Feeds
The Register Columnists

John Leyden

Contact Mail Follow Twitter RSS feed

RIP Full Disclosure: Security world reacts to key mailing list's death

The legendary Full Disclosure mailing list, where security researchers posted details of exploits and software vulnerabilities, is shutting down. The service, which had been running for nearly 12 years since July 2002, has been suspended indefinitely after list admin John Cartwright was no longer prepared to put up with the …
John Leyden, 19 Mar 2014

Kent Police fined £100k for leaving interview vids of informants in old cop shop

Kent Police have been fined £100,000 after interview tapes and other confidential information were found abandoned at a former police station. The highly sensitive information, including records going back to the 1980s, was left in the basement of a former police station when it was vacated in July 2009. The cock-up was …
John Leyden, 19 Mar 2014
The NSA Unchained

NSA spies recorded an entire COUNTRY'S phone calls for a MONTH: Report

The NSA is recording all of the voice calls in one unnamed country and keeping those recordings for 30 days at a time as part of a previously undisclosed rolling wiretap programme, according to leaks recently published in WSJ. Millions of voice "cuts" are extracted for long time storage as part of a system called MYSTIC that's …
John Leyden, 19 Mar 2014

Hidden 'Windigo' UNIX ZOMBIES are EVERYWHERE

Hackers using a Trojan seized control of over 25,000 Unix servers worldwide to create a potent spam and malware distribution platform. The attack, dubbed Operation Windigo1, was uncovered by security experts at anti-virus firm ESET, in collaboration with CERT-Bund, the Swedish National Infrastructure for Computing, as well as …
John Leyden, 18 Mar 2014

Romanian 'ransomware victim' hangs self and 4-year-old son – report

Reports have claimed that a Romanian man who committed suicide recently had been the victim of so-called "police" ransomware which falsely informed him he needed to pay a fine for downloading porn or risk going to jail. Marcel Datcu, 36, from the village of Movila Miresii, hanged himself while holding his four-year-old son in …
John Leyden, 18 Mar 2014
Will Shackleton, UKCSC 2014 winner

Soon-to-be Facebook intern wins UK Cyber Security Challenge

A 19-year-old student was crowned the UK Cyber Security Champion after beating all comers over the course of a year-long competition that tested computer defence skills. Will Shackleton, a University of Cambridge student who develops mobile apps in his spare time, beat over 3,000 entrants and 41 fellow finalists to win the …
John Leyden, 17 Mar 2014

Malaysia Airlines mystery: Click here for the TRUTH

Scammers are asking truth-seeking conspiracy theorists to ignore the inherent irony and give up some of their private data in order to find out the "truth" about the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370. Scams circulating on Facebook and Twitter purport to offer video reports of the plane being found, some of which …
John Leyden, 17 Mar 2014

Scam emails tell people they have cancer to trick them into installing a money-stealing Trojan

Sick fraudsters have put out a batch of malware-riddled hoax emails warning recipients that they may have cancer. The scam emails purport to come from the UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice). The emails - which arrive with the header "important blood analysis result" - ask prospective victims to download …
John Leyden, 14 Mar 2014
Homer Simpson reading on a tablet

Target IGNORED hacker alarms as crooks took 40m credit cards – claim

Staff at US chain Target reportedly failed to stop the theft of 40 million credit card records despite an escalating series of alarms from the company's computer security systems. Bloomberg Businessweek claims that security technology from FireEye detected the malware-powered hack – but Target staff failed to act on the alerts, …
John Leyden, 14 Mar 2014

Noooo... WAIT. Google slaps on Chrome patches ahead of Pwn2Own hackfest

Google trowelled plaster over seven security cracks in Chrome on Tuesday, a day before the browser became one of the targets at the annual Pwn2Own hacking competition. The latest cross platform security update for Chrome fixed four "high" severity flaws and three lesser bugs. Three of the four high profile bugs were discovered …
John Leyden, 13 Mar 2014
Hacker mug 06.12.02

