Facebook’s plans to launch a new currency in cahoots with other digital giants is encountering heavy interference from the Congress and the Federal Reserve despite extensive lobbying by the company.
The stated purpose of the cryptocurrency developed by Facebook currently known as Libra is to provide free and-or low-cost financial services worldwide.
“Imagine an open, interoperable ecosystem of financial services that developers and organizations will build to help people and businesses hold and transfer Libra for everyday use,” wrote the authors of the white paper introducing Libra.
Members of Congress worry that the motivations behind Libra aren’t as benign as stated.
“While I have serious questions about Facebook’s plans and intentions — such as how the technology will be employed and why they chose to do this in Switzerland rather than in the United States — a hearing will provide us an opportunity to learn more about their plans,” said Representative Patrick McHenry (R-NC).
House Financial Services Committee chair Maxine Waters has asked to halt the development of Libra altogether.
“Facebook has data on billions of people and has repeatedly shown a disregard for the protection and careful use of this data [and] is continuing its unchecked expansion and extending its reach into the lives of its users… Given the company’s troubled past, I am requesting that Facebook agree to a moratorium on any movement forward on developing a cryptocurrency until Congress and regulators have the opportunity to examine these issues and take action,” said Waters in a statement.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jay Powell shared similar concerns in his testimony before the House of Representatives.
“Libra raises many serious concerns regarding privacy, money laundering, consumer protection and financial stability,” said Powell.
David Marcus, the Facebook official heading the Libra project responded to the statements earlier this week.
“We understand that big ideas take time, that policymakers and others are raising important questions, and that we can’t do this alone,” wrote Marcus.
When you are thinking about a very special holiday gift for your kid, one of the first things that spring to mind is a smartphone, tablet or laptop. It’s common knowledge that these devices aren’t very useful unless connected to the Internet. But how do you make sure your children are on the safe side […]… Read More
The post How Do You Protect Your Children When They Go Online? appeared first on The State of Security.
It may be irritating, your screen is full of ads, and when you close one, another appears. Yes, we are talking about adware.
What is adware?
Adware is synonymous with the ad-supported software. Known as one of the Mac’s biggest problems, it has become ubiquitous in the Android operating system and reaches the Google Play Store as a Trojan application.
Adware is a PC problem. It delivers ads and other browser-cluttering junk most often in the form of pop-ups, tabs, and toolbars. Beyond simply bombarding you with ads, the adware can hijack your browser, and redirect you to websites you weren’t planning to visit (and show your ads there) or deliver random, back-alley search engine results. It can slow down your computer and is often frustratingly difficult to remove.
Why would anyone knowingly install a program that behaves this way?
The answer is: they don’t. When legitimate software applications use online advertising, the ads are bundled within the program and designed in ways that the developer specified. A good developer knows that he should not irritate the visitors with overbearing ads. Adware, in contrast, is specifically designed to be a nuisance, sneaking its way onto people’s systems by bundling up with legit programs or disguising itself as something else.
Whether you are downloading advertising software without knowing exactly what you are getting from that other software, such as the blind in the EULA, it behaves in such a way that you and the software do not depend on your needs. This makes adware a type of program that can be undesirable.
How do you get adware?
The most common method for adware to infect PCs is to use toolbars/browser extensions, including software and downloads offered through the pop-up window
Trojans containing adware, may claim to be what you want, such as a plug-in or a video player. In the end, you download an adware installer. Adware can also hide in legitimate downloads of unethical websites. This often happens in files downloaded from torrents or hacking sites. It’s even more popular in the Google Play Store these days, blaming Android devices for their unwanted content.
Fraud is a common subject of these shipping methods. Adware manufacturers mislead users by forcing them to download programs they do not like by re-enabling the boxes, reducing the size or minimizing the skipped options, or inserting the “recommended” options next to multiple choice options. To prevent adware from entering your device, you must read the installation wizards and the EULA with the utmost accuracy.
How to remove adware?
The output is relatively simple. If you feel that you have an adware problem on your PC, you can delete it manually in a few simple steps.
