, with a recently filed class-action lawsuit representing those affected. Both UPMC and HR software maker Ultimate Software Group have been sued due to the security breach and identity theft suffered by employees.




"We find it extremely troubling that when UPMC first confirmed the identity thefts in February, it claimed that only about 20 workers were affected," said Benjamin Sweet, an attorney leading the legal case against UPMC. "Now, UMPC has admitted that the personal and financial information of more than 27,000 workers has been compromised, and that at least 788 of those have already been the victims of tax fraud."


Ultimate Software is verifying if it even handles UPMC as a client, as the company could have been wrongly implicated, company president Mitchell Dauerman told local media.

Continue reading 'UPMC faces class-action lawsuit seeking monetary compensation' (full post)

Google puts a stop to torrent piracy site Demonoid because of malware

Anyone trying to visit the popular Demonoid file sharing website now gets a warning letter from Google, informing visitors that the site has been flagged for reportedly spreading malware. Mozilla Firefox also has automatically blocked the site, and the malware infections are being blamed on a third-party advertiser, according to Demonoid officials.




Demonoid reportedly was flagged for suspicious activity two times in the past 90 days, with Google adding the following: "Of the 75 pages we tested on the site over the past 90 days, 4 page(s) resulted in malicious software being downloaded and installed without user consent. The last time Google visited this site was on 2014-05-10, and the last time suspicious content was found on this site was on 2014-05-07."


Internet piracy is a perfect way for cybercriminals to infect users with malware, and will remain a popular target moving forward.

MP: Snowden supporters use 'insidious' language to cause confusion

Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden's disclosure of widespread government snooping, especially by the United States and United Kingdom, has political leaders on both sides of the pond angry. In addition to damning proof against the NSA, there was data related to spying from the GCHQ British intelligence agency.




"Unfortunately, the insidious use of language such as 'mass surveillance' and 'Orwellian' by many of Mr. Snowden's supporters to describe the actions of Western agencies blurs, unforgivably, the distinction between a system that uses the state to protect the people, and one that uses the state to protect itself against the people," said Malcolm Rifkind, Intelligence and Security Committee chairman, during a public speech. "It is ironic that Mr. Snowden, in the name of privacy and the rule of law, chose China and Russia from which to launch his attack on the United States."


Rifkind also said his staff only has "noble motivations," which many Internet users likely wouldn't believe at this stage. British authorities said criminals and terrorists have altered behavior to adjust to spying operations from the U.S. and U.K. intelligence communities.

Canadian counterfeiter free after less than two months in prison

Canadian resident Frank Bourassa is the self-proclaimed currency counterfeiting king, recently released from prison after turning over a large amount of fake $20 bills of U.S. currency. For his crimes, Bourassa spent just one and a half months in jail, paid a $1,500 fine, and won't be extradited to the United States to face charges.




During his counterfeiting spree, Bourassa reportedly printed upwards of $250 million in fake currency, which cannot be detected by the naked eye. He spent more than two years reading the U.S. Secret Service website, and no additional security features have been added since 2003, giving Bourassa time to perfect his craft.


He purchased the cotton and linen paper from suppliers in Switzerland and Germany, then purchased ink and security features from China. A batch of $1 million in fake currency was sold for $300,000, and the money quickly flowed in for the Canadian citizen.

Continue reading 'Canadian counterfeiter free after less than two months in prison' (full post)

South Carolina data breach report to remain sealed, despite criticism

There is a political fight in South Carolina to try and release a data breach report centered on how taxpayer personal information was stolen in 2012. State democrats say taxpayers deserve to know how the data breach occurred and what has been done to prevent future incidents, while republicans argue it's just a political ploy during an election year.




"All I know is keeping things hidden for two years is not acceptable,"said Sen. Vincent Sheheen, democratic governor candidate, in a press statement. "All I know is you either believe in open, transparent government or you don't."


As cybercriminals try to breach large amounts of records, especially taxpayer information and medical records, there is a fight to try and keep information more secure. However, Sen. Sheheen's efforts have been rejected by Republican Governor Nikki Haley's administration, along with State Law Enforcement Chief Mark Keel - and the Secret Service also has reportedly recommended keeping the report sealed.

Suspect arrested in Texas reportedly not linked to Target breach

A suspect arrested with an alleged link to the massive Target breach was a "street-level arrest" and isn't involved in the federal investigation into the data theft, according to police authorities. Guo Xing Chen, 40, reportedly used stolen debit or credit card information to make gift card purchases at Target stores in Texas, and was arrested on a felony warrant from Arkansas related to credit or debit card abuse.




"This appears to be strictly a street level arrest that is not tied to the larger breach investigation," said a police official with knowledge of the Secret Service investigation. "These credit card numbers could have come from a variety of sources."


The massive Target breach was a disaster for the popular retailer, and the Secret Service has been investigating the incident.

Continue reading 'Suspect arrested in Texas reportedly not linked to Target breach' (full post)

Piracy websites finding lucrative market for advertisers

Website operators streaming pirated content are greatly benefiting from automated ad-buying solutions, giving them a valuable line of revenue. Piracy websites don't pay for the content they stream, so it's possible to earn profit margins from 80 percent up to 94 percent - generating upwards of $100,000 per year in advertising revenue.




Online websites that stream pirated TV episodes and movies generated $227 million in advertising revenue, according to a MediaLink study commissioned by Digital Citizens Alliance that analyzed 596 websites. Copyright holders are desperately trying to clamp down on Internet piracy, though have found it to be a very difficult battle.


"We work diligently to protect our content so it's unfortunate that ad dollars are finding their way to illegal video sites, most likely unbeknownst to the brands involved," said Jeff Cusson, HBO spokesperson, told Wall Street Journal.

Lockheed Martin embracing open source with enhanced cybersecurity

Lockheed Martin has partnered with the Open Information Security Foundation (OISF) to embrace an open source software platform that also has enhanced intrusion detection and other cybersecurity guidelines. The system allows for fast automated cyberthreat sharing, with machine-to-machine data analytics up to 40Gb/second, according to Lockheed Martin.




Here is what Kelley Misata, OISF VP of community research, said in a press statement: "OISF is excited to welcome Lockheed Martin into the consortium. Our collaboration is already well underway to build several very exciting new features into Suricata to ensure yet another great set of tools in the network defenders arsenal."


Trying to keep software and networks secure is a major effort - and Lockheed Martin, which works closely with the U.S. government - will have a step up on competition while trying to defend against cyberattacks.

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