The Cost of Ransomware

Alina Simone’s gripping 2015 account of her mother’s extortion ordeal was the first time many non-tech people had heard the term “Ransomware”. It presented a threat that felt intensely personal. It blocked access to data we use to define ourselves: family photos, letters to relatives, tax and financial records, and beloved music and movies.

Flash forward a year, and ransomware is all over the media. The reason for its rise is simple: money.

Before the emergence of ransomware, criminals mainly used (and still use) malware to take control of machines. Malicious code harvested user names, passwords, and credit card numbers. It might have also used infected PCs in a botnet for sending spam or launching attacks that shut down major websites, usually as a decoy while hackers broke in elsewhere.

For Criminals, Ransomware Is Lucrative

Ransomware cuts out the digital middlemen. Rather than collect credit card details that must then be sold on the dark web for a few cents to a few dollars, ransomware demands money directly from the victims. While the amount varies, it tends to be few hundred dollars for individuals.

Yet these small sums are taking a heavy toll. The exact number of ransomware attacks is hard to gauge, as many go unreported. But according to our data they are rising fast. While official complaints about ransomware (and ransoms paid) to the US Department of Justice amounted to only around $24 million in damages in 2015, other numbers are much higher. In April, CNBC estimated the cost of ransomware at around $200 million in the first three months of 2016 alone. Late last year, the Cyber Threat Alliance stated that a single piece of ransomware, CrytopWall v3, resulted in an estimated $325 million in damages worldwide over the course of its lifetime. And as far back as June 2014, the FBI issued a report saying CryptoLocker swindled more than $27 million from users over a two-month period.

Bigger Targets May Mean Bigger Paydays

These numbers speak to the audacity of ransomware purveyors. The long-tail effect of attacking individuals has proven so lucrative, it is unlikely to ever go away. But many organizations also hold sensitive customer data that needs to be protected both to ensure effective service and consumer privacy. That makes them particularly juicy targets to hackers.

Healthcare provides are a case in point. If they lose control of patient information, they may be unable to deliver treatment when needed. There are also strict legal requirements governing the protection of patient data. Both make them subject to lawsuits that could cost them far more than what they would have to pay in ransom. A hospital in Hollywood, California, paid $17,000 in bitcoin to hackers after being locked out of their data. Fortunately, so far, other reported attacks have fared less well. Healthcare providers in Kentucky and Ottawa refused to pay, as no patient data was compromised; and an attack in Germany was quickly contained by fast-acting IT staff.

Still, the hospitals have had to invest considerable time and resources into fighting the attacks. They will also need to launch multiple efforts internally and externally to restore patient trust.

And hospitals are not alone. A 2016 report by the Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology, an industry think tank, declares 2016 the year of ransomware, suggesting few organizations are safe. For instance, systems at an Israeli electrical utility were infected by ransomware after a phishing attack. A utility in Michigan has been allegedly attacked. Multiple police stations have been hit and paid ransoms to regain access to their systems. Local governments are increasingly feeling the pressure, with attacks reported in places as diverse as Alto City, Texas, and Lincolnshire, UK. And criminals have subverted online adverts of venerable media organizations, such as the BBC and NYT, turning their websites into potential sources of drive-by ransomware.

The Right Protection Saves Money

This is why protection is essential, especially for individual users, most of whom lack the expertise and resources of even modest city councils and small hospitals. Over a three-month period earlier this year, a conservative estimate by AVG is that its antivirus prevented around $47 million in extortion demands through the interception of just three types of ransomware: Cryt0L0cker, CryptoWall, and TeslaCrypt. And that number says nothing of the mental and emotional costs that would have resulted from feeling violated or the costs of replacing machines, software, and media if a victim decided not to pay.

slorunner.eu does not recommend paying. There is no guarantee criminals will release the files. They may also leave a piece of malicious code behind that allows them to strike again. It is better to call tech support, salvage what you can, make frequent backups, and get good antivirus protection – and thus prevent the writing of another news story like Alina Simone’s.

 
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5 Things to learn from Mr. Robot (TV Series)

Hello everybody, and welcome to slorunner.eu.

First of all, my favorite TV Series Mr. Robot is back with season 2, and It gets better and better. In this article, we’ll talk about Things you can learn about InfoSec from Mr. Robot TV Series.

If you don’t know about Mr. Robot, then you are living in a world full of Illusions. Mr. Robot is an American drama–thriller television series created by Sam Esmail. It stars Rami Malek as Elliot Alderson, a cybersecurity engineer and hacker who suffers from social anxiety disorder and clinical depression.

