Must-read articles on computer security, including virus alerts and much more!
Estonia citizen extradited to NYC in cyber case
- NEW YORK (AP) — A man portrayed as the ringleader in an international cyber scam pleaded not guilty Friday to leading several others to infect more than 4 million computers in over 100 countries with software that disabled anti-virus protections and steered users to websites they did not choose.
EU holds largest-ever cyber-security exercise
- ATHENS, Greece (AP) — The European Union on Thursday carried out its biggest exercise to prevent cyber-attacks on Europe's public utilities and communications networks.
Only top legislators informed of White House computer attack
- By Mark Hosenball WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An attack by hackers on a White House computer network earlier this month was considered so sensitive that only a small group of senior congressional leaders were initially notified about it, U.S. officials said on Thursday. The officials said the Democratic and Republican leaders of the Senate and the House of Representatives and the heads of the Senate and House Intelligence Committees, collectively known as the "Gang of Eight," were told last week of the cyber attack, which had occurred several days earlier. ...
You can download $115 worth of awesome paid Android apps for free right now
- Android fans looking to score some free apps should check out Amazon’s Appstore today, because it’s currently offering users free access to some 40 apps and games that are worth a combined $115. This huge sale ends Saturday though, so you’d better hurry if you want to download them all. FROM EARLIER: 9 awesome paid iPhone apps that are all free downloads right now (save $26!) The offer is valid in multiple markets, with Android Police already confirming it’s up in the U.S., Canada, the U.K. France and Australia. The Android games part of the promotion (available at the source link) includes titles like Plants vs. Zombies, Fruit Ninja and World of Goo, but also Plex, Boxer Pro, and other premium apps — a
China's Internet chief accuses U.S. of hacking but says talks 'unhindered'
- BEIJING (Reuters) - Eighty percent of Chinese government websites have been attacked by hackers, with most of the assaults launched from the United States, a top Chinese Internet regulator said on Thursday. Lu Wei, head of the State Internet Information Office, condemned the use of "superior technology to attack or steal secrets". But he described U.S.-China dialogue on cybersecurity as "unhindered", less than a week after the talks appeared to have stalled. Chinese state councilor Yang Jiechi told U.S. ...
Here are the first unboxing videos of the amazing Nexus 6 and Nexus 9
- The Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 are Google’s latest Nexus-branded smartphone and tablet, and while both devices are available for preorder from Google Play — the Nexus 6 is already sold out though — Android fans are yet to get their next Nexus toys. While you wait for your Nexus 6 and/or Nexus 9 to be delivered to your door, you can already check out the first unboxing videos, with Phone Arena having already posted such videos on YouTube. FROM EARLIER: You can preorder Google’s incredible Nexus 6 right now As you can easily see, Google opted for a minimal retail box design for both the Nexus 6 and the Nexus 9 — somewhat similar to what Apple has
This might be why you can’t find a Nexus 6 in the Google Play Store right now
- Google opened Nexus 6 preorders on Wednesday in the U.S., but the company soon sold out the available 32GB versions of the first Nexus phablet, and the 64GB version was still listed as “coming soon.” This isn’t the first time Google’s new Nexus handsets sold out soon after being made available in the Google Play Store, but Google might have a special reason for only taking a limited number of preorders in its online store, at least according to MobileSyrup. FROM EARLIER: You can preorder Google’s incredible Nexus 6 right now The publication says the Nexus 6 is “huge” for Google’s future in the smartphone company, and the phone is intended to be sold mainly through carriers, rather than on Google Play. “This is the
Iran foils sabotage attempt on heavy water tanks
- TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iranian authorities have foiled a sabotage attempt involving tanks used for the transportation of heavy water, a key component in nuclear reactors, an Iranian newspaper reported on Thursday.
