EllisLab urges its users to change their password after hack

EllisLab, a software development company, has urged all its users to change their password after hackers managed to gain unauthorized access to its servers on March 24 this year.

According to the company’s statement, in a bid to be safe from the hackers who might have stolen its members’, who are registered at EllisLab, personal information, it has asked people to change their EllisLab.com password.

The company said that the new users can also remove their account from the site. It is must, if anyone has sent his/her password via plaintext email instead of using the company’s secure form.

As the company form encrypts the passwords and removes them after 30 days, it is believed that those encrypted passwords would only be available to the hackers if anyone submitted it after February 24, 2015.

Similarly, if people have used their EllisLab.com’s password on other sites, they should change those too.

The company asked people to change the passwords periodically, and enable two-factor authentication whenever available. It also recommends tools which simplify the creation and use of unique passwords.

It is said that the hackers used a Super Admin’s stolen password to log in to the company’s site. The hacker then uploaded a common PHP backdoor script (a WSO Web Shell variant) that allowed them to control the company’s server. 

The company wrote that the Nexcess hosting prevented the "privilege escalation" attempt.  After getting alerts about the malicious activity, the unauthorized access had been shut down at the firewall level.

The company also thanks the Nexcess for their alertness and speed on their blog post.
Then the officials started dissecting the server logs to retrace hacker’s steps and learn how they got the access. They wrote that they had gone through all their files to remove what they added. 

The attackers had access to the server for three hours. Although the evidence does not show any stealing the database, the company prefers to be cautious and assume the hackers had access to everything.

Harbortouch discloses a breach caused by malicious software

Harbortouch, which supplies point-of-sale (POS) systems to thousands of businesses across United States, disclosed a breach in which some of its restaurant and bar customers were impacted by a malware. The malware allowed hackers to get customer card data from the affected merchants.

A card issuer recently reported to KrebsOnSecurity about the concerned authority is ignoring the dangerousness of the breach. And the ignorance of the company would affect more than 4,200 Harbortouch customers nationwide.

Before the Harbortouch had revealed, many sources involved in financial industry suspected that there was a possibility of a breach at a credit card processing company.

According to an article published on  KrebsOnSecurity, the suspicion increased whenever banks realized card fraud that they could not easily trace back to one specific merchant.

Some banks wanted to know about the unrevealed fraud as stolen cards were used to buy goods at big box stores. They made some changes in the way they processed debit card transactions.  

United Bank recently issued a notice saying that in a bid to protect its customers after learning of a spike in fraudulent transactions in grocery stores and similar stores such as WalMart and Target, it has started a block in which customers will now be required to select ‘Debit’ and enter their ‘PIN’ for transactions at these stores while using their United Bank debit card.

Harbortouch issued a statement last week, in which the company said it has identified and contained an incident that affected a small percentage of its merchants. It also confirmed the involvement of malware installation on the POS systems. The advanced malware was designed in such a way that the antivirus program running on the POS System could not detect.

The Harbortouch however, removed the malware from affected systems shortly when the problem was detected.

Mandiant, a forensic investigator, helped the company in its investigation.

The company explained in the statement that it does not directly process or store card holder data and only a small percentage of their merchants got affected for a short period of time. 

Currently, the company’s officials are working with the parties concerned to notify the card issuing banks that were impacted. After that the banks can conduct heightened monitoring of transactions to detect and prevent unauthorized charges.

However, the sources at a top 10 card-issuing bank in the United States that shared voluminous fraud data with an author of KrebsOnSecurity on condition of anonymity, the breach extended to at least 4,200 stores that run Harbortouch’s the POS software.

Nate Hirshberg, marketing director at Harbortouch, said the statements are not true.

Google launches 'Password Alert' to protect its users from phishing attacks

Google on April 29 launched a new extension, ‘Password Alert’, which warns people whenever they type in their Google password on any site that is not a Google sign-in page.

Drew Hintz, security engineer and Justin Kosslyn, Google Ideas, posted on the Google’s Online Security Blog, that the Password Alert, which is now available on the Chrome Web Store, is aimed to prevent phishing attacks. However, it also aims to minimize the over use of Google password.