Save your files –
It is always the first best precaution for a possible infection. Get an external hard drive or back up your most important data in the cloud.
Download or update the tools you need –
To get the most out of your computer, you must download or run a scanner update that specializes in removing adware and potentially unwanted programs like; the free version of Adwcleaner or Malwarebytes. If you think that your computer is seriously infected and that you do not have these tools, you must install them on a friend’s computer and transfer them to your computer via a CD or a USB key.
Uninstall unnecessary programs –
Before scanning with security products, make sure the adware program has an uninstall program. To do this, open the Software list in the Windows Control Panel. If there is an unwanted program, highlight it and click the remove button. Restart the computer after removing the adware, even if you are not prompted to do so.
Scan the PC to remove adware and other potentially unwanted programs. Once the program has searched for and found advertising software, it is likely to be quarantined so you can see it and decide whether or not it should be removed. Our recommendation is to eliminate/delete it. This removes the adware and other files that can help to restore adware.
The post Remove TV Adware With These Easy Steps appeared first on .
You’ve probably heard of the popular video conferencing platform, Zoom. This platform enables its millions of users in various locations to virtually meet face to face. In an effort to enhance user experience and work around changes in Safari 12, Zoom installed a web server that allows users to enjoy one-click-to-join meetings. Unfortunately, a security researcher recently disclosed that this product feature acts as a flaw that could allow cybercriminals to activate a Mac user’s webcam without their permission.
How exactly does this vulnerability work? Cybercriminals are able to exploit a feature that allows users to send a meeting link directly to a recipient. When the recipient clicks on the link, they are automatically launched into the video conferencing software. If the user has previously installed the Zoom app onto their Mac and hasn’t turned off their camera for meetings, Zoom will auto-join the user to a conference call with the camera on. With this flaw, an attacker can send a victim a meeting link via email message or web server, allowing them to look into a victim’s room, office, or wherever their camera is pointing. It’s important to note that even if a user has deleted the Zoom app from their device, the Zoom web server remains, making the device susceptible to this vulnerability.
While the thought of someone unknowingly accessing a user’s Mac camera is creepy, this vulnerability could also result in a Denial of Service (DoS) attack by overwhelming a user’s device with join requests. And even though this patch has been successfully patched by Zoom, it’s important for users to realize that this update is not enforced by the platform. So, how can Zoom users avoid getting sucked into a potentially malicious call? Check out these security tips to stay secure on conference calls:
- Adjust your Zoom settings. Users can disable the setting that allows Zoom to turn your camera on when joining a meeting. This will prevent a hacker from accessing your camera if you are sent a suspicious meeting link.
- Update, update, update. Be sure to manually install the latest Zoom update to prevent DoS or other potential attacks. Additionally, Zoom will introduce an update in July that allows users to apply video preferences from their first call to all future calls. This will ensure that if a user joins their first meeting without video, this setting will remain consistent for all other calls.
The post Watch Your Webcam: Tips to Protect Your Mac From Zoom Hackers appeared first on McAfee Blogs.
On June 6, 2019, Google released a case study of very intelligent hackers who were trying to plant backdoor in Android phones. This is about a family of apps called “Triada” that can place spam and ads on the device. After a brief overview about its beginning in 2016 and the operation of the first version, Google took a surprising turn: Triada has developed a method to create malware on Android phones ready to use even before the clients open or install an application box.
The key is that many smartphone manufacturers do not have the tools to develop some features, and they depend on third-party vendors to build them. This third-party, then becomes is the attack vector.
The Triada’s story began when Kaspersky Lab researchers discovered it early in 2016. According to Google, the purpose of the Android malware was “primarily to install anti-spam applications on devices displaying advertisements.” Lukasz Siewierski, a reverse engineer on Google’s security and privacy team for Android, said Triada was way ahead of schedule.
If you are reading this, it is very unlikely that a mobile phone you purchased has been affected. Google didn’t mention the names of the devices infected by Triada. According to an analysis of anti-malware software vendors, Dr. Web found the backdoors on Chinese manufacturers Leagoo and Nomu, which were not sold in the United States.
