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Facebook Home complicated with security problems: better wait!

vulnerability

fbhome

Seems like Facebook Home, new launcher app for certain Android apps, will allow you to put updates from Facebook News Feed right onto your lock screen. While this brings Facebook to life for you, it isn’t exactly the safest. There are many reasons.

Let’s put it this way: adding a PIN code lock to your phone doesn’t keep people locked out of your Facebook account. People, even if they don’t access your phone, can still access the Facebook account on the lock screen, because the PIN code does not secure Facebook Home.

Maybe it’s a good idea to wait to use Facebook Home, so security features can be enhanced.

 

Do you have a phone enabled with Facebook Home and a PIN code? Let me know, comment below!

Recent Hacks: NBC.com, Twitter, and Zendesk – Warnings: Tumblr, Pinterest

cybercrime

After dealing with multiple attacks on several sites, including Apple, Facebook, and Twitter – this being Java exploits. Now, it’s time to deal with more hacks, including NBC.com (which has been serving up malware for a day now) and Twitter. As in recent reports now, Tumblr and Pinterest have been forewarned.

The latest high profile organization that was recently hacked is the National Broadcast Company (NBC), more specifically on their website. The idea from the hackers is to use the website to infect visitors, using exploits and other JavaScript injections.

NBC.com’s hacked pages were modified to include additional HTML component called IFRAME, which is inline frame. This allows at least a 1px x 1px frame to be included independently in the webpage, which may contain malicious code. In HTML code, frames can be made to host web content. But, in the hands of the evildoers, aka cybercriminals, it is used as an effort to launch malware campaigns.

Malicious JavaScript was added to the mix, and also used the exploit kit called RedKit. It delivers one of two exploit files to try to take control of your browser.

I recognized something was wrong with NBC.com, which may have already been hacked a few weeks ago, and I posted the information on my Twitter account that a downloaded file was sent to my browser asking me to save or open it. This was on a sister site/blog, RedTape. I asked people to replicate it. The Twitter status can be found here.

What type of malware was delivered? Citadel or ZeroAccess, which are both crimeware families and botnets. They are usually part of several exploit kits.

This drive-by download situation is no good, as the pages were taken offline. Therefore, that dropped the traffic of those specific areas of the site. It is sure that this situation is a matter of cybercrime aimed at a financial side of things, not defacement or pranks.

Was it a big deal that it was NBC? No. In fact, it is sure the hackers were aimed at using a high-profile site, and apparently NBC.com was the easiest or quickest to access. Hackers rely on time and many other factors to make their approach(es).

Zendesk hacks and other various warnings

Zendesk is all about customer support…therefore no one really knows, except for those in the business of customer support. Big names use this service, which include Tumblr, Twitter, and Pinterest, among others. Hackers broke into the Zendesk systems, accessing email addresses of those big name customers, namely Twitter, Tumblr, and Pinterest.

How “pinteresting” that another hack has been born, which is related to a social network. Zendesk detailed the hack:

We’ve become aware that a hacker accessed our system this week. As soon as we learned of the attack, we patched the vulnerability and closed the access that the hacker had. Our ongoing investigation indicates that the hacker had access to the support information that three of our customers store on our system. We believe that the hacker downloaded email addresses of users who contacted those three customers for support, as well as support email subject lines. We notified our affected customers immediately and are working with them to assist in their response.

The companies involved made a point to tell its customers that they haven’t been hacked, but private information was stolen. Luckily, no password thievery was involved.

Obviously, an incident like this, just like the NBC.com incident, needs to be taken very seriously. Something must be done to stop the continuous hacks.

Twitter hacks additionally are nothing new. Many times, hackers used a backdoor, such as the tools the support team uses, to infiltrate the information of Twitter users. It’s not a huge gain, more possibly a waste of time.

Hacked: former Presidents’ Family Email Accounts & Photos

data leakage

The Secret Service is investigating a theft from hackers on personal emails and photos belonging to the Bush Family. Such material was posted to the Smoking Gun website last night. A report by the Smoking Gun details that the emails covered a period from 2009-2012 – six accounts now compromised, it appears.

