Category Archives: News On Hacks

Fake Instagram app infects Android devices with malware


InstagramTempted to try out the much talked about Instagram app? Well, be careful where you get it from – as malware authors are distributing malware disguised as the popular app.

It’s a rain cloud on a summer’s day for the Instagram photo-sharing smartphone app, which is otherwise having a glorious time right now.

First of all, Instagram released a first version for Android and managed to get five million downloads in less than a week.

Then the 13-employee firm managed to sell itself to Facebook for a cool $1 billion, making some of us wonder about privacy, and others think – “to heck with that, do I have a program that’s never earnt any money that I might be able to flog to Mark Zuckerberg?”.

Naturally, the Facebook acquisition news raised Instagram to even higher levels of public awareness and that’s where the bad guys stepped in.

Cybercriminals have created fake versions of the Instagram Android app, designed to earn money from unsuspecting users.MORE

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3 Hackathons Trying to Change the World


 

Scott Henderson is managing director of CauseShift, writes about social impact for the Chronicle of Philanthropy, and is founder of NewEmpireBuilders.com, a media collaborative covering the startups, non-profits, and companies making the world better.

When you think of hackathons, you might think of coding, right? That’s certainly where the concept came from, but it’s taking on new meaning, as more non-profits and civic leaders embrace it as a format for social innovation.

In recent years, hackathons have helped city governments across the country build new web and mobile applications. These apps provide services like a way to report potholes. Now, hackathons are being used by an even wider range of sectors that involve social good. Below are three that are leading the way.MORE

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Corrupt call center workers selling your private information for pennies


 

Thief with secrets image courtesy of ShutterstockAccording to the Daily Mail an undercover investigation in India has uncovered that some call center workers have been selling confidential information on nearly 500,000 Britons.

Undercover reporters from The Sunday Times met with two individuals who claimed to be IT workers who offered to provide them with 45 different types of data gathered from the victims.

Information offered up included names, addresses, phone numbers and credit card details (including CCV/CVV codes and expiration dates).

The reporters allege they could purchase the records for as little as 2 pence apiece ($0.03 USD). One of the IT workersthieves bragged:

"These [pieces of data] are ones that have been sold to somebody already. This is Barclays, this is Halifax, this is Lloyds TSB. We’ve been dealing so long we can tell the bank by just the card number."more

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How Anonymous spied on FBI / UK Police hacking investigation conference call


 

Conference call spy image from Shutterstock

Conference call spy image from ShutterstockLast month, we reported how a conference call, between the FBI and Scotland Yard, discussing their investigation into Anonymous hackers had been secretly recorded by the hacking collective and published on the net.

We surmised at the time that the unknown hackers might have secretly accessed the call by compromising a police investigator’s email account, as the call-in details and passcode were posted by Anonymous on their usual dumping ground – the PasteBin website.

Conference call email, republished by Anonymous

Conference call email, republished by AnonymousYesterday’s announcement by the FBI about the prominent LulzSec hacker Sabu, and other alleged hacktivists, has revealed more details about what actually happened.

According to an FBI press release, a Garda (Irish police) officer who was invited to attend the conference call about ongoing hacking investigations forwarded the message to a personal email account.

Unfortunately, that personal email account was compromised by a hacker.MORE

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Facebook Canada Hosts Youth Focused Hack-a-thon


hack image

Hack-a-thons are becoming popular ways to get a massive group of hackers together for a manic, usually overnight blitz to code something cool. Hack for a Cause is one of the newest to apply that Red Bull-fueled creativity to social and charity causes.

In just 12 hours (6 p.m. on Friday to 6 a.m. Saturday, EST), 60 coders created 12 products that were ready to ship. The event, hosted at Facebook Canada’s Toronto headquarters, was organized by Free the Children, a Canadian charity that empowers youths across North America to create positive change.

The rules of the hack-a-thon were pretty simple: Come up with some product that will help Free the Children get kids engaged in positive actions. In response, Hack for a Cause turned out Facebook apps to help log and share volunteerism, a mobile app that accepts and displays donation pledges, an interactive map that allows users to see local philanthropic meet ups, educational mobile games and more.

