Category Archives: cryptocurrency

28th August updates – AVIEN Resources

Updates to Cryptocurrency/Crypto-mining News and Resources

Bleeping Computer: Atlas Quantum Cryptocurrency Investment Platform Suffers Data Breach – “Atlas Quantum said the hacker (or hackers) did not steal any funds from users’ accounts.”

Updates to Internet of (not necessarily necessary) Things

[Many of the Things that crop up on this page are indeed necessary. But that doesn’t mean that connecting them to the Internet of Things (or even the Internet of Everything) is necessary, or even desirable, given how often that connectivity widens the attack surface.]

Security Boulevard: Here’s how anyone with $20 can hire an IoT botnet to blast out a week-long DDoS attack – “This is borne out by Akamai Technologies’ Summer 2018 Internet Security/Web Attack Report.

Updates to Meltdown/Spectre and other chip-related resources

The Register: Linux 4.19 lets you declare your trust in AMD, IBM and Intel – “Wave the the CPU trust flag if you’re feeling safe enough….When random number generation is insufficiently random, encryption based on such numbers can be broken with less effort.”

Updates to Specific Ransomware Families and Types

Security Boulevard: Here’s how anyone with $20 can hire an IoT botnet to blast out a week-long DDoS attack – “This is borne out by Akamai Technologies’ Summer 2018 Internet Security/Web Attack Report.

Updates to Tech support scams resource page

Link to Chainmailcheck article below.

Updates to Chain Mail Check

William Tsing for Malwarebytes: Green card scams: preying on the desperate – Green card scams are far from new. Though in fact this site does actually indicate in the small print that its usefulness to someone wanting to improve their chances of getting a green card via the diversity visa lottery is going to be very limited indeed. But Tsing makes the interesting point that the scam site looks more authentic than the real site because it provides more information, and compares it to “what we see with legitimate tech support and tech support scammers. An official entity does a poor job communicating with its constituency, and that creates a vacuum that scammers are all too eager to fill.” Seems an entirely valid point.

I talked about the issue of inadequate tech support in an article for ESET – Tech support scams and the call of the void – The importance of providing the best possible after-sales service to customers. That article was sparked off by a useful article on the Security Boulevard site by Christopher Burgess on When Scammers Fill the Tech Support Void.

Updates to Mac Virus

Tomáš Foltýn for ESET: Why now could be a good time to fortify your Android defenses
“Stop us if you’ve heard this before: avoid installing apps from outside Google Play. But what if you’re itching to battle it out in Fortnite?”

Follow-up article- interview with Lukáš Štefanko, who says I hope other app developers don’t follow Epic‘s example – “After Epic Games shunned Google Play, debates about threats faced by Android users have taken on a whole new tenor. Joining us to add his voice to the mix is ESET Malware Researcher Lukáš Štefanko”

My own view is slightly (but only slightly) different, as discussed in my MacVirus article: Fortnite and Android: an Epic disagreement

David Harley

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Other resource updates August 24th 2018

Updates to Cryptocurrency/Crypto-mining News and Resources

Brian Krebs: Alleged SIM Swapper Arrested in California – “Authorities in Santa Clara, Calif. have arrested and charged a 19-year-old area man on suspicion hijacking mobile phone numbers as part of a scheme to steal large sums of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The arrest is the third known law enforcement action this month targeting “SIM swappers,” individuals who specialize in stealing wireless phone numbers and hijacking online financial and social media accounts tied to those numbers.”

Commentary from CoinTelegraph.


SecureList: Operation AppleJeus: Lazarus hits cryptocurrency exchange with fake installer and macOS malware

Commentary by The Register: Nork hackers Lazarus brought back to life by AppleJeus to infect Macs for the first time – “Malware with polished website spotted stealing crypto-coins from traders”

Updates to GDPR page

Rebecca Hill for The Register: Chap asks Facebook for data on his web activity, Facebook says no, now watchdog’s on the case – “Info collected on folk outside the social network ‘not readily accessible’ … Facebook’s refusal … is to be probed by the Irish Data Protection Commissioner … Under the General Data Protection Regulation … people can demand that organisations hand over the data they hold on them.”

Updates to Internet of (not necessarily necessary) Things

[Many of the Things that crop up on this page are indeed necessary. But that doesn’t mean that connecting them to the Internet of Things (or even the Internet of Everything) is necessary, or even desirable, given how often that connectivity widens the attack surface.]

John Leyden for The Register: If it doesn’t need to be connected, don’t: Nurse prescribes meds for sickly hospital infosec – “Pro shares healthcare horror stories”. I met Jelena Milosevic when she presented at Virus Bulletin in 2017 on a similar topic. She made several good points.

Updates to Mac Virus

Graham Cluley for BitDefender: Facebook pulls its VPN from the iOS App Store after data-harvesting accusations – “Facebook has withdrawn its Onavo Protect VPN app from the iOS App Store after Apple determined that it was breaking data-collection policies.”

Juli Clover for MacRumors: Facebook Removing Onavo VPN From App Store After Apple Says It Violates Data Collection Policies

Based on a story from the Wall Street Journal (requires subscription).


