cyber criminals

Thu
27
Jun
John Lister's picture

Florida Gov't Ransomware Tops $1 Million Payout

Officials in Lake City, Florida have voted to pay half a million dollars to hackers to regain access to computer files. It's the second such payment by a local government in the state in as many weeks. Lake City's government computer system was hit ... by a ransomware attack in which hackers remotely encrypt files and then demand payment to unlock them. They asked for 42 units of the digital cryptocurrency Bitcoin, worth roughly $500,000. That payment method makes it much harder to trace the recipients. The good news in this case is that public safety networks are unaffected and that all ... (view more)

Thu
14
Mar
John Lister's picture

Web Creator Fears Dysfunctional Future

The creator of the World Wide Web (WWW) says it faces a "downward plunge to a dysfunctional future." Sir Tim Berners-Lee said many of its problems were unintended consequences. Berners-Lee spoke to mark the 30th anniversary of him submitting a ... proposal to his managers at European science group CERN for a way to organize data. That technology, based on hyperlinked text, became the World Wide Web. In turn, that helped shape the Internet into something used worldwide by ordinary people. (Source: bbc.co.uk ) Writing an open letter, Berners-Lee noted that the web is now "a public square, a library ... (view more)

Thu
21
Feb
John Lister's picture

Symantec: Popular Microsoft Apps Hijack PCs

At least eight apps in the official Microsoft Store were secretly designed to use a computer's resources without permission. It undermines Microsoft's efforts to promote the store as a "safe source of software." In the past few years, Microsoft has ... heavily pushed the idea of Windows users getting software from an app store - similar to the way mobile devices work - rather than the more traditional method of getting programs from a third-party sources and installing them directly to the PC or smartphone / tablet. There's even a special 'S' mode for Windows 10 that only allows the ... (view more)

Thu
14
Feb
John Lister's picture

Popular VPN App Laced with Malware, Steals Data

Security researchers have warned a notorious piece of malware has returned to Android. It's in disguise, posing as a legitimate and popular VPN application. Researchers at the security firm Bitdefender have dubbed the malware as "Triout," which was ... first spotted last August. It's a particularly nasty piece of malware as it carries out multiple hostile acts. (Source: bitdefender.com ) These include recording phone calls, reading incoming SMS messages, taking pictures and videos, and collecting location data such as GPS coordinates. Triout is designed to operate without being detected ... (view more)

Mon
17
Sep
Dennis Faas's picture

Explained: Is Ransomware a Real Threat? Should I worry?

Infopackets Reader Tina A. writes: " Dear Dennis, I've been reading articles on the Internet about cyber criminals breaking into computer networks, encrypting files and then demanding a ransom. I've also read that if I leave my computer connected to ... the Internet, I could be susceptible to ransomware. I don't know what to believe. So my question is: is ransomware a threat? Is ransomware malware? Should I be worried? " My response: This is a pretty big question to answer. The simple answer is that: yes , ransomware is a threat, and yes you can get infected with ransomware just by having your ... (view more)

Thu
06
Sep
John Lister's picture

New Firefox to Block Unwanted Tracking, Cryptojacking

Firefox is getting a series of updates to boost performance, privacy and usability. Unwanted tracking tools and browser hijackers are among the targets of security updates. Two of the biggest measures deal with websites that track user activity ... online, potentially to make site content more relevant, but more commonly to deliver targeted advertising. Version 63 of Firefox, due in September, will by default block ad trackers if they take a particularly long time to load, in turn making pages slow to appear. This setting is purely to do with the load time of the tracker rather than what it ... (view more)

Mon
20
Aug
Dennis Faas's picture

Samsung: Smartphones Most Secure for Cryptocurrencies

Samsung Provokes Debate with Claims that Smartphones Are The Most Secure for Cryptocurrencies Last month, leading Samsung author Joel Snyder penned a blog post in which he made the bold assertion that smartphones encompass the best security for ... owning, trading and managing cryptocurrency. He put this down to the Trusted Execution Environments (TEEs) in which smartphones, and particularly those developed by Samsung, operate. A trusted execution environment (TEE) is a secure area of a processor found on smartphones (not PCs), originally developed in 2010 by Open Mobile Terminal Platform ... (view more)

Wed
01
Aug
John Lister's picture

Google Bans Apps That Hijack Device Resources

Google is to ban several categories of apps from its app store. They include so-called "cryptomining" apps that can suck up a resources from a device for somebody else's financial benefits. The changes come in the latest update of the Play Store ... Developer Policy. The relevant apps will no longer be available through the official Play Store, meaning that although users can still install them, they'll get much less prominence and exposure. The ban is specifically on apps that use a device's processor for mining cryptocurrencies. In very simple terms, mining involves computers racing to solve a ... (view more)

Mon
11
Jun
Dennis Faas's picture

How to Fix: Computer / Network Infected with Ransomware (10 Steps)

Infopackets Reader Robert S. writes: " Dear Dennis, I have a network of computers I use for accounting purposes. Suddenly, many of my desktop icons started appearing to have strange names, such as ... '1HjgN1BdTZE3OIqorcj2E5b6CXIE=gdFae89IWgo0RrVfPbCHt851oogccs.ssimpotashka[at]gmail.com'. When I try to open these files, Windows warns me the file may be malicious. When I look in my Documents folder, I see more files similarly named to the one I just mentioned. Some of my .PDF files won't even open. On the desktop there is a text document that says ' HOW TO DECRYPT YOUR FILES.TXT ' - when I open ... (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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