Even though Hack for a Cause is relatively single-minded, as far as hack-a-thons go, providing Free the Children with new technology will hopefully have widespread impact as well. Besides, it’s not such a bad idea to host a group of uber-talented coders and get some awesome new products in return. It’s a smart move by Free the Children that may help some kids get more involved in social change.MoRe

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FBI investigates grade change hacking at Santa Clara


Mark Loiseau, who says the FBI gained access to his Verizon and Google Voice accounts

A Twitter post from an undergraduate student at Santa Clara University has prompted the school to acknowledge that it asked the FBI to investigate how a few dozen grades were electronically altered.

Mark Loiseau, 25, a senior electrical engineering student, received an unpleasant surprise this morning: three FBI agents showed up at his off-campus apartment wanting to have a friendly chat with him.

FBI agent Jeffrey Miller and his colleagues had complete dossiers on him and his friends, Loiseau told CNET this afternoon. “They had all my grades. They had pictures of me.”

It started out as a friendly conversation, Loiseau said, but then the FBI agents began to suggest that he was involved in illegally changing his or someone else’s grades. After receiving a denial, the trio of agents said that lying to a federal agent was a crime and that they wanted to search his computers.MORE

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Valve’s online game service Steam hit by hackers


Artwork from Skyrim

The Steam video game service, used by 35 million people, has been compromised by hackers.

Its owner and operator, Valve, uncovered an intrusion into a user database while investigating a security breach of its discussion forums.

The attackers used login details from the forum hack to access a database that held ID and credit card data.

Valve said that, so far, it had no evidence that credit cards were being misused or Steam accounts abused. Continue reading

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Did Hackers Just Build a Brain-Powered iPhone? 2 days ago by Sarah Kessler


VIDEO

 

if you believe this video — and that’s a big if — the era of thought-controlled phones has begun. A pair of hobbyist hackers claim to have taken Siri, the iPhone 4S feature that obeys voice commands, and turned it into an app that obeys brainwave patterns.

“It works! It really works! It’s so freaking amazing,” Josh Evans and Ollie Hayward announced Tuesday on the blog they created to chronicle what they call “Project Black Mirror.”

In the accompanying YouTube video, Evans wears EEG pads on his forehead and squints in concentration. A circuit board attached to an iPhone on the table beeps shortly later, and a mechanical voice says “calling Graham,” the third member of the project, whose phone then rings.

The hackers explain that they used the EEG pads to record the “signature brain patterns” of 25 Siri-based commands. By pairing the signatures with the commands, they effectively create a brain pattern-to-voice dictionary.MORE

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Hacking Beyond Limit-‘China-based servers in Japan cyber attacks’


TOKYO A virus that infected computers at Japanese overseas diplomatic missions had been designed to send data to servers in China, a report said on Friday.

The virus — Backdoor Agent MOF — has been found to have infected computers at around 10 embassies and consulates, and at least two of the servers designated as the recipients of stolen information were in China, the Yomiuri Shimbun said.

The virus is capable of transmitting user IDs and other information to terminals outside and operating software by bypassing authorised users, the daily said.

The domain of the servers was the same as that used for earlier cyber attacks on Google and tens of other companies, the Yomiuri said, quoting unnamed sources.

A “backdoor” virus opens a route into a computer’s system to allow access by a remote hacker, who could use it to steal data.

The Yomiuri earlier this week reported Japan had found viruses in computers at overseas diplomatic missions including those in France, the Netherlands, Myanmar, the US, Canada, China and South Korea. MORE

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Wireless Insulin Pumps Exposed to Hacker Attacks


The lack of encryption in insulin pumps can put lives at risk

A famous security researcher proved that the embedded insulin pumps on which many diabetics rely can be accessed remotely and reprogrammed to inject a lethal dose.

According to Threat Post, Barnaby Jack, a security researcher at McAfee, demonstrated the proof of concept at the Hacker Halted conference that recently took place in Miami.
It’s not the first time when someone uncovers the weaknesses that lie in such medical equipment, as not long ago, Jerome Radcliffe made a similar demonstration. At the time, Radcliffe remotely connected to the pump and changed the dosage and all he needed to do that was to possess the unique id of the device.

Barnaby managed to get even past that, proving that with the use of a modified antenna, an attacker can take control of the implantable insulin pump and deliver a fatal blow to its owner. He practically showed that by tuning in to the right frequency, anyone within 300 feet of the apparatus can cause serious damage.more

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