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Must-read articles on computer security, including virus alerts and much more!

Security News Headlines - Yahoo! News

  • Canada: Chinese hackers infiltrated government org - TORONTO (AP) — The Canadian government says Chinese hackers have infiltrated the computer systems of the country's top research and development organization.
  • ‘Fake ID’ security flaw could be the greatest threat to Android phones yet - One Android feature that never made its way to iOS may be the cause of one of the most worrying security exploits ever on the mobile platform. AppleInsider reports that Bluebox Security has found an Android design flaw that could potentially allow malware apps to take over someone’s device without requiring users to manually give the app permission to access their phones. Dubbed ‘Fake ID,’ the flaw allows the malicious apps to send fake credentials to Android, granting the app the ability to take on the form of another legitimate app that would have more extensive access to the device. Perhaps unsurprisingly, one of the trusted apps that ‘Fake ID’ can assume the identity of is Adobe Flash, an Android-specific feature that Steve Jobs refused
  • In rare move, Canada accuses Chinese of trying to hack government network - By David Ljunggren OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada on Tuesday took the unusual step of singling out Chinese hackers for attacking a key computer network and lodged a protest with Beijing, raising tensions at a time when Ottawa wants to boost oil sales to China. Officials said "a highly sophisticated Chinese state-sponsored actor" had recently broken into the National Research Council. The council, the government's leading research body, works with major firms such as aircraft and train maker Bombardier Inc.. Canada has reported hacking incidents before but this was the first time it had singled out China. China is often cited as a suspect in various hacking attacks on companies in the United States and other nations.
  • Canada foreign minister protests to China over hacking attempt - Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird protested to his Chinese counterpart on Tuesday about what he said was an attempt by China-sponsored hackers to break into a key computer system in Ottawa, a government official said. Baird had "a full and frank exchange of views" with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi during a meeting in Beijing, spokesman Adam Hodge said. Canada said "a highly sophisticated Chinese state-sponsored actor" recently broke into computers at the National Research Council, the Canadian government's leading research and technology organization.
  • Huawei says ships 34 million smartphones in H1 globally, up 62 percent year-on-year - By Yimou Lee HONG KONG (Reuters) - China's Huawei Technologies Co Ltd said smartphone shipments in the first half rose 62 percent year-on-year, as it targets the more expensive smartphone sector dominated by Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and Apple Inc. Shenzhen-based Huawei has shipped 34.27 million smartphones globally in the first six months ending June 30 - about 43 percent of its annual shipment target of 80 million, according to Reuters' calculations based on figures provided by Huawei. "We recorded faster growth in areas such as Middle East and Africa and Latin America, with 275 percent and 550 percent year-on-year growth in the second quarter, respectively," Shao Yang, vice president of marketing in the consumer business group, told Reuters in a written statement. "Based on the growth momentum at the moment, we are firmly moving toward our full-year target," Shao said, adding that smartphones are now accounting for 97 percent of Huawei's global phone shipments.
  • Aretha Franklin Kicked Out of Johnny Rockets - Today in celebrity gossip: A Johnny Rockets waiter out-diva'd Aretha Franklin, Keith Urban's fans nearly drank themselves to death at his concert, and Comic-Con yielded so many celebrity group-selfies. Ordering a hamburger to go and then deciding to eat it in the restaurant.
  • Apple iPhones allow extraction of deep personal data, researcher finds - By Joseph Menn SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Personal data including text messages, contact lists and photos can be extracted from iPhones through previously unpublicized techniques by Apple Inc employees, the company acknowledged this week. The same techniques to circumvent backup encryption could be used by law enforcement or others with access to the "trusted" computers to which the devices have been connected, according to the security expert who prompted Apple's admission. In a conference presentation this week, researcher Jonathan Zdziarski showed how the services take a surprising amount of data for what Apple now says are diagnostic services meant to help engineers. As word spread about Zdziarski’s initial presentation at the Hackers on Planet Earth conference, some cited it as evidence of Apple collaboration with the National Security Agency.
  • Senior U.S. Homeland Security cyber official Larry Zelvin to retire - Larry Zelvin, the head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's center for countering cyber threats, is retiring next month after a government career of nearly 30 years during which he advised U.S. businesses on fighting hostile hackers. Zelvin helped coordinate efforts to advise U.S. banks as they responded to denial of service attacks believed to have originated from Iran, which disrupted their websites in recent years. He also assisted U.S. retailers looking to prevent cyber attacks on their point of sales systems after last year's unprecedented breach at Target Corp. A spokesman said a successor has not been named to run the agency's National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) in suburban Virginia, which helps government agencies and private firms identify and respond to cyber attacks.
