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Leaked NSA Hacking Tools Being Used to Hack Thousands of Vulnerable Windows PCs

Leaked NSA Hacking Tools Being Used to Hack Thousands of Vulnerable Windows PCs

April 22, 2017Swati Khandelwal
Script kiddies and online criminals around the world have reportedly started exploiting NSA hacking tools leaked last weekend to compromise hundreds of thousands of vulnerable Windows computers exposed on the Internet. Last week, the mysterious hacking group known as Shadow Brokers leaked a set of Windows hacking tools targeting Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows 7 and 8, and Windows 2012, allegedly belonged to the NSA's Equation Group. What's Worse? Microsoft quickly downplayed the security risks by releasing patches for all exploited vulnerabilities , but there are still risks in the wild with unsupported systems as well as with those who haven't yet installed the patches. Multiple security researchers have performed mass Internet scans over the past few days and found tens of thousands of Windows computers worldwide infected with DoublePulsar , a suspected NSA spying implant, as a result of a free tool released on GitHub for anyone to use. Security r
Not Just Criminals, But Governments Were Also Using MS Word 0-Day Exploit

Not Just Criminals, But Governments Were Also Using MS Word 0-Day Exploit

April 13, 2017Swati Khandelwal
Recently we reported about a critical code execution vulnerability in Microsoft Word that was being exploited in the wild by cyber criminal groups to distribute malware like Dridex banking trojans and Latentbot. Now, it turns out that the same previously undisclosed vulnerability in Word (CVE-2017-0199) was also actively being exploited by the government-sponsored hackers to spy on Russian targets since at least this January. The news comes after security firm FireEye, that independently discovered this flaw last month, published a blog post , revealing that FinSpy spyware was installed as early as January using the same vulnerability in Word that was patched on Tuesday by Microsoft. For those unaware, the vulnerability (CVE-2017-0199) is a code execution flaw in Word that could allow an attacker to take over a fully patched and up to date computer when the victim opens a Word document containing a booby-trapped OLE2link object, which downloads a malicious HTML app from a
Court Documents Reveal How Feds Spied On Connected Cars For 15 Years

Court Documents Reveal How Feds Spied On Connected Cars For 15 Years

January 16, 2017Swati Khandelwal
It's not always necessary to break into your computer or smartphone to spy on you. Today all are day-to-day devices are becoming more connected to networks than ever to add convenience and ease to daily activities. But here's what we forget: These connected devices can be turned against us because we are giving companies, hackers, and law enforcement a large number of entry points to break into our network. These connected devices can also be a great boon for law enforcement that can listen and track us everywhere. Let's take the recent example of 2016 Arkansas murder case where Amazon was asked to hand over audio recordings from a suspect's Echo. However, that was not the first case where feds asked any company to hand over data from a suspect's connected device, as they have long retrieved such information from connected cars. According to court documents obtained by Forbes , United States federal agencies have a 15-year history of " Cartapping &qu
DARPA Invites Geeks to Convert Everyday Objects into Deadly Weapons

DARPA Invites Geeks to Convert Everyday Objects into Deadly Weapons

March 17, 2016Unknown
Do you know that your daily household items can be turned into deadly weapons? Yes, it's possible to convert some of your everyday household appliances into explosives, weapons or surveillance devices. DARPA – the agency which does research in various fields for improving the US Military and US Department of Defense capabilities – had announced a new project dubbed " Improv " to transform simple household appliances into deadly weapons i.e. homemade weapons. In previous years, various military grade weapons had been found malfunctioned by the ordinary household things that could cripple the military inventions. By various incidents happening around the Military grounds, officials observed that "how easily-accessed hardware, software, processes, and methods could be used to create products or systems that could pose a future threat." So, DARPA ( Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency ) proceeded with a program and is seeking proposals
Every Call You Make or Text You Send, They'll Be Tracking From Today

Every Call You Make or Text You Send, They'll Be Tracking From Today

October 13, 2015Swati Khandelwal
From today, every phone call you make, every text message you send and every email you write will compulsorily be tracked by the government agencies under a new metadata retention scheme. Yes, you heard right. If you are a citizen of Australia with a mobile phone and an Internet connection, your digital activity will be recorded. As the government's new data retention law comes into effect, the Australian telecommunications companies will now keep large amounts of your telecommunications metadata for two years. The law has allegedly been implemented to protect the country against organized terrorist and criminals, like every government agencies including the United States' intelligence agency NSA and British intelligence agency GCHQ claim. But… This new scheme vastly expands the retention of personal data, which has triggered a debate among Australians as it is a major invasion of privacy . WHAT IS BEING COLLECTED? Until today, data retention by
Lenovo Caught (3rd Time) Pre-Installing Spyware on its Laptops

