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Virtual Website Neopets Exposes Sensitive Data

Neopets is an online platform where kids can take care of "virtual pets." The website has revealed many sensitive user data online, including login credentials used for gaining access to company databases, email ids of employees, and repositories that contain proprietary code for the website. 

The exposed data comprises the IP address of Neopets users, data that can be used by hackers to target Neopets visitors. John Jackson, an independent cybersecurity researcher, found the issue while he was searching Neopet's website with his security software. The Security Ledger reports, "this is the second serious security incident involving the Neopets site. In 2016, the company acknowledged a breach that spilled usernames, passwords, IP addresses, and other personal information for some 27 million users. That breach may have occurred as early as 2013." 

Neopet, an online pet platform, was launched in the year 1999. It allows users, mostly kids, and children to take care of virtual pets/animals and buy virtual accessories for these pets using the "Neopoint" or "Neocash," virtual points earned in-game. Users can buy Neocash with real money or with the help of the awards. Viacom purchased Neopets for $160 million in 2005, but in 2017 it was purchased by NetDragon, a Chinese company. 

"The issue appears to be related to a misconfigured Apache web server, Jackson said. Though many web-based applications are hosted on infrastructure owned by cloud providers such as Amazon, Google, or Microsoft's Azure, leaked documents indicate that the 20-year-old Neopets website continues to operate from the infrastructure it owns and operates," reports The Security Ledger. 

Hacked accounts on sellout 

According to researcher Jackson, he found that Neopets accounts were "on-sale" on a website. It led him to scan Neopet's website using a security tool, which reported Neopets' subdomain exposed the website data. Upon research, Jackson found the employees' database, emails, login credentials, and complete code-base. The screenshots of the Neopets repository shared by Jackson show that the credentials were either embedded in the website's underlying code or "hard-coded." With the help of cybersecurity expert Nick Sahler, Jackson downloaded Neopet's full code-base, it revealed a database, private code repositories, user IP addresses, and employee emails.

2010-2020 Decade Roundup: 10 Most Frequently Occurred Security Vulnerabilities

 


A decade has come to an end but the security vulnerabilities of this decade in the IT sectors cannot be forgotten. In this article, we will be learning about the 10 most frequently occurred cyber vulnerabilities, which allowed threat actors to breach applications, steal user credentials, and tried to hurt millions at once. 

Understandably, this list will not be enough to enlist all vulnerabilities that strangled the IT world in the entire decade. Hence, in this article, we will be focusing on the vulnerabilities that had affected Unix, Linux, macOS, servers, and cloud computing. 

1. BlueBorne: This security attack occurred via a Bluetooth implementation in Android, iOS, Linux, and Windows. Reports showed that the blueBorne bug had affected over 8.2 billion devices worldwide. It was on 12 September 2017 when the vulnerabilities were reported by Armis, an IoT security firm, for the first time. This bug of affecting many electronic devices such as smartphones, laptops, smart cars, and wearable gadgets. 

2. Badlock: It was on 12 April 2016 when it has been discovered that a crucial security bug is affecting devices with CVE-2016-2118. The security bug that had been found in Microsoft Windows and Samba was affecting the Security Account Manager (SAM) and Local Security Authority (Domain Policy) (LSAD) remote protocols supported by Windows and Samba network. 

3. DirtyCow: It was a very serious computer security vulnerability that was found in the Linux kernel. It had affected all Linux-based running devices, such as Android devices but there was an exception, this bug was only affecting those systems that were using older versions of the Linux kernel created before 2018. This bug is a local privilege escalation that exploits a race hazard in the implementation of the copy-on-write tool in the kernel's memory-management subsystem. It must be noted that those computers and devices that still use the older kernels remain vulnerable. 

4. ForShawod: This decade has crippled Modern Intel/AMD processors with many security bugs. L1 Terminal Fault or Foreshadow affects modern microprocessors. The first version discloses sensitive information from PC and cloud network, whereas, the second version targets –Hypervisors (VMM), Virtual machines (VMs), System Management Mode (SMM) memory, and the Operating systems (OS) kernel memory. 