Ethical hacker backer hacked, warns of email ransack

The IT security certification body that runs the Certified Ethical Hacker programme has itself been hacked. The EC-Council said the same hackers who ran the DNS poisoning attack that resulted in the defacement of its website in late February had also managed to access the control panel for its website after breaking into the …
John Leyden, 13 Mar 2014

New fear: Worm that ransacked US military PCs was blueprint for spies' super-malware

A mystery worm that burrowed into US military computers to steal secrets six years ago may have inspired the development of subsequent government-grade malware Red October, Turla, Flame and Gauss. Researchers at Kaspersky Lab reached this conclusion after finding similarities between Agent.btz – the worm that attacked in 2008 – …
John Leyden, 12 Mar 2014
Collapsed house

MUM's WordPress recipe blog USED AS ZOMBIE in DDoS attacks

Tens of thousands of vulnerable WordPress sites have been co-opted into a server-based botnet being used to run DDoS attacks. More than 160,000 legitimate WordPress sites were abused to run a large HTTP-based (layer 7) distributed flood attack against a target, which called in cloud security firm Sucuri for help. Security …
John Leyden, 12 Mar 2014
BlackBerry Bold 9900

BB10's 'dated' crypto lets snoops squeeze the juice from your BlackBerry – researcher

BlackBerry BB10 OS uses dated protocols that leave users at risk of cryptographic attacks, according to a security researcher. The latest version of the smartphone maker's operating system, BlackBerry 10, uses TLS 1.0, while competitors use TLS 1.2. The post on the CrackBerry forum contains a screenshot from the howsmyssl.com …
John Leyden, 12 Mar 2014
Password Assistant

Top UK e-commerce sites fail to protect 'password' password-havers from selves

Top UK e-commerce sites are not doing enough to safeguard users from their own password-related foibles, according to a new study. A review of password security at the top 100 e-commerce sites found two in three (66 per cent) accept notoriously weak passwords such as “123456” or “password”, putting users in danger. The first …
John Leyden, 11 Mar 2014
Virgin Media Digital Media Centre

Got a Netgear router from Virgin Media? Change your admin password NOW

A Wi-Fi security flaw leaves Virgin Media subscribers' wireless connections vulnerable to takeover by hackers. The vulnerability, identified by IT consultant Paul Moore, means Virgin Media Superhub router/modem combo devices leak users' passwords every time they reboot. The issue arises because the Netgear-manufactured device …
John Leyden, 10 Mar 2014
Homer Simpson reading on a tablet

Dammit internet... you promised naked videos of my Facebook friends

Hundreds of people have been tricked into installing Trojan malware after clicking on a new Facebook scam that falsely promises naked videos of their "friends". The scam – which relies on tricking users into installing a fake Flash player supposedly needed to view the racy footage – can multiply itself rapidly across multiple …
John Leyden, 10 Mar 2014
Wi-Fi 802.11n

Euro cops on free Wi-Fi not-so-hotspots: For pity's sake, don't use them for email

Using free Wi-Fi hotspots poses a data risk to users, the boss of European police agency Europol warns. Troels Oerting, head of Europol's cybercrime centre, told BBC Click that growing number of attacks are being carried out via public Wi-Fi and that people should send personal data only across trusted networks. "We have seen …
John Leyden, 10 Mar 2014
padlock

Microsoft to push out penultimate XP patch on March Patch Tuesday

Microsoft plans to push out five bulletins - two of which cover critical flaws - as part of the March edition of Patch Tuesday. One of the critical updates offers relief from a 0-day (unpatched but being exploited) vulnerability in Internet Explorer discovered about three weeks ago. Microsoft previously addressed the issue with …
John Leyden, 07 Mar 2014
balaclava_thief_burglar

British Pregnancy Advice Service fined £200k for Anon hack, data protection breaches

The British Pregnancy Advice Service (BPAS) has been fined £200,000 after a serious breach exposed thousands of people’s personal details to a malicious hacker. The hacker (a self-identified member of Anonymous) threatened to publish the names of people who sought advice on abortion, pregnancy and contraception. The miscreant …
John Leyden, 07 Mar 2014
A boat full of Fail

