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

Security News Headlines - Yahoo! News

  • JPMorgan attacked by Russian computer hackers: report - (Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase & Co and at least one other bank were attacked by Russian hackers in mid-August and the FBI is investigating whether the assault was in retaliation for U.S.-government sponsored sanctions against the country, according to a report by Bloomberg News citing two unnamed sources. The attack resulted in the loss of sensitive data and authorities are investigating whether it was linked to recent infiltrations of major European banks, the report said, citing one of the sources. ...
  • This is the phone Sony will launch to take on Apple’s iPhone 6 - After several years of complete and total domination by Samsung and Apple, a handful of rival device makers are finally starting to see some gains in the global smartphone market. Huawei and Lenovo have experienced some solid growth in recent quarters, and up and comer Xiaomi is among a handful of smaller Asian companies seeing big gains in that region. Meanwhile, Sony has continued to struggle despite launching several solid smartphones over the past couple of years. The fall and the coming holiday shopping season are expected to be the hottest period in Apple’s storied history, with a record holiday quarter expected on the back of the iPhone 6, 5.5-inch iPhone phablet and iWatch. To combat the new iPhone 6, which is widely expected
  • Top-secret project could produce the most exciting Android phone ever made - Forget the OnePlus One — there could soon be a brand-new Cyanogen-enhanced Android phone coming that will blow other Android phones away. Per Engadget, Cyanogen and a mysterious startup called Nexbit have announced that they’re working together on “something really cool,” although they never specify what that “something” actually is. There are some very good reasons to think it’s going to be a killer new Android phone, however. FROM EARLIER: In a potential major blow, HTC loses the man behind its gorgeous smartphone designs The biggest reason to think this is that Nextbit boasts a strong roster of talent that’s been poached from Amazon, Google and HTC, highlighted by former HTC exec Scott Croyle. For those of you who don’t recall,
  • Hackerspaces used to turn ideas turn into reality - MESA, Ariz. (AP) — Inside a nondescript garage-like workshop nestled between restaurants, a flower shop and jewelry stores along Main Street, ideas are taking shape.
  • Top Asian News at 2:30 a.m. GMT - WASHINGTON (AP) — The intelligence gathered by U.S. military surveillance flights over Syria could support a broad bombing campaign against the Islamic State militant group, but current and former U.S. officials differ on whether air power would significantly degrade what some have called a "terrorist army." Further complicating the plans, any military action against Islamic State militants in Syria would also have the effect of putting the U.S. on the same side as Syrian President Bashar Assad, whose ouster the Obama administration has sought for years.
  • Top Asian News at 2:00 a.m. GMT - WASHINGTON (AP) — The intelligence gathered by U.S. military surveillance flights over Syria could support a broad bombing campaign against the Islamic State militant group, but current and former U.S. officials differ on whether air power would significantly degrade what some have called a "terrorist army." Further complicating the plans, any military action against Islamic State militants in Syria would also have the effect of putting the U.S. on the same side as Syrian President Bashar Assad, whose ouster the Obama administration has sought for years.
  • Top Asian News at 1:30 a.m. GMT - WASHINGTON (AP) — The intelligence gathered by U.S. military surveillance flights over Syria could support a broad bombing campaign against the Islamic State militant group, but current and former U.S. officials differ on whether air power would significantly degrade what some have called a "terrorist army." Further complicating the plans, any military action against Islamic State militants in Syria would also have the effect of putting the U.S. on the same side as Syrian President Bashar Assad, whose ouster the Obama administration has sought for years.
  • Top Asian News at 1:00 a.m. GMT - WASHINGTON (AP) — The intelligence gathered by U.S. military surveillance flights over Syria could support a broad bombing campaign against the Islamic State militant group, but current and former U.S. officials differ on whether air power would significantly degrade what some have called a "terrorist army." Further complicating the plans, any military action against Islamic State militants in Syria would also have the effect of putting the U.S. on the same side as Syrian President Bashar Assad, whose ouster the Obama administration has sought for years.
