Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Facebook Blames ‘Coordinated Spam Attack’ for Surge in Porn Imagery

Facebook said today that a “coordinated spam attack” was to blame for the posting of pornographic and violent images on the news feeds of unsuspecting Facebook users.

The issue, which first started appearing on Facebook pages a couple days ago according to ZDNet, has generated a growing wave of revulsion online as some users took to Twitter to complain of graphic and lurid imagery that goes far beyond ordinary porn.

“I noticed Facebook porn in my friend feed. New feature? No. A Facebook ‘virus’ shows hardcore porn and violent,” tweeted Christopher Justice, a CEO of an Austin-based online design firm.  Justice later told Digits that he has asked employees at his firm, who use Facebook “like a telephone,” to proceed with caution.

In a statement this afternoon Facebook said that some Facebook users were tricked into pasting and executing “malicious javascript” in their browser URL bar, causing them to share offensive content without knowing it.  Facebook said that it is working on addressing browser vulnerability exposed by the bad code and that it has built “enforcement mechanisms” to shut down malicious Facebook pages and accounts.
“We’ve put in place backend measures to reduce the rate of these attacks and will continue to iterate on our defenses to find new ways to protect people,” a Facebook spokesman said.

Writing on the blog for Internet security firm Sophos earlier today, senior technology consultant Graham Curley said while the while the exact nature of the problem was not known, “What’s clear, however, is that mischief-makers are upsetting many Facebook users and making the social networking site far from a family-friendly place,” Curley wrote.

Facebook has a no-nudity policy and requires that members be at least 13 years old.  Users are encouraged to report questionable content via links on Facebook pages. The social network also removes pornography on its own initiative.

Digits contacted Curley for more guidance on what users can do.  Because details remain sketchy, he said, it’s hard to give advice. “However, we would continue to recommend that users tighten their privacy settings, lock down as much as possible their friends’ ability to tag them in posts and picture, and run up-to-date anti-virus software on their computers.”

He suggested that firms wishing to protect their staff from offensive content might consider blocking Facebook access until the problem is solved.

The problem comes as Facebook gears up to unveil a massive profile page redesign to its 800 million users. The redesign, called Timeline, will take each and every action a user has made on Facebook, and organize them chronologically.  As one can imagine, no one is going to want their online diary soiled by a speck of violent imagery.

Whoever or whatever is to blame, the damage needs to be contained and fast, wrote Curley. “It’s precisely this kind of problem which is likely to drive people away from the site.”

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Symantec: Hackers Hit Chemical Companies

Cyber attacks traced to China targeted at least 48 chemical and military-related companies in an effort to steal technical secrets, a U.S. computer security company said Tuesday, adding to complaints about pervasive Internet crime linked to this country.
The targets included 29 chemical companies and 19 others that make advanced materials used by the military, California-based Symantec Corp. said in a report. It said the group included multiple Fortune 100 companies but did not identify them or say where they were located.
"The purpose of the attacks appears to be industrial espionage, collecting intellectual property for competitive advantage," said the report.
Security experts say China is a center for Internet crime. Attacks against governments, companies and human rights groups have been traced to this country, though finding the precise source is nearly impossible. China's military is a leader in cyberwarfare research but the government has rejected allegations of cyberspying and says it also is a target.
The latest attacks occurred between late July and September and used e-mails sent to companies to plant software dubbed "PoisonIvy" in their computers, Symantec said. It said the same hackers also were involved in attacks earlier this year on human rights groups and auto companies.
Symantec said it traced the attacks to a computer system owned by a Chinese man in his 20s in the central province of Hebei. It said that when contacted, the man provided a contact who would perform "hacking for hire."
Symantec said it could not determine whether the Chinese man was a lone attacker, whether he had a direct or indirect role or whether he hacked the targets for someone else. It called him Covert Grove based on a translation of his Chinese name.
The U.S. and Chinese governments have accused each other of being involved in industrial espionage.
Security consultants say the high skill level of earlier attacks traced to China suggests its military or other government agencies might be stealing technology and trade secrets to help state companies.
The chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Intelligence Committee, Rep. Mike Rogers, said last month that Chinese efforts to steal U.S. technology over the Internet had reached an "intolerable level." He called on the U.S. and other governments to pressure Beijing to stop.
Another security firm, McAfee Inc., said in August it had found a five-year-long hacking campaign that it called Operation Shady Rat against more than 70 governments, international institutions, corporations and think tanks.
In February, McAfee said hackers operating from China stole information from oil companies in the United States, Taiwan, Greece and Kazakhstan about operations, financing and bidding for oil fields.
Thousands of Chinese computer enthusiasts belong to hacker clubs and experts say some are supported by the military to develop a pool of possible recruits. Experts say military-trained civilians also might work as contractors for companies that want to steal technology or business secrets from rivals.
China has the world's biggest population of Internet users, with more than 450 million people online, and the government promotes Web use for business and education. But experts say security for many computers in China is so poor that they are vulnerable to being taken over and used to hide the source of attacks from elsewhere.
Last year, Google Inc. closed its China-based search engine after complaining of cyber attacks from China against its e-mail service.
That case highlighted the difficulty of tracking hackers. Experts said that even if the Google attacks were traced to a computer in China, it would have to be examined in person to be sure it wasn't hijacked by an attacker abroad.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Hackers Threaten To Destroy Facebook!