They wrote that it is designed to alert people while they use their Google password on those sites which are not operated by Google.

According to them, if anyone enters his/her password on a website that’s imitating accounts.google.com and aims to get personal details, he/she will receive a warning. It also provides people time to change their password before it gets misused.

It works by checking the HTML of the page to identify whether it’s a legitimate Google sign-in page or not.

According to Google, the password hacking is known as “phishing” which represents two percent of all Gmail messages.

The new tool is believed to be an additional attempt of security for Google’s users. The Password Alert sits among a number of tools which are aimed to safeguard user accounts. Other methods include two-step authentication and security key.

WordPress patches Stored XSS bug, Many versions affected

(PC- google images)
WordPress has issued a critical security update - WordPress Security Release 4.2.1, announced in an advisory by consultant Gary Pendergast, after millions of websites were at risk of a bug that allows attackers to take control of a system.

Pendergast read, “A few hours ago, the WordPress team was made aware of a cross-site scripting vulnerability which could enable commenter to compromise a site”. He added, "This is a critical security release for all previous versions and we strongly encourage you to update your sites immediately. [It] has begun to roll out as an automatic background update, for sites that support those."

Discovered by Jouko Pynnönen of Finnish security company Klikki ; the critical, unpatched zero-day vulnerability, affecting WordPress’ comment mechanisms, is a stored cross-scripting (XSS) bug that allows a hacker to take over an entire website running the WordPress platform.

In a blog post, Klikki explained that if triggered by a logged-in administrator, under default settings, the attacker can leverage the vulnerability to execute arbitrary code on the server via the plug-in and theme editors. Alternately the attacker could change the administrator’s password, create new administrator accounts, or do whatever else the currently logged-in administrator can do on the target system.

The vulnerability is exploited by injecting JavaScript in the WordPress comment section, and then adding 64Kb of the text.

"If the comment text is long enough, it will be truncated when inserted in the database. The MySQL TEXT type size limit is 64kilobytes, so the comment has to be long”, Pynnönen said.

 "The truncation results in malformed HTML generated on the page.The attacker can supply any attributes in the allowed HTML tags, in the same way as with the two recently published stored XSS vulnerabilities affecting the WordPress core”, added he. 

WordPress versions 3.9.3, 4.1.1, 4.1.2, and the latest version 4.2 are affected.

Similar to the one reported by Cedric Van Bockhaven in 2014, the only difference in this version is the use of excessively long comment for the same effect.  In both the cases, the injected JavaScript can’t be triggered in the administrative Dashboard so these exploits require getting around comment moderation e.g. by posting one harmless comment first.

Hackers hijack Tesla automaker's website, Twitter account

(PC- Google images)
The website and Twitter account of high-tech automaker Tesla were hacked over the weekend as part of a prank by angry rival hackers. Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s personal twitter account was also hacked around Saturday night (US Standard Time).

The first sign of hijacking was noticed around 1:52 p.m., when the company’s Twitter account had a tweet that declared it being under the control of attackers and the name changed from “Tesla Motors” to  “#RIPPRGANG”. The tweet posted on the carmaker’s account said, “This Twitter is now run [sic] by Henry Blair Strater [sic] from Oswego Illinois, call me at [number redacted]”. 

A few minutes later, the account began promising free Teslas to those who followed certain accounts or to those who called a certain phone number. The number belonged to a repair shop in Illinois which was flooded with calls.

Nearly at that time, Tesla’s website was hacked by the same attackers. Visitors were redirected to a website with ISIS in the URL, a Laden-ranting video and a picture of a man resembling Osama Bin Laden.
(PC-google images)

The Twitter account war restored around 2:45 p.m., an hour after it was uncompromised and the website was back to its usual state at around 6:30 p.m.

Elon Musk’s Twitter account was hijacked by miscreants who claimed to be from the infamous Lizard Squad Hacking crew, known as Autismsquad.

Hackers get to Prince's facebook page

Prince's Facebook page made a quick re-appearance on the social media site on Saturday for few hours before being it was taken down for being a hacked one.