Earlier this year, Forbes reported the discovery of a banking Android Trojan called Triada on many new low priced Android smartphones. Google has now confirmed that the threat actors have successfully compromised Android smartphones by installing backdoors as part of a supply chain attack.
“The method used by Triada is complicated and unusual for this type of application,” wrote Siewierski in a blog post. “The Triada app is launched as a root Trojan, but if Google Play Protect strengthens defense against root attacks, Triada apps were forced to adapt, progressing to a system image backdoor.”
Although Google has added Android anti-threat features such as Triada, the summer 2017 malware threat has taken a different and unusual approach and has attacked the supply chain so that the backdoor of malware pre-installed on small budget mobile phones.
As for Triada, Google Lukasz Siewierski analysis on the blog confirms the existence of Google backdoor in the latest Android smartphones.
The post Google Acknowledges Having Android Backdoor Triada appeared first on .
Is PayPal safe? Well, taking into account that PayPal’s one of the oldest and most ‘seasoned’ online money transfer platforms, it’s safe to assume that many an effort have been made to bolster its security.
Of course, timeline-wise, it was a trial-and-error kind of gig but at the moment, PayPal’s right out there with the big players such as Revolut, Dwolla, TransferWise, Payoneer, and Google Pay. So, what does that tell us in terms of cybersecurity? With that being the question du jour, let’s dig in and find an answer to our “chicken-or-the-egg” question: is PayPal safe or not?
Before we dwelve into it, if you are concerned about PayPal account’s security, here are 11+ scams you should look out for. Right, now onto the breach!
Is PayPal Safe for Your Cybersecurity?
In a nutshell, I would have to venture to say that PayPal is not completely safe. Of course, the same thing can be said about any online money transfer platform, but keep in mind that being the eldest player, it obviously attracts a lot of unwanted attention. And with some 227 million account holders worldwide, figuring out who’s next in line to be swindled is like playing charades.
According to the company, online fraud incidence is holding at a steady two percent, which is pretty decent considering that PayPal alone processes $235 billion in payments per year, and has ties to no less than 17 million websites and organizations.
Considering these numbers, we can assume that the peer-to-peer payment platform is not short of fraud attempts. So, what are the main risks of opening up a PayPal account or holding on tight to the one you have? Here’s a rundown of the most common types of swindling attempts.
SECURE YOUR ONLINE BROWSING!Get Thor Foresight
Phishing’s probably the most ‘abused’ and quite successful online scam (makes you wonder if PayPal is safe or not). Why is that, you ask? I wouldn’t pin it on the account holder’s gullibility; more on the fact that no one’s willing to spend ten minutes of their time reviewing PayPal’s Buyer and Seller Protection policy.
In the aforementioned article, I pointed out that most users are not aware of simple, down-to-earth PayPal facts (i.e. the platform will never request private info like address, password, financial details, or your social security number via email).
If your inbox lights up and you see an email from ‘PayPal’ requesting those details, then it’s more than likely a fraud attempt. PayPal phishing comes in many guises: some will ask you to follow a link in order to review and update your financial info, others try to reel you in with the promises of free cash or out-this-world prizes, while some are nicely wrapped in a sad story that tugs on your heartstrings (i.e. fake charities).
Be careful around emails containing attachments. Official PayPal emails don’t have any, apart from the company’s header.
Email phishing’s not the only dirty trick in the scamming book. Phishing via text messages or smishing, is a quick way of finding out if you have a PayPal account.
In most cases, these ‘reverse-engineered’ text messages contain phone numbers. Yes, they entice you into calling them back to confirm a couple of ‘harmless’ details. Of course, they could also pack links to fake credential-grabbing sources, masquerading as legit PayPal pages. So, how this scam work? Here a quick heads-up:
- You receive an SMS that reads: “Your PayPal account has been suspended due to suspicious activity. Please contact us immediately at <fraudster’s phone number>. It is imperative that we speak to you immediately.”
