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

Security News Headlines - Yahoo! News

  • Israel's Check Point Software steps up expansion plans - By Tova Cohen TEL AVIV (Reuters) - Network security provider Check Point Software Technologies plans to sharpen its focus on threat-prevention and mobile security, it said on Monday after posting better than expected first-quarter profit. Chief Executive Gil Shwed spoke of increased investment in new technologies and staff to cement the company's position of strength in a vibrant Israeli tech sector that accounts for about 12.5 percent of economic output and more than 50 percent of industrial exports. In February it bought cyber security start-up Hyperwise and this month acquired Lacoon Mobile Security to boost its offering for smartphones.
  • Researcher denied airline flight after tweet about hacking - WASHINGTON (AP) — United Airlines stopped a prominent security researcher from boarding a California-bound flight late Saturday, following a social media post by the researcher days earlier suggesting the airline's onboard systems could be hacked.
  • Researcher denied flight after tweet poking United security - WASHINGTON (AP) — United Airlines stopped a prominent security researcher from boarding a California-bound flight late Saturday, following a social media post by the researcher days earlier suggesting the airline's onboard systems could be hacked.
  • Russian cyber attackers used two unknown flaws: security company - By Joseph Menn SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A widely reported Russian cyber-spying campaign against diplomatic targets in the United States and elsewhere has been using two previously unknown flaws in software to penetrate target machines, a security company investigating the matter said on Saturday. FireEye Inc , a prominent U.S. security company, said the espionage effort took advantage of holes in Adobe Systems Inc’s Flash software for viewing active content and Microsoft Corp's ubiquitous Windows operating system. The same hackers are also believed to have broken into White House machines containing unclassified but sensitive information such as the president’s travel schedule. FireEye has been assisting the agencies probing those attacks, but it said it could not comment on whether the spies are the same ones who penetrated the White House because that would be classified as secret.
  • Israeli military networks breached by hackers: researchers - By Joseph Menn SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Hackers have managed to penetrate computer networks associated with the Israeli military in an espionage campaign that skillfully packages existing attack software with trick emails, according to security researchers at Blue Coat Systems Inc. The four-month-old effort, most likely by Arabic-speaking programmers, shows how the Middle East continues to be a hotbed for cyber espionage and how widely the ability to carry off such attacks has spread, the researchers said. Waylon Grange, a researcher with the Blue Coat [PRJCBB.UL] who discovered the campaign, said the vast majority of the hackers' software was cobbled together from widely available tools, such as the remote-access Trojan called Poison Ivy. The hackers sent emails to various military addresses that purported to show breaking military news, or, in some cases, a clip featuring "Girls of the Israel Defense Forces." Some of the emails included attachments that established "back doors" for future access by the hackers and modules that could download and run additional programs, according to Blue Coat.
  • Ex-iOS boss Scott Forstall resurfaces in a place you wouldn’t expect - In late 2012, Apple’s iOS chief Scott Forstall was unceremoniously let go from the company he helped bring back to greatness. A longtime Steve Jobs lieutenant, Forstall was the key software head responsible for bringing the iPhone into existence, and just as importantly, for developing the first iOS SDK. Don’t Miss: The second trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens just came out – watch it here now! In a story that’s been recounted numerous times, the impetus for Forstall’s dismissal was his reported refusal to sign his name to a letter apologizing for various Apple Maps glitches. Not helping matters were rumors that he also refused to attend Jony Ive’s meetings. Following his separation from Apple, Forstall completely fell off the radar,
  • Europol Director: hackers target banks, not customers - By Toby Sterling THE HAGUE (Reuters) - Banks, rather than their customers, are increasingly the main target of online thieves, Europol director Rob Wainwright said on Friday in an interview. "That has been an important change," Wainwright told Reuters after a conference on cyber security in The Hague.
  • WikiLeaks creates online archive of hacked Sony documents - NEW YORK (AP) — Sony's hacking problems aren't over yet.
