Privacy Watch Weekly – 2016-09-30

IP EXPO Europe 2016: Sophos experts talk social engineering, cloud security, ransomware protection

ip-expo-europe-2016IP EXPO Europe 2016 is coming to ExCel London next week, and we will be there at stand AA20. On 5 and 6 October, our experts will be presenting on a range of the hottest topics in cybersecurity, plus there will be demos and giveaways at our stand.

Comprising six technology events under one roof, the exhibition attracts 15,000 visitors over two days, hosts hundreds of vendors and presents loads of free seminars.

Got the date in your diary? Now register for your expo pass (free until 4 October) and get ready for a good time with us. Here’s a sneak peek at what we’ve got in store at IP EXPO.

James Lyne

Keynote: 5 October – 11.40-12.10 / Panel discussion: 5 October – 12.20-13.10

There’ll be two chances to watch our very own James Lyne in action; as keynote speaker of the event and on the panel discussing ‘The Future of Cyber Security’. The theme of James’s keynote presentation is being kept tightly under wraps but, as he’s the Global Head of Security Research at Sophos, it’s sure to be chock full of research, tips and a live demo or two.

All your data are belong to us; how to stay protected against ransomware

5 October – 11.00-11.30 / 6 October – 11.40-12.10

Since the notorious Cryptolocker emerged on the scene in 2013, ransomware has become one of the most widespread and destructive hazards to internet users. Luckily, Senior Sales Engineer at Sophos James Burchell will be looking into what makes the attacks so successful, examining the inner workings of these infections and, most importantly, discussing how we can protect ourselves.

Social engineering: are you the weakest link?

5 October – 12.20-12.50 / 6 October – 11.00-11.30

Social engineering is nothing new, but in today’s always-online world it’s easier than ever for crooks to delve into your details. A bit of time on your Facebook or LinkedIn, a spot of research on your company website, and – now with a detailed picture of your life – the attack begins with targeted emails, online surveys, instant messages or telephone calls.

Sophos Security Specialist Greg Iddon will talk through the pitfalls of targeted attacks, including what to look out for and how to arm your employees with the tools to keep them and the business safe.

What to do when you’re there!

You won’t be short of things to do at the event but make sure to visit our stand (AA20) – our team members will be on hand to chat and, of course, come and grab your Oktoberfest beer (5 October, 16.00-17.00), get yourself some free swag and enter the competitions!


Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook to get the latest news, updates from our booth and competition info.

Filed under: Corporate Tagged: IPExpo, IT Event

Zerodium Offers $1.5 Million Bounty For iOS Zero-Day Exploits

Well, there’s some good news for Hackers and Bug hunters, though a terrible news for Apple!

Exploit vendor Zerodium has tripled its bug bounty for an Apple’s iOS 10 zero-day exploit, offering a maximum payout of $US1.5 Million.

Yes, $1,500,000.00 Reward.

That’s more than seven times what Apple is offering (up to $200,000) for iOS zero-days via its private, invite-only bug bounty program.

Matthew Jeffery

37-Year-Old ‘Syrian Electronic Army’ Hacker Pleads Guilty in US court

One of the FBI’s Most Wanted Hackers who was arrested in Germany earlier this year has pleaded guilty to federal charges for his role in a scheme that hacked computers and targeted the US government, foreign governments, and multiple US media outlets.

Peter Romar, 37, pleaded guilty Wednesday in a federal court in Alexandria to felony charges of conspiring to receive extortion proceeds and to

Multiple Backdoors found in D-Link DWR-932 B LTE Router

If you own a D-Link wireless router, especially DWR-932 B LTE router, you should get rid of it, rather than wait for a firmware upgrade that never lands soon.

D-Link DWR-932B LTE router is allegedly vulnerable to over 20 issues, including backdoor accounts, default credentials, leaky credentials, firmware upgrade vulnerabilities and insecure UPnP (Universal Plug-and-Play) configuration.


Improve Your Online Privacy And Security Using NordVPN

Today, most users surf the web unaware of the fact that websites collect their data and track their locations – and if this is not enough, then there are hackers and cyber criminals who can easily steal sensitive data from the ill-equipped.

