Items tagged with security

It seemed for a moment that the WannaCry ransomware that wreaked havoc at hospitals across Europe had been neutralized, but apparently it is still causing disruptions. The latest report comes from Honda Motor Co., which said on Wednesday that it had to shut down one of its factories in Japan after discovering that WannaCry had wormed its way onto the company's computer network.Honda temporarily ceased production at its Sayama plant located northwest of Tokyo. That particular factory produces several Honda automobile models, including the Accord sedan, Odyssey minivan, and Step Wagon compact vehicle.... Read more...
Computer security has always been somewhat of a hot topic, though it has intensified in recent weeks in the wake of the global WannaCry ransomware outbreak. In response, Microsoft has issued a series of updates to Windows, including legacy versions no longer supported such as Windows XP and Windows Vista. Microsoft also used the heightened focus on PC security as an opportunity to explain its stance on antivirus software and how Windows 10 handles third-party AV programs. You might recall that Kaspersky, one of the more popular third-party security outfits, took Microsoft to task over the way Windows... Read more...
WikiLeaks has published secret documents belonging to the United States government that reveal the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has been building and maintaining cyber tools designed to compromise wireless routers. These tools are the work of the CIA's hacking unit called Engineering Development Group. Among them is a specialized firmware referred to as Cherry Blossom. "The wireless device itself is compromized by implanting a customized Cherry Blossom firmware on it; some devices allow upgrading their firmware over a wireless link, so no physical access to the device is necessary for a successful... Read more...
The notion that Mac systems are immune to malware is just plain wrong. Sure, Macs might be less susceptible to malware than Windows-based PCs, but they are certainly not exempt from security threats. Proving otherwise, two different security outfits have put out warnings about separate threats targeting Mac users. One of them pertains to ransomware, where a user's documents and files are encrypted and held hostage until a ransom is paid, and the other is a spyware application that sniffs out sensitive information.Image Source: Apple Starting with the former, security outfit Fortinet said its labs... Read more...
Microsoft is not wavering on its decision to stop supporting Windows XP as a whole, though apparently it will on occasion release security updates for the legacy operating system, presumably for the greater good. We saw this just last month when Microsoft patched Windows XP to protect users against the WannaCry ransomware outbreak. Now it has released another security update for Windows XP, this time due to the "heightened risk of exploitation" by copycats. In a sense, WannaCry can be considered a wake-up call for the security industry at large. As it pertains to Microsoft, the Redmond giant fears... Read more...
Most wireless routers are equipped with a series of LEDs to indicate things like network connectivity and activity, though if a router has been compromised with malware, those blinking lights could reveal more than the owner bargained for. Using specially crafted malware, an attacker could instruct those LEDs to transmit data in a binary format.Image Source: TP-Link The attack was outlined in a paper by a team of researches from the Cyber Security Research Center at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel. It is the same team of security researchers that previously wrote about data exfiltration... Read more...
The nasty WannaCry outbreak has us all a little bit on edge. It also serves as a sobering reminder that a simple phishing scam can still create quite a bit of havoc. Sure, savvy PC users know better than to click on mysterious URLs in emails and instant messages, but for the bad guys, it's simply a numbers game—throw enough bait into the sea and you're bound to get a bite. To make things a bit more difficult for phishers, Google is implementing Safe Browsing technologies into Gmail. This is one of the many benefits of machine learning technology. According to Google, machine learning mechanisms... Read more...
In a perfect world, we would not have to worry about intruders breaking into our homes and pilfering our belongings. Of course, we do not live in such a world, and the sad reality is that burglars and thieves exist. Fortunately there are home security products that make life tough for the bad guys. One of them is the Nest IQ Cam, a smart "security camera that outsmarts other security cameras." Behind that witty tagline is a smart camera that was built from ground up with completely new hardware with unique functionality. It's an inside version of its outdoor security camera released last year.... Read more...
Now that the dust has settled on a global ransomware outbreak that could have been much worse than it ended up being, we can all breathe a sigh of relieve. Meanwhile, security outfits are busy analyzing the outbreak to uncover as much information as possible about the threat known as WannaCry. According to Symantec's investigation into things, WannaCry has "strong links to Lazarus," which is the same group that attacked Sony Pictures and made off with $81 million from the Bangladesh Central Bank. Symantec says that before the recent outbreak occurred, a near identical version of WannaCry was used... Read more...
The Wanna Decrypter ransomware that began floating around the Internet late last week, or WannCry as it's commonly known, has made a lasting impact, with hundreds of thousands of PCs worldwide being affected. What the malware does is even more alarming: one minute, you're using your computer normally; the next, your data is locked away behind a key unless you fork over hundreds of dollars in ransom money. As has become typical of ransomware, WannaCry will demand payment via Bitcoin in order to recover the data the attackers locked down. Once payment is received, an encryption key is typically (but... Read more...
We took part in an interesting demo this week that was both eye-opening and somewhat alarming. We met with representatives from Synaptics to discuss what we thought would be its latest sensor technology or HCI device, but were treated to a real-world hacking display that would leave most people slack-jawed. Why, you ask? Because in only a few minutes, an image of my fingerprint had been stolen and duplicated, and it was used to gain access to my smartphone (and a demo notebook), but it could have just as easily been a personal / corporate laptop or any other device with a fingerprint sensor.It... Read more...
The Internet community was able to breathe a temporary sigh of relief after a 22-year-old security researcher accidentally discovered a way to thwart WannaCrypt, a fast-spreading strain of malware that was stolen from the National Security Agency. After reaching tens of thousands of systems in over 70 countries within the first few hours, WannaCrypt was stopped dead in its tracks. Also known as WannaCry, WCry, and by a handful of other designations, the unprecedented ransomware attack was particularly bothersome for hospitals in the UK. Many of them shut down and turned patients away. In some cases,... Read more...
Last fall, we reported on a somewhat humorous report of a mere "reply all" email that managed to bring down email servers of the UK's National Health Service.  Unfortunately, we have something a bit more severe to report on today: an all-out cyberattack against the NHS. At some point today, doctors at NHS had to begin turning away patients as a ransomware attack that affected NHS' most important servers reared its ugly head. Doctors and staff were immediately locked out of their computers, essentially meaning that patient data could not be accessed. Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham;... Read more...
A vulnerability researcher at Google is giving props to Microsoft for issuing a quick fix to what he described as a "crazy bad" remote code exploit in the company's malware protection engine. He also said it was the worst of its kind in recent memory, and that is because prior to the patch, a remote attacker could gain full control of a PC simply by sending a malicious email. The recipient needn't even open the communication for this nasty zero-day bug to work. "The update addresses a vulnerability that could allow remote code execution if the Microsoft Malware Protection Engine scans a specially... Read more...
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