  • Sony Pictures condemns Wikileaks release of documents from hackers - Sony Corp's Sony Pictures Entertainment objected to the online release by WikiLeaks on Thursday of a searchable database of more than 30,000 documents that were obtained by hackers in a massive cyber attack last year. "The cyber-attack on Sony Pictures was a malicious criminal act, and we strongly condemn the indexing of stolen employee and other private and privileged information on WikiLeaks," the company said in a statement. Sony Pictures said it "will continue to fight for the safety, security, and privacy of our company." The documents stolen by the hackers were made available to the media last year. The release of 30,287 documents and 173,132 emails on WikiLeaks makes the information widely available and searchable.
  • WikiLeaks creates public archive of internal documents stolen by hackers from Sony Pictures - NEW YORK (AP) — WikiLeaks creates public archive of internal documents stolen by hackers from Sony Pictures.
  • Nokia buys Alcatel to take on Ericsson in telecom equipment - By Jussi Rosendahl and Leila Abboud HELSINKI/PARIS (Reuters) - Nokia will buy Alcatel-Lucent in an all-share deal that values its smaller French rival at 15.6 billion euros ($16.6 billion), building up its telecom equipment business to compete with market leader Ericsson. With about 114,000 employees and sales of around 26 billion euros, the combined company will rank a strong second in mobile equipment, with global market share of 35 percent, behind Ericsson at 40 percent and ahead of Huawei's 20 percent, according to Bernstein Research. The new Nokia will have stronger exposure to the important North American market, with major AT&T and Verizon contracts. It will also fill gaps in its product portfolio with Alcatel-Lucent's technology in optical transmission and Internet routers, which help telecom operators handle the ever-increasing volume of data brought on by users surfing the web on their smartphones and watching Netflix at home.
  • Nokia-Alcatel deal may force Ericsson to expand fixed line range - Sweden's Ericsson, the world's biggest maker of mobile telecoms equipment, will probably have to expand its range of fixed line products to defend its turf following Nokia's purchase of Alcatel-Lucent. As the Finnish and French firms combine, Ericsson will face a much stronger competitor with a broader product offering, bigger sales and R&D clout than itself. "Global operators have all made the shift to converge fixed and mobile, and now equipment makers will have to follow suit," Alcatel-Lucent Chief Executive Michael Combes said on Wednesday, adding that he expected Ericsson to reexamine its product line to beef up its fixed broadband business. Ericsson could aim to buy Ciena, with which it cooperates already, to boost its position in optical networking, or fellow U.S. group Juniper, to expand in Internet routing, Combes said.
  • China's Huawei shows smartphone credentials with P8 launch - By Paul Sandle LONDON (Reuters) - China's Huawei unveiled its flagship P8 and P8 Max smartphones on Wednesday, devices that stack up against the latest models from Samsung and Apple in technical specifications if not marketing budget. The P8, which runs Google's Android operating system, has a 5.2 inch display screen -- slightly larger than the Samsung Galaxy S6, unveiled last month, and the iPhone 6 -- and an eight-core 64-bit processor. Made from a single piece of metal, the phone is thinner than its rivals, with a width of 6.4 millimeters, Huawei said at a packed global launch event in London. Huawei, a major player in the telecoms network equipment market, ranked fourth in global smartphone sales last year, shipping 68 million units, giving it a 5.5 percent share, according to research group Gartner.
