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Hacking & Security Posts - Page 87

Secunia: 1,208 vulnerabilities in the 50 most popular programs

Third-party applications are responsible for 76 percent of vulnerabilities now plaguing the 50 most popular programs, according to IT security firm Secunia. The company's research looked at the top 50 programs used on private PCs - including solutions approved and maintained by IT experts - with vulnerabilities largely stemming from non-Microsoft applications.

 

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Of the 1,208 total vulnerabilities found in 2013, 76 percent were sourced to third-party applications - even though they account for just 34 percent of the top 50 programs.

 

Despite continually improving security, many users still blame Microsoft for a wide variety of security loopholes - but Secunia's research indicates it's these downloaded and installed third-party apps that continue to cause problems.

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Alleged British hacker wants to stay in UK, avoid US extradition

Alleged British hacker Lauri Love is accused of hacking into US Federal Reserve computers, and his lawyers will "vehemently oppose" all attempts to extradite him. If convicted in the United States, Love faces up to 12 years in federal prison, according to FBI officials anxious to have him land on U.S. soil.

 

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The UK national Crime Agency also is looking into Love's alleged hacking behavior, though the UK court system wants to see the "sophisticated hacker" stay in the UK.

 

"If there is an extradition request from the United States it will be vehemently opposed," said Karn Todner, Love's legal advisor, in a statement to the BBC. "We believe that if Mr. Love is to face charges that they should be, and will be, in the UK."

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Variety of malware stealing bitcoins using exploited apps

RSA 2014 - The bitcoin currency is extremely popular, and has become a great target for cybercriminals trying to steal a quick payday. Targeting Apple's OS X applications, the CoinThief Trojan is designed to steal bitcoins when hidden in pirated versions of mobile apps.

 

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The CoinThief malware was discovered earlier in the month, and works by installing a browser plugin that remotely steals login information used on bitcoin wallet and exchange sites.

 

There are currently more than 100 forms of bitcoin-stealing malware in the wild, available for purchase starting around $25, according to security experts. Underground forums provide an ideal location for cybercriminals to show their wares - and if you are able to gain access and become a trusted member of the community - it's possible to purchase customized malware for next to nothing.

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British spies snooped on webcam images of Yahoo users

British spy agency GCHQ reportedly stole webcam images from millions of Internet users, including sexually graphic images, according to leaks from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

 

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Anywhere from three percent up to 11 percent of the images comprised "undesirable nudity," according to the study.

 

"Unfortunately, it would appear that a surprising number of people use webcam conversations to show intimate parts of their body to the other person," according to a GCHQ document. "Also, the fact that the Yahoo software allows more than one person to view a webcam stream without necessarily sending a reciprocal stream means that it appears sometimes to be used for broadcasting pornography."

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Energy companies, critical infrastructure still exposed to threats

Utility companies are reportedly being denied insurance coverage for cyberattacks because security defenses are seen as too weak, according to a recent report.

 

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Cyber protection is inadequate and until it is improved industrywide, utility providers are going to be forced to pay high premiums - and security still hasn't improved - only dragging out the process further.

 

"I think what's behind it is the increase in threats and the fact that a lot of these systems were never previously connected to the outside world," Laila Khudari, insurance underwriter at the Kiln Group, in a statement to the BBC.

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US Attorney General Eric Holder wants data breach notification laws

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder believes Congress should make it mandatory for data-breach notification laws to better protect shoppers compromised by data breaches.

 

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"As we've seen - especially in recent years- these crimes are becoming all too common," said U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in a recent video. "And although Justice Department officials are working closely with the FBI and prosecutors across the country to bring cybercriminals to justice, it's time for leaders in Washington to provide the tools we need to do even more: by requiring businesses to notify American consumers and law enforcement in the wake of significant data breaches."

 

Following the high-profile Target and Neiman Marcus data breaches, in which millions of customers were affected, trying to figure out how to best inform customers has proven difficult.

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Spikes Security helps block malware before it reaches your network

RSA 2014 - Spike Security will now help users prevent browser-based malware attacks, using its AirGap Enterprise software solution outside of the firewall before malware reaches the network.

 

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The company will use physical isolation, connection isolation, session isolation, and malware isolation to help give users multiple layers of security.

 

"Enterprise organizations are facing a big problem: the productivity tool that could arguably be considered their most important application - the web browser - is also the primary threat vector for cyber attacks," said Branden Spikes, Spikes Security CEO, in a press statement.

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MasterCard wants to use your phones location for security

Let's face it, whenever you're shopping and using your credit card, you'll have your smartphone on you, too. Well, now MasterCard is working with network company Syniverse in order to reduce fraud when using your credit cards overseas.

 

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The companies are working on tying your credit card to your smartphone, so that the card is only capable of working when your smartphone is near. Hany Fam, president of global strategic alliances at MasterCard explains: "There have been many attempts to help prevent credit card fraud, but this is the first solution that works globally and without the need for new devices or infrastructure".

 

If you end up using this new system, you won't feel it in everyday use. Your smartphone will just need to be turned on and kept with you. Syniverse acts on the phone operator's side of things, interconnecting between different networks reaching more than 5 billion mobile devices globally. The company is capable of locating users' phones on their signal alone, without mobile data being enabled, or used.

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RSA's Art Coviello clears the air regarding alleged payments from NSA

RSA 2014 - EMC-owned RSA came under fire at the end of 2013 for alleged involvement of providing the NSA a security backdoor in exchange for a $10 million contract.

 

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At a time when companies with even rumored ties to the NSA garner criticism, RSA wanted to clear the air - saying that the RSA, while working with the NSA along with other private industry companies, had its trust exploited by the US government.

 

"Has RSA done work with NSA... yes," said Art Coviello, RSA executive chairman, during his keynote speech on Tuesday morning. "We spoke to this issue, which is hard to do to provide any context for the state of the industry at the time, and the state of evolution of RSA's business."

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SAFEcode offers up free online software security training courses

RSA 2014 - During the 2014 RSA Conference in San Francisco, the non-profit Software Assurance Forum for Excellence in Code (SAFECode) released software security training courses to help drive interest in better cyber security training.

 

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The free training courses are available via webcast and cover a variety of different topics, including SQL injection prevention to cross site request forgery. Each course is designed to help security experts develop their own internal training programs for use by product developers and others concerned about security.

 

The current course offerings: Product Penetration Testing 101, Cross Site Scripting (XSS) 101, and Secure Java Programming 101 - SAFECode will launch Secure Memory Handling in C 101, and Using Cryptography the Right Way.

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