  • ECB says website hacked, no sensitive data affected - The European Central Bank said on Thursday its website had been hacked and some email addresses and other contact information stolen but insisted no market-sensitive data were affected. The hackers broke into a database storing details of people who had registered for ECB conferences, visits and other events, the bank said. "No internal systems or market sensitive data were compromised," the ECB said in a statement. The ECB is currently running a particularly sensitive review of the euro zone's top lenders, collecting streams of data to gauge whether banks have valued loans and other assets correctly, before it starts supervising them.
  • Nokia's fortunes brighten on heavy network spending - By Sakari Suoninen and Jussi Rosendahl HELSINKI (Reuters) - Nokia surprised investors with strong quarterly earnings and raised its full-year profit margin forecast as network operators install more powerful systems to cope with surging mobile data traffic. The Finnish company sold its once-dominant phone business to Microsoft in April, leaving it more reliant on a mobile network equipment business that shrank by 8 percent in the April-to-June quarter. Much of the decline was due to foreign currency fluctuations and divestments and Nokia said it expected network sales to return to growth in the second half of the year after a period in which the company sought to exit unprofitable contracts. The company raised its profitability estimate for networks, saying its operating margin this year would be at or slightly above the high end of a long-term target of 5 to 10 percent.
  • U.S. says Chinese man pleads guilty in military technology sting - A 28-year-old Chinese man pleaded guilty on Wednesday of attempting to smuggle military technology obtained from undercover U.S. agents out of the United States to China, the U.S. Justice Department said. Bo Cai, an employee of a Chinese technology firm, was accused along with his cousin Wentong Cai, 29, of trying to illegally export sensors primarily manufactured for sale to the U.S. Department of Defense. Wentong Cai, who was in the United States on a student visa, has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him. The U.S. Arms Export Control Act and International Traffic in Arms Regulations prohibit the export of defense-related materials from the United States without a license or written approval from the U.S. Department of State.
  • NYC official: Thieves got into 1K StubHub accounts - NEW YORK (AP) — Some of the hottest tickets in town — to Broadway hits, Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake concerts, a New York Yankees-Boston Red Sox game — were snapped up by an international ring of cyber thieves who commandeered more than 1,000 StubHub users' accounts to make big money by fraudulently buying tickets and reselling them, prosecutors said Wednesday.
  • Seven arrests made in $1.6 million StubHub cyberfraud case - By Karen Freifeld NEW YORK (Reuters) - Police have arrested seven people on charges they were tied to an international ring that defrauded eBay Inc's StubHub online ticketing service of some $1.6 million, the latest in a string of high-profile cybercrime busts in recent months. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr announced the arrests on Wednesday. They were charged with involvement in a cybercrime ring that used stolen credit card numbers to purchase thousands of tickets to events, including concerts of Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z as well as games for sports teams including the Boston Red Sox and New York Giants, according to court documents unsealed Wednesday. StubHub's head of global communications, Glenn Lehrman, told Reuters his firm has been working with law enforcement around the world for the last year on the case.
  • Reuters U.S. Sports Schedule at 2 PM EDT on Wednesday, July 23 - July 23 (Reuters) - Reuters U.S. sports schedule at 2 PM ET on Wednesday: - - - - The duty editor is Steve Ginsburg, 202-898-8427 - - - - NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE Wednesday: NFC previews and rankings by division - - Broncos owner Bowlen battling Alzheimer's, resigns control of team Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen is resigning control of the team to focus on battling Alzheimer's Disease. ...
  • Six indicted in New York for involvement in StubHub cyber fraud - New York (Reuters) - Six people were indicted in New York for involvement in a global cybercrime ring that took over more than 1,000 accounts of eBay Inc's StubHub online ticket reselling service, according to a statement released by the office of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. Cybercriminals are believed to have defrauded StubHub of $1 million, the statement said, citing City of London Police Commissioner Adrian Leppard. (Reporting by Karen Freifeld in New York. Writing by Jim Finkle in Boston; Editing by Chris Reese)
  • AP source: Thieves got into 1K StubHub accounts - NEW YORK (AP) — Cyber thieves got into more than 1,000 StubHub customers' accounts and fraudulently bought tickets for events through the online ticket reseller, a law enforcement official and the company said.
