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Intelligence Briefings from the War on Spam

Celebrity Nudes and iCloud Phishing

Thu, Sep 11, 2014 by Andrew Conway

The recent leak of celebrities personal photographs demonstrates just how weak our defenses are against determined attackers. From the internal evidence and the chatter on 4chan and Reddit, it does not look as if this was the result of a single attack or a single hacker. Various sources say that there was a ring of […]

Phishing in the iCloud and Vegas

Wed, Sep 10, 2014 by Tom Landesman

Up noticeably this month, a new form of broader bank phishing attacks seems to be targeting various parts of the U.S. including Las Vegas where 63 percent of all reported SMS spam turns out to be bank phishing. The trend continued during the finals days of August as an average 46 percent of all reported […]

Android Worms And How To Prevent Them

Wed, Sep 03, 2014 by Andrew Conway

Recently, a malware attack in China infected around 100,000 Android devices in a few days. FireEye described the attack in their blog, and christened it XXShenqi. They call it a phishing attack, but I prefer the term worm, in that infected devices sent SMS messages to the owner’s contact list attempting to convince them to […]

ICO Raid on Suspect Call Center

Wed, Aug 27, 2014 by Cloudmark

It’s been just a few months since the UK’s Information Commissioners Office (ICO) took down its last target — using UK mobile users reports to 7726. Last week though, the regulator struck yet another blow against spam SMS texting. This time the ICO raided a claims management call centre in the Welsh town of Llanelli. […]

The Cost of Beating Automated Turing Tests

Tue, Aug 19, 2014 by Andrew Conway

Most social networks and other free Internet services have some sort of verification in their sign up process to make sure that a real person is signing up, and not a bot. Spammers and other cyber criminals wishing to abuse the service will attempt to automate this process so that they can sign up for […]

Black Hat/Defcon 2014: Hacking the Internet of Things, and Things not on the Internet

Tue, Aug 12, 2014 by Andrew Conway

Security researchers have been talking a lot lately about the Internet of Things: the refrigerator that was unfairly suspected of sending spam, the light bulbs that display your WiFi network password, and so on. There were some fine examples of this at Black Hat and Defcon this year. Jesus Molina was staying in a luxury […]

Defcon 2014: How should home routers get secured?

Mon, Aug 11, 2014 by Aaron Lehmann

The risk posed by vulnerable home internet routers was a common theme at this year’s Black Hat and DEF CON conferences. These devices are becoming notorious for having security vulnerabilities, which often go unpatched. The SOHOpelessly Broken contest at DEF CON provided a dramatic demonstration of these flaws, as contestants attacked consumer-grade routers and quickly broke into them. But […]

Defcon 2014: Blackphone Beefs Up Android Security

Sun, Aug 10, 2014 by Andrew Conway

The vendor area at Black Hat goes by the name of The Business Hall, and that sums it up. It is full of security companies, large and small, pitching their products in typical trade show fashion. The vendor area at Defcon is not like that. It is a jumble of vendors selling hacker equipment, lock […]

Defcon 2014: Surprise Talk by John McAfee

Sat, Aug 09, 2014 by Andrew Conway

“I know that the press has portrayed me alternately as a mad genius, and a mad psychotic genius,” said John McAfee. Having heard him talk I can safely say that I don’t know which of these is accurate. Not all the speakers at Defcon appear on the printed schedule. There is one complete track where […]

Black Hat 2014: Chip and PIN is not Hacker Proof

Fri, Aug 08, 2014 by Andrew Conway

Today we saw a mobile point of sale device (MPOS) compromised by a malicious credit card. Yes, I did get that the right way round. In a wonderful through-the-looking-glass exploit, Jon Butler and Nils (who like many hackers has no last name) demonstrated how the chip on a chip and PIN credit card could be […]


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