Items tagged with security

An appeals court in Florida has overturned a previous ruling that stated a man suspected of voyeurism should not be compelled to give up the passcode to his iPhone as it violate the Fifth Amendment and force him to testify against himself. The appeals court disagreed with that ruling and has ordered the iPhone owner to provide his four-digit passcode to law enforcement.Police arrested Aaron Stahl after a woman who was out shopping allegedly saw him bend down and extend and an illuminated mobile phone under her skirt. Court records say that when she confronted Stahl about the incident, he claimed... Read more...
When the topic of encryption comes up, it is often related to smartphones and tablets, and the differing opinions on the matter between hardware makers such as Google and Apple versus government agencies. Those are not the only areas where encryption matters. In an open letter to the camera makers around the world, Freedom of the Press Foundation makes a plea to build encryption into still photo and video cameras to protect the "safety and security" of photojournalists and filmmakers, along with their sources.The open letter is signed by more 150 documentary filmmakers and photojournalists. It... Read more...
Malware writers continue to find ways to make themselves out to be bigger scumbags than they already are. The latest dirty trick by the worst the web has to offer is a new twist on ransomware. Instead of simply encrypting the files on an infected PC and demanding a ransom in order to decrypt them, a variant called Popcorn Time encourages victims to infect others by offering a free key if they can get spread the ransomware to two other people.I wouldn't rank this as a new low in malware and its authors—that distinction belongs to the soulless jerks who injected a script into the Epilepsy Foundation's... Read more...
It's no secret that Apple places a high value on customer security and privacy, and the company goes to great lengths to make sure that it's a market-leader in both regards. However, even the most careful companies can be exposed to crippling security vulnerabilities. If software contains a previously unidentified bug or exploit, it just sits there waiting for some enterprising user to spot it. And that's just what happened with Apple's Activation Lock. When an iPhone or iPad is lost, the user has the ability to enable "Find My iPhone", which can immediately locks the device, requiring correct... Read more...
The Supreme Court approved a series of changes to Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure by the United States Department of Justice that go into effect today. Those changes, which the DoJ proposed earlier this year and that were never discussed by Congress, gives the FBI permission to hack into multiple computer systems here and abroad with a just a single warrant in cases where they're part of a botnet or otherwise can't be traced to a precise location.Any U.S. judge can authorize such a warrant, including magistrate judges who typically only issue warrants within their own jurisdiction.... Read more...
It's been proven that some tech companies have been willing to cater to the government's every need, but others -- namely Google -- remain adamant about transparency regarding shady practices. Earlier this year, we reported on Google's new feature that informs users if they've become the target of state-sponsored attackers, so as to help you better protect yourself via whatever means you have available. We can't imagine what it's like to receive a notification like this, but it can't be a great feeling. Now, we're reminded that this functionality exists, as a slew of journalists and professors... Read more...
A cloud security outfit is warning that a new ransomware strain called Stampado has emerged from the underground market and is wreaking havoc on systems. What makes Stampado stand out from the crowd is that it is available on the dark web for only $39 with a full lifetime license. That makes it one of the least expensive and most accessible ransomware strains out there.Don't be fooled by Stampado's low price tag, the ransomware strain is capable of doing big time damage. As is often the case with malware, Stamapado typically arrives on system through spam emails or drive by downloads. It installs... Read more...
Remember getting Rickrolled? Talk about an annoying trend, but at least you could exit out of the 1980s hit single and resume normal activities (except for those dancing webpages on the desktop designed to dodge your exit attempts). Well, there's a new prank going around, one that can crash any iPhone handset in a not-so-obvious way. The prank consists of a short video that, when watched, slows down and eventually freezes any iPhone model. It doesn't happen right away—a user may be able to swipe through screens, open a couple of apps, or check email before the performance degradation becomes obvious.... Read more...
It seems that Apple may have a complicated relationship with device user privacy. Russian digital forensics firm Elcomsoft has recently discovered that iPhone users’ call histories are being sent to Apple’s servers. A user’s call history can be sent to Apple’s servers if iCloud is enabled. The data will include phone numbers, dates, times, and duration of phones calls as well as missed and bypassed calls. Facetime and third-party apps such as Skype, WhatsApp, and Viber, and that use Apple CallKit to make the calls, are also saved in iCloud. Apple retains this information for no longer than four... Read more...
2016 is going to be remembered for a number of fortunate and unfortunate things, with one topic that falls into the latter category being the debacle of U.S. law enforcement vs. Apple. The FBI and other US federal agencies have made it no secret that they would like to be able to gain access to any smartphone if the need arises - something that anyone who cares even remotely about their privacy shouldn't be okay with. In the months that followed, the FBI somehow managed to break into an iPhone 5C without any help from Apple. And while it's not clear if the agency is able to pull that off on more... Read more...
We recently witnessed a new and disturbing trend in cyber security and that is the widespread hacking of Internet connected devices to initiate DDoS attacks on an unprecedented scale. That is the method that made possible the Mirai botnet that targeted security expert Brian Krebs and his security blog with 620 gigabits per second of traffic, which at the time was a record. It is also what's causing a surge in DDoS attacks, as noted by content delivery network (CDN) Akamai. The CDN made its findings known in a recent security report compiled with data gathered from its intelligence platform. In... Read more...
Security researchers have found a rather alarming vulnerability in Linux that could ultimately allow an attacker to copy, modify, or destroy the contents of a hard drive, along with with configure the network to exfiltrate data. That in and of itself is cause for concern, but the real harrowing part about this is how easy it is to activate—an attacker need only boot up the system and hold down the enter key for 70 seconds. In less time than it takes to microwave a bag of popcorn, an attacker could compromise a Linux machine with potentially serious consequences. The vulnerability that makes it... Read more...
The Federal Bureau of Investigation made a big deal out of Apple's unwillingness to help it crack a locked iPhone 5c handset that was used by a terrorist in the deadly San Bernardino shooting, but it turns out it rarely needs assistance. Nine of out ten times, the FBI is successful in its attempts to unlock a secured smartphone or laptop, the agency admitted to attendees at a public meeting on encryption. Jim Baker, General Counsel for the FBI, provided some interesting numbers for the public to digest. According to Baker, the FBI's forensic labs analyzed 6,814 phones and laptops from October 1,... Read more...
We hate to break it to you, but your PC is not as secure as you think. That remains true even if you lock your computer with a password. Should you leave your system unattended, it would be possible for someone to hack into it in less than a minute using a $5 Raspberry Pi device. The culprit doesn't even need advanced knowledge of computer security, all they have to do is plug the inexpensive gadget into a USB port and wait. The nefarious tool is called PoisonTap. It was created by Samy Kamkar, a well known hacker and developer who's interested in privacy and security research. His newest tool... Read more...
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