  • Top Asian News at 12:30 a.m. GMT - WASHINGTON (AP) — The intelligence gathered by U.S. military surveillance flights over Syria could support a broad bombing campaign against the Islamic State militant group, but current and former U.S. officials differ on whether air power would significantly degrade what some have called a "terrorist army." Further complicating the plans, any military action against Islamic State militants in Syria would also have the effect of putting the U.S. on the same side as Syrian President Bashar Assad, whose ouster the Obama administration has sought for years.
  • Top Asian News at 12:00 a.m. GMT - WASHINGTON (AP) — The intelligence gathered by U.S. military surveillance flights over Syria could support a broad bombing campaign against the Islamic State militant group, but current and former U.S. officials differ on whether air power would significantly degrade what some have called a "terrorist army." Further complicating the plans, any military action against Islamic State militants in Syria would also have the effect of putting the U.S. on the same side as Syrian President Bashar Assad, whose ouster the Obama administration has sought for years.
  • Netflix opposes Comcast-TWC merger in gigantic 256-page FCC petition - Netflix has filed a 256-page petition with the FCC asking the regulator to deny the proposed Comcast-Time Warner Cable because it would cause “serious public interest harm.” FROM EARLIER: Netflix rails against ISPs even as it agrees to pay off yet another one for better connections Netflix has defended Net Neutrality numerous times before, all the while having to ink interconnect deals with four major ISPs (including Comcast and TWC) to ensure its customers get an enjoyable movie streaming experience. In its lengthy FCC petition, Netflix explains that a Comcast-TWC giant would have huge leverage over Netflix, Hulu and other competing providers, as it would not only be in a position to charge these services fees for faster service, but also provide competing video-on-demand services
  • Top Asian News at 11:30 p.m. GMT - WASHINGTON (AP) — The intelligence gathered by U.S. military surveillance flights over Syria could support a broad bombing campaign against the Islamic State militant group, but current and former U.S. officials differ on whether air power would significantly degrade what some have called a "terrorist army." Further complicating the plans, any military action against Islamic State militants in Syria would also have the effect of putting the U.S. on the same side as Syrian President Bashar Assad, whose ouster the Obama administration has sought for years.
  • Thousands of Android phones are being hijacked by terrifying ransomware - Android users beware — another major malware threat has taken the mobile world by storm. According to San Francisco-based security firm Lookout, nearly 900,000 Android phones have been targeted by a form of ransomware called “ScarePackage” in the last 30 days, The New York Times reports. “This is, by far, the biggest U.S. targeted threat of ransomware we’ve seen,” Jeremy Linden, a senior security product manager at Lookout told the Times. “In the past month, a single piece of malware has affected as many devices in the U.S., as a quarter of all families of malware in 2013.” If you’ve never been infected with ransomware before, consider yourself lucky. Ransomware locks you out of your device and overlays a message on the screen which
  • Banks to meet with Treasury Department on cyber threats: sources - By David Henry and Lauren Tara LaCapra NEW YORK (Reuters) - A group of Wall Street banks plan to meet the U.S. Treasury Department and other government officials next month to talk about how to cooperate to fend off cyber attacks, people familiar with the matter told Reuters. Bankers and government officials say they want to figure out ways law enforcement can alert financial firms about cyber attacks without violating the privacy of businesses that are victimized. A multitude of federal agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Secret Service, Department of Homeland Security and National Security Agency, help monitor and fight the hackers that have increasingly targeted financial institutions in recent years.
  • How to get paid to give up the personal data on your smartphone - Making sure your private information stays private is more difficult than ever before. From major companies being hacked to vulnerable apps on smartphones, everyone with an electronic device that connects to the Internet is at risk, but how much would it cost for you to give up that privacy once and for all? Market research group Luth Research thinks that $100 a month should do the trick. According to MIT Technology Review, Luth Research collects information including location data, search queries, website visitation and even the frequency of logging on to Twitter. This data is then analyzed for trends and sold to clients — some of those clients, both past and present, include “Subway, Microsoft, Walmart, the San Diego Padres, Nickelodeon, and
  • Nissan says Japanese website altered, posed virus risk - A page on Nissan Motor Co's Japanese website had been altered for nearly two months before being remedied and users that accessed it may have downloaded files infected with viruses, the Japanese automaker said on Tuesday. Users opening the page for calculating vehicles trade-in value were automatically sent to a non-Nissan website from which they may have downloaded virus files had they clicked on anything, spokesman Chris Keeffe said. Nissan has not confirmed if any personal information was leaked and an internet security firm is investigating, the company said in a statement.