- Another version “PayPal: You spent <random amount> with PayPal. If you did not make this transaction, please call us immediately at <scammer’s disposable phone number>. Thank You.”
- Here’s a version that contains both phone numbers and phishing links: “PayPal: You spent <cash amount of choice> with PayPal. If you did not make this transaction, please login at mobileservices2019.com/txn?id=178948 to revert this transaction. Thank You.”
What happens if you call that number? Well, I guess you’ll have a ‘lovely’ chat with the fraudster who will probably try his best to persuade you into disclosing your account’s details. As for the link, I think we both know how this story ends (with you asking if PayPal is safe or not, of course).
If phishing and smishing don’t work, we will always have vishing. What’s vishing? It’s a phishing method that involves an automated system designed to make voice calls. So, how does this work? Well, according to PayPal’s fraudulent pages and websites section, you may be called by someone claiming to be a company representative, urging you to either confirm or submit some credentials.
The conversation can go something like this:
This is PayPal calling about a possible fraudulent transaction on your account. Please enter your password now to hear the transaction details. We need your immediate response to block or confirm this transaction.
Guess what happens after submitting the password? Yes, it’s bye-bye PayPal money. Even more daunting is the fact that the scheme’s so perfect, that you will keep on thinking that the call was actually PayPal. Before calling, the scammer can change the caller ID to read “PayPal” or something similar. You still wondering if PayPal is safe?
4. Banking Trojans
And because phishing was not enough, now we even have trojans capable of ‘siphoning’ money from your account. This malware variant called a “banking trojan”, can bleed your balance dry even with two-factor authentication.
Cybersecurity researchers revealed that this trojan comes in the guise of a system and battery optimization app called Optimize Android. Upon installation, the app asks the user to switch on the “Enable statistics” option. After that, the trojan will begin analyzing your smartphone’s external and internal storages for banking apps like PayPal. If detected, the malware will wait for the user to enter his credentials before stealing money via the fake click method.
What sort of security measures does PayPal have in place?
To ensure that your hard-earned money stays where it’s supposed to, PayPal employs three types of security measures: email confirmations, PayPal Security Keys, and data encryption. There’s even a fourth measure, but it’s still being tested. Asking yourself if PayPal is safe or not?
1. Email confirmation
Each time you receive\issue a payment, you will be notified via email. Of course, if you receive this payment without performing any action in particular, you should definitely think about contacting PayPal since it’s obvious that someone might be trying to ‘hotwire’ your account.
2. PayPal Security Keys
This is PayPal’s take on 2FA. When switched on, the app will ask you to enter a security code, in addition to your PayPal password. Check your smartphone’s SMS inbox for the code; the security keys service is free of charge, but messaging rates may apply. Check with your mobile provider for additional details.
3. Data encryption
Since all transactions are online-exclusive, there will be a lot of safeguards in place: TLS protocols, Key pinning, and GDP (general data protection). When logging in, PayPal’s platform will determine if your connection’s TLS 1.0 or higher.
Of course, for extra protection, you should ensure that your browser’ capable of handling HTTPS connections (look for the padlock icon next to address bar).
To counter comm-interception attacks, PayPal uses a security layer called Key Pinning. This safeguard ensures that your browser’s communicating with a legit PayPal server. Why would this be useful? Well, scammers can actually intercept data in transit and redirect you to a cloned website. Key pinning prevents such attacks.
Last, but not least, PayPal’s data protection policies for both data-in-transit and at-rest are industry-compliant. This includes PCI-DSS and deference with independent third parties like the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants SSAE16 SOC1, Sarbanes-Oxley Act, and AT101 SOC2.
4. PayPal 3D-Secure (3DS Protocol)
As part of its ongoing anti-fraud crusade, PayPal has added an extra security layer which draws upon EMV’s proprietary 3-D Secure Protocol. Fully compliant with SCA (Strong Customer Authentication), this added layer will require the account holder to transmit a special security code to the bank that issued his credit or debit card in order to complete a transaction.
