Items tagged with Hacking

Fast food chain Chick-fil-A is in the news again, though this time it has to do with a recent security breach in which it appears that customers' credit card information was compromised. Chick-fil-A said it's been receiving reports of potential unusual activity involving payment cards used at a few of its restaurants and that it's currently working with IT security firms and law enforcement to gather all the facts. "We want to assure our customers we are working hard to investigate these events and will share additional facts as we are able to do so," Chick-fil-A said in a statement. "If the investigation reveals that a breach has occurred, customers will not be liable for any fraudulent charges... Read more...
One of the things we're not looking forward to in 2015 is a continuation of cyberattacks against companies big and small. For whatever reason, hackers have been on a rampage in 2014, hitting banks and retailers like Target, Home Depot, and others. It's gotten so out of hand that some companies have started hacking back. According to Bloomberg, the hack-back mentality is being fueled, in part, by the lack of intervention by U.S. officials. When that's the case, there remains little recourse for private-sector companies doing business in the U.S., so they've begun walking a fine legal line as they attempt to hack the hackers. U.S. companies have even hired cybersecurity firms to help them fight... Read more...
It was a very un-merry Christmas for millions of gamers who scored a Microsoft or Sony game console yesterday, or otherwise wanted to partake in some online console gaming, only to find out that both Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network had been rendered unusable due to a DDoS attack. Ah, but of all the unlikely heroes, Kim Dotcom swooped in today like ol' St. Nick and struck a deal with Lizard Squad, the hacker group taking responsibility for the DDoS attacks, to back off so that he could play some Destiny. Dotcom took to Twitter to offer the Lizard Squad (@LizardMafia) 3,000 lifetime premium Mega accounts worth $99 each. Mega, if you're unaware, is Dotcom's newest online venture -- an encrypted... Read more...
Breaking news, folks -- Sony has decided not to bow to pressure from hackers to cancel the Christmas Day debut of "The Interview," at least not outright. In a statement pulled from NBC's Facebook page and making the rounds on the web, Sony confirmed the film will have a limited theatrical release in the United States on December 25, 2014. "We have never given up on releasing 'The Interview' and we're excited our movie will be in a number of theaters on Christmas Day," said Michael Lynton, Chairman and CEO of Sony Entertainment. "At the same time, we are continuing our efforts to secure more platforms and more theaters so that this movie reaches the largest possible audience." "I want to thank... Read more...
What do you call it when a foreign country conducts a massive cyberattack on U.S. soil, steals data such as personally identifiable information and movie scripts, and threatens the lives of Americans if a particular movie is played? An act of "cyber-vandalism," of course! That's the term President Barack Obama used to described North Korea's shenanigans against Sony Pictures Entertainment, which ultimately led to Sony canceling the Christmas Day debut of "The Interview," a far-fetched comedy involving an assassination attempt against North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. The White House weighed its options carefully when deciding whether or to not even publicly... Read more...
North Korea has gone on record denying involvement in a recent cyberattack against Sony Pictures Entertainment, and now White House officials are debating if they should go on record accusing the country's leader Kim Jong-un and his regime of what now amounts to an act of cyberterrorism. Following an investigation into the matter, it appears there's no question that North Korea was "centrally involved" in the hack and subsequent threats against Americans, though confronting the culprit comes with certain consequences. Let's back up a moment. The hack against Sony resulted in the theft of a wide range of data, everything from passport and other personally identifiable information regarding actors... Read more...
The latest twist in the Sony hacking saga that appears to be motivated by the upcoming movie "The Interview," a comedy in which actors James Franco and Seth Rogen are tasked by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) with assassinating North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, is that hackers have begun threatening movie goers who see the flick with violence. This has prompted Carmike Cinemas to cancel its planned showings of the movie. Carmike Cinemas, the fourth largest cinema chain in the nation, operates 278 theaters across 41 states. According to reports, Sony Pictures Entertainment told theater owners that it would be supportive of their individual decisions on whether or not to show the film -- it's... Read more...
