Messaging Apps With Surveillance Malware Made It Onto Google Play Store

By David Z. Morris


Researchers at the security firm Lookout have identified a family of malicious smartphone apps, referred to as SonicSpy. At least three versions of the malware, which is able to remotely control infected phones, made it onto Google’s Play store.

Anyone who installs the compromised apps will find they have full messaging functionality. But in the background, according to Lookout, the apps are able to hijack a variety of basic phone functions. That includes making outbound calls, sending text messages, and harvesting call logs, contacts, and Wi-Fi data.

According to Lookout, a developer, possibly based in Iraq, built over a thousand malicious messaging apps by weaving spy functions into the public source code for a legitimate (and quite popular) messenger app called Telegram. The developer rebranded the resulting apps with names including Soniac, Hulk Messenger, and (in an apparent bit of humor) Troy Chat. Those three were actually successfully listed on Google Play (googl, -1.69%), though they’ve since been pulled.


Hackers are aggressively targeting law firms’ data

By Dan Steiner

If you thought hackers were afraid of the guys who can prosecute them, think again!


Behind every splashy headline is a legal industry that’s duking it out – helping to support entrepreneurs and big corporations in a power struggle to dominate their industry. From patent disputes to employment contracts, law firms have a lot of exposure to sensitive information.  Because of their involvement, confidential information is stored on the enterprise systems that law firms use.

This makes them a juicy target for hackers that want to steal consumer information and corporate intelligence.

For an example of this, look no further than the Panama Papers – “…an unprecedented leak of 11.5m files from the database of the world’s fourth biggest offshore law firm, Mossack Fonseca.”


Malware campaign targets Russian-Speaking companies with a new Backdoor

By Pierluigi Paganini

Trend Micro spotted a new espionage campaign that has been active for at least 2 months and that is targeting Russian-speaking firms with a new backdoor

Security experts at Trend Micro have spotted a new cyber espionage campaign that has been active for at least two months and that is targeting Russian-speaking enterprises delivering a new Windows-based backdoor, Trend Micro warns.

The hackers leverage on many exploits and Windows components to run malicious scripts to avoid detection. The last sample associated with this attack was uploaded to VirusTotal on June 6, 2017 and experts at Trend Micro observed five spam campaigns running from June 23 to July 27, 2017.



How Top Companies Accidentally Leaking Terabytes of Sensitive Data Online

By Swati Khandelwal

data-leak-fortune-1000An anti-malware detection service provider and premium security firm has been accused of leaking terabytes of confidential data from several Fortune 1000 companies, including customer credentials, financial records, network intelligence and other sensitive data.

However, in response to the accusations, the security firm confirmed that they are not pulling sensitive files from its customers; instead, it’s up to companies—who are accidentally (but explicitly) sharing their sensitive data to leverage an optional cloud-based anti-malware service.

On Wednesday, Information security firm DirectDefense published a blog post, claiming that they found a major issue with endpoint detection and response (EDR) solution offered by US-based company Carbon Black, alleging that the company is leaking hundreds of thousands of sensitive files from its customers.



HBO Hackers Leak Senior Exec Emails, Demand Ransom


The HBO hackers have upped the ante on their cyber-activities, dropping a ransom note on the premium cable network and leaking executive emails and more Game of Thrones tidbits.

The criminals sent in the goods to The Hollywood Reporter, in the form of nine confidential files with screenshots of the stolen materials. They included a month’s worth of emails from the inbox of a senior executive, plus a screenshot of a file directory with folders for various shows, including unreleased episodes of upcoming shows like Room 104, Insecure and Curb Your Enthusiasm, and an untitled show by Silicon Valley director Mike Judge. On the Game of Thrones front, the materials include plot summary for this week’s upcoming episode, marketing spreadsheets and media plans—and contact information for stars of the hit series.

This is the latest escalation of the breach that came to light last week. The attackers say they have 1.5 terabytes of information in all—seven times the volume of the 2014 Sony breach.



2,227 Breaches Exposed 6 Billion Records in First Half of 2017

By Ionut Arghire

More than 6 billion records were exposed as a result of the 2,227 data breaches that were reported in the first six months of 2017, according to a new report from Risk Based Security.

The number of publicly disclosed data compromise events through June 30 remained in line with the number of breaches disclosed mid-way through 2015 and 2016, but the total number of records exposed surpassed 2016’s year-end high mark.

The top 10 data breaches exposed 5.6 billion of the 6 billion records compromised, and had an average severity score of 9.82 out of 10.0, Risk Based Security’s report (PDF) reveals.



10 Critical Steps to Create a Culture of Cybersecurity

By Edward J. McAndrew

Businesses are more vulnerable than they need to be. Here’s what you should do about it.

Despite constant headlines about cyber attacks, organizations continue to leave their systems and data unnecessarily vulnerable. Cyber incidents result in the loss of reputation, enterprise value, and jobs, not to mention regulatory fines and civil litigation. According to Kaspersky Labs and the Ponemon Institute, 90% of businesses have experienced a cyber attack, with an average cost per breach of $3.6 million. Ponemon estimates that 27.7% of organizations surveyed will likely suffer another material breach within the next two years.

Although eliminating all cyber incidents is impossible, a “unified governance” approach that combines security with data management and information governance (IG) can help create a business culture that promotes a strong defense. Here are 10 steps you can follow to create a culture of cybersecurity