Teenagers suspected of hacking Belgian and French websites


Photo Courtesy: The Local France
Two teenagers, who were suspected of hacking the websites of Belgian and French newspapers last week, would have a court hearing, authorities said on April 17.

The websites of Le Soir, La Libre Belgique, La Dernière Heure, the Sudpresse group, the French regional publications, including La Voix du Nord, and Union de Reims and l'Ardennais, which sites were disabled during the attacks, were targeted.

According to the prosecutors, five-year prison sentence will be given to those two teens, if the prosecutors find them guilty. Similarly, those persons will have to pay a fine of up to 100,000 euros and also to have to compensate for the damages.


In a statement Brussels prosecutors said that the regional unit of computer crime managed to identify the two teens, who are 18 and 16 years old, behind the cyber attacks on Sunday and Monday.

The hacking, which took place on Sunday evening, forced the Le Soir to close down its website for several hours.

The Belgian media group Rossel and the Belgian group IMP filed a police complaint last week.

The authorities carried out three raids in Belgium. During the raids, they discovered one address which linked to the attacks.

An examining magistrate has been investigating the case. They will try to find out, if others are involved or not in the attacks, the authorities said.

In a video by an anonymous group of Belgian, said that it had identified one of the teens as an adolescent who lives in Belgium and loves playing games.

The group, which is said to be hackers’ group, said it shared information with the police as it was protecting freedom of expression.

AT & T fined $25 million over customer data thefts

(photo courtesy- www.bbc.com)

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has fined AT & T Inc with $25 million over data breaches at call centers in Mexico, Colombia and The Philippines. The FCC said that at least two employees confessed stealing of private information belonging to thousands of US customers which included their names, full and partial social security numbers and account-related data, known as customer proprietary network information (CPNI).

According to a senior FCC official, the details of about 280,000 people were taken during the data breaches. These series of data thefts took place in 2013 and 2014. The data was used by call center employees to request handset-unlock codes for AT&T phones and shared with third parties involved in trafficking stolen cell phones.

After this incident, AT&T has informed with all the affected customers and it has also terminated its business deal with the companies that operated the call centers where the data was stolen.

The company also quoted that it has changed its policies and strengthened operations to ensure that a similar data breach doesn’t occur.

The investigations began by the FCC in Mexico, last May, after it was given information about data going missing.

The $25 million fine is the highest that the FCC has ever issued for data security and privacy violations.  

Google intrduces new review process for apps, age based rating system for all apps on Play Store soon


Google has decided to make change to its app submission process by adding human approval as a new step. Starting a couple of months back, a team of reviewers at Google started reviewing all applications before they were allowed to go live on the Play Store.

“We started reviewing all apps and games before they’re published – it’s rolled out 100%, and developers haven’t noticed the change.” said Purnima Kochikar, Director of Business Development for Google Play. After implementing the new review system, Google has still maintained its superiority in speed over rivals, Apple. Developers are able to get their apps live within a few hours of its submission on the Play Store, unlike Apple which has lengthy review process.

The reason Google has been so successful at this is its autmoated software that can detect only malware, but also sexual content and infringement of copyrights. Kochikar was not very coclusive about what all Google can detect through its automated detection softwares.

She said, “We’re constantly trying to figure out how machines can learn more,” explains Kochikar. “So whatever the machines can catch today, the machines do. And whatever we need humans to weigh in on, humans do.”

Google also lauched a new age based rating system for the Play Store that is supposed to come into effect in May. The system will be based on the scales provided by a given region’s official rating authourity. App developers will be required to fill in a questionnaire about the objectionable content in their app before submission and return the most appropriate rating for the app.

Googel has said that it will keep an eye on the ratings being given out by the new questionnaire system to make sure that the developers are truthful while filling out the questionnaire. Their will be a grace period for applications which are currently their on the Play Store, but soon, new submissions and updates to the Play Store will require developers to fill out the questionnaire.

Apple releases Bash update addressing ShellShock vulnerability

Over the last few days we have seen headlines about the critical security bug in Bash shell that affects Unix, Linux and even Mac computers.

Apple previously noted that only few Mac users who runs the advanced Unix Services were actually affected by the shell shock vulnerability.  Others are not at risk to this bug.

Apple said they are working to quickly provide update to patch this problem.

As promoised, it has released OS X bash update for OS X Lion, Mountain Lion and Mavericks.

You can download the update from their support page:
http://support.apple.com/downloads/

CSPF introduces Free online Ethical Hacking Course

Cyber Security and Privacy Foundation is happy to announce the first free online Ethical Hacking & Cyber Defence Course.

Within first 10 days after the course is launched, we have seen alreay 240 students registered for the online course.  The students registered range from Age group of 20 to 60.

Mr. Gemini Ramamurthy, chairman of CSPF, says we are very happy with overwhelming response from across the Globe for this course.  CSPF will continue to offer more such courses to the Online academy.


White Hat Hacking Course:
https://www.udemy.com/certified-whitehat-hacker-level-1/

Cyber Defence Course:
https://www.udemy.com/cyber-defence-course-cdc/

4 Cybercriminals from Vietnam arrested for using SMS malware to earn $100,000


Image Credits: Hanoimoi
Vietnam Police have arrested four individuals accused of stealing approximately $100,000 by infecting more than 100,000 mobile devices with a premium-rate SMS sending virus.

The suspects are identified as 23 year old Ha Xuan Tien, 24-year-old Nguyen Duc Luc, 25-year-old Nguyen Van Tu, 29-year-old Tran Ngoc Hai, according to Tuoitrenews.

The malicious applications which was used by suspects to infect users are said to be distributed via websites like "soundfest.com.vn", "clickdi.com". 

Once the malicious application infects a smart phone, the app will automatically send SMS messages to premium rate numbers.  Premium rate numbers allows the owner to earn money from incoming calls and SMS.

The victim will lose 15,000  Vietnamese Dong($0.71 in USD), after each message is sent from their device to these premium rate numbers.

Using this method, the cyber criminals manged to earn more than 2.1 Billion Vietnamese Dong($98,700 in USD) since late 2013.