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Russian #hackers could #instantly cut #off the #internet for #half a #million people

Russian hackers have infected more than half a million routers across 54 countries with sophisticated malware that contains a killswitch to instantly cut internet access to users, security researchers have revealed.

The VPNFilter malware also allows attackers to monitor the web activity of anyone using the routers, including the their passwords, potentially opening up the possibility of further hacks.

“Both the scale and capability of this operation are concerning,” William Largent, a researcher at the cybersecurity firm Talos, said in a blogpost describing the vulnerability.

“The destructive capability particularly concerns us. This shows that the actor is willing to burn users’ devices to cover up their tracks, going much further than simply removing traces of the malware.”

The malware has been attributed to a group of Russian hackers, who are variously known as Sofacy Group, Fancy Bear and Apt28. The group has been in operation since the mid-2000s and has previously been blamed for attacks ranging from the Ukrainian military to the 2017 French elections.

Security researchers tell The Independent that the discovery of the malware highlights a broader issue of how vulnerable internet-connected infrastructure is to cyber attacks.

“No longer can we afford to keep our critical infrastructure connected to, and therefore directly accessible to, the internet,” said Eric Trexler, vice president of global governments and critical infrastructure at cybersecurity firm Forcepoint.

“VPNFilter proves that time tested military techniques such as network segregation not only makes sense, but is required if we expect industrial services to remain resilient in the face of sophisticated and persistent attacks.”

Routers found to be vulnerable to the VPNFilter malware include Linksys, MikroTik, Netgear and TP-Link, all of which are often used in homes or small offices. The researchers say they have not yet completed their research but they are making it public now to draw attention to it.

“Defending against this threat is extremely difficult due to the nature of the affected devices,” Mr Largent said.

“The majority of them are connected directly to the internet, with no security devices or services between them and the potential attackers.”

The FBI responded to the revelations by granting court permission to seize a web domain believed to be in control of the Russian hackers.

“This operation is the first step in the disruption of a botnet that provides the Sofacy actors with an array of capabilities that could be used for a variety of malicious purposes, including intelligence gathering, theft of valuable information, destructive or disruptive attacks, and the misattribution of such activities,” Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Demers said in a statement on Wednesday.

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FBI Special Agent Bob Johnson added: “Although there is still much to be learned about how this particular threat initially compromises infected routers and other devices, we encourage citizens and businesses to keep their network equipment updates and to change default passwords.

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Wikileaks release #reveals #CIA impersonated #Kaspersky Lab while #hacking people

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

The Central Intelligence Agency created and used code that pretended to be from Kaspersky Lab while hacking people, a big twist on what has been an ongoing saga of allegations of Kaspersky colluding with the Russian government, according to the latest release by Wikileaks of leaked top secret U.S. government files.

The Vault 8 release, issued Thursday, detailed the source code and development logs behind the CIA’s “Project Hive,” designed by the agency to implant malware to spy on targets outside the country. Within the released code was evidence that the CIA used fake certificates pretending to have been from Kaspersky Lab, meaning essentially that the agency was hacking people across the globe while impersonating Kaspersky.

“This publication will enable investigative journalists, forensic experts and the general public to better identify and understand covert CIA infrastructure components,” WikiLeaks said in a statement. “Hive solves a critical problem for the malware operators at the CIA. Even the most sophisticated malware implant on a target computer is useless if there is no way for it to communicate with its operators in a secure manner that does not draw attention.”

Kaspersky Lab has been in the spotlight since June after the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided the company’s employees as part of an investigation into claims the company was colluding with the Russian government to hack and steal information from the U.S. government. Despite there being no solid evidence to date, the company has since been banned by The White House and Department of Homeland Security from use by U.S. government agencies.

In a surprising twist in a story that already reads like a poorly edited self-published spy drama in Amazon.com Inc.’s Kindle book store, Kaspersky claimed last month that it had indeed gained access to top secret spying tools used by the National Security Agency, but only because a contractor accidentally installed malware on his or her computer. The company then claimed that after being made aware that it had accidentally accessed the code, it immediately deleted it.

Although much of the story to date has appeared to be nothing more than a witch hunt against Kaspersky Lab, the fact that Wikileaks has now revealed that the CIA itself was pretending to be the company while hacking people may finally provide some relief to the company going forward.

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1M+ #people get #tricked into #downloading #fake #WhatsApp #messaging #app

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

More than a million people are believed to have downloaded a malicious, fake version of Facebook Inc.’s WhatsApp messaging app from the Google Play store.

First spotted by users on Reddit Friday, the app, dubbed “Update WhatsApp Messenger” was listed as coming from “WhatsApp Inc.,” the official name of the Facebook-owned company. How the fake app was listed with the same name as the official company was explained by Hacker News, which found that those behind that app inserted a Unicode character space after the actual WhatsApp Inc. name that would not be visible to Google Play users.

The malicious app did provide some basic messaging functionality but primarily acted as a way to trick users into clicking third-party ads and downloading malicious software. As one Reddit user explained: “I’ve also installed the app and decompiled it … the app itself has minimal permissions (internet access) but it’s basically an ad-loaded wrapper which has some code to download a second apk, also called ‘whatsapp.apk.’ The app also tries to hide by not having a title and having a blank icon.”

