United States officials are charging an Iranian hacker in the theft of 1.5 terabytes of data from HBO in May, an attack that tormented network executives and included the release of several unaired programs and scripts.
Behzad Mesri, who went by the pseudonym “Skote Vahshat,” was charged with computer fraud, wire fraud, extortion and identity theft, according to an indictment unsealed Tuesday in United States District Court in Manhattan. But he remains in Iran, and officials acknowledged that it would be difficult to detain him. “He will forever be looking over his shoulder, and if he isn’t, he should be,” Joon H. Kim said at a news conference.Read more
There's no way around it – we are addicted to our smartphones. Smartphone addiction even has a name now; nomophobia, short for no-mobile-phone phobia.
We've all probably experienced the symptoms at one point: panicking when separated from our smartphone, not being able to focus at work or during conversations, and constantly checking phones for new notifications. The idea of being addicted to a screen is not a nice one, and according to a Deloitte survey, smartphone users have started to realize they might have a problem. Smartphone usage has been trending upwards since 2015, but for the first time Deloitte found that smartphone usage declined or plateaued in 2017.Read more
Anyone with a free Amazon Web Services account could have looked at the hoard of information stored in the cloud by the U.S. Defense Department, according to Chris Vickery, a researcher at cybersecurity firm UpGuard who discovered the exposure.
Amazon Web Services is a cloud platform that individuals, businesses and the government use for things like storing data and boosting computing power. Amazon said on its website it is best practice to restrict access to information stored in the cloud to "people that absolutely need it." The military databases hold at least 1.8 billion internet posts scraped from social media, news sites, forums and other publicly available websites, Vickery told.Read more
The personal computer of an NSA worker who took government hacking tools and classified documents home with him was infected with a backdoor trojan, unrelated to these tools, that could have been used by criminal hackers to steal the US government files.
The Moscow-based antivirus firm, which has been accused of using its security software to improperly grab NSA hacking tools and classified documents from the NSA worker's home computer and provide them to the Russian government, says the worker had at least 120 other malicious files on his home computer.Read more
Researchers are warning users about a wave of recent attacks targeting U.S. financial institutions that leverage a new banking Trojan dubbed IcedID.
The IcedID Trojan was spotted in September. They said the Trojan has several standout techniques and procedures, such as the ability to spread over a network and the ability to monitor a browser’s activity by setting up a local proxy for traffic tunneling. “At this time, the malware targets banks, payment card providers, mobile services providers, payroll, webmail and e-commerce sites in the U.S.,” researchers wrote in a report released Monday explaining the discovery.Read more
The U.S. International Trade Commission said on Tuesday it had launched an investigation into allegations of patent infringement by Apple Inc on various devices. The commission said in a statement the probe was based on a complaint by Aqua Connect Inc and Strategic Technology Partners of Orange, California.
The products at issue are certain Apple Mac computers, iPhones, iPads, iPods, and Apple TVs, it said. The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Aqua Connect, Inc., and Strategic Technology Partners, LLC, of Orange, CA, on October 10, 2017. The complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the US.Read more
Jake Williams awoke last April in an Orlando, Fla., hotel where he was leading a training session. Checking Twitter, Mr. Williams, a cybersecurity expert, was dismayed to discover that he had been thrust into the middle of one of the worst security debacles ever to befall American intelligence.
Mr. Williams had written on his company blog about the Shadow Brokers, a mysterious group that had somehow obtained many of the hacking tools the United States used to spy on other countries. Now the group had replied in an angry screed on Twitter. It identified him — correctly — as a former member of the National Security Agency’s hacking group, Tailored Access Operations, or T.A.O., a job he had not publicly disclosed.Read more
Moscow-based antivirus software maker Kaspersky Lab said on Wednesday that its security software had taken source code for a secret American hacking tool from a personal computer in the United States.
In September, U.S. officials ordered Kaspersky’s products removed from government computers, saying the firm was vulnerable to Kremlin influence and that using the software could jeopardize national security. After that announcement, the Wall Street Journal reported on Oct. 5 that hackers working for the Russian government appeared to have targeted a National Security Agency (NSA) worker by using Kaspersky software to identify classified files in 2015.Read more
Christopher Wray said encryption on devices was "a huge, huge problem" for FBI investigations. The agency had failed to access more than half of the devices it targeted in an 11-month period, he said. One cyber-security expert said such encryption was now a "fact of life".
Many smartphones encrypt their contents when locked, as standard - a security feature that often prevents even the phones' manufacturers from accessing data. Such encryption is different to end-to-end encryption, which prevents interception of communications on a large scale.Read more
The NSA’s hackers have a problem. Last week, multiple outlets reported that its elite Tailored Access Operations unit—tasked with breaking into foreign networks—suffered another serious data breach.
The theft of computer code and other material by an employee in 2015 allowed the Russian government to more easily detect U.S. cyber operations. It’s potentially the fourth large-scale incident at the NSA to be revealed in the last five years. Now, sources with direct knowledge of TAO’s security procedures in the recent past tell just how porous some of the defenses were to keep workers from stealing sensitive information.Read more