Depending on your card type, the system’s called “Verified by Visa”, “SafeKey”, or “MasterCard SecureCode”. Keep in mind that not all banking apps are compatible with 3-D encryption. The protocol will not be enabled by default.
Good news is that you will be able to ditch it if you have a hard time completing a transaction. Please note that the 3D-Secure passkey’s different from your PayPal’s password. Yes, it means that you’ll need to enter both in order to complete a transaction.
How to beef up your PayPal account security
Undoubtedly, there will always be someone out there just waiting to bleed your PayPal account dry. Though no one can guarantee complete safety (there’s no such thing in the online world), there are a few things you can try out in order to boost your security. So, without a due, here are some actionable security tips you should follow if you plan on keeping your PayPal account.
#1. Avoid transactioning over public Wi-Fis.
Keep in mind that unsecured Wi-Fis are great ‘hunting grounds’ for scammers. If the transaction cannot wait, you should consider using your mobile data instead of an open Wi-Fi. Charges may apply, but at least you would have answered the “is PayPal safe?” question.
#2. Using a dedicated device vs. an all-purpose device.
I know that the very thought of using a dedicated device just to view balance may seem like a whim, but it’s actually a lot safer than using an all-purpose machine (i.e. home PC or smartphone). How will this work? Let’s say you have a laptop at home, sitting idly in the corner, and collecting dust.
Instead of letting it die out, you can repurpose it to suit your PayPal needs- use this endpoint to make PayPal transactions, while keeping your smartphone and/or home computer for personal stuff (i.e. online gaming, surfing on the web, social media).
If you use a dedicated machine for PayPal activities, you won’t have to worry about having to deal with spyware or malware picked up from the web because you just had to see that cat video!
#3. Don’t link a debit card to your PayPal account.
I really don’t think it’s a good idea to hook up your debit card to any kind of online account, regardless if it’s Netflix, Google Play, or PayPal.
Now, with a credit card, worst case scenario would be covering for the ‘siphoned’ money (well, it’s not really what I would call an improvement, but you’ll still be able to make due until the next paycheck).
There’s another advantage to linking your credit instead of a debit card: if PayPal refuses to refund your money, you may still be able to settle the matter with the bank that issued your credit card in the first place.
#4. Keep an eye out on your balance
While it’s always a good idea to keep tabs on your PayPal balance, you should turn it into a habit from now on since scammers are known to trickle small amounts from your account. There’s even a short and sweet story to back up that claim. Anissa Wardell of The Publicists Assistant, says that after checking her account, she noticed that small sums kept vanishing (some $5 to $10 every couple of days).
Upon contacting PayPal, she was informed that the money was going to some small UK-based grocery store. Imagine her surprise when she found out that she’s been berry-picking without even being aware that she was doing it. Fortunately, the account was closed in time.
And because all’s well when it ends well, PayPal even offered her a full refund. There’s a lesson to be learned here – if you see that you’re a couple of bucks short, do yourself a favor and contact PayPal on the double. Sure, a few dollars every odd day isn’t a big deal, but imagine what can happen in a couple of weeks if the issue goes unresolved.
#5. Don’t click on in-mail links from ‘PayPal’
Spoofing’s not what you might call a cutting-edge scamming technique. Still, as the saying goes: “if it’s stupid, but it works, then it’s not stupid.” Now, if you come across any PayPal links in emails, hover your mouse over them; chances are that they have nothing to do with PayPal. There’s a surefire way to find out if the email is really from PayPal – hop on your account and go to Notifications. If PayPal wanted to reach out, then there will most certainly be an unread notification.
#6. Buy from trusted sources only
This one’s pretty straightforward– look for the padlock icon next to the merchant’s URL or Google’s checkmark; this is, by far, the fastest way to figure out if the vendor’s legit or someone trying to steal your money.
#7. Get yourself checked out
Trust goes both ways; even more so when money’s involved. As a buyer, you can verify your account by linking it to a valid email address or phone number. There are other, more ‘unsecure’ ways to verify your identity – by supplying your social security number or by attaching a debit\credit card to your account.
