Security

Tue
18
Apr
John Lister's picture

NSA Used Windows Bugs as Spy Tools

Microsoft says it's patched most of the recently revealed security flaws said to have been used by the National Security Agency (NSA) for spying. But the incident is a reminder not to rely on unsupported editions of Windows such as Windows XP and ... Vista. Windows Vista officially reached its end of extended support April 11, 2017 . A group calling itself "Shadow Brokers" is trying to auction what it says is a set of tools that the NSA were using for surveillance by taking advantage of security failings in widely used software. While that's a bold claim - particularly as it means ... (view more)

Wed
12
Apr
John Lister's picture

Researchers: Phone Tilt Could Reveal PIN

Motion sensors in smartphones could give away your lock code to hackers according to new research. But practical limitations mean related attacks might have to be specifically targeted. Researchers at Newcastle University explored the idea that ... tools such as accelerometers, gyroscopes, compasses and GPS chips in phones could reveal more detail than users realize. The tools are used for a variety of functions such as location tracking, fitness tracking and gesture control such as a user turning a phone face down to instantly switch it to "do not disturb" mode. Their theory was that ... (view more)

Thu
16
Mar
John Lister's picture

Twitter, Facebook Users: Review Account Settings

A major "hack" of prominent Twitter accounts has raised awareness of a big security loophole. The problem isn't with Twitter itself, but rather third party tools. This morning several thousand accounts belonging to public figures and major ... organizations and businesses posted identical messages. The tweets included a swastika symbol and references to Nazi views in Germany and the Netherlands and are thought to relate to an ongoing political spat between the Netherlands and Turkey. (Source: bostonglobe.com ) There's never a good time for accounts to be hijacked in such a way, ... (view more)

Tue
14
Mar
John Lister's picture

Malware Preinstalled on Many Android Phones

Android phones from a variety of companies have reached business employees with malware already installed according to researchers. How and why it got there is not yet confirmed. The report comes from Checkpoint, a security company. It says it was ... examining devices used by staff at two businesses: one a "large telecommunications company" and the other a "multinational technology company." (Source: checkpoint.com ) While it's not unusual to find malware on employee phones during some checks -- that's partly the purpose of hiring services such as Checkpoint. ... (view more)

Wed
01
Mar
John Lister's picture

'Smart' Toy Database Exposes Child Voice Recordings

Voice messages from parents to children through a 'smart' cuddly toy could be compromised. The security risk is a combination of a flaw by the designers and poor security practices by users. The issue involves CloudPets, a range of $40 toys designed ... to help working parents stay in touch with their kids. The parent can leave a voice message via a phone app at any time and it will then be sent over the Internet and Bluetooth and played back through a speaker in the toy. The child can then press the toy's paw to record and send a reply. The problem is that while delivering messages ... (view more)

Tue
28
Feb
John Lister's picture

Cloudflare Leak Exposes Data from Thousands of Sites

An unfortunate error has led to a massive leak of confidential data online. It's led to calls from users to review their passwords and change the most sensitive ones. The leak involves Cloudflare, which ironically is a security company. It offers a ... service by which it acts a little like a gatekeeper for websites, passing on valid requests for data and blocking those designed to cause disruption. In particular, it combats denial of service attacks (DoS) that aim to bring a website down by sheer weight of incoming traffic - usually bogus traffic. As part of Cloudflare's operations, it ... (view more)

Wed
22
Feb
John Lister's picture

Warning: Convincing Chrome 'Font Update' a Trojan

Chrome browser users have been warned to watch out for a sneaky malware attack. The trick involves a bogus on-screen message that claims the user needs to download a missing font. The people responsible are using hacked websites on the WordPress ... platform to operate the scam. They've altered the page so that the text appears to have been corrupted and is made up largely of symbols such as black diamonds and question marks. The page then displays an on-screen message that's carefully designed to look like a genuine Chrome error message, complete with the correct logos, shapes and even ... (view more)

Thu
16
Feb
Dennis Faas's picture

Report: You can be Tracked Online, even without IP or Cookies

Researchers have found a way to track web users even if they switch web browsers. It could improve security but also weaken online privacy. The researchers at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania were trying to find ways of improving fingerprinting. ... That's a way to attempt to identify an individual user (or at least their computer) without relying on single identifiers such as login details, browser cookies, or an IP address. Instead, fingerprinting involves taking multiple pieces of information provided by a user's browser such as the browser name, it's version, whether they have an ad blocker ... (view more)

Wed
15
Feb
Dennis Faas's picture

IBM's Watson to Tackle Computer Security, Threats

IBM's artificial intelligence system Watson is to lend its hand to security. It will help scour millions of reports to try to learn more about current online threats. The Watson system was originally designed to see if a computer could compete on ... Jeopardy!, the show where contestants are given an answer and have to try to figure out the question. It was considered a challenge for computers because, although they can store a lot of information and process it quickly, they don't always have the human ability to decipher meaning and context. In the event, Watson prevailed against two human ... (view more)

Wed
01
Feb
John Lister's picture

Hotel Ditches Key Cards After Ransomware Attack

Hackers have forced a hotel to ditch its electronic room key system and return to physical keys. But reports that guests were locked in and out of their room turned out to be overblown. The Seehotel Jaegewirt in Austria has been targeted by at least ... four different attacks on its computer system. The most recent involved the system data being encrypted and the hackers demanding a payment in the virtual currency Bitcoin equivalent to around $1,600. The hotel mentioned the attack in a press release designed to raise awareness and warn other hotels of the need to maintain security. A news agency ... (view more)

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