If I had a separate category for ‘miscellaneous extortion’ this might belong there. Included here because it isn’t just a hoax, but one that centres on extortion, though it looks as if the point is to embarrass/harass the apparent sender of the extortion email (the Michigan company VELT) rather than actually make a direct profit from extortion. The company’s CEO told the BBC that the attacker was probably a Minecraft player who had been banned from using the Veltpvp server, by way of revenge.
- The BBC: School bomb threats: Disgruntled Minecraft gamer ‘behind hoax’
- The Guardian: School bomb threats: more than 400 schools in England receive hoax warnings “Police say threats contained in emails are not credible and evacuations are unnecessary.”
- The Telegraph: Hackers target more than 400 schools with bomb hoax.
[Updates to Cryptocurrency/Crypto-mining News and Resources]
- Sam Biddle for The Intercept: THE NSA WORKED TO “TRACK DOWN” BITCOIN USERS, SNOWDEN DOCUMENTS REVEAL. ‘Classified documents provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden show that the National Security Agency indeed worked urgently to target Bitcoin users around the world — and wielded at least one mysterious source of information to “help track down senders and receivers of Bitcoins…”’
- Thomas Claburn for The Register: Bitcoin’s blockchain: Potentially a hazardous waste dump of child abuse, malware, etc: “Boffins warn of legal risks from arbitrary data distribution”. Summarizes this academic paper “A Quantitative Analysis of the Impact of Arbitrary Blockchain Content on Bitcoin“.
[Update to Tech support scams resource page]
Sophos: Fake Amazon ad ranks top on Google search results. “Yep, not for the first time, Google’s been snookered into serving a scam tech support ad posing as an Amazon ad.”
(1) Commenting on Symantec’s warning of a new Fakebank Android variant, Graham Cluley reports: This Android malware redirects calls you make to your bank to go to scammers instead – “MALWARE HELPS SCAMMERS TRICK YOU INTO THINKING YOU’RE SPEAKING TO YOUR BANK.”
The Fakebank malware is only targeting South Korea, right now, but Graham rightly suggests that the same gambit is likely to be re-used elsewhere.
(2) Apple has dealt a major blow to users of supercookies with a security improvement in Safari.
- Brent Fulgham for Webkit: Protecting Against HSTS Abuse
- Hacker News: Apple Blocks Sites From Abusing HSTS Security Standard to Track Users
- Sophos: Apple burns the HSTS super cookie