  • Apple denies intentionally compromising iOS security, explains ‘backdoor’ features - Following an extensive security report from an iOS forensic and security expert that questioned some of Apple’s iOS tools when it comes to the user’s security and privacy (see his questions in the image above), Apple has taken another step to address “backdoor” concerns on top of stating that it’s not working with anyone to include backdoors in any of its products. Researcher Jonathan Zdziarski said in his paper that certain tools available in iOS will allow governmental spying agencies and other third parties to remotely control an iOS device and install silent malware that could then be used to spy on an unsuspecting user. Apple has published a new support document on its website, offering some explanations on how
  • PayPal signs "ten of thousands" customers in Nigerian launch - By Chijioke Ohuocha LAGOS (Reuters) - PayPal has signed up "tens of thousand" of Nigerians in its first week of operating in Africa's biggest economy, with consumers already purchasing items from Britain, China and the United States via its online platform, a company official said. E-commerce remains in its infancy in most of Africa but is growing exponentially with the advent of online retailers such as Jumia, partly owned by South African phone operator MTN, and a growing middle class with money to spend. ...
  • Integrating Into the 'Internet of Things' (Op-Ed) - Kevin Curran is a reader in Computer Science at the University of Ulster and an IEEE Senior Member. The Internet of Things  (IoT) will allow consumers to interact with nearly every appliance and device they own. We are seeing elements of the IoT in the marketplace already, with home automation having a strong consumer pull — controlling the lights and temperature, closing the garage door while across town, getting alerts from a smoke detector. If IoT is campaigning to run nearly every aspect of people's digital lives, we need to consider factors that will ensure a seamless and safe introduction.
  • China's Xiaomi hopes Mi 4 smartphone can take on Apple - Xiaomi launched its flagship Mi 4 smartphone at a glitzy event in Beijing, where the Chinese budget handset maker's chief executive sought to challenge larger U.S. rival Apple Inc. The Mi 4 comes as budget handset makers in China are competing more aggressively on price and generous features, with even high-end manufacturers feeling the pressure. Dressed in a black T-shirt and blue jeans, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun took aim repeatedly at iPhone maker Apple during the presentation on Tuesday, comparing the design and manufacturing process of his new 4G handset to the U.S. firm's more expensive offerings. "Even our white color is whiter!" Apple, which was due to announce second-quarter earnings later on Tuesday, was not immediately available to comment. The forthright Jun spent nearly an hour on stage describing the Mi 4 phone's construction - particularly its beveled metal rim whose similarity with Apple's phones drew murmurs of "iPhone" from the journalists at the event.
  • Apple denies having included a backdoor in iOS or other products - An extensive research paper from a security specialist revealed earlier this week that governments and other third-parties with malicious intentions would be able to use certain tools in iOS to extract information from iPhones and other iOS devices, without the user’s consent or knowledge. Apple has already issued a response on the matter, denying the existence of backdoors in its products, and further emphasizing the security and privacy features of iOS. “We have designed iOS so that its diagnostic functions do not compromise user privacy and security, but still provides needed information to enterprise IT departments, developers and Apple for troubleshooting technical issues,” Apple wrote in an email statement that was published on Twitter by Financial Times journalist Tim Bradshaw.
  • Fund managers unconvinced by Apple rebound - By David Randall and Edwin Chan NEW YORK/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Apple, once a can't-miss stock, is finding it tough to persuade portfolio managers to come back into the fold. Yet the company remains one of the most significantly underweighted stocks among large cap fund managers, according to a Goldman Sachs report. Part of the reason for a lack of portfolio manager enthusiasm is that Apple Inc no longer seems to be the hot growth company of old, fund managers say. Apple reports results for its fiscal third quarter on Tuesday, July 22.
  • Fund managers unconvinced by Apple rebound as firm readies results - By David Randall and Edwin Chan NEW YORK/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Apple, once a can't-miss stock, is finding it tough to persuade portfolio managers to come back into the fold. Yet the company remains one of the most significantly underweighted stocks among large cap fund managers, according to a Goldman Sachs report. Part of the reason for a lack of portfolio manager enthusiasm is that Apple Inc no longer seems to be the hot growth company of old, fund managers say. Apple reports results for its fiscal third quarter on Tuesday, July 22.
