John Leyden

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Mega UK hospitals trust Barts says IT borkage was due to trojan – not ransomware

Barts Health NHS Trust has blamed the disruption of its IT systems last Friday on a trojan horse infection and not ransomware. The trust, which runs five east London hospitals and is among the biggest in the UK, was forced to quarantine systems in response to the outbreak last week. In an update on Monday, the trust said that …
John Leyden, 17 Jan 2017

Ransomware brutes smacked 1 in 3 NHS trusts last year

A third (30 per cent) of NHS trusts have been infected by ransomware, with one – the Imperial College Healthcare in London – suffering 19 attacks in just 12 months. According to results of a Freedom of Information-based study, none of the trusts reported paying a ransom or informed law enforcement. All preferred to deal with …
John Leyden, 17 Jan 2017
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French spies warn politicians of hack risk as election draws near

French authorities are warning political parties about the increased threat of cyber attacks as the country prepares to elect a new president in May. Last year's US presidential election was marred by cyber attacks and leaks. US intel agencies blame Russia for the hack1 and subsequent leak of sensitive emails and other …
John Leyden, 16 Jan 2017

UK's largest hospital trust battles Friday 13th malware outbreak

Malware has infected hospital computers at the UK’s biggest NHS trust. Barts Health, which runs six London hospitals, shut down parts of its network on Friday to prevent the spread of the as-yet-unidentified software nasty. The organization oversees Mile End Hospital, Newham University Hospital, The Royal London Hospital, St …
John Leyden, 13 Jan 2017

Google floats prototype Key Transparency to tackle secure swap woes

Google has released an open-source technology dubbed Key Transparency, which is designed to offer an interoperable directory of public encryption keys. Key Transparency offers a generic, secure way to discover public keys. The technology is built to scale up to internet size while providing a way to establish secure …
John Leyden, 13 Jan 2017

Oh, for F...acebook: Critics bash WhatsApp encryption 'backdoor'

Updated A vulnerability in WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption allows snoops to intercept and read encrypted messages, it was claimed today. Essentially, it's possible to reroute an undelivered encrypted message to an attacker's phone and decrypt it under a particular set of circumstances. At the heart of the matter is the exchange of …
John Leyden, 13 Jan 2017

Shadow Brokers spew Windows hack tools after exploit auction flop

Security exploit peddlers Shadow Brokers announced their retirement on Thursday – and released 58 tools for hacking Windows PCs for free by way of a parting gift. The shady group is essentially giving up, and shoving malicious code – most of which is detected by Kaspersky and a few other antivirus makers – into the hands of as …
John Leyden, 12 Jan 2017
Karmera secured Pixel phone photo2 by Kaymera

Security hardened, pah! Expert doubts Kaymera's mighty Google's Pixel

The arrival of a security hardened version of Google’s supposed "iPhone killer" Pixel phone from Kaymera has received a sceptical reception from one expert. Kaymera Secured Pixel is outfitted with Kaymera’s own hardened version of the Android operating system and its security architecture. This architecture is made up of four …
John Leyden, 12 Jan 2017

Brother-and-sister duo arrested over hacking campaign targeting Italy's bigwigs

A hacking operation featuring the EyePyramid trojan successfully compromised the systems of numerous high-profile Italian targets, including two former prime ministers, say Italian police. High-profile targets were targeted by a spear-phishing campaign that served a remote-access trojan codenamed "EyePyramid" as a malicious …
John Leyden, 12 Jan 2017
Silhouette of spy discerning password from code uses a command on graphic user interface

Digital video recorder installers master password list 'leaked' – claims

Xiongmai, the vendor behind many Mirai-vulnerable DVRs, has earned the consternation of security watchers once again. The vendor's 2017 list of superuser passwords for certain DVRs – designed only for CCTV installers to access customer installations – appears to have leaked online. "If the creds are what we think they are, …
John Leyden, 11 Jan 2017
Digital feet, photo via Shutterstock

GoDaddy revokes 9,000 SSL certificates wrongly validated by code bug

GoDaddy was obliged to revoke thousands of SSL certificates on Tuesday as the result of an unspecified software bug. El Reg learnt of the cock-up from readers affected by the issue, who forwarded notification emails (extract below). Due to a software bug, the recently issued certificate for your domain was issued without …
John Leyden, 11 Jan 2017

GCHQ feeds first crop of infosec startups to Cyber Accelerator

The first infosec startups selected for the GCHQ Cyber Accelerator have been unveiled. The accelerator, which officially launches in Cheltenham later today, is part of a UK government-funded Cyber Innovation Centre. The tech crèche is designed to nurture information security startups to the point where they can compete on the …
John Leyden, 11 Jan 2017

Oh Britain. Worried your routers will be hacked, but won't touch the admin settings

Recent Mirai-style attacks against home broadband routers have had some effect but the majority of users have failed to act. A survey of 2,000 broadband users found the majority (53 per cent) have not changed the Wi-Fi password and other default settings, potentially opening themselves up to attack. The poll by ISP comparison …
John Leyden, 11 Jan 2017
Patrick McGoohan as The Prisoner in "Fall Out"

