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Submission + - Most Common Passwords Used in 2016 (securityweek.com)

wiredmikey writes: Weak and commonly used passwords have long been one of the most used venues to compromise online accounts, yet people continue to utilize these incredibly weak password choices. What's scary, is that according to a new report compiled after the analysis of 10 million passwords leaked from data breaches, the top 25 most popular passwords are used to secure more than 50% of accounts. Sadly, this trend is not new, and continues to show how stupid people can be when it comes to passwords.

Specifically, the report (PDF) reveals that 123456, 123456789, qwerty, 12345678, and 111111 were the five most used passwords in 2016, as per analysis by security firm Keeper Security.

Submission + - Hamas 'Honey Trap' Dupes Israeli Soldiers (securityweek.com)

wiredmikey writes: The smartphones of dozens of Israeli soldiers were hacked by Hamas militants pretending to be attractive young women online, an Israeli military official said Wednesday. Using fake profiles on Facebook with alluring photos, Hamas members contacted the soldiers via groups on the social network, luring them into long chats, the official told journalists on condition of anonymity.

Dozens of the predominantly lower-ranked soldiers were convinced enough by the honey trap to download fake applications which enabled Hamas to take control of their phones, according to the official.

Submission + - Destructive KillDisk Malware Turns Into Ransomware (securityweek.com)

wiredmikey writes: A recently discovered variant of the KillDisk malware encrypts files and holds them for ransom instead of deleting them. Since KillDisk has been used in attacks aimed at industrial control systems (ICS), experts are concerned that threat actors may be bringing ransomware into the industrial domain.

CyberX VP of research David Atch told SecurityWeek that the KillDisk variant they have analyzed is a well-written piece of ransomware, and victims are instructed to pay 222 bitcoins ($210,000) to recover their files, which experts believe suggests that the attackers are targeting “organizations with deep pockets.”

Submission + - U.S. Election Assistance Commission Hacked

wiredmikey writes: Researchers have discovered that a Russian-speaking hacker broke into the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) systems, and has been trying to sell stolen access credentials — including admin-level — on the underground.

On December 1, researchers with Recorded Future discovered internet chatter that appeared to relate to an EAC breach. A hacker, called "Rasputin" by Recorded Future, was discussing the sale of more than 100 EAC access credentials to a middle-eastern government broker. The hacker claimed to have accessed the systems via an SQLi vulnerability, which Recorded Future was able to locate and report.

EAC said Thursday that was aware of the 'potential intrusion' and was investigating the incident.

Submission + - Thousands Lose Money in Tesco Bank Hack

wiredmikey writes: Tesco Bank, wholly owned by the UK's largest supermarket chain Tesco, said that some of its customers' had money withdrawn fraudulently as a result of "online criminal activity."

Benny Higgins, the bank's chief executive, said 40,000 of current accounts had experienced suspicious transactions and about half had money taken from their account. Customers are reporting on social media individual thefts of £600 and £700. One report quotes a customer complaint: "Spoke to Tesco after 1 hour 20 minutes on hold, like others, just waiting for a call back and no sign of my £2,400 today. I'm taking the day off work, I can't go in feeling as low as this."

Submission + - Clinton Had Uncleared Filipino Maid Print Emails, Handle Sensitive Documents (nypost.com) 13

An anonymous reader writes: The New York Post reveals that Hillary Clinton routinely had her emails forwarded so her immigrant Filipino maid who lacked a security clearance could print her emails from an iMac in Clinton's home, including ones that contained classified information. The maid also had access to the SCIF (sensitive compartmented information facility) built at Clinton's home so she could "securely" receive Top Secret information such as the presidential daily brief she received at times. The maid was expected to retrieve faxed information from the SCIF for Secretary Clinton. It appears that the maid was never interviewed by the FBI, nor was the computer seized or searched. One is left wondering, "Was email that hard to print in 2009?" Will the reinvigorated FBI investigation cover untrodden ground like this, or just serve as another white wash?

Submission + - U.S. Officially Accuses Russia of Election Hacks

wiredmikey writes: The U.S. government has officially accused Russia of being behind cyberattacks against American political organizations with the intent of interfering with the upcoming Presidential election in November.

“The U.S. Intelligence Community (USIC) is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from US persons and institutions, including from US political organizations,” a joint statement from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Office of the Director of National Intelligence said.

"We believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia's senior-most officials could have authorized these activities," the statement adds.

In August, researchers from two security firms uncovered evidence that they say linked a Russian threat actor to the cyberattack targeting the U.S. Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC).

Submission + - Microsoft Teams with Bank of America on Blockchain

wiredmikey writes: Microsoft and Bank of America Merrill Lynch said they are working together to make financial transactions more efficient with blockchain technology — the foundation of bitcoin digital currency.

Blockchains are considered tamper-proof registers in which entries are time-stamped and linked to previous "blocks" in a data chain. As expected, the technology that drives the shadowy bitcoin cryptocurrency is drawing interest from the established banking industry, which sees a potential to revolutionize the sector.