Phisherman's friend: Confused hacktivists deface FAKE BANK SITE

Anon hackers have been caught boasting about defacing a counterfeit Yorkshire Bank website. Hacktivist crew Anon Ghost earned coverage on underground security blogs for defacing “Yorkshire Bank, one of the largest United Kingdom bank (sic)”. However, the hackers actually hit "ybs-bank.com", a Malaysian imitation of the real …
John Leyden, 06 Mar 2014
chalk outline of  human body at crime scene

Botnet masters using Tor to hide control tools for ZOMBIE SLAVES

The Tor anonymisation network is being used to hide 900 botnet and cybercrime-related hidden services, according to Kaspersky Lab. Kaspersky security researchers report that the Tor network is playing host to the ChewBacca point-of-sale keylogger and the ZeuS banking malware control infrastructure, as well as the first Tor …
John Leyden, 06 Mar 2014

CIA snoops snooped on Senate to spy spy torture report – report

CIA officers allegedly hacked into the US Senate Intelligence Committee's computers to find out what the oversight committee had found out about its controversial detention and treatment of terror suspects.‬ The oversight committee had managed to get its hands on unapproved material, or so the CIA feared, the New York Times …
John Leyden, 05 Mar 2014
Printed key

New design flaw found in crypto's TLS: Pretend to be a victim online

Security researchers have developed a new man-in-the-middle attack against the cryptographic protocol TLS – a protocol that is used to encrypt online banking and shopping, and other sensitive connections, to thwart eavesdroppers. The so-called Triple Handshake attack can, in certain conditions, outwit vital checks carried out to …
John Leyden, 05 Mar 2014

Cyber battle apparently under way in Russia-Ukraine conflict

Ukraine's mobile phone infrastructure is under attack: with equipment installed in Russian-controlled Crimea interfering with the phones of members of parliament, a senior Ukrainian government official alleges. The head of Ukraine's SBU security service told a press conference on Tuesday that the attack has been running for at …
John Leyden, 04 Mar 2014
counterintelligence_foriegn_spies

Security researchers uncover three-year-old 'RUSSIAN SPYware'

Security researchers have discovered a complex and sophisticated piece of data-stealing malware they suggest may well be the work of state-sponsored hackers in Russia. The Uroburos rootkit, named after a mythical serpent or dragon that ate its own tail – and a sequence of characters concealed deep within the malware’s code ( …
John Leyden, 04 Mar 2014
Angry woman on mobile

Anti-snoop Blackphone hits shelves in June: NOW we'll see how much you value privacy

The launch of the privacy-focused Blackphone attracted plenty of attention at Mobile World Congress last week, but security experts are already warning privacy-conscious potential users not to get too carried away. The technology has limitations and even its developers acknowledge it is not "NSA-proof". Blackphone is scheduled …
John Leyden, 03 Mar 2014

German freemail firms defend AdBlock-nobbling campaign

German freemail sites deny attempting to "trick" Firefox and Chrome users into disabling AdBlock, the popular ad blocking browser add-on. Last week security blogger Michael Büker accused web.de and gmx.net of using what he claimed were "deceptive techniques" in order to hoodwink Firefox and Chrome users into removing AdBlock and …
John Leyden, 03 Mar 2014
FBI badge and gun

UK man Lauri Love accused of hacking US Federal Reserve

The US government have laid more hacking charges against a Brit alleged to have hacked into the US Federal Reserve. Lauri Love, 28, of Stradishall, Suffolk, is charged with one count of computer hacking and a further charge of aggravated identify theft over an alleged attack on Federal Reserve computer systems between October …
John Leyden, 28 Feb 2014

Two in five Brits cough up for CryptoLocker ransomware's demands

Around two in five people who fall victim to CryptoLocker have agreed to pay a ransom of around £300 to recover their files, according to a survey of victims. Researchers from the University of Kent quizzed a total of 48 people who had been affected by CryptoLocker. Of the sample, 17 said they paid the ransom and 31 said they …
John Leyden, 28 Feb 2014
Zxx font example

