malware

Ransomware takes out major county servers in North Carolina

Ransomware takes out major county servers in North Carolina

Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, where the city of Charlotte is located, was hit with a ransomware attack this week that took out major city servers and has forced some officials to work with old fashioned pen and paper. The ransomware was able to infect the network after a city employee opened an email attachment containing the software. The hacker is demanding a payment of $23,000 to restore the system, but so far city officials are refusing to pay.

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Browser-based drive-by cryptomining keeps running even when closed

Browser-based drive-by cryptomining keeps running even when closed

The fact that people mostly live their computing lives inside their browsers hasn’t escaped attention. Browser makers are adding more power and giving browsers more access to hardware. Google has even made an entire OS based on a web browser. And now, malware authors are scrambling to take advantage of all those. This latest development is a bit more cunning though because, instead of outright demanding payment or use misleading and harmful ads, it generates money by exploiting your computer’s hardware to mine for cryptocurrency.

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Surprise! The Equifax breach somehow just got worse

Surprise! The Equifax breach somehow just got worse

Equifax's massive data breach - which put the personal information of nearly 150 million Americans at risk - doesn't really seem like it can get much worse. Of course, we're learning today that making such a challenge is a foolish thing indeed, as it has gotten worse. How bad is it? That depends on how you feel about potentially being exposed to malware.

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Fake Adblock Plus Chrome extension gets into official Web Store

Fake Adblock Plus Chrome extension gets into official Web Store

Android is often criticized for having malware that gets passed Google's automated Play Store bouncer, but it is far from being the only Google-made platform to have such problems. A recent incident involving Chrome calls to mind how the web browser is perhaps even more susceptible to rather crude attempts at deceit. A still untraced fake Addlock Plus browser extension, for example, not only managed to get into the Chrome Web Store but even stayed long enough to be downloaded around 37,000 times.

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CCleaner hack details emerge, and things are getting serious

CCleaner hack details emerge, and things are getting serious

Earlier in the week, we told you about a CCleaner breach that infected somewhere in the area of 2.27 million users with malware. Though Avast, the company that distributes CCleaner, initially said it was able to "disarm the threat before it was able to do any harm," it turns out that may not actually be the case. According to new findings, this could have been a more sophisticated attack with some very specific targets.

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2.27m users installed malware with tainted CCleaner download

2.27m users installed malware with tainted CCleaner download

In the grand annuls of software irony, apps that explicitly promise to make your computer more stable being used to secretly distribute malware are top of the list, especially when they happen to be owned by anti-virus specialists. It's a cluster of coincidences that makes news that CCleaner, the free system tune-up tool offered by Avast, was unwittingly used to load a backdoor in users' PCs. During the period it was compromised, 2.27m people installed the infected app.

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ExpensiveWall Android malware sneaks into Google Play Store

ExpensiveWall Android malware sneaks into Google Play Store

It seems almost too ironic that the Google Play Store has been secretly invaded by even more malware after it has promoted its Google Play Protect security platform for Android. Boasting of technologies like machine learning and artificial intelligence, Play Protect promises to protect Android users more thoroughly without having to increase manpower. Alas, it seems that another malware, named ExpensiveWall, has gotten past the Play Store’s security and this lapse is costing users a lot more than just peace of mind but actual money as well.

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SonicSpy malware sneaks into Google Play Store

SonicSpy malware sneaks into Google Play Store

There are pros and cons to the way Apple screens apps that go into its App Store and the way Google prefers to rely on automation to preserve the quality and security of Android apps. The latter methods is more efficient and more open to the hundreds of apps submitted to the Google Play Store. Unfortunately, that does mean that some less than innocent apps do slip in through the cracks. Case in point is a family of spyware collectively named “SonicSpy”, which was able to bypass Google’s automated bouncer, allowing infected apps to join the Google Play Store list, potentially infecting unsuspected Android users.

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WannaCry Bitcoin trail leads investigators to Swiss exchange

WannaCry Bitcoin trail leads investigators to Swiss exchange

Investigators are following the trail of the WannaCry attackers' Bitcoin ransom, with one digital currency asset change service confirming they were used to convert the nefarious funds. The notorious ransomeware took advantage of security loopholes in older versions of Windows to seize control of users' systems, locking up their files until they coughed up $300 or more. That cash, amounting to more than 50 BTC, had been sitting in digital wallets until earlier this week.

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WannaCry’s accidental hero arrested for malware past

WannaCry’s accidental hero arrested for malware past

Earlier this year, the WannaCry virus infected computer systems around the world. Most notably, the ransomware was responsible for crippling hospital systems in the UK, but it also spread to countries like Russia, German, Turkey, and Spain before it was brought down. This week, one of the researchers responsible for stopping WannaCry was arrested in Nevada.

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WannaCry Bitcoin wallets emptied as $143k ransom moved

WannaCry Bitcoin wallets emptied as $143k ransom moved

Bitcoin wallets related to the WannaCry ransomware attacks and stuffed with more than $140,000 worth of the cryptocurrency have been emptied, experts say. The balance of the various accounts, which amounted to 52.2 BTC, was unexpectedly drained overnight. Funds began to mount in early May 2017, as victims of WannaCry coughed up the virtual cash needed to unlock their data.

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AdUps Chinese spyware still on Android phones, including Blu

AdUps Chinese spyware still on Android phones, including Blu

They say good things never last and bad things last for ages. That seems to be the case with AdUps, a Chinese “technology firm” that was blatantly installing spyware on countless of Android smartphones worldwide. Despite being involved in a scandal that even got the US Homeland Security’s attention, AdUps’ operation continues and its spyware still infects entry-level and budget smartphones, even Blu Product’s own, which was at the heart of that scandal.

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