Stay Safe On­line

Se­cu­rity ad­vice for PC and mo­bile

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Bot­net mal­ware in­fects mil­lions of An­droid de­vices

A new strain of mal­ware hid­den in­side apps on the Google Play store has in­fected close to two mil­lion An­droid de­vices over the past year, ac­cord­ing to se­cu­rity ex­perts mon­i­tor­ing the spread.

The re­cently dis­cov­ered mal­ware, known as ‘Falseguide’, has been found in more than 45 Google Play store apps that pro­vide guides and walk­throughs for mo­bile games. Some of these apps have been in­stalled 50,000 times, ac­cord­ing to se­cu­rity re­searchers at Check Point, who first dis­cov­ered the strain.

Once in­stalled, the Falseguide mal­ware is able to hijack a de­vice and add it to a larger bot­net. The de­vice is then used to dis­play pop-up ads con­tain­ing ma­li­cious code, con­duct DDOS at­tacks against other tar­gets and even com­pro­mise pri­vate net­works.

Check Point alerted Google to the in­fected apps in March, and they were re­moved from the Play store, but since then other apps laden with mal­ware have been added, Check Point said. bit.ly/check­point423

Weak pass­words are be­hind most se­cu­rity breaches

A new report has found that the ma­jor­ity of se­cu­rity breaches take ad­van­tage of sim­ple pass­words. Ver­i­zon’s an­nual Data Breach In­ves­ti­ga­tions Report re­vealed that of the 2,000 breaches and se­cu­rity in­ci­dents it an­a­lysed, a whop­ping 81% used eas­ily-guessed or stolen pass­words. Fur­ther­more, over 65% of mal­ware in­fec­tions were de­liv­ered via email attachments – a tech­nique that has been around for decades. Pre­tex­ting – where a hacker pre­tends to be some­one else to ob­tain pri­vate in­for­ma­tion – is also on the rise, while ran­somware has in­creased by 50% com­pared to last year’s report.

Ver­i­zon re­vealed that or­gan­ised crime gangs were be­hind more than half of all se­cu­rity breaches, while al­most 70% of all threats to health­care com­pa­nies come from within and around 50% of at­tacks on ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions were per­pe­trated by state-af­fil­i­ated hack­ers. bit.ly/databreach423

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