5. Heartbleed: It was a very dangerous cyber attack in the popular OpenSSL cryptographic software library that allowed stealing sensitive information under normal conditions by SSL/TLS encryption which is used to secure the Internet. SSL/TLS provides services such as communication security and privacy over the internet for applications including email, instant messaging (IM), Web, and some virtual private networks (VPNs). After this vulnerability Google had established ‘Project Zero’, its task is to secure the Web and society. 

6. iSeeYou: It was affecting Apple laptops, hackers were leveraging the vulnerability to exploit remote access and taking photographs of a person. Apple’s laptops involved a variety of operating systems, such as macOS, Linux, and Microsoft Windows. Therefore, litigations against this attack vary depending upon the operating system. In response to the discovery of this attack, the organization released iSightDefender to reduce the attack. 

7. Lazy: This security vulnerability affects Intel CPUs. The malicious actor uses this vulnerability to leak the FPU registers’ content which belongs to another process. This vulnerability is associated with Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities. Patches such as OpenBSD, Linux, Xen, and others have been released to address the vulnerability. 

8. Linux.Encoder: It is also known as ELF/Filecoder.A and Trojan.Linux.Ransom.A. It is the first ransomware Trojan that targets computers, servers, cloud, and devices functioning Linux. Also, there are additional variants of this Trojan that target Unix and Unix-like systems. 

9. POODLE: This attack is also known as the man-in-the-middle that exploits Internet and security software clients’ fallback to SSL 3.0. Any software which supports a fallback to SSL 3.0 is affected. To overcome its effects people have to disable SSL 3.0 on the client-side and the network-side. Various platforms such as Microsoft, Google, Apple, OpenSSL, and others have released software patches so they can protect their platforms against the POODLE security attack. 

10. Rootpipe: Rootpipe security vulnerability had been seen in OS X that gives privilege escalation. Exploiting security vulnerabilities on a system allows a hacker to gain superuser (root) access and with other bugs on a Mac, such as an unpatched Apache web browser, hackers can take advantage of root pipe to gain complete command of the running system and Apple computers or Network. According to the researchers in November 2017, a similar attack had been seen in macOS High Sierra which was giving easy access to the hackers into the system without a password and root account.

iPhones of Al Jazeera Journalists Being Snooped On Via Israeli Firm's Spyware

 

iPhones of around 36 Journalists at Al Jazeera news organisation have been hacked by nation-sponsored hackers who sent malware laden iMessages. The attackers who are suspected to be backed by the governments of the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, exploited a zero-day vulnerability in iMessage which was later fixed by Apple. 

In a technical report, experts have stated that the Journalists' iPhones were snooped on by attackers who employed NSO's Pegasus software to deploy spyware onto the iPhones of 36 journalists, executives and producers at the news agency, Al Jazeera. 

Pegasus is a modular malware developed by the Israeli firm NSO which is used for surveillance purposes and has also been linked to surveillance abuse at multiple occasions. The spyware allows hosts to remotely monitor and exploit devices. Reportedly, the attack took place invisibly and it didn't require the attackers to trick the victims into clicking on a malicious link – as opposed to conventional ways of deploying malware. 

While examining one of the victim's device, researchers discovered that spyware was deployed secretly through iMessage and was able to take images using iPhone's camera, access passwords, and victim's location. Besides, it's likely that the spyware was also recording phone calls and microphone.  

As per the researchers at Citizen Lab, a total of four operators belonging to Pegasus were observed to have assisted the hack. Two of the operators namely SNEAKY KESTREL and MONARCHY are suspected to be having links with the governments of Middle Eastern countries; to the UAE and Saudi Arabia, respectively.  

According to the reports by Citizen Lab, "In July and August 2020, government operatives used NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware to hack 36 personal phones belonging to journalists, producers, anchors, and executives at Al Jazeera. The personal phone of a journalist at London-based Al Araby TV was also hacked." 

