Tag Archive | "hackers"

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Anonymous Hacker Group Vows to Wipe ISIS off of the Internet

Posted on 18 November 2015 by GranTorinoGuy

The recent terrorist attacks in Paris France has been very unfortunate and sad accounting for the deaths of over 100 people. Just after the identification of the perpetrators being the well-known ISIS terrorist group, hackers from the infamous Anonymous group set out to attack ISIS on the internet front and now have vowed to wipe ISIS off of the internet.

The Anonymous hacker group has long been known for their efforts to attack companies or organizations that do something against their personal morals or beliefs. As it turns out, aggressive terrorism carried out by ISIS in the recent Paris, France killings has Anonymous angered and pushed them to take action to take well-over 5,500 of ISIS-owned Twitter accounts down, release a “How to Hack ISIS” guide, and perform other actions to essentially attack and dismantle ISIS over the Internet.

In a YouTube video posted recently (below), Anonymous makes a threat directly at ISIS saying “Expect massive cyber-attacks. War is declared, Get prepared.”

In the normal fashion of Anonymous, the video above makes their threat known to the public using their customary signatures.

Through the use of an #OpParis effort and website, Anonymous its targeting ISIS with everything they have all over the Internet. Through these efforts, Anonymous may somehow become an ally among law enforcement agencies around the world who also look to take ISIS down and put an end to their terror.

Do you think Anonymous will have any luck in helping with the take-down of ISIS or disrupt them in any way other than what has already been done with ISIS-member Twitter accounts?

Popularity: 25%

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US Requiring HTTPS for all Public Government Websites

Posted on 09 June 2015 by GranTorinoGuy

Lately U.S. government websites have been the brunt of attacks where hackers found ways to deface some of them and collect sensitive data in other cases. To put a stop to this chaos, it is being mandated by the U.S. government that all public government websites utilizing the HTTPS security protocol.

HTTPS deployment is an assurance of a website having authenticated communications with the data sent back and forth over the internet. With HTTPS, which is known as HTTP over SSL or HTTP Secure, websites are encrypted and decrypted with the information that they transmit. Basically, use of HTTPS will make the data transmitted to and from government websites encrypted where attackers could not compromise the information or use it to wage an attack against the sites.

Computer users who often surf the web visiting financial sites or make purchases on legitimate shopping sites are accustomed to seeing a HTTPS site load where the URL field of most web browsers is highlighted green or shows a lock icon. In such cases of using HTTPS, the site prevents eavesdropping and will ultimately ensure the U.S. government of information transmitted over the vast internet being secure.

With the actions of the government making all publicly accessible sites use HTTPS, it will be difficult for third parties to intercept communications. In the end, this will fortify the U.S. government and make the sites secure for all users, not use those outside of the U.S. government.

The U.S. CIO, Tony Scott, said, “With this new requirement, the Federal web community seeks to drive faster internet-wide adoption of HTTPS and promote better privacy standards for the entire browsing public.”

With Edward Snowden’s many revelations about the U.S. government and their alleged snooping on the public, the irony gets thick as attackers and hacker activist groups wage war on many U.S. government sites that have proven to be vulnerable.

In March, the proposal of mandatory use of HTTPS was issued after the government started accepting comments on its plans from the security community and public. As it turns out, the consideration is a real thing and is in process of being deployed.

Popularity: 12%

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The Pirate Bay Sails for New Home after Raid and Shut Down of Swedish Domains

Posted on 20 May 2015 by GranTorinoGuy

We recently posted the latest update on how software pirates get no love from Microsoft and other entities as developers, and big business crack down on their thieving activity. In light of these crackdowns, The Pirate Bay, a well-known counterpart in distributing and making illegal software sharing available to whoever has internet access, has had its domain raided and shut down.

The Pirate Bay has long been a prominent source of illegal software distribution or what some referred to as “warez.” Being linked to copyright crimes put The Pirate Bay out in the open and up for a take down by the government, which is exactly what has happened.

The Stockholm District Court ordered that The Pirate Bay’s two main domains, piratebay.se and thepiratebay.se, be seized and taken down. Upon this takedown, the popular pirate software site had already taken action to institute redirects from the Swedish domains to six others from around the world. In taking this step, The Pirate Bay even changed their logo featuring the top-level domain’s used for their new sites as show in the image below.

Through the takedown The Pirate Bay takes a humorous stab at the prosecutors responsible for the size of their Swedish domains. In this, The Pirate Bay says, “Congratulations to Prosecutor Fredrik Ingblad. Two years hard work to get us to change two little letters at a cost of $20,000 per letter. He could have given us $35,000 and we would have left the domain, thus saving the Swedish tax payer $5,000. All he had to do was ask nicely.”

