Security

Thu
22
Mar
John Lister's picture

US Blamed for Sophisticated Router Malware

Last week security researchers said a piece of malware named "Slingshot" was so sophisticated it was backed by a government. Now it appears that government was the United States and that the revelations may have compromised an anti-terror campaign. ... The original reports didn't name the country involved. That might not quell controversy, however the reports came from Kaspersky Labs, a security company based in Russia. Slingshot exploited a bug in a specific brand of routers. In simple terms, it was able to take advantage of the way the router updated its operating software on an ... (view more)

Tue
13
Mar
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Infected Routers Spread Malware, Log Keystrokes

A security firm says malware that targets routers is so sophisticated it's highly likely a government is behind it. Dubbed "Slingshot," the malware appears to have been working for six years without detection. The attack was on a specific brand of ... routers, namely Mikrotik. Although based in Latvia, its products have shipped around the world to business and home users. The big problem was with an associated piece of software named Winbox, used to manage the router. The way Winbox works involves taking DLL files stored on the router itself and running them directly in the computer's ... (view more)

Wed
21
Feb
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Microsoft Details Anti-Malware Cloud-Based System

Microsoft says it used artificial intelligence to not only spot and identify and attempted malware attack, but to block it more than a thousand times in the next half hour. It says the defense was possible thanks to Windows Defender being used ... locally on the victim's computer, as well analyzing the snippet of code using cloud-based antimalware. The company calls it an example of machine learning. This means computers are able to figure things out for themselves, rather than simply following 'true or false' routines that are part of a program. Similar to antivirus, the most basic level of anti ... (view more)

Tue
20
Feb
John Lister's picture

Google Exposes Unfixed Microsoft Edge Security Flaw

Google has revealed a security flaw with the Microsoft Edge browser before Microsoft released a patch. It's a controversial move with arguments across both the tech and security industries. The flaw in question is somewhat complicated. In very ... simplified terms, the flaw is to do with how Microsoft Edge converts website code into what users see on their computer screen when visiting a website. Google realized that it could work out precisely when the browser would access part of the computer's memory and use this knowledge to effectively set a booby trap. That could then force the computer to ... (view more)

Thu
15
Feb
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Thousands of Sites Hit By 'Cryptojacking' Scam

Visitors to more than 5,000 websites had their computers hijacked to earn money for scammers. But the attack would have earned them less than $25 - and they aren't getting paid anyway. The attack involved compromising screen reader software called ... BrowseAloud. Websites can add the software to their site to make it easier for visitors with vision problems to browse the pages. Because the software is so widely used, compromising it was an effective way to reach a large number of computers - regardless of whether the owners needed to use a screen reader. The software is particularly popular ... (view more)

Wed
14
Feb
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'Facebook Protect' VPN Tool Actually Spies on Users

The recently debuted 'Facebook Protect' feature has sparked controversy. Facebook says it's a tool to protect user privacy, but critics suggest it is nothing more than a tracking tool designed to collect user activity. The tool appears in the ... iPhone/iPad app for Facebook. Although the menu option is listed as 'Protect', it's actually a virtual private network (VPN) tool called "Onavo." A VPN works by creating the virtual equivalent of a private "tunnel" on the Internet. The tunnel then allows data to flow back and forth between a user's computer and the website or service they are ... (view more)

Thu
08
Feb
John Lister's picture

Latest Tech Support Scam Freezes Web Browser

Scammers have found a new trick that "locks up" a user's browser in an attempt to panic them into paying a bogus fee. Fortunately there's a simple way to get around the problem. The technique is the latest variant on a well-established scam in which ... compromised websites show bogus error messages claiming the computer has been infected with a virus. The user is encouraged to call a "tech support hotline," (usually in India) then tricked into making a credit card payment to the scammers to supposedly fix the problem. In some cases, scammers demand remote access to the computer and ... (view more)

Tue
30
Jan
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Report: Fitness Apps May Compromise Military Security

Fitness apps used by soldiers may have inadvertently revealed their location and activities while deployed overseas. They've been warned to activate privacy options that can prevent data collection. The problem is with an app called Strava, which ... lets users track their activity when they go running or cycling. It goes beyond some apps that simply allow individuals to keep their own records or choose to share them with friends for motivation or suggested routes. Instead, Strava combines all the data collected from a reported 27 million users and produces "heat maps" that show the most ... (view more)

Thu
18
Jan
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Chrome Extensions Labelled Rogue

A security firm says four malicious extensions for Google Chrome were downloaded a total of more than half a million times. It's asking why Google's vetting process didn't weed the malware earlier. Extensions in Chrome are similar to add-ons for ... other browsers - namely, third-party tools that improve the web browsing experience. Common examples include ad-blockers, password managers and tools for downloading videos from web pages (such as Youtube). Because extensions have some level of access to a user's Internet data (and even some control over their browsing), Google has some security ... (view more)

Wed
17
Jan
John Lister's picture

New Android Malware Most Powerful Yet

A newly discovered malware exploit offers hackers an incredible level of control and access. Fortunately the creators appear to be highly targeting their victims, though it's still a threat to ordinary users. Dubbed Skygofree, the malware affects ... users of the Android smartphone operating system. It is said to give the people behind the malware the ability to remotely carry out 48 different operations on an infected phone. These include targeted controls not previously seen, as well as more common malware exploitations. Some of the 'normal' options for the malware creators include the ability ... (view more)

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