Prince, who has been in the music industry for about forty years had avoided social media until last year. In an era where reaching close to the audience has been the aim of most musicians, Prince chose to avoid the buzz of online socializing. It was only in 2014 October that he opened a Facebook page and hosted a fan Q&A but  replied to only one question before taking the page down in November.

He even shut his Twitter account and deleted videos from the official You Tube account. The page was activated with promises of new music, but then it started being self-deprecating and rude with messages like " My name is Prince and I don't care about my fans, I put my hit and run pause on tour so I can be the true asshole I am." Some were funny as well, with one saying, “Bring omelets to my next show, free entry.”

The surge of insulting and absurd messages pointed towards a hack and the page was promptly taken down by the site.

Interpol coordinated to take down Simda botnet

The Simda botnet has been taken down on April 9 in a collaborative effort between international law enforcement bodies and private security and technology companies coordinated by Interpol's Global Complex for Innovation.

The botnet, known for spreading banking malware and establishing backdoor for many malware, has exploited more than 770,000 computers in 190 countries. The take down has resulted in seizure of 14 command-and-control servers in the Netherlands, United States, Poland, Luxembourg, and Russia.

According to the researchers, Simda is a mysterious botnet used by cyber criminals for distributing several types of unwanted and malicious software. Due to constant functionality and security updates, it rarely appears on the KSN radars despite a large number of hosts every day.

It uses hardcoded IP addresses to notify the keeper about the various stages of execution. It can modify the system hosts file by downloading and running additional components from its own updated servers, and to point to malicious IP’s, it adds unexpected records for google-analytics.com and connect.facebook.net.

The Kaspersky Lab report says that, “This criminal business model opens up the possibility of exclusive malware distribution. This means that the distributors can guarantee that only the client’s malware is installed on infected machines. And that becomes the case when Simda interprets a response from the C&C server – it can deactivate itself by preventing the bot to start after next reboot, instantly exiting. This deactivation coincides with the modification of the system hosts file. As a farewell touch, Simda replaces the original hosts file with a new one from its own body.”

To analyse the spread of the infection the Digital Crime Centre (IDCC) in Singapore worked with Microsoft, Trend Micro, Kaspersky Lab, and Japan's Cyber Defense. The researcher team also involved officers from the Dutch National High Tech Crime Unit in the Netherlands, the Police Grand-Ducale Section Nouvelles Technologies in Luxembourg, the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the US, and the Russian Ministry of the Interior's Cybercrime Department "K".

Sanjay Virmani, Director of the INTERPOL Digital Crime Centre, said “This successful operation highlights the value of, and need for partnerships involving national and international law enforcement and private industry in the fight against the global threat of cyber crime. The operation has dealt a crippling blow to the Simda botnet. INTERPOL will continue its work to assist member countries in protecting their citizens from cybercriminals and to identify other emerging threats.”

White lodging confirms second data breach at 10 hotels

White Lodging Services Corporation (WLSC), an independent company which manages more than 160 hotels in 21 states of America, has confirmed a second data breach on its credit card systems at 10 locations.

In a press release issued on April 8, the WLSC said that the suspected breach of point-of-sale systems at food and beverage outlets, such as restaurants and lounges, from July 3, 2014 to February 6, 2015 at 10 hotels.

While it is believed that some of the breached locations were the last year’s breached locations only, the Indiana-based company clarified that the second was a separate breach.

According to KrebsOnSecurity news report published on April 15, in February 2015 it reported for the second time within a year that multiple financial institutions were complaining about the fraud on customer’s credit and debit cards that were all recently used at a string of hotel properties run by the WLSC.

However, the company said it had no evidence of a new breach at that time, but last week only, it confirmed the suspected breach of point-of-sale systems at 10 locations.

Banking sources back in February 2015 said that the credit cards compromised in this most recent incident looked like they were stolen from many of the same WLSC locations implicated in the 2014 breach, including hotels in Austin, Texas, Bedford Park, Ill., Denver, Indianapolis, and Louisville, Kentucky.

“After suffering a malware incident in 2014, we took various actions to prevent a recurrence, including engaging a third party security firm to provide security and managed services,” said (in the press release) Dave Sibley, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the WLSC.