Alderson is recruited by an insurrectionary anarchist known as “Mr. Robot”, played by Christian Slater, to join a group of hacktivists. The group aims to cancel all debts by attacking the large corporation E Corp.

This show takes technical realism to levels unprecedented for Hollywood. Without further ado, here are five information security lessons from season 1 of Mr. Robot.

  1. A Hacker can compromise your phone in seconds, and you’ll never even know it:
    Mr Robot Hacks - The Tech BibleHackers don’t need to steal your phone — that would be too obvious, and would only give them access to your data from the past.
    Instead, they can gain control of your phone using spyware. They can do this in minutes, and you’ll never even know.
    In Mr. Robot, one of the characters (Tyrell Wellick) installs a root kit on someone’s phone in less time than it takes to shower. Using Flexispy  — a widely-used Android spyware tool — the character “roots” the phone — putting it in superuser mode — and then hides the normal superuser icon to obscure the fact that the phone has been tampered with.
    FlexiSpy - The Tech BibleFrom now on, Tyrell is able to monitor all of that phone’s digital and audio communications.

    Word to the wise :  Using your phone’s thumbprint scanner or setting a lock screen password will make it much harder for a hacker to do this to you.

  2. Don’t Accept CD or USB drives from strangers:
    Mr. Robot Hacks using USB - The Tech Bible

    Emerging from the subway, a boombox-blasting rapper offers you a free copy of his newest album.

    Now, you wouldn’t take candy from some guy in bellbottom jeans and stick it in your mouth. Don’t take a CD from some guy in a flat-bill cap and stick it in your computer!

    To be fair, you would still need to execute a file. In Mr. Robot, hackers use an alluring filename like “Free iTunes Gift Card.exe” to dupe the victim into double-clicking it. This installs a Remote Access Trojan (RAT), effectively giving the attacker access to files and even webcams. Creepy.

  3. Hide Things in Plain Sight:
    Sometimes the best place to hide things is right out in the open. Who would think twice about that binder of old rock albums on your floor?
    Mr. Robot uses Encrypted CDs to hide Data - The Tech Bible

    What looks like a normal CD — that even plays their album scrawled on it with a sharpie—actually contains an extra layer of data stashed within.

    Removed from any network access, the only way to read the data on these CDs would be to physically enter the premise and get a hold of them. You’d then for at least long enough to spin up an optical drive and dump their contents.

  4. If you aren’t using Bluetooth, then Turn It Off:
    Mr. Robot hacks Police Van Bluetooth - The Tech Bible

    If an attacker discovers an open bluetooth connection on your device, they could connect their own keyboard to it and start inputing commands.

    Yes, it is possible to open up a terminal with a series of hotkeys in both Windows and OS X, and from there type in malicious commands. As a bonus, turning off Bluetooth when you’re out and about will reduce your battery consumption.

  5. You are your own greatest vulnerability:

    Do you know where the weakest link in any Security System is? It’s you, with your shitty passwords and how you share every part of your life online from Geo-tagging everything you do, to a photo you post of your new ATM Card.

    Throughout Mr. Robot, the most common exploit is good old social engineering — manipulating people into doing what you want.

    Here are some red flags to look out for when interacting with strangers:

    1. A phone call that jumps straight into “I just need to ask you some security questions first” — many services use the same security questions, and these could also be used to speed up a brute-force attempt to guess your password.

    2. A stranger approaches you with an all-too-plausible story and asks to use your phone — this is an easy way to get your phone number or other identifying information.

    3. Your own vanity, laziness, love of family, or fear of germs — these are all vulnerabilities that an attacker can take advantage of. If a stranger seems to be winding you up emotionally for no reason, they may be more than just a mean person. They may be an attacker.
    Elliot from Mr. Robot - The Tech Bible

That’s it for now. I hope you like the article(which I am sure you will if you are a Mr. Robot fan).

Bonsoir!

Source: TheTechBible

 
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How to detect Malicious code in nulled or Free WordPress Themes and Plugins.

Wordpress-unwanted-code

Apart from Official WordPress repository there are hundreds and thousands of websites which provides free WordPress themes and Plugins but the problem is you can not trust them always.

Yes, Most of them add a malicious code to themes and plugins which is not too easy for you to find out.

Before learning about the cure lets discuss about the cause.

Here  is why they add their custom codes

  • To get backlink from your blog unknowingly
  • To get access to your blog
  • To redirect your blog to spam links
  • To add their advertisements and banners.
  • or to simply get your website down

Not only free themes and plugins also the premium nulled plugins and themes that you have download from Warez and torrents may also infected by these malicious codes.

My Confessions

Did  you wonder what triggered me write this article ?

