Posted on 03/22/2018
Instances of computers hijacked to mine cryptocurrency, a practice known as cryptojacking, rose 8500 percent in the final quarter of 2017, according to a new report by Symantec. The attacks make up 24 percent of all online attacks blocked in last December, and 16 percent of online attacks blocked in the last three months of 2017, correlating with the spikes in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies’ prices last year.
Posted on 03/16/2018
Hacker Adrian Lamo has died at age 37, according to ZDNet and a Facebook post from his father. The circumstances of Lamo’s death are unknown, but a coroner in Sedgwick County, Kansas, reportedly confirmed the news.
Posted on 03/16/2018
A couple months after Strava unintentionally exposed military base locations, another app named Ritual is exposing government agencies’ locations and workers’ restaurant routines. Ritual promises to streamline takeout by letting co-workers piggyback off each others’ orders. Users get a notification when their colleagues are ordering from somewhere, and they can then tack their own order onto that one. The app doesn't use location tracking to determine where users work. Instead, users can type the name of a business and then choose an address from those listed or manually add an address.
Posted on 03/14/2018
Google has announced it will ban advertisements that promote cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs) starting from June. Google announced the move as part of an update to its policy, which will also ban other risky financial products. The policy states that ads for aggregators and affiliates will no longer be able to display “cryptocurrencies and related content.
Posted on 03/01/2018
Microsoft is planning to distribute Intel’s firmware updates to protect Windows 10 systems against the Spectre CPU vulnerability. While Microsoft typically distributes its own firmware updates for Surface devices, the software maker usually leaves it up to PC makers to issue their own firmware updates. Microsoft is now planning to list the Intel firmware updates in its Microsoft Update Catalog, which will help IT admins distribute these to systems.
Posted on 02/28/2018
Today Apple formally transferred its Chinese iCloud operations to a local firm in southern China. It also began hosting its iCloud encryption keys in China, instead of the US, for the first time. The move has been expected since last year when Apple announced its partnership with Guizhou-Cloud Big Data (GCBD), a Chinese firm supervised by a board ran by government-owned businesses, with close ties to the government and Chinese Communist Party.
Posted on 02/25/2018
Russian hackers were responsible for a cyberattack against the 2018 Winter Olympic Games opening ceremony, and tried to make it appear as though North Korea was responsible, reports The Washington Post.
Posted on 02/23/2018
1Password, the password managing app, has introduced a new proof-of-concept feature that alerts you when you use a compromised password. The feature integrates a new service that was released earlier this week by web security expert Troy Hunt called Pwned Passwords, which lets users check to see if a password they’re using has already been leaked onto the internet. The database has over 500 million passwords that have been compiled from previous breaches.
Posted on 02/23/2018
Intel didn’t provide US government officials with details on the Meltdown and Spectre CPU flaws until they leaked to the public last month. Reuters reports that US government officials have raised concerns that the flaws weren’t disclosed privately as they could have impacted national security. Intel didn’t report the flaws to US authorities because hackers hadn’t exploited the vulnerabilities yet. The Wall Street Journal previously reported that Intel notified a small number of customers about the flaws, including Chinese companies like Lenovo and Alibaba, before they were revealed publicly.
Posted on 02/22/2018
Election Assistance Commission chairman Matthew Masterson is being removed from his post by the White House and House Speaker Paul Ryan, according to a report from Reuters. Appointed to the commission in 2014 and serving as chairman since February, Masterson was expected to be appointed to a second four-year term.