John Leyden

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Obsolete – and IP-baring – Anon tool linked to feminist blog DDoS

A feminist blog hit by a DDoS attack on International Women’s Day has used the attack to its advantage. Amber Gordon, founder of femsplain.com, said although the site is no stranger to Distributed Denial of Service assaults, Sunday's attack differed in being unusually intense. “I think it’s because it’s International Women’s …
John Leyden, 09 Mar 2015
Minority report precogs

Mind-reading DNS security analysis offers early warning for APT attacks

The application of predictive algorithms to DNS data may be able to spot malware sites before they serve up nasties. Security firm OpenDNS is applying ideas from natural language processing to automatically identify malicious domains using a prototype tool called NLPRank, as a blog post by the firm explains. Utilising natural …
John Leyden, 06 Mar 2015

Pentagon 'network intruder', dozens more cuffed in British cops' cyber 'strike week'

A "strike week" against suspected hackers by the UK's National Crime Agency has resulted in 57 arrests. Those arrested are suspected of being involved in a wide variety of cybercrimes such as fraud and virus writing. The suspects – arrested in 25 operations across the UK – face charges including network intrusion and data theft …
John Leyden, 06 Mar 2015
Headshot of Trojan horse

Fareit trojan pwns punters with devious DNS devilry

DNS tricks used by the Fareit trojan mean users are tricked into downloading malware, seemingly from Google or Facebook The latest variants of Fareit are infecting systems via malicious DNS servers, Finnish security firm F-Secure warns. These servers push bogus Flash updates that actually come packed with malicious code, as a …
John Leyden, 06 Mar 2015
The fashion world’s most privileged urchin lounges in a luxury hotel in Paris, 1993. © Geoff Wilkinson/RexUSA

Mandarin Oriental coughs to credit card breach

Upmarket hotel chain Mandarin Oriental has admitted to a credit card breach. Investigative journalist Brian Krebs uncovered evidence of a breach before extracting an admission of the problem from the hotel group. The root cause of the security spill – as well as the number of credit cards exposed – remains unclear, pending the …
John Leyden, 06 Mar 2015

PATCH FREAK NOW: Cloud providers faulted for slow response

Hundreds of cloud providers are still vulnerable to the serious FREAK cryptographic vulnerability. Skyhigh Networks found that 766 cloud services are still at risk 24 hours after FREAK was made public, based on an analysis of more than 10,000 different services. The average company is using 122 potentially vulnerable services. …
John Leyden, 05 Mar 2015

‪Obama criticises China's mandatory backdoor tech import rules

US prez Barack ‪Obama has criticised China's new tech rules‬, urging the country to reverse the policy if it wants a business-as-usual situation with the US to continue. As previously reported, proposed new regulations from the Chinese government would require technology firms to create backdoors and provide source code to the …
John Leyden, 05 Mar 2015
Flytrap

Outbreak! Fake Amazon voucher offer seeds mobile malware attack

Spoofed Amazon vouchers are being used to spearhead a campaign to contaminate Android mobiles with malware, messaging security firm AdaptiveMobile warns. The attack, dubbed "Gazon", sends messages to victims’ mobile phone contacts linking to supposed offers for (non-existent) Amazon vouchers fictitiously promising a gift of $200 …
John Leyden, 04 Mar 2015
Apple phone payement.

Apple Pay a haven for 'rampant' credit card fraud, say experts

Apple and its banker pals may have inadvertently lowered the barrier to credit card fraud by adding pay-by-wave technology to iPhones, security experts fear. Payment cards can be added to Apple Pay by taking a photo of the card, and allowing a device to run optical character recognition over the image to fill out the long card …
John Leyden, 03 Mar 2015
Edward Snowden's asylum documents. Source: RT

Snowden 'ready to return to US', claims lawyer

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden is ready to return home to the US, according to his Russian lawyer. However, the former sysadmin – who is central in the biggest single leak of classified intelligence – would only return on condition that he was promised a fair trial. “Snowden is ready to return to the States, but on the …
John Leyden, 03 Mar 2015
Photo of the White House at dusk