"The phones were compromised using an exploit chain that we call KISMET, which appears to involve an invisible zero-click exploit in iMessage. In July 2020, KISMET was a zero-day against at least iOS 13.5.1 and could hack Apple’s then-latest iPhone 11." 

"We do not believe that KISMET works against iOS 14 and above, which includes new security protections. All iOS device owners should immediately update to the latest version of the operating system," the report further read.

Google’s Data Security: How Google Protects your Data from Cyber Threats?



The world is moving very fast towards technology and materialism. Subsequently, it has become increasingly difficult for people to shun away from online services. According to the reports, Google has a large international market – over 50% of its customers represent premier business customers. Interestingly, more than 5 million businesses have chosen Google Apps services for their Businesses. Users of online services are much familiar with Google and its products but cyber threats always threaten people and make them question the security of their data. Is Google selling their data or personal information? 

According to Google, the tech giant takes the following measures- 

Physical Security - Google claims that it provides 24/7 physical security to all data centers located across the world. The organization is also known for its advanced measures such as laser-based surveillance and biometric identification to protect its employees from cyber threats and identity theft. 

The company’s in-house disaster response team assures that even during natural disasters such as fire, flood, etc which hits the physical location of its data center Google still manages to use security monitoring to protect users from malware. The company also says, “We constantly monitor all applications, deploy patches through automated network analysis and proprietary technology, it helps us in detecting threats such as malware, viruses, and other forms of malicious code’’. 

Encryption-  Encryption means ‘the process of converting information or data into a code, especially to prevent unauthorized accesses’. The company states that ‘we use encryption into every data flow so customer’s data remain protected from any kind of snooping activities funded by official government actors. Furthermore, the tech giant added that it protects all the data access to security technologies such as HTTP and TLS or Transport Layer Security so that all email content remains inaccessible to malicious actors.

Malware protection-  According to Google, Google ensures protection to its users from any malware by deploying automated network analysis solution which keeps all kind of malicious codes away from customers credential information, with that company also use multi-purpose tools for software security and quality assurance.

Customized hardware- Google ensures that its hardware remains well protected with highly customized server components against any network infiltration by hackers. It also ensures that only its legitimate devices access the user’s data which are all under protection. 

Incident Response–A team of “Incident Management Program’’ (IMAG) at Google says, that our incident response team is 24/7 active at every data center to protect individuals' data by altering every individual if any malicious activity has been found on their account. 

Limited Access- Google gives limited access to important data which includes; business data, highly sensitive information to its employees, by doing this Google ensures security and privacy at every stage of its system.

Managed.com Hosting Provider Hit by REvil Ransomware, $500K Ransom Demand


Managed hosting provider Managed.com has temporarily taken down all its servers and web hosting systems offline including clients' websites in response to a REvil ransomware attack that compromised public-facing web hosting systems. 
 
The threat actors behind the security incident that took place on Monday, 16th November are not known yet, however, the company said that it is involved with law enforcement agencies to investigate the matter and restore the services as securely as possible. As of now, it remains unclear if the attackers have stolen any data before the encryption of devices. 
 
Initially, the web hosting service refrained from revealing any details about the incident and posted an update claiming 'unscheduled maintenance' as the reason for the service interruption. However, later on, the company disclosed that it had encountered a ransomware attack that affected their systems and files containing critical data. 
 
In a status update, Managed.com said, "November 17, 2020 – On Nov.16, the Managed.com environment was attacked by a coordinated ransomware campaign. To ensure the integrity of our customers’ data, the limited number of impacted sites were immediately taken offline. Upon further investigation and out of an abundance of caution, we took down our entire system to ensure further customer sites were not compromised. Our Technology and Information Security teams are working diligently to eliminate the threat and restore our customers to full capacity. Our first priority is the safety and security of your data. We are working directly with law enforcement agencies to identify the entities involved in this attack. As more information is available, we will communicate directly with you." 
 
"Upon further investigation and out of an abundance of caution, we took down our entire system to ensure further customer sites were not compromised. Our Technology and Information Security teams are working diligently to eliminate the threat and restore our customers to full capacity. Our first priority is the safety and security of your data. We are working directly with law enforcement agencies to identify the entities involved in this attack,” the service further told in a statement. 
 
