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Google to Delete Billions of Browsing Records in 'Incognito Mode' Privacy Lawsuit Settlement

Google to Delete Billions of Browsing Records in 'Incognito Mode' Privacy Lawsuit Settlement

Apr 02, 2024 Browser Security / Data Security
Google has agreed to purge billions of data records reflecting users' browsing activities to settle a class action lawsuit that claimed the search giant tracked them without their knowledge or consent in its Chrome browser. The  class action , filed in 2020, alleged the company misled users by tracking their internet browsing activity who thought that it remained private when using the "incognito" or "private" mode on web browsers like Chrome. In late December 2023, it  emerged  that the company had consented to settle the lawsuit. The deal is currently pending approval by the U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers. "The settlement provides broad relief regardless of any challenges presented by Google's limited record keeping," a court filing on April 1, 2024, said. "Much of the private browsing data in these logs will be deleted in their entirety, including billions of event level data records that reflect class members' private
E-Root Marketplace Admin Sentenced to 42 Months for Selling 350K Stolen Credentials

E-Root Marketplace Admin Sentenced to 42 Months for Selling 350K Stolen Credentials

Mar 19, 2024 Threat Intel / Cybercrime
A 31-year-old Moldovan national has been sentenced to 42 months in prison in the U.S. for operating an illicit marketplace called E-Root Marketplace that offered for sale hundreds of thousands of compromised credentials, the Department of Justice (DoJ) announced. Sandu Boris Diaconu was charged with conspiracy to commit access device and computer fraud and possession of 15 or more unauthorized access devices. He pleaded guilty on December 1, 2023. "The E-Root Marketplace operated across a widely distributed network and took steps to hide the identities of its administrators, buyers, and sellers," the DoJ  said  last week. "Buyers could search for compromised computer credentials on E-Root, such as usernames and passwords that would allow buyers to access remote computers for purposes of stealing private information or manipulating the contents of the remote computer." Prospective customers could also search for RDP and SSH credentials based on various filter c
Code Keepers: Mastering Non-Human Identity Management

Code Keepers: Mastering Non-Human Identity Management

Apr 12, 2024DevSecOps / Identity Management
Identities now transcend human boundaries. Within each line of code and every API call lies a non-human identity. These entities act as programmatic access keys, enabling authentication and facilitating interactions among systems and services, which are essential for every API call, database query, or storage account access. As we depend on multi-factor authentication and passwords to safeguard human identities, a pressing question arises: How do we guarantee the security and integrity of these non-human counterparts? How do we authenticate, authorize, and regulate access for entities devoid of life but crucial for the functioning of critical systems? Let's break it down. The challenge Imagine a cloud-native application as a bustling metropolis of tiny neighborhoods known as microservices, all neatly packed into containers. These microservices function akin to diligent worker bees, each diligently performing its designated task, be it processing data, verifying credentials, or
U.S., U.K., Australia Sanction Russian REvil Hacker Behind Medibank Breach

U.S., U.K., Australia Sanction Russian REvil Hacker Behind Medibank Breach

Jan 24, 2024 Cryptocurrency / Cybercrime
Governments from Australia, the U.K., and the U.S. have imposed financial sanctions on a Russian national for his alleged role in the 2022 ransomware attack against health insurance provider Medibank. Alexander Ermakov (aka blade_runner, GistaveDore, GustaveDore, or JimJones), 33, has been tied to the breach of the Medibank network as well as the theft and release of Personally Identifiable Information (PII) belonging to the Australian company. The ransomware attack, which  took place in late October 2022  and attributed to the  now-defunct REvil ransomware crew , led to the unauthorized access of approximately 9.7 million of its current and former customers. The stolen information included names, dates of birth, Medicare numbers, and sensitive medical information, including records on mental health, sexual health and drug use. Some of these records were leaked on the dark web. As part of the trilateral action, the sanctions  make  it a criminal offense to provide assets to Erma
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WATCH: The SaaS Security Challenge in 90 Seconds

websiteAdaptive ShieldSaaS Security / Cyber Threat
Discover how you can overcome the SaaS security challenge by securing your entire SaaS stack with SSPM.
DDoS Attacks on the Environmental Services Industry Surge by 61,839% in 2023

