Trend Micro: Hackers Using Android App For Sextortion   

 

Researchers found that the extortionists first lure their victims through a number of online chatting tools   
Saturday, March 28, 2015:  Security software company Trend Micro has come up with a new finding in which they detected that criminals have developed advanced mobile applications and tools that siphon their victims’ online passwords and contacts to increase the chance that they will pay up.

In a latest report ‘sextortion in the far east’, Trend Micro’s researchers detailed a new Android app that criminals are using to pressure their victims into blackmail.

Sextortion is the act of coercing cybercrime victims to perform sexual favors or to pay large amounts of money in exchange for the non-exposure of their explicit images, videos, or conversations.

Cybercriminals lure, record, and threaten their victims online, which includes a mobile malware component. During their chat or Skype session, cybercriminals convince victims to install a data stealer or disguised Android malware that steals victim data off their device. Cybercriminals can then threaten their victims with the possibility of sending the explicit content to their victim’s contact list. The malware these cybercriminals used are persistent and exhibit various intrusive behaviors.

Researchers found that the extortionists first lure their victims through a number of online chatting tools. Once the trap is set, they feign audio or messaging problems to persuade their target to download one of four malicious Android apps. Using their email, social media and bank accounts, Trend Micro traced several of the Android app developers and their money go-betweens to China.

The company found evidence that the criminals opened different bank accounts for each extortion campaign, which typically, lasted for a few weeks. 

Sushma rani, EFYTIMES News Network 

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Want To Send/Receive Large Files Quickly? Try These 8 Free Websites!

Want To Send/Receive Large Files Quickly? Try These 8 Free Websites!

Monday, May 12, 2014: Are you bogged down by the fact that your regular e-mail client doesn’t let you send/recieve large files, files beyound a certain limit? Well, you’re not the only one. Don’t you always wish you had something, an online tool or a website for that matter that could help you send/receive large data with ease. Afterall breaking your data into little chunks when sending can be a daunting task. Here are 8 free websites that you should try!

1.Mozy Online Backup

More than 6 million individuals and 100,000 businesses back up more than 90 petabytes of information to Mozy data centers globally.

2.ADrive

Founded in 2007 by veterans of the storage and networking industry, ADrive was created to meet the demands of our data-intensive world.

3.Windows Live SkyDrive

Easily store and share photos, videos, documents, and more — anywhere, on any device, free. Plus, get 7 GB when you sign up.

4.file ai

Securely share files that are too big to e-mail for free.

5.Share Send

Share Send is the easiest way to share files online. With no registration required, you simply drag and drop your files and these same files are available online.

6.GigaSize

GigaSize.com allows you to upload large files in just one click.

7.2Big2Send

2Big2Send eliminates the large file headache many people have on a day-to-day basis. Without using 2Big2Send your files clog up your inbox, Exchange Server and makes your recipients wait while you send the email and then download it over slow connections.

8.DropSend

With DropSend you can send 4GB files quickly, securely and without any hassle.

Saurabh Singh, EFYTIMES News Network

Revealed: How governments can take control of smartphones

Revealed: How governments can take control of smartphones

“Our latest research has identified mobile modules that work on all well-known mobile platforms, including as Android and iOS”

RT.com
June 25, 2014

‘Legal malware’ produced by the Italian firm Hacking Team can take total control of your mobile phone. That’s according to Russian security firm Kaspersky Lab and University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab(which also obtained a user manual).

Operating since 2001, the Milan-based Hacking Team employs over 50 people and offers clients the ability to “take control of your targets and monitor them regardless of encryption and mobility,” while “keeping an eye on all your targets and manage them remotely, all from a single screen.”

It’s the first time Remote Control Systems (RCS) malware has been positively linked with mobile phones and it opens up a new privacy threat potential to mobile phone users.

“Our latest research has identified mobile modules that work on all well-known mobile platforms, including as Android and iOS,” wrote Kaspersky researcher Sergey Golovanov.

“These modules are installed using infectors – special executables for either Windows or Macs that run on already infected computers. They translate into complete control over the environment in and near a victim’s computer. Secretly activating the microphone and taking regular camera shots provides constant surveillance of the target – which is much more powerful than traditional cloak and dagger operations.”

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Image from citizenlab.org

Police can install the spy malware directly into the phone if there is direct access to the device, or if the owner of the phone connects to an already infected computer, according to Wired.

Various softwares can also lure users to download targeted fake apps.

Once inside an iPhone, for instance, it can access and activate all of the following: control of Wi-Fi, GPS, GPRS, recording voice, e-mail, SMS, MMS, listing files, cookies, visited URLs, cached web pages, address book, call history, notes, calendar, clipboard, list of apps, SIM change, live microphone, camera shots, support chats, WhatsApp, Skype, and Viber.

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Image from citizenlab.org

While the malware can be spotted by some of the more sophisticated anti-virus software, it takes special measures to avoid detection – such as “scouting” a victim before installation, “obfuscating”its presence, and removing traces of its activity.

Hacking Team has maintained that its products are used for lawful governmental interceptions, adding that it does not sell items to countries blacklisted by NATO or repressive regimes.

Wired reported that there have been cases where the spying apps were used in illegal ways in Turkey, Morocco, and Saudi Arabia.