According to multiple sources, REvil, a ransomware-as-a-service infamously known for carrying out large attacks previously has demanded a $500,000 ransom in Monero to receive a decryption key. REvil has attacked big names like Kenneth Cole, Travelex, Brown-Forman, GSMLaw and SeaChange in the past.

Also known as Sodinokibi ransomware, REvil was first spotted in April 2019, it attacks Windows PCs to encrypt all the files on local drives (besides those enlisted in their configuration file) and leaves a ransom note on affected systems with instructions to get the files decrypted in turn of the demanded ransom.

Walleon Smart Wallet – where Elegance, Fashion, and Innovation meet


With everything evolving around us, technology has reached another great peak when smart wallets came to the market. Being sure, everyone feels the same way, it was about time we are all able to protect our wallets from being stolen or lost, and this has been made finally possible. And to reach a time when the trackable wallet is not only smart for its anti-theft technology, but it’s also made of high-quality products and speaks of a huge fashion trend, well, it’s time we acknowledge its perfection. Let's start with the things that make it so great. 
 
Safety and protection by tracking your wallet 

Walleon lets you choose between Bluetooth tracking, which offers a more limited range, and Global GPS tracking that allows you to keep track of your wallet worldwide. This means that you can use the app on your phone to track where your wallet is. Moreover, while you may not yet know that your wallet is missing, the app will activate an anti-lost distance notification or alarm, based on the app settings. 
 
Anti-theft camera 

The in-built camera is an excellent addition to the wallet and offers a ton of other features except for the anti-theft function itself. When you realize that your wallet is stolen, you can activate the emergency mode, and it will start taking photos and sending them to your phone every few seconds. One of the many other favorite features is the option for selfies. You put your Walleon at a distance, and by using your phone, you take a picture of you and or you and your friends. 
 
SOS call button 

Another top-notch advantage the smart wallet gives you is the SOS call option. How does it work? First, you need to insert a SIM card in your wallet - prepaid or other. Then you need to set one or more SOS numbers through your app, and when in need, you can dial those numbers by using your wallet by holding a hidden button for a few seconds. For example, when you break your phone and there is no other way of contacting someone, or you had a car crash with no one around you, you fell during hiking or any other unfortunate situation or accident. Your Walleon will help you make the needed call and save you. 

LED light 

Although we all love the features above, this one is definitely the one that holds us captive more. And why not? It’s amazing! The light goes through the wallet, and you can change the color in any way you prefer - to match it with your outfit and accessories or even your mood. The function is fully optimized to save battery. The camera acts as a sensor, so when the wallet is in your pocket or covered, it turns off the light. Not only that but it can also auto stop after a few minutes (you can set your period for when the light should turn off) or turn it off permanently from the app on your phone. The LED light has low power consumption; the battery is 2500mah, and it also lights the money pocket so you can count your money in a low-light place. 
 
Portable battery charger 

Yes, that’s right! You can use your wallet also to charge your phone on the go. The battery is ultra-thin, in-built, and offers a fantastic opportunity to keep your phone fully charged all the time. RFID protection Speaking of all kinds of protection, as you’ve noticed, Walleon’s team is devoted to serving your needs, and it was created to make sure you are protected first. That is why RFID protection is such a great asset. 

There are many frauds for digital theft and the RFID option actually protects your credit and debit cards from those devices trying to export data and money from them. Your cards in Walleon are safe. Providing that many remarkable benefits, Walleon is a top-notch technology that fits your pocket with the best design ever made - high-quality leather, perfect sizes, and lightweight. Having it means being one step ahead of fashion and bringing your own style to a whole new level. 
 
You can find more information on our website https://walleon.net/ or in our Facebook Group.