Xiaomi moves into third place in global smartphone war
- BEIJING (Reuters) - China's Xiaomi Inc has become the world's third-largest smartphone vendor just three years after first hitting the market, trailing only Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and Apple Inc, according to a new industry study. Strategy Analytics said Xiaomi accounted for 6 percent of all 320 million smartphones shipped during July-September. Samsung made up 25 percent, down from 35 percent a year earlier due to rising competition from several directions. Apple's share also fell slightly to 12 percent. ...
Wal-Mart and allies in face-off with Apple Pay over mobile payments
- By Nathan Layne and Nandita Bose CHICAGO (Reuters) - Suddenly it's Apple versus Wal-Mart in the fight for shoppers' digital wallets. With the development of a new mobile payment system, a group of retailers led by Wal-Mart Stores is aiming to upend the $4.5 trillion credit card market and control the precious transaction data generated at the checkout line. The difficulty of the task became clear this week when drugstore chains CVS Health Corp and Rite Aid , in a move apparently aimed at shoring up the retailers' pay system, stopped accepting payments on Apple Inc's iPhones. ...
Wall Street watchdog to bolster reviews of brokerage cyber security
- By Suzanne Barlyn (Reuters) - Wall Street's industry funded watchdog plans to intensify its scrutiny of cyber security practices at brokerage firms in 2015 and is hiring technology savvy examiners to help boost its efforts, an official said on Wednesday. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is in the midst of developing its so-called "examination priorities" for 2015, said Susan Axelrod, the organization's executive vice president of regulatory operations at a conference. The regulator plans to publish its examination priorities in January. ...
Scary new malware uses a Gmail trick to steal your data
- A new piece of malware that can spy on a user’s computer has been discovered, Wired reports, with researchers also having found a clever way for the program to communicate with its creators: Google’s popular Gmail email service. FROM EARLIER: You can force your way into Google’s Inbox even without an invite Security startup Shape Security says it found a new strain of malware that’s able to read instructions from Gmail drafts and respond to the hacker’s commands without the user actually noticing anything happening on the computer. “What we’re seeing here is command and control that’s using a fully allowed service, and that makes it superstealthy and very hard to identify,” Shape security researcher Wade Williamson said. “It’s stealthily passing
Big security flaw lets hackers remotely wipe Samsung phones
- Samsung Android phones have been discovered to have a security flaw that allows hackers to remotely control a phone over the Internet, and perform several tasks including locking and unlocking the device, finding its location on a map, displaying a customized message on the screen, and even wiping it without the owner being able to do anything about it. Furthermore, the security flaw could be used in more advanced hacks such as ransom attacks, The Register reports. FROM EARLIER: Android is open, but not for hackers: 3 key ways Lollipop will keep your data safer Researcher Mohamed Baset discovered a zero-day flaw in Samsung’s Find My Mobile feature, which should let users find their lost or stolen devices. However, it looks
Awesome news, Android fans: This Lollipop trick can instantly improve your phone’s camera
- As if Android fans didn’t already have enough reasons to eagerly anticipate Android 5.0 Lollipop coming to their phones, here’s another: It looks like the newest software will give your phone’s camera some significant improvements. Forbes contributor Paul Monckton notices that Lollipop adds built-in support for raw image files right at the OS level, which is something he says should help you produce higher quality images with your phone’s camera. RELATED: Want to get the most out of Android 5.0 Lollipop? Here’s the one video you need to watch “Raw image files are essentially a dump of all of the image data captured by the camera’s sensor, most of which is lost when converting into the, much smaller, JPEG files
Did Russia Just Hack the White House?
- Intruders are trying to crash the White House inside and out. While the Secret Service tries to clamp down on people jumping the fence along Pennsylvania Avenue, federal authorities have been battling gatecrashers of the cyber variety.