Also from Bitdefender: Triout – The Malware Framework for Android
That Packs Potent Spyware Capabilities


SecureList: Operation AppleJeus: Lazarus hits cryptocurrency exchange with fake installer and macOS malware

David Harley

Bitcoin ATMs, SIM swapping, and Twitter scam bots

Updates to Cryptocurrency/Crypto-mining News and Resources

Trend Micro’s article Malware Targeting Bitcoin ATMs Pops Up in the Underground not only talks about the very interesting ATM malware Trend has analysed, but gives some useful background about Bitcoin ATMs, indicating that criminals are extending their activities beyond cryptomining.


Brian Krebs: Hanging Up on Mobile in the Name of Security  – “An entrepreneur and virtual currency investor is suing AT&T for $224 million, claiming the wireless provider was negligent when it failed to prevent thieves from hijacking his mobile account and stealing millions of dollars in cryptocurrencies. Increasingly frequent, high-profile attacks like these are prompting some experts to say the surest way to safeguard one’s online accounts may be to disconnect them from the mobile providers entirely.” The reason being, in this case at least, that mobile providers are too often tricked by scammers into transferring a victims’ service to a new SIM card and mobile phone in the possession of the scammer, not the victim.


An interesting article by William Suberg for CoinTelegraph: Researchers Reveal Network of 15K Crypto-Related Scam Bots on TwitterNew research published today, Aug. 6, has shed light on the infamous phenomenon of cryptocurrency-related Twitter accounts advertising fake “giveaways,” revealing a network of at least 15,000 scam bots.”

David Harley

Hi ho, hi ho, off to cryptomine we go

Updates to Cryptocurrency/Crypto-mining News and Resources

Sophos: The Pirate Bay is plundering your CPU for cryptocash, again – “Popular file sharing site The Pirate Bay seems to have returned to its old tricks again by mining cryptocurrency in visitors’ browsers without telling them.” Graham Cluley: The Pirate Bay is cryptomining for Monero with your CPU again

The Hacker News: New Virus Decides If Your Computer Good for Mining or Ransomware – “Researchers at Russian security firm Kaspersky Labs have discovered a new variant of Rakhni ransomware family, which has now been upgraded to include cryptocurrency mining capability as well.”

The Register: Japanese cryptominer slapped with suspended sentence – “Said to have netted only £34…”

Sophos: Think that bitcoins and a VPN keep you anonymous? Think again… – “A security lapse by a VPN operator can therefore be very worrying news indeed, and that’s what popular online cybercurrency wallet service MyEtherWallet (MEW) is warning about right now…Hola is a free VPN that essentially shares out participating users’ browser connections out amongst the community in order to get around geoblocks.”

David Harley

Resource updates 5th July 2018

Updates to Anti-Social Media 

Graham Cluley: Carole Cadwalladr takes us behind the scenes of the Cambridge Analytica investigation – HOW MILLIONS OF FACEBOOK USERS’ PERSONAL DATA WERE USED TO INFLUENCE THE US ELECTION AND BREXIT. “Last week, Carole Cadwalladr won The Orwell Prize for Journalism for her work investigating the impact of big data on the EU Referendum at the US Presidential election.”

John E. Dunn for Sophos: Facebook gave certain companies special access to customer data – “What do Russian internet company Mail.ru, car maker Nissan, music service Spotify, and sports company Nike have in common? They, and 57 other companies, were revealed by Facebook in a US House of Representatives’ Energy and Commerce Committee submission to have been given temporary extensions to access private Friends data API despite the company supposedly changing the policy allowing this in May 2015.”

The Hacker News: Facebook Admits Sharing Users’ Data With 61 Tech Companies

Rhett Jones for Gizmodo: Google Says It Doesn’t Go Through Your Inbox Anymore, But It Lets Other Apps Do It

Updates to Cryptocurrency/Crypto-mining News and Resources

Pierluigi Paganini: Crooks leverage obfuscated Coinhive shortlink in a large crypto-mining operation – “Crooks leverage an alternative scheme to mine cryptocurrencies, they don’t inject the CoinHive JavaScript miner directly into compromised websites.”

Paul Ducklin for Sophos: Serious Security: How to cut-and-paste your way to Bitcoin riches – “Whether it’s cryptocurrency addresses, payment card details, ID numbers or other snippets of personal information, malware that sneakily changes data in the clipboard as you work online can trick you into paying the wrong people.”

Updates to GDPR page

The Register: United States, you have 2 months to sort Privacy Shield … or data deal is for the bin – Eurocrats – “MEPs call for urgent fix”

Updates to Internet of (not necessarily necessary) Things

[Many of the Things that crop up on this page are indeed necessary. But that doesn’t mean that connecting them to the Internet of Things (or even the Internet of Everything) is necessary, or even desirable, given how often that connectivity widens the attack surface.]