Well done on the privacy lawsuit. Now NSA will keep your phone records INDEFINITELY

The US government is considering extending the controversial collections of US citizens' phone records for an even longer period in order to avoid tossing potential evidence in lawsuits designed to curtail the surveillance programme. Lawsuits geared to stopping the indiscriminate, untargeted collection of phone call records mean …
John Leyden, 27 Feb 2014

Energy firms' security so POOR, insurers REFUSE to take their cash

Underwriters are reportedly refusing to insure energy firms because poor security controls are leaving them wide open to attacks by hackers and malware infestations. Lloyd's of London told the BBC they had seen a surge in requests for insurance from energy sector firms but poor test scores from security risk assessors means that …
John Leyden, 27 Feb 2014

YouTube to take down THAT anti-Muslim vid ... over COPYRIGHT issues

Google has been ordered to remove an inflammatory anti-Muslim film from YouTube. Clips from the low-budget Innocence of Muslims flick will be purged after an actress who appeared in the film obtained a court order. Cindy Lee Garcia says she was duped into participating in the movie, The Verge reports. After receiving death …
John Leyden, 27 Feb 2014

Microsoft hardens EMET security tool: OK, it's not invulnerable, but it's free

Microsoft has beefed up its Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET), adding features designed to block more exploits. The release of the technical review (beta) version of the tool, EMET 5.0, follows the discovery of new attacks against earlier versions of the technology. EMET 5.0 beta comes with a feature called Attack …
John Leyden, 26 Feb 2014

Like WhatsApp? Meet 'desktop' version... and his BANK ACCOUNT RAIDING Trojan pal

Scammers have slung together a scam designed to trick users into running malware disguised as a "desktop version" of the ultra-popular WhatsApp mobile messaging app. Links promoted through a run of spam emails that began appearing last week actually lead to a banking Trojan rather than a PC version of the mobile-only app, Trend …
John Leyden, 26 Feb 2014

ZeuS KICKS that SaaS: Trojan raids Salesforce.com accounts

Miscreants have forged a variant of the infamous ZeuS banking Trojan that targets enterprise data held by clients of CRM giant Salesforce.com. The ZeuS variant does not exploit a vulnerability in the Salesforce.com platform itself but rather penetrates the insecure devices of corporate workers accessing Salesforce.com. The …
John Leyden, 26 Feb 2014

iOS 7: Even if you don't jailbreak your iPhone, bugs STILL CREEP IN

The comforting notion that unmodified iOS phones are more or less immune to security threats has been shaken to the core with the release of new research that shows mobile monitoring applications can bypass Apple’s app review process and successfully exploit non-jailbroken iOS 7 kit. Background monitoring mobile (AKA snooping) …
John Leyden, 25 Feb 2014

Russian cybercrooks shun real currencies, develop private altcoins

Fraudsters are using private currencies to conduct transactions with each other on Russian-language cybercrime forums. The advent of new private financial systems and currencies in the Russian-language cybercrime community is a trend indicating a stronger level of collaboration, cooperation and sophistication amongst individual …
John Leyden, 17 Feb 2014

Devs angrily dismiss Absolute Computrace rootkit accusation

Developers have denied accusations that their Computrace anti-theft software poses a remote wipe risk for the computers the program is designed to protect. However security researchers at Kaspersky Lab are standing by their warning that Absolute Software's Computrace anti-theft technology poses a hidden threat that might be …
John Leyden, 17 Feb 2014

Fiendish Internet Explorer 10 zero-day targets US soldiers

Cyberspies have used an unpatched vulnerability in Internet Explorer 10 in an exploit which appears to target US military personnel. Among three high-priority updates in the most recent Patch Tuesday (11 February) was a cumulative fix for Explorer which addressed a whopping two dozen different memory corruption vulnerabilities …
John Leyden, 14 Feb 2014
Parliament in the clouds