DDoS Attacks on the Environmental Services Industry Surge by 61,839% in 2023

Jan 15, 2024 Server Security / Cyber Attack
The environmental services industry witnessed an "unprecedented surge" in HTTP-based distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, accounting for half of all its HTTP traffic. This marks a 61,839% increase in DDoS attack traffic year-over-year, web infrastructure and security company Cloudflare said in its DDoS threat report for 2023 Q4 published last week. "This surge in cyber attacks coincided with  COP 28 , which ran from November 30th to December 12th, 2023," security researchers Omer Yoachimik and Jorge Pacheco  said , describing it as a "disturbing trend in the cyber threat landscape." The uptick in HTTP attacks targeting environmental services websites is part of a larger trend observed annually over the past few years, specifically during COP 26 and COP 27, as well as other United Nations environment-related resolutions or announcements. "This recurring pattern underscores the growing intersection between environmental issues and cyber security, a nexus that is increasingl
Hacking the Human Mind: Exploiting Vulnerabilities in the 'First Line of Cyber Defense'

Hacking the Human Mind: Exploiting Vulnerabilities in the 'First Line of Cyber Defense'

Dec 07, 2023 Social Engineering / Cyber Threat
Humans are complex beings with consciousness, emotions, and the capacity to act based on thoughts. In the ever-evolving realm of cybersecurity, humans consistently remain primary targets for attackers. Over the years, these attackers have developed their expertise in exploiting various human qualities, sharpening their skills to manipulate biases and emotional triggers with the objective of influencing human behaviour to compromise security whether it be personal and organisational security.  More than just a 'human factor' Understanding what defines our humanity, recognizing how our qualities can be perceived as vulnerabilities, and comprehending how our minds can be targeted provide the foundation for identifying and responding when we inevitably become the target. The human mind is a complex landscape that evolved over years of exposure to the natural environment, interactions with others, and lessons drawn from past experiences. As humans, our minds set us apart, marke
Lack of Visibility: The Challenge of Protecting Websites from Third-Party Scripts

Lack of Visibility: The Challenge of Protecting Websites from Third-Party Scripts

May 05, 2023 Website Security / Data Safety
Third-party apps such as Google Analytics, Meta Pixel, HotJar, and JQuery have become critical tools for businesses to optimize their website performance and services for a global audience. However, as their importance has grown, so has the threat of cyber incidents involving unmanaged third-party apps and open-source tools. Online businesses increasingly struggle to maintain complete visibility and control over the ever-changing third-party threat landscape, with sophisticated threats like evasive skimmers, Magecart attacks, and unlawful tracking practices potentially causing severe damage. This article explores the challenges of protecting modern websites from third-party scripts and the security risks associated with a lack of visibility over these scripts. Invisible to Standard Security Controls  Third-party scripts are often invisible to standard security controls like Web Application Firewalls (WAFs) because they are loaded from external sources that are not under the control
Unified Threat Management: The All-in-One Cybersecurity Solution

Unified Threat Management: The All-in-One Cybersecurity Solution

Aug 16, 2022
UTM (Unified threat management) is thought to be an all-in-one solution for cybersecurity. In general, it is a versatile software or hardware firewall solution integrated with IPS (Intrusion Prevention System) and other security services. A universal gateway allows the user to manage network security with one comprehensive solution, which makes the task much easier. In addition, compared to a conventional firewall, such systems are capable of detecting and blocking more sophisticated attacks. SafeDNS has recently released such a solution, and this is what this article is going to be about. Who needs UTMs? Most of all, UTMs are valued by SMEs - the all-in-one solution makes it simple to manage all their cybersecurity solutions and services. This also cuts down a lot of communications between vendors, since UTMs are easily supported by one IT team. This leads to another upside of the system - it can be cost-effective, as there is no need to pay a bunch of vendors & extra for tech
Credential Theft Is (Still) A Top Attack Method

Credential Theft Is (Still) A Top Attack Method

Aug 15, 2022
Credential theft is clearly still a problem. Even after years of warnings, changing password requirements, and multiple forms of authentication,  password  stealing remains a top attack method used by cyber criminals. The latest  report  from the Ponemon Institute shares that 54% of security incidents were caused by credential theft, followed by ransomware and DDoS attacks. 59% of organizations aren't revoking credentials that are no longer needed, meaning passwords can go unattended and dormant like a sitting duck (similar to what happened with Colonial Pipeline). And  Verizon's Data Breach Investigations Report  cites that nearly 50% of all data breaches were caused by stolen credentials. The stats don't lie. Cybercriminals are advancing, there's no doubt, but if there's an option to take the path of least resistance, they'll take it. Too often, that means compromising passwords and exploiting vulnerable access points.  Credential Theft and Critical Access
CISA, FBI, NSA Issue Advisory on Severe Increase in Ransomware Attacks

