Antivirus

How smart devices are leaving consumer privacy vulnerable

2018 was a big year for consumer privacy as the Cambridge Analytica and Facebook data privacy hearings helped shed further light on the issue. Added to this was the fact that app location tracking and privacy bugs were found in widely-used apps such as Apple’s FaceTime.Smartphones could arguably be the greatest spying device ever created…


2018 was a big year for consumer privacy as the Cambridge Analytica and Facebook data privacy hearings helped shed further light on the issue. Added to this was the fact that app location tracking and privacy bugs were found in widely-used apps such as Apple’s FaceTime.

Smartphones could arguably be the greatest spying device ever created with a camera, microphone and a location tracker all in one place and carried everywhere a user goes. While nation-states have targeted smartphones for traditional spying, it has also become a lucrative way to collect consumer’s personal information.

TechRadar Prospoke with Symantec’s Director of Product Management for Security Response, Kevin Haley to learn more about the firm’s latest report and how businesses and consumers can better protect their privacy online.

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Symantec recently released its latest Internet Security Threat Report (ISTR). Can you give us a little background on the annual report and share some of this year’s findings?

Sure this is a report we’ve been doing for 20 years. It’s our look back at the year and what happened in the threat landscape and it gives us an opportunity to understand what happened and get insight as to what’s going to happen next. 

What are some of the newest targets revealed in the report?

Well we’re seeing a huge focus by attackers on IoT devices. We’re seeing a lot of routers and internet connected cameras being attacked. They’re responsible for about 90 percent of all attacks that we’re seeing. But things that may not register as a huge number are things like industrial control systems, satellite systems and telecoms. Nation state attackers are going after parts of the infrastructure which include things like that and of course that’s a big concern as well.  

Image Credit: Shutterstock

Image Credit: Shutterstock

How has the growth of smart home technology left consumers more open to hackers?

Consumers have a lot more devices connected to the Internet in their homes. Those are more opportunities for somebody to get into their home. And this has been a real issue with IoT devices because these devices generally don’t have very good security on them and often consumers put them on and d

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Antivirus

Microsoft Office is a top target for malware devs

New attack and exploitation data from Kaspersky Lab has revealed that Microsoft Office products are now the top target for cybercriminals.During a presentation at its Security Analyst Summit, the company explained to attendees how 70 percent of the attacks its antivirus products detected in Q4 2018 were trying to exploit vulnerabilities in Microsoft Office. The…


New attack and exploitation data from Kaspersky Lab has revealed that Microsoft Office products are now the top target for cybercriminals.

During a presentation at its Security Analyst Summit, the company explained to attendees how 70 percent of the attacks its antivirus products detected in Q4 2018 were trying to exploit vulnerabilities in Microsoft Office.

The platforms targeted by cybercriminals have changed significantly during the last two years as Office used to account for just 16 percent in 2016. Now hackers have moved way from targeting web browsers and Adobe Flash in favor of Microsoft Office.

  • Mobile malware attacks double in 2018
  • Kaspers

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Antivirus

Microsoft’s latest Windows patches are slowing or locking up some PCs

Microsoft’s latest round of patches for the month of April have been causing serious issues, either slowing down or freezing up Windows PCs.This is apparently due to a conflict with some antivirus apps, and is primarily affecting Windows 10 and Windows 7 systems, it would seem (but also potentially some folks running Windows 8.1).Security software…


Microsoft’s latest round of patches for the month of April have been causing serious issues, either slowing down or freezing up Windows PCs.

This is apparently due to a conflict with some antivirus apps, and is primarily affecting Windows 10 and Windows 7 systems, it would seem (but also potentially some folks running Windows 8.1).

Security software from Sophos, Avast, and Avira have compatibility issues with these latest patches, although it’s seemingly just business software which is hit with the former two: Sophos Endpoint Security and Control, along with Avast for Business and Avast CloudCare.

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However, in the case of Avira, the affected software includes the widely used Avira Free Antivirus and the firm’s free security suite, as well as the paid products, Avira Antivirus Pro and Avira Prime.

If you’re running any of

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Antivirus

Keeping the web safe – It’s more difficult than you think

Psst. Looking for some “white plastic?” If you are, then you’re trucking in ivory, the sale of which is illegal in many countries and U.S. states. “White plastic,” “jelly,” “yellow materials” are all code words used by online “marketers” of ivory, as they attempt to hide the illegal nature of what they are doing.The use…


Psst. Looking for some “white plastic?” If you are, then you’re trucking in ivory, the sale of which is illegal in many countries and U.S. states. “White plastic,” “jelly,” “yellow materials” are all code words used by online “marketers” of ivory, as they attempt to hide the illegal nature of what they are doing.

The use of code words is just one method crooks and scammers use to sell their products and hide in plain sight from authorities, using the resources of the internet, from search engines to payment systems.

The “hiding” part is what should worry us; by burying themselves in the hundreds of thousands of e-commerce sites out there, bad actors are able to peddle drugs, guns, child pornography, and many other illicit, illegal, and dangerous things that they can find markets for. And their potential customer base on the surface web is much greater than on the dark web, with customers on the former using common payment methods to pay for their goods, as opposed to the cryptocurrencies usually required to do business on the latter.

  • Nearly 620 million stolen accounts for sale on dark web
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  • 35 million voter records sold on the Dark Web

Stopping this is important; what if it was one of our kids who got hooked on opioids, for example, because a friend who introduced them to drugs was able to easily obtain them online, using their parents’ credit card?

How crooks hijacked the web

In the ivory sale scam, sellers take out banner ads and text ads featuring their code words, enabling those seeking these illicit goods to find them using standard search engines, according to an organization called Traffic, which seeks to curb illegal trade in wildlife. According to the group, dozens of sites are selling illegal wildlife products including ivory, rhino horn, tiger bone, hawksbill shells, and pangolin scales, all using code wo

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Antivirus

Collaboration for end-to-end secure content

Digital content informs and facilitates every single aspect of business. We create and consume this content in innumerable ways, from our dependency on email to receive and send critical information and documents, to job application portals and shared storage services in the cloud. Therefore, it’s little wonder that digital content has become such a popular vehicle…


Digital content informs and facilitates every single aspect of business. We create and consume this content in innumerable ways, from our dependency on email to receive and send critical information and documents, to job application portals and shared storage services in the cloud. 

Therefore, it’s little wonder that digital content has become such a popular vehicle for cyber criminals for both getting threats into and information out of an organisation. Criminals are increasingly pursuing sophisticated techniques to infect content, including the use of zero-day and undetectable threats. Just this month, researchers discovered a new malware infiltration technique being used in the wild that allows attackers to trigger payloads when victims preview documents.

Similarly, once in the organisation, cyber criminals are also using content as a means of exfiltrating information. Indeed, Deep Secure researchers have demonstrated that attackers could use commands delivered over Twitter to steal more than 300,000 credit card details by concealing them into just 50 images – all while completely avoiding detection. The risk posed by content is presented at every turn and nowhere more so than with corporate access to the Internet via Web browsing and social media.

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Achieving end-to-end defences

Whether an employee, a supply chain partner or a customer, every stakeholder in a business needs to know that the content they are engaging with is digitally pure and threat-free. However, security teams have a tough job keeping pace with a dynamic and highly developed threat landscape, and with cyber criminals who innovate faster than most Fortune 500 companies.

Traditional network defence solutions are no match for threats concealed in content – whether achieved through steganograph

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