Sextortion Scam Uses Recipient’s Hacked Passwords

July 12, 2018

Here’s a clever new twist on an old email scam that could serve to make the con far more believable. The message purports to have been sent from a hacker who’s compromised your computer and used your webcam to record a video of you while you were watching porn. The missive threatens to release the video to all your contacts unless you pay a Bitcoin ransom. The new twist? The…

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Notorious ‘Hijack Factory’ Shunned from Web

July 11, 2018

Score one for the good guys: Bitcanal, a Portuguese Web hosting firm long accused of helping spammers hijack large swaths of dormant Internet address space over the years, was summarily kicked off the Internet this week after a half-dozen of the company’s bandwidth providers chose to sever ties with the company. Spammers and Internet service providers (ISPs) that facilitate such activity often hijack Internet address ranges that have gone unused…

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Notorious ‘Hijack Factory’ Shunned from Web

July 11, 2018

Score one for the good guys: Bitcanal, a Portuguese Web hosting firm long accused of helping spammers hijack large swaths of dormant Internet address space over the years, was summarily kicked off the Internet this week after a half-dozen of the company’s bandwidth providers chose to sever ties with the company. Spammers and Internet service providers (ISPs) that facilitate such activity often hijack Internet address ranges that have gone unused…

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Patch Tuesday, July 2018 Edition

July 11, 2018

Microsoft and Adobe each issued security updates for their products today. Microsoft’s July patch batch includes 14 updates to fix more than 50 security flaws in Windows and associated software. Separately, Adobe has pushed out an update for its Flash Player browser plugin, as well as a monster patch bundle for Adobe Reader/Acrobat. According to security firm Qualys, all but two of the “critical” fixes in this round of updates apply to vulnerabilities in…

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ExxonMobil Bungles Rewards Card Debut

July 6, 2018

Energy giant ExxonMobil recently sent snail mail letters to its Plenti rewards card members stating that the points program was being replaced with a new one called Exxon Mobil Rewards+. Unfortunately, the letter includes a confusing toll free number and directs customers to a parked page that tries to foist Web browser extensions on visitors. The mailer (the first page of which is screenshotted below) urges customers to visit exxonmobilrewardsplus[dot]com,…

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Plant Your Flag, Mark Your Territory

June 28, 2018

Many people, particularly older folks, proudly declare they avoid using the Web to manage various accounts tied to their personal and financial data — including everything from utilities and mobile phones to retirement benefits and online banking services. The reasoning behind this strategy is as simple as it is alluring: What’s not put online can’t be hacked. But increasingly, adherents to this mantra are finding out the hard way that…

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How to Avoid Card Skimmers at the Pump

June 26, 2018

Previous stories here on the proliferation of card-skimming devices hidden inside fuel pumps have offered a multitude of security tips for readers looking to minimize their chances of becoming the next victim, such as favoring filling stations that use security cameras and tamper-evident tape on their pumps. But according to police in San Antonio, Texas, there are far more reliable ways to avoid getting skimmed at a fuel station. San…

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Supreme Court: Police Need Warrant for Mobile Location Data

June 22, 2018

The U.S. Supreme Court today ruled that the government needs to obtain a court-ordered warrant to gather location data on mobile device users. The decision is a major development for privacy rights, but experts say it may have limited bearing on the selling of real-time customer location data by the wireless carriers to third-party companies. Image: Wikipedia. At issue is Carpenter v. United States, which challenged a legal theory the…

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Verizon to Stop Sharing Customer Location Data With Third Parties

June 19, 2018

In the wake of a scandal involving third-party companies leaking or selling precise, real-time location data on virtually all Americans who own a mobile phone, the four major wireless carriers have responded to requests from a U.S. senator for more details about how the carriers are managing access to this extremely sensitive information. While three out of four providers said they had cancelled data sharing agreements with some of the…

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Google to Fix Location Data Leak in Google Home, Chromecast

June 18, 2018

Google in the coming weeks is expected to fix a location privacy leak in two of its most popular consumer products. New research shows that Web sites can run a simple script in the background that collects precise location data on people who have a Google Home or Chromecast device installed anywhere on their local network. Craig Young, a researcher with security firm Tripwire, said he discovered an authentication weakness…

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