Malware

Microsoft touts study showing the cost of pirated software

Microsoft's crusade against pirated software was bolstered on Tuesday with the release of a study that found stolen programs are going to cause issues this year for both consumers and enterprise customers.

The study, conducted by research firm IDC and the National University of Singapore, found that consumers worldwide will spend $25 billion and collectively waste 1.2 billion hours this year as the result of downloading pirated software. On the business side, companies will spend $500 billion on fixes in 2014 to issues with pirated software.

Although Microsoft didn't work on the study, it was released as … Read more

Fake Malaysia Airlines links spread malware

Don't click on any link that says it has shocking video of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370. According to multiple reports, links promising resolution for the missing Flight MH370 are scams.

Videos with titles like "Malaysian Airlines missing flight MH370 found in Sea -- 50 people alive saved" have spread through social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, Wired U.K reports. Malware intelligence analyst at Malwarebytes Chris Boyd told Wired that links being spread through Twitter originally appeared on Facebook.

The blog Hoax-Slayer.com warned of a fake news link claiming that the Malaysian plane has been … Read more

How Target detected hack but failed to act -- Bloomberg

The November data breach that affected as many as 110 million Target customers could have been stopped in its tracks, according to a story published Thursday by Bloomberg.

Speaking with more than ten former Target employees and eight people with knowledge of the hack, Bloomberg said that Target already had in place a sophisticated malware detection system designed by security firm FireEye. The $1.6 million system was set up specifically to identify hacks and cyberattacks before they had a chance to do real damage.

Highlighting the ingenuity of FireEye's detection system, Bloomberg explained that it creates a parallel … Read more

WhatsApp pooh-poohs report of security flaw

The people behind WhatsApp are rebutting a report contending that the app is vulnerable because your chats can be stored on an Android phone's SD card.

Earlier this week, DoubleThink chief technology officer Bas Bosschert posted a blog alleging that hackers could use a malicious app to tap into your WhatsApp conversations by uploading the database from the SD card to a Web site. To prove his point, Bosschert said he created an app that was able to snag and read the database files.

In response, a spokesperson for WhatsApp called the report "overstated" and issued the … Read more

Security firm claims Russian government makes malware

The German computer security and antivirus detection company G Data Security has alleged that the Russian government is behind the newly detected malware known as "Uroburos."

G Data bases its case for Russian government involvement on the complexity of the malware and the presence of Cyrillic words in the malware sample. G Data blog author "MN" points to file names, encryption keys, and behavior of Uroburos as evidence that the Russian government played a role in the creation of the malware.

Another key component, said MN, is that Uroburos looks for a previous piece of malware … Read more

Uh-oh, this computer virus can spread via Wi-Fi

British researchers have created a computer virus that they say is the first to spread like a real airborne contagion.

Chameleon can spread through densely populated areas like the common cold, the University of Liverpool researchers claim, by hopping from network to network via access points, spreading rapidly among homes and businesses. If as that wasn't bad enough, the virus can avoid detection and identify weak wireless access points -- those that are least protected by encryption and passwords. … Read more

Squawk! Flappy Bird fakes are hatching Android malware

Flappy Bird's takedown by its creator has given malware creators a new outlet to exploit unsuspecting users.

According to security firm Sophos, it has discovered several applications claiming to be Flappy Bird in third-party Android app marketplaces. The trouble, however, is that the games in some cases contain malware and in others force users to send a text message to a given number, effectively giving the malware creators all they need to potentially exploit users.

Another security firm, Trend Micro, also chimed in on the issue, saying that it has discovered "a bunch of fake Android Flappy Bird … Read more

Sochi visitors entering hacking 'minefield' by firing up electronics

If you've read anything about the Sochi Olympics over the last few days, there's as much a chance that it was about broken and unfinished infrastructure as actual athletics. And now comes word that hackers are having a field day with unsuspecting Sochi visitors.

According to an NBC News report, unprepared Olympics attendees are being hacked the second they fire up their electronic devices.

NBC reporter Richard Engel worked with a security expert to set up two test computers in order to see just how quickly he'd be attacked when logging onto Russian networks. But, he reported, … Read more

Google Now notifications now in Chrome beta

The notification cards that Google Now uses to keep you updated on your Android and iOS phones and tablets are a big step closer to your desktop, as Google makes them available to Chrome Beta users on Monday.

The notifications appear when you click on the bell icon in the Windows system tray or the Mac menu bar, or the numbered icon in Chrome OS. Currently limited to English, Google said that it plans to expand to multilingual support in the future. Google has spent more than a year porting Now notifications to Chrome.

The feature brings a level of … Read more

Save data while translating in new iOS Chrome

Slightly behind its Android sibling, Google has updated Chrome for iOS to version 32 on Monday with tools for translation and reducing your bandwidth usage, potentially saving you some money.

The bandwidth compression tool, which hit Chrome for Android a few weeks ago, can reduce how much bandwidth you use by up to nearly 50 percent. If you're on a rate-limited plan and use Chrome heavily, this could save you some serious change.

You can activate the compression tool by going to Settings, then Bandwidth, then Reduce Data Usage.

A translation bar will now appear on Web pages that … Read more