The companies said they will build and test frameworks for blockchain-powered exchanges between businesses and their customers and banks. Microsoft plans to use its Azure cloud service platform to enable blockchain transactions between a major corporate treasury and a financial institution.

Submission + - Security Researchers Remotely Hack Tesla Model S

wiredmikey writes: Security researchers from China-based Tencent have identified a series of vulnerabilities that can be exploited to remotely hack an unmodified Tesla Model S while it’s parked or on the move. While the vehicle was parked, the experts could control the sunroof, turn signals, the position of the seats, all displays, and the door locking system. While the car was on the move, the hackers could activate the windshield wipers, fold the side view mirrors, and open the trunk. They also demonstrated that a remote hacker can activate the brakes from a long distance.

“As far as we know, this is the first case of remote attack which compromises CAN Bus to achieve remote controls on Tesla cars,” the researchers said. “We have verified the attack vector on multiple varieties of Tesla Model S. It is reasonable to assume that other Tesla models are affected.”

According to Keen Lab, Tesla has confirmed the flaws and is working on addressing them.

Submission + - Researcher Proves FBI Wrong With iPhone Passcode Hack (securityweek.com)

wiredmikey writes: A researcher has demonstrated that a known hardware hacking technique known as NAND mirroring could have been used to bypass the passcode retry limitations on the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone, despite the FBI’s claims that the technique would not work.

NAND mirroring involves removing the NAND flash memory chip from the device by desoldering it and creating backup copies or clones of the chip. By cloning the chip, the original memory is fully preserved while the copies can be used as many times as necessary to figure out the 4-digit passcode. Skorobogatov conducted a successful attack using off-the-shelf components bought from an electronics distributor for less than $100.

Submission + - White House Names First Federal CISO

wiredmikey writes: The White House today announced that Brigadier General (retired) Gregory J. Touhill has been named the first Federal Chief Information Security Officer (CISO). Back in February, President Barack Obama unveiled a cybersecurity "national action plan" (CNAP) which called for an overhaul of aging government networks and a high-level commission to boost security awareness. As part of the plan, the White House said it would hire a federal CISO to direct cybersecurity across the federal government. General Touhill is currently the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Cybersecurity and Communications in the Office of Cybersecurity and Communications (CS&C) at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

The key hire comes at a time when the government needs cybersecurity talent more than ever. Earlier this week a report published a U.S. House of Representatives Committee said the data breaches disclosed by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) last year were a result of culture and leadership failures, and should not be blamed on technology.

Submission + - Intel to Spin Off McAfee as Independent Security Firm (securityweek.com)

wiredmikey writes: Six years after announcing that it would acquire security firm McAfee, Intel said it would spin off its security division as an independent company under the name McAfee, valuing the company at $4.4 billion--far less than the $7.68 billion the company paid to acquire the company in 2011. Intel will receive $3.1 billion in cash and retain the 49 percent stake after completion of the transaction

The McAfee brand, created by anti-virus software pioneer John McAfee, suffered some damage after the founder was wanted in Belize for questioning over the murder of his neighbor in late 2012, sparking months of dramatic events and a wild goose chase across Central America.

While Intel and its investment partner TPG could have used the spinoff as a chance to ditch the McAfee name altogether, it has chosen to stand by its brand, despite the negative association and PR issues with its former founder.

Submission + - Maxthon Web Browser Sends Sensitive Data to China

wiredmikey writes: Security experts have discovered that the Maxthon web browser collects sensitive information and sends it to a server in China. Researchers warn that the harvested data could be highly valuable for malicious actors.

Researchers at Fidelis Cybersecurity and Poland-based Exatel recently found that Maxthon regularly sends a file named ueipdata.zip to a server in Beijing, China, via HTTP. Further analysis (PDF) revealed that ueipdata.zip contains an encrypted file named dat.txt. This file stores information on the operating system, CPU, ad blocker status, homepage URL, websites visited by the user (including online searches), and installed applications and their version number.

Interestingly, In 2013, after the NSA surveillance scandal broke, the company boasted about its focus on privacy and security, and the use of strong encryption.

Submission + - Facebook Messenger to Add Strong Encryption

wiredmikey writes: Facebook announced Friday it would roll out optional "end to end encryption" for its Messenger application, following a trend aimed at stronger security and protection against snooping. The new feature will be known as "secret conversations" which can be read only by the sender and recipient. Facebook shared technical details about its implementation of the security in a technical white paper (PDF).

Facebook earlier this year began implementing this end-to-end encryption on its WhatsApp messaging service.

Submission + - Malware Steals Data From Air-Gapped Devices via Fans (securityweek.com)

wiredmikey writes: Researchers have demonstrated that data can be stolen using fans and a mobile phone placed in the vicinity of the targeted machine. The method, dubbed Fansmitter, leverages the noise emitted by a computer’s fans to transmit data.

Researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev explained (PDF) that a piece of malware installed on the targeted air-gapped computer can use the device’s fans to send bits of data to a nearby mobile phone or a different computer equipped with a microphone.

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