Notorious hacker collective Anonymous on Tuesday threatened to “kill” Facebook on Nov. 5, according to a YouTube video spotlighted on official channels used by the group.
“Your medium of communication you all so dearly adore will be destroyed,” the group wrote in a transcript of its YouTube video. “If you are a willing hacktivist or a guy who just wants to protect the freedom of information then join the cause and kill facebook [sic] for the sake of your own privacy.”
Facebook did not immediately respond with an official comment about the threat.
Anonymous claims it is doing Facebook users a service because the company is “selling information to government agencies.” It also asserts that Facebook’s privacy controls are a joke and that users cannot actually delete their accounts.
“Everything you do on Facebook stays on Facebook regardless of your ‘privacy’ settings, and deleting your account is impossible, even if you ‘delete’ your account, all your personal info stays on Facebook and can be recovered at any time,” the group wrote. “Changing the privacy settings to make your Facebook account more ‘private’ is also a delusion. Facebook knows more about you than your family.”
Nov. 5 is Guy Fawkes Day, which commemorates when Fawkes and others placed explosives under the British House of Lords in 1605. The Guy Fawkes mask and story was popularized in the ten-issue comic series V for Vendetta and the movie based upon it.
The @YourAnonNews Twitter account appeared to confirm the video was actually issued by Anonymous, with a tweet on Tuesday night stating: “Remember remember the fifth of November the FaceBook treason and plot…”
The threat to destroy Facebook comes only a day after the group successfully hacked and defaced the Syrian Ministry of Defense’s website. Anonymous has gained much exposure in the last year with attacks on PayPal, Visa, Amazon, Bank of America, and various world governments. The group was blamed for the massive attack on Sony’s PlayStation Network but it denied involvement.
Even though Anonymous has had success in hacking some major websites in the past, it’s questionable that it would be successful against Facebook. When you consider that the hacking group has given Facebook several months to prepare for an attack, it’s extremely unlikely Facebook would be brought down. But when you’re talking about a group of hackers with an aim to sow dischord, you can never be certain.
The roughly made YouTube video issued by Anonymous can be watched below:

DefCon Kid Hacker Uncovers Zero-Day Exploit

 A number of media sources have made light of DefCon's "Kids Village", but a 10-year old hacker discovered an entire class of vulnerabilities and presented her findings as well or better than most of the conference's attendees.
The hacker goes by the handle CyFi, and she co-founded "DefCon Kids Village" -- a series of presentations for 60-odd aspiring hackers aged 8-16 who attended the conference in Las Vegas. The theme for the first year of the Kids Village was responsible hacking...although admittedly, some of the "white hat" skills demonstrated included lock picking and various Google hacks.
CyFi's own presentation was called "Apps—A Traveler of Both Time and Space, And What I Learned About Zero-Days and Responsible Disclosure." In it, she demonstrated how she could manipulate the clock on her cell phone to fool apps into thinking that more time had passed -- but there are a few other steps that CyFi, in the spirit of "responsible disclosure", did not spell out for the listeners.
"I'll show a new class of vulnerabilities I call TimeTraveler," CyFi's summary read. "By controlling time, you can do many things, such as grow pumpkins instantly. This technique enables endless possibilities. I'll show you how...Thank you AT&T, DEFCON, EFF and Lookout!!!!! :)"
The pumpkins were part of a social farming game that can be found on iOS and Android devices. Their slow growth (and CyFi's impatience) was the catalyst for the hacker's coding experiments. CyFi discovered that the code and clock alterations enable any number of changes to occur instantly within the framework of the game -- thus, the "new class of vulnerabilities".
In the true spirit of DefCon, CyFi di not divulge her 'real' name. Nor did she mention the names of the games that she'd hacked (i.e., "responsible disclosure"). However, she did proudly admit to being a "a ten-year-old hacker, artist and athlete living in California" who "really likes coffee, but her mom doesn’t let her drink it."