“However, these security measures failed to stop the malware occurrence on point-of-sale systems at those 10 hotels. We will continue our investigation as it is necessary to protect the personal information entrusted to us by our valuable guests. We deeply regret and apologize for this situation,” he added.

According the WLSC, the stolen data includes names printed on customers’ credit or debit cards, credit or debit card numbers, and the security code and card expiration dates.

The company is offering a year’s worth of credit protection services for customers impacted by the breach, from Experian.

Database hacked at Biggby Coffee, personal information of customers at risk

Security breach at Biggby Coffee has potentially exposed personal information of some of its customers and job applicants.

Biggby Coffee, a leading coffee franchise business based out of Michigan stores information like customer or applicant’s name, date of birth, email address, address, telephone number, Social Security number, driver's license record, employment history.

However the company maintains that no sensitive data like financial information has been leaked, only details like name, contact details and employment history might have been subjected to the breach.

A spokeswoman for the company added that less than 20 % of Biggby's customer data was affected and only information submitted via the website had been compromised. Also, the information accessed had nothing to do with the cash registers or point of sale systems in the stores,

The attack on the company's systems was discovered on the last week of March, when its web developer and hosting company Traction revealed that a criminal has forced its way into the system and accessed the consumer database.

The data breach has been reported to the police and FBI.

International operation mounted to counter Beebone Botnet

A multinational task-force comprising of European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) and the Joint Cybercrime Action Taskforce (J-CAT), the FBI and led by Dutch National High Tech Crime Unit was recently set up to target the Beebone (AAEH) botnet, a downloader virus that cripples a computers defenses by downloading various malwares on a PC.

Private players Intel Security, Kaspersky and Shadowserver were also present to consult on destroying the polymorphic downloader that according to sources, has affected 12000 computers till date.

The operation 'sinkholed' the botnet by recognizing the domain names and addresses of the affected parties and then rerouting traffic.

Emergency teams around the world have been put into motion to get into touch with the victims of the botnet. The number of affected parties is less in this case, but the botnet has been deemed to be very sophisticated.

The operation was successfully carried out after which Europol’s Deputy Director of Operations, Wil van Gemert, said "This successful operation shows the importance of international law enforcement working together with private industry to fight the global threat of cybercrime."

"We will continue our efforts to take down botnets and disrupt the core infrastructures used by cybercriminals to carry out a variety of crimes. Together with the EU Member States and partners around the globe, our aim is to protect people worldwide against these criminal activities."

Arris / Motorola Modems have multiple vulnerabilities and backdoor accounts

Security Researcher Joe Vennix has discovered multiple vulnerabilities in the 'ARRIS / Motorola SURFboard SBG6580' series Wi-Fi Cable Modem that could allow hackers to take control of the Web Interface.

One of the flaws(CVE-2015-0964) is a stored cross site scripting vulnerability in the firewall configuration page could allow an authenticated attacker to inject javascript code capable of performing any action available in the web interface.

The other vulnerability allows to perform a login action "on behalf of the victim's browser by an arbitrary website, without the user's knowledge."

And on top of this, it has pre-installed backdoor accounts.  Devices tested by the researcher had an account called "technician" with the password "yZgO8Bvj".

"Other accounts may be present as installed by service providers and resellers." Rapid7 post reads.  

Rapid7 has published a metasploit module that "takes advantage of all three vulnerabilities to place an arbitrary internal endpoint in the DMZ of the affected network, thus exposing all running services to direct Internet access.

The module also capable of stealing the information of all registered DHCP clients including IPs, hostnames and MAC addresses.

‘Trojan.Laziok’ Malware targets energy sector in Middle East

Image Credits: Symantec
Symantec detected a Trojan.Laziok, which acts as a reconnaissance tool allowing the attackers to gather data about the compromised computers.

Between January and February, Symantec observed a ‘multi-staged, targeted attack campaign’ against energy companies around the world, and the focus  was on the Middle East Countries.

According to the blog post of Symantec’s Christian Tripputi, the attack starts  with spam emails from the moneytrans[.]eu domain,  which acts as an open relay Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) server. These mails include a  malicious attachment that contain an exploit for the Microsoft Windows Common Controls ActiveX Control Remote Code Execution Vulnerability (CVE-2012-0158). The code is executed, If the users opens the attachment, which is Excel file. It leaves Trojan.Laziok on the computer.

