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Intelligence Briefings from the War on Spam

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 […]

Black Hat 2014: Why I Hate Free Stuff

Thu, Aug 07, 2014 by Andrew Conway

I was watching an excellent presentation by Rob Ragan and Oscar Salazar when I realized that I hate free stuff. Not of course the free stuff that I use, I’m fine with that. It’s all the free stuff that spammers and other cyber criminals exploit that ticks me off. Let me explain what Ragan and […]

Black Hat 2014: Google Products Might be Watching… Maliciously

Wed, Aug 06, 2014 by Tom Landesman

Both Android and wearable device security have been a common topic among talks at Black Hat this year, and it seems Google may have passed on some unintentional headaches in both arenas. Jeff Forristal of Bluebox spoke on worrisome security practices used by Android that affected all Android users since January of 2010. Dubbed “FakeID,” […]

Black Hat 2014: Cellular modem vulnerabilities threaten mobile users

Wed, Aug 06, 2014 by Aaron Lehmann

Mobile broadband modems are small USB sticks that connect a computer to the internet through a cellular network. The great convenience of being able to stay connected outside of areas with Wi-Fi has led to over 100 million of these devices being sold. However, security flaws in these ubiquitous modems may become a boon for cybercriminals. […]

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