Lollipop has an amazing hidden feature you’ll want to immediately use
- Google will soon release Android 5.0 Lollipop for several Nexus and Google Play Edition devices, with certain Android device makers including Motorola, HTC, LG and Samsung also working on updating some of their handsets by the end of the year. The company so far thoroughly demoed and explained the main features of the new mobile OS, but there’s one hidden trick you’ll be more than happy to start using as soon as you get your Lollipop update. FROM EARLIER: Want to get the most out of Android 5.0 Lollipop? Here’s the one video you need to watch In an extensive interview with three Google executives, Ars Technica has learned that Android 5.0 contains a handy “Play Auto Installs” feature that handles carrier bloatware
Mysterious cyber attack breaches White House computer network
- Following the many data breaches that have hit U.S. retailers, financial institutions and even the government, the White House has also confirmed that an unclassified computer network used by President’s Obama’s senior staff had been breached by hackers, The New York Times reports. However, it’s not clear why hackers attacked the White House, or at least such details have not been divulged yet. FROM EARLIER: There’s a chance your Windows computer is being hacked right now The administration said the attack “did not appear to be aimed at destruction of either data or hardware, or to take over other systems at the White House.” Apparently, hackers were simply probing and mapping the unclassified White House systems. Recently, a similar report
White House says it has addressed computer threat
- The White House says it has taken steps to address suspicious activity detected on its unclassified computer network. No details were released on who may have been responsible or when the activity occurred. ...
This is Google’s boldest search plan yet
- Google is not done improving Search just yet — with the company interested in answering more and more complex queries in the future — but it won’t just stick to providing users a tool to finding stuff online. Google X’s Dr. Andrew Conrad told The Wall Street Journal at the WSJ.D conference that the company is working on a special new medical project which might allow Google to search the human body for answers to various medical conditions including cancer in the future. FROM EARLIER: The real questions Google Search wants to answer, but can’t yet The company is currently developing special nanoparticles that could be sent to a patient’s blood stream, and navigate it to look at the various
China says Canada's Harper to visit before APEC summit
- BEIJING (Reuters) - Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper will visit China next week ahead of a multilateral summit, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Wednesday, as the two countries seek to mend ties strained by rows over cybersecurity and spying. The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit (APEC) will be held in Beijing from Nov. 7-11. Harper's office said earlier this week he had canceled plans to attend the forum in the wake of attacks by homegrown radicals last week in Ottawa that killed two soldiers. Harper's office said he would be in Ottawa for the country's Nov. ...
Cyber breaches put 18.5 million Californians' data at risk in 2013: report
- By Steve Gorman LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Cyber intrusions and other data breaches put the personal records of 18.5 million Californians, nearly half the state's population, at risk in 2013, a seven-fold increase over the year before, the state attorney general reported on Tuesday. The number of data breaches reported by companies and government entities increased 28 percent, from 131 in 2012 to 167 last year, more than half of them, or 53 percent, caused by cyber incursions such as computer hacking and malware, the report said. ...
Suspicious cyber activity at White House detected, addressed
- By Steve Holland WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Suspicious cyber activity has been detected on the computer network used by the White House and measures have been taken to address it, a White House official disclosed on Tuesday. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, would not say who might have been responsible for the activity on what was described as an unclassified computer network used by employees of the Executive Office of the President. ...
U.S. officials urge more govt-business cooperation on cybersecurity
- By Aruna Viswanatha WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. officials on Tuesday urged corporate America to work with the government to fend off cyber threats and said intelligence and law enforcement authorities are working to get useful information to companies about potential attacks. The FBI has presented more than three dozen classified, sector-specific threat briefings to companies in the past year, John Carlin, head of the Justice Department's National Security Division, said at a conference hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. ...
Calif. AG: 18.5 million residents' info exposed
- LAGUNA BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Personal information about more than 18.5 million Californians was hacked, stolen or otherwise exposed last year and as many as one-third of those people will become victims of fraud, California Attorney General Kamala Harris said Tuesday in a new report on data breaches in the nation's biggest state.
