Smartwatches designed for children have become a target for hackers.

Smartwatches are becoming more and more popular to the general population. However did you know even young children are starting to wear smartwatches. In theory this sounds like not such a bad idea they give the parent a way to see where their young child is and communicate with them if need be. These watches also offer a way for the child to quickly call their parents in case of an emergency. This all sound good until you realize a hacker can get into the watch and do the same things.

The Norwegian Consumer Council tested some of these watches and found that some were transmitting the GPS data without encryption. This allows for hackers with basic tools to get into the watch and track the movements of the child wearing the watch, which is an incredibly dangerous problem. The hacker could also spoof the location and make it look like the child is in a completely different place. They also found that the hacker could communicate with the child and eavesdrop on the conversations the child is having with others on the watch. Thankfully many of the company’s who designed and produce the watches have recalled the watches and started to fix the problems and make them more secure.

-Levi Walker

Sources:

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-41652742?intlink_from_url=http://www.bbc.com/news/topics/62d838bb-2471-432c-b4db-f134f98157c2/cybersecurity&link_location=live-reporting-story

 

Advertisements

Reaper Botnet Dwarfs Mirai

Mirai-botnet-diagram-1


By this point everyone and their mother has heard of the botnet dubbed ‘Mirai’, an infamous botnet infrastructure from last year that managed to take down a good chunk of the internet by attacking Dyn, a DNS provider. Well as of this September, weak passwords might have become the least of your worries if you’re like 60% of Check Point’s ThreatCloud covered corporations, and have un-patched vulnerabilities on your network.

Dubbed Reaper, or IOTroop by some, a new IoT botnet is propagating, and shows no sign of slowing down. Today, researchers have ruled out the possibility that Mirai and Reaper are connected, at least on a technical level, due to the superiority that Reaper has displayed in its intrusion and propagation techniques. Whereas Mirai was spread through the exploitation of default passwords across IoT devices, Reaper utilizes a specialized strand of malware that exploits well known vulnerabilities (such as those present in many printers and IoT toasters) to gain entry to a device, and further uses that device to spread itself to others connected.

With near exponential growth, Qihoo 360 Netlab witnessed approximately 2 million newly infected devices waiting to be processed by a C&C server, of which there are several that have thus been identified. The best thing that any concerned corporation or user can do at this point in time, would be to ensure that every machine on their network has updated firmware, and software in an attempt to limit the spread of this variable plague infecting IoT networks worldwide.

Currently, it appears as if we all might be witnessing a ‘calm before the storm’, situation, with this botnet ramping up massively in numbers and, according to Check Point, updating its capabilities on a daily basis. What else can I say but stay safe, and brace for impact, as when this thing hits, it’ll make the Dyn attack look like a birthday party.

– Kenneth Nero

Sources: Here, and Here, also Here

Encryption system used to exploit protected Wifi networks

Everyone knows that they could be a potential target for cyber-crime; as it often appears in the news almost every day. But just how vulnerable is an individual? CERT recently made a statement about how your Wifi network could be exploited if proper precautions are not taken.

On October 16th, 2017, the Computer Emergency Readiness Team made an announcement that addresses the protection of your sensitive information. In short, its advice is to update all your devices when security advancements are available. The reason for this is that a widely used encryption system used on wireless networks can lead to a breach of your credit card information, emails, passwords, etc.

Essentially, the system allows a hacker to gain access to the internet traffic that occurs between computers. Once in, the hacker can manipulate the data that is recovered. Depending on the target’s network configurations, it is even possible for the attacker to inject malware into the network. The unsettling part about this encryption system is that it has the capability of effecting a very wide range of devices including Android, Apple, Linux, and Windows.

Companies such as Intel, Microsoft, Google, and Apple have heeded this advice and have released updates that will help protect people with their devices from this issue.

– Jared Albert

 

Yahoo’s 2013 Data Breach Now Estimated to have Effected Over 3 billion Users

In 2016, Yahoo disclosed an attack that involved sensitive user information. The aforementioned attack occurred in August of 2013, compromising the personal information of over 1 billion users.

Yahoo said it discovered the hacking after analyzing data files, provided by law enforcement, that an unnamed third party had claimed contained Yahoo information. -New York Times

The information included names, telephone numbers, dates of birth, encrypted passwords and encrypted/unencrypted security questions that could be used to reset passwords. Fortunately, Yahoo did confirm that hackers did not obtain bank account details or credit card information tied to Yahoo accounts.

On Tuesday (October 3rd, 2017), Yahoo reported that the number of accounts breached could exceed 3 billion. The announcement is not specific about how or why the breach was determined to be so much larger than originally thought or how it was missed in the original analysis. Yahoo emphasized that the 3 billion figure includes many accounts that were opened but never or only briefly used.

Over recent years, security has taken a back seat at Yahoo compared to competing companies like Facebook and Google. Yahoo’s security team clashed with top executives, including the chief executive, Marissa Mayer, over the cost and customer inconvenience of proposed security measures.

When the breach was originally announced in 2016, Yahoo required everyone who had not reset their password since the breach to do so; however, it does not appear any new action is being taken.

– Justin Krumlauf

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/oct/03/yahoo-says-all-of-its-3bn-accounts-were-affected-by-2013-hacking

https://www.engadget.com/2017/10/03/yahoo-2013-hack-three-billion/

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/14/technology/yahoo-hack.html

“Faceliker” Facebook Trojan Making Comeback

“Faceliker” is malware that has been around for a few years, but recently in 2017 McAfee is reporting surges in the use of Faceliker (9.8% of all new malware in Q1/Q2 are Faceliker strains). Faceliker uses JavaScript to basically hijack the users’ clicks and generates likes on Facebook. The malware is becoming increasingly common to be embedded within malicious Chrome extensions.

Why would someone want to hijack clicks from users? Well, it seems as though Faceliker is being used to promote “fake news” (*cough* propaganda), and is also used to promote advertisements and games that aren’t popular, but seem popular due to the likes accumulated by Faceliker. It also can promote fake pages of companies or users in order to make them seem real or reputable, and possibly result in possible catfishing.

McAfee is not certain, but it appears that Faceliker is only being used to promote content by spoofing likes. It is possible different Faceliker strains are being used to steal passwords or other sensitive data, but there isn’t a clear cut answer.

-Ryan Corrao

https://www.komando.com/happening-now/422202/watch-out-facebook-hijacking-malware-is-spreading

https://themerkle.com/faceliker-facebook-malware-makes-a-surprising-comeback/