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Almost two years ago, Equifax suffered a massive data breach which exposed a significant amount of sensitive data of over 143 million Americans, the compromised information included that of driving licenses, social security numbers, and addresses of the victims.  It has been uncovered by The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times that the consumer credit reporting agency is closing in on a settlement with FTC, state attorneys general, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau along with state and federal agencies. Equifax could settle up with $650 to $700 million, out of which it has put aside $690 million for the purpose of penalty.  As per the media findings, the amount is expected to differ on the basis of the number of people filing claims and the details of the same will be released on Monday. Notably, the settlement entails terms to devise a separate fund for the purpose of settlement, however, the amount victim's could expect in compensation is still a matter of question. Commenting on the matter, Equifax CEO, Richard Smith, said, “At this critical juncture, I believe it is in the best interests of the company to have new leadership to move the company forward,” as he decided to retire in the wake of the cyberattack. 

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A cyber extortionist acts to be a US State Police detective and promises to delete child porn evidence for $2,000 in Bitcoins including a phone number which could be used to contact the scammer.


“Sextortion” emails have become quite common where the sender cites that the recipient’s computer has been hacked with the recording of them while on the adult sites.


On the other hand extortionists pretend to be hitmen and asking for money to call off the hit, bomb threats and tarnishing website’s reputation.



The aforementioned extortionist accuses the victim of child pornography and that the evidence could be deleted if they pay the sender $2,000 in Bitcoins.


Florida, Minnesota, Georgia, Tennessee, California and New York are a few of the states where the victims mentioned that the mails they got were from.


Per sources, the email sent by the extortionists pretending to be from the Tennessee State Police included the following phrases:

·       “Do not ignore the important warning”

·       “I work in the Bureau of Criminal Investigation, detective branch Crime Prevention with child abuse.”

·       “You uploaded video child-porno to websites”

·       “not possible to prove you didnt this”

·       “I retire in next month and want to earns some money for self”

·       “Pay me to Bitcoin wallet”

·       “This is anonymous money I want 2000$”

·       “Send transfer to my wallet”

·       “My temporary phone to contact”

·       “After receiving payments, I delete All materials”

·       “If you don’t pay me, I sending materials to The Tennessee Crime Laboratory.”


All the emails happen to be the same, the same Bitcoin address 17isAHrP2cZSY8vpJrTs8g4MHc1FDXvAMu


 but just the state’s name different.


The attacker(s) is/are using a data breach dump which contains both email and home address so that the state in the email could be matched up with the target’s state of residence.


Extortion scams don’t usually contain the scammers contact number and matching the state of residence with that in the email is surely a nice touch there.


But whenever an email turns up where the sender asks for money it’s obviously to be aborted.


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One of the hardest aspects of maintaining a cross-platform product is ensuring its security. Vulnerabilities can be exploited on various platforms in various scenarios, and it’s almost impossible for literally any company’s security department to fix all of them on their own. That’s why companies often use vulnerability disclosure rewards programs, which basically means giving money to someone who finds an issue in your product. Google has several programs of this kind. One of them is the Chrome Vulnerability Rewards Program, which awards security researchers for exploiting vulnerabilities in Chromium, Chrome, and Chrome OS. As you already know, there are a lot of Chromium-based browsers on the market, so the security of this product is crucial.

Today, Google is increasing the minimum rewarding amount for this program. Currently, security researchers receive a maximum amount of $5,000 on baseline reports. These exploits are mostly around escaping the sandboxing. Google is tripling the amount of reward for high severity baseline reward, bringing it up to $15,000. The price of high-quality reports with functional exploits of the same category got doubled. Previously it was $15,000, but after today Google will pay $30,000 for these kinds of exploits. Google is also increasing the bonus from $500 to $1,000 for exploits found via Chrome Fuzzer, which lets security researchers use Google’s hardware and scale to replicate the exploits.

The Google Play Security Reward Program got an update, too. This program only covers apps that have specifically opted-in.

- The reward for remote code execution bug went from $5,000 to $20,000
- The reward for theft of insecure private data went from $1,000 to $3,000
- The reward for accessing protected app components went from $1,000 to $3,000

To put it in short, Google decided to show more appreciation for all the security researchers that help ensure the security of their product. The changes will go into action today. You can start looking for vulnerabilities if you are competent enough. Maybe you’ll get some reward from Google.
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Kaspersky Lab has discovered a series of targeted attacks on large public health institutions in Russia.

The number of hacker attacks on Russian medical institutions has doubled this year. According to Kaspersky Lab, ten major Russian state medical institutions were attacked in spring 2019. The identity of the hackers is still unknown, but the Kaspersky Lab believes that the attackers speak Russian fluently but are outside the country.