In short, the simple truth is that you have no or very little privacy when you’re online.

So, if you’re worried about identity thieves, or ISPs spying on

Study Group: On the Impossibility of Tight Cryptographic Reductions

Today I kicked off the study groups for 2016/17. I spoke about On the Impossibility of Tight Cryptographic Reductions, from this year’s Eurocrypt. Keen readers of the blog might recall that this paper is a particular favourite of mine.

Since I’ve wrote about it before, I won’t go into much detail about the paper. Instead I’ll say why I (still) like it, and a bit about how it’s shaped my own work this year.

So, why choose this paper again? First and foremost, it’s just really good. It’s well written and the result – that certain reductions are necessarily lossy – has big implications for the way we do things in provable security. There is an increasing drive for theoreticians to produce work that has a meaningful impact on the real world. Choosing security parameters is an important part of that picture, but this paper shows that the traditional tools of provable security can sometimes be inadequate in this regard – especially in a setting like the internet, with billions of users of cryptography.

Is it that our methods need changing? Or should practitioners ignore the theory and ‘go with their gut’ when choosing parameters? Do we need to actively avoid using those crytographic primitives for whom reductions are always lossy,  like rerandomisable signatures and encryption schemes where each public key has a unique secret key? These are profound questions for the community.

Another reason I chose to talk about this paper is that it’s nicely self-contained. This is not an incremental result about something obscure. Almost everyone here at Bristol has encountered reductions, and after recalling the standard EUF-CMA definition for signatures it was easy to build up to the main theorem of the paper (or at least the particular case of signatures in the main theorem). If any new PhD students are looking for some theory to get their teeth into, this paper would be a great starting point.

Finally, I cheated a bit by giving my presentation about a paper that I’ve become very familiar with in the last few months, as I’m trying to extend it. At the moment, the result only applies to certain public-key primitives; I’d like to say something about multi-key to single-key reductions for symmetric encryption (which is of particular relevance to my PhD project, on Key Management APIs). I hope to have more to say on this in the not-too-distant future.

Apple Tracks Who You’re Chatting Using iMessage — and Shares that Data with Police

Doing conversations with your friend on iMessage and thinking that they are safe and out of reach from anyone else other than you and your friend? No, it’s not.

End-to-end encryption doesn’t mean that your iMessages are secure enough to hide your trace because Apple not only stores a lot of information about your iMessages that could reveal your contacts and location, but even share that

World’s largest 1 Tbps DDoS Attack launched from 152,000 hacked Smart Devices

Do you know — Your Smart Devices may have inadvertently participated in a record-breaking largest cyber attack that Internet has just witnessed.

If you own a smart device like Internet-connected televisions, cars, refrigerators or thermostats, you might already be part of a botnet of millions of infected devices that was used to launch the biggest DDoS attack known to date, with peaks of over

Macs are not safe from Bears

Bear fancy pattern

Mac users have long had an unwarranted level of confidence about their immunity to malware and hackers. Palo Alto Networks’ recently discovered some Mac malware in the wild, which I hope will make us Mac users pay more attention to security. The malware, which targets mostly the aerospace industry, appears to be from an APT group they call “Fancy Bear”.

The malware is a trojan executable designed to look and act like a PDF file. It is being used in highly targeted attacks where the apparent content of the file is something that the recipient was expecting to receive.

These kinds of attacks typically start with the nation state level APT attackers and quickly make their way down to the street level cybercriminals. Everyone on every platform needs to pay attention to their security and take proper precautions.

The post Macs are not safe from Bears appeared first on The Privacy Blog.

Peter Sankoff

Facebook releases Osquery Security Tool for Windows

OSquery, an open-source framework created by Facebook that allows organizations to look for potential malware or malicious activity on their networks, was available for Mac OS X and Linux environments until today.

But now the social network has announced that the company has developed a Windows version of its osquery tool, too.

