An international group of cryptography experts has forced the US NSA to back down over two data encryption techniques it wanted set as global industry standards, reflecting deep mistrust among close US allies.
In interviews and emails, academic and industry experts from countries including Germany, Japan and Israel worried that the U.S. electronic spy agency was pushing the new techniques not because they were good encryption tools, but because it knew how to break them. The NSA has now agreed to drop all but the most powerful versions of the techniques - those least likely to be vulnerable to hacks - to address the concerns.Read more
Iran is building up its cyber capabilities and the emergence of a group of hackers, dubbed APT33, has given rise to concerns the nation's cyberwarfare units are looking to launch destructive attacks on critical infrastructure, energy and military bodies.
The APT33 group has been operational since 2013 and focused on the aerospace industry, successfully hacking firms with aviation in the U.S. and Saudi Arabia in the last year, researchers at cybersecurity company FireEye warned Wednesday. Petrochemical firms in South Korea and Saudi Arabia were also targeted, according to the firm's report.Read more
Hundreds of thousands of computers getting penetrated by a corrupted version of an ultra-common piece of security software was never going to end well. But now it's becoming clear exactly how bad the results of the recent CCleaner malware outbreak may be.
Researchers now believe that the hackers behind it were bent not only on mass infections, but on targeted espionage that tried to gain access to the networks of at least 20 tech firms. Earlier this week, security firms revealed that CCleaner, a piece of security software distributed by Czech company Avast, had been hijacked by hackers and loaded with a backdoor that evaded the company's security checks.Read more
The top securities regulator in the United States said Wednesday night that its computer system had been hacked last year, giving the attackers private information that could have been exploited for trading.
The disclosure, coming on the heels of a data breach at Equifax, the major consumer credit reporting firm, is likely to intensify concerns over potential computer vulnerabilities lurking among pillars of the American financial system. The Securities and Exchange Commission said in a statement that it was still investigating the breach of its corporate filing system. The system, called Edgar, is used by companies to make legally required filings to the agency.Read more
An Amazon server containing roughly a gigabyte’s worth of credentials and configuration files belonging to behemoth media conglomerate Viacom were discovered online and unsecured, according to UpGuard, a California-based “cyber resiliency” firm.
A security researcher working for the company discovered the server flapping in the wind last month—without so much as a password between it and the public web. Viacom is one of the most powerful entertainment and media companies in the US. It owns household names like Paramount Pictures, Comedy Central, MTV, and others known the world over.Read more
Researchers have devised malware that can jump airgaps by using the infrared capabilities of an infected network's surveillance cameras to transmit data to and from attackers. The malware prototype could be a crucial ingredient for attacks that target some of the world's most sensitive networks.
Militaries, energy producers, and other critical infrastructure providers frequently disconnect such networks from the Internet as a precaution. In the event malware is installed, there is no way for it to make contact with attacker-controlled servers that receive stolen data or issue new commands.Read more
WikiLeaks, a secret-sharing organization accused of playing a key role in Russian attempts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election, has released documents that it claims offer details of how Moscow uses state surveillance to spy on Internet and cellphone users.
The release, dubbed “Spy Files Russia,” appears to mark a shift for an organization that has long been accused of a reluctance to publish documents that could be embarrassing for the Russian state. As Edward Snowden, a former National Security Agency contractor who now lives in Russia, put it in a tweet: “Plot twist.” However, other experts are less impressed.Read more
Popular Fitbit devices are vulnerable to hackers, according to a new study that reveals how personal information can be stolen from the fitness bands.
Computer researchers at the University of Edinburgh intercepted messages from the Fitbit One and Fitbit Flex wristbands, which calculate activity including steps, distance travelled, calories burned and sleep duration. The team accessed personal information from the devices as it was sent to the company's cloud servers for analysis. The researchers said the problem could be used to falsify activity records or steal personal data. Fitbit secures its devices with end-to-end encryption.Read more
It doesn't always happen, but you'll definitely notice the sharp spike in CPU usage when it kicks in. The site tells TorrentFreak that it was testing the feature for about 24 hours as a new way of generating revenue, and that it could eventually be enough to replace ads. In short, don't be surprised if this becomes a mainstay of the site going forward.Read more
Hackers have successfully breached CCleaner’s security to inject malware into the app and distribute it to millions of users. Security researchers at Cisco Talos discovered that download servers used by Avast (the company that owns CCleaner) were compromised to distribute malware inside CCleaner.
“For a period of time, the legitimate signed version of CCleaner 5.33 being distributed by Avast also contained a multi-stage malware payload that rode on top of the installation of CCleaner,” says the Talos team. CCleaner has been downloaded more than 2 billion times according to Avast, making it a popular target for hackers.Read more