Items tagged with Malware

A security researcher for AVG has discovered a new piece of ransomware called Fantom that masquerades as a critical Windows update. Victims who fall for the ruse will see a Windows screen acting like it's installing the update, but what's really happening is that the user's documents and files are being encrypted in the background.Fantom is based on the open-source EDA2 ransomware project, and unfortunately there's no way to decrypt the files without the culprit's help. Plain and simple, you're in a bad spot if you happen to fall for this one. While savvy computer users might spot the ransomware... Read more...
It seems like we have had to report on some major new hack or threat every week as of late. Black-Hat Hackers are becoming more sophisticated, while their wares are becoming more diverse and complicated. One of the latest pieces of malware, the nasty Rex Linux Trojan, packs in DDoS attacks, ransomware, and a Bitcoin miner. Stu Gorton, CEO and Co-Founder of Forkbombus Labs, disclosed a new kind of ransomware that targeted Drupal websites this past May in an interview with Softpedia. It was not particularly effective and could easily be defeated. This particular ransomware has evolved in... Read more...
Whenever I give advice on keeping Windows secure from the many threats on the web, I preface things by saying that even the safest computing habits aren't enough these days. Simply visiting a compromised website can get your system infected, but it's not just Windows users that are at risk. Researchers at security outfit Kaspersky Lab discovered a banking Trojan that's compromising Android users by way of Google's AdSense program. There are plenty of websites out there that use Google's AdSense advertising network, including news sites. "By simply viewing their favorite news sites over their morning... Read more...
Go ahead and cue up Cartman's "No kitty, that's a bad kitty!" soundbite, only this time it's not in reference to stealing those delicious Cheesy Poofs. McAfee's mobile malware research division found a sample of ransomware for Android that it's calling "ElGato," and once infected, it can steal a user's SMS messages, among wreaking other kinds of havoc. ElGato has botnet capabilities and a web-based control panel service, McAfee says. It's an ornery piece of software that reveals itself as a humorous image of a cat on infected devices. In addition to silently swiping potentially sensitive SMS messages,... Read more...
With Nintendo's latest game - a mobile one, at that - the company has proven that there is still a lot of innovating to do in the market. While Pokemon GO is based on another title, Ingress, any game is going to have a greater chance of success when it features one of the most popular franchises ever. GO isn't just some regular Pokemon game: it's making the masses realize that augmented reality can be really cool. What's not cool, though, is that popular mobile apps are a hot target for malware. And since Pokemon GO hasn't been released worldwide yet, many have taken to the scarier parts of the... Read more...
It has been suggested that the microprocessors we use each and every day could pack in a bit more than we bargained for; namely, the tools needed for spying or undetectable access. And unfortunately, according to security researcher and developer Damien Zammit, there's a potential reason to be concerned over the "ME" or Management Engine module found in all Intel chipsets manufactured after the Core 2 era. If you've built your own Intel-based PC in recent years, or have at least reinstalled the OS and needed to install all of the drivers on your own, you've probably noticed a piece of software... Read more...
If you've ever tried to link someone to a Google Maps URL, you'll undoubtedly understand the benefit of URL shorteners. With them, we can take grossly long URLs and shorten them to a mere fraction of their original length, allowing your Facebook status update to retain a clean look and actually put a few words alongside a URL in a tweet. There's a reason services like Google Maps and Twitter offer their own URL shorteners... they're convenient and useful. According to a new report released out of Cornell Tech, however, we should be showing some concern over the use of URL shorteners. There's a... Read more...
Thought the Stagefright saga was all behind us? Think again. In a new paper published by Israel's NorthBit, we're shown that Stagefright can still prove to be a serious threat to older devices, with some able to be cracked in as little as 20 seconds. If you're still toting around a Nexus 5, LG G3, HTC One, or Samsung Galaxy S5, you should take note. Samsung's Galaxy S5, released in 2014, is affected by Metaphor As a bit of a recap, Stagefright isn't just one bug; rather, it's an overarching vulnerability that includes a number of different bugs that affects Android devices versioned 2.2 and newer.... Read more...
Over the past few years, ransomware has become an ever growing threat to enterprise and personal users alike. If you’re unfamiliar with ransomware, it’s a piece of malware that infects a system, usually encrypts a user’s personal data – like photos, office documents, PDFs and the like – and then forces the user to pay a ransom for the decryption key.To date all of the known, fully-functional ransomware attacks have targeted systems running Microsoft Windows, but a brand new variant has hit the web targeting systems running Apple’s Mac OS X.An Apple MacBook Running OS XPalo Alto Networks discovered... Read more...
A medical center located in Hollywood, California, paid hackers 40 bitcoins worth nearly $17,000 in U.S. currency to decrypt its files that were being held ransom. The ransom amount is far less than the $3.6 million that was being thrown around when news of the security breach went public, but is no less disheartening that those responsible were able to pull something like this off. Things went sour for Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center when malware spread on its computer systems earlier this month. Known as ransomware, the malware encrypted critical files across the medical center's network,... Read more...
Could you go a full day without using your PC? It might not be all that difficult on a casual basis, but for workers at Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center, they've had the challenge of servicing patients without the aid of any computer systems for over a week due to a malware outbreak and subsequent ransom demand.A local computer consultant said the ransom is in the neighborhood of 9,000 Bitcoins, which is about $3.6 million in U.S. currency. The hackers responsible likely chose Bitcoin as their payment method of choice because the cryptocurrency is anonymous and difficult to trace, especially... Read more...
If you’d like to take a trip down memory lane to a simpler time when MS-DOS was still a big part of computing life and most Americans hadn’t begun to “surf the web”, the Internet Archive has put on a display a virtual museum of computer malware from the 80s and early 90s. But this isn’t just a “static” museum where you look at a few screenshots of decades old malicious code; it’s actually interactive. “Once they infected a system, they would sometimes show animation or messages that you had been infected,” writes the Internet Archive about its Malware Museum. The Internet Archive in its infinite... Read more...
It seems certain that we've all managed to wind up on a website at some point in time that had misleading elements, such as fake download buttons. While piracy is going to be the first thing that springs to many minds when this kind of sketchiness is brought up, it's hardly exclusive to that area. Some websites that host completely legitimate software still have misleading advertising, and let's face it: we've been dealing with it for way too long. Well, if Google has its way, we're not going to have to worry about such misleading advertising in the future. Back in November, the company released... Read more...
Dozens of Starwood hotels around the country were hit with malware that enabled cyber thieves to access credit and debit card information from point of sale terminals. The malware affected a variety of locations on Starwood properties, including restaurants, gift shops, and other places where customers might have swiped a payment card. A total of 54 Starwood hotels (PDF) fell prey to the malware, including places like the Walt Disney World Dolphin - A Sheraton Hotel in Orlando, Florida, and over a dozen Westin hotels spanning the continental U.S. and Hawaii. According to a statement put out by... Read more...
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