These legit looking iPhone cables allow hackers to take charge of your computer

When they said you should be wary of third-party accessories and unbranded cables for charging your smartphone, they were serious. And the latest example of what a cable that isn’t original can do, should be enough to scare you. There is apparently a Lightning Cable that looks just as harmless as an iPhone cable should. But it has a nasty trick up its sleeve, which allows a hacker to take control of your computer, the moment you plug this in to the USB port. This cable has been dubbed the OMGCable.

A security researcher with the Twitter handle @_MG_ took a typical USB to Lightning cable and added a Wi-Fi implant to it. The moment this gets plugged into the USB port on a PC, a hacker sitting nearby with access to the Wi-Fi module hidden inside the cable can run a malicious code and take charge of a PC or remotely access data without the user even noticing.

“This specific Lightning cable allows for cross-platform attack payloads, and the implant I have created is easily adapted to other USB cable types. Apple just happens to be the most difficult to implant, so it was a good proof of capabilities,” said MG, as reported by the TechCrunch website.

The thing with phone charging cables is that no one really gives them a second look. You see one, you plug it in and you let it be. At the same time, a lot of users are wary about using USB drives, also known as pen drives or thumb drives, because they are popular as carriers of malware and viruses that can pretty much ruin your PC.

Dark web listings for malware aimed at companies on rise


There's been a significant rise in the number of dark web listings for malware and other hacking tools which target the enterprise, and an increasing number of underground vendors are touting tools that are designed to target particular industries.

A study by cybersecurity company Bromium and criminologists at the University of Surrey involved researchers studying underground forums and interacting with cyber-criminal vendors. The study found that the dark web is fast becoming a significant source of bespoke malware.

In many cases, the dark web sellers demonstrated intimate knowledge of email systems, networks and even cybersecurity protocols in a way that suggests they themselves have spent a lot of time inside enterprise networks, raising questions about security for some companies.

"What surprised me is the extent you could obtain malware targeting enterprise, you could obtain operational data relating to enterprise," Mike McGuire, senior lecturer in Criminology at the University of Surrey and author of the study, told ZDNet.

"There seems to be an awareness and sophistication among these cyber criminals, to go for the big fry, to go where the money is, as a criminal, and the enterprise is providing that," he said, adding: "What surprised me is just how easy it is to get hold of it if you want to."

McGuire and his team interacted with around 30 sellers on dark web marketplaces – sometimes on forums, sometimes via encrypted channels, sometimes by email – and the findings have been detailed in the Behind the Dark Net Black Mirror report.

The study calculated that since 2016, there's been a 20 percent rise in the number of dark web listings that have the potential to harm the enterprise.

Malware and distributed denial of service (DDoS) form almost half of the attacks on offer – a quarter of the listings examined advertised malware and one in five offered DDoS and botnet services. Other common services targeting enterprises that were for sale include espionage tools, such as remote-access Trojans and keyloggers.

Dell Computers Compromised To Hackers; SupportAssist Software To Blame




Reportedly, a vulnerability in Dell’s SupportAssist application could be easily exploited by hackers via which they could access administrative privileges.


The said administrative privileges would then aid the hackers to execute malicious code and take over the users’ entire system.

The victims of this security error haven’t reached a definable number yet but as all the Dell PCs with the latest Windows have the SupportAssist software all of them are open to attacks.

Since the aforementioned application doesn’t come pre-installed the PCs bought without Windows in them are safe.

The software aids Dell automatic driver updates like debugging and diagnostics.

Furthermore, debugging tools happen to have clear access to device’s systems, so when hackers attack, they gain full control of the system itself.

The hackers first try to get the victim to access a malicious web page and later trick them into downloading SupportAssist.

Henceforth the malware starts to run on the system with all the administrative privileges gained by default.

When the victims are on public Wi-Fi or large enterprise networks that’s when they are the most vulnerable to such an attack.

Then on the attacker would launch an Address Resolution Protocol hoaxing attacks and providing hackers the access to legitimate IP addresses within the network.

DNS attacks are also a strong possibility because of the lack of security on the existing routers.

After a young security researcher alerted Dell about the security flaw, the organization has been working on a patch.

Until then it would be the best choice to simply uninstall the application from the device.

Hackers have already exploited this vulnerability and hacked into a few internal devices of Dell owing it to the SupportAssist.


Per sources, a patch has already been released for the issue which is the version 3.2.0.90 of the SupportAssist application.





Hidden for 5 years, complex ‘TajMahal’ spyware discovered

It's not every day that security researchers discover a new state-sponsored hacking group.

Spyware is inherently intriguing primarily because of the complexity that allows it to carry out its malicious plans, and breaking them down is something that security researchers have to do on a regular basis. However, a unique form of spyware with a phenomenal 80 different components and all kinds of tricks has been discovered by a group of analysts after it. Also, this spyware had been under wraps for more than five years.

A technically sophisticated cyberespionage framework that has been active since at least 2013 has been outed by security researchers.