DZone Security Zone: Glimpse Inside IoT-Triggered DDoS Attacks and Securing IT Infrastructures

Tech support scams resource page

SANS Ouch Newsletter: Phone Call Attacks & Scams

Updates to Mac Virus

Andrew Orlowski for The Register: Uh-oh. Boffins say most Android apps can slurp your screen – and you wouldn’t even know it – “Over 89 per cent of apps in the Google Play store make use of an API that requests screen capture or recording – and the user is oblivious as it evades the Android permission framework.” Summary of a paper”…titled Panoptispy: Characterizing Audio and Video Exfiltration from Android Applications (summary and PDF).”

Pierluigi Paganini: A Samsung Texting App bug is sending random photos to contacts – ”

“The problem affected Galaxy S9 and S9+ devices, but we cannot exclude that other devices may have been affected…several users reported the anomalous behavior on Reddit and the company official forums.”

John E. Dunn for Sophos: Samsung phones sending photos to contacts without permission and also Your smartphone can watch you if it wants to, study finds.

Elcomsoft:  Apple Warns Users against Jailbreaking iOS Devices: True or False? Not whether Apple has issued the warnings – of course it has – but more about how justified the warnings are. The conclusion seems to be mostly true, with “with few caveats and one major exception.” Interesting article, anyway.

David Harley

Cryptomining – it’s off to scam we go

1.

ADB.Miner and a continuing vulnerability

“Unfortunately, vendors have been shipping products with Android Debug Bridge enabled. It listens on port 5555, and enables anybody to connect over the internet to a device. It is also clear some people are insecurely rooting their devices, too.” He cites the following from Android’s developer portal:

“The adb command facilitates a variety of device actions, such as installing and debugging apps, and it provides access to a Unix shell that you can use to run a variety of commands on a device.”

“The ADB.Miner worm exploited the Android Debug Bridge (ADB) … used for troubleshooting faulty devices …  some vendors have been shipping Android-based devices where the ADB over WiFi feature has been left enabled in the production version…”

2.

Catalin Cimpanu for Bleeping Computer: Ethereum “Giveaway” Scammers Have Tricked People Out of $4.3 Million – Online crooks promoting fake “giveaways” have tricked people out of 8,148 Ether, currently worth around $4.3 million, according to statistical data compiled in EtherScamDB.”

3.

Graham Cluley: Bitcoin price takes a dive after another cryptocurrency exchange hack
– “Billions of dollars worth of wealth were wiped out this weekend after a South Korean cryptocurrency exchange was hacked … The exchange in question is called Coinrail…”

4.

Lisa Vaas for Sophos: SHOCK! HORROR! SURPRISE! Bitcoin priceplosion may have been market manipulation – “Last year’s meteoric rise in the value of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies might well have been artificially inflated, according to a paper released on Wednesday by University of Texas finance professor John Griffin and graduate student Amin Shams.” Maybe not an outright scam, but a bit shady, if true.

David Harley

Resource updates May 1 2018

Updates to Anti-Social Media 

The Guardian: WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum quits over privacy disagreements with Facebook – “WhatsApp was built with a focus on privacy and a disdain for ads, but the Facebook-owned service is now under pressure to make money”

Selina Wang for Bloomberg: Twitter Sold Data Access to Cambridge Analytica–Linked Researcher. And commentary from Help Net.

ENISA: Strengthening network & information security & protecting against online disinformation (“fake news”) – “In this paper, ENISA presents some views on the problem of online disinformation in the EU from a Network and Information Security (NIS) perspective. A number of recommendations are presented which relate both to general NIS measures, as well as targeted measures to protect against online disinformation specifically.”

Updates to Cryptocurrency/Crypto-mining News and Resources

Coin Telegraph: Scammers Hijack Verified Twitter Account To Steal Crypto By Posing As Telegram CEO

Updates to Chain Mail Check

ESET: This test will tell you how likely you are to fall for fraud

David Harley

Intel gives up and Microsoft tries again…

Updates to Meltdown/Spectre – Related Resources

[April 4 2018] John Leyden for The Register: Badmins: Magento shops brute-forced to scrape card deets and install cryptominers

April 2nd/3rd 2018 updates

Updates to Anti-Social Media 

[2nd April 2018] Facecrooks: Facebook Is Making Its Privacy Settings Easier To Find

[3rd April 2018] John Leyden for The Register: One solution to wreck privacy-hating websites: Flood them with bogus info using browser tools – Chad Loder is quoted as saying “The internet ought to “route around” known privacy abusers, shifting from passive blocking of cookies, host names, and scripts to a more active deception model. ” Lots of other useful commentary.

Updates to Cryptocurrency/Crypto-mining News and Resources

Updates to Mac Virus

‘Android action updates’

David Harley

AVIEN resource updates 31st March 2018

Updates to Anti-Social Media

 (HT to Mich Kabay for pointing out the Economist articles – NB there’s a limit on how many you can view without subscribing.)

Updates to Cryptocurrency/Crypto-mining News and Resources

Updates to Meltdown/Spectre – Related Resources

Updates to Mac Virus

(1) iOS

(2) Android

Updates to Anti-Malware Testing Blog

David Harley