Hillary Clinton draws flak for using personal email at State Dept

Hillary Clinton allegedly used a private email account while presiding over the State Department, potentially violating US federal record-keeping laws in the process. The former US Secretary of State exclusively used a private email account instead of an official State Department facility, the New York Times reports. Staffers …
John Leyden, 03 Mar 2015

US court rubber-stamps dragnet metadata surveillance (again)

A US federal court has rubber stamped approval for the NSA to carry on with its controversial dragnet collection of Americans' phone records. The decision by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to green-light the NSA's mass surveillance of US phone call metadata until 1 June comes a year after President Barack Obama …
John Leyden, 02 Mar 2015
silent circle

Silent Circle revamps secure smartphone

MWC 2015 Silent Circle ‪has lifted the lid of the Blackphone‬ 2 smartphone and ‪Blackphone‬+ tablet. Blackphone 2 – due in the in the second half of 2015 – will add a faster 8-core processor, three times more RAM, a longer-lasting battery, and a larger Full HD display. Blackphone+ will also debut in the second half of this year, …
John Leyden, 02 Mar 2015
Pwned

ASML‬ plays down mystery hack attack

‪Semiconductor supplier ASML‬ has admitted that unnamed hackers broke into its systems. In a statement issued on Sunday, the Dutch firm played down the scope of the breach, stating that the compromise was brief and it hadn't found evidence that anything was taken. ASML Holding recently discovered unauthorised access to a …
John Leyden, 02 Mar 2015

Would you trust 'spyproof' mobes made in Putin's Russia?

A Russian firm is developing its own anti-surveillance enterprise smartphone prototype - the TaigaPhone. The secure handset from Taiga Systems will bundle security software from sister security firm InfoWatch Group onto a hardened version of Android. The smartphone is likely to be positioned against the Blackphone, which has …
John Leyden, 02 Mar 2015
Car-2-Car

The car in front has Kaspersky deep inside

Kaspersky Lab is taking anti-virus in a different direction by embedding it in SCADA-based industrial control systems, components of the Internet of Things, and yep, even cars. The Russian security software firm and SYSGO has teamed up to embed the new Kaspersky Security System platform within SYSGO's real-time operating system …
John Leyden, 02 Mar 2015
Roller shutter

Thousands of UK drivers' details leaked through hole in parking ticket website

Thousands of UK drivers have been caught up in a data breach at a UK parking firm. A database of parking ticket details held by PaymyPCN.net covering almost 10,000 motorists was mistakenly published online. A security flaw on the private parking firm's website allowed public access to names, addresses, photographs and emails. …
John Leyden, 27 Feb 2015

C’mon Lenovo. Superfish hooked, but Pokki Start Menu still roaming free

As Lenovo struggles to extricate itself from the controversy surrounding pre-installed Superfish scumware on its machines, a blast of cruft from the past may give the PC slinger's critics extra ammo this week. A Reg reader, who wishes to remain anonymous, reminds us that Lenovo is still shipping laptops with a potentially …
John Leyden, 25 Feb 2015

Don't be fooled! He's not from the IT crowd... he's a CYBERSPY – FireEye

Impersonating IT departments in spear-phishing attacks is becoming an increasingly popular tactic among hackers, particularly in cyber-espionage attacks. IT staff themed phishing emails comprised 78 per cent of observed phishing schemes picked up by FireEye in 2014, compared to just 44 per cent in 2013. The sixth annual FireEye …
John Leyden, 24 Feb 2015
Houses of Parliament in night-time

MP resigns as security committee chair amid 'cash-for-access' claims

Former foreign secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind is stepping down as chair of the UK Parliament’s influential security committee in the wake of "cash for access" allegations. In a statement, Rifkind said he intends to remain a member of the Intelligence and Security Committee but will step down as chairman. The ISC, which overseas …
John Leyden, 24 Feb 2015