Facebook Bans Suspicious Russian Accounts, Says Russian Spy Intelligence Interfering With U.S Presidential Election


Social networking giant Facebook says it terminated three fake account networks that could have been working for Russian intelligence. The intelligence, according to FB, might be leaking suspicious documents before the U.S presidential elections. According to FB, the suspended accounts contained fake users and identities and were suspended for 'coordinated inauthentic behavior.' The company associated all these accounts to Russian intelligence and hackers linked to St. Petersburg organization based in Russia.

The U.S officials accuse the group of meddling with the 2016 U.S presidential elections and votes. As per now, the Russian authorities haven't responded to these allegations. Neither did the Russian foreign aid ministry when asked for the comment regarding the issue. Since the beginning of its rivalry with the U.S, it is common knowledge that Russia has always denied allegations of interference in the U.S. According to Russia, the country doesn't meddle with the domestic policies of the U.S, and it has nothing to do with the presidential elections.
There was no solid proof whether the fake accounts leaked the hacked documents, but suspending these accounts helped us prevent any future leak, says Nathaniel Gleicher, head of security, Facebook. "Our team watches for the threats and trends that we need to be ready for, and one that we are very aware of ... is a hack-and-leak operation, particularly in the next 6-8 weeks. We want to make sure that the accounts are down to prevent their ability to pivot them to facilitate a hack-and-leak around the U.S. election," told Nathaniel to Reuters. 

Reuters reports, "Facebook said the networks were small with only a handful of accounts on its website and photo-sharing service Instagram, some of which posed as independent media outlets and think tanks. The accounts had a combined total of around 97,000 followers. While some of the activity did target audiences in Britain and the United States, the networks were predominantly focused on countries in the Middle East and bordering Russia, such as Syria, Turkey, Ukraine, and Belarus, Facebook said."

Here's how to Ensure Data Security Using FShred App


Users are well aware of the fact that while deleting photos, videos, files, or any other form of data on their Android, it doesn't get deleted in an irrecoverable manner and can be recovered in a number of ways using recovery tools. Although regaining access to a deleted file might be rewarding in many scenarios, the rest of the time users would prefer a once and for all deletion of the same to ensure data safety.

In the sphere of Data security, continually rising unwanted activities of unauthorized users call for the creation of something that can protect users against data breaches and cyberattacks destroying their sensitive data. Users need their data to be erased in a manner that no recovery tool can undo it.

How can it be done?

When users have no intention to retrieve their deleted data by any means, data eraser apps come into play. These apps help users delete their sensitive data in ways that make it irrevocable from their Android devices. It proves to be of significant service when users plan to sell their smartphone or just share it with someone as it could mean a serious threat to their important data.

FShred is a user-friendly app that makes use of data sanitization methods that overwrite data on both, internal and external storage of Android phone to permanently delete the deleted files from the internal storage, it does so by overwriting all available space with random data. What does that mean? It's a process that replaces all the deleted files (Photos, videos, etc) with purposeless bytes sent by a random generator; by overwriting the occupied space, it effectively ensures the deletion of that data beyond recovery.

Developed by Emile Gee, FShred is one amazing tool that would allow you easily wipe all your sensitive data using advanced shredder algorithms, it shreds your data and recovers valuable storage space on your Android device.

The app has undergone various tests with file recovery tools such as GT File Recovery and none of the applications were successful in recovering the deleted data. Additionally, the app contains no in-app purchases or advertisements and is completely free and handy for users.

A Provider of Cyber Security Training Loses 28,000 Items of Personally Identifiable Information (PII) In a Data Breach


A provider of cybersecurity training and certification services, 'The Sans Institute', lost roughly 28,000 items of personally identifiable information (PII) in a data breach that happened after a solitary staff part succumbed to a phishing attack. 

The organization discovered the leak on 6 August 2020, when it was leading a systematic review of its email configuration and rules. 

During this process, its IT group identified a dubious forwarding rule and a malignant Microsoft Office 365 add-in that together had the option to forward 513 emails from a particular individual's account to an unknown external email address before being detected. 

While the majority of these messages were innocuous, however, a number included files that contained information including email addresses, first and last names, work titles, company names and details, addresses, and countries of residence. 

