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iPhone and iPad Hijacking: What You Need To Know

The past 24 hours has seen a spate of stories warning about a spate of ‘ransomware’ attacks on iPhones and iPads – especially in the the UK and Australia. According to the reports, compromised devices are locked and owners are instructed to email a ransom (variously: $100, $50, €100) to one “Oleg Pliss” to have their devices unlocked. These attacks aren’t really news. In fact, the Oleg Pliss scam appears to have been circulating for close to six months. However, it’s worthwhile reviewing what we do (and don’t) know about these latest attacks on mobile devices. Accordingly, Security Ledger has put together a short FAQ that tells you what you need to know about the latest mobile scam, and to dispel some of the rumors floating around in the Internet ether. What’s Going On? According to news reports and complaints on Apple Support forums, owners of iPhones and iPads are having their devices locked. […]

Cisco Survey: 100% of Fortune 500 Hosting Malware?

If you’re working in IT at a Fortune 500 firm, Cisco Systems has some unwelcome news: you have a malware problem. According to the 2013 Annual Security Report from the networking giant, 100 percent of 30 Fortune 500 firms it surveyed sent traffic to Web sites that host malware. Ninety-six percent of those networks communicated with hijacked servers operated by cyber criminals or other malicious actors and 92 percent transmitted traffic to Web pages without content, which typically host malicious activity. “It was surprising that it was 100 percent, but we know that it’s not if you’re going to be compromised, but when,” said Levi Gundert, a technical lead in Cisco’s Threat Research, Analysis and Communications (TRAC) group in an interview with The Security Ledger. Among the high points (or low points) in Cisco’s Report: Cisco observed the highest number of vulnerabilities and threats on its Intellishield alert service in the 13 years […]

Report: Cell Phone Data, Blackberry Mail Swept Up In NSA’s Net

Sensitive data from every major brand of cell phone can be captured and analyzed by the U.S. National Security Agency, (NSA) according to a report in the German magazine Der Spiegel on Saturday.   Citing “top-secret, internal NSA documents viewed by SPIEGEL reporters, the magazine said that NSA security researchers have developed tools to sap contact lists, SMS traffic, notes and location information from popular devices such as Apple’s iPhone, Google’s Android and Blackberry phones, including Blackberry e-mail, a supposedly secure system that is one of the phone’s most trumpeted features. The documents describe a large-scale and well-organized program within the NSA to obtain data from mobile devices, with discrete teams of security analysts working on a specific platform, developing malware that infiltrates the computers the phones “synch” with, and then loads scripts onto the phones that provide access to a range of other features. See Also: Secure e-mail firms […]

Why The Mailpile Misstep Is No Joke To PayPal

 PayPal and Mailpile, the scrappy secure mail startup ended the week on a high note: hugging it out (via Twitter) after the online payments behemoth froze more than $40,000 in payments to the crowd-funded startup then donated $1,000 to the project, to boot. But making it right with the tiny secure email firm is just the beginning of the story at PayPal, which is making the whole mix-up as something of an object lesson in how it needs to change to address a fluid and fast-moving online payments market. First, some background: Mailpile, of Reykjavík, Iceland, has raised more than $145,000 in a month-long campaign on the crowd funding web site Indiegogo.com to build a “fast, web-mail client with user-friendly encryption and privacy features.” Beginning on Saturday, PayPal froze more than $40,000 of those donations, suspecting fraud. The company’s spokespeople told company executive Brennan Novak that it wanted to see […]