John Leyden

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BAE Systems' wireless through-hull comms demo at Farnborough 2010.

Stealing secret crypto-keys from PCs using leaked radio emissions

Your encryption keys can accidentally leak from your PC via radio waves, computer scientists have reminded us this week. This is a well-understood risk, but as these guys have demonstrated, it can be done cheaply with consumer-grade kit, rather than expensive lab equipment. Tel Aviv University researchers Daniel Genkin, Lev …
John Leyden, 20 Jun 2015
Archer cracks the ISIS mainframe's password

Webmail password reset scam lays groundwork for serious aggro

Symantec has warned about a new password recovery scam that tricks users into handing over webmail account access, possibly setting the stage for more serious security issues. Crooks behind the social engineering ruse need only knowledge of a prospective mark’s email address and associated mobile phone number before attempting …
John Leyden, 19 Jun 2015
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MS privacy policy website subverted to pimp gambling sites

Microsoft's privacy and surveillance policy micro-site has been hacked to promote gambling sites. The Digital Constitution site – launched two years ago in the wake of the Edward Snowden leaks – offers a platform for Microsoft's stance on privacy issues and government surveillance. But, earlier this week the site was modified …
John Leyden, 19 Jun 2015

Pew, pew, pew! Sammy shoots out updates to plug mobile keyboard snooping bug

Samsung has promised to deploy updates to resolve a serious mobile keyboard snooping bug, with security policy fixes expected in the coming days, the company said on Thursday – while simultaneously downplaying the issue. As previously reported, researchers at security firm NowSecure warned that a problem involving the keyboard …
John Leyden, 19 Jun 2015
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US National Vulnerability Database contained ... yup, an XSS vuln

The US National Vulnerability Database was itself left vulnerable to cross-site scripting last week. The NVD serves as a definitive source of information on CVE security flaws. The XSS vulnerability meant that a skilled hacker could present surfers with content from arbitrary third-party sites as if it came from the NVD itself …
John Leyden, 18 Jun 2015
The Bundestag in Berlin. Pic: Hernán Piñera

Banking trojan besieges Bundestag … for the second time

Online banking trojan Swatbanker has been brought into play in a second round of attacks against the German Bundestag, reports security software firm G DATA. Investigation of the configuration files embedded in the malware have revealed that the Swatbanker botnet integrated new filter functions for the domain "Bundestag.btg" – …
John Leyden, 17 Jun 2015
Glorious future of China

Chinese snoops try tracking VPN users with fiendish JSONP trickery

Snoops are exploiting vulnerabilities in China’s most frequented websites to target individuals accessing web content which state censors have deemed hostile. Even users who run VPN connections to access websites that are blocked by China’s censorship technology, often called the Great Firewall (GFW), are potentially being …
John Leyden, 16 Jun 2015
Laurel and Hardy on the phone

Phone hacking blitz hammers UK.biz's poor VoIP handsets

UK businesses are getting disproportionately targeted by a surge of attacks against Voice over IP (VoIP) systems. The growing use of VoIP technology in business and a greater availability of hacking tools that dumb down the process of hacking into systems has led to an increase in attacks worldwide. UK-based systems are being …
John Leyden, 16 Jun 2015

Duqu 2.0‬ malware buried into Windows PCs using 'stolen Foxconn certs'

The super-sophisticated malware that infiltrated Kaspersky Labs is craftier than first imagined. We're told that the Duqu 2.0 software nasty was signed using legit digital certificates issued to Foxconn – a world-leading Chinese electronics manufacturer, whose customers include Microsoft, Dell, Google, BlackBerry, Amazon, Apple …
John Leyden, 15 Jun 2015
Edward Snowden

'Snowden risked lives' fearfest story prompts sceptical sneers

Analysis A row has broken out over claims that Russian and Chinese have reportedly decrypted files of NSA leaker Edward Snowden, identifying British and US secret agents in the process. The Sunday Times used unnamed UK government and intel agency officials1 to support a story that MI6 has withdrawn agents from overseas operations in …
John Leyden, 15 Jun 2015

Hey kids, who wants to pwn a million BIOSes?