  • Government watchdog says that in-flight WiFi could allow hackers to hijack planes - In a report released earlier this week, U.S. government watchdog group GAO (Government Accountability Office) warned that the increasing connectivity of our aircraft, from flight tracking technologies to in-flight WiFi, could give hackers an access point to tap in and potentially hijack a flight. DON’T MISS: 5 great free Android apps that do amazing things the iPhone can’t “New networking technologies connecting FAA’s ATC information systems expose these systems to new cybersecurity risks, potentially increasing opportunities for systems to be compromised and damaged,” says the GAO. “Such damage could stem both from attackers seeking to gain access to and move among information systems, and from trusted users of the systems, such as controllers or pilots, who might inadvertently cause harm.” Speaking with FAA officials and
  • Company executives poorly placed to handle rising cyber risk: KPMG survey - Less than half of company boards have the necessary skills to manage the rising threat of cyber attacks, a survey of global investors showed, with four of five respondents suggesting they might blacklist businesses that have been hacked. The research from consultancy firm KPMG, which surveyed 133 institutional investors running a total $3 trillion in assets, also showed that 43 percent of investors believe board members of the companies they invest in have a level of skill and knowledge to manage innovation and risk in the digital world that is unacceptable. "Investors see data breaches as a threat to a company's material value and feel discouraged in investing in a business that has had its sensitive information compromised," Malcolm Marshall, global leader of KPMG's cyber security practice said. KPMG said global investors were waking up to the issue of cyber security following a number of high profile breaches on companies including Sony Pictures Entertainment.
  • Investigators warn airplane computers could be hacked - WASHINGTON (AP) — The same Internet access now available on most commercial flights makes it possible for hackers to bring down a plane, a government watchdog warned Tuesday.
  • New York man gets seven-and-a-half years in prison for cyber crime scheme - A New York man was sentenced to 7-1/2 years in prison on Tuesday for his role in a cyber crime and identity theft scheme that hacked into accounts at banks, brokerages and government agencies in a bid to steal more than $15 million, authorities said. Oleg Pidtergerya, 50, of Brooklyn had previously pleaded guilty to wire fraud conspiracy, identity theft and conspiracy to commit so-called access device fraud in federal court in New Jersey. A co-defendant, Robert Dubuc, pleaded guilty to the same charges but received only 21 months in prison when he was sentenced in October. Prosecutors said the pair were members of a cyber crime ring led by Oleksiy Sharapka and Leonid Yanovitsky of Kiev, Ukraine, who have also been indicted but remain at large.
  • U.S. airliners could be vulnerable to in-flight hacking: GAO - U.S. commercial airliners could be hacked in flight by passengers using a plane's wireless entertainment system to access its flight controls, a federal watchdog agency warned on Tuesday. A new report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office identified the danger as one of several emerging cybersecurity weaknesses that the Federal Aviation Administration must address as the air traffic control systems move toward next generation technology. FAA Administrator Michael Huerta concurred with the GAO's findings and said the aviation regulator has begun working with government security experts including the National Security Agency to identify needed changes. GAO investigators spoke to cybersecurity experts who said onboard firewalls intended to protect avionics from hackers could be breached if flight control and entertainment systems use the same wiring and routers.
  • Anthem subsidiaries face Missouri lawsuit over data breach - A Missouri lawsuit seeking class-action status accuses three insurance agencies of failing to safeguard sensitive consumer data from hackers who recently breached health insurer Anthem Inc.'s computer ...
  • Nokia in talks to buy Alcatel-Lucent; France backs deal - By Jussi Rosendahl and Leila Abboud HELSINKI/PARIS (Reuters) - Nokia Oyj is in talks to buy smaller telecom equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent , a deal combining the industry's two weakest players that is backed by the French government but could pose challenges in cutting costs. In a joint announcement, the Finnish and French companies said they were in "advanced discussions" on a "full combination, which would take the form of a public exchange offer by Nokia for Alcatel-Lucent". Shares in Alcatel, a group worth about 11 billion euros based on Monday's closing share price, rose about 16 percent. Shares in Nokia, worth about 29 billion euros, fell as much as 7 percent in morning trade before paring back losses to end down 3.6 percent.