To hides itself Trojan creates folder names in the %SystemDrive%\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\System\Oracle directory, and rename itself with well-known file names such as:

%SystemDrive%\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\System\Oracle\azioklmpx\search.exe
%SystemDrive%\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\System\Oracle\azioklmpx\ati.exe  
%SystemDrive%\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\System\Oracle\azioklmpx\lsass.exe
%SystemDrive%\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\System\Oracle\azioklmpx\smss.exe
%SystemDrive%\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\System\Oracle\azioklmpx\admin.exe
%SystemDrive%\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\System\Oracle\azioklmpx\key.exe  
%SystemDrive%\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\System\Oracle\azioklmpx\taskmgr.exe
%SystemDrive%\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\System\Oracle\azioklmpx\chrome.exe

By collecting system configuration data such as Computer name, Installed software, GPU details, CPU details, Antivirus software, RAM size, Hard disk size, Trojan.Laziok begins its reconnaissance process.

After receiving the system configuration data, attackers infected  the computers with additional malware, and distribute the customized copies of Trojan.Zbot and  Backdoor.Cyberat which are specifically tailored for the compromised computer’s profile.

Symantec and Norton products have protections against this campaign.

Malware infections through spam campaigns can be avoided by not clicking on links in unsolicited, unexpected, or suspicious emails; avoid opening attachments in unsolicited, unexpected, or suspicious emails; use comprehensive security software, such as Symantec Endpoint Protection or Norton Security, to protect yourself from attacks of this kind; take a security layered approach for better protection; keep your security software up to date; apply patches for installed software on a timely basis.

Hackers target Executive club members of British Airways

Being an executive customer at British Airways (BA) does not guarantee any better security from hackers. Thousands of executive customers found this out to their peril as BA confirmed the hacking of the accounts.

According to the company, it was not a direct attack on the central database; the attack was carried out on some account holders using information on the users available elsewhere on the internet. Also, the company maintained that only “a small number of frequent flyer Executive Club accounts” had been affected and though there has been some unauthorized activity, no sensitive information had been leaked.

Though the company said that the hackers had not gained any access to any subsequent information pages like travel histories or payment card details within accounts, BA Executive Club (BAEC) account holder have registered complaints on the forums saying that their Avios points have been stolen. Avios points are accumulated through frequent travel can be used for other flights or upgrades. Tier points have not been affected due to this hack.

One user wrote, “My Avios balance, which was 46,418 yesterday, is suddenly zero,” Another said, “217,000 taken from my account this morning. 30 minute hold on the silver line.”
Other people are also reporting they are unable to access their accounts at all, with their BAEC number not being recognized at all.The company responded saying that the accounts have been locked down from access as a response to the breach and all the points would be subsequently reinstated.

Some members of BAEC affected by the issue have received emails requesting change of passwords, for those who have not but still are locked out of the accounts can place a call to the customer care.

For customers wanting to book flights now, bookings as redemption of points might not be available pending resolution of the matter but still can be checked for availability.

Alternatively, one might, if the options are available try to book through Avios.com which has not been affected.

However, with so many cases, it is best to wait for a few days till the situation becomes clearer.

Delving into PoSeidon malware

News of data breaches that have been occurring through card usage at infected point of sale (PoS) systems at retailers has become common now-a-days. There being a huge market for stolen credit card information, the companies are being targeted with newer and sophisticated malwares.

How do these malwares exactly work? During investigation of the cases of breaches, CISCO security solutions have discovered the working mechanism a new malware family which has been nicknamed PoSeidon malware.

The infection of the PoS system possibly arises from a keylogger which after getting installed deletes the profile log in information i.e passwords stored on the system. This forces the user to type down the information which gets recorded by the keylogger and sent back to the server which can then access the system remotely to infiltrate it with the Loader malware to steal card information.

What the Loader does is, it tries to get itself installed in the PoS system as a service that is run as Winhost, so that it can survive reboots of the system. This step is called persistence by which it maintains hold on the system. It then connects to the hardcoded command and control servers, which then sends the second executable part of the malware called the FindStr.