While Sony Entertainment Pictures is still reeling from a security breach that caught the company with its pants down, the organization that is claiming responsibility is threatening more virtual wedgies. Known as Guardians of Peace (#GOP), the group says more leaks are coming, but is willing to refrain from releasing private information of any Sony employees who drop the group a line. "Message to SPE Staffers. We have a plan to release emails and privacy of the Sony Pictures employees," reads a posting by #GOP, according to Recode. "If you don't want your privacy to be released, tell us your name and business title to take your name off." The open invitation to request removal was posted on... Read more...
Sony has unleashed its legal beagles following a massive ransomware attack that resulted in scores of stolen data, including movie scripts, marketing materials, social security numbers and passport information for high profile actors and actresses, and more. However, Sony isn't siccing its legal team on the party responsible for the attack -- not yet, anyway -- and is instead targeting media outlets with demands to stop publishing information contained in stolen documents. At least three news outlets have received a letter from David Boies, an attorney for Sony, Reuters reports. They include The New York Times, The Hollywood Reporter, and Variety. They've each been ordered to nuke the information... Read more...
U.S. businesses have been advised to be on high alert as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) warns of a highly sophisticated Iranian hacking operation targeting various firms around the world. It's the same operation that cyber security outfit Cylance Inc. investigated a week ago, in which it uncovered more than 50 victims in 16 countries, including the U.S. Cylance called it Operation Cleaver.The FBI's warning was included in a confidential "Flash" report that Reuters claims to have seen and is filled with technical details about malware and the various techniques cyber criminals are using to pull off these large scale attacks. It also contains advice for businesses on how to protect themselves... Read more...
Anyone who thinks hacking is harmless has never had to pay the bill following the aftermath. For Sony, the tab to clean up the mess left behind by the recent ransomware attack on its systems could reach as high as $100 million, no small sum even for a major movie studio. The only good news is that the tally will likely be less than the estimated $171 million Sony paid as a result of hackers infiltrating its PlayStation Network (PSN) several years ago.Cybersecurity experts who have studied past attacks point out that there are costs associated with investigating the security breach, repairing and/or replacing infected systems, and beefing up security so that future attacks of the same nature don't... Read more...
North Korea isn't the least bit amused about Sony's upcoming comedy flick "The Interview" in which actors James Franco and Seth Rogen participate in a fictional plot to assassinate its leader, Kim Jong-un. Even though it disapproves of the movie, North Korea is denying any and all involvement in a recent hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment that resulted in the theft and release of various data, including social security numbers belonging to actors. The massive ransomware attack on Sony is said to be unprecedented in nature due to the use of undetectable malware. Fallout from the attack involves 100 terabytes of stolen data including full movies that have since been leaked... Read more...
It would seem that the ones responsible for hacking Sony Pictures Entertainment in a massive ransomware attack weren't just a bunch of script kiddies hiding out in a basement somewhere. That wasn't really a prevailing theory anyway, but lest there's any doubt about the seriousness of the security breach, the FBI is now warning businesses in the U.S. to be on high alert for signs of the same malicious software. The warning came by way of a five-page, confidential document provided to businesses late last night. It contained technical details about the newest malware threat, along with tips on how to respond. It also urged businesses to contact the FBI right way if they encounter similar malware.... Read more...
Sony can't seem to catch a break when it comes to hackers. If cyber criminals aren't infiltrating the company's PlayStation Network (PSN) and wreaking havoc there, then they're breaking into the company's movie division, as they did last week when Sony Pictures became the victim of a massive ransomeware hack. As a result, Sony has hired Mandiant, a cybersecurity and forensics firm, to help clean up the mess and assess the extent the damage. A hacking group known as Guardians of Peace, or #GOP, seemingly took credit for the security breach that forced Sony employees to shut down their systems and go old school by using pen and paper to complete daily tasks. The group posted a menacing photo on... Read more...
As Target, Home Depot, and JP Morgan Chase have recently discovered, cyber attacks are tough to fend off, and extremely costly. Enter Tom Ridge, the former Secretary of Homeland Security, with a new insurance product aimed at businesses worried about the financial devastation a successful hacker can wreak. Former Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge Ridge Insurance is offering cyber crime insurance policies of $50 million to small and medium-sized businesses. A typical policy may cover both the financial damage done (like damage caused by the hit to a company’s reputation) and the expense involved in cleaning up the mess from a cyber attack, like alerting customers. Ridge Insurance... Read more...