A bit of a paradox here, if you ask me; sure, typing in your SSN makes you a real person, but also puts your PayPal in harm’s way. A few bucks missing from your bank account is sad, but imagine what happens in case someone steals your identity. Now, if you opt for the SSN\debit & credit card verifications, I would strongly advise you to keep a close watch on your account and report any suspicious activity.
#8. Use third-party access token software with PayPal Developer
Though it’s a bit tricky, ‘cause it involves messing around with code lines and open-source apps, you will be able to add an access token to your PayPal account through the Developer medium. If you feel up to the task, follow the steps below to make the app generate an access token.
Step 1. Go to PayPal Developer and log in using your credentials.
Step 2. Head to the My Apps & Credentials section.
Step 3. Under the REST API section, click on Create App.
Step 4. Type in a name for your new app and hit the Create App button.
Step 5. Edit and review the app’s details, if necessary and then hit the Save button.
Step 6. To generate the access token, make a token request using the application’s OAuth client id and, of course, the secret keys using the /token command. This will give you the basic authentication values.
Step 7. Look the request body and change the grant_type line to client_credentials.
Step 8. Review your code lines and hit the run button. If written correctly, the app should give you an access token.
Yes, I know that this sounds like Medieval Klingon, but let me give you a hand. Here’s how the access token request should look like:
curl -v https://api.sandbox.paypal.com/v1.oauth2/token \ H “Accept: application/json” \ H “Accept -Language: en_US” \ -u “EO EOJ2S-Z60oN_le_KS1d75wsZ6y0SFdVsY9183IvxFyZp:EC1usMEUk8e9ihI7ZdXLF5cz6y0SFdVsY9183IvxFyZp” d “grant_type=client_credentials”
#1. Don’t oversell your goods
I know that the urge to boast your goods is strong, but you should definitely refrain from being too “flamboyant” in your description. Stick to the basics: size, weight, and condition – anything the buyer needs to know about the product he’s about to purchase. If you’re selling used goods, you should also consider adding notes about any scratches or marks.
Why this nitpicking? Because it’s a common PayPal scamming technique to open disputes over products not matching their descriptions. And yes, it doesn’t matter how insignificant the differences are; they’ll still try to dispute it. To avoid this embarrassing situation, post lots of close-up pictures and consider adding a follow-up note to ensure that the package arrived on time and everything’s hunky-dory.
#2. Only agree to ship to confirmed addresses
PayPal wholeheartedly encourages the seller to ship only to buyers who have confirmed their shipping address. Before completing the transaction, ensure that the person verified his credit card and that the billing will be done to the same address. Consider adding tracking to your shipment.
#3. Avoid using labels that are emailed or sent to you
Always use your shipping company’s labels or wrappings. If someone asks you to stick a different label or postage mark on the package, it’s a high chance that you may be dealing with a scammer. So, avoid shipping through major postal services, using labels received at home or over email, and use online tracking. Now, if your goods exceed $250, request a signature on delivery.
#4. Watch out for suspicious transactions
In some cases, especially when high-value items are involved, the scammers will attempt to rush the shipment or to make partial payments through several PayPal accounts. Always ask for full payment from a single, trackable, and registered PayPal account, and don’t forget about signature confirmation on receival.
#5. Don’t misplace your sale and shipment records
Keep in mind that PayPal buyers are legally entitled to dispute any transaction within 180 days. Still, that’s not the end of the line; to qualify for the company’s seller protection program, keep all the records pertaining to sale and shipping. Moreover, you’ll be more likely to outwit a potential scammer if you send out the requested documentation and for quick responses to disputes.
PayPal Security FAQ
Q: Is PayPal safe to keep money?
A: As long as you take the necessary precautions, there’s no reason to worry about money deposited in your PayPal account. If you have any reasons to believe that your PayPal’s account might be at risk, contact PayPal support.
Bear in mind that PayPal does not replace a regular bank account, so you should refrain from keeping all your money tied in your online account.
Q: Is PayPal safe to use with bank account?