Those hacked were George H.W. Bush, his daughter Dorothy Bush Koch – who’s also the sister of George W. Bush. The other hack was on Jim Nantz, sportscaster and family friend of the Bush’s.

The hacker titled “Guccifer” posted in an account, which was purposeful for posting the material. On Friday, the Bush family’s spokeperson confirmed such hack. It was also confirmed by Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan.

More details can be found within the Washington Post.

Symantec Teams With Microsoft to Destroy Bamital Botnet

cybercrime

The Bamital Botnet, known for grossing about $1 million a year using fraudulent means has been destroyed by the investigative teams of Microsoft and Symantec. With help from the feds, the two teams collaborated in the investigation of a number of data centers for the botnet servers. This operation is the sixth operation in the past three years to take down botnets, titled Operation b58. This operation began around a year ago, when Symantec approached Microsoft with intent to collaborate and take down this botnet.

The most notorious means of the botnet are very typical, inflicting a fraudulent payload via search redirects. The victims were lured in to a scam (social engineering), in which malware was then installed to infect the machine. Once done, the victim will do their normal activities including searching, which the malware will redirect to scam sites, selling fake (or legitimate but modified) software or services, attempting to steal credit card data.

For the last two years of its continual attack on internet users, the botnet totaled 8 million computers, approximately, and stole/racked in around $1 million USD. Right now, it’s estimated that anywhere from 300,000 to 1 million computers are still infected with the botnet.

During the takedown operation, Microsoft’s crew constructed a lawsuit against the botnet operators to pull the plug on the zombie network. Yesterday, February 6, after the request was granted by the court, Microsoft was escorted by the US Marshals Service to go to every facility in Virginia and New Jersey to seize servers.

According to Richard Boscovich, assistant general counsel with Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit, the operators of the Virginia data center were persuaded to take down the server at the parent facility in the Netherlands.

Many of the cybercriminals involved include about 18 of them, scattered all around the world from the US, to the UK, to Australia, and even Romania.

Cleaning Up

Microsoft and Symantec seek to help users who’re infected. The search redirect and querying system by the rogue servers will be broken, therefore the search function on victim computers will be broken, too. There will be removal tools to help this, as well as the ability to repair the broken functions.

It is sure this will make it a lot harder for the cybercriminals behind Bamital to restart their servers, as Microsoft and possibly others like the feds and Symantec, have the servers in their custody.

 

DNSChanger Suspect Pleads Guilty; 25 Year Prison Outlook Among Other Issues

cybercrime

One hacker/malware writer of the DNSChanger malware has pleaded guilty. Only two out of the six have been extradited to the US, so far, to be charged. Valeri Aleksejev, one suspect, has now pleaded guilty and is looking at 25 years in prison, with the possibility of having to pay back up to $7M to victims. Deportation is probable as well.

When hackers change DNS settings, they have the ability to lead the victim(s) to other sites through redirects. Redirects can be used for fraudulent purposes, such as boosting affiliate sales, getting search traffic, etc.

The six suspects in this case effectively manipulated this method and other methods, and “were able to manipulate Internet advertising to generate at least $14 million in illicit fees.”

$200M Major Credit Card Fraud, 18 People Charged

idfraud

Eighteen people have been charged in a major credit card fraud scheme. New Jersey federal prosecutors called the fraud one of the largest credit card fraud schemes ever uncovered by the US Department of Justice. This fraudulent act spanned eight countries, as well as 28 US States.

“The defendants are part of a massive international fraud enterprise involving thousands of false identities, fraudulent identification documents, doctored credit reports and more than $200 million in confirmed losses. Due to the massive scope of the fraud, which involved over 25,000 fraudulent credit cards, loss calculations are ongoing and final confirmed losses may grow substantially,” FBI Special Agent James Simpson said in court records.

The criminals charged used greedy means for the stolen money, buying high-end clothing, automobiles, electronics, etc. As well, they stockpiled some in odd places, like an oven in one case.

More information is still up for grabs in this case, once everyone has made their court appearances. It is unknown what the aim was for the criminals, however, it is no surprise the schemes used were for means to make the criminals more wealthy.

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LifeLock

 

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