SSL-busting adware: US cyber-plod open fire on Comodo's PrivDog

Updated The US Department of Homeland Security's cyber-cops have slapped down PrivDog, an SSL tampering tool backed by, er, SSL certificate flogger Comodo. Comodo, a global SSL authority, boasts a third of the HTTPS cert market, and is already in hot water for shipping PrivDog. What is PrivDog? Let's allow the US Computer Emergency …
John Leyden, 24 Feb 2015
Hacker image

Psst, hackers. Just go for the known vulnerabilities

Despite all the publicity about zero-day exploits, a big percentage of breaches (44 per cent) come from vulnerabilities which are two to four years old. Server misconfigurations were the number one vulnerability, according to the latest edition of HP’s annual Cyber Risk Report, which concludes that well-known issues posed the …
John Leyden, 23 Feb 2015

Calling all cybercrooks: Ready-made phone attack rig for sale

Cybercrooks are marketing a hardware-based tool for running denial of service attacks on telephone systems. The Telephone Denial of Service attacks (TDoS) rig is being sold by a group of cybercriminals called “TNT” from Eastern Europe via underground cybercrime forums. The tool, called “TNT Instant Up”, features a special …
John Leyden, 23 Feb 2015

'NSA, GCHQ-ransacked' SIM maker Gemalto takes a $500m stock hit

The world's biggest SIM card manufacturer, Gemalto, revealed yesterday to have been hacked by the NSA and GCHQ, has taken a $470m hit in its stock price. Gemalto was caught unawares by the revelation that the US and UK intelligence agencies had compromised its systems, and stole potentially millions of SIM card keys used to …
John Leyden, 20 Feb 2015

TrueCrypt + Norton AV = BSOD, wail disgruntled users

Updated Encrypted disk users who upgrade to Norton 2015 have been confronted by the dreaded Blue Screen of Death. Norton 2015 appears to trigger a crash on Windows 8.1 PCs that runs a disk encryption driver, according to user complaints about the problem in a thread on a Symantec support forum. Many of those affected are running …
John Leyden, 20 Feb 2015
The vBulletin attack logs

Evil CSS injection bug warning: Don't let hackers cross paths with your website

Developers should check their websites for path-relative stylesheet import (PRSSI) vulnerabilities, which can allow miscreants to hijack web pages and steal login cookies, security researchers have urged. PRSSI flaws were documented by Gareth Heyes early last year; he calls them relative path overwrites. The trick is to lure …
John Leyden, 20 Feb 2015

Superfish: Lenovo ditches adware, but that doesn't fix SSL megavuln – researcher

Lenovo is attempting to defuse controversy over its pre-installed Superfish crapware – which appears to have run man-in-the-middle attacks against consumers in order to sling ads – by saying it has discontinued use of the visual-recognition technology on new laptops and promising to review outstanding concerns. Superfish …
John Leyden, 19 Feb 2015
Babar the Elephant. Pic: Brendan Adkins

Babar the Elephant: Another malware plague with a cute name

A strain of French-language cyber-espionage malware spotted by infosec researchers shows that the NSA aren't the only spook agency brewing custom nasties to steal sensitive data. Babar was first mentioned in documents from Canadian intel agency CSEC (Communications Security Establishment Canada) leaked by Edward Snowden. They …
John Leyden, 19 Feb 2015
Rows of Gummi Bears in military formation. Author: Institute for Web Science and Technologies, University of Koblenz-Landau. Licensed under CC 3.0

iBank: RBS, NatWest first UK banks to allow Apple Touch ID logins

RBS and NatWest have become the first UK-based banks to offer their customers the option to log in to mobile banking apps using Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint recognition technology. From today (19 February), RBS and NatWest customers who have an iPhone 5S, iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 plus will be able to access their mobile banking app …
John Leyden, 19 Feb 2015
Lock security

Check Point buys bare-metal security upstart Hyperwise

Check Point has pounced early to buy up stealth-mode security startup Hyperwise, which does sandboxing on the CPU itself rather than in the OS. Financial terms of the deal, announced on Wednesday, were not disclosed. Israel-based Hyperwise’s CPU level threat prevention technology is designed to throttle malware-based attacks at …
John Leyden, 18 Feb 2015
Barack Obama in the Oval Office

Obama turns back on spooks: 'I'm on the side of strong encryption'

+Vid US President Barack Obama has come out forcefully in favour of strong encryption despite the opposition of his intelligence establishment. Encryption has been a hot topic over recent weeks with Western law enforcement and intelligence agencies complaining about encryption-by-default in modern communication tools such as …
John Leyden, 18 Feb 2015
cookies_eyes_privacy evercookies flash cookies

A cookie with a 7,984-year lifespan. Blimey, Roy Batty only got 4!