CISA, FBI, NSA Issue Advisory on Severe Increase in Ransomware Attacks

Feb 10, 2022
Image Source: TechPrivacy Cybersecurity authorities from Australia, the U.K., and the U.S. have published a joint advisory warning of an increase in sophisticated, high-impact ransomware attacks targeting critical infrastructure organizations across the world in 2021. The incidents singled out a broad range of sectors, including defense, emergency services, agriculture, government facilities, IT, healthcare, financial services, education, energy, charities, legal institutions, and public services. "Ransomware tactics and techniques continued to evolve in 2021, which demonstrates ransomware threat actors' growing technological sophistication and an increased ransomware threat to organizations globally," the agencies  said  in the  joint bulletin . Spear-phishing, stolen or brute-forced Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) credentials, and exploitation of software flaws emerged as the top three initial infection vectors that were used to deploy ransomware on compromised netwo
U.S. Authorities Charge 6 Indian Call Centers Scamming Thousands of Americans

U.S. Authorities Charge 6 Indian Call Centers Scamming Thousands of Americans

Feb 04, 2022
A number of India-based call centers and their directors have been indicted for their alleged role in placing tens of millions of scam calls aimed at defrauding thousands of American consumers. The indictment charged Manu Chawla, Sushil Sachdeva, Nitin Kumar Wadwani, Swarndeep Singh, Dinesh Manohar Sachdev, Gaje Singh Rathore, Sanket Modi, Rajiv Solanki and their respective call centers for conspiring with previously indicted VoIP provider E Sampark and its director, Guarav Gupta, to forward the calls to U.S. citizens. "Criminal India-based call centers defraud U.S. residents, including the elderly, by misleading victims over the telephone utilizing scams such as Social Security and IRS impersonation as well as loan fraud," the U.S. Justice Department  said  in a release. According to the  November 2020 indictment  issued against E Sampark and Gupta, the calls from India-based phone scammers led to reported losses of over $20 million from May 2015 to June 2020, with the c
Google Drops FLoC and Introduces Topics API to Replace Tracking Cookies for Ads

Google Drops FLoC and Introduces Topics API to Replace Tracking Cookies for Ads

Jan 26, 2022
Google on Tuesday announced that it is abandoning its controversial plans for replacing third-party cookies in favor of a new Privacy Sandbox proposal called  Topics , which categorizes users' browsing habits into approximately 350 topics. The new mechanism , which takes the place of  FLoC  (short for Federated Learning of Cohorts), slots users' browsing history for a given week into a handful of top pre-designated interests (i.e., topics), which are retained only on the device for a revolving period of three weeks. Subsequently, when a user visits a participating site, the Topics API selects three of the interests — one topic from each of the past three weeks — to share with the site and its advertising partners. To give more control over the framework, users can not only see the topics but also remove topics or disable it altogether. By labeling each website with a recognizable, high-level topic and sharing the most frequent topics associated with the browsing history,
Researchers Bypass SMS-based Multi-Factor Authentication Protecting Box Accounts

Researchers Bypass SMS-based Multi-Factor Authentication Protecting Box Accounts

Jan 18, 2022
Cybersecurity researchers have disclosed details of a now-patched bug in Box's multi-factor authentication (MFA) mechanism that could be abused to completely sidestep SMS-based login verification. "Using this technique, an attacker could use stolen credentials to compromise an organization's Box account and exfiltrate sensitive data without access to the victim's phone," Varonis researchers  said  in a report shared with The Hacker News. The cybersecurity company said it reported the issue to the cloud service provider on November 2, 2021, post which fixes were issued by Box. MFA is an authentication method that relies on a combination of factors such as a password (something only the user knows) and a temporary one-time password aka TOTP (something only the user has) to provide users a second layer of defense against credential stuffing and other account takeover attacks. This two-step authentication can either involve sending the code as an SMS or alternat
Meta Expands Facebook Protect Program to Activists, Journalists, Government Officials

Meta Expands Facebook Protect Program to Activists, Journalists, Government Officials