Devs SLAM UK.gov's JavaScript-astic, 'shoddy' security education website

A high profile UK government cyber security campaign aimed at changing attitudes to online security has come under criticism for the poor quality of its expensive website. Cyber Streetwise was launched with great fanfare, and much positive comment from the IT security biz, last month. It was part of a campaign led by the Home …
John Leyden, 14 Feb 2014
Mobile phone stolen by pickpocket

Thought mobe banking apps were safe from nasties? THINK AGAIN

Fake SSL certificates in the wild for Facebook, Google and Apple's iTunes store create a grave risk of fraud for people who bank online using their smartphones. Analysis outfit Netcraft said it has found "dozens” of fake SSL certificates impersonating banks, ecommerce sites, ISPs and social networks. The counterfeit credentials …
John Leyden, 14 Feb 2014

Ethiopian journos hit by Hacking Team spyware, say infosec bods

Ethiopian journalists in the US were targeted by malware sold exclusively to governments by the Hacking Team company, according to security researchers. Staffers at Ethiopian Satellite Television Service (ESAT), an independent TV, radio, and online news outlet run by Ethiopian ex-pats, was targeted repeatedly by spyware in late …
John Leyden, 13 Feb 2014

Flappy Bird's ANIMATED CORPSE may spread malware PLAGUE

Cybercrooks have been quick to latch onto the hype about Flappy Bird's demise by laying a variety of malware-based traps. Counterfeit Flappy Bird Android apps packing malware have been spotted all over the web, with sightings by both Trend Micro and Sophos, among others. Trend warns that counterfeit copies of the mobile game …
John Leyden, 12 Feb 2014
The FIDO Alliance's diagram explaining how its authentication scheme works

PayPal 'n' Google's FIDO drops 'simpler, stronger' secure login spec

The FIDO (Fast IDentity Online) Alliance has marked its first anniversary with the publication of specifications for technology it hopes will simplify authentication and reduce password headaches. FIDO, which is backed by industry heavyweights such as PayPal, Google and Mastercard, is working hard to address the problems that …
John Leyden, 12 Feb 2014
PayPal inStore app in action

Credit card of PayPal PRESIDENT cloned by UK crooks

PayPal president's credit card got hacked on a UK visit, the victim revealed on Twitter. David Marcus said that an unidentified criminal used a skimming device and his credit card was cloned before "tons" of fraudulent transaction were made. The senior executive of the eBay-owned payment processing firm made sure to score a …
John Leyden, 12 Feb 2014
PayPass

Survey: Just 1 in 3 Euro biz slackers meets card security standards

European businesses are lagging far behind the rest of the world in compliance with global payment card industry security standards, according to a new survey. Just under one-third (31 per cent) of surveyed European businesses met 80 per cent or more of the PCI Data Security Standard (DSS) requirements, compared with 75 per cent …
John Leyden, 11 Feb 2014
Q and Bond, Skyfall

Kaspersky rips The Mask from sneaky Spanish spy campaign

Security researchers have discovered a sophisticated string of cyberattacks from a group of Spanish-speaking miscreants who have been operating since at least 2007. ”The Mask” (aka Careto) is one of the most advanced campaigns to date due to the complexity of the toolset used by the attackers, according to Kaspersky Lab. This …
John Leyden, 11 Feb 2014
Night scene of bank station in central london

Barclays Bank probes 'client data sold to rogue City traders' breach

Barclays Bank has launched an investigation following a reported security breach involving thousands of confidential customer files. The Mail on Sunday took delivery of a memory stick containing personal details of 2,000 Barclays customers from a whistleblower. The files reportedly contained passport and national insurance …
John Leyden, 10 Feb 2014
DNS? It's a real bind

Mass domain hijack leaves Reg reader angry with 123-Reg

A customer of domain name and web hosting provider 123-reg blames the firm for a domain hack that redirected surfers to malicious sites pushing a ransomware scam. The problem was compounded, according to the aggrieved customer, when 123-reg support staff purportedly forgot to tell the customer when they found that the account …
John Leyden, 07 Feb 2014