New developments in research etc.

Hack-Fueled ‘Unprecedented’ Insider Trading Ring Nets $100M

Hackers based in Ukraine and Russia allegedly broke into servers belonging to several newswires and passed sensitive information onto an underground trading ring as part of what’s being referred to as an unprecedented new level of insider trading.

Prosecutors claimed Tuesday that corporate information gleaned in the hacks was funneled to a sophisticated insider trading ring that earned those involved nearly $100 million.

HTC caught storing fingerprint data in unencrypted plain text

For the past few years, both Apple and the various Android manufacturers have been pushing the idea of fingerprint readers, typically on the dubious grounds that biometric security is a better choice compared to a good passcode. New research from the security firm FireEye seems to blow that claim wide open, however. According to FireEye, multiple Android manufacturers protect your fingerprint so poorly, it can be read by plugging the phone into a computer and knowing which folder to access.

It’s time to build the private Web

The public Web has brought us incredible innovations that have improved lives and celebrated human creativity. Technology and the hopes it fuels have empowered millions of people across the globe to demand social and political change from some of the most oppressive governments. Yet the same technology is being used to suppress and surveil more than half of the world’s population: those still living under undemocratic regimes and lacking basic rights.

House Arrest Tracking Anklet Hack

A hacker has found a way to hack a device used to track people under house arrest, potentially allowing whoever is wearing the tracking anklet to get away—without the police finding out.

Location tracking devices, which are usually strapped around ankles, use GPS and other technologies to report the position of people in home detention back to the authorities. Normally, these devices have a series of anti tampering systems that alert the police as soon as someone tries to mess with them. But William Turner, a security researcher also known as Amm0nRa, has found that one particular device manufactured by a Taiwanese company has a series of flaws that make it vulnerable to tampering.

Windows 10 Forced Updates Causing Endless Crash Loops

The patch in question is KB3081424 (ironically enough a roll-up of bug fixes) and during its update process affected users find it fails and triggers the message: “We couldn’t complete the updates, undoing the changes.” Undoing them results in a mandatory system reboot, but as soon as the user logs back on Windows 10’s update process kicks in and tries to install KB3081424 again.
Windows 10 is possibly the worst spyware ever made:


How to use Encryption Privacy Tools to Evade Corporate Espionage

Not long ago it was speculated that the leading world economic and political powers were engaged in a cyber arms race; that the world is witnessing a cyber resource buildup of Cold War proportions. The implied threat in that assessment is close
, but it misses the mark by at least half. The threat is much greater than you can imagine. We have passed the escalation
phase and have engaged directly into full confrontation in the cyberwar. State-sponsored hacking groups are regularly committing targeted and complex attacks against governments, businesses, and individuals.


The United States is using the “China threat” to justify expanding cyber capabilities

Chinese cybersecurity expert Qin An argues that the United States has repeatedly used the threat of Chinese hackers to justify expanding military cyber forces. The United States consistently fails to provide evidence to back up their accusations, Qin writes, because their goal is simply to expand their capabilities. “When Americans pressure us on cybersecurity issues, we should instead push back by significantly strengthening our cyber capabilities … the result of the so-called American ‘retaliation’ will be speeding up the creation of a strong Chinese cyber army,” Qin concludes.

Windows 10 downloads surge to nearly 27 million

Stupid people everywhere. The whole planet is crawling with them.

Just 24 hours after Windows 10 was first made available, Microsoft announced that its next-gen OS had already been downloaded to 14 million devices. Not too shabby given that Windows releases are no longer the massive news stories that they once were.

Facebook Monitors Your Private Messages and Photos For Criminal Activity, Reports them to Police

Facebook has a new little known software that monitors your profile chat and pictures for criminal activity. The software will proceed to alert an employee at the company who will then decide whether to call authorities or not.

The software will monitor individuals who have a ‘loose’ relationship on social media networks, according to an interview with Facebook Chief Security Officer Joe Sullivan.

Reuters interview with the security officer explains, Facebook’s software focuses on conversations between members who have a loose relationship on the social network. For example, if two users aren’t friends, only recently became friends, have no mutual friends, interact with each other very little, have a significant age difference, and/or are located far from each other, the tool pays particular attention.

Spyware demo shows how spooks hack mobile phones

Intelligence agencies' secretive techniques for spying on mobile phones are seldom made public. But a UK security firm has shown the BBC how one tool, sold around the world to spooks, actually works.

It allows spies to take secret pictures with a phone's camera and record conversations with the microphone, without the phone owner knowing. Hacking Team's software was recently stolen from the company by hackers and published on the web.
Almost any data on a phone, tablet or PC can be accessed by the tool and it is fascinating how much it can do.

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