Want to get the most out of Android 5.0 Lollipop? Here’s the one video you need to watch
- While Google’s Android 5.0 Lollipop is finally official, that doesn’t mean it’s available for Nexus devices yet. The company has recently released an updated preview version of Lollipop for the Nexus 5 and the Nexus 7, with the final version set to hit all Nexus devices at some point in the following month. Meanwhile, Android fans looking forward to seeing Lollipop on their devices, but who aren’t familiar with the major and minor changes Android 5.0 brings, should check Marques Brownlee’s features review video. FROM EARLIER: 8 awesome Android 5.0 Lollipop features missing from iOS 8 Brownlee is looking both at the obvious visual changes — Lollipop comes with a brand-new design language called Material Design that Google wants to see
Android is open, but not for hackers: 3 key ways Lollipop will keep your data safer
- Google’s mobile platform is open source, of course, but the newest version of Android places a significant amount of focus on closing the OS when it comes to blocking hackers and thwarting data thieves. New security features in Android 5.0 might not be buzzing as much as the look of Google’s gorgeous new Material Design, but all the hacks and private photo leaks we keep seeing are constant reminders of just how important security is on mobile devices. Now, in a new blog post on the Android Blog, Google has detailed three key ways the company has enhanced security with Lollipop. DON’T MISS: 10 secret things you had no idea your Android phone could do Android’s lead security engineer Adrian Ludwig on Tuesday took to Google’s
Vasco posts 3Q profit
- The Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois-based company said it had profit of 28 cents per share. Earnings, adjusted for one-time gains and costs, were 32 cents per share. The Internet security company posted revenue ...
Jordan arrests influential al Qaeda scholar for 'incitement'
- By Suleiman Al-Khalidi AMMAN (Reuters) - Jordanian security forces arrested influential al Qaeda spiritual guide Abu Mohammad al Maqdisi on Monday on suspicion of fomenting terrorism on the Internet, security sources said. They said Maqdisi was ordered to be held for 15 days after he was called in for questioning by the state security prosecutor. He was initially charged with "using the Internet to promote and incite views of jihadi terrorist organizations". ...
Hacker sentenced to 21 months in U.S. prison for $15 million scheme
- By Joseph Ax NEW YORK (Reuters) - A Massachusetts man was sentenced to 21 months in prison on Friday for his role in a cybercrime scheme that hacked accounts at banks, brokerage firms and government agencies in an attempt to steal more than $15 million, U.S. prosecutors said. Robert Dubuc, 41, pleaded guilty to wire fraud conspiracy, conspiracy to commit access device fraud and identity theft in federal court in New Jersey in April. U.S. District Judge Peter Sheridan in Trenton imposed the sentence on Friday. ...
Man who was part of cybercrime ring gets prison
- TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — A Massachusetts man has been sentenced to 21 months in prison for his part in an international cybercrime ring that targeted more than a dozen financial institutions and the U.S. military's payroll service.
Hacker gets prison for cyberattack stealing $9.4M
- ATLANTA (AP) — An Estonian national who pleaded guilty to orchestrating a 2008 cyberattack on a credit card processing company that enabled hackers to steal $9.4 million from ATMs around the world was sentenced to 11 years in prison and ordered to repay most of the money, prosecutors said Friday.
Ericsson flags North America slowdown
- By Sven Nordenstam and Olof Swahnberg STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Mobile telecoms gear maker Ericsson said on Friday a slowdown in North America created uncertainty over fourth quarter sales as operators cut spending after big investments in high-speed networks. A build-out of the newest 4G/LTE networks by operators in North America, where Ericsson makes about a quarter of its sales and Chinese rival Huawei is effectively barred from doing business, has supported the Swedish firm at a time of stagnation in much of Europe. ...
Network gear maker Nokia tops market expectations
- By Jussi Rosendahl HELSINKI (Reuters) - Nokia delivered quarterly profits well above expectations on Thursday, six months after selling its struggling handset business to Microsoft in a 5.6 billion euros ($7.1 billion) deal that transformed it into a pure play network equipment maker. The Finnish company reported strong earnings from its core network gear unit and lifted the outlook for the business following large network roll-outs in North America and China. Despite concerns over lower-margin deals in China, Nokia's network unit showed a core operating profit margin of 13. ...