When Facebook engineers want to monitor thousands of Apple Mac

Hamilton Employment Law

Germany Bans Facebook From Collecting WhatsApp Data

Just last month, the most popular messaging app WhatsApp updated its privacy policy and T&Cs to start sharing its user data with its parent company, and now both the companies are in trouble, at least in Germany and India.

Both Facebook, as well as WhatsApp, have been told to immediately stop collecting and storing data on roughly 35 Million WhatsApp users in Germany.

The Hamburg

Google to Launch ‘Andromeda OS’ — An Android-Chrome OS Hybrid

Google’s long-rumored Android-Chrome hybrid operating system is expected to debut at the company’s upcoming hardware event on October 4.

The company has been working to merge the two OSes for roughly 3 years with a release planned for 2017, but an “early version” to show things off to the world in 2016.
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Android + Chrome = Andromeda

The hybrid OS, currently nicknamed ‘

Sissi Johnson: Our Lives In Data: 3 Takeaways

Data, and especially big data, has a certain appeal when uttered from the lips of Apple’s Tim Cook and other deep-minded algorithm enthusiasts and marketers.

Read more: Big Data, Privacy, Online Privacy, Technology, Sissi Johnson, London, Technology News

What is…an exploit?

shutterstock_189045062Most cyberattacks involve criminals exploiting some sort of security weakness.

That weakness could be down to a poorly chosen password, a user who falls for a fake login link, or an attachment that someone opened without thinking.

However, in the field of computer security, the word exploit has a specific meaning: an exploit is a way of abusing a software bug to bypass one or more security protections that are in place.

Software bugs that can be exploited in this way are known as vulnerabilities, for obvious reasons, and can take many forms.

For example, a home router might have a password page with a secret “backdoor code” that a crook can use to login, even if you deliberately set the official password to something unique.

Or a software product that you use might have a bug that causes it to crash if you feed it unexpected input such as a super-long username or an unusually-sized image – and not all software bugs of this sort can be detected and handled safely by the operating system.

Some software crashes can be orchestrated and controlled so that they do something dangerous, before the operating system can intervene and protect you.

When attackers outside your network exploit a vulnerability of this sort, they often do so by tricking one of the applications you are using, such as your browser or word processor, into running a program or program fragment that was sent in from outside.

By using what’s called a Remote Code Execution exploit, or RCE for short, an attacker can bypass any security popups or “Are you sure” download dialogs, so that even just looking at a web page could infect you silently with malware.

Worst of all is a so-called zero-day exploit, where the hackers take advantage of a vulnerability that is not yet public knowledge, and for which no patch is currently available.

(The name “zero-day” comes from the fact that there were zero days during which you could have patched in advance.)

What to do?

Patch early, patch often!

Reputable vendors patch exploitable vulnerabilities as soon as they can. Many vulnerabilities never turn into zero-days because they are discovered responsibly through the vendor’s own research, or thanks to bug bounty programs, and patched before the crooks find them out.

Use security software that blocks exploits proactively

Many vulnerabilities require an attacker to trigger a series of suspicious operations to line things up before they can be exploited. Good security software like Sophos Endpoint Security and Sophos Intercept X can detect, report and block these precursor operations and prevent exploits altogether, regardless of what malware those exploits were trying to implant.

Filed under: Corporate, Enduser, Security Tips Tagged: Exploit, Sophos Endpoint Protection, Sophos Intercept X, What is, Zero-day

Hacker Who Helped ISIS to Build ‘Hit List’ Of US Military Personnel Jailed for 20 Years

A computer hacker who allegedly helped the terrorist organization ISIS by handing over data for 1,351 US government and military personnel has been sentenced to 20 years in a U.S. prison.

Ardit Ferizi, aka Th3Dir3ctorY, from Kosovo was sentenced in federal court in Alexandria, for “providing material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and accessing a protected computer

Google WiFi Router — Combine Multiple Routers to Boost WiFi Signal

Can you rely on a single loudspeaker in your living room for great sound throughout your home?


In the same way, you can not expect a single WiFi router to provide stable range throughout your home.

To solve this issue, Google will soon power your home’s wireless internet network with its own-brand new WiFi router called Google WiFi, according to a new report.
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Google is


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