Yes, I too fell prey to these free plugins.Few days back, I was desperate to download a very famous nulled plugin from warez and after installing it in my blog I got to know that the plugin was infected and it redirects my blog to a spam blog.

I immediately disabled the plugin and checked for the code that caused the redirection in plugin files. After an hour I found the code and immediately removed it [ I don’t use that plugin now ]

This incident taught me very important thing.

Never trust nulled WordPress plugins and themes

However many of you might want to use those nulled or free plugins and themes for God’s Sake, If you are one of them then read the remaining article

Detecting Malicious codes

After downloading the plugin or theme,The first thing you should do is to check for virus,trojans and other worms that you may not like it.

Check for Virus and Trojans

Go to VirusTotal.com and upload the zip file to check for virus.

If your file is infected you will get a red signal and if not then you can move on to next step.

VirusTotal Scan result

VirusTotal Scan result

Check for unwanted codes in Plugins

Now lets check for unwanted codes in plugins using another WordPress plugin called Exploit Scanner,which can be securely downloaded from WordPress website.

After installing it go to Dashboard >> Tools >> Exploit Scanner and run the scan.It will take some time to complete the scan and the time depends on number of plugins you have installed.

After the scan you can see a list of codes that are suspected.You can use the browser search function to find the plugins that you installed from outside WordPress repository.

Exploit Scanner

Exploit Scanner

[mybox]Note : This plugin will also scan themes but you might to be interested to try the tip that I am about to give next.[/mybox]

Check for Theme authenticity

Adding a backlink in a free theme is very common technique but you can easily find those exploited themes by the plugin called Theme Authenticity Checker (TAC).

Install the plugin and go to Dashboard >> Appearance >> TAC

You can see the list of themes installed with their authenticity result.It will give a warning if any encrypted links are found in a theme.

Theme Authenticity Checker

Theme Authenticity Checker

Security is in your hands

Its very rare to get hacked unless,We make mistake.So,security is in your hand : Either Act wisely or get fooled easily.

 
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How do Hackers Look Like and What They Think?

How do Hackers Look Like and What They Think?

How do Hackers Look Like and What They Think?

EDUCATIONAL PROFILE: Almost all hackers finished college or reached that level by self-education. Self-educated hacker is  more respected in hackers community because you really need to have passion to become professional hacker. The most common areas in which people can engage in hack, with computers electrical engineering, physics, mathematics, linguistics and philosophy. However, as every developer is not necessarily the hackers, so hackers do not always have the skills of programming (I think they have to know programming)!

DRESS STYLE: Hackers are dressed simply, casually: jeans, T-shirt and shoes. T-shirts are usually with some humorous slogans. By 1990, they were distributed T-shirts with computer imagery, but as the hacker culture eventually developed their own symbols, today there are T-shirts with pictures of Penguin (trademark Linux) or daemon (BSD). A small number of hackers prefer hiking boots. After 1995, hackers are falling under the influence of punk, gothic and rave subculture. This was reflected in the wearing of black clothes. Hackers care more about comfort, functionality and ease of maintenance wardrobe. They don’t like business suits. Even if they wear it, be sure to break the conventionality with a humorous tie.

OTHER INTERESTS: Hobbies that hackers exercise are widespread. These are primarily science fiction, music, medievalism, chess, war games and intellectual games of all types, logical puzzles and other areas that are closely related to hacking or that include linguistics and acting.

THINGS HACKERS AVOID: On this list are all Microsoft products, Smurfs and all forms of striking beauty. THEY HATE bureaucracy and stupid people, do not like to listen to soft music, or to watch television, except for cartoons and science fiction films. THEY HATE dishonesty, incompetence and boredom. From programming languages avoid COBOL and BASIC, as well as programs whose appearance is based on the text (not the icons).

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND SPORT: The largest number of hackers are generally not engaged in physical activities. Some of them practice it, but interest in the sport is not that big. Avoid team sports. Hacker sports are always individual, including concentration and motor skills: cycling, auto racing, skating, sailing, hiking, gliding … (I actually like to play football, but hate to watch it and I don’t have any favorite team).

Most hackers consume cigarettes and alcohol. In 1995, there was a trend among Linux hackers to drink exotic beers, influenced by Linus Torvalds who like Guinness. The limited use of cannabis, LSD, nitrus oxide used to be more accepted than in mass culture. On the other hand, the use of opioids is rare because hackers do not want to use a drug that blunts them. Most hackers use a coffee and / or sugar (ENERGY DRINKS, mmm 😉 ) in order to stay up all night during the hacking.