By James Lee Phillips, who is a Senior Writer & Research Analyst for With offices in Dallas, Las Vegas, and New York, & London, IBG is quickly becoming the leading expert in Internet Marketing, Local Search, SEO, Website Development and Reputation Management

Monday, 20 June 2011

Sega says 1.3 million affected by data breach

The hack that took down Sega's online gaming service late last week has affected 1.3 million customers.
That was one of the details confirmed by the publisher on Sunday.
A cyber attack on the publisher's Sega Pass service - a subscription-based feature that allows gamers to play unlimited Sega games online - forced the service to be shut down.
"We have identified that a subset of  SEGA Pass members emails addresses, dates of birth and encrypted passwords were obtained. To stress, none of the passwords obtained were stored in plain text. Please note that no personal payment information was stored by SEGA as we use external payment providers, meaning your payment details were not at risk from this intrusion," Sega wrote in an e-mail to its customers.
On Sunday, Sega confirmed 1.3 million people were affected but did not have an estimate for when Sega Pass would be back online. The company said it is working on increasing its security.
The Sega Pass website has been replaced with a terse message that reads, "SEGA Pass is going through some improvements so is currently unavailable for new members to join or existing members to modify their details including resetting passwords. We hope to be back up and running very soon. Thank you for your paitence." (sic)
This of course comes just off the heels of Sony's massive data breach which forced the Playstation Network offline for over a month, resulting in what is estimated to be billions of dollars in damages.
Unlike Sony's service, Sega Pass is not an e-commerce platform for other publishers, so the damage is limited only to Sega itself. But with such a large number of users affected, it isn't a small attack by any means.


Friday, 20 May 2011

Sony hit again with two hacks

Japanese ISP subsidiary is broken into, while phishers use Sony server in Thailand

An intruder has apparently broken into So-net, an internet service provider subsidiary of Sony, and stolen about $1,200 worth of virtual tokens.

So-net disclosed the compromise in an alert (written in Japanese) on its homepage on Thursday.
Meanwhile, security firm F-Secure today disclosed that it has also discovered a phishing site that's hosted on a Sony server in Thailand.

"Basically this means that Sony has been hacked, again," Mikko Hypponen, F-Secure's chief research officer, noted in the blog post. "Although in this case the server is probably not very important," he added.

News of the latest breaches come barely a month after Sony disclosed intrusions at its PlayStation Network and Sony Entertainment Online sites that compromised data on close to 100 million account holders.
A So-net spokesman told the Wall Street Journal, which broke the story, that the breach of the ISP is unlikely connected to the previous compromises.

The Sony-owned So-net ISP lets consumers accumulate reward points that can be redeemed for Sony merchandize and services. The intruders illegally redeemed points belonging to about 130 consumers. Another 73 accounts were compromised, but their points were not redeemed, the Journal noted.

In addition, about 90 email accounts are also believed to have been compromised in the breach
According to the Journal, an intruder using one IP address, tried to access So-net's point service close to 10,000 times before finally gaining access. So-net itself appears to believe that the intruder had usernames of account holders and used an automated program to generate possible passwords, the Journal said.

It's not immediately clear why the company apparently doesn't have a mechanism for flagging multiple failed attempts to access its systems.

The intrusions are believed to have taken place on May 16 and May 17. So-net discovered the breach on May 18, after receiving consumer complaints. So-net stopped the point redemption service following the discovery of the breach.

he latest breaches are relatively minor in scale compared to the massive breach at PSN and Sony Entertainment Online. Even so, it only adds to the company's embarrassment.

The earlier intrusions forced Sony to take its PSN service offline for several weeks while it struggled to identify the scope of the problems and how to fix them.

The company started re-launching the service this week but isn struggling to keep it running smoothly.

For instance, earlier this week Sony was forced to once again take a portion of its PlayStation network offline because of a programming error that could provide hackers a way to break into its networks.

Jaikumar Vijayan covers data security and privacy issues, financial services security and e-voting for Computerworld. Follow Jaikumar on Twitter at Twitter@jaivijayan, or subscribe to Jaikumar's RSS feed Vijayan RSS. His e-mail address is


Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Bin Laden Virus To Wreak Havoc, Warns FBI

Osama is dead but is still wreaking havoc. If you get an e-mail containing bin Laden links, then it's a fake, says the FBI.

Click to enlarge

The FBI has issued a warning to computer users "to exercise caution when they receive e-mails that purport to show photos or videos of Osama bin Laden's recent death."

It warns users not to open unsolicited e-mails or click links contained within such messages, as it could be from an unknown sender.

There are several email and Facebook scams doing the rounds, one shows a Facebook page, claiming to be a video of "Osama bin Laden killed live on video."

Other emails have links saying: "See video in which Osama bin Laden is shown holding a newspaper with today's date and disprove his possible death reported by OBAMA" and another says "pictures-of-osama-dead.exe."

The news of the demise of bin Laden, the godfather of terrorism and leader of al-Qa'eda, and on the FBI's 10 Most Wanted List for more than a decade was met with jubilation across the world.

The emails, if opened, could contain a virus that could damage computers and the "malware" can embed itself in computers and spread to users' contact lists, thereby infecting their systems and could also capture personal information.