A: The platform allows account holders to tie in their bank accounts, by attaching a credit or debit card. To bolster your security, I would advise against linking a debit card to your PayPal account. In the event that a scammer breaks into your account, fraudulent credit card charges can easily be cleared with the issuing bank. However, if the scammer manages to empty your debit card, then there’s nothing more to be done.
Q: Is PayPal safe to transfer money?
A: PayPal is one of the safest money transfer environments. Make sure that you carefully read the terms and conditions that apply to your case (buyer or seller).
Q: Is PayPal safe to buy online?
A: As long as you make your purchases from legitimate vendors, the chances of being scammed are negligible. If you have any reason to doubt the seller’s intentions, contact PayPal for a quick check-up. In the meantime, you can search for signs of frauds yourself.
Look for things like billing address doesn’t match the shipping one, the vendor wants to use postal services instead of relying on a shipping company. If the seller has an e-shop or a presentation website, you can also check the content for any discrepancies (i.e. stock photos, spelling errors, texts on how to get rich fast, over-inflated user comments, spammy articles).
So, is PayPal safe? Long story short: yes, it is or, at the very least, it’s safer compared to other online-money transfer services. Of course, no one can guarantee that nothing bad will happen to you when using PayPal.
It’s safe to assume that it all boils down to what we do in the ‘shadows’, I guess: if you’re careful enough about your account’s cybersecurity, then the only way someone’s going to steal your money would be to rob you at gunpoint. Lessons learned? Avoid shady vendors, put several security layers between you and the scammer, report suspicious activity, and don’t go overboard with the selling bit. Do you have any sad or amusing PayPal stories to share with the rest of the community? Don’t be a stranger and leave a comment.
Amazon Echo devices record your voice and creates transcripts on what you said. After a letter from a US Senator more of the curtain is being pulled back on Amazon’s privacy practices. This epsiode talks about what has been revealed about Amazon’s retention practice and what this means for your privacy. Be aware, be safe. […]
The post Episode 533 – IoT Strikes Again – Turns Out Amazon Is Keep Your Recordings Forever appeared first on Security In Five.
If data is the life blood of organizations, how are businesses protecting it. Michelle Finneran Dennedy in her book, the Privacy Engineer’s Manifesto, describes five stages of protecting data in the information age:
The question is, where are CIOs in this progression of protecting data? This was a recent topic of discussion at our weekly #CIOChat Twitter chat session.
Should CIOs be focused on creating better fortresses? Or securing data and whom can access it?
There are clearly two distinct views amongst CIOs. Some believe that while the fortress is a past mindset, it is still important. They believe the fortress represents the first line of defense, but restrictions on access rights and usage need to be part of the mix.
The UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (IOC) has announced its intention to fine the US hotel group Marriott International £99.2 million (US $123 million) for a data breach that exposed the personal details of hundreds of millions of guests.
Read more in my article on the Hot for Security blog.
A malvertising campaign is redirecting users to the RIG exploit kit for the purpose of loading ERIS ransomware onto vulnerable machines. Over the 5-7 July weekend, security researcher nao_sec discovered a malvertising campaign that was abusing the popcash ad network to redirect users to a landing page for the RIG exploit kit. The researcher told […]… Read More
The post Malvertising Campaign Redirects to RIG Exploit Kit, ERIS Ransomware appeared first on The State of Security.
Rootkits are secret computer programs that allow continuous and privileged access to a computer and actively hide its existence. The term rootkit is the combination of the two words “root” and “kit”. Initially, a rootkit was a set of tools for accessing computers or networks at the administrator level. Root refers to administrator accounts on Unix and Linux systems, and kits refer to software components that implement tools. Currently, rootkits are typically associated with malicious programs such as Trojans, worms, and viruses that hide their existence and actions, as well as other system processes.
What Can a Rootkit Do?
Rootkits can handle commands and controls on the computer without the user/owner of the computer knowing it. After installing the rootkit, the rootkit driver can remotely execute files and change the system settings of the host computer. Rootkits on infected computers can also access log files and spy on the legitimate uses of computer owners.