 
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The 25 Most Popular Passwords of 2015: We’re All Such Idiots

The 25 Most Popular Passwords of 2015: We’re All Such Idiots

passwords

The 25 Most Popular Passwords of 2015

It’s 2016 and you may have thought we’d all be a little older and wiser than this time last year. But as you read this list of 2015’s most popular passwords, you will shake your head, mumble unmentionables and reach the firm conclusion that, no, we are in fact all still complete and utter morons.

Every year, SplashData complies a list of the millions of stolen passwords made public throughout the last twelve months, then sorts them in order of popularity. This year the results, based on a total of over 2 million leaked passwords, are not the list of random alpha-numeric characters you might hope for. Rather, they’re a lesson in exactly how not to choose a password.

Yes, “123456″ and “password” remain bewilderingly popular.

But anyway, without further ado, here’s the list, direct from Splash Data. Brace yourselves.

1. 123456 (Unchanged)

2. password (Unchanged)

3. 12345678 (Up 1)

4. qwerty (Up 1)

5. 12345 (Down 2)

6. 123456789 (Unchanged)

7. football (Up 3)

8. 1234 (Down 1)

9. 1234567 (Up 2)

10. baseball (Down 2)

11. welcome (New)

12. 1234567890 (New)

13. abc123 (Up 1)

14. 111111 (Up 1)

15. 1qaz2wsx (New)

16. dragon (Down 7)

17. master (Up 2)

18. monkey (Down 6)

19. letmein (Down 6)

20. login (New)

21. princess (New)

22. qwertyuiop (New)

23. solo (New)

24. passw0rd (New)

25. starwars (New)

There are some interesting trends, if you can get beyond the sheer stupidity for a moment. Sports-based passwords are still popular, with “football” and “baseball” both ranking highly, and so are those inspired by a certain blockbuster film, with “starwars” and “solo” making an appearance.

It’s also nice to see the return of “princess,” which dropped out of the Top 25 last year but has made a resurgence, also potentially due to Star Wars. Elsewhere, other new entires—including “welcome,” “login” and “passw0rd”—are just as hackable but far more amusingly dumb.

Now is the point at which we should provide some advice about how to create a strong password. But here’s the best piece of advice we have: let’s all stop being such fucking idiots.

 
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Twitch ’s latest insane adventure: Installing Linux

Twitch’s latest insane adventure: Installing Linux

Twitch playing Pokémon was easy mode. Tomorrow, Twitch viewers will be invited to do something altogether more challenging: install Arch Linux. Using the same Twitch chat-driven concept as the collaborative Pokémon playthrough, anyone will be able to enter commands and control the installation process.

Normally, installing Linux is quicker and easier than winning PokĂ©mon. The install processes have been made broadly idiot-proof, especially if you’re installing into a safe virtual machine environment and so don’t even run the risk of clobbering a disk accidentally. But if Twitch chat has accomplished anything, it’s breeding a better idiot, one that is mindlessly bloody-minded, and so we fully anticipate that there will be trolling. Trolling PokĂ©mon revolved principally around getting stuck repeatedly in menus and releasing captured PokĂ©mon—annoying to those trying to complete the game but little that would force players to start from scratch.

Linux, in contrast, opens the door to a whole world of exotic trolling opportunities. There are old classics such as rm -rf / to wipe the disk, or dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/hda to really wipe the disk. There’s the casual annoyance of kill -9 1, or comedy options such as the bash fork bomb of :(){ :|:& };:. We wouldn’t be surprised to see the machine casually trapped in a reboot loop or have its hardware removed to leave it incapable of I/O.

And who knows, even more exotic options are also possible; security attacks to break into the virtual machine host, recruiting of the machine into botnets, or denial of service attacks. Also possible: a ton of copy-pasta and Kappa spam. Twitch wouldn’t really be Twitch without it.

The project kicks off on Saturday October 31 at 4pm Eastern.

 
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Government Grade Malware: a Look at HackingTeam ’s RAT

Government Grade Malware: a Look at HackingTeam’s RAT

malware2Security researchers the world over have been digging through themassiveHackingTeam dump for the past five days, and what we’ve foundhas been surprising. I’ve heard this situation called many things, and there’s one description that I can definitely agree with: it’s like Christmas for hackers.

“On the fifth day of Christmas Bromium sent to me a malware analysis B-L-O-G” – You

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Cross Site Request Forgery (CSRF) [HOW-TO]

Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) is an attack outlined in the OWASP Top 10 whereby a malicious website will send a request to a web application that a user is already authenticated against from a different website. This way an attacker can access functionality in a target web application via the victim’s already authenticated browser. Targets include web applications like social media, in-browser email clients, online banking and web interfaces for network devices.

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