We reported a week ago today that Home Depot is the latest retailer to be struck by a security breach, and at the time, it seemed certain that the attack was similar to the one cast on Target last year. As it turns out, that happens to be the case, with the point-of-sale malware "BlackPOS" at the root of it all. According to KrebsOnSecurity, which broke the news last week, modified BlackPOS malware infected some Home Depot stores. This malware is designed to siphon information from the credit card after it's swiped, and it supposedly only affects POS machines running Windows. What's worrying is this: Since last week, even more batches of credit card numbers have hit the black market - nine in... Read more...
It's seemingly impossible to go any real length of time without learning of some security breach, but more often than not, the number of affected people is arguably minimal. Today, news is breaking of a breach involving Home Depot that's not minimal, and it's not a mere matter of some credentials being leaked, but rather current credit and debit card numbers. If Home Depot has your financial information, you have immediate reason to be concerned. According to Krebs on Security, a database of credit and debit cards hit the black market this morning, with a "valid rate" of 100% (meaning that the card list is up-to-date). Both Home Depot and the banks involved are all currently investigating this... Read more...
It's a little bit awkward when you're flipping through photos in front of a group and come upon that one sexy pose in skimpy clothing you forgot was on there, but imagine if someone hacked your phone and uploaded all your private photos for the entire world to see. Jennifer Lawrence and several other celebrities don't need to imagine because a flaw in Apple's Find My iPhone service may have allowed hackers to do just that. According to various reports, someone posted a Python script on Github for a password brute force proof of concept to Apple's iCloud service. Brute force attacks use a script to continually guess passwords until it finds the correct one, and in this instance, it leveraged a... Read more...
Was your high-speed Internet service acting wonky yesterday? Are you a Charter customer? If you answered 'yes' to both questions, you're not alone. It appears that Charter, the nation's fourth largest cable operator, suffered a widespread outage in broadband Internet service starting on late Saturday afternoon and continuing into the night. This editor happens to reside in southwest Michigan and was affected by the outage, as were residents of Minnesota, North Carolina, South Carolina, and several other states. According to Charter spokeswoman Kim Haas, the service disruptions were "intermittent across parts of our footprint." Charter offers fast Internet service, but last night, a widespread... Read more...
Word to the wise -- be careful crossing through intersections, even when you have a green light. We don't want to overstate the threat, but apparently you really can hack into a traffic signal and change the light, just as you've seen in countless Hollywood films featuring the token computer hacker. This was proven by a team of researchers at the University of Michigan. The small team of five consisting of students from the school's electrical engineering and computer science departments published a paper title "Green Lights Forever (PDF)," and in it, they outlined the discovery of a "number of security flaws that exist due to systemic failures by the designers." Moreover, they explained in the... Read more...
It looks like Tesla has a few security vulnerabilities to address. That much became evident after Chinese hackers participating in a hacking competition at the annual Syscan conference in Beijing took advantage of a vulnerability in a Tesla Model S electric car that allowed them to honk the horn, unlock the doors, and flash the headlights, all while it was being driven. While Tesla didn't officially support the competition, it welcomed the challenge and promised to fix any "legitimate vulnerability" the hackers might find, The Telegraph reports. Details of the vulnerability haven't been made public, though the functions the hackers took advantage of are the same ones offered through Tesla's smartphone... Read more...
Talk about an unpleasant conversation -- officials from Montana have begun alerting approximately 1.3 million people that their personal information may have been compromised by a data breach. At present, there's no evidence that any information was stolen, however it has been confirmed that hackers infiltrated a server used by the state health department. "There is no information, no indication, that the hackers really accessed any of this information or used it inappropriately," said Richard Opper, director of the State Department of Public Health and Human Services. "We are erring on the side of displaying an overabundance of caution." Image Source: Flickr (Sebastian Bergmann) Montana is home... Read more...
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