Lenovo Caught (3rd Time) Pre-Installing Spyware on its Laptops

September 25, 2015Swati Khandelwal
Lenovo has once again been caught installing spyware on its laptops and workstations without the user's permission or knowledge. One of the most popular computer manufacturers is being criticized for selling some refurbished laptop models pre-installed with invasive marketing software that sends users data directly to the company. This is not first time Lenovo has allegedly installed spyware onto consumers PCs. Earlier this year, Lenovo was caught red-handed for selling laptops pre-installed with Superfish malware that opened up doors for hackers. In August, Lenovo again got caught installing unwanted and non-removable crapware into part of the BIOS reserved for custom drivers. Lenovo Laptops comes Pre-installed with 'Spyware' Now, the Chinese computer manufacturer is making news once again for embedding tracking software into its laptops and workstations from Lenovo ThinkPad, ThinkCentre, and ThinkStation series. Michael Horowitz from Comput
Lenovo Caught Using Rootkit to Secretly Install Unremovable Software

Lenovo Caught Using Rootkit to Secretly Install Unremovable Software

August 13, 2015Swati Khandelwal
Two years ago Chinese firm Lenovo got banned from supplying equipment for networks of the intelligence and defense services various countries due to hacking and spying concerns. Earlier this year, Lenovo was caught red-handed for selling laptops pre-installed with Superfish malware . One of the most popular Chinese computer manufacturers ‘Lenovo’ has been caught once again using a hidden Windows feature to preinstall unwanted and unremovable rootkit software on certain Lenovo laptop and desktop systems it sells. The feature is known as " Lenovo Service Engine " (LSE) – a piece of code presents into the firmware on the computer's motherboard.  If Windows is installed, the LSE automatically downloads and installs Lenovo's own software during boot time before the Microsoft operating system is launched, overwriting Windows operating system files. More worrisome part of the feature is that it injects software that updates drivers, firmware, and oth
How Hacking Team and FBI planned to Unmask A Tor User

How Hacking Team and FBI planned to Unmask A Tor User

July 15, 2015Swati Khandelwal
The huge cache of internal files recently leaked from the controversial Italian surveillance software company Hacking Team has now revealed that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) purchased surveillance software from the company. The leaked documents contains more than 1 Million internal emails, including emails from FBI agent who wanted to unmask the identity of a user of Tor , the encrypted anonymizing network widely used by activists to keep their identities safe, but also used to host criminal activities. Unmasking Tor User In September last year, an FBI agent asked Hacking Team if the latest version of its Remote Control System (RCS), also known as Galileo - for which the company is famous for, would be capable to reveal the True IP address of a Tor user. The FBI agent only had the proxy IP address of the target, as according to FBI, the target may be using Tor Browser Bundle (TBB) or some other variant. So, the agent wanted to infect the target
Europol Takes Down RAMNIT Botnet that Infected 3.2 Million Computers

Europol Takes Down RAMNIT Botnet that Infected 3.2 Million Computers

February 25, 2015Mohit Kumar
It seems like the world has declared war against the Cyber Criminals. In a recent update, we reported that FBI is offering $3 Million in Reward for the arrest of GameOver Zeus botnet mastermind, and meanwhile British cyber-police has taken down widely-spread RAMNIT botnet . The National Crime Agency (NCA) in a joint operation with Europol's European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) and law enforcement agencies from Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom has taken down the Ramnit "botnet", which has infected over 3.2 million computers worldwide, including 33,000 in the UK. Alike GameOver Zeus, RAMNIT is also a ' botnet ' - a network of zombie computers which operate under criminal control for malicious purposes like spreading viruses, sending out spam containing malicious links, and carrying out distributed denial of service attacks (DDoS) in order to bring down target websites. RAMNIT believes to spread malware via trustworthy links se
Detekt — Free Anti-Malware Tool To Detect Govt. Surveillance Malware