The overlooked task of patching PC BIOS and UEFI firmware vulnerabilities leaves corporations wide open to attack, a new paper by security researchers warns. Xeno Kovah and Corey Kallenberg argue that the poor state of low-level software security is among the easiest ways for hackers to deeply infiltrate organizations. A …
John Leyden, 12 Jun 2015
The Bundestag in Berlin. Pic: Hernán Piñera

Confusion reigns as Bundestag malware clean-up staggers on

A malware infestation at the Bundestag is proving harder to clean up than first predicted, with several unconfirmed local reports going as far as suggesting that techies might have to rebuild the entire network from scratch. As previously reported, a state-sponsored attack is suspected for the widespread infection of systems …
John Leyden, 12 Jun 2015
Daniel Craig in Casino Royale

Decrypted WhatsApp chats laid groundwork for Belgian terror raids

The Belgian arrests of terror suspects on Monday were reportedly facilitated by decryption of WhatsApp user chats. WhatsApp cooperated with US intelligence agencies to decrypt user chats before raids against alleged members of an ethnic Chechen jihadist group based in Belgium, Bloomberg reports. Investigators said two people …
John Leyden, 11 Jun 2015
Eugene Kaspersky in Sydney

Duqu 2.0: 'Terminator' malware that pwned Kaspersky could have come from Israel

Eugene Kaspersky reckons hacking into his firm's corporate network was a "silly" move by cyberspies, but independent experts are far from convinced. All seem agreed that the rare attack by a state against an leading information security firm is bad news for corporate security more generally, as it shows attacks are getting more …
ISIS Islamists in Iraq

Russia's to blame for pro-ISIS megahack on French TV network

Russians may have posed as ISIS in a high-profile hack against a French TV channel, according to French investigators and security firms. France's TV5Monde TV network was knocked off air for around 18 hours in April in the aftermath of a hack attack that also resulted in the hijack of its website and Facebook page. The …
John Leyden, 10 Jun 2015

Kaspersky Lab reveals Duqu 2.0 attack ON ITSELF during Iran nuke talks

Kaspersky Lab has unearthed an attack on its corporate network which hit high profile victims in several Western, Middle East and Asian nations, including covert surveillance attempts during the ongoing Iranian nuclear talks. The Duqu 2.0 malware platform associated with the attacks was exploiting up to three zero-day …
John Leyden, 10 Jun 2015
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Unable to log on to online games? Blame cheap-rate DDoSers

Running botnets-for-hire to mount DDoS attacks has become cheaper and easier than ever, according to a new research. Imperva Incapsula reckons botnet-for-hire services might be acquired for for as little $19.99 per month, via underground forums and payable in Bitcoins. Short, single-vector attacks associated with botnet-for-hire …
John Leyden, 10 Jun 2015
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Israeli firm gets legal on Indian techie over ISP ad injection spat

Update An Indian security blogger was hit with a gagging order by an Israeli firm after he linked its technology to a sneaky ad injection by his ISP. Thejesh GN, an activist and programmer, got into legal hot water after he alleged that Airtel 3G was injecting JavaScript and iFrames into mobile browsing sessions. This JavaScript …
John Leyden, 10 Jun 2015
ISO7816 Tattoo

Online identity woes can only be solved through the medium of GIF

The Global Identity Foundation aims to recruit vendors in its ambitious quest to develop a global digital identity ecosystem. GIF is seeking to develop a new, global solution for digital identities, with the not-for-profit organisation building on work from the Jericho Forum, including the Jericho Forum’s Identity, Entitlement …
John Leyden, 10 Jun 2015
Cloudy sky

Sophos buys cloudy email security outfit Reflexion Networks

Sophos has acquired cloud-based email security firm Reflexion Networks. Financial terms of the deal, announced on Tuesday, were undisclosed. Reflexion markets archiving, email encryption and business continuity services. Reflexion Total Control blocks spam and viruses before they ever get to the corporate network. Archiving, …
John Leyden, 09 Jun 2015
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Undetectable NSA-linked hybrid malware hits Intel Security radar