A cookie can last 7,984 years, according to new international privacy study, far out-lasting the operational usefulness of the device (or human user presumably). The idea that some of the small files stored on a device when it is used to visit a website are programmed, to last at least as long (if not far longer) than the …
John Leyden, 18 Feb 2015
Blade Runner screenshot

Samsung's spying smart TVs don't encrypt voice recordings sent over the internet – new claim

Updated Not only is your Samsung smart TV snooping on what you say, it sends recordings of your voice over the internet unencrypted – leaving it open to eavesdropping and mischief – security researchers say. Samsung insisted last week that its TV voice-control technology isn't half as creepy as its terms and conditions suggested. But …
John Leyden, 17 Feb 2015

Boffins now one step closer to male birth control pill

Boffins are developing two new methods for birth control that may eventually lead to the availability of a “male pill”. H2-gamendazole, an organic compound that prevents sperm from reaching maturity, is going through animal testing. Sperm cells grow a tail and head in the testis, but H2-gamendazole blocks this metabolic process …
John Leyden, 17 Feb 2015

Israeli gov & boffins targeted by pr0ntastic malware from Gaza

Hackers from Gaza and Egypt appear to have teamed up in order to attack Israeli government, research, infrastructure and military networks. Security researchers at Trend Micro have traced ongoing malware-based attacks against Israeli organisations back to Gaza. Trend have uncovered two separate, but interconnected campaigns. …
John Leyden, 16 Feb 2015
Angry woman on mobile

WhatDaHell, WhatsApp? Student claims 'stalker' tool shows security flaws

A newly discovered security flaw in WhatsApp allows anyone to track a user’s status, regardless of their privacy settings, a student claims. The same bug also lifts the kimono on profile picture and privacy settings - in default settings only - and status messages regardless of privacy settings. Maikel Zweerink, a Dutch …
John Leyden, 16 Feb 2015
Violin

Violin-fiddling boffins learn that 'F-HOLES' are secret to Stradivarius' SUPERIOR sound

Scientists have identified the design features that boost the acoustic power of violins. Italian workshops of master violin-making families (such as Stradivari) produced increasingly powerful instruments in the renaissance and baroque musical eras during the 17th and 18th centuries, the so-called Cremonese era. Advances in the …
John Leyden, 15 Feb 2015
Xbox Live

Microsoft: Oh, go on, Xbox Live user. Show us your spammer

The hugely annoying nuisance that has plagued email for decades has found its way into gaming, most recently spreading to affect their mobile and instant messaging experiences. Spammers are affecting online gaming, with Xbox users in particular reporting an increase in spam reaching them from multiple gamertags. In response …
John Leyden, 13 Feb 2015
Warwick Hospital accident and emergency

KUSHINIKIZA! Google Translate SAVES BABY in Irish roadside birth

Quick-thinking Irish paramedics turned to Google Translate to communicate with a pregnant woman who spoke Swahili, allowing her to safely give birth. The Cork ambulance drivers were transporting a pregnant Congolese woman to a maternity hospital last week when she went into labour. Gerry McCann and Shane Mulcahy were forced to …
John Leyden, 13 Feb 2015
Punk-styled girl with piercing gazes at an apple

Gullible Apple users targeted by bogus order cancellation scam

Cybercrooks are targeting Apple iCloud users with phishing messages designed to steal financial information. A new run of spam messages offer a slight twist on the popular ”bogus order" scam. Instead of simply telling you about a payment you're supposed to have made, prospective marks are invited to cancel a transaction already …
John Leyden, 13 Feb 2015
Taxi Driver

