Daily Archives: July 10, 2019

Does Anyone Like Facebook’s Libra Currency?

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. 

The post Does Anyone Like Facebook’s Libra Currency? appeared first on Adam Levin.

How Do You Protect Your Children When They Go Online?

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.

Remove TV Adware With These Easy Steps

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.

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Watch Your Webcam: Tips to Protect Your Mac From Zoom Hackers

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.

And, as usual, to stay updated on all of the latest consumer and mobile security threats, follow @McAfee_Home  on Twitter, listen to our podcast Hackable?, and ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

The post Watch Your Webcam: Tips to Protect Your Mac From Zoom Hackers appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

Google Acknowledges Having Android Backdoor Triada

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.

Also, Read:

22 Apps in Google Play Store Taken Down Due To Backdoor Downloaders

Smartphone Backdoor found in Four models in Germany

7 Tips on How Firms can Prevent Successful RDP Backdoor Attacks

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Episode 533 – IoT Strikes Again – Turns Out Amazon Is Keep Your Recordings Forever

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.

IDG Contributor Network: Protecting data in an increasingly insecure world

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:

  1. Firewalls
  2. Nets
  3. Extranets
  4. Access
  5. Intelligence

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.

To read this article in full, please click here

Marriott faces £99.2 million fine after hack exposed 393 million hotel guest records

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.

Malvertising Campaign Redirects to RIG Exploit Kit, ERIS Ransomware

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.

What Is a Rootkit? Detection and Prevention

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.

Rootkit Detection

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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Details of the Cloud Hopper Attacks

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.


How to better integrate IT security and IT strategy

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.

To read this article in full, please click here

(Insider Story)