CTB Locker ransomware attacks rose 165 per cent in the first three months of 2015. More than a third (35 per cent) of victims were based in Europe, McAfee Labs reported. CTB Locker encrypts files and holds them hostage until the ransom is paid. As such, the crimeware is picking up the baton that dropped with the takedown of the …
John Leyden, 09 Jun 2015
Blackmail

Bitcoin blackmail gang start hurling DDoSes at Scandinavia

Bitcoin extortionists DD4BC have begun targeting Scandinavian companies with complex DDoS attacks. DD4BC is blackmailing targets by asking them to pay 40 bitcoins or more to avoid their central services being subject to DDoS attacks. Extortionate demands typically appear in emails around an hour after targets are blitzed off the …
John Leyden, 09 Jun 2015
Concorde. Pic: Dean Morley

Les unsporting gits! French spies BUGGED Concorde passengers

Infosec 2015 The Edward Snowden leaks might imply that electronic espionage is a relatively new innovation but an under-publicised story from the supersonic age bursts that myth, as well as highlighting the French as a major power in activities these days more closely associated with China and the US. Ed Wallace, director of incident …
John Leyden, 09 Jun 2015
Osborne 1, second version - DRAM detail

Is that a graphics driver on your shop's register – or a RAM-slurping bank card thief?

Crooks are infecting sales registers running Oracle-owned MICROS software with malware tailor-fitted to steal bank card information from the machines. MalumPoS scrapes sensitive data from the RAM inside the tills, which are used in places from shops and restaurants to hotels and bars. The software nasty can be easily modified to …
John Leyden, 09 Jun 2015
Bye bye Olympia

Infosec turns 20 to face battle with BSides, RSAC Unplugged

Infosec 2015 Infosec, the annual IT security trade show, wheeled out the rock stars of the Infosec world for its 20th anniversary this week. Bruce Schneier and John McAfee – the Paul McCartney and Keith Moon of the cybersecurity world – both keynoted as the show return to its original home in Olympia, London following an extended sojourn at …
John Leyden, 04 Jun 2015

MS scolds businesses for failing to eradicate 7-year-old malware

Zero-day threats and custom malware get all the publicity, but age-old malware strains including ZeuS and Conficker remain active in UK corporates. “The bad guys don’t have to be smart, they can use something that’s 7-8 years old,” Stuart Aston, chief security advisor at Microsoft UK, told delegates at the RSA Unplugged mini- …
John Leyden, 04 Jun 2015

We stand on the brink of global cyber war, warns encryption guru

We are in the early years of a cyber war arms race, security guru Bruce Schneier warned delegates at the Infosecurity Europe exhibition on Wednesday. Schneier, CTO of Resilient Systems, said the much publicised Stuxnet attacks on Iran by the US and Israel in 2010, Iran’s attack on Saudi Aramco, China’s apparent role in hacking …
John Leyden, 04 Jun 2015

IoT DANGERS: BYOD’s trashier cousin becoming a right tearaway

Bring Your Own Device is problematic enough, but now staff are increasingly bringing inherently insecure, internet-connected smart devices into work, making a mockery of established security policies in the process. Staff and bosses bringing their own smartphones and laptops into enterprises can be managed using mobile device …
John Leyden, 03 Jun 2015

Human error to blame as UK data breach investigations surge

UK data breach investigations within the financial services industry almost trebled over the last two years, according to figures acquired via a Freedom of Information request to the Information Commissioner’s Office, with human error almost always responsible. The 183 per cent rise in reported Data Protection Act (DPA) …
John Leyden, 03 Jun 2015
GCHQ Benhall doughnut aerial view

GCHQ gros fromage stays schtum on Snowden and snooping

Infosec 2015 A top GCHQ official opened the Infosecurity Europe trade show in London with an on-message keynote that focused on promoting best practice rather than dealing with Edward Snowden and the ongoing controversy over the so-called Snoopers’ Charter. Ciaran Martin, director general of cyber-security at GCHQ, gave a broad overview of …
John Leyden, 02 Jun 2015
Gun slinger, image: Shutterstock