  • Sony network hacked, exec's flight diverted - DALLAS (AP) — Hackers attacked Sony's PlayStation Network and apparently disrupted the travel plans of a top company executive by going on Twitter to suggest that there was a bomb on his American Airlines plane.
  • Huawei says it has ‘no choice’ but Android because consumers don’t want Windows Phone - Windows Phone has been going nowhere fast over the last year, although Microsoft is hopeful that things will finally pick up now that it’s made the platform free for OEMs to use and it’s signed up a lot more manufacturing partners. Nonetheless, the company still has to overcome some major hurdles to convine some big-name manufacturers to spend their resources on Windows Phone handsets even if they might want an alternative to Android to hedge their bets. Richard Yu, the head of Huawei’s consumer business group, tells The Wall Street Journal that although his company would be interested in building handsets based on another OS, it just makes no sense to do so right now because it’s found that consumers don’t want to buy
  • Your credit card might already be for sale on the black market - U.S. retailers have been hit by a huge wave of cyber crime that may have started with the Target hack, a massive data breach that allowed hackers to steal credit and debit card information for more than 40 million customers, and personal details for more than 70 million people. But Target was not the only retailer hit, as more than 1,000 American businesses may have been affected by the same malware, the New York Times has revealed. FROM EARLIER: UPS is the latest company to acknowledge major malware breach Only recently companies including Supervalu and UPS Stores admitted to data breaches, but most companies affected have not acknowledged the hack. Meanwhile, the attack that’s dubbed “Backoff,” after a word found in
  • Royal Caribbean Hires Robot Bartenders - Everyone knows cruise ships are for tanning and boozing, the purest forms of rest and relaxation. Royal Caribbean would like to make the liquor, beer (and Shirley Temple, for our underage friends) intake process even easier, by removing conversation and eye contact from the equation. Their newest cruise ship, the impressive Quantum of the Seas, will come equipped with a Bionic Bar. All robot bartenders, all the time.  Bionic Bar, via Royal Caribbean. 
  • Here's How To Get a Replacement for Your Lousy iPhone 5 Battery - While Apple doesn't often issue recalls on their devices, they have determined that a batch of iPhone 5 devices have wonky batteries. The battery issue caused some iPhone 5 devices to "suddenly experience shorter battery life or need to be charged more frequently." Apple says only a "very small percentage" of iPhones sold are affected, but did not give an exact number. 1. Find Your iPhone's serial number  You'll need the serial number to prove your iPhone has legitimate battery issues. To find the serial number for your phone, go to Settings General About Serial Number.
  • Hilariously confused Comcast rep thinks Steam is a platform for malware - Steam is a hugely popular online gaming store that counts roughly 75 million users worldwide — you may have heard of it. If you haven’t heard of it, however, then you’ll be happy to know that it’s no barrier to you getting a job as a Comcast customer service representative. OK, so it’s unfair to expect every Comcast customer service representative to have heard of Steam but it certainly is fair to say that a rep should know when they’re in over their heads and refer customers to a technical support specialist. That’s eventually what happened in a new Comcast customer service call that’s been flagged by Ars Technica, but only after the rep tried to offer up some truly
  • PlayStation Network Hackers Divert Plane Carrying the President of Sony - Sony was hit with a cyber attack over the weekend that targeted the PlayStation Network, flooding it with faux traffic. At the same time, a mysterious Twitter account, @LizardSquard, threatened an American Airlines flight that Sony President John Smedley was traveling on. @LizardSquard has since said they carried out the attack on PlayStation system.  .@AmericanAir We have been receiving reports that @j_smedley's plane #362 from DFW to SAN has explosives on-board, please look into this. — Lizard Squad (@LizardSquad) August 24, 2014
  • Iran airs TV footage of purported Israeli drone - TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — A crash scene aired on Iranian state television Monday purported to show the wreckage of an Israeli drone shot down near an Iranian nuclear site, prompting questions about how a plane with limited range could have penetrated so deeply and whether it is indeed what Tehran says it is.
