Items tagged with security

With a name like 'KillDisk', it's not hard to imagine what the malware it represents sets out to accomplish. Add on a good helping of ransomware, and KillDisk becomes the kind of malware that can give people nightmares, and not to mention a lot of undue stress. In the past, KillDisk malware has infected computers in the industrial sector, with the goal of rendering servers or desktops essentially unbootable. This was accomplished not only by deleting files, but renaming others. In effect, it's designed to create a very bad day for the person who has to deal with the mess. Recently, it's been discovered... Read more...
At HotHardware, we unfortunately have to frequently write about security and privacy breaches, and those breaches can seriously affect their victims. But while a cyberattack on a bank might make for a bad day, nothing could compare to a cyberattack on equipment that helps keep their owners alive. If you have a family member using a pacemaker, for example, you want to be confident in its ability to thwart potential attacks. The Food and Drug Administration wholeheartedly agrees, and it proves it through in-depth guidelines for makers of life-saving devices. The FDA doesn't sugar-coat the importance,... Read more...
Large scale distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks powered by thousands and sometimes millions of Internet of Things (IoT) devices that have been turned into a massive botnet is something that content delivery networks (CDNs) and service providers must be prepared for in 2017. Lest anyone thinks otherwise, yet another "huge DDoS" assault was reported before the end of this year, this time from Incapsula, which fended off the largest attack to date on its network. With ten days to go before 2016 is in the rear view mirror (along with all of the celebrities it took), Incapsula found itself... Read more...
The FBI is currently investigating a series of cyberattacks on the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), that they believe the Chinese military to be responsible for. The attacks on high-level employees' computers started in 2010 and resurfaced again in 2011 and 2013. Victims included former FDIC Chairwoman Sheila Bair. The FDIC is one of three institutions responsible for regulating commercial banks in the United States. They manage confidential plans regarding how big banks would deal with bankruptcy. They also have access to the information of millions of individual American deposits.... Read more...
The growing consensus is that the U.S. government is overstepping its bounds and trampling on people's right to privacy. Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden blew the whistle on the government's vast spying program, and while that was an eye opener for the country (and world) at large, the full extent of its efforts are still coming to light. The most recent example is the email scanner Yahoo built under the direction of the NSA and FBI.Developed in secret, the email scanner was found to be a sophisticated hacking tool, or rootkit, as some experts have classified it. The email scanner gave the... Read more...
My phone just pinged. Did someone just like the Instagram photo of my dog? Is my Chipotle to-go order finally ready? Nope, I was one of the lucky one billion users whose Yahoo account was infiltrated by hackers, my personal information potentially compromised. This past November law enforcement provided Yahoo with files that a third party claimed was Yahoo user data. Yahoo then hired an outside forensics team, and established that the data did in fact belong to their users. According to Yahoo, “Based on further analysis of this data by the forensic experts, we believe an unauthorized third party,... Read more...
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...
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