Review Category : Security News

Attendee Discovers Fake ATM at Defcon

atm-machineThe next time you go to get money out of the ATM machine, think again because you might be giving away your identity.

An attendee of the Defcon conference on cybersecurity, found a breach of security in the very hotel- The Riviera Hotel- the conference was being given: a fake ATM machine. A computer that was hidden inside the ATM was designed to scan debit cards when they are swiped through the machine, said officials who came to retrieve the suspicious machine.

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Record Number of Site Visitors Follow Boat Race Using GPS Tracking

pure-michigan-bayview-mackinac-race-sailingGPS tracking devices have championed in catching criminals and finding lost children, but they have proven successful in another, unsuspecting arena – marketing. By placing GPS tracking devices on more than 200 boats racing in the Pure Michigan Bayview Mackinac Race, and airing their positions in real time on their website- Michigan.org was able to direct traffic to their website in record numbers.
With the number of viewers reaching well over 250,000 in just 3 short days, the rouse was a huge success. Over 36% of the viewers on the website were directed there becuase of the GPS race. The real time feedback gave viewers the illusion that they were going along the race with the boats. Feeling involved was fostered by being able to visually see where boats were on a map in real time. Without GPS trackers there was no way this project could be have completed.

Vice President George Zimmermann admitted, “One of our strategies for our sponsorship of the Pure Michigan Bayview Mackinac Race was to drive large numbers of potential visitors to Michigan.org, and expose them to information about the state for future vacation planning.”

With the air saturated with success, it seems that GPS trackers have found yet another niche to live in. (Via Crains Detroit)

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Security Experts Hack "Impenetrable" Digital Safe Lock – AGAIN!

Promised to be “impenetrable” according to the manufacturer and retailing at a painful $600 a pop, the CLIQ electro magnetic digital lock better be good.

Three security experts who previously gained notoriety when they quickly and easily picked what was also considered an “impenetrable” lock, put this assumption to the test when they set out to pick the CLIQ lock. This is the very lock used in banks, government buildings, water and power plants and transportation facilities – including the Swiss Federal Railway System and the Ottawa International Airport.

And guess what? They’ve done it again.

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Spammy Army of Computer Security Threats Increasing Steadily

As our modern world becomes ever more tied to computers and the systems that run it, our computer networks are constantly under the threat of hackers, spam and malware. We may be living in a constantly connected, dynamic society, but the benefits of the modern world’s dynamic nature are coming at a price to people’s person information security. Recent developments in the field of computer security have shown just how large of an uphill battle the public and our institutions are fighting against the unseen forces that endanger our computer networks.

The problem of spam and malware has increased a whopping 80% since last quarter, partly attributed to the advent of new procedures online including shortened URLS, frequently used on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.spam

When it comes to condensed URLs used on Facebook and Twitter shortened links, “The caution that users usually apply when they view search results and news links disappears behind the obfuscating address,” the a McAfee security report notes.

According to a report issued at the recent Black Hat security conference, another recent computer security threat is that of the Machiavelli technique, in which hackers take control of already victimized Macintosh computers and steal protected data. This technique takes control of the Safari browser before gaining data to protected information such as financial records.

mac1Macs are the apple’ of the public’s eye due to their impressive applications and high-end computers, but according to security expert Dai Zovi and others, who authored the report on the technique, attacks on Macs will rise as they gain market share on PC’s running Windows. Mac’s operating system will be easier to attack for hackers because it has much more code, therefore allowing them to have a larger affect on the system.

People today are constantly under the threat of malware posing as antivirus software. Many have experienced the hassles and sometimes truly dangerous consequences of fake antivirus software, but many people probably do not realize just how prevalent and resourceful this army of malware really is. According to PandaLabs, the samples of fake antivirus software have been reproducing like crazy and grew to 374,000 by the second quarter of 2009. The company estimates that as many as 35 million computers per month are infected by rogue antivirus programs, mostly due to users who are not diligent enough in checking out the programs they pay for. These samples are a big family to feed, and they will feed on the inattentive and uninformed.

Although it is a challenging battle, there are a few methods by which you can fight these forces.

1) Don’t always provide your e-mail address and apply strong caution when opening a suspicious e-mail sent to you.

2) Be careful when following links on social networking sites. If there’s a tag to the link, pay attention to what it says before clicking.

3) Don’t download pirated software or media: For hacking techniques such as Machiavelli, do as much as possible to avoid downloading pirated software and avoid pirated media that will put you at serious risk.

(via Wired, Cnet and News.com.au)

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The Final Frontier: Hacking iPhones With Text Messages

iphoneIt will come as soon as it leaves and the damage will be irreparable.  In a matter of seconds, your iPhone can be taken over, leaving you absolutely powerless.

Two researchers, Charlie Miller and Collin Mulliner, have found a flaw in the iPhone’s SMS text messaging system that allows hackers to send a text message that gives them complete power over the phone.  The message, a small, symmetrical square is the perfect indicator to an iPhone user that their phone has been hijacked in such a beautifully simple manner.  Once the hijacker has control he/she can dial the phone, visit web sites, turn on the device’s camera and microphone and, most importantly, send more text messages to further propagate a mass-gadget hijacking.