Detekt — Free Anti-Malware Tool To Detect Govt. Surveillance Malware

November 21, 2014Swati Khandelwal
Human rights experts and Privacy International have launched a free tool allowing users to scan their computers for surveillance spyware, typically used by governments and other organizations to spy on human rights activists and journalists around the world. This free-of-charge anti-surveillance tool, called Detekt , is an open source software app released in partnership with Human rights charity Amnesty International, Germany’s Digitale Gesellschaft, the Electronic Frontier Foundation ( EFF ) and Privacy International, in order to combat government surveillance. NEED AN EYE FOR AN EYE The global surveillance carried out by the US National Security Agency (NSA) and other government agencies recently disclosed by the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden shed light on just how far our own government can go to keep track of citizens, whether innocent or otherwise. Therefore, such tool will help them see if their devices have been infected by any spyware. Detekt was dev
Chinese Government Accused of Intercepting Traffic Between Google and CERNET

Chinese Government Accused of Intercepting Traffic Between Google and CERNET

September 08, 2014Mohit Kumar
So far, we all are well aware of the fact that Chinese have had a past filled with cases of Cyber Crime. China is the world’s largest exporter of IT goods, but it has been criticized by many countries due to suspected backdoors in its products, including United States which has banned its several major government departments, including NASA, Justice and Commerce Departments, from purchasing Chinese products and computer technology. The new exposure indicates the same. Chinese Government is running a man-in-the-middle (MitM) cyber attack campaign on SSL encrypted traffic between the country’s education network and Google. In an effort to monitor its users of China Education and Research Network (CERNET) , Chinese authorities has started intercepting encrypted traffic to and from Google’s servers, the non-profit organization GreatFire reported on Thursday. However, just like many other foreign websites, Google is blocked in China. Because Google is one of the vast and v
ICREACH — NSA's Secret Google-Like Search Engine for Metadata Analysis

ICREACH — NSA's Secret Google-Like Search Engine for Metadata Analysis

August 26, 2014Swati Khandelwal
The United States National Security Agency ( NSA ) is using a massive information sharing platform that allows multiple law enforcement agencies to infiltrate more than 850 billion communications records detailing e-mails, phone calls, instant messages, and phone geolocation, according to the classified documents disclosed by former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden. The NSA has built ICREACH, a Google-like search engine that secretly provides data — metadata of both foreigners and citizens on US soil — to nearly two dozen U.S. government agencies, including the DEA, FBI, and CIA, The Intercept reported . Many of those surveilled data had not been accused of any illegal activity as well. But until now, it is unclear that exact what mechanism was used by the US intelligence agency to share the massive amounts of surveillance data, as well as number of government agencies it was sharing information with. Although, the classified documents show that the FBI and the D
NSA-Proof "Blackphone" Gets Rooted Within 5 Minutes

NSA-Proof "Blackphone" Gets Rooted Within 5 Minutes

August 11, 2014Wang Wei
The ultra secure NSA-Proof Blackphone titled as, “ world’s first Smartphone which places privacy and control directly in the hands of its users, ” has been rooted within 5 minutes at the BlackHat security conference in Las Vegas this weekend. Blackphone , a joint venture between encrypted communications firm Silent Circle and Spanish Smartphone maker Geeksphone , has a fully customized version of Android known as PrivatOS and pre-installed with lots of privacy-enabled applications, which claims to offer its users a high-end security at consumer level. A security researcher with twitter handle @TeamAndIRC took only 5 minutes to achieve root access on the Blackphone without having the need to unlock the device’ bootloader. The hacker even mocked Blackphone’s team by saying that “It is apparent no one ran CTS [ compatibility test suite ] on this device.” The so-called “ secure ” Android phone that was promising security given the fact that its basically a suite of secure
Xiaomi Phones Secretly Sending Users' Sensitive Data to Chinese Servers

Xiaomi Phones Secretly Sending Users' Sensitive Data to Chinese Servers

August 10, 2014Mohit Kumar
Chinese telecoms equipment suppliers have previously been criticized by some countries due to suspected backdoors in its products, and if United States has banned its several major government departments, including NASA, Justice and Commerce Departments, from purchasing Chinese products and computer technology, then they are not wrong at all. In the latest claim against Chinese smartphone manufacturers is the allegation that the popular Chinese smartphone brand, Xiaomi has been suspected of “secretly” stealing users’ information — including SMS messages and photos —from the device without the user's permissions and sending it back to a server in Beijing, despite of turning off the data backup functions, according to Apple Insider . Security Researchers from  F-Secure Antivirus firm  has shown that the Xiaomi phones (RedMi 1S handset) send quite a lot of personal and sensitive data to " api.account.xiaomi.com "  server located in China, including following information
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