Thousands of 'lost data' reports mean we should ARM the ICO, says infosec bod

Infosec 2015 Thefts and losses of computers and laptops often go unreported to data privacy watchdogs and could represent a huge hidden risk for the leak of confidential data, according to new research. The Information Commissioner’s Office received 1,089 data breach reports between March 2014 and March 2015, yet police forces across the UK …
John Leyden, 02 Jun 2015
SpaceX CRS-6 launch

SpaceX’s anti-hacker tech powers UK launch of security startup

Infosec 2015 Technology originally developed to keep Chinese hackers from stealing SpaceX's secrets more than a decade ago has become the centrepiece of a browser isolation security startup. Branden Spikes, the chief exec of Spikes Security, spent 15 years as the technological right hand of Elon Musk at startups including PayPal, Tesla and …
John Leyden, 02 Jun 2015
HTC One M9 Android smartphone

So, EE. Who IS this app on your HTC M9s sneakily texting, hmm?

EE has assured a customer that a pre-installed app found on new HTC M9 from the mobile operator is simply anti-fraud software. However, both customer Barney Scott and an independent security expert remain unconvinced by this explanation, arguing that even if the app isn't malicious, it's at best badly designed and unwanted. …
John Leyden, 01 Jun 2015
Indian riot

Indian music streaming service Ganaa hacked, site yanked offline

Service has been suspended, and passwords reset, following a hack against Indian music streaming service Ganaa. Ganaa detailed its response to the newly-discovered security breach in a series of updates to its official Twitter feed. We have temporarily removed access to our website and app as a vulnerability in one of our Gaana …
John Leyden, 28 May 2015

Sex disease surge in US state partly blamed on hook-up apps

SFW ‪Tinder, Grindr and other mobile "hook-up" apps have been blamed for a spike in sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in the US state of Rhode Island.‬ From 2013 to 2014, infections of syphilis increased by 79 per cent, gonorrhea cases rose 30 per cent and new HIV diagnosis increased by about a third, according to data from the …
John Leyden, 28 May 2015
Disney's Beagle Boys

ID-stealing scammers had a bumper start to the year, reveals report

Incidences of identity fraud in the UK rose by more than 25 per cent in the first quarter of 2015, a new report has revealed. In total, 34,151 confirmed instances of identity fraud were recorded in the first quarter of 2015, a 27 per cent increase from Q1 2014. Identity fraud is when criminals abuse personal data to impersonate …
John Leyden, 27 May 2015
De Vaartkapoen. Pic: Bianca Bueno

Security software's a booming market. Why is Symantec stumbling?

Worldwide security software revenue totalled $21.4bn in 2014, a 5.3 per cent increase from 2013's revenue of $20.3bn, according to the serious bean counters at Gartner. A decline in consumer security software and endpoint protection — areas that together account for 39 per cent of the market — was more than offset the strong …
John Leyden, 27 May 2015
HoloLens Skype

Skype hauled into court after refusing to hand call records to cops

Skype has been called to appear before a court in Belgium after refusing to hand over customer data following a request for assistance in a criminal investigation. A court in Mechelen near Brussels wanted "data from messages and calls exchanged on Microsoft-owned Skype", a regulatory requirement that a Belgian telecoms operator …
John Leyden, 26 May 2015
Ransom note saying "Pay Up" in blackmail type

Android ransomware poses as FBI smut warning

Cybercrooks have launched a new wave of Android ransomware that poses as a pretty convincing FBI-imposed porn-surfing warning. Over 15,000 spam emails, including zipped files, have hit the inboxes of Android users in recent days, according to Romanian security software firm Bitdefender. If activated, the ransomware demands $500 …
John Leyden, 26 May 2015
School of Rock

DDoS attack downs University of London learning platform

The University of London Computer Centre fell victim to a cyber-attack on Thursday. The assault left Moodle – an open-source learning platform – out of action for several hours on Thursday morning before normal service was restored. Technicians initially estimated problems were down to firewall configuration issues, before …
John Leyden, 22 May 2015

