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Beijing's 'Water Army' Swamps Social Media
July 25, 2013
Long known for its out-and-out censorship, Beijing now appears to be filling Chinese social media with pro-government messages. The new tack was on full display after the Thursday indictment of fallen Communist Party member Bo Xilai, who was busted for corruption and abuse of power in 2012. While China's social media censors were surely working overtime, so too were its copywriters.
Google Play Misses Dangerous Apps at Border Control
July 23, 2013
Despite yeoman efforts by Google to close a critical hole in its Android mobile operating system that allows any app to be turned into a malicious Trojan, programs are still appearing in the company's Google Play store with the flaw. A number of apps containing the so-called MasterKey vulnerability were discovered by cybersecurity firm Bitdefender last week.
Google Sticks a Thumb in Android Security Dike
July 09, 2013
Lumbering like the old-school technology firms it sometimes derides, Google has finally issued a patch for a master key vulnerability in Android that Bluebox called to its attention back in February. "Is Google eating their own dog food?" asked Randy Abrams, a research director at NSS Labs. The vulnerability lets attackers modify Android apps into Trojan apps without breaking their APK signature.
Microsoft Woos Hackers with Bounties for Bugs
June 21, 2013
Following in the footsteps of rivals including Google and Mozilla, Microsoft this week hung a figurative "Wanted" sign in its Security Response Center offering rewards up to $100,000 for those who find vulnerabilities in its software. Specifically, the software giant announced three "Bug Bounty" programs in an effort to find and fix vulnerabilities in its software.
Hackers Find WordPress Easy Pickings
June 17, 2013
Adobe Reader and Oracle Java aren't alone in having a bull's eye painted on their code. WordPress also is becoming a popular target for Internet outlaws. It's quite a large target, too. About 18 percent of the sites on the Web -- about 60 million of them -- use WordPress. One reason WordPress is attracting hacker attention is that it's so easy to write plug-ins for it.
Cybersecurity Tops the Agenda in U.S.-China Weekend Talks
June 10, 2013
Among the issues on the agenda for the talks over the weekend between China's President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Obama were cybersecurity and attacks on U.S. targets by hackers based in China. "The technical means to validate true reduction in cyberoffense are not very good since the advantage belongs overwhelmingly to the attacker in cyberspace," noted FireEye CTO Ashar Aziz.
Microsoft, FBI Flatten Monster Botnet
June 07, 2013
A coalition comprising Microsoft, the FBI, and financial-industry and tech firms has taken out more than 1,400 botnets that used the Citadel Trojan to steal victims' online banking information and information about their identities. Microsoft filed a civil suit last week against 82 alleged botnet operators and cut communications between the botnets and millions of infected PCs they controlled.
China Jumps the Gun on Cybersecurity Talks
June 06, 2013
This coming weekend's cybersecurity talks may have already started. China's state-run newspaper ran an article claiming that the government has "mountains of data" proving it has been the victim cyberespionage at the hands of the United States. The report precedes the upcoming landmark meeting between Chinese president Xi Jinping and President Obama; cybersecurity is expected to be a key talking point.
Your iPhone Could Be Poisoned by Its Charger
June 04, 2013
Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed a way to hack into iOS devices through a modified charger. Billy Lau, a research scientist at the institute, together with two Ph.D. students, will present a paper on it at Black Hat USA 2013. It took only 1 minute for an iOS device to be compromised after being plugged into a malicious charger.
A New Approach for Blocking Zero-Day Threats
May 18, 2013
Cybercriminals use zero-day and unpatched application vulnerabilities to install data-stealing malware on corporate endpoints because these are -- and will continue to be -- an issue with virtually all software applications. Zero-day exploits that take advantage of unknown vulnerabilities are the hardest to defend.
The Real Mozilla Stands Up to Firefox-Cloaked Spyware
May 02, 2013
Mozilla, the creator of the Firefox browser, has sent a cease-and-desist letter to Gamma International, a German company that sells spyware to governments and law enforcement agencies. The move was a reaction to the news that a booby-trapped Microsoft Word document -- sent out for upcoming Malaysian elections -- embeds a copy of Gamma's FinSpy spyware that masquerades as a Firefox executable.