Uber: Sorry we're really awesome and all that (oh yeah, and for leaking your personal info)

Taxi cab app maker Uber left its list of customers' lost belongings wide open to the internet – exposing phone numbers and other personal info in the process. The privacy snafu, revealed and corrected this week, marks the latest controversy for the San Francisco-headquartered upstart. Vice reports the internal Uber document was …
John Leyden, 13 Feb 2015
Clog dancers. image via shutterstock http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-138156878/

Dutch government websites KO'd by 10-hour DDoS

The Netherlands government’s websites were taken offline for around 10 hours on Wednesday following a DDoS attack. The motive for the sustained packet-flinging assault – directed against the Dutch government website's hosting provider, Prolocation – remains unclear. A brief statement (Google translation here) by the Dutch …
John Leyden, 12 Feb 2015
Petrol behind bars in Willowra

Anonymous HACKED GAS STATIONS - and could cause FUEL SHORTAGES

Hackers – possibly affiliated with Anonymous – have already attacked at least one internet-connected gas (petrol) station pump monitoring system. Evidence of malfeasance, uncovered by Trend Micro, comes three weeks after research about automated tank gauge vulnerabilities from Rapid7, the firm behind Metasploit. Automated tank …
John Leyden, 11 Feb 2015
His master's voice

Never mind Samsung, GOOGLE will EAVESDROP as you browse on Chrome

Those uneasy about Samsung's "smart" television terms and conditions are going to have a nervous wobble about a project along the same lines underway at Google’s Chocolate Factory. The realisation that anything spoken near your Smart TV might be recorded and transmitted to a third party is bad enough, but how about the …
John Leyden, 11 Feb 2015

Facebook: Hey guys, come share all your securo-blunders with us!

Facebook is teaming up with other big names on the interwebs to create a security information sharing portal, dubbed ThreatExchange*, which went live on Wednesday. ThreatExchange is billed as a platform that enables security professionals to “share threat information more easily, learn from each other's discoveries, and make …
John Leyden, 11 Feb 2015
android tongue

Silent but violent: Foul Google Play flaw lets hackers emit smelly apps

A couple of related vulnerabilities on the Google Play Store have left Android users vulnerable to malware-slingers. Security watchers warn that an X-Frame-Options flaw – when combined with a recent Android WebView (Jelly Bean) bug – creates a means for hackers to silently install any app from the Google Play store. Tod …
John Leyden, 11 Feb 2015
Smart home

Internet of Thieves: All that shiny home security gear is crap, warns HP

In a recent study, every connected home security system tested by HP contained significant vulnerabilities, including but not limited to password security, encryption, and authentication issues. HP's Fortify on Demand security service assessed the top 10 home security devices – such as video cameras and motion detectors – along …
John Leyden, 10 Feb 2015
Sad Anonymous

Anonymous loose cannon admits DDoSing social services and housing websites

A middle-aged Briton has admitted running a series of debilitating denial of service attacks against social services, social housing and crime prevention websites. Ian Sullivan, 51, of Bootle, Merseyside, also admitted responsibility for a series of Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks against private sector firms, …
John Leyden, 10 Feb 2015

ACHTUNG! Scary Linux system backdoor turns boxes into DDoS droids

Cybercrooks have cooked up a backdoor for Linux-powered systems that boasts multiple malicious functions. The Swiss Army Knife-style malware – dubbed Xnote.1 by Russian anti-virus company Doctor Web – can be used as a platform to mount distributed denial-of-service attacks and other evil activities. To spread the software nasty …
John Leyden, 10 Feb 2015

Keyless vehicle theft suspects cuffed after key Met Police, er, 'lockdown'

Police have arrested 16 suspects on suspicion of car theft during the first week of an operation targeting keyless vehicle theft. Operation Endeavour was launched by the Metropolitan Police in response to a rise in theft of motor vehicles. Organised criminals increasingly stealing keyless vehicles using a device which bypasses …
John Leyden, 10 Feb 2015