UK Parliament suddenly remembers it wants to bone up cyber security *cough* Russia *cough*

The UK parliament launched an inquiry into cyber-security on Tuesday. The investigation by MPs and peers follows weeks after the UK government committed to spending £1.9bn between 2016 and 2021 as part of an update to the UK’s National Cyber Security Strategy. Protecting critical national infrastructure organisations ( …
John Leyden, 10 Jan 2017
Mad Saudi

Because I'm bad, I'm bad, Shamoon: PC wiper tried to shut down Saudi snapshot defences

Security researchers have identified a second wave of Shamoon 2 PC-wiping attacks against a further target in Saudi Arabia last November. The new research shows hackers upping the ante and developing more sophisticated, multi-stage attacks. The original Shamoon attack hobbled the network of Saudi Aramco in 2012. Similar …
John Leyden, 10 Jan 2017
Ransomware, photo via Shutterstock

Ransomware sleazeballs target UK schools

Cybercrooks are targeting UK schools, demanding payments of up to £8,000 to unlock data they have encrypted with malware. Action Fraud warns that fraudsters are cold-calling schools claiming to be from the Department of Education and asking for the head teachers’ email addresses. Crooks then send booby-trapped emails with …
John Leyden, 06 Jan 2017
Image by Arak Rattanawijittakorn http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-2364116p1.html

Dodgy dealer on Amazon lures marks towards phishing site

Amazon UK customers would do well to be vigilant about the post-holiday deals they find on the retail site following the discovery of a sophisticated scam. A rogue merchant, called Sc-Elegance, is primarily offering high-end electronics, advertising them as "used – like new" at significantly lower costs than in the shops. …
John Leyden, 06 Jan 2017
backdoor_648. Pic via Shutterstock

Windows PC spy nasty dormant for three years, mutates and resurfaces

Two new variants of some Windows spyware first discovered in 2013 have surfaced in targeted attacks, security firm Forcepoint warns. The new nasties – BigBoss and SillyGoose – are based on the three-year-old MM Core backdoor. MM Core spawned a spin-off named "StrangeLove" shortly after its discovery before mysteriously …
John Leyden, 05 Jan 2017
Exhausted looking business man on phone in from of laptop. Photo by Shutterstock

DomainMonster email service restored at last after Yuletide borkage

Updated DomainMonster finally resolved problems with its hosted email service on Tuesday, more than two weeks after they first began on 21 December. Reg readers affected by the problem were eventually told that a data centre networking issue was to blame for the extended outage. This remains unconfirmed since neither DomainMonster, a …
John Leyden, 04 Jan 2017
Couple in snorkelling gear at the travel agents... Comedy snap. Photo by Shutterstock

Travel booking systems ‘wide open’ to abuse – report

Updated Legacy travel booking systems disclose travellers’ private information, security researchers warn. Travel bookings worldwide are maintained in a handful of Global Distributed Systems (GDS) built around mainframe computers linked to the web but without adequate security controls, say the researchers. “The systems have since …
John Leyden, 04 Jan 2017

Hot Desk? Sec-tech firm LANDESK to be forged together with HEAT

Clearlake Capital Group has acquired IT systems and security management company LANDESK from Thoma Bravo. Financial terms of the deal, announced on Tuesday, were not disclosed. Clearlake will be combining LANDESK with its existing portfolio company, HEAT Software. The merged firm will be led by LANDESK chief Steve Daly and …
John Leyden, 03 Jan 2017
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New Android-infecting malware brew hijacks devices. Why, you ask? Your router

Hackers have brewed up a strain of Android malware that uses compromised smartphones as conduits to attack routers. The Switcher trojan does not attack Android device users directly. Instead, the malware uses compromised smartphones and tablets as tools to attack any wireless networks they connect to. Switcher brute-forces …
John Leyden, 03 Jan 2017

Vinyl and streaming sales offset CD decline in UK music sales

Vinyl sales, which reached a 25-year high, and a continued increase in streaming offset decline in CD sales as music consumption rose last year, according to official music industry figures. Figures from the BPI out Tuesday show UK music consumption rose 1.5 per cent last year to reach 123 million albums. A total of 45 billion …
John Leyden, 03 Jan 2017

A year in infosec: Bears, botnets, breaches ... and elections

How often can we say that an IT blunder might have changed the course of world history? Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server whilst serving as outgoing US President Barack Obama’s Secretary of State became a key element in the US presidential election this year. The FBI investigation around Clinton’s use of a …
John Leyden, 26 Dec 2016

Netgear: Nothing to see here, please disperse. Just another really bad router security hole

Netgear has downplayed the significance of newly discovered flaws in its WNR2000 line of consumer routers. The vulnerabilities could hypothetically allow a remote attacker to execute code and take over the device without authentication, claims Pedro Ribeiro, the security researcher who discovered the bugs. “It is a LAN based …
John Leyden, 23 Dec 2016