Report: Criminals Put a Bull's-eye on Web Infrastructure
April 29, 2013
Cybercriminals have begun focusing their malicious endeavors on the sinew of the Internet to reap greater rewards. For months now, Net bandits have targeted key infrastructure elements -- from the domain-naming service to certificate-issuing authorities to hosting services -- in order to spread cash-producing malware. "They're going after the infrastructure of the Internet," said Dave Jevans, chairman of Marble Security.
Bing Tops Google in Malware-Ridden Search Results
April 13, 2013
Bing may be engaged in a "Scroogled" marketing campaign, but an 18-month study by an antivirus security firm shows that Microsoft's search engine may need to play some defense, thanks to results showing more malware-infected links popping up in its search results than for Google.
Yontoo Trojan Unleashes Adware Assault on Mac Browsers
March 21, 2013
New malware is making the rounds with Mac users in its sights: Yontoo.1 can download and install an adware browser plug-in to an infected system. Adware for Mac OS X has been increasing since the beginning of this year, according to Doctor Web, the antivirus company that identified Yontoo.1, but so far it is the most prominent of them all.
RIP Android: Google Loses Its Steve Jobs
March 18, 2013
Andy Rubin was Google's Steve Jobs, and with him now booted off the Android product, that platform in its current form will pass. It is kind of funny to see the spin on this, which suggests this was Andy's decision. Yeah right, and I'll be buying that bridge in Brooklyn shortly.
Hackers Escalate Reign of Malware Terror on Android
March 08, 2013
Android has become a mobile malware magnet, according to F-Secure. A whopping 79 percent of all mobile malware targeted the Google OS in 2012, based on a new report from the firm. That was up from 66.7 percent in 2011 and just 11.25 percent in 2010. The fourth quarter of 2012 was particularly bad, it said, with attacks on Android spiking to account for 96 percent of all mobile malware.
Hacks, Hijacks and Hunts for Chinese Data Thieves
February 25, 2013
Still smarting from a recent attack on its systems, Facebook started its week with a discovery by researchers at Bitdefender that an infected add-on at the Chrome Web Store was planting malware on its members' computers. The malware, among other things, was padding the Like counts on dummy Facebook pages.
Inside the Hunt for Chinese Hackers
February 23, 2013
A recent report by Mandiant, a U.S. information security firm, has added an important new chapter to the discussion about cybersecurity -- and put China on the defensive. In chronicling the massive, years-long espionage campaign conducted by the People's Liberation Army Unit 61398, the report implicates the Chinese government and military.
Despite Denials, China No Doubt Sponsored Hacks, Insists Mandiant
February 20, 2013
A study on Chinese hacking practices issued by U.S. security firm Mandiant sent shock waves Wednesday through the technology and business worlds. A large number of cyberattacks on American corporations, organizations and government agencies are coming from a building near Shanghai, the study found.
Joint Effort Snares Gang of Cyberthugs
February 14, 2013
Europol announced Wednesday the breakup of a gang of cybercriminals who allegedly ran a ransomware scheme to extract money from online users in 30 countries. Spanish police, working alongside Europol's European Cybercrime Center, made 11 arrests in an action dubbed "Operation Ransom."
Europol Cybercops Take Down Ransomware Ring
February 14, 2013
The European police agency, Europol, announced Wednesday that it had dismantled a Russian-led, Spain-based cybercrime organization. The organization reportedly extorted millions of euros across more than 30 countries, mostly in Europe. The group's plan was to convince Internet users to pay fines, supposedly to authorities, for trumped-up infractions.
Secret Review Gives Obama License to Cyberkill
February 05, 2013
President Obama can order a preemptive strike if there's credible evidence of a pending major cyberattack from abroad, a secret legal review reportedly has found. New policies will dictate how intelligence agencies can monitor remote computer networks elsewhere for signs of potential attacks on the U.S.

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