Review Category : Security News

Hackers Declare War Against Australia's Prime Minister Kevin Rudd

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The Prime Minister's Government Web Site

Prime Minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd’s website was recently hacked. Rudd’s website www.pm.gov.au were both attacked and brought down at around 7:20pm (AEST). Along with the Prime Minister’s site, the Australian Communications and Media Authority site was also hacked and attacked. Fortunately, both websites were up and running just an hour after the attacks took place.

A post was made on the Inquisitor Blog by the group Anonymous, claiming that they were responsible for the hack. The web attack was a direct response to a Federal Government proposal that would make internet filtering mandatory. The group’s post claims that by making internet filtering mandatory, the government would be blocking legal internet content and would be effectively creating censorship levels such as those seen in China.

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With ATM Attacks on the Rise – Bank Security Fails

atm-machine1ATM attacks seem to be on the rise according to a recent report released by the European Security agency, Enisa. The report shows a 149 percent increase in ATM attacks including 10,302 “skimming” incidents. What is more alarming is the fact that hackers are making moves towards attacking the server networks used by banks to connect the ATM’s to the bank-office systems, which could result in a widespread attack. They plan to install software on the ATM’s that would record the pin information of costumers.

Andrea Pirotti the Executive Director at Enisa said she hopes that the report will raise awareness of the alarming growth of ATM attacks. “ATM crime is likely to become even more attractive as the latest generation of ATMs is designed to dispense other services and products, such as phone top-ups and stamps.”  According to the reports from Enisa, “The thieves collect cad numbers and, if necessary, alter the PIN for the cards they are planning to use. The thieves then sell the cards and their data to other thieves.”

William Beer, the head of the security OneSecurity team at consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers, argued that companies needed to wake up and realize that their ATM’s are becoming a much easier target. “Once upon a time they were running proprietary hardware and using operating systems and network protocols that were definitely not off-the-shelf, and these were difficult for the common criminal to replicate,” said Beer. “The fact that they’ve now moved to off-the-shelf hardware, standard operating systems and open network protocols makes the end game easier for the criminals – there needs to be a clearer recognition that these systems are vulnerable.”

It seems that with ATM attacks on the rise and bank security procedures becoming less and less effective, customers are going to have fewer places to safely store their money. The banking companies that are so concerned with keeping our business should spend some time increasing their security so fewer people start reverting to hiding their money under their mattresses.

(Via www.computing.co.uk)


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$100 Bucks & Hackers Promise Full Access to E-mail Accounts

chick-at-computerDozens of people experience computers hacks everyday spanning from stolen Facebook login credentials that result in embarrassing status updates, to something more serious like bank or identity theft. Stealing these passwords used to be reserved for computer savvy hackers or psycho ex girlfriends, but apparently now all you need is a $100 cash to hack an e-mail account. A website called YourHackerz.com claims that, with the exception of .gov and .edu, they can get the password and effectively hack into any e-mail account. And if you use the same password for multiple accounts, you could be in serious trouble.

Although hacking into someone’s e-mail is considered a federal offense, it is treated like a misdemeanor as long as no other laws are broken. Orin Kerr, a George Washington University law professor and former computer crimes attorney, stated “The Feds don’t usually have the resources to investigate and prosecute misdemeanors. And part of the reason is that normally it’s hard to know when an account has been compromised, because e-mail snooping doesn’t leave a trace.”

However, there are some simple steps that every person can take to help make sure that they are not so easily defeated. Simple things such as keeping passwords secret and consistently changing passwords can greatly decrease the probability of getting hacked. Also, one should refrain from using the same password for more than one account. Using a combination of numbers and letters can also increase password strength, making it harder to figure out and crack. Simple preventative measures is all it takes to help keep yourself a little safer in today’s technological world.

Via (Wtop.com)


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Lost Your iPhone? Gadget Companies Say 'Tough Luck'

kindle1Items like the iPhone and the Kindle make it possible to cram books, music, pictures, and games into one single device with ease. With these devices closely linked to GPS and Internet, consumers would assume that locating these devices would be easy if stolen or lost. High tech gadget companies are telling consumers, think again.

Makers of these high tech devices have taken different approaches when it comes to handling theft and misplacement. Amazon’s Kindle is quickly becoming a favorite for techies but if it’s lost or stolen, well that’s a different story. According to Amazon, the only way the company will deactivate a stolen Kindle is with a phone call AND police report from the cops. This has outraged one  customer in particular who said,  “Amazon knew the device was being used and preferred to sell content to anyone who possessed the device, rather than assist in returning it to its rightful owner.” An Amazon spokesman replied, stating that the company acted in accordance with the law and cooperated with law enforcement officials. “Beyond that, we aren’t going to speculate on hypotheticals.satelliteradio1

Amazon is not the only company with this policy. Sirius XM Radio also needs a subpoena from a police officer before it can discontinue service or release information about one of it’s radios.  Company spokesman Patrick Reilly said the goal of this policy is “to protect the original subscriber who has lost the radio, but also not to incriminate someone who legitimately comes in possession of a radio.” He added “Radios that have been reported stolen are reactivated only after someone provides a “proof of purchase,” like a receipt from eBay.”

iphonepic2iPhone users have a few more options when it comes to lost phones. Using GPS technology, iPhone users can attempt to track and locate a misplaced phone, or they can remotely wipe the phone clean of any sensitive information. Mark Siegal, a spokesman for AT&T, stated “When we address lost or stolen iPhones, all we’re focused on is preventing any charges from accruing to that account. We don’t disable the phone.”