Dec 02, 2021
Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook, on Thursday announced an expansion of its Facebook Protect security program to include human rights defenders, activists, journalists, and government officials who are more likely to be targeted by bad actors across its social media platforms. "These people are at the center of critical communities for public debate," said Nathaniel Gleicher, head of security policy at Meta. "They enable democratic elections, hold governments and organizations accountable, and defend human rights around the world. Unfortunately this also means that they are highly targeted by bad actors." Facebook Protect , currently being launched globally in phases, enables users who enroll for the initiative to adopt stronger account security protections, like two-factor authentication (2FA), and watch out for potential hacking threats. Meta said more than 1.5 million accounts have enabled Facebook Protect to date, of which nearly 950,000 account
Apple's New iCloud Private Relay Service Leaks Users' Real IP Addresses

Apple's New iCloud Private Relay Service Leaks Users' Real IP Addresses

Sep 24, 2021
A new as-yet unpatched weakness in Apple's iCloud Private Relay feature could be circumvented to leak users' true IP addresses from iOS devices running the latest version of the operating system. Introduced as a beta with iOS 15, which was officially released this week,  iCloud Private Relay  aims to improve anonymity on the web by employing a dual-hop architecture that effectively shields users' IP address, location, and DNS requests from websites and network service providers. It achieves this by routing users' internet traffic on the Safari browser through two proxies in order to mask who's browsing and where that data is coming from in what could be viewed as a simplified version of Tor.  However, the feature is available only to iCloud+ subscribers running iOS 15 or macOS 12 Monterey and above. "If you read the IP address from an HTTP request received by your server, you'll get the IP address of the egress proxy," FingerprintJS researcher Se
A New PHP Composer Bug Could Enable Widespread Supply-Chain Attacks

A New PHP Composer Bug Could Enable Widespread Supply-Chain Attacks

Apr 29, 2021
The maintainers of Composer, a package manager for PHP, have shipped an update to address a critical vulnerability that could have allowed an attacker to execute arbitrary commands and "backdoor every PHP package," resulting in a supply-chain attack. Tracked as CVE-2021-29472, the security issue was discovered and reported on April 22 by researchers from  SonarSource , following which a hotfix was deployed less than 12 hours later. "Fixed command injection vulnerability in HgDriver/HgDownloader and hardened other VCS drivers and downloaders," Composer  said  its  release notes  for versions 2.0.13 and 1.10.22 published on Wednesday. "To the best of our knowledge the vulnerability has not been exploited." Composer  is billed as a tool for dependency management in PHP, enabling easy installation of packages relevant to a project. It also allows users to install PHP applications that are available on  Packagist , a repository that aggregates all public P
Google Speech-to-Text API Can Help Attackers Easily Bypass Google reCAPTCHA

Google Speech-to-Text API Can Help Attackers Easily Bypass Google reCAPTCHA

Jan 05, 2021
A three-year-old attack technique to bypass Google's audio reCAPTCHA by using its own Speech-to-Text API has been found to still work with 97% accuracy. Researcher Nikolai Tschacher disclosed his findings in a proof-of-concept (PoC) of the attack on January 2. "The idea of the attack is very simple: You grab the MP3 file of the audio reCAPTCHA and you submit it to Google's own speech-to-text API," Tschacher  said  in a write-up. "Google will return the correct answer in over 97% of all cases." Introduced in 2000, CAPTCHAs (or Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart) are a type of challenge-response tests designed to protect against automated account creation and service abuse by presenting users with a question that is easy for humans to solve but difficult for computers. reCAPTCHA  is a popular version of the CAPTCHA technology that was acquired by Google in 2009. The search giant released the  third iteration  of re
How to Defend Against Malware, Phishing, and Scams During COVID-19 Crisis

How to Defend Against Malware, Phishing, and Scams During COVID-19 Crisis

Dec 23, 2020
As if the exponential rise in phishing scams and malware attacks in the last five years wasn't enough, the COVID-19 crisis has worsened it further. The current scenario has given a viable opportunity to cybercriminals to find a way to target individuals, small and large enterprises, government corporations. According to Interpol's  COVID-19 Cybercrime Analysis Report , based on the feedback of 194 countries, phishing/scam/fraud, malware/ransomware, malicious domains, and fake news have emerged as the biggest digital threats across the world in the wake of the pandemic. Image source: interpol.int There are primarily two reasons for emerging cyber threats in 2020: Most of the population is working, learning, shopping, or running their business from home, where they're using personal devices from the home/public internet connection, which are usually unsafe and hence highly vulnerable to cybercrimes. The cybercriminals are using the COVID-19 theme to exploit people and
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