Sans is currently directing a digital forensics investigation headed up by its own cybersecurity instructors and is working both to ensure that no other data was undermined and to recognize areas in which it can harden its systems. 

When the investigation is complete, the organization intends to impart all its findings and learnings to the extensive cybersecurity community. 

Lastly, Point3 Security strategy vice-president, Chloé Messdaghi, says that "Phishers definitely understand the human element, and they work to understand peoples’ pain points and passions to make their emails more compelling. They also know when to send a phishing email to drive immediate responses." 

And hence she concluded by adding that "The final takeaway is that we all need to stay aware and humble – if a phishing attack can snag someone at the Sans Institute, it can happen to any of us who let our guard down."

Twitter Rolled-out its Latest Feature that Lets Users Limit Reply



In an attempt to make conversations more effective and meaningful, Twitter has rolled out a new feature that will allow users to have a little more control over who is showing up in their mentions, the feature will enable users to get rid of spam in their conversations by limiting who can reply to their Tweets.

Before being launched globally on 11th August for both the Android and iOS users, the feature underwent a brief run in beta. It is now available for the Twitter App on both the platforms and also for the users accessing the platform via the official website twitter.com.

How the feature works?


While posting a tweet, you will come across a small globe icon at the bottom, upon tapping on that, three options will appear to choose who can reply to your tweet. If you choose nothing, the setting will remain default – meaning anyone can reply to the tweet or you can limit replies just to those who are tagged in the tweet; or only to your followers.

After selecting the preferred option, you are all set to compose your tweet and click on the 'Tweet' tab to publish it. One important thing to note here is that once the tweet is posted, you won't be able to change the reply settings for that particular tweet.

However, users must also note that people who are restricted from replying will get a greyed-out icon, but they will still be able to view and share your tweets – they can Retweet, Retweet with Comment, and like the tweet.

The feedback received by the users has been positive so far, indicating that users have felt more comfortable and guarded against abuse, trolls, and spam.

As per a blog post by Director of Product Management, Suzanne Xie, the new feature is successfully preventing about three potentially abusive replies while adding one potentially abusive retweet with comment.

Referencing from Xie's observations, “Sometimes people are more comfortable talking about what’s happening when they can choose who can reply,”
“We’ve seen people use these settings to have conversations that weren’t really possible before. Starting today, everyone will be able to use these settings so unwanted replies don’t get in the way of meaningful conversations," the blog post read.

"Since your Tweet = your space, we've been testing new settings to give people more control over the conversations they start. Sometimes people are more comfortable talking about what's happening when they can choose who can reply. We've seen people use these settings to have conversations that weren't really possible before. Starting today, everyone will be able to use these settings so unwanted replies don't get in the way of meaningful conversations," Xie further said in a statement.

CNY Works Data Breach: Personal Details of 56,000 Customers Exposed


Social Security numbers, names, and other personal details of around 56,000 individuals were exposed as CNY Works faced a data breach. The data breach potentially affected people who sought employment via the company's services.

CNY Works is a New York-based non-profit corporation working to help businesses and job-seeking individuals with the objective of providing skilled workers to businesses and employment for those seeking a job within Central New York – providing a single entry point for Workforce Information.

The agency started sending letters to all its affected customers, warning them about the security breach – the officials told that files compromised during the attack (likely to be a ransomware attack) on their servers consisted of their names and Security numbers. However, the agency did not spot signs of any data being accessed, viewed, or taken down by the threat actors.

Social Security number is a nine-digit number used to record a person's earnings and verify his identity whenever he starts a new job; having your social security number compromised can lead to identity theft in various ways, cybercriminals can sell people's identities on the dark web marketplaces to highest bidders. In a way, it's like getting your bank account info. stolen, only that you can always get a new bank account number, while new Social Security numbers are rarely issued by the concerned administration.

While addressing the security issue, Lenore Sealy, executive director for CNY Works, said in an email to media outlets, “We are sending notification letters to approximately 56,000 individuals.”