In a recent talk at the Kaspersky Security Analyst Summit in Singapore, researcher Alexey Shumin shed light on the firm’s groundbreaking discovery of an adaptable Swiss Army spyware framework called TajMahal.

Security researchers still aren't sure who's behind the versatile TajMahal spyware—or how they went undetected for so long. ‘TajMahal’ modules and bundles functionality which have never been before seen in an advanced persistent threat, such as the ability to steal information from printer queues and to grab previously seen files from a USB device the next time it reconnects. And that unique spyware toolkit, Kaspersky says, bears none of the fingerprints of any known nation-state hacker group.

The 80 distinct modules include not just the standard ones like keylogging and screen-grabbing but also completely new tools.

TajMahal include two main packages: ‘Tokyo’ and ‘Yokohama’. Tokyo contains the main backdoor functionality, and periodically connects with the command and control servers.

TajMahal is a wonder to behold.

"Such a large set of modules tells us that this APT is extremely complex," Shulmin wrote in an email interview ahead of his talk, using the industry jargon—short for advanced persistent threat—to refer to a sophisticated hackers who maintain long-term and stealthy access to victim networks. "TajMahal is an extremely rare, technically advanced and sophisticated framework, which includes a number of interesting features we have not previously seen in any other APT activity. Coupled with the fact that this APT has a completely new code base—there are no code similarities with other known APTs and malware—we consider TajMahal to be special and intriguing."

Google’s Nest Secure had a built-in microphone no one knew about


After the hacking fiasco a few weeks ago, Nest users have been more on edge about their security devices than ever before. The recent discovery of a built-in, hidden microphone on the Nest Guard, part of the Nest Secure security system, has only served to further exacerbate those concerns.

Alphabet Inc's Google said on February 20 it had made an "error" in not disclosing that its Nest Secure home security system had a built-in microphone in its devices.

Consumers might never have known the microphone existed had Google not announced support for Google Assistant on the Nest Secure. This sounds like a great addition, except for one little problem: users didn’t know their Nest Secure had a microphone. None of the product documentation disclosed the existence of the microphone, nor did any of the packaging.

Earlier this month, Google said Nest Secure would be getting an update and users could now enable its virtual assistant technology Google Assistant on Nest Guard.

A microphone built into its Nest Guard alarm/motion sensor/keypad wasn't supposed to be a secret, Google said after announcing Google Assistant support for the Nest Secure system but the revelation that Google Assistant could be used with its Nest home security and alarm system security was a surprise.

“The on-device microphone was never intended to be a secret and should have been listed in the tech specs. That was an error on our part. The microphone has never been on and is only activated when users specifically enable the option,” Google said.

Google’s updated product page now mentions the existence of the microphone.

If your first thought on hearing this news is that Google was spying on you or doing something equally sinister, you aren’t alone. Ray Walsh, a digital privacy expert at BestVPN.com, said “Nest’s failure to disclose the on-board microphone included in its secure home security system is a massive oversight. Nest’s parent company Google claims that the feature was only made available to consumers who activated the feature manually. Presumably, nobody did this; because the feature wasn’t advertised.

Russian Hacking Group Targets The German Government’s Internal Communications Network


An infamous Russian hacking group known as Fancy Bear, or APT28, is by and large broadly considered responsible on account of a security breach in Germany's defence and interior ministries' private networks as affirmed by a government spokesman.

It is said to be behind the reprehensible breaches in the 2016 US election likewise including various cyber-attacks on the West. The group is accounted for to have targeted on the government's internal communications network with malware.

As per the reports by the DPA news agency the hack was first acknowledged in December and there may have been a probability of it lasting up to a year.

"We can confirm that the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) and intelligence services are investigating a cyber-security incident concerning the federal government's information technology and networks," a German interior ministry spokesman said on Wednesday.




The group apparently hacked into a government computer system particularly intended to operate separately from other open systems i.e. public networks to guarantee additional security known as the "Informationsverbund Berlin-Bonn" (IVBB) network. The framework is utilized by the German Chancellery, parliament, federal ministries and a few security institutions.

Fancy Bear, also called Pawn Storm, is believed to run a global hacking campaign that is ", as far-reaching as it is ambitious" as indicated by a report by computer security firm Trend Micro.
Palo Alto Systems, a cyber-security firm, on Wednesday released a report saying that Fancy Bear now gives off an impression of being utilizing malevolent emails to target North American and European foreign affairs officials, incorporating a European embassy in Moscow.

"Pawn Storm” was even reprimanded for a similar attack on the lower house of the German parliament in 2015 and is likewise thought to have targeted on the Christian Democratic Union party of Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Authorities in the nation issued rehashed notices about the capability of "outside manipulation" in a last year's German election.

The hacking bunch has been linked to the Russian state by various security experts investigating its international hacks and is additionally known by certain different names including CozyDuke, Sofacy, Sednit and Tsar Group.