XXX in Tech
The golden rule of the Internet is simple: Never (ever) pay for porn. That premise, however, doesn’t fully translate into Japanese. Symantec reports that more than 200 explicitly themed and fraudulent apps are suckering an unknown amount of users into shelling out up to $1,000 for porn.
Hack Hack Hack Hack It Apart
Guy Fawkes Day celebrations of a sort began online Sunday when hackers defaced multiple NBC web sites in addition to a fan page for pop singer Lady Gaga. Anonymous has disclaimed any association with the NBC hacks, but today, as part of an effort they’ve dubbed “Operation Vendetta,” the hacktivist collective has been tearing through several other high-profile sites. Hits include image host ImageShack and pages belonging to the Australian government.
Many media outlets reported a possible PayPal hack as well, however PayPal issued a denial, stating they had no evidence of a breach.
Additionally, credit for the Symantec hack may go to a hacker or group of hackers called HTP, not the larger de-centralized mass of Anons.
Flame I'm Gonna Live Forever
The Cold War is over and Russia and America are getting along. So surely the Men in Black behind the United States’ cyber weapons program based at Area 51 or wherever will not be too concerned that a Russian researcher cracked an encoded password associated with the now infamous, allegedly American-made Flame malware.
Symantec and Kaspersky recently teamed to pick apart Flame’s command and control systems, discovering at least three previously unknown infectious scripts in the process. The researchers also discovered a great deal about how the weapons were assembled and launched against enemy targets, but were left with a hashed passcode they couldn’t break. They put out a call for help but didn’t need the assistance of anyone outside either outfit, after all:
Flame I'm Gonna Live Forever
Kaspersky Lab and Symantec have teamed up to peel apart the United States’ cyber warfare efforts. So far, they have uncovered the command and control systems behind the sophisticated malware as well as three previously unknown chunks of malicious code possibly related to alleged American cyber superbugs Flame and Duqu.
Reuters reports that researchers from the security firms discovered how the malware was disseminated–through an outwardly innocent-seeming content management system (CMS) named Newsforyou:
Symantec just released its annual Internet Threat Security Report, which offers a nice wrap-up of the last year in cybersecurity. The company’s software blocked 5.5 billion total attacks in 2011, versus 3 billion in 2010; 42 percent of mailboxes targeted for attack are “high level executives, senior managers, and people in R&D,” which is pretty alarming if you’re trying to protect IP.
That’s all useful intel for IT and security pros. But parts of the report read… a little random. Betabeat found this so noticeable, we picked out a few of our favorite facts, selected for wtfery rather than newsworthiness:
Participating in Anonymous Ops can be more dangerous to Anons than they previously realized: one enterprising Anon may have recently used a DDoS attack to spread malware that could steal the bank information of his or her fellow hackers.