Apparently, The Pirate Bay is one serious force to reckon with, and it seems nearly impossible to interrupt their “business,” which remains to be good in the scheme of keeping their ship afloat. “Free software and files for everyone,” as they say!

Popularity: 10%

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Hackers Targeting Starbucks App To Drain Users Bank Accounts

Posted on 14 May 2015 by GranTorinoGuy

Starbucks is a household name for many Americans, and some of them take the coffee chain as serious as they make breathing oxygen on a daily basis. Through the use of technology, visits to Starbucks has gotten easier and relatively cheaper through the utilization of the Starbucks App bundling customer rewards and easy access for payment of your favorite beverage.

Use of the Starbucks App is widely popular, and hackers are unfortunately taking advantage of users by siphoning money from banking accounts linked on the popular App.

The Starbucks App is quite convenient but at the cost of that convenience hackers are targeting users and breaking into their Starbucks account online to add new gift cards and transfer funds.

It is a wild world we live in when there is not a guarantee of our privacy or information that travels over the internet. Hackers are busier than ever finding new ways to victimize people through many methods. The most recent method to grant hackers a quick payday is through the Starbucks App where attackers can grant themselves a gift card or quick transaction posted through access to individual’s accounts through the application.

Use of the Starbucks App on mobile devices is quite straightforward. It is thought that that simplicity has led to hackers swiftly swiping money from accounts that are linked to the card. The Starbucks App lacks any type of secondary confirmations or authentication process to ask if a user would like to process a payment to reload or make other transactions. Because of this, it is believed that hackers are taking advantage of the situation and charging as they please after they have compromised an account.

Thieves are able to steal upwards of hundreds of dollars in a matter of seconds, as reported by CNNMoney when taking account of customers who were victimized by the scheme recently.

Starbucks has reached out after these cases and reiterated that they have not been hacked. Basically, the attacks are the result of customers having weak passwords for accessing their accounts that are linked to the Starbucks App and their accounts that are used to “recharge” the app most often linked to a Starbucks card.

This recent issue is another prime example of why we should always utilize strong passwords to safeguard our information and our banking accounts. Hackers were probably able to guess the weak passwords to a multitude of Starbucks App users – giving them access drain bank accounts so they may buy up enough lattes to quench the thirst of an army.

Popularity: 6%

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Anonymous Hackers Plan Retribution Against Terrorists Responsible for Charlie Hebdo Killings

Posted on 14 January 2015 by GranTorinoGuy

The recent attacks, that occurred in Paris at the Charlie Hebdo office, are very unfortunate and many are sending their thoughts out to the victims of those heinous crimes. Many people are lashing out verbally against the terrorists who have conducted such a terrible act while the Anonymous hacktivist group makes a pledge to retaliate against the terrorists.

The hacker group Anonymous has been rather outspoken against entities that they disagree with or have fault with an organization’s stance on politics and human rights. They are not afraid to voice their opinion and take action through the internet waves to either hack one’s social accounts or infiltrate a company’s computer system.

In light of the recent tragedy at Charlie Hebdo, Anonymous has pledged to seek retribution on the terrorists, which have been identified as being associated with Al Qaeda. There have been at least two videos to date delivering messages from Anonymous, spoken in French, related to their plans of attack on the terrorists who killed 17 individuals at the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

In a reach to fight for freedom of speech against violent acts, the terror at Charlie Hebdo does not sit well with Anonymous. The videos have since been removed by the person(s) that posted them on YouTube tagged with the hashtag #OPCharlieHebdo, the name used for the operation to take actions against online accounts of jihadist terrorists who claim responsibility for the killings.

Those wanting to know what exactly was exchanged in the videos can go to the pastebin site to view a full transcript written in French.

Popularity: 5%

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LA Motorists Advised to Read A Book on Hacked Electronic Traffic Sign

Posted on 14 January 2015 by GranTorinoGuy

Hackers are busier than ever, and they seem to stop at nothing for opportunistic times that will earn them some instant gratification, or in some cases, a nice payday at the expense of victimized computer users. In light of a rather comical prank, mischiefs have hacked a traffic sign advising motorists to read a book.

In some instances, hackers are rather funny in their efforts to conjure up something everyone can get a good chuckle out of. Case in point, an LA traffic sign was hacked to display a message reading “Read a f—ing book” for those who were so fortunate enough to pass by this electronic road sign near Bunker Hill. Maybe this particular hacker or hackers were upset because they ran into someone who was illiterate. Who knows what made them do this for anything other than a serious laugh?