Adult FriendFinder hack EXPOSES MEELLIONS of MEMBERS

Hackers have pilfered and published the personal details and sexual preferences of 3.9 million users of hookup website Adult FriendFinder. Lusty lonely hearts, including those who asked for their account to be deleted, have been left in an awkward position after hackers broke into systems before uploading the details to the dark …
John Leyden, 22 May 2015

mSpy: We haven't been breached. Customers: Oh yes you have

Controversial commercial spyware firm mSpy has denied it's been hacked, following an apparent breach of its systems several days ago. However, its contention that the incident is just the latest in a series of extortion attempts is seemingly undermined by confirmation that some of the private information leaked is genuine. mSpy …
John Leyden, 22 May 2015
Crop of doctor with pen and clipboard

WHOOPSIE! Vast US health insurer CareFirst plundered of 1.1 MEELLION records

More than 1.1 million user records have been compromised following a hack against US health insurer CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield. Data including members’ names, birth dates, email addresses and subscriber identification numbers may have been stolen by hackers as a result of a security breach last July. The hack was only …
John Leyden, 21 May 2015
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US plans to apply export controls to 0-days put out for comment

US proposals for export controls for zero-day vulnerabilities and malware have finally been pushed forward, re-opening the fault lines of a long-running argument among security experts in the process. The proposals (pdf) from the US Department of Commerce would introduce the Wassenaar Arrangement (WA) – an international …
John Leyden, 20 May 2015
Lego lumberjack

Average enterprise 'using 71 services vulnerable to LogJam'

As many as 575 cloud-based services have been left at risk to the newly discovered LogJam crypto vulnerability, according to cloud security specialists Skyhigh Networks. LogJam creates a means for hackers to weaken encrypted connections between a user and a web or email server. The vulnerability was discovered as part of …
John Leyden, 20 May 2015
teslacrypt

Hi! You've reached TeslaCrypt ransomware customer support. How may we fleece you?

The TeslaCrypt ransomware gang raked in $76,500 in around 10 weeks, according to new research into the scam. TeslaCrypt, which was distributed through the widely-used Angler browser exploit kit, was first spotted in February 2015 by security researchers at Dell SecureWorks. After encrypting popular file types on compromised …
John Leyden, 20 May 2015
car hacking

Manchester car park lock hack leads to horn-blare hoo-ha

Vehicles across an entire car park in Manchester had their locks jammed on Sunday as the apparent result of a botched criminally-motivated hack. No one at the Manchester Fort Shopping Park, in north Manchester, was able to lock their car's doors on Sunday evening as a result of the attack by persons as-yet unknown. Manual …
John Leyden, 20 May 2015
Red-haired child in glasses looks thoughtful. Image via Shutterstock -  Copyright: Sofi photo

Microsoft's certification exams: So easy, a child of six could pass them. Literally

A six year-old Brit has become one of the youngest people ever to pass a Microsoft exam. Humza Shahzad from Croydon, South London, has earned himself a Microsoft Office Specialist certification. Humza's parents – IT consultant dad Asim and a trained teacher mum – encouraged him to get interested in technology at the earliest …
John Leyden, 19 May 2015
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Screech! Grand Theft Auto V malware mods warning

Cybercrooks are cooking up malware disguised as mods for the Grand Theft Auto V video game. GTA V allows players to modify their gaming environment with "mods" (modifications). It's all been good fun, but recently two of the mods – "Angry Planes" and "No Clip" – have generated warnings on forums frequented by fans of the game. …
John Leyden, 18 May 2015
Abbott and Costello dressed as policemen

Welsh police force fined £160,000 after losing sensitive video interview

South Wales Police has been hit with a £160,000 fine for losing a video recording which formed part of the evidence in a sex abuse case. The lost DVDs contained film of an interview with a victim, who had been sexually abused as a child. Despite the DVDs containing a graphic and disturbing account of events, the discs were …
John Leyden, 18 May 2015