The main purpose of the attackers is to collect financial documents, contracts for expensive treatment, invoices and other important documentation.

Spy software CloudMid has infected computers. Kaspersky lab notes that this is "unique malware" that the company has not met before. CloudMid is sent by e-mail and disguised as a VPN client of one of the Russian companies. After installing CloudMid, the program proceeds to collect documents on the infected computer, for which, in particular, it takes screenshots several times a minute.

It is known that the mailing did not become mass, only some organizations received messages.

The anti-virus expert of Kaspersky Lab Dmitry Kuznetsov says: "Cyber attackers began to be interested in the health sector. In this case, the attacks were not well technically developed, but they were targeted, and the attackers still managed to get what they wanted.”

Another expert at Kaspersky Lab, Alexey Shulmin, added that such attacks would be repeated.

Evgeny Gnedin, the head of the Analytics Department of Positive Technologies, said that hacker attacks on medical institutions are becoming a dangerous trend. The expert believes that the low level of security is primarily due to the insufficient allocation of funds for information security in medical organizations. So the attacks on medical institutions will remain relevant in the second half of 2019.

According to Andrey Arsentiev, the analyst of the group of companies InfoWatch, cybercriminals have formed groups specializing in attacks of medical institutions, which are aimed primarily at an extensive network of clinics with large volumes of structured personal data of patients.

"Protected medical information is one of the most liquid information on the black market, the cost of one record in some cases can be hundreds or even thousands of dollars. In some other cases, hackers may be interested in research conducted in large medical centers, "said the expert.
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The Georgian authorities decided to suspend the extradition of Russian hacker Yaroslav Sumbaev, who is accused of organizing a criminal community and massive ongoing fraud and ordering the murder of a Moscow investigator Evgenia Shishkina.

According to Russian media, the extradition process was suspended due to changes in relations between Georgia and Russia. Lawyers of Sumbaev appealed the extradition decision in the Supreme Court of the country and asked Georgian journalists for support. According to them, Sumbaev allegedly had information about Russia's cyber-interference in the Internal Affairs of other States. Therefore he faces charges of murder, which he did not commit, and long imprisonment in the case of extradition. As a result, the authorities decided to suspend extradition.

Recall that in November 2018, Sumbaev was detained in Tbilisi on charges of illegal carrying weapons and using fake documents. Later it turned out that Sumbaev is wanted by Interpol at the request of the Russian Prosecutor's Office in the commission of several crimes, including possible participation in the murder of the investigator Shishkina.

According to the lawyer of Sumbaev, the investigation wanted to check his client for possible involvement in the murder of the investigator Shishkina. However, the investigation had no evidence against him.

Later it turned out, the 19-year-old medical student acted as the perpetrator of the crime, the 17-year-old schoolboy became the intermediary. The schoolboy told during his interrogation that the customer of murder was the drug dealer from the Darknet. He offered him to kill a "bad woman" in Moscow for a million rubles (15 900 $).

In addition, on July 16, it became known that the staff of the Ukrainian Security Service detained hackers controlling 40% of the Darknet. Since 2007, members of the group have provided hackers and criminals from around the world access through Ukrainian networks in the Darknet.

The head of the group was a resident of Ukraine; about 10 accomplices were under his command, as well as dozens of intermediaries in different countries and thousands of customers.

A hacker data center, equipped with a backup power supply, was discovered near Odessa (the city in Ukraine). Law enforcement officers seized nearly one and a half hundred servers, which hosted fifteen hundred hacker resources.
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A security researcher from India has won $30,000 in a bug bounty program after he found a flaw in Facebook-owned photo-sharing app Instagram.

Laxman Muthiyah discovered a vulnerability that allowed him to hack any Instagram account without consent permission."

He took over someone's Instagram account by clicking on forget the password or requesting a recovery code against the account.

"I reported the vulnerability to the Facebook security team and they were unable to reproduce it initially due to lack of information in my report. After a few email and proof of concept video, I could convince them the attack is feasible," Muthiyah wrote in a blog post. 

The company’s security teams fixed the issue and rewarded the researcher $30,000 as a part of their bounty program.

However, a senior technologist at cybersecurity major Sophos, Paul Ducklin, said that the vulnerability found by Muthiyah no longer existed, and users should get back control for their hacked accounts. 


"In case any of your accounts do get taken over, familiarise yourself with the process you'd follow to win them back. In particular, if there are documents or usage history that might help your case, get them ready before you get hacked, not afterward," Ducklin said in a statement.

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With the increasing worth and volume of personal data, Data Brokers have begun to gain a gigantic amount of 'traction' as of late, offering to oversee and monetize consumers' personal data sets. Utilizing a variety of assets to assemble data, the firm gathers consumer data and offers to sell them to other business.


