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Showing posts with label Massive cyber attack. Show all posts

Hong Kong Protesters being Hampered by a Cyber Attack

The major public protests which unfolded over the last week in Hong Kong are targeting the legislation which would allow accused to be extradited to mainland China to face trial. As the movement became violent, police resorted to tear gas, rubber bullets and pepper spray in order to disperse the protesters.

Protesters are demanding for the new extradition law (Fugitive Offenders Ordinance) to be scrapped and the debate over the bill has been delayed as the protesters did not assemble again; Hong Kong natives are of the opinion that the law could potentially legalize the kidnapping of people who practice their right to speech to say things or behave in manners that go out of synchronization with the Chinese government. Furthermore, Hongkongers feel that this new extradition law can also be utilized to extradite visitors and travelers who are taken into custody on suspicion.

As over the years, Telegram has been a major platform for activists in Hong Kong and mainland China to systemize and carry out protests effectively and bypass  government surveillance, Telegram CEO, Pavel Durov, remarked in a tweet, "Historically, all state actor-sized (attacks) we experienced coincided in time with protests in Hong Kong,"This case was not an exception."

Twitter saw an upsurge in the tweets which talked about the remarkable management and expert arrangements made for the sizable protests; according to the organizers, a total of 1 million people assembled for the protest, whereas, police recorded a total of 240,000.

The momentum which the protests picked up was the direct result of the audience reached via various social media platforms such as WhatsApp and Telegram.  These messaging apps were used by the protesters to coordinate and spread the word about the Hong Kong protests.

The demand for highly secured and encrypted social media messaging apps is likely to rise up due to a very fundamental citizen need to evade government surveillance and stay guarded against authoritative bodies.

No, Your fridge is not sending spam emails - They are innocent

A recent report from security firm Proofpoint saying "Internet connected Refrigerators are participating in massive cyber attack" is one of the hot topic on Information Security.

The report said that a massive global cyber attack involved more than 750k malicious emails relied on more than 100k consumer gadgets such as routers, multimedia systems, tvs and refrigerator.

However, a recent report form Symantec says "Internet of Things" devices including the Internet-connected fridge are not source of this spam campaign.

Symantec confirmed the source of spam as several windows-based computers, and none of them were originated from any non-windows based computer systems.

"if your refrigerator uses a feature known as port forwarding and someone contacts the IP address on port 80, that traffic is allowed to reach your smart refrigerator."Symantec report reads.

"Viewed from outside, all you will see is the refrigerator and you may not even realize there is a router with potentially many other devices behind it, such as an infected computer." Symantec experts explained that it might be the reason why researchers mistakenly considered the IoT devices as source for the spam campaign.

Even though the IoT devices such as fridge are innocent at this time, experts say that we can expect them to be exploited by cyber criminals in future.  Researchers also pointed out that there is already few malware targeting Linux-based IoT devices. 

Massive Cyber attack Shut down Knight Center's websites for Two weeks

The websites of the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas and the International Symposium for Online Journalism hit by massive cyber attack that left the sites down for last two weeks.

“The malicious cyber-attack was enough to shut our websites down, but not to enough to shut us up. We rapidly created WordPress blogs to continue our regular and unique report on Journalism in the Americas,” said professor Rosental Alves, founder and director of the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at the University of Texas at Austin.

“We have no idea why someone would want to attack our sites"said professor Alves.

They noticed that the origin of the cyber-attack was in computers located in Russia.

According to the Knight center news report, the attack was taken place on March 11. Those affected websites are now back online.

"We had to shut down the sites, while the University of Texas IT department conduct its work to clean the sites and make sure increase its security levels.We are happy to be back with our normal presence on the Web,” said professor Alves.