Check Point third-quarter profit beats estimates, raises 2014 forecast
- By Tova Cohen TEL AVIV (Reuters) - Network security provider Check Point Software Technologies reported quarterly profit that topped expectations and raised its full-year forecast on strong demand for its threat prevention and other software subscriptions. Check Point earned 93 cents a share excluding one-time items in the third quarter, up from 85 cents a year earlier. Revenue grew 8 percent to $370.4 million, the Israeli-based company said on Thursday. ...
Review: Another black comic blast of 'Borderlands'
- Like dozens of other video games, "Borderlands" is all about killing — people, robots, monsters, whatever. But "Borderlands" has a not-so-secret weapon in its arsenal: an acidic sense of black humor that's a welcome relief from the gung-ho war-is-hell cliches of competitors like "Call of Duty" and "Halo."
Huawei says third-quarter smartphone shipments jump 26 percent, strong demand for high-end devices
- By Yimou Lee HONG KONG (Reuters) - China's Huawei Technologies Co Ltd said third-quarter smartphone shipments jumped 26 percent year-on-year, doubling devices shipped to the high-margin premium market dominated by Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and Apple Inc. Shenzhen-based Huawei, the world's third-biggest smartphone supplier after the dominant pair, shipped 16.8 million smartphones globally in the quarter ended Sept. 30, according to company data. About a quarter of those were mid- to high-end models, more than twice as many as the same period last year. ...
China's Xiaomi shifts some smartphone user data out of Beijing on privacy concerns
- By Gerry Shih BEIJING (Reuters) - Fast-growing Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi Inc said on Thursday it is migrating some data on non-Chinese customers away from its servers in Beijing due to performance and privacy considerations. Data belonging to the privately owned company's non-Chinese users will be moved in several phases to Amazon Inc servers in the United States and data centers in Singapore, Xiaomi vice president Hugo Barra said in a Wednesday blog post on Google Plus. ...
Congress not likely to force iOS and Android decryption for the FBI
- Apple has more than once reminded customers it values their security and privacy and has been reassuring them that they won’t become the company’s “product” and that their data will be safely encrypted. Similarly, Google also said it will encrypt Android devices by default. Since then, the FBI and others have complained that Apple and Google will be basically helping bad guys get away with bad things thanks to encrypted devices. FROM EARLIER: The FBI ratchets up its scare campaign over smartphone encryption But, as Motherboard reports, Congress isn’t likely to order these companies to decrypt their phones for FBI or other governmental agencies. “To FBI Director Comey and the Admin on criticisms of legitimate businesses using encryption: you reap what you
The most disappointing video games of all-time, according to Redditors
- There is no feeling like when a highly anticipated game completely disappoints after it’s released. Months or even years of buildup can lead to a game that’s such a waste of time that you may end up selling your console because of it. Reddit users have sounded off on their most disappointing games ever and while there are few surprises, the reasons for their disappointment are nonetheless interesting. MORE FROM REDDIT: The 10 best tech toys under $200, according to Redditors One of the most upvoted comments in the Reddit thread is about the game Brink. One Redditor says, “Throwing my $60 out the window would have been a smarter decision than anything Brink’s AI ever did in the game.” Another adds,
Here’s how to make sure your iCloud data is safe from hackers
- After reports emerged from China detailing a sophisticated iCloud phishing attack, Apple has posted instructions on its support pages to help users figure out whether they’re actually on the real iCloud page, or on a fake page meant to steal iCloud credentials from unsuspecting victims. Additionally, Reuters reports, Apple CEO Tim Cook on Wednesday met with China’s vice premier Ma Kai to discuss personal data security. FROM EARLIER: Apple falls victim to an iCloud attack from the Chinese government, servers not affected According to Greatfire’s initial report, a Chinese firewall had blocked all connections to iCloud.com, directing the traffic instead to a dummy site that mimicked Apple’s login page for the service. The same group later told Reuters that Apple rerouted