There is no definitive way to protect yourself against these viral text messages as of yet, but the researchers hope that in identifying the flaw and notifying Apple, there will be patches and changes to the system to prevent malicious attackers from executing what could be a fatal virus.  Unfortunately, the researchers plan has not gone as planned.  They reported this hole in the system over a month ago to Apple, but no patch has been made to correct it.  The researchers contend that possibly turning off your phone as soon as possible after recieving a text message might be a short term solution that could deter the hacker.

Using SMS text messaging to deliver viruses to smart phones should be a priority in cybersecurity. These attacks are only the tip of a very large, Titanic-esque iceberg.

We are in a new Cold War- hackers vs. cybersecurity- trying to explore the final frontier: SMS hacking.  The chase is no longer a game; it’s necessary to prevent millions of users from becoming victims.

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There's A New Bogeyman In Town: Beware Of The Homemade "Bump Key"

Locking the door may give some people peace of mind, but you may want to think again. There’s a whole new bogeyman in tobump-key-2wn. Beware the homemade “bump key.”

Bump keys are uniquely ground-down keys that when positioned just right, can open almost any lock of a particular brand. Think of them as the ultimate skeleton key. Both law enforcement and locksmith companies are concerned with the understanding and accessibility of bump keys at the moment because of videos and photos all over the web explaining how to make and use them.

According to Jack Flam, a professional locksmith and owner of Flams Locks & Keys in Sherman Oaks, California, “They’re showing you not only how to make a bump key, but they are selling the bump keys on the Internet. That’s scary.”

In Southern California, law enforcement says that despite the serious threat bump keys pose, they have not experienced an increase in break-ins so far in the area. They advise residents in their area to use multiple layers of protection for their home, such as alarm systems.

Flam advises that the best way to defend your home against bump keys is to install and use high security locks, ones that feature “bump-resistant” protection or biometric fingerprint access.

fingerprint-lockBrickHouse Security offers many biometric locks that can be used to combat and defeat the threat of bump keys. These locks are completely keyless, which is a godsend for anyone who constantly loses keys or is worried about loaner keys falling into the wrong hands. With keyless fingerprint entry, a homeowner can add or delete users as they see fit, locking them out or giving them access.

These tools are the first step towards having a secure home and for thwarting the steps criminals take to get around security measures. As long as homeowners are smart and realize the technology that is at their disposal, the bogeyman will fade away.

(via MyFoxLA.com)

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Protect Your Computer From Prying Eyes With Oculis Cutting Edge Technology

screenshot_01The panic cannot go unnoticed.  This is the worst kind.  There are countless different types of panic you experience throughout the day.  Panic because you forgot something.  Panic because you did something wrong.  Panic because of confusion.  Panic because of ignorance.  But this panic is unlike any other.  It slowly makes its way through the pores in your skin and infiltrates your blood stream making sure that it affects every single cell in your body.  You freeze, knowing that something is wrong.  Knowing that you are not safe. Knowing that someone is watching.

Now, depending on who is experiencing this panic there are different solutions.

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MTA Plans to Place Surveillance Equipment on Subway Trains

subway“If You See Something Say Something” is the motto that is plastered all over the subway stations of NYC. And soon, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority will be able to see something too, in fact they will be able to see everything.

The MTA plans to place surveillance equipment in one of their newest trains by the end of this year.  While the videos won’t be watched live, they could provide crucial information in criminal cases.

Could this be a new trend, following the MTA surveillance system project in Maryland?  Perhaps, but the MTA wants to first see how the program goes (fiscally, effectiveness, etc.) before it starts to outfit all of the system’s trains with surveillance equipment. If the plan does go through, we think that it will be a great way to make the MTA a safer way to travel, especially late at night and in deserted areas. After all, there is no better deterrent for a criminal than knowing that there is a surveillance system watching him.

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iPhone Encryption System is More Vulnerable to Hackers Than You Think

appleiphoneapps-security2Does your company use the  iPhone 3G (or 3GS) as an important business tool? You may be ecstatic with your fancy new play-toy now, but maybe it’s time to take a long pause and consider the risk involved with the product you are using. According to one prominent iPhone developer and computer hacking expert, the 3G’s enterprise-friendly encryption is extremely weak and very vulnerable to hackers, to the point that it can be cracked in as little as two minutes with the right freeware.

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Man Resorts to Suicide When He Loses iPhone

504x_iphone-message-suicide21Men in black suits are hastily tearing through an apartment, their hearts beating as fast as hummingbirds’,  worrying that they might be the next victim if they don’t succeed.  14 stories below, at the base of the building lies a man, dead because he lost a phone.

A shipment of prototype iPhones was set to be sent to Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California from their manufacturer, Foxconn in China, but panic erupted all throughout the company when someone realized that the case was short 1 phone.  Fast forward only days later and the man in charge of the shipment was found dead at the base of his apartment after being searched, interrogated, and allegedly tortured.

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