  • Hacking talks axed over the years - (Reuters) - A highly anticipated talk on how to identify users of the Tor service, widely used to access the Internet anonymously, has been withdrawn from next month's annual Black Hat security conference. Hacking experts disclose vulnerabilities at conferences to alert the public about security flaws, both to pressure developers to fix them and to warn users about products that may not be completely safe. Here are some examples of other hacking talks that have been pulled from conferences over the past decade: 2013 - Three European computer scientists canceled a talk on hacking the locks of luxury cars at a prestigious U.S. academic conference known as USENIX, after Volkswagen AG obtained a restraining order from a British court. 2007 - Security firm IOActive Inc pulled a talk at Black Hat DC on bugs in radio-frequency identification, or RFID, technology, saying it was pressured to do so by RFID technology firm HID Global Corp. 2005 - Cisco Systems Inc persuaded security firm Internet Security Systems to pull a discussion on hacking routers by researcher Michael Lynn at the Black Hat hacking conference in Las Vegas.
  • Security researcher: iOS security has been intentionally compromised by Apple - Apple’s placing a lot of emphasis on iOS security (especially when compared with that “toxic hellstew” Android) and on privacy (again, compared to its rival) but it turns out that iOS might not be as secure or private as Apple has led customers to believe. Security researcher Jonathan Zdziarski has a new paper out called “Identifying Backdoors, Attack Points, and Surveillance Mechanisms in iOS Devices,” in which he reveals Apple’s complex tools inside iOS that would allow Apple to share certain user data at the request of law enforcement without the user knowledge. More importantly, with or without Apple’s help, spying agencies such as NSA and other third parties that are very familiar with how iOS operates can apparently use these vulnerabilities to grab plenty
  • Kenya military Twitter account hacked - The Twitter account run by Kenya's military was taken over by hackers claiming to be from the international activist collective Anonymous, a military spokesman said Monday No internal military systems ...
  • Huawei's H1 revenue up 19 percent year-on-year at $22 billion - Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, the world's No. 2 telecom equipment maker, said on Monday it will achieve sustainable growth in 2014 after posting a 19 percent jump in first-half revenue to 135.8 billion yuan ($21.88 billion). "Driven by increasing investments in LTE networks worldwide, Huawei has further solidified its leadership position in mobile broadband," Huawei's CFO Cathy Meng said in the statement. "Rapid growth in software and services helped maintain steady growth in our carrier network business." Meng said Huawei achieved "sustainable growth" in its consumer business, which includes smartphone manufacturing, thanks to better brand awareness.
  • Snowden seeks to develop anti-surveillance technologies - By Jim Finkle NEW YORK (Reuters) - Edward Snowden, a former U.S. spy agency contractor who leaked details of major U.S. surveillance programs, called on supporters at a hacking conference to spur development of easy-to-use technologies to subvert government surveillance programs around the globe.  Snowden, who addressed conference attendees on Saturday via video link from Moscow, said he intends to devote much of his time to promoting such technologies, including ones that allow people to communicate anonymously and encrypt their messages. He escaped the United States after leaking documents that detailed massive U.S. surveillance programs at home and abroad - revelations that outraged some Americans and sparked protests from countries around the globe. At the HOPE hacking conference, several talks detailed approaches for thwarting government surveillance, including a system known as SecureDrop that is designed to allow people to anonymously leak documents to journalists. The conference featured about 100 presentations on topics ranging from surveillance to hacking elevators and home routers.
  • Golf-Blood spilt as Els says he put 'jinx' on his group - By Martyn Herman HOYLAKE England (Reuters) - Ernie Els left a spectator bloodied with a wild opening tee shot, defending champion Phil Mickelson went out of bounds, and Bubba Watson's promising start was blown away at the British Open on Thursday. Double Open champion Els went round in 79 after being visibly shaken by the bloody aftermath of an errant drive at the first and then missing two tiddlers on the green, one with a casual back-handed putt usually reserved for park hackers.
