The fact that stealing credit cards or even identities is a huge problem in the digital age is hardly a surprise, but the to learn just how easy it is for people to secure stolen data for pennies and turn it into a big score is indeed shocking. Freelance technology writer Patrick Lambert recently connected with a malicious hacker known only as “d0g,” and through a series of interviews, Lambert sheds light on a massive underground community that pulls in millions by making the rest of our lives a nightmare. More →
Anyone who plays Starcraft, World of Warcraft or Diablo online will likely need to change their passwords soon, as Blizzard (ATVI) on Thursday acknowledged that millions of its users’ Battle.net accounts have been hacked. In a question-and-answer session posted on its official website, Blizzard said that users’ email addresses, secret security question answers, cryptographically-scrambled passwords and other key information was stolen by an unidentified hacker. Blizzard said that it has seen no evidence yet to suggest that this information has been used by the hacker, or that the hacker had shared the information with any third parties. All the same, the company is encouraging its users to change their passwords as soon as possible. More →
Memo to foolhardy companies: Anonymous does not like having its Intellectual Property rights violated. The Register reports that the famed hacker collective is in a state of outrage because a French company called E-Flicker has filed a copyright application for Anonymous’s official headless-man logo and slogan. More →
Esteemed hacker Charlie Miller, who made a name for himself embarrassing Apple engineers with his iOS hacks, has returned with a big, juicy target in his sites: the Near Field Communications technology used to send mobile payments over smartphones. Ars Technica reports that Miller showed off his latest smartphone hack at Black Hat USA on Wednesday that involved using NFC to force someone’s Android smartphone to go to a malicious website and download malware. And the scariest part about this is that all hackers have to do to compromise users’ phones is to walk right by them. More →
In Russia, iPhone hacks you! Via 9to5Mac, it seems that a crafty Ruskie hacker who calls himself “ZonD80″ has concocted a method that lets even novice hackers get free in-app purchases from the Apple App Store without even having to jailbreak their iPhone. 9to5Mac says that the hacker’s content-stealing method has three steps: “The installation of CA certificate, the installation of in-appstore.com certificate, and the changing DNS record in wi-fi settings.” Once all these steps are complete, the hacker’s in-appstore.com interface takes over and lets users grab content from the App Store without paying.
UPDATE: Apple responded to the security flaw in a statement provided to The Loop. “The security of the App Store is incredibly important to us and the developer community,” an Apple spokeswoman said. “We take reports of fraudulent activity very seriously and we are investigating.” More →
Developers who work on mobile payment platforms should start hitting the panic button: Esteemed hacker Charlie Miller is about to mess them up. Dark Reading reports that Miller’s presentation at Black Hat USA this year “will show just how dangerous it can be to pay cabfare with your mobile device, as he demonstrates vulnerabilities he discovered in emerging near-field communications (NFC) technology.” More →
Security firm TrustedSec has found that more than 450,000 passwords have been exposed after a successful hack into Yahoo’s Voices website, the Guardian reports. Voices, formerly known as Associated Content before being purchased by Yahoo in 2010, is a news and analysis site that relies on user-generated content. The big problem with this particular hack, the Guardian says, is that “the passwords for the accounts were not encrypted — meaning that any hacker could scoop up the emails and immediately start using them against other services, including Yahoo Mail.” TrustedSec says the hack was executed using SQL injection attacks that are commonly used to hack into databases, and security expert Anders Nilsson has an analysis of the data that is linked below.
Update: Yahoo confirmed the breach and provided the following statement to TechCrunch: More →
Two LulzSec hackers may soon learn that it’s easier to break into government databases than it is to break out of jail. Ryan Cleary, 19, and Jake Davis, 18, on Monday both pleaded guilty in a London court to charges that they attacked both government websites and major commercial websites, the BBC reports. The two men, both citizens of the United Kingdom, admitted to hacking into the Pentagon, the CIA, the U.K.’s National Health Service, News International, PBS, Sony, Nintendo and the 20th Century Fox film studio. Both men, however, pleaded not guilty to more serious charges that they “unlawfully obtained confidential computer data” and posted it on popular hacker hubs such as LulzSec.com and Pirate Bay. A trial for those charges has been set for April 2013, the BBC reports. More →
Hackers associated with well known hacker-activist group “Anonymous Operations” have released a massive cache of data they say was obtained when they hacked a website belonging to the United States Department of Justice. “Today we are releasing 1.7GB of data that used to belong to the United States Bureau of Justice, until now,” Anonymous wrote in a statement on its website. The hackers claim the file contains emails as well as “the entire database dump” from the DOJ website. More →
Natural gas pipeline operators in the United States have reportedly been the target of sophisticated phishing attacks since last year, and the Department of Homeland Security has been helping firms deal with incidents since March. “DHS’s Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team has been working since March 2012 with critical infrastructure owners and operators in the oil and natural gas sector to address a series of cyber intrusions targeting natural gas pipeline companies,” DHS spokesman Peter Boogaard told CNET on Tuesday. “The cyber intrusion involves sophisticated spear-phishing activities targeting personnel within the private companies. DHS is coordinating with the FBI and appropriate federal agencies, and ICS-CERT is working with affected organizations to prepare mitigation plans customized to their current network and security configurations to detect, mitigate and prevent such threats.” More →
The hacker group “Anonymous operations” plans to launch further attacks on Chinese government-run websites to protest what it believes to be strict and unfair laws. The loosely knit group launched various cyberattacks on China’s goverment last week and warned that further attacks were on the horizon. “First we want to alert the Chinese government that we aren’t afraid, and we are going to show the truth and fight for justice,” Anonymous hacker “f0ws3r” said to Reuters, adding that more serious attacks are coming against Chinese websites. “Yes, we are planning more attacks, a few at a time,” the hacker said. The group is looking to “take down the Great Firewall of China,” which blocks access to Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and many other websites. The Anonymous China team consist of 10 to 12 hackers, most of whom are not based in China, and has “hundreds” of translators who have helped the group hack various Chinese websites, f0ws3r said. The hacker declined to give further details on the next round of attacks, although he did say the group may hit bigger targets this time around. More →
Notorious hacker group “Anonymous” on Thursday claimed responsibility for attacks on several government Web sites in China. The group has launched various Internet attacks on the country over the past week in response to what it believes to be strict and unfair laws. “All these years, the Chinese Communist government has subjected its People to unfair laws and unhealthy processes,” the group wrote on one Chinese website. “Dear Chinese government, you are not infallible, today websites are hacked, tomorrow it will be your vile regime that will fall.” The group goes on to warn that further attacks are on the horizon. “So expect us because we do not forgive, never. What you are doing today to your Great People, tomorrow will be inflicted to you. Nothing will stop us, nor your anger nor your weapons. You do not scare us, because you cannot afraid an idea.” Anonymous also acknowledged the Chinese people directly, telling them to remain optimistic, “Don’t loose hope, the revolution begins in the heart.” More →
A report emerged last week from a security researcher claiming Microsoft’s Xbox lacked important security features that might protect owners who sell used consoles from having personal information stolen. Ashley Podhradsky of Drexel University claimed to have purchased a used Xbox console and used readily available hacking tools to recover the prior owner’s credit card number and other personal information. “Microsoft does a great job of protecting their proprietary information, but they don’t do a great job of protecting the user’s data,” Podhradsky said at the time. More →