Security Flash News from the 6th to 10th of February, 2017

Monday sets a tone for the whole week. On Monday (the 6th of February), our attention was directed to Locky and Kovter: two buddies that decided to help each other profit from Internet communities. Locky is an ill-famous ransomware infection which still stands strongly, even if it does experience ups and downs. Kovter, on the other hand, is a malware, focused on ad-fraud. Imagine being compromised by both of these viruses at the same time: definitely not a pretty image appears in front of your eyes. Our team explained that these malware viruses have selected to spread in malicious spam campaigns that featured a .zip file. However, the appended file is identified to contain an .lnk file which is supposed transfer people to unreliable domains. More at: 2-viruses.com.

On the same day IBT (International Business Times) posted an issue on how cyber security experts might be exaggerating news about threats and viruses in order to sell more products. Dr Ian Levy said “You end up with a narrative that basically says ‘you lot are too stupid to understand this and only I can possibly help you’ [so] buy my magic amulet and you’ll be fine.’ It’s medieval witchcraft, it’s genuinely medieval witchcraft.”. On the other hand, Philip Lieberman, chief executive of Lieberman Software stated “The perception that witchcraft or secret methods of intrusion are in play is nonsense. Without question, some security software vendors provide a never ending stream of hyperbole to create fear. Although each vendor says they have the silver bullet to stop the problem, the reality is only the effectiveness is in question, not the threat itself. The effectiveness of the ‘solutions’ may be in question, but the threat and consequences are real.” It’s up to you which side to support. More at: ibtimes.co.uk.

Then, Tuesday (7th of February) followed, with a rather controversial topic about a notorious Anonymous group. One of their hackers was identified to be responsible for shutting down thousands of dark web websites. This action was implemented for purposeful reasons: hacker explained that all of those had engaged in offensive and repulsive activity of distributing child-pornography. Their host, Freedom Hosting II was the one held responsible for allowing the vicious websites to viciously flourish. Freedom Hosting II primarily received a ransom note, demanding 200 dollars to keep this thing and collected information quit. The service sent 2 BTC, but that did not prevent hacker from sharing its discovery with the world. More at: 2-viruses.com.

ThreatPost reported about rare case – manufacturers tracking their customers. As stated in the article, Smart TV manufacturer Vizio was fined $2.2M for tracking their customers. Information, such as customers’ sex, age, income, marital status, household size, education level, home ownership and household value was tracked. Smart TVs’ also tracked programs being watched by users. Accordingly, the company agreed to pay the fine and is not arguing the sentence. More than 10 million customers were tracked and tons of data flew directly to Vizio. More at: threatpost.com.

On Wednesday (8th of February), we quickly reviewed the potential threats of malware that might reach the stars in 2017. Ransomware viruses appear to have kicked things off this year with a really bang, meaning that security researchers are in for a bitter treat. However, this is not the only factor we discussed. We paid attention to phishing: a technique which is popular to this day. In fact, sending malicious spam could be identified as one of the most fancied hackers’ activities. In addition to that, routers have also reached a point from which skilled programmers can take advantage from. We finished our article off with some security tips that will protect you from the most fearsome malware threats around. More at: 2-viruses.com.

Wednesday news continued with an announcement about InterContinental Hotels, suffering from a breach. Company noticed that their operated servers are tainted by a malware variant which new exactly which server to target. The infected database were identified to be responsible for storing credit card information of thousands of InterContinental Hotels company. It has a chain of hotels, over 5000 in total. Surprisingly, the company itself was not aware of the breach and only paid attention to this issue when one of their customers approached them about a suspicious activity on their credit card account. More at: 2-viruses.com.

On Thursday (9th of February) we gladly explained a new method which is going be directed against technical support scams. Millions of Internet users have been exposed to these malicious attempts and if they believed them, then they might have called alleged helplines to receive convenient information. What they might have not known is that they were actually engaging conversations with unreliable security researchers whose goal was to sell unreliable products or swindle personal information out of callers. Now, after facing these rogues himself, a programmer from the Jolly Roget Telephone Company created bots to occupy lines of various fake helplines. These bots are supposed to provide a human-like conversation to these shady people and trick them into believing that they have a chance of profiting from him/her. However, this is just a clever way to prevent seriously concerned people from falling intro these vicious traps. More at: 2-viruses.com.

On Friday (10th of February) we debated whether Mac devices are actually more immune to malware than Windows operating systems. We had to agree that operating systems of Macs are more secure and feature some convenient elements. Nevertheless, the main idea of our article was to inform visitors that Mac devices are threatened by malicious spam letters, appended with devious Microsoft Word documents. If users download the latter executables and allow macros to be enabled, they will jeopardize their cybersecurity and become infected with malware. Windows users are very frequently introduced with such content, but this is a new trick to be used against Mac explorers. More at: 2-viruses.com.

 

 
 

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