  • There’s finally a tool to free you from the ransomware holding your PC hostage - Of all the malicious software out there that we have to be afraid of, ransomware may very well be the most sinister. As its name might suggest, ransomware is malicious software that hackers use to hold your computer hostage, blocking access to all of your files unless you agree to pay a ransom. Only when the ransom is paid are your files finally freed, and failure to pay will likely result in the permanent loss of all data on your PC. Now, however, there’s a new free tool to combat some of the most popular ransomware being used right now by hackers. DON’T MISS: Connecting my life: The $50 gadget that transformed my iPhone CoinVault is the latest ransomware campaign being
  • Patients' medical records under threat from data breaches - CHICAGO (AP) — Your private medical information is under threat. That's according to a study that found almost 30 million health records nationwide were involved in criminal theft, malicious hacking or other data breaches over four years. The incidents seem to be increasing.
  • Hackers keep trying new targets in search of easy data - SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The health care sector has become the hot target for hackers in recent months, according to researchers at Symantec, a leading cybersecurity company that says it's also seeing big increases in "spear-phishing," ''ransomware" and efforts to exploit newly discovered vulnerabilities in software used by a wide range of industries.
  • Google Malaysia service disrupted by hackers - Internet users were denied access to Google Inc's Malaysia website on Tuesday, and were redirected to a hacked page saying "Google Malaysia Hacked by Tiger-Mate #Bangladeshi Hacker." The company has reached out to the organization that manages the domain name to resolve the issue, MYNIC, a Google Malaysia spokesperson said in a statement to Reuters. MYNIC is operated by the country's ministry of communications and multimedia, and is the administrator for all websites ending with ".my," according to the company's website. The website for Malaysia Airlines experienced a similar problem in January, but the airline quickly reassured users that their bookings and private data had not been compromised.
  • Anthem subsidiaries face lawsuit in Kansas over data breach - A former candidate for Kansas governor said Monday that he and other attorneys who are suing two subsidiaries of Anthem Inc. can show that individuals were harmed after hackers breached the health insurer's ...
  • U.S. firm CrowdStrike claims success in deterring Chinese hackers - By Andrea Shalal COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Reuters) - U.S. cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike Inc said Monday it had successfully prevented a Chinese hacker group from targeting a U.S. technology firm for the first time, offering promise for other companies facing cyber attacks. Dmitri Alperovitch, co-founder and chief technology officer of CrowdStrike, told Reuters his company had observed a China-based hacker group called Hurricane Panda halt its attacks on a U.S. Internet technology firm in January, after the hackers detected CrowdStrike's presence on the company's networks.
  • Nokia close to buying Alcatel's mobile networks unit: Les Echos - Finland's Nokia Oyj is close to a deal to buy Alcatel-Lucent's mobile networks unit to boost its core business especially in the United States and China, Les Echos newspaper reported on Monday. Alcatel and Nokia declined to comment. Bloomberg reported later on Monday that the companies had examined a full takeover of Paris-based telecom equipment maker Alcatel, but that Nokia was more likely to buy the wireless business. The newspaper added that any deal would be closely watched by French politicians, as Alcatel was considered a strategic business.
  • Russia detains hackers accused of using Nazi imagery in hits - LONDON (AP) — Russian officials say they have detained five hackers responsible for the theft of roughly $1 million from banks in Russia and Ukraine, breaking up a group dubbed "cyberfascists" for its predilection for Nazi imagery.
  • Security researchers claim new Windows security weakness - By Bill Rigby SEATTLE (Reuters) - Computer security researchers said they have uncovered a new variation on an old weakness in Microsoft Corp's Windows operating system that could theoretically allow hackers to steal login credentials from hundreds of millions of PCs. The vulnerability, named 'Redirect to SMB' by security firm Cylance, is similar to one found in the late 1990s that took advantage of a weakness in Windows and Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser which made it possible for attackers to trick Windows into signing on to a server controlled by hackers. The attack takes advantage of features in Windows Server Message Block, commonly known as SMB. The new variation, discovered by Cylance researcher Brian Wallace, has so far only been recreated in the laboratory and has not been seen on computers in the outside world.