It also simultaneously installs another keylogger. FindStr goes through data on the infected system to look for number sequences that start with 6, 5, 4 with a length of 16 digits (Discover, Visa, Mastercard) or 3 with a length of 15 digits (AMEX).

It then runs the Luhn algorithm to verify whether its card information or not and sends the information along with data from keylogger to the exfiltration servers from where it can be harvested for further usage.

The malware can also update itself depending on communication from external server. Further investigation shows that developers are working to use these in other newer projects.Faced with such persistent threats organizations need to be vigilant and adopt a threat-centric approach to provide security during the full attack continuum – before, during, and after an attack.

Flaw in Sync photos feature on Facebook mobile app

A new flaw has been detected by a hacker in Facebook, which allows any malicious application to view your synced mobile photos.

Sync photos feature allow users to sync their mobile photos with their Facebook account, and it remains private until you publish it. But by default this feature is turned on  in many mobile phones.

Laxman Muthiyah, found that "vaultimages" endpoint of Facebook Graph API is handling these synced photos, and this endpoint is vulnerable.

Facebook app would  retrieve the synced photos using a top level access token making  an HTTP GET request to a specific URL enabling a malicious app to read all your private photos in seconds.

Laxman Muthiyah, reported this flaw to Facebook Security Team, they pushed a fix in less than 30 minutes, and rewarded him $10,000 USD as a part of their bug bounty program.

Crypto currency miner ‘quietly’ bundled with μTorrent, users cry foul

Are you in a hurry to install the newest version of μTorrent? Be careful of what you hit agree to.

Users of μTorrent are fuming after it came to notice that the newest version of the popular file sharing app (version 3.4.2) is coming covertly bundled with Epic Scale which uses a portion of the CPU cycles to mine crypto-currency Litecoin. One Litecoin is worth $1.89.

The complaints in the forum imply that the users had 
no indication of the software being installed, and the reactions ranged from discontent to outraged “good bye μtorrent”.

Users are furious that the processing power of their computers are being utilized without their knowledge.
Bit Torrent has released an official statement that 

Epic Scale is not installed without the consumer’s permission. They further added that like other software companies, they have partner packages in the install path which are strictly optional.
Epic Scale which euphemistically proclaims “Your computer has the power to change the world” denied allegations of the sly installations and said it is included in Bit Torrent clients.
It's website explains,
Epic Scale uses your computer’s idle time to do genomics research, protein folding, image rendering, cryptocurrency mining, and more, then we give a majority of the profits to charities like Watsi (life-changing surgeries), and Immunity Project (HIV vaccine). We do not spy on your browsing behavior or scan your files or anything like that.”

Epic Scale's CEO,Tim Olson stated that they will shift from mining Litecoin to working for full time science research projects.

Philanthropic initiatives aside, the troubling fact remains that it is flagged as a risk and blocked by trackers and firewall. It is difficult to uninstall according to users; in addition to the Removal via Add/Remove Programs, all residual files in the program drive has to be removed manually. Epic  Scale however maintains that it is not a spyware.
It is to be noted that since BitTorrent varies the bundled partner software for each download, not all users will get Epic Scale.
The furore on the forum, prompted Epic Scale to damage control mode. The site has been updated with clear instructions on how to uninstall the code, and the company has promised to display clearer opting out options in the future.
For those who are having troubles uninstalling, can visit Epic Scale's uninstall instructions, or email its support address for help in removing the software.

National Grocers investigate unauthorized access to customer payment information

The latest retailer to be hit with a data breach incident in the United States is National Grocers after sources in the financial industry confirmed to KrebsonSecurity that they had identified a pattern of fraud on debit and credit cards of customers who buy their groceries at the 93 various outlets, across 15 states, of the organic and natural grocery chain.

According to US investigative reporter, Brian Kerbs, the Point of Sale Systems (POS) were breached by the hackers at various outlets sometime in December, 2014. This was possible because of the company's weak security if its database

The company said in its response that it was looking into 'a potential data security incident involving an unauthorized intrusion targeting limited customer payment card data.' The company has also not received any information of misuse of the data that has been put at risk, by and individual or financial institution. In wake of the event, the grocery chain has decide to speed up plans to install to Point of Sale systems that provide end-to-end encryption to add more layers of security to their network.