With no policy changes in the works, consumers can look forward to years of frustration from high tech companies. Until then, I recommend being careful with your high tech toys.

(Via NewYorkTimes)



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Kids Stuck in Drain Use Facebook Status to Call for Help

helpRecently, two young girls in South Australia, aged 10 and 12, found themselves in the precarious situation of being stuck in a storm drain. Armed with their mobile phones, they resorted to Facebook for help. But instead of calling emergency services, they simply updated their Facebook status. Fortunate for them, a friend who was online saw their Facebook status, and took it seriously enough to call for help. Of course had they called for help themselves, the whole rescue process would have been much quicker.

This is one story that totally boggles the mind. Could it be that kids nowadays are growing up with a mindset that social networking is naturally their first form of communication before anything else? It certainly seems so.

(Via Tech Radar)

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GPS Being Used to Track Mamma and Papa Bear

bear2Because of the increased development throughout the state of Florida, the black bear’s habitats have been dwindling in size. As a result, black bears are traveling less, and becoming more isolated.  This isolation results in unhealthy inbreeding. Researchers have turned to GPS to help out the bears. According to Dr. John Cox, head of the South-Central Florida Bear Project, bears need to travel to and from different-bear habitats in order to stay healthy.

“This population of bears is actually losing genetic diversity,” Cox said. “You see that loss of healthy genes in the population over time….That is a sign of isolation.”

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Apple Store Robbed Blind In 31 Seconds – Caught on Camera

apple-storeThe Apple store is one of the most interactive and display-centric stores out there. They have all their top of the line gear on display including iPhones, Macbooks, desktops, and iPods for people to touch and test. Maybe that’s why thieves targeted the Apple store in Marlton, New Jersey.

In a well organized heist, thieves cleaned out the store in an amazing 31 seconds, snagging 23 Macbook Pros, 14 iPhones, and 9 iPod touches. Thieves brandished guns to scare security guards and were in and out before police could even arrive on the scene. Unfortunately, the thieves covered their faces, rendering security footage useless.


(Via Mashable)

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Football Star Saves Busload of Kids From Gun Violence

eulls

Aside from notebooks, pencils, and pens, a 14-year-old girl was apparently packing a gun in her backpack on Monday afternoon. The girl, who had been bullied, pulled out the gun and began to load it, when 18 year-old Kaleb Eulls, a star athlete and now local hero, came to the rescue. He was able to tackle the girl and disarm the gun, ensuring the bus rider’s safety.

Eulls explains, “I just realized something had to be done, and it was just a lot of kids on the bus and [I] couldn’t let anything happen to them,” he said. “I tried to grab her attention, just keep her from pointing it at anyone else in the bus,” he said. In a matter of seconds, the girl was disarmed before any serious damage could be done.

Reports state that the 14 year-old girl (whose identity remains private) was bullied and is now being held in a county youth detention center. She has been charged with possession of a firearm on school property, 22 counts of attempted aggravated assault, and kidnapping.

Embedded video from <a href=”http://www.cnn.com/video” mce_href=”http://www.cnn.com/video”>CNN Video</a>

(Via CNN)

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Angry Man Slaps Child in WalMart

artstephensThere is always something crazy happening at Walmart and yesterday was no exception when Atlanta resident Roger Stephens, 61, decided to make an afternoon visit to the store.

When Stephens heard a 2-year-old crying loudly in the store, he reportedly approached the mother and stated, “If you don’t shut the baby up, I will shut her up for you.” The mother claims that Stephens grabbed the baby and slapped her four times until she was quiet at which point he stated, “See I told you I would shut her up.”

Stephens was then arrested and charged with first-degree cruelty to children. Parents nationwide are outraged at the flagrant display of abuse on an afternoon shopping trip.

(Via CNN)

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GPS Tracker Helps Cops Locate 10,000 Marijuana Plants

marijuana2Police discovered over 10,000 marijuana plants in both Idaho and Oregon with the help of GPS tracking.

Detectives in Ada and Canyon County noticed that there were huge amounts of plastic pipes and water emitters being purchased in cash from local distributors. Suspecting production of an illegal substance, investigators planted GPS trackers on the goods and followed the suspects to their marijuana grow operations where they uncovered 6,000 marijuana plants.

Using similar tactics, police were also able to locate another 4,000 marijuana plants in a remote region of Oregon, apparently connected to this particular grow operation. Authorities arrested three men and charged them in connection to serious marijuana grows in both Idaho and Oregon. Police value the marijuana at millions of dollars.

(Via ABC6 Boise)

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