Citizen Lab discovered spying malware hiding in a legitimate news app for Qatif Today, an Arabic-language news and information service that reports on events in Saudi Arabia’s eastern Qatif region. It also argued that circumstantial evidence pointed to Saudi Arabia’s government using the spying malware against Shia protesters in the area.

“This type of exceptionally invasive toolkit, once a costly boutique capability deployed by intelligence communities and militaries, is now available to all but a handful of governments. An unstated assumption is that customers that can pay for these tools will use them correctly, and primarily for strictly overseen, legal purposes. As our research has shown, however, by dramatically lowering the entry cost on invasive and hard-to-trace monitoring, the equipment lowers the cost of targeting political threats for those with access to Hacking Team and Gamma Group toolkits,” Citizen Lab said in its report.

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Map showing the countries of the current HackingTeam servers’ locations (Image from securelist.com)

Hacking Team controls the spying malware remotely via command-and-control servers. Kaspersky has discovered more than 350 such servers in more than 40 countries. A total of 64 servers were found in the US – more than in any other country. Kazakhstan came in second, with a total of 49 servers found. Thirty-five were found in Ecuador and 32 in the UK.

How to create strong passwords

How to create strong passwords June 4, 2014 By: Marta López

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Quite honestly, you can never be told enough about strengthening your passwords and their security! Of course, that is my opinion.

We have often said that having strong passwords can save you a lot of headaches when it comes to protecting your digital life.

Today we are going to offer you a few tips on how to make a password that will make things a bit more difficult for those malicious individuals who want to take control of your email or social network accounts or any other online services you use.

How to create strong passwords
Use numbersInclude letters as wellCombine upper and lower caseAdd symbols such as: @, #, ? or %Where possible, it should be a minimum of eight characters long. The longer it is, the more difficult it will be to guessNever use a sequence of numbers or letters: 123456, 987654, abc123Don’t use a sequence of adjacent keyboard letters either: qwer123; asd987Ideally, your passwords shouldn’t be something directly related to you. Don’t use your name or date of birth

Things you shouldn’t do with your password
Use the same password for different services, social networks, online banking, etc. If you always use the same one, if someone gets hold of it, they will have access to your entire digital world.Write it down somewhere: mobile phone, address book, etc. Neither should you leave it next to your computer!Leave it stored in browser histories. Even though it’s more hassle, it’s better to enter your password manually whenever you visit a site.

What you should do with your passwords
* There are many tools available on the Internet to check their strength.

* Change them from time to time.

* Use a password manager like the one in Panda Global Protection 2014. This way, you will only have to remember one password and, as you don’t have to memorize all of them, you can set different, more complex passwords for each service.

Outlook.com Android App Leaves Email Messages Exposed

Outlook.com Android App Leaves Email Messages Exposed

Researchers find Outlook.com emails unprotected by default on SD cards.
A Microsoft Outlook client app for Android devices stores, by default, email messages unencrypted on the device’s SD cards, researchers say.

Erik Cabetas, managing director of Include Security, says the Outlook.com mobile client, which was developed by third-party app firm Seven Networks, leaves email messages in the clear on the removable SD cards. “Anyone can grab that and walk away,” Cabetas says.

Android users must set up the device to encrypt the file system, something most consumers are likely unaware of, he says, noting that it’s not a feature that’s integrated with the Outlook.com service or app. “Users need to be aware so they can encrypt the file system of the SC card. Android has native tools to do that… but it’s a [multi-click] setting and most don’t know how to do that.”

Outlook.com does have a PIN feature, but it only protects the user interface to the app, not the stored data on the file system, he says. “I could lock my phone with the PIN, but if someone gets the SD card, they still have all the data.”

Other apps on the phone also could access the emails. “Any app on the phone can read that” information on the SD card. They don’t need special permission. Phones nowadays come with preinstalled apps on them that could grab those emails.”

Cabetas and his team contacted Microsoft’s Security Response Center about the security weakness in the app, but Cabetas says Microsoft’s response was that this was an issue with the device itself and outside the scope of the app and Microsoft’s own security model.

A Microsoft spokesperson provided this statement in response to a press inquiry about the research:

Microsoft is committed to protecting the security of your personal information. We use a variety of security technologies and procedures to help protect your personal information from unauthorized access, use, or disclosure. For people using the Outlook.com app for Android, applications run in sandboxes where the operating system protects customers’ data. Additionally, customers who wish to encrypt their email can go through their phone settings and encrypt the SD card data. Please see Microsoft’s online privacy policy for more information.

Include’s Cabetas says that, ideally, the app should alert users that it stores emails to the local file system. “As part of the app installation, it should alert the user that ‘We store emails to your local file system. Would you like to encrypt it? Yes or no.’ Even if a software vendor doesn’t feel directly responsible for worrying about the local file system encryption, at least it should inform the user.”

He recommends that users use full disk encryption for Android and SD card file systems, and the USB debugging (under the Developer Options setting) should be turned off.

Include says in a blog post that will be posted today:

Alternatively, Outlook.com for Android could use third-party addons (such as SQLcipher) to encrypt the SQLite database in tandem with transmitting the attachments as opaque binary blobs to ensure that the attachments can only be read by the Outlook.com app (perhaps using the JOBB tool). These methods would be useful for older devices (such as devices that run Android 4.0 and earlier) that do not support full disk encryption.

Kelly Jackson Higgins is Senior Editor at DarkReading.com.