  • Chinese hackers target Southeast Asia, India, researchers say - Hackers, most likely from China, have been spying on governments and businesses in Southeast Asia and India uninterrupted for a decade, researchers at internet security company FireEye Inc said. In a report released on Monday, FireEye said the cyber espionage operations dated back to at least 2005 and "focused on targets - government and commercial - who hold key political, economic and military information about the region." "Such a sustained, planned development effort coupled with the (hacking) group's regional targets and mission, lead us to believe that this activity is state-sponsored - most likely the Chinese government," the report's authors said. Bryce Boland, Chief Technology Officer for Asia Pacific at FireEye and co-author of the report, said the attack was still ongoing, noting that the servers the attackers used were still operational, and that FireEye continued to see attacks against its customers, who number among the targets.
  • Lufthansa says some frequent flyer accounts hacked - Lufthansa said hackers had managed to break into the accounts of some of its frequent flyers and use their miles to make purchases, just two weeks after British Airways suffered a similar attack. The hackers used lists to try to match usernames and passwords - when one matched, they made purchases using the miles on the frequent flyer's account. "After some signs of misuse on the Lufthansa website, we took immediate action," a spokesman told Reuters, confirming a report by Germany's magazine Spiegel. He said Lufthansa had blocked several hundred accounts as a result, and any miles spent by the hackers had been credited back to customer accounts.
  • French network's broadcasts hacked by group claiming IS ties - PARIS (AP) — Hackers claiming allegiance to the Islamic State group simultaneously blacked out 11 channels of a French global TV network and took over its website and social media accounts on Thursday, in what appeared to be the most ambitious media attack so far by the extremist group.
  • French broadcaster TV5Monde hit by Islamist hackers - Hackers claiming to be supporters of Islamic State knocked out channels of French public television station TV5Monde and posted material on its social media feeds to protest against French military action in Iraq. President Francois Hollande's government branded the cyber attacks, which started late on Wednesday, a "vile and cowardly" affront to freedom of expression and began an investigation, promising to track down those responsible. Yves Bigot, head of the TV5Monde station, said the assault caused its 11 channels to go temporarily off air and also hit its websites. The network broadcasts news and entertainment programs in French on 11 channels around the world, and is 49 percent owned by state-backed broadcaster France Televisions.
  • U.S., European police break up network of 12,000 computers taken over by criminals - Law enforcement agencies in Europe and the United States have dismantled a network comprising at least 12,000 in computers that had been taken over by criminals, Europol said on Thursday. The software used to infect the computers was "very sophisticated" but the network was relatively small compared to others uncovered in the past, Europol said in a statement. Those behind the network or "botnet" infected computers with the software and may then have sold to others the right to install further malicious programs, said Paul Gillen, the head of operations at Europol's Cybercrime Centre. "We've just taken the botnet down last night." The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, Europol and British and Dutch cybercrime police participated in the operation, cooperating with private companies including Intel, Kaspersky and Shadowserver.
  • Cybercrime fighting group takes down Beebone botnet - LONDON (AP) — A new group of international cybercrime fighters claimed one of its first kills Thursday, pulling the plug on malicious servers that hijacked at least 12,000 machines, most of them in the United States.
  • French network's channels hacked by group claiming IS ties - Hackers claiming allegiance to the Islamic State group seized control of a French television network, simultaneously blacking out 11 channels and taking over the network's website and social media accounts. ...
  • Samsung hopes to reverse dimming fortunes with Galaxy S6 - SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — When Samsung dubbed development of its latest smartphones "Project Zero," it was sounding a note of desperation as sales tumbled and it lost pole position in the crucial Chinese market to rivals Xiaomi and Apple.
  • White House says it's always a target amid reports of hack - WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's spokesman says the White House is always going to be a target for hackers.
  • A Q&A about the malicious software known as ransomware - Ransomware is a growing threat to computer users, who can suddenly find they're unable to open or use their files when their machines are infected. The malicious software can attack any user — an individual, ...
  • Computer users face hard choice _ pay ransom or lose files - It's a chilling moment: A message appears on a computer screen, saying the files are encrypted and the only way to access them is by paying a ransom. It happened at Jeff Salter's home health care business ...