Be Wary of iPhone Announcements

Spammers will tell you anything to get you to click a link or open a file. They'll even tell you all about that new iPhone that Apple hasn't even announced.

In early October, they took advantage of all the iPhone chatter in a spammed email announcing that the "iPhone 5G S has been released." To make the announcement seem authentic, it appeared to come from news@apple.com.

Considering the excitement that any Apple announcement generates, how could a promise like this not result in plenty of clicks?

Read more »

1

Google Wallet Likely Hacker Target

First rule of our digital age: If there's a popular way to exchange money over the Internet, someone will figure out a way to use it for less-than-honest purposes.

And so, with that in mind, we come to Google Wallet. As you might guess, when the search and mobile OS giant says it wants to turn your Android phone into your wallet, it's not talking about storing photos of your kids. The app will, in theory, relieve you of the need to carry physical credit cards in your physical wallet for making purchases in brick and mortar stores. Your purchases will be made wirelessly between your phone and a gadget near the cash register.

For the present, Google Wallet has a long way to go before it's big enough to attract major hacking activity. Only one phone, the Nexus S 4G, supports the app.

Read more »

1

The Hackers are Getting Younger

Allow me to scare you with four simple words: Children learning to hack.

As Kathy Ishizuka described in this School Library Journal article, this year's Defcon hacker's convention included for the first time a kids’ section, where budding computer nerds as young as eight learned how to pick locks (the physical kind) and hack Google. They also met with agents from the Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency to learn about “intelligence gathering, cyber weapons, war strategy, and more.”

The word hacking doesn't always have negative connotations. DefCon emphasizes white hat hacking, which basically means you're one of the good guys. The DefCon Kids website defines a white-hat hacker as "someone who enjoys thinking of innovative new ways to make, break and use anything to create a better world." A classic example of white hat hacking would be breaking into a system to find its vulnerabilities, which you would then report to the system administrator.

Read more »

1

Opera Malware Hits the Wrong Note

Be careful what you download; it might not be what you expected.

Like all browsers and—in fact, pretty much all programs—Opera Mini needs to be updated from time to time. But just because a website promises to update your copy of the mobile browser doesn't mean that it will actually do so.

As described in this GMA News article, Trend Micro recently discovered a webpage designed to mimic Opera's own site. The page told visitors that they needed to update their copy of Opera Mini. But hey, no problem— there was a download link right there.

Read more »

1

Your Phone Can Be Infected By a Barcode

It's amazing how many ways malware can enter your computer or phone. The people who create and distribute these dreadful little programs are like ants; you block one entryway into your kitchen and they figure out another one.

And here's another little trick of the human insects: According to an article in The H, they can infect your Android phone via a barcode.

More specifically, they do it through a Quick Response (QR) code—a square, two-dimensional barcode originally created by Toyota to track its manufacturing process. Amongst their other uses, QR codes can contain URLs. For instance, a poster or a print article can contain a QR code. Photograph the code with the right phone app (Google Goggles, for instance), and it will open your phone's browser to the desired page.

Read more »

1

Are Secure Web Sites Truly Secure?

You need to access your bank account online, so you visit the banks' website. But before you enter your name and password, you glance at the top of your browser window. The green color, the padlock icon, and the URL beginning with https reassure you that you have a safe connection.

But do you? In recent months, the people working to keep the Internet secure have faced an unpleasant reality. As Steve Roosa put it in a Law Technology News article, "In 2011…, SSL was hacked to the bone, on multiple occasions, calling into serious question whether companies can still rely on SSL to communicate securely across the web."

Criminal masterminds successfully broke SSL by hacking at least one of the institutions—called Certificate Authorities (CA)—that act as the ultimate official authorities on whether a secure website really is what it claims.

Read more »

1

It's Shockingly Easy to Hack a Phone

When a celebrity's phone gets hacked, we all hear about it, especially when there are nude photos involved. But most phone hackings never go viral.

And there are more of them than ever before. "Just from January to June, the likelihood of a mobile malware attack has gone up 2-1/2 times," says former hacker Kevin Mahaffey, now chief technology officer for Lookout Mobile Security.

In http://www.kold.com/story/15590409/scarlett-johansson-cellphone-pictures-arent-all-that-smart-phone-hackers-are-aftera Christian Science Monitor article, author, hacker, and former convict Kevin Mitnick showed Gloria Goodale how easy it is to send a text from one phone and make it appear to come from another. Within seconds of receiving Goodale's cellphone number, he texted one of her coworkers, and the text appeared to come from Goodale's phone.

Read more »

1