One of the main goals of rootkits is to avoid detection in order to be installed and accessible on the victim’s system, and hence it is difficult to detect. Rootkit developers are trying to hide their malware. This means that there may not be many symptoms that indicate an infection of rootkits. There is no commercial product available that can find and eliminate all known and unknown rootkits.
There are several ways to search for rootkits on infected computers. Detection methods include behavior-based methods, such as looking for unusual behavior in a computer system), signature analysis, and image analysis in memory. Often, the only way to remove rootkits is to completely reformat the infected system.
Other symptoms of infection can be observed if the Windows configuration has changed by itself, without the user taking any concrete action. Other unusual behaviors, such as changing the wallpaper on the lock screen or editing items in the taskbar, may also indicate rootkit infections.
Finally, abnormally slow performance or high CPU usage and browser change may also indicate a rootkit infection.
Protection from Rootkit
Many rootkits invade computer systems by associating itself with legitimate software or viruses. You can protect your system against rootkits by ensuring that it protects against known vulnerabilities. This includes your operating system patches, updated applications, and virus definitions. Do not accept files or open email attachments from unknown sources. Be careful when you install the software and carefully read the End User License Agreement.
Static analysis can track the backdoor and other harmful software such as rootkits. Developers and IT departments who buy readymade software can scan their applications to detect “backdoor” and “hidden credentials.”
Well-Known Rootkit Examples
- Lane Davis and Steven Dake: wrote the first known rootkit in the early 1990s
- NTRootkit: one of the first dangerous rootkits for Windows operating systems
- HackerDefender: This first Trojan modifies/improves the operating system to a very low call function level
- Machiavelli: The first rootkit for Mac OS X was released in 2009. This rootkit calls hidden system and kernel threads
- Greek wiretapping – In 2004/05, intruders installed rootkits for Ericsson’s AXE PBX
- Zeus, who first identified in July 2007, is a Trojan horse that steals banking data by recording user keystrokes in the browser and retrieving forms
- Stuxnet – the first rootkit for industrial control systems
- Flame: In 2012, discovered computer malware attacking computers with a Windows operating system. You can record audio, screenshots, keyboard activities, and network traffic
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Reuters has a long article on the Chinese government APT attack called Cloud Hopper. It was much bigger than originally reported.
The hacking campaign, known as "Cloud Hopper," was the subject of a U.S. indictment in December that accused two Chinese nationals of identity theft and fraud. Prosecutors described an elaborate operation that victimized multiple Western companies but stopped short of naming them. A Reuters report at the time identified two: Hewlett Packard Enterprise and IBM.
Yet the campaign ensnared at least six more major technology firms, touching five of the world's 10 biggest tech service providers.
Also compromised by Cloud Hopper, Reuters has found: Fujitsu, Tata Consultancy Services, NTT Data, Dimension Data, Computer Sciences Corporation and DXC Technology. HPE spun-off its services arm in a merger with Computer Sciences Corporation in 2017 to create DXC.
Waves of hacking victims emanate from those six plus HPE and IBM: their clients. Ericsson, which competes with Chinese firms in the strategically critical mobile telecoms business, is one. Others include travel reservation system Sabre, the American leader in managing plane bookings, and the largest shipbuilder for the U.S. Navy, Huntington Ingalls Industries, which builds America's nuclear submarines at a Virginia shipyard.
A news report claims that hackers were able to secretly capture intimate footage of a married couple and upload it to a porn website.
But I’ve got a number of questions…
Information security has become such an integral part of IT that at a growing number of organizations, the two are virtually indistinguishable — from an organizational standpoint.
Many companies are attempting to more tightly integrate IT security strategy with IT strategy. That can mean blending departments, changing leadership structures, and embedding security earlier in the development pipeline, among other tactics.
About two thirds of organizations say their IT security strategy and IT strategy are tightly integrated, with IT security being a key component of IT roadmaps and projects, according to CIO’s 2019 State of the CIO survey.
ESET research discovers a zero-day exploit that takes advantage of a local privilege escalation vulnerability in Windows
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