  • Hackers target Nest as a warning to Google about data-sharing - If you ask Nest about sharing data with its new owner, the company will say that advertising isn’t part of its business model and that it plans to protect the privacy of its customers from Google. Nest will have to share some data with Google and others in order to enable automatic home-related features, but it is not supposed to lead to Google targeting users with even more ads than it currently does. To make sure Google won’t someday spam Nest owners with ads, a group of hackers plans to take preemptive action against Google and Nest, Forbes reports. Researchers from the University of Central Florida have found a vulnerability they can exploit in order to stop Nest thermostats from sending data to
  • Hackers target Nest in as a warning to Google about data-sharing - If you ask Nest about sharing data with its new owner, the company will say that advertising isn’t part of its business model and that it plans to protect the privacy of its customers from Google. Nest will have to share some data with Google and others in order to enable automatic home-related features, but it is not supposed to lead to Google targeting users with even more ads than it currently does. To make sure Google won’t someday spam Nest owners with ads, a group of hackers plans to take preemptive action against Google and Nest, Forbes reports. Researchers from the University of Central Florida have found a vulnerability they can exploit in order to stop Nest thermostats from sending data to
  • Blood spilt as Els says he put 'jinx' on his group - By Martyn Herman HOYLAKE England (Reuters) - Ernie Els left a spectator bloodied with a wild opening tee shot, defending champion Phil Mickelson went out of bounds, and Bubba Watson's promising start was blown away at the British Open on Thursday. Double Open champion Els went round in 79 after being visibly shaken by the bloody aftermath of an errant drive at the first and then missing two tiddlers on the green, one with a casual back-handed putt usually reserved for park hackers.
  • These are the absurd names British intelligence spies have to remember to spy on you - In case you didn’t know it by now, spy agencies are really good – and hopefully effective – at spying on people, including both actual valid targets as well as unsuspecting citizens who aren’t plotting anything bigger than a trip to an exotic country. To further demonstrate the power of one such agency – NSA’s close buddy, the British GCHQ, in this case – The Intercept has published a new Snowden leak, which reveals such ambitious mass spying plans, as well as their silly names. “The secretive British spy agency GCHQ has developed covert tools to seed the internet with false information, including the ability to manipulate the results of online polls, artificially inflate pageview counts on web sites, “amplif[y]” sanctioned messages on YouTube, and
  • 'Smart' technology could make utilities more vulnerable to hackers - By Christoph Steitz and Harro Ten Wolde FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Last November, Felix Lindner came very close to shutting down the power supply of Ettlingen, a town of almost 40,000 people in the south of Germany. "We could have switched off everything: power, water, gas," Lindner, head of Berlin-based Recurity Labs, an IT security company, said. Fortunately for residents, Lindner's cyber attack on its energy utility, Stadtwerke Ettlingen, was simulated. "The experiment has shown that sensitive, critical infrastructure is not sufficiently protected," said Eberhard Oehler, managing director of the utility, Stadtwerke Ettlingen.
  • Apple, IBM team up in mobile devices, applications - CUPERTINO, Calif. (AP) — Apple is teaming up with former nemesis IBM in an attempt to sell more iPhones and iPads to corporate customers and government agencies.
  • Insurers struggle to get grip on burgeoning cyber risk market - High profile cases of hackers seizing sensitive customer data from companies, such as U.S. retailer Target Corp or e-commerce company eBay Inc, have executives checking their insurance policies. Increasingly, corporate risk managers are seeing insurance against cyber crime as necessary budget spending rather than just nice to have. The insurance broking arm of Marsh & McLennan Companies estimates the U.S cyber insurance market was worth $1 billion last year in gross written premiums and could reach as much as $2 billion this year. The European market is currently a fraction of that, at around $150 million, but is growing by 50 to 100 percent annually, according to Marsh.
  • FBI cyber expert is ex-discount furniture salesman - PITTSBURGH (AP) — J. Keith Mularski's world has expanded greatly since he stopped selling discount furniture to join the FBI in 1998. Now recognized as a foremost expert on cybercrime, Mularski's profile has risen since the U.S. Justice Department used Mularski's sleuthing to bring two indictments with worldwide ramifications.
  • Chinese man accused of hacking into US computers - SAN DIEGO (AP) — U.S. authorities have charged a Chinese businessman with hacking into the computer systems of U.S. companies with large defense contracts, including Boeing, to steal data on military projects, including some of the latest fighter jets, officials said Friday.
  • Beijing Security Conference Offers $10,000 Bounty for Tesla Hack - The Symposium on Security for Asia Network (SyScan), a security conference in Beijing, is asking attendees to try their hand at hacking into a Tesla car. The conference will be full of security experts and if one of them succeeds at cracking Tesla's code, they will walk away with $10,000. The conference takes place next Wednesday and Thursday, so participants have time to prepare their hacking tactics.  John Pescatore, director for emerging security trends at The SANS Institute, told Fox News, "They have a good security reputation mainly because nobody has pounded on them yet." 
  • Report: Chinese hackers hit US personnel networks - WASHINGTON (AP) — Chinese hackers broke into the computer networks of the Office of Personnel Management earlier this year with the intention of accessing the files of tens of thousands of federal employees who had applied for top-secret security clearances, according to The New York Times.