Friday, May 06, 2016

Surely no bank is still using Windows XP? 
New Trojan Targets Banks in US, Mexico
   The Trojan, written in .NET apparently by Spanish-speaking developers, caught the attention of researchers because it relies on popular tools such as Fiddler, an HTTP debugging proxy server application, and Json.NET, a high-performance JSON framework for .NET.
The malware is delivered using an installer named “curp.pdf.exe” that is served on several compromised websites.  Once executed, the installer downloads three files to the Windows system directory: the main payload (syswow.exe), a Fiddler DLL file (FiddlerCore3dot5.dll), and a Json.Net DLL file (Newtonsoft.Json.dll).  The main payload is then executed and the installer terminates itself.
..   If the infected machine is running Windows XP or Windows Server 2003, the malware creates a registry entry for persistence, downloads a configuration file, and launches the Fiddler proxy engine.  For other Windows versions, the threat doesn’t create a registry entry, and it starts the proxy engine only after installing a Fiddler-generated root certificate.
Once it’s installed on a device, the malware collects system information and sends it back to its command and control (C&C) server, which responds with a configuration file containing different C&C locations and other instructions.  Json.NET is used to parse the server’s response and save it in an XML file.  This file contains the list of domains targeted by the malware — when users visit these domains, they are redirected to phishing websites designed to trick them into handing over their information.

A small local problem?
Kieran Nicholson reports:
State investigators are looking into a database breach at the Colorado Department of Transportation which could lead to identity thefts.
The breach of the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program with CDOT was discovered recently and has been reported to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, said Amy Ford, a CDOT spokeswoman.
“A probationary employee, who worked at CDOT from January 2016 to April 2016 and had access to confidential tax returns of DBE…firms, had been using personal information for improper purposes,” the notification letter, sent Wednesday, said.
Read more on Denver Post.

One way to control your music library? 
Apple Stole My Music. No, Seriously
“The software is functioning as intended,” said Amber.
“Wait,” I asked, “so it’s supposed to delete my personal files from my internal hard drive without asking my permission?”
“Yes,” she replied
   What Amber explained was exactly what I’d feared: through the Apple Music subscription, which I had, Apple now deletes files from its users’ computers.  When I signed up for Apple Music, iTunes evaluated my massive collection of Mp3s and WAV files, scanned Apple’s database for what it considered matches, then removed the original files from my internal hard drive.  REMOVED them.  Deleted.  If Apple Music saw a file it didn’t recognize—which came up often, since I’m a freelance composer and have many music files that I created myself—it would then download it to Apple’s database, delete it from my hard drive, and serve it back to me when I wanted to listen, just like it would with my other music files it had deleted.

(Related) I will have to warn my students.
Apple Music’s new student membership option discounts the service by 50%
Amid news that Apple Music is getting a makeover come this summer, Apple today launched a new plan to boost subscribers to its streaming music service and competitor to Spotify, SoundCloud, Tidal and others.  It’s introducing an Apple Music student plan which will discount the service by 50 percent for those who are enrolled in an eligible college or university.
   The student membership is rolling out now in the available markets.

Think about those little secondary issues?
Cheryl Clark reports:
When Sharp Grossmont Hospital officials realized anesthesia drugs were disappearing from surgery carts, they turned to video surveillance to catch those responsible.  In the process, they also captured many images of women undergoing surgery.
The video surveillance has raised questions about patient privacy and how well the hospital managed its storage of dangerous drugs.
Read more on KPBS.

Useful backgrounder?  Something our App students could build? 
How Shops Track You Using Your Smartphone

Coming soon to a law firm near you?
Gabe Friedman reports:
The privacy focused class-action law firm Edelson P.C. announced it has filed a federal class-action under seal that targets a Chicago-based regional law firm for data security holes.
On Thursday morning, name partner Jay Edelson tweeted that he had filed a motion to unseal the complaint against the unnamed firm.
In an interview with Big Law Business in March, Edelson explained that his firm had conducted a year-long investigation and identified 15 major law firms with inadequate cybersecurity.  He said his firm planned to file a series of lawsuits that target data security vulnerabilities at law firms on behalf of firm clients who have concerns about how their data is being protected.
Read more on Bloomberg BNA.
I’m hard-pressed to see how any such civil suit could prevail if there’s been no actual hack or data compromise of the defendants’ systems, but the FTC could sure as hell investigate or take action if infosecurity is that bad.
Either way, this will be one to watch.  If nothing else, if the lawsuit is unsealed, this could become a name and shame situation to get law firms off the dime to bring their A game on security.

Will this impact our student portal?  Possibly.
Joey Bunch reports:
A bill to protect students’ online privacy while they are doing their school work is on its way to the governor’s desk to be signed into law.
The Colorado House gave it final passage Thursday with a 65-0 vote.  House Bill 1423 would prevent educational software and app makers from collecting any data that can be linked directly back to an individual student.
Read more on Denver Post.

(Related)  Same question.  Different state.
Rep. Cristin McCarthy Vahey (D-Fairfield) praised passage of legislation that would protect student privacy by imposing certain restrictions on the use and sharing of student data.  HB 5469, AN ACT CONCERNING STUDENT DATA PRIVACY, was passed by the Senate Wednesday evening.  The bill now goes to the Governor’s desk.
The legislation would restrict how student information may be used by contractors, consultants, and operators of websites, online services, and mobile applications for schools.  Companies would be required to specify how they will secure student data and would be prohibited from using student data for advertising unless authorized by the contract.
Read more on Fairfield Sun.

Lacking demonstrable intelligence themselves (real or artificial) it amazes me that politicians are addressing these issues.  Were they frightened by the Terminator movie? 
White House worries about bad A.I. coding
   President Barack Obama's administration released a report this week that examines the problem associated with poorly designed systems that, increasingly, are being used in automated decision making.
   A second effort looks at our algorithmic future through a series of four workshops held across the U.S. to examine A.I.'s impact on society.
   The U.S. will produce an A.I. report after it holds workshops beginning May 24 in Seattle.  That will be followed by meetings in Washington, Pittsburgh and New York City in July.

For some old school types. 
How to Get RSS Feed Updates Straight to Your Email Inbox
Maybe it’d be better to receive those RSS updates as emails.
Fortunately, this is possible!  You’ll need to know how to use IFTTT, which is a lovely web service that can perform all kinds of actions based on certain triggers.  In our case, whenever our RSS feed updates, we want IFTTT to send it to us as email.

Good news for the employability of my Computer Security students?
After ISIS, Americans Fear Cyberattacks Most

Perfect timing.  Today’s Computer Security lecture is on Networks.
Interop: 12 killer (and free) tools for network engineers
Visibility is key to troubleshooting network woes, but getting such access can be expensive.  To help out, a veteran networking pro shared with attendees of the Interop conference in Las Vegas his list of a dozen mostly free “killer” tools.

A real concern.  Likely to have a serious negative impact no matter who wins. 
Americans’ Distaste For Both Trump And Clinton Is Record-Breaking

I can predict which if my students will become this employee!

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