  • Dunham, Poehler among those with books this fall - So many memoirs are coming out this fall, written in so many ways. Neil Patrick Harris, for instance, decided that his early 40s was too young for a "life" story, even for a Tony- and Emmy-winning ...
  • Google’s upcoming Nexus 9 is one step closer to launching - The high-end Nexus 9 tablet HTC is said to be making for Google this year is one step closer to launch, as documents found on Wi-Fi Alliance, the wireless certification site, have confirmed that such a device actually exists. FROM EARLIER: HTC’s hot Nexus 9 tablet might launch sooner than you think A Wi-Fi Alliance document reveals that HTC0P8210000 tablet (and variations of it including0P8220000 and0P8230000) will come with Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac support, HTC Source reports. The same certification says the HTC tablet runs Android L, identifying the Android L as “LMP,” which is believed to stand for Lemon Meringue Pie. The document doesn’t mention anything about Google and doesn’t list the Nexus 9’s commercial name, but does reveal the device’s
  • Sony says PlayStation network back online, user information safe after attack - By Malathi Nayak and Sophie Knight SAN FRANCISCO/TOKYO (Reuters) - Sony Corp's PlayStation Network was back online on Monday following a cyber attack that took it down over the weekend, which coincided with a bomb scare on a commercial flight carrying a top Sony executive in the United States. Sony said on its PlayStation blog that its PlayStation network had been taken down by a denial of service-style attack, which overwhelmed the system with traffic, but did not intrude onto the network or access any of its 53 million users' information. A Twitter user with the handle @LizardSquad claimed responsibility for the attack on Sunday, and said the attack was meant to pressure Sony to spend more of its profits on the network.
  • Iran says it downs Israeli drone near nuclear site - TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards said Sunday its forces shot down an Israeli drone as it approached an Iranian nuclear site, recovering major parts of what it described as an advanced aircraft. Israeli officials could not be immediately reached for comment.
  • Gov't warns US retailers about hacking software - WASHINGTON (AP) — More than 1,000 U.S. retailers could be infected with malicious software lurking in their cash register computers, allowing hackers to steal customer financial data, the Homeland Security Department said Friday.
  • Canadian PM bans Chinese media from Arctic trip - TORONTO (AP) — Canada has banned journalists with China's official news agency and the Communist Party newspaper from joining Prime Minister Stephen Harper on an Arctic trip, prompting complaints by Chinese reporters who say they're being discriminated against.
  • Official says hackers hit up to 25,000 fed workers - WASHINGTON (AP) — The internal records of as many as 25,000 Homeland Security Department employees were exposed during a recent computer break-in at a federal contractor that handles security clearances, an agency official said Friday.
  • Research reveals there are almost 19,000 different kinds of Android devices in use - No wonder you may be having trouble buying the right Android smartphone and/or tablet for you, as there are simply so many devices to choose from. OpenSignal has released its “Android Fragmentation Visualized” report for August 2014, revealing there are 18,796 distinct Android devices this year, a significant increase from last August, when 11,868 devices were registered. FROM EARLIER: Here’s how to make sure you get Android L before everyone else The company says that of all those devices, 43% are made by Samsung. What’s more, just 20.9% of current Android users are on KitKat – something Google revealed in its own report for early August. “Fragmentation” is probably one of the most hated words in the Android ecosystem, right next to “Apple”
  • Philippines makes arrests in online extortion ring - MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Philippine police have arrested eight suspected members of an online syndicate accused of blackmailing more than 1,000 Hong Kong and Singapore residents after luring them into exposing themselves in front of webcam, an official said Friday.
  • Philippine police smash online child 'sextortion' ring - Philippine police on Friday arrested eight people suspected of running an online sexual extortion racket involving children and preying on Asians, seizing laptops and other equipment. The gang extorted money from foreigners by threatening to upload videos of them performing sexual acts, Gilbert Sosa, head of the police anti-cyber crime group, said. "Today, we smashed a gang led by a woman who used children to lure foreigners to engage in sexual activities and later blackmail them on threats their sex videos will be uploaded on the internet," Sosa said. The children said they were paid about 70,000 pesos ($1,600) for three days' work, chatting with foreigners and luring them to perform sexual acts.