The app has since been removed from Google Play, but the fact it was listed long enough to have more than a million people download it once again raises questions about Google’s efforts to stop fake and malicious apps from getting listed. Seemingly once a month, an outbreak of fake apps is discovered on Google Play, including recent examples such as the discovery of fake cryptocurrency trading apps in October and an outbreak described as massive in September.

The risk of users downloading fake WhatsApp apps also remains. As of Sunday evening, a search in Google Play for WhatsApp (pictured) returns the official app in first position, but a fake app, going by the name of “Freе WhatsApp Messenger Update – Tips” from a developer listed as “WhatsApp Inc./” (including that forward slash at the end), sits in third position. A scroll further down the page also found numerous other examples of what appear to be fake WhatsApp apps.

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The #shocking #trend of people #breaking into each others’ #social media #accounts

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

The #shocking #trend of people #breaking into each others’ #social media #accounts

Spouses hack each others’ Facebook messages, parents track their offspring’s cellphone movements and lovers crack lovers’ private messages.

To most of us, EFF leader Julius Malema’s recent claim that his e-mail account was attacked by government backed hackers left a bit of a Spy vs Spy taste in the mouth.

Particularly after SA Communist Party bigwig Solly Mapaila made the same claim two days later.

But I don’t think it is so farfetched that politicians’ confidential correspondence can be targeted by cyber attackers. Just ask Hillary Clinton.

The shocking trend, however, is that ordinary citizens are breaking into each others’ social media accounts left, right and centre.

It is those closest to people who break into their personal accounts and spy on their correspondence.

Spouses hack each others’ Facebook messages, parents track their offspring’s cellphone movements and lovers crack lovers’ private messages behind their naked backs.

The worst of all is that you don’t have to be a Russian hacker or cyber geek to breach somebody’s social media. People don’t need coding skills.

If you have the skills to use Twitter, you can hack Twitter. What about WhatsApp’s encoded message technology? Even a rookie hacker can choose from a variety of techniques to break into the messaging service account.

The most popular seems to be software which allows a hacker in after just a few minutes with the target’s phone, such as Copy9 and a host of others.

Or he doesn’t even have to touch your phone – sniffer software allows him to hack your WhatsApp account from a distance if you’re on the same WiFi network. And Facebook? The classical techniques are rather unrefined, because it locks the user out of his or her account, which means the hacking attempt will be noticed.

More stealthily, though, are software or hardware keyloggers, which records every keystroke the user makes on a computer including passwords.

Or the hacker can use software such as FaceGeek or Spyzie or Hyper Cracker. And Twitter? Software such as Twitterhacker is abundant.

Of course it is completely illegal to hack someone’s social media account under the Electronic Communications Act. You can even go to jail for it.

Perhaps our modern world needs more than laws.

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Main #cybersecurity #management #challenge? People, but simple #tech can help

more information on sonyhack from leading cyber security expertsSource: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans Alissa Johnson doesn’t hesitate when asked whether people or technology is the harder-to-crack cybersecurity management challenge. It’s people, the Xerox Corp. CISO told SearchCIO at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Orlando, Fla., earlier this month. “You can tell technology exactly what you want it to do, and it’s […] View full post on AmIHackerProof.com | Can You Be Hacked?

Hackers are locking people out of their MacBooks – here’s how to stay safe

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

Hackers using stolen iCloud credentials have been able to use Apple’ Find My Device features to remotely lock down computers and demand Bitcoin ransoms from affected users. However, that doesn’t mean Apple’s iCloud was hacked. Instead, hackers are likely trying their luck with some of the many available username and…

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Scammers Are Constructing Fake People to Get Real Credit Cards

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

On a warm day in May, agents from the FBI and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service descended on a leafy neighborhood in South Carolina and raided the home of a DJ suspected of using fake identities to obtain 558 credit cards from Capital One Financial Corp. Outside the house in…

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More people meeting online regardless of age, says expert

To Purchase This Product/Services, Go To The Store Link Above Or Go To http://www.become007.com/store/ The latest census says there are approximately 14.3 million singles in Canada, and according to sociologist Sarah Knudson, more and more are dating online — regardless of age. “The biggest story in the past 15 years…

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People could rationally decide ……

To Purchase This Product/Services, Go To The Store Link Above Or Go To http://www.become007.com/store/ People could rationally decide that prolonged relationships take up too much time and effort and that they’d much rather do other kinds of things. But most people are afraid of rejection. Albert Ellis The post People…

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Debenhams Flowers hacked: Credit card details of 26,000 people stolen

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

Debenhams Flowers hacked: Credit card details of 26,000 people stolen

Hackers have stolen the personal data and financial details of tens of thousands of Debenhams customers, the company has admitted. In a cyber attack against a third party firm that runs the retailer’s online florist, Debenhams Flowers, hackers managed to take the names, addresses and financial information of 26,000 customers. Cyber criminals had access to the systems of Economova, the …

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