The data gathered is typically sold as profiles which are offered to different business, hoping to target individuals for various ad campaigns.


For some people over the world, data brokerage may be an extremely new term; however, this 'plan of action' has turned out to be one of the most profitable ones in this period — it is a $200 Billion industry.


So as to keep your information from getting sold or utilized by somebody, out of the considerable number of data brokers in the business, 43% of them enable consumers to 'opt-out' for free while others may need to pay a certain amount.


There was a rather shocking incident from India where in 2017, The Economic Times reached out as a purchaser to a data broker, selling personal data, and what they found was quite surprising, for just ₹10,000 and ₹15,000, the company was selling personal data of up to 1 lakh citizens in urban areas like Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Delhi.


While there have been many unlawful exercises and approaches by Data Brokers, this business frequently is known to operate following the law. They may get hold of a 'huge amount of data'; in any case, the manner in which they accumulate it doesn't appear to be illegal in any way.


Data Brokerage in the wake of turning into a genuine worry in the on-going long periods of its ascent, it has fallen under cautious examination and governments of numerous countries have already begun watching out for the operations of these companies.


In any case, the internet is something to be careful about as one of the common ways for gathering information is via the internet for the openly accessible information i.e. public data and people there can do things way beyond our imagination.


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Everyone is busy posting pictures of themselves how they will look in the future, while security researchers are really worried about the data that users are giving them. 

The Cybersecurity experts at Checkpoint have said that the Russian owned app doesn't have access to your camera roll, but it 'might store' the image that you modified. 

Till now, more than 100 million people have downloaded the app from the Google Play store. While it is a top-ranked app on the iOS App Store. 

According to the terms and condition of the FaceApp, ‘You grant FaceApp a perpetual, irrevocable, nonexclusive, royalty-free, worldwide, fully-paid, transferable sub-licensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, publicly perform and display your User Content and any name, username or likeness provided in connection with your User Content in all media formats and channels now known or later developed, without compensation to you. When you post or otherwise share User Content on or through our Services, you understand that your User Content and any associated information (such as your [username], location or profile photo) will be visible to the public.’

However, the firm addressed the privacy concerns saying that they are storing the uploaded photo in the cloud to increase their performance and deal with the traffic.

In the statement released they clarified that even though their 'core R&D team is located in Russia, none of the user data is transferred to Russia'. 



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A professional hacker discovered what he considered a fairly simple way to seize control of any Instagram user's account. Fortunately for the site's 500 million active daily users, he told Instagram exactly how it could be done.

Laxman Muthiyah is a professional bounty hunter. Not the kind who tracks down bail jumpers, mind you. He uses his hacking skills to collect bug bounties, money companies pay to hackers who find and report vulnerabilities in their software.

Muthiyah found the account-breaking bug in the mobile version of Instagram's password reset system. When a user wants to reset his or her password, Instagram tries to validate their identity by sending a 6-digit code to a recovery phone number.

A six-digit code is child's play for a hacker with any amount of computing power at their disposal, which is why Instagram has a system in place that can detect brute-force attacks. Muthiyah found that out of 1,000 attempts around 75% were blocked.

By creating a race condition -- a nasty situation that occurs when a computer tries to process multiple requests at the same time -- and making attempts from a huge number of IP addresses -- Muthiyah was able to do an end run around Instagram's brute force blocker.

He bombarded Instagram with 200,000 codes from 1,000 different IP addresses. That might sound like a Herculean task, but Muthiyah notes that it's actually quite simple using cloud-based tools.

In his estimation it would have cost about $150 to reset anyone's password.

Gaining control of an account with hundreds of thousands -- or even millions -- of followers is well worth the investment. It provides an opportunity to spam users with links to infected downloads or phishing pages from an account they are likely to trust.

There's no telling how many unsuspecting fans would've blindly clicked a malicious link posted from a celeb's verified IG account. It's quite possible that a major incident was avoided thanks to Muthiyah's hard work and Facebook's (which owns Instagram) rapid deployment of a fix.
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The viral ‘FaceApp’ which predicts how you will look after 50 years, might be exposing users to its Russian developers. 

The security experts issued a warning of security concerns as the app was made in 2017. The app puts a filter over users face, as it has permanent access to your photos. 

According to the experts, the app doesn’t ask for access, store or use images from the user's camera roll. The app access photos without permission.

James Whatley, a strategist from Digitas, says: 'You grant FaceApp a perpetual, irrevocable... royalty-free... license to use, adapt, publish, distribute your user content... in all media formats... when you post or otherwise share.'

The app which is free service uses artificial intelligence to edit a picture and transforms the image into someone double or triple your age. 

FaceApp is currently one of the most downloaded apps for both iOS and Android, as #faceappchallenge posts have taken over social media.



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