Android picture and video kidnapping malware found

smartphones2-700x400Security expert Robert Lipovsky, of the antivirus firm Eset, has located a Trojan called Simple Shocker. This dangerous malware blocks infected users’ mobile devices, cyphering their pictures, documents and other contents and requesting money to perform a system restore.

So far, the main victims have been in Eastern Europe, in countries such as Ukraine, where users are being asked an amount equivalent to 21 USD to unlock their devices, something that would occur 24 hours after the transaction has been completed.

Source: Alta Densidad

Cyber-crime on the rise, according to survey

ciberataquesAn annual survey on cyber-crime tendencies found that computer hackers dedicated to accessing computers, stealing information and causing problems are more technologically advanced than those in charge of stopping them. The survey was sponsored by the consultancy firm PwC of San Jose California, the Secret Service, Carnegie Mellon University’s Program Engineering Institute and the specialized magazine CSO.

The survey of 500 business executives, police forces and US government agencies revealed that 75% of respondents had detected a security breach during the previous year, and each organization suffered an average of 135 intrusions. “Despite significant investments in cyber-safety technologies, cyber-criminals keep finding ways to bypass these technologies to obtain profit-generating susceptible information,” said Ed Lowery, chief of the Secret Services’ criminal investigation division.

Lowery said companies and the government should adopt “a radically different approach on cyber-safety,” one that transcends antivirus programs, employee training, close collaboration with contractors and the installation of more strict processes.

The five most frequent attack methods, according to the survey, are “phishing,” or mass email with fake senders to steal information and passwords, malware, network interruption, espionage software and service denial attacks. 28% of respondents said hackers were members of the organization, whether contractors, providers, employees or former employees.

Source: AP

What’s the average time spent using a smartphone?

Uso-excesivo-de-smartphonesTwo hours and 42 minutes per day is the average time spent by the average Smartphone user in the US, according to the latest statistics shown by Flurry, an App and developer-tool-analysis-software.

According to this measurement, 86% of this time is used to manage applications and the rest for mobile (web) browsing. Comparing last year’s figures with those of five years ago, we can see the increase in the average time spent on mobile devices has been of only 2.5%, but these devices still occupy a great share of consumers’ time.

Gaming apps take up 32 percent of users’ time, and social apps such as Facebook or Twitter and messaging services went from 24 percent to 28 percent.

Source: Alta Densidad

New WhatsApp bug allows attackers to assume the sender’s identity

identidad suplantadaWhatsApp is once again in the spotlight due to a new vulnerability found by two Spanish hackers that allows attackers to assume the sender’s identity. However, it’s a complicated bug and it’s not within reach for the average user.

This bug lets an attacker modify the sender of any WhatsApp message to pretend being someone else, such as a friend, and thus tricking them into visiting a link containing malware.

The vulnerability has been informed to the App’s representatives as their goal is to solve these problems to prevent their use by hackers with worse intentions. However, it’s a weakness that can be easily exploited by unscrupulous hackers.

Although it’s hard to use, the dangerous potential will force WhatsApp to take measures to solve this issue.

Source: BlackBerryVzla

Did you know Google checks incoming and outgoing emails on Gmail?

google revisa sus correosThis was a known secret that is now confirmed. Google has updated its email administrator’s terms and conditions to inform users that all of their emails are automatically scanned so they can offer more personalized ads and search results.

This change of conditions is the result of a privacy violation lawsuit against Google by users who accuse the company of violating the law by checking their emails in order to customize advertising.

Gmail users sued Google in 2013 alleging the company was violating telephone listening laws by scanning the content of people’s emails. Many accusers complained that not only Gmail users had suffered this violation of privacy, but also people who don’t own accounts with this service but send emails to Gmail users.

They argue that since they didn’t use Gmail, they didn’t provide consent for the scanning. A US judge rejected Google’s petition to dismiss the case in September and also denied the class action status in March claiming that the way in which Google could have notified its users of the scanning process is different and the case could not be ruled based on a single criteria.

Google argued that users were “implicitly granting consent” to this activity, by acknowledging it as part of the email service. This is the updated paragraph of the conditions regarding Google’s email analysis: “Our automated systems analyze your content (including emails) to provide you personally relevant product features, such as customized search results, tailored advertising, and spam and malware detection. This analysis occurs as the content is sent, received, and when it is stored”. With this new text, Google acknowledges exploring its users emails.

Source: La Patilla

What you should to keep your kids from being stalked online

ciberacosoFor a few years now, kids appear to be born with a sixth sense that allows them to master new technologies with natural skills even as small children. Computers, tablets and smartphones are part of their lives since they take their first steps, so they’re more easily exposed to the risks involved in the internet.

The reigning anonymity of the internet makes social networks, forums and chat rooms some of the greatest risks for children, as their unsupervised use of the web makes them an ideal target for any sort of attack. This doesn’t mean these tools are damaging. On the contrary, a responsible use of technological tools results in numerous benefits derived from the exchange of ideas with other people. That’s why parents’ job is to educate their children so they don’t become victims or cyber-bullies.

To try and make small children relate with technology and internet safely, the blog “Laboratorio Ontinet.com” offers a series of tips for parents to prevent their children from being the object of some kind of harassment while surfing the web.

  1. Remind your children that cyber-bullying is a punishable crime, so they should report if they’re being victims of persecution. People’s actions on social networks leave a trace. Locating cyber-bullies is usually simple.
  2. Teach them tolerance: Teaching children to respect diversity and encouraging social coexistence should be a mandatory principle in every home. Only then we will instill respect for others in our children.
  3. Detect signs on time: Noticing your child might be a victim of bullying on time helps dealing with possible long-term problems early. Being aware of their reactions when browsing the internet and monitoring their internet activity are two efficient tools.
  4. Report: If you’re a witness of behavior that could be categorized as cyber-bullying, you should report it. If you find out your kid has been bullying others, you should prevent the problem from escalating by adopting the necessary measures to keep your child from maintaining such an attitude. If parents overlook this problem, it will likely grow until causing disastrous consequences.

Source: ABC

How to disappear from the internet without a trace

desaparecer de internetA website for “Smart webmasters” published a guide that teaches how to disappear from the internet in nine steps. If you’ve ever wanted to escape modern technology, to wipe your name from internet’s records and live a simpler life but didn’t know how to do it, now you can, as it has been thoroughly described on whoishostingthis.com.

Thanks to this nine-step guide, people who worry about their personal information being available online can now “pull the plug” to eliminate all of their personal information from the web, shutting down social media profiles, email addresses, search engine results and phonebook listings, and so, disappearing from the web without leaving a trace.

This is what you need to do:

  1. Eliminate all social media accounts: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.
  2. Do a search and eliminate other accounts you had forgotten about, such as MySpace and Bebo.
  3. Post false information on accounts that can’t be closed.
  4. Unsubscribe from email distribution lists.
  5. Request search engines to eliminate all results that mention you.
  6. Get in touch with the ‘webmasters’ and ask them to eliminate any information about you that you can’t erase without their help.
  7. Ask data compensation centers –companies that buy and sell your information– to eliminate from their records anything related to you.
  8. Request the elimination of your personal information from phone guides and online directories.
  9. Eliminate all email accounts.

Source: Correo del Orinoco