Items tagged with Hacking

As we’ve seen in the San Bernardino iPhone case, the FBI is willing to go to extreme lengths to retrieve [potentially valuable] personal information for investigative purposes. When Apple wouldn’t comply with FBI requests to unlock the iPhone 5c in that case, the U.S. Justice Department filed a lawsuit. A day before the case was to go to trial, the lawsuit was unexpectedly pulled, as the FBI had found a way to break into the iPhone through the help of a third-party. In the future, the FBI might not have to go through so many hoops to crack large numbers of smartphones and PCs, as the U.S. Supreme... Read more...
In an attempt to kill Saddam Hussein and intimidate the enemy, United States military forces conducted a shock and awe campaign that saw a barrage of bombs dropped on Baghdad and other parts of Iraq over a decade ago. Fast forward to today and the U.S. is still dropping bombs on enemies, albeit instead of explosives they're now of cyber variety.It's not that the U.S. military lacks explosives, but the landscape is different now, and so is the target. The Islamic jihadist militant group known as ISIS conducts much of its effort online, and that's where they're perhaps most vulnerable. So in addition... Read more...
Security and related IT topics can be a little dry and tasteless at times, not to mention overly complex. There’s no question that, especially with the alarming rise of data breaches, advancing security innovation is vital to the future of technology, the enterprise and the Internet. But let’s face it, the rocket science behind security just isn’t that sexy—at least it wasn’t until we spoke to the team at ProtectWise. The company’s CEO, Scott Chasin, and CTO, Gene Stevens, both have roots going back to McAfee (sans bath salts), pre-Intel acquisition, with Chasin serving as CTO of McAfee up until... Read more...
Another day, another report of a security breach, this latest one affecting Wendy's, a nationwide chain of fast food restaurants. Wendy's has hired a security firm to help investigate claims that someone hacked its systems, a decision the chain made after being alerted to potential credit card fraud tracing back to some of the chain's locations. "We have received this month from our payment industry contacts reports of unusual activity involving payment cards at some of our restaurant locations," Wendy's spokesperson Bob Bertini told KrebsOnSecurity. "Reports indicate that fraudulent charges may... Read more...
Have you ever seen a dog chase its own tail? That pretty much describes what's going on at BBC News this morning. The site suffered a pretty large distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack earlier today, one that knocked out the company's entire network and iPlayer streaming service, causing grief for web visitors who grew impatient with how long it took to restore service. As for the image of a dog chasing its own tail, it's based on BBC's reporting of the situation. The site posted a statement on Twitter in the early morning hours saying it was "aware of a technical issue" affecting its website,... Read more...
Want to feel like the ultimate hacker, like those in the 1995 cinema classic Hackers? Quick: find the nearest Linux PC, boot to the GRUB2 bootloader, and hit Backspace 28 - and only 28 - times. Yes, really. Hector Marco & Ismael Ripoll, who are researchers for the Cybersecurity Group at the Polytechnic University of Valencia, recently discovered a flaw within the GRUB2 bootloader software that gets triggered when the Backspace key is hit a very specific number of times. At 28 presses, a memory error gets triggered that lets someone access the entire PC via GRUB's rescue shell. From there, data... Read more...
Late last month, toy maker VTech was hit with a debilitating attack that resulted in an incredible amount of customer data winding up in the wrong hands. Given VTech's abysmal security measures, it's hard to consider it being a "victim" in this attack. Rather, its millions of customers are the ones at risk. This morning, UK police issued a press release to say that they arrested someone who they believe was behind this attack. A name is not provided, but we are told it was a 21-year-old male from Bracknell, in southeast England. The official charges include using a computer to commit an offense,... Read more...
In yet another security breach affecting the healthcare industry, personal information belonging to more than 10 million individuals may have been compromised by hackers, according to Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. The healthcare provider said it learned of the "sophisticated attack" on August 5, 2015. The insurer's own investigation revealed that the initial attack occurred on December 23, 2013. Excellus also notified the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and is working closely with Mandiant, an American cybersecurity firm owned by FireEye. Mandiant provides incident response and security... Read more...
If we may impart some words of wisdom to our younger readers out there, it's to choose your role models carefully. It's a piece of advice that comes too late for half a dozen teenagers living in the U.K. who were arrested as part of a sting operation targeting users of hacking group Lizard Squad's Lizard Stresser tool. The Lizard Stresser tool is a piece of software that aids with Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. These attacks typically consist of numerous infected systems pinging a single target with the intent of overwhelming the victim's server. Those arrested for using the tool... Read more...
Karma's a dirty little devil, a fact that as many as 37 million unfaithful online users may find that out the hard way. That's because the hackers who infiltrated Ashely Madison, a dating website for married folk to practice infidelity under the tagline "Life is short. Have an affair," published a cache of personal details about its members, including names, email addresses, phone numbers, and credit card information. In total, the data dump was 9.7 gigabytes in size. it was posted to the dark web using a Tor browser and what's called onion routing, which is encryption in the application layer... Read more...
There are a lot of positive uses for drones and other unmanned aircraft. Amazon envisions a day when packages will be dropped off on your doorstep courtesy of a drone, and Facebook wants to use them to bring wireless broadband to remote regions. Good stuff, though as it goes with just about all technology, somebody's going to find a nefarious use for it. In this case, there may be a day when drones are used to drop malware from the sky. The foundation is already being laid, though not specifically for that purpose. There's a company called Aerial Assault that modded a quadcopter with a Raspberry... Read more...
Remember when getting hacked meant loss of control of your PC and/or stolen data? It could be embarrassing, sure, and you could even be fired if a weak password contributed to the theft of sensitive company information. However, more recent hacks of shown a frightening trend towards causing physical harm. Earlier this month, security researchers demonstrated the ability to remotely hijack virtually all controls in a Jeep Cherokee, including steering and braking. And now we're finding out that hackers can disable or change the target of a computer-aided sniper rifle. Scary times we live in, folks.... Read more...
We reported earlier this week that a Jeep Cherokee could be remotely accessed and controlled, and I wouldn't blame anyone for being a skeptic. After all, what are the chances of someone remote being able to disable the transmission? Well, with Fiat Chrysler's response, I think that question has been answered. In a press statement issued today, the company has announced that it's recalling 1.4 million cars that are equipped with certain UConnect radios. Dodges, Jeeps, Rams, and Chrysler's are affected. Ultimately, it seems like this recall isn't going to be that painful for owners of the affected... Read more...
Is there anything scarier than the thought of a hacker remotely taking control of your vehicle's steering and braking functions as you barrel down the highway? Well sure, being eaten alive by flesh eating zombies like an episode of The Walking Dead would cause most people to soil their undergarments, but losing control of your vehicle certainly ranks right up there. And unlike the zombie scenario, these remote vehicle hacks are really happening. The newest threat is an exploit that exists in car infotainment systems that could allow an attacker to take complete control of a vehicle's brakes and... Read more...
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