“However, we are notifying individuals out of an abundance of caution. CNY Works has no evidence that any of the personal information for these individuals has been misused, or even that any of the personal information in its possession was accessed or stolen as a result of this incident.” The email further read.

Fake Email Campaign Demanding Ransom in Cryptocurrency


Internet users have been alerted by national federal cybersecurity agency against a fake email campaign that is going on in the country; the authors behind the campaign are threatening to post a personal video of a victim that they claim to have recorded if the demanded ransom in the form of cryptocurrency is not paid to them.

While assuring users that there's nothing major to worry about these emails as the claims made in it are fake, the Computer Emergency Response Team of India (CERT-In) in a related advisory, suggested users assign new passwords to all their online platforms including their social media handles.

CERT-In (the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team) is a government-mandated information technology security organization. It has been designated as the national agency to respond to computer security incidents. The purpose of CERT-In is to issue guidelines, advisories, and promote effective IT security practices throughout the country.

A number of emails have been sent as a part of the campaign, claiming that the receiver's computer was compromised and a video was recorded via their webcam and that the sender has access to their passwords, as per the CERT-In latest advisory on the matter. The attacker attempts to convince the user into falling in his trap by mentioning his previous password in the email, then by strategic use of computer jargon, the attacker comes up with a story to appear as a highly-skilled scammer to the recipient. The story tells the victim that while he was surfing a porn website, his display screen and webcam was compromised by a malware placed by the hacker onto the website. It states that all of the user's contacts from Facebook, email, and messenger have been hacked alongside.

As these emails are scams and claim false information, users are advised to not get tricked into paying the demanded ransom in haste as even if the password mentioned by attackers in the email seems familiar it's because they accessed it via leaked data posted online and not through hacking their account. All you have to do is change or update your password for all the online platforms where it is being used.

Nintendo Confirms Around 160,000 User Accounts Affected in Recent Hacks


On Friday, the Japanese gaming giant, Nintendo confirms that around 160,000 user accounts of Nintendo Switch users have been affected in the recent hacking attempts.

Nintendo's Switch game console is immensely popular among avid gamers and its demand has risen dramatically amid the lockdown forced by COVID-19 pandemic, making it out of stock almost everywhere. As the number of people turning to Nintendo is rapidly increasing, the number of hackers targeting digital accounts has also increased as a result.

In the wake of the breach, Nintendo has disabled the option of logging into a Nintendo account via Nintendo Network ID (NNID)– login IDs and passwords of the users have been acquired in an unauthentic way by some means other than Nintendo's service, the company confirmed. Notably, these attempts to access accounts illegally have been made since the beginning of April. The information compromised during the breach includes usernames, DOB, email addresses, and country.

The company has notified all the affected users of the breach through an email, alerting them to reset their passwords.
Meanwhile, the company also warned the users in case they have used a common password for their NNID and Nintendo account, and said, “your balance and registered credit card / PayPal may be illegally used at My Nintendo Store or Nintendo eShop.”

The company further recommended the users to enable two-factor authentication as some accounts are already being used to make fraudulent purchases. Affected users are advised to contact Nintendo so that the company can examine their purchase history and cancel fraudulent purchases.

"We will soon contact users about resetting passwords for Nintendo Network IDs and Nintendo Accounts that we have reason to believe were accessed without authorization," the company said.

While apologizing to the customers, Nintendo said, "We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience caused and concern to our customers and related parties,"

"In the future, we will make further efforts to strengthen security and ensure safety so that similar events do not occur." the company added.

Biometric Data Exposure Vulnerability in OnePlus 7 Pro Android Phones Highlighted TEE Issues


In July 2019, London based Synopsys Cybersecurity Research Center discovered a vulnerability in OnePlus 7 Pro devices manufactured by Chinese smartphone maker OnePlus. The flaw that could have been exploited by hackers to obtain users' fingerprints was patched by the company with a firmware update it pushed in the month of January this year. As per the findings, the flaw wasn't an easy one to be exploited but researchers pointed out the possibility of a bigger threat in regard to TEEs and TAs.