Users should also ensure they have up-to-date firewall and anti-virus software running on their machines to detect and deflect malicious software, the US's Internet Crime Complaint Center recommends.

IT security experts McAfee agrees, branding the mails "expected lures" in a blog.

"Beware of any verbiage, subject lines in emails, or links via Facebook or Twitter that contain words like these–as they will almost certainly get you into trouble," it warned. 
News of the death of bin Laden, confirmed by a simple tweet by a former White House staffer from his BlackBerry at 10.25 EST on May 02 sent news outlets around the world into a frenzy of activity and online searches in the US surpassed the recent interest in the British Royal Wedding.

The attack on the al-Qa'eda leader by US forces was first reported on Twittter by an IT consultant based in Abbottabad, Pakistan, who said "Helicopter hovering above Abbottabad at 1AM (is a rare event)."

He was finally caught in a hideout suburb near the town of city of Abbottabad, Pakistan.

"So I'm told by a reputable person they have killed Osama Bin Laden. Hot damn," Keith Urbahn, the former Chief of Staff of Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld wrote on Twitter.

However, Urbahn who also describes himself as a  Navy Reserve intel officer came in from criticism from one follower, who criticised the casual nature of the post without getting confirmation first, retweeting "I gotta broke this first. Everyone was crediting you before it was confirmed. Nice work."

However, it did turn out to in fact be true, although Urbahn downplayed the significance of the event, later tweeting "Stories about the 'death of MSM [mainstream media]' because of my 'first' tweet are greatly exaggerated."

He also cited his source his source as being from the media from "a connected network TV news producer."
Following the tweet, The White House confirmed the death soon after, which was followed by an official address by President Obama at 11.00 EST.  

Friday, 28 January 2011

FBI goes after Anonymous suspects

The FBI has carried out over 40 searches in an investigation into cyberattacks launched by the Anonymous group in support of whistle-blower site Wikileaks. 

The swoop on Thursday was part of an international police operation that included the UK Metropolitan Police Central eCrime Unit (PCeU), the FBI said. It follows the arrest of five young men in the UK on suspicion of involvement in the same Operation Payback series of distributed denial-of-service attacks (DDoS).

Anonymous FBI investigation

Anonymous's Operation Payback took down sites like after the company stopped accepting Wikileaks' payments. Credit: Elinor Mills/CNET News

"FBI agents today executed more than 40 search warrants throughout the United States as part of an ongoing investigation into recent coordinated cyberattacks against major companies and organisations," the FBI said in a statement on Thursday. "The victims included major US companies across several industries."

The Anonymous group of online activists has claimed responsibility for a series of successful attacks against websites belonging to businesses including Visa, MasterCard and PayPal, which stopped processing payments destined for Wikileaks.

The five men arrested in the UK have been granted police bail, the Met said in a statement on Friday. The three youngest — who are aged 15, 16 and 19 years old — must report to police on 13 April, while the oldest two — aged 20 and 26 — must report on 14 April.

Anonymous and DDoS: I predict a riot

The international police operation into the Operation Payback attacks was led by the PCeU, a Met spokeswoman told ZDNet UK. The other participants were: the FBI; the US Secret Service; and the national criminal police departments of the Netherlands — Korps landelijke politiediensten (KLPD), Sweden's Rikskriminalpolisen (RKP) and Germany's Bundeskriminalamt (BKA).

French authorities were also involved, according to the FBI.

Antivirus companies have put out updates to detect the Low Orbit Ion Canon (LOIC) tool thought to have been used in the attacks, the FBI said, adding that the US's National Cyber-Forensics and Training Alliance is helping in the investigation.

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Tuesday, 4 January 2011

The "Mass Money Maker" - What Is All The Hype About?

What Are All These Mass Money Maker Emails About?
What Are Matt Bacak and Alen Sultanic Up To?
Review About Matt Bacak and Alen Sultanic’s Mass Money Makers

So, Mass Money Makers is just about to launch and it seems to like that everyone is on board.

I am sure that you will receive like ten more emails about it, but I got a sneak peek at the product, and want to give you my review.

So, what is Mass Money Makers?

It's based on a simple concept that works (and works well)...this concept is what allows us to rank on 1st page of Google within two to three weeks for just about any keyword out there...

...then we take those same rankings and get them to build massive (really massive) lists...which in turn are piped through "mass money funnels" and the end result is money.

Simple, yet very powerful. Indeed it is, and that's why they've simplified it into four core videos that are 2 to 3 hours each, where they break down everything in minute detail.

Can you get any better then that?

So in the end, I vote for Mass Money Makers. It's a great product, that really works.

If you've been looking for a way to make money online, then you really need to get in on it before the launch is completed.

When they first opened the doors, they said the software would be limited. I just got an update from them and as of now they only have 17 spots left!

I highly recommend that you get your hands on this software right now!

GO here: