Security Researcher Reports Privilege-Escalation Bug in OS X

A privilege-escalation bug was identified in the latest version of Apple’s OS X this week by security researcher Stefan Esser. The vulnerability reportedly provides hackers with root user privileges that make it possible to infect Macs with rootkits and other malware. This type of bug is commonly used to bypass security protections created for applications and operating systems. According to Esser, the vulnerability can be found in OS X Yosemite 10.10.4 and the beta version of 10.10.5, but not in the recent beta version of El Capitan 10.11. Continue reading Security Researcher Reports Privilege-Escalation Bug in OS X

New Emergency Patches for Flash Steps Up Calls for Its Demise

To patch two critical zero-day vulnerabilities, Adobe Systems issued an emergency update for its Flash media player. That’s in addition to a previously unknown vulnerability discovered over a week ago in a 400-gigabyte data dump published after hackers rooted the servers of Hacking Team. That bug allowed hackers to covertly install malware on end-user computers. Mozilla now blocks the hacker-susceptible Flash, and several industry leaders are calling for Adobe to pull the plug on the bug-infested media player. Continue reading New Emergency Patches for Flash Steps Up Calls for Its Demise

PFP Cybersecurity Develops Tech to Prevent Zero-Day Hacks

Virginia-based PFP Cybersecurity has developed a technology that may prevent future “zero-day” hacks from happening, such as the ones recently experienced by Sony, Target, JPMorgan Chase and Anthem. The technology reportedly detects hackers within milliseconds of an attack by identifying pattern changes in the power that devices use. PFP is currently testing the technology in South Carolina working together with the Department of Energy’s Savannah River National Laboratory.  Continue reading PFP Cybersecurity Develops Tech to Prevent Zero-Day Hacks

FTC Chairwoman Concerned About Data Security and Privacy

In a speech at CES earlier this week, Edith Ramirez, chairwoman of the Federal Trade Commission addressed her concerns about the current state of privacy regulations related to companies that rely on the collection of consumer data. Ramirez urges tech companies to spend more time developing security measures to ensure consumer data remains protected from potential hackers. Ramirez also advises companies to take careful precautions now and be more transparent about their use of data. Continue reading FTC Chairwoman Concerned About Data Security and Privacy

Regin: Symantec Researchers Uncover Sophisticated Spy Tool

Security researchers at antivirus company Symantec recently discovered malware that has been used to target and spy on researchers, governments, businesses and telecommunications infrastructures across as many as ten different countries. The malware, called Regin, is being traced back to 2008 and is being identified as a highly sophisticated spying tool built to access a computer’s most sensitive information including secured files and documents, passwords and memory. Continue reading Regin: Symantec Researchers Uncover Sophisticated Spy Tool

Android Users Warned They Are at Risk of Malicious Software

Researchers at security firm Lookout have been tracking mobile malware for almost two years. As the firm predicted, millions of mobile users have been affected by a recent mobile epidemic of viruses and spam. Hackers are finding new ways to deceive mobile device users via techniques involving email and implanting harmful codes on websites. As attackers become more sophisticated in their methods, mobile users should be more careful of their online activity.   Continue reading Android Users Warned They Are at Risk of Malicious Software

Cybersecurity Focus Shifts From Blocking to Spotting Threats

Companies such as IBM and Symantec are investing in new technologies to detect viruses and hackers and make stealing customer data more difficult. The companies believe that traditional antivirus software that erect barriers to keep out threats is becoming increasingly ineffective as hackers around the world regularly create novel bugs. IBM plans to analyze behavior in computer network data to detect irregularities. Symantec is launching its own division that will help hacked businesses respond to security breaches.  Continue reading Cybersecurity Focus Shifts From Blocking to Spotting Threats

NAB: DataFission Platform Aims to Search the Unsearchable

DataFission has developed generally applicable technology that can index, search and report on all forms of unstructured, metadata-free digital data. With deep roots in military research, this San Jose company has developed algorithms that can index files and streams of data, without human interaction, in one sweep. The system can index any type of data, including video, still images, music, audio tracks, text, software and metadata. According to its brochure, DataFission is “Solving the world’s problem of searching the unsearchable.” Continue reading NAB: DataFission Platform Aims to Search the Unsearchable

Threat Report Indicates Mobile Malware Increase for Android

Security firm F-Secure released a 40-page Threat Report this week for the second half of 2013, which shows that Android receives the most malware attacks. Mobile malware on the Android platform increased 18 percent from 2012 to 2013, from 79 percent to 97 percent. Three fourths of the malware detections came from Saudi Arabia (42 percent) and India (33 percent). The United States and Finland are next on the list at 5 percent each, followed by Germany, Great Britain and Hong Kong. Continue reading Threat Report Indicates Mobile Malware Increase for Android

Tim Bajarin Details Top Six Tech Trends Expected in 2013

Industry analyst Tim Bajarin offers his perspective on the leading tech trends we can expect in the coming year. Bajarin, who has been writing an end-of-the-year prediction column for 23 years (and says he has been “reasonably successful”), predicts some interesting developments, including: Augmented Reality going mainstream, increased consumer attention for Google’s Chromebook, a new interest in hybrids and convertibles from IT managers, a dramatic increase in mobile malware, and more. Continue reading Tim Bajarin Details Top Six Tech Trends Expected in 2013

Malware Shift: Android Overtakes Windows as Top Security Threat

  • In the 2013 Security Threat Report from security firm Sophos, it’s been revealed that Android is now the top market for hackers, beating out previous frontrunner Microsoft’s Windows OS.
  • “The security firm found that during a three-month period this year, 10 percent of Android-based devices experienced some form of malware attack. Just 6 percent of Windows PCs, meanwhile, were hit by an attack,” according to Technology Review.
  • Cybercriminals understand more than ever that the technological future is in mobile, making this an issue of high concern considering over 100 million Android devices shipped worldwide in the second quarter of 2012, notes the report.
  • Because Android is fairly new, especially when compared to Windows OS, users are not yet conditioned to security concerns and will click on links or open unknown apps.
  • “To make matters worse, the anti-malware tools available in the Android ecosystem just aren’t as strong as they could be,” explains the article. “Security firms are behind the times a bit. And until they catch up, we’re all at risk.”
  • According to the Saphos report, in order to stay safe, users should only surf the Web to known sites and should not download anything that could be dangerous.

iPhone is Safer Than Android and BlackBerry, but For How Long?

  • Malware has grown dramatically on Android’s open operating system compared to Apple’s closed iOS.
  • “Juniper Networks says Android malware traffic rose by 400 percent between June 2010 and January 2011,” reports Forbes. “Lookout Mobile Security reported a 250 percent jump in smartphone malware from January to June 2011.”
  • QR malware codes are becoming increasingly popular. Hackers are looking to acquire personal information, especially banking info.
  • “Apple has a walled garden, with its curating of apps for its App Store, so it’s had far fewer instances of malware, but Android is far more porous,” John Dasher, McAfee senior director of mobile security, told the Financial Times. “There are more than a dozen apps sites, it’s very easy to download apps and ‘sideload’ apps on to a device, and so it’s far easier for a hacker to get an app published that contains malware.”

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