Data Privacy

MIT Warns of Ransomware Attacks on Cloud Computing in 2018

MIT Warns of Ransomware Attacks on Cloud Computing in 2018

MIT Technology Review recently predicted that cloud services may be the next target of ransomware attacks, since these are huge stores of valuable data for companies. They added that smaller cloud providers are likelier targets since bigger companies such as Google, Amazon, and IBM have ample resources and experience to fend off attackers. MIT also said that cyber attackers may increasingly leverage AI technologies such as machine learning models and neural networks. The prediction is supported by McAfee Labs in their Threat Predictions Report 2018, where they said that attackers may use machine learning to disrupt detection models and exploit […]

ISC Presidents Says IIoT Needs Better Security, Communication Standards

ISC Presidents Says IIoT Needs Better Security, Communication Standards

Internet Society of China (ISC) president Wu Hequan recently called for better communication standards and security in the field of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). Wu said that developments in IIoT were being hampered by the inefficiencies in communication technologies. The Field bus bar, which was initially used, had too many standards, while industrial Ethernet has too many incompatibilities. He added that the constant connectivity of IIoT makes it vulnerable to data breaches, and urged for the adoption of information security technologies such as user recognition, real-time network monitoring and early warning, decentralized authentication and experimental models, distributed sensing for […]

Mozilla to Delete Telemetry Data Collected via Firefox Crash Bug

Mozilla to Delete Telemetry Data Collected via Firefox Crash Bug

Last week, Mozilla announced that it will be deleting telemetry data which were inadvertently collected due to a flaw in Firefox’s crash reporter. It was found that these crash reports are not fully anonymized and include sensitive data that may identify the user. Mozilla engineers revealed that Firefox had been sending back crash data automatically since the release of version 52, way back in March 2017. They added that they had to delete all the data, even the ones from those who agreed to send back reports, since they could not distinguish the difference between the reports.   Users and […]

John McAfee Says His Phone was Compromised, Twitter Hacked

John McAfee Says His Phone was Compromised, Twitter Hacked

Cyber security pioneer John McAfee recently issued a statement in response to some of the latest tweets from his account mentioning some lesser-known cryptocurrencies. McAfee says that he was not the one who made the tweets, but a hacker, after compromising his mobile phone. He added that he did not have control over Twitter’s security measures, and that the hacker was able to intercept his authentication code. Incidentally, McAfee is currently working on a device called the “Privacy Phone” which he claims is the world’s most “hack-proof” smartphone, which is set to be released in February. Source: BBC

Major Websites Now Secretly Using Anti Ad-Blockers

Major Websites Now Secretly Using Anti Ad-Blockers

A recent study conducted by the University of Iowa and UC Riverside revealed that around a third of the top 10,000 websites may now be using highly sophisticated ad blockers in secret. By visiting the sites multiple times with and without an ad-blocker, then comparing the final rendered code of the page, the researchers were able to see if the content had changed even without getting a notification. They found that 30.5% of the top 10,000 sites, and 38.2% of the top 1,000 according to Alexa are using some sort of ad-blocking detection. Experts note that the improvement of ad-blockers […]

Acoustic Attacks Able to Disrupt Hard Disk Drive Operations

Acoustic Attacks Able to Disrupt Hard Disk Drive Operations

In research published last week, researchers from Princeton and Purdue universities expanded on previous research and recorded new test results on the effect of acoustics on hard disk drive operations. It had already been established before that sound at a certain frequency can make HDDs stop responding to OS commands. In the new study, the Princeton-Purdue research team was able to determine the optimum frequency, attack time, distance, and sound wave angle to carry out a disruptive acoustic attack using a specially crafted audio wave blaster. The study also showed that an acoustic attack can also be used to successfully […]

China Tests Use of WeChat Account as Official e-ID

China Tests Use of WeChat Account as Official e-ID

It was reported that China is currently testing the feasibility of using WeChat accounts to generate a state-sanctioned electronic ID with limited functions. WeChat or Weixin, is an instant messaging application owned by Tencent. Experts note that the Chinese government prefers to use WeChat since users can only register an account on the platform a mobile phone number, which in turn, can only be obtained by submitting an official ID to the telecom provider. Telecom providers in China are all required by law to cooperate with investigations by law enforcement. This is the second attempt of the Chinese government to […]

Russian Code Found in FBI Fingerprint Analysis Software

Russian Code Found in FBI Fingerprint Analysis Software

A whistleblower recently revealed the existence of a Russian-made code in a software used by the FBI and a number of other US enforcement agencies for fingerprint analysis. The code was embedded in the software by Sagem Sécurité to boost its fingerprint-recognition software in order to win the FBI contract. However, the French company bought it from Papillon AO, a firm known to have strong ties with Kremlin.   According to contracts which were referenced in court documents, Papillon said that its code does not have a backdoor, or any other feature that would enable unauthorized access. Source: Buzzfeed

China Shuts Down 13,000 Websites in Three Years

China Shuts Down 13,000 Websites in Three Years

According to state-run news agency Xinhua, China has taken down around 13,000 websites since 2015 for violation of the country’s cyber laws. The government says that they are targeting websites which spread pornography and violence. However, critics say that the largely rubber stamp parliament has ramped up control over the Internet since President Xi Jinping came into power five years ago, mainly to censor speech against the ruling Communist Party. It was additionally revealed that around 10 million accounts had been shut down, most likely from social media platforms.   Source: Reuters

Researchers: Around 250,000 Users Hacked Weekly

Researchers: Around 250,000 Users Hacked Weekly

A team of researchers from Google and the University of California recently revealed in a report that around 250,000 user details are compromised every week. The team also found that email phishing and third-party breaches are the most popular method among hackers for obtaining credentials, with 12 million thefts for the former, and 3.3 billion for the latter. Because of this issue, experts are advising users not to use the same passwords for all of their accounts. The also recommend using a password manager, as well as an additional layer of security such as face id or biometric data which […]

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