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FTC, Cell Companies, Consumers Fighting More Text Spam

Once the scourge of e-mail providers and the Postal Service, spammers have infiltrated the last refuge of spam-free communication: cellphones. In the United States, consumers received roughly 4.5 billion spam texts last year, more than double the 2.2 billion received in 2009, according to Ferris Research, a market research firm that tracks spam.



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Frederick man charged in fraud scheme: Former military police officer allegedly made more than $9,000 in purchases

A Frederick man faces charges of operating a fraud scheme in which police said he stole credit card numbers and used them to make more than $9,000 in purchases online and at a Frederick department store

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New EnCase® Forensic Delivers Faster, More Efficient Investigations

Guidance Software Inc. , the World Leader in Digital Investigations™, today announced the availability of EnCase® Forensic version 7.03, the latest version of its indu

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Pastebin to filter hacktivist posts more carefully

Pastebin’s status as the favoured website on which to post evidence of stolen or hacked data could become a thing of the past with the news that its owner plans to filter content more carefully.

In an email interview with the BBC, current owner Jeroen Vader admitted that the site now examined an average of 1,200 abuse reports a day via its notification system and needed to hire more staff to cope with this volume of traffic.

The site was also becoming a target itself and now received DDoS attacks almost every day, he said.

“February was a terrible month, so many attacks. It was a real nightmare to run the site. The longest one went on for more than 48 hours,” said Vader.

The site’s biggest challenge remains its reputation as a repository for stolen data as evidenced by numerous incidents since Vader took the site over in early 2010.

The sale was partly motivated by the infamous hack that gave Pastebin unwanted public attention in 2009 when it was used to publish the logins for thousands of Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo and AOL webmail users.

Since then, it has become associated with an increasing number of data-sharing attacks, including the Comodo hacker’s famous SSL raids on various certificate authorities, the publication of credit cards culled from Saudi Arabian credit card users, and the theft of 100,000 Facebook user logins.

However, its most famous moments were undoubtedly connected to its regular use by LulzSec and Anonymous hacking groups to publicise attacks.

Equally, it has been used to publish details of important security vulnerabilities such as the one that affected Dropbox last June, which is where Pastebin’s tricky modus operandi becomes apparent. It is designed to be a repository for open information exchange, a sort of technical or coder’s version of Wikileaks. That this is often being abused is inherent to its open model.

“I am looking to hire some extra people soon to monitor more of the website’s content, not just the items that are reported,” Vader told the BBC.

“Hopefully this will increase the speed in which we can remove sensitive information. This will give us more time to look at trending items in detail if they haven’t been reported yet.”

Pastebin also shared IP address information if it was requested by the police using a valid court order, he said.

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Expert advocates for more effective pen tests, less complex security

A security expert warns organizations against buying the latest and greatest security technology and advocates for more effective pen testing at InfoSec World Conference and Expo 2012.

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Less-lethal, but more painful: A clock that shoots you

Author: Hayley Hudson

To help cops win the battle with the snooze button, one tech startup has released an alarm clock with an adjustable mount that fits any less-lethal device.

"If you don't silence your alarm within 30 seconds, it shoots a beanbag round straight between the legs," CEO Dave Danger explains. The ItsSeriouslyTimeToGetUpNow technology, which syncs the ammo with the clock, has dramatically changed the way one officer lives and works. "Not only am I getting up on time, I'm more energized," the officer said. "It's very motivating." He spoke on the condition of anonymity because several people — mostly criminals, but also a few other officers and maybe a dispatcher — already want to cause him serious bodily harm.

Now, he says, his alarm clock might beat them to it. "You snooze, you lose," he said.

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Surprise! More Malware Appears On Android

Another week, another announcement of new mobile malware found infecting Android phones. The new bug this week is DKFBootKit, a nasty bit of work that can come packaged inside seemingly legitimate applications–much like most of the other mobile malware we’ve seen thus far. What sets DKFBootKit apart from malware like DroidDream, is that DKFBootKit replaces certain boot processes and can begin running even before the system is completely booted up.

The malware was discovered by the NQ Mobile Security Research Center in collaboration with cyber security expert Dr. Xuxian Jiang. The researchers found that, though the malware can be placed in pretty much any app, it is usually found in apps that ask for root permissions. Once it gains access to the root system, DKFBootKit will begin to wreak havoc on system stability and phone home to a remote server in order to gain further commands.

You can better your chances of not getting infected by only downloading apps from trusted sources: Don’t download pirated apps, and stay off of foreign app stores. For more advice on how to avoid getting your smartphone infected, check out my tips for a malware-free smartphone. Make smart choices, and you should remain malware free.

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View full post on National Cyber Security » Virus/Malware/Worms

Trend Micro Unearths More Links Between China and Hacker Group

Security vendor Trend Micro has been tracking a hacking campaign called Luckycat that has been linked to 90 attacks, including some aimed at Tibetan activists, and has tied it to a group based in China, the company said in a report published on Thursday.

The Luckycat campaign, which has been active since at least June 2011, has been connected with attacks against targets in Japan and India as well, according to Trend Micro. Industries targeted include military research, aerospace and energy, it said.

To avoid detection, the hackers used a diverse set of infrastructure and anonymity tools. Each attack used a unique campaign code to track which victims were compromised by which malware, illustrating that the attackers were both very aggressive and continually targeted intended victims with several waves of malware, according to Trend Micro’s report.

The security company was able to connect an email address used to register one of the group’s command-and-control servers to a hacker in the Chinese underground community.

The hacker has been using aliases “dang0102″ or “scuhkr” and has been linked to the Information Security Institute of the Sichuan University in Chengdu, China, where he was involved in a research project on network attack and defense.

The person behind the aliases and the email address is Gu Kaiyuan, who is now apparently an employee at Tencent, China’s leading Internet portal company, The New York Times reported on Thursday.

There are more signs pointing to China as the origin of the Luckycat campaign. The language settings of the attackers’ computers indicate that they are Chinese speakers, according to Trend Micro. The work done by the hacker group was first documented earlier this month by Symantec, which showed that the hackers used IP addresses allocated to China, Trend Micro said.

The targeted nature of the attacks is no isolated occurrence. The number of targeted attacks has dramatically increased, Trend Micro said.

To better protect themselves, enterprises need to use a mixture of technology and education, according to Trend Micro. Apart from patch management, endpoint and network security, enterprises should also focus on detecting and mitigating attacks, the company said.

But an enterprise’s defense is only as good as its employees. People trained to expect targeted attacks are better positioned to report potential threats and can become an important source of threat intelligence.

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View full post on National Cyber Security » Computer Hacking

More companies eyeing SIEM in the cloud

A cloud service can help companies get around some hurdles with SIEM systems.

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Man Had More Than $100K in Stolen Goods

Bond was set at $100,000 for a North Side man arrested Thursday for cyber stalking and found to be in possession of stolen goods ranging from diamond rings and scooters to tennis rackets.

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