“These upgrades provide multiple layers of protection for cardholder data. The company is in the process of installing this new system at all 93 Natural Grocers stores in 15 states. The company takes data security very seriously and is committed to protecting its customers’ information. This is all the information the company is able to provide at this time, as the investigation into the incident is ongoing," the company's emailed statement concluded.

Many big retailers in the US such as Home Depot, Supervalu, Neiman Marcus and Target have been hit by hackers in recent times. The new POS systems conduct a transaction through the more secure Europay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV) standard, which is the latest technique being used to safeguard against card fraud at POS systems.

In October 2014, Obama signed an executive order for a speedier adoption of the EMV standards across USA. The federal government has been tasked with the charge of leading by example in securing customer transactions and sensitive data, throughout the whole of United States.

Russian Hackers use Windows 0-Day exploit to hack NATO, Ukraine

Russian Hackers, dubbed the "sandworm team", have been found exploiting a previously unknown vulnerability in Microsoft's Windows Operating systems, reports iSight.

The group has used this zero-day exploit to hack computers used by NATO, Ukraine Government, European Telecommunications firms, Energy sectors and US academic organization.

The attack starts with a spear-phishing email containing a malicious power point document that exploits the vulnerability and infects victims machine with a malware.

"The vulnerability exists because Windows allows the OLE packager (packager .dll) to download and execute INF files."the report reads.

".. When handling Microsoft PowerPoint files, the packagers allows a Package OLE object to reference arbitrary external files, such as INF files, from untrusted sources... This will cause the referenced files to be downloaded in the case of INF files, to be executed with specific commands"

The vulnerability is reportedly affecting all versions of the windows operating systems from Vista SP1 to Windows 8.1.  It also affects Windows servers 2008 and 2012.

A Bug in Bug Tracker "Bugzilla" exposes Private Bugs

A critical vulnerability in the popular web-based Bug tracking tool "Bugzilla" allows hackers to view the details of any undisclosed vulnerabilities.

Bugzilla is an open source bug tracking program developed by Mozilla and being used by many large organizations including RedHat, Linux Kernel, Gnome, Apache.

Vulnerability researchers at Check Point Software Technologies reported the bug to Mozilla that allows anyone to register with email address of the targeted domain (for example, admin@mozilla.com) and bypass email validation.

Researcher exploited the vulnerability and managed to create administrator accounts for the Mozilla.org, Mozilla.com and Bugzilla.org.

Gervase Markham from Mozilla wrote a detailed technical post.  The attack method appears to be "HTTP Parameter Pollution(HPP)" technique.

OWASP Definition for HPP:
"Supplying multiple HTTP parameters with the same name may cause an application to interpret values in unanticipated ways. By exploiting these effects, an attacker may be able to bypass input validation, trigger application errors or modify internal variables values."
Mozilla has released a security update that not only patches this privilege escalation vulnerability but also few other bugs including Cross Site scripting and Information Leak.

Yahoo says ShellShock vulnerability is NOT the cause of the servers hack

Researcher Jonathan Hall says he found evidence that Romanian hackers used the recent "ShellShock" vulnerability to hack a number of high profile websites including Yahoo, WinZip.

Hall said he informed Yahoo, WinZip and FBI about the issue.

Yahoo earlier today said their servers were compromised by the ShellShock vulnerability.  But, Yahoo's Chief Information Security Officer Alex Stamos published a statement in Hacker News that the breach is not a result of 'Shell Shock'.

"Three of our Sports API servers had malicious code executed on them this weekend by attackers looking for vulnerable Shellshock servers." Stamos wrote.

"These attackers had mutated their exploit, [and] this mutation happened to exactly fit a command injection bug in a monitoring script our Sports team was using at that moment to parse and debug their web logs."

The company claimed hackers did not gain access to any user data and the affected servers are used to provide live streaming for its sports service that don't store user data.

In response, Hall said in his blog "The Yahoo! infiltration WAS from the 'Shellshock' vulnerability, and it did NOT originate on the sports servers / API’s".