Photo showing hacked LA street sign advising motorists to “Read a F-ing book”

There have been many other instances where hackers changed electronic road signs to read messages from “you have been hacked” to ones that claim that there is an apocalypse upon us. What hackers get out of this is nothing more than a natural high of accomplishment and possibly a bigger head in knowing they have taken over an electronic road sign.

Although the road sign hackers may be amusing, there is still a grave danger lurking behind the prank that may end up giving motorist a message that lead to major accidents or the spread of false news. Either way, it seems electronic road signs are fair game for anyone with the wits and know-how to exploit whatever system the sign is running on until a local authority can rectify the situation.

So, next time you see a road sign saying, “Zombies Ahead” or anything else remotely out of place, don’t take it for face value. Unfortunately, it may be a time where the sign asks you to take a detour and you will wonder in the back of your mind if it was, in fact, a hacked sign leading you to an area to carjack you. Well, that is another story.

Popularity: 5%

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More Hacking Threats Are Expected to Spread As Mobile Phones Continue to Evolve

Posted on 21 December 2009 by admin

Mobile phones are like computers these days. So if you can do with a phone what could only be done on a computer before, then hackers can to.

Mobile phones have become more vulnerable to traditional computer menaces like hackers and viruses. Russian anti-virus company Kaspersky Lab has reported on a new malicious program that stole money by taking over Nokia phones and making small charges to the owners’ wireless accounts. Recently, an Australian student created a worm that spread through “jailbroken” (altered to run software Apple has not authorized) iPhones. The worm did not cause any damage, it uploaded a photo of ’80s pop star Rick Astley. To security experts, this suggested that cyber attacks on iPhones are possible. Where there are security threats, there are always money-hungry cyber crooks looking to capitalize on the innocent.

Earlier in December, Khosla Ventures, a prominent Silicon Valley venture capital firm, led an investment group that injected $5.5 million into a fledgling security start-up called Lookout. Lookout is set to introduce security applications for the BlackBerry and iPhone after testing security software for phones running the Windows Mobile and Android operating systems. The software protects phones against rogue programs and gives phone owners the ability to remotely back up and erase the data on their phones.

A basic version of the software is free, while the company plans to charge a monthly subscription for a version with more features. It feels a lot like it did in 1999 in desktop security, according to John Hering, Lookout’s 26-year-old chief executive, who for years has done research demonstrating security vulnerabilities in phones. Hering says people are using the mobile Web and downloading applications more than ever before and there are threats that come with that.

Lookout represents the latest attempt to build a new business that capitalizes on the surge of smartphones. Thousands of companies making mobile games, shopping tools and other programs have sprung up in the last two years as the iPhone, in particular, has taken off. Lookout and its investors believe this is the right time to get into the market. The rules of mobile are different, says Vinod Khosla, founder of Khosla Ventures, which also recently invested in Square, a mobile payments start-up. He says phones are people’s most personal computer, and needs to be protected.

Companies like Research In Motion, who made the BlackBerry, and Good Technology, a Silicon Valley-based mobile messaging firm, already offer mobile security tools, but their systems are aimed at businesses. Security firms like Symantec also have mobile security divisions, and a five-year-old company, Trust Digital, based in McLean, Va., has set its sights on this market.

Lookout says it can address the unique challenges of protecting cellphones, like preserving battery life. While the company will not give details, it says it has figured out how to get its software to work on the iPhone, which does not allow non-Apple programs to operate in the background, as security software typically does. Hering and his co-founder, Kevin Mahaffey, have been publicly demonstrating the weaknesses of mobile phones for some time.

In 2005, they camped outside the Academy Awards ceremony in Hollywood and scanned the phones of stars walking the red carpet, using a short-range Bluetooth wireless connection. They found that as many as 100 of the phones were vulnerable to hacking over such a connection. That year, at the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas, they hacked into a phone over a mile away using Bluetooth.

Lookout’s founders and backers concede that for now, snoops and bad guys pose much less of a threat to cellphones than to PCs. But they believe there is an immediate need for software that preserves and protects a phone’s data, from email to corporate information, and they say current systems do not work when a family or business has multiple types of cellphones on various wireless networks. For instance, a small business could install the Lookout software on many different types of devices, back up all the data and remotely erase a phone if, say, an employee leaves it in a cab.

Jeff Moss, a security expert and organizer of the Black Hat conference, said mobile security had historically been a solution in search of a problem. But he said that mobile viruses had recently become more common in Asia. His own Nokia N97 phone even caught a bug recently, but the software he was running from F-Secure, a Finnish security company, caught it in time. Moss says the tipping point will be when we start using phone to shop and conduct banking, because the more we do with a phone, the more valuable a target it will become.

Popularity: 28%

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