  • Researchers learn how to hack your phone’s Gmail app at a stunning 92% success rate - While Android is usually the mobile platform of choice for hackers, new research that’s about to be presented at the USENIX Security Symposium in San Diego shows that it’s actually possible to use a newly discovered trick to steal data from an unsuspecting smartphone users’ apps, whether they’re running Android, iOS or Windows Phone, Phys.org reports. Researchers have discovered a clever way of spying on a targeted device in real-time and stealing information that takes advantage of the way apps work on a smartphone. Even though the researchers only tested their findings on Android, they believe they can exploit it in a similar manner iOS and Windows Phone. “The assumption has always been that these apps can’t interfere with each other
  • JPMorgan customers targeted in email phishing campaign - By Jim Finkle and Nadia Damouni BOSTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Fraudsters are targeting JPMorgan Chase & Co customers in an email "phishing" campaign that is unusual because it attempts to collect credentials for that bank and also infect PCs with a virus that steals passwords from other institutions. The campaign, dubbed "Smash and Grab," was launched on Tuesday with a widely distributed email that urged recipients to click to view a secure message from JPMorgan, according to security researchers with corporate email provider Proofpoint Inc. JPMorgan, the No. 1 U.S. "It looks like they sent it out to lots of people in hopes that some of them might be JPMorgan Chase customers,” said bank spokeswoman Trish Wexler. Users who click on a malicious link are asked to enter credentials for accessing accounts with JPMorgan.
  • Most of your favorite free Android apps leave you open to hackers - Security has always been a huge concern for Android users. From seemingly insignificant security flaws to massive outbreaks that make international headlines, it’s never a bad idea to be cautious when downloading a new app or browsing the web. Unfortunately, sometimes even being careful isn’t enough. In a recent analysis, the FireEye Mobile Security Team discovered that 68% of the top 1,000 free apps on Google Play are vulnerable to man-in-the-middle attacks. According to OWASP, a man-in-the-middle (MITM) attack is when an attacker intercepts a communication between two systems and then splits the connection in two, injecting new data in between. The 1,000 free apps were just a sample of the roughly 10,000 applications FireEye checked during the analysis. The results are
  • 'Ambiguous warfare' providing NATO with new challenge - By Peter Apps WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Since Russia's annexation of Crimea in March, NATO has been publicly refocusing on its old Cold War foe Moscow. The threats it now believes it faces, however, are distinctly different to those of the latter half of the 20th century.     The West then was defending against the risk of Soviet armor pouring across the North German plain. Now, officials and experts say, it is "ambiguous warfare" that is focusing minds within NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Confrontations are viewed as more likely to start with cyber attacks or covert action to stir up Russian minorities in Europe's east than from any overt aggression.   So as NATO prepares for its summit on September 4 and 5 in Wales, it is having to come to grips with relatively new threats to test Article 5 of its treaty. Since NATO's post-Cold War expansion that has meant protecting eastern members including the Baltic states.
  • This stylish smart bracelet gives you a smartphone battery boost when you need it most - The QBracelet from Q Designs is a stylish, lightweight, unisex bracelet that packs a 1,160mAh battery capable of delivering that extra battery boost for your smartphone when you’re on the go – that’s more than 60% of a full iPhone 5s charge, according to the company. The bracelet is currently available for pre-order on the company’s website for $79.99 — that’s $20 off the future retail price — and is compatible with iPhone, Android and Windows Phone. “The QBracelet provides a very sexy solution to a truly ubiquitous problem,” Q Designs CEO James Kernan said. “Every smartphone owner worries about battery loss, and we endeavored to create a product that simply takes that worry away, effortlessly and with style. In our research,
  • 6 more terrific paid iPhone apps you can get for free right now – a $24 value! - Have you gotten your fill of free iPhone apps this week? We didn’t think so, which is why we’ve come back to tell you about six more awesome paid iPhone apps that are now free to download for a limited time. Taken together, these six apps would normally cost just under $24 but you can get every one of them free of charge if you act right now. These are paid iPhone and iPad apps that have been made available for free for a limited time by their developers. There is no way to tell how long they will be free. These sales could end an hour from now or a week from now — obviously, the only thing we can guarantee is