Synopsys CyRC's analysis of the vulnerability referred as CV toE-2020-7958, states that it could have resulted in the exposure of OnePlus 7 pro users' biometric data. The critical flaw would have allowed authors behind malicious android applications with root privileges to obtain users' bitmap fingerprint images from the device's Trusted Execution Environment (TEE), a technique designed to protect sensitive user information by keeping the Android device's content secure against illicit access.

As it has become increasingly complex for malicious applications to acquire root privileges on Android devices, the exploitation of the flaw would have been an arduous task and might also be an unlikely one given the complexity of the successful execution. Meanwhile, the fix has been made available for months now– ensuring the protection of the users.

However, the issue with Trusted Execution Environments (TEEs) and Trusted Applications (TAs) remains the major highlight of Synopsys's advisory released on Tuesday, “Upon obtaining root privileges in the REE [Rich Execution Environment], it becomes possible to directly communicate with the factory testing APIs exposed by Trusted Applications (TAs) running in the TEE. This attacker invokes a sequence of commands to obtain raw fingerprint images in the REE,” it read.

While explaining the matter, Travis Biehn, principal consultant at Synopsys, told, “Of course, people’s fingerprints don’t usually change. As attackers become successful in retrieving and building large datasets of people’s fingerprints, the usefulness of naïve fingerprint recognition in any application as a security control is permanently diminished,”

“A further possible consequence is that fingerprints become less trustworthy as evidence in our justice systems.”

“...this vulnerability shows that there'there are challenges with Trusted Execution Environments (TEEs) and Trusted Applications (TAs); these are software components that are opaque to most (by design), expertise is limited, and typically involve long supply chains. These factors together mean there'there are opportunities for organizations to make a mistake, and hard for security experts to catch at the right time,” he further added.

The flaw would have allowed attackers to recreate the targeted user's complete fingerprint and then use it to generate a counterfeit fingerprint that further would have assisted them in accessing other devices relying upon biometric authentication.

1.1 Million Customers Records of SCUF Gaming Exposed Online


The database of more than 1 million customers was exposed online by 'SCUF Gaming', a subsidiary of Corsair that develops high-end gamepads for Xbox, PS4, and PC. The incident led to the exposure of clients' names, payment info, contact info, repair tickets, order histories, and other sensitive information. Other data belonging to the company's staff and internal API keys were also compromised as a result.

The data was left unprotected for two days before being discovered by the security researcher, Bob Diachenko who reported the same to Scuf Gaming. The team led by the researcher found the data on the web without any password protection or authentication.

The database was taken down by the company in less than two hours of being notified. Meanwhile, bot crawlers got enough time to locate the exposed database and a ransom note was found demanding 0.3 BTC from the company. The note says that the data had been downloaded by the cybercriminals, however, no such action is being detected by the systems. "Your Database is downloaded and backed up on our secured servers. To recover your lost data, Send 0.3 BTC to our BitCoin Address and Contact us by eMail.” The note read.

Experts are of the belief that the involved criminals did not get enough time to delete or encrypt the data present in the database, hence, it's unlikely that they would have been able to download it either. However, SCUF clients and staff could face a risk of phishing attacks, identity theft, and fraud by the cybercriminals who might have downloaded some pieces of
the leaked database.

In a conversation with Comparitech, a spokesperson for Corsair, parent company to SCUF gaming told, “…Once notified, we identified the root cause of this exposure and secured the database within two hours. While investigating Mr. Diachenko’s warning, we also discovered that a bot had connected to the database’s server and placed a ransom note there. We have no evidence that either the bot or any other actor was able to misappropriate customer data.

This issue was specific to one system, being operated off-site due to work-from-home precautions resulting from the current COVID-19 pandemic.”

To stay on a safer side, SCUF Gaming customers are advised to keep an eye for any suspicious activity in regard to their bank accounts as scammers who were to able gather whatever bits of information they could, are likely to attempt targeted phishing attacks.

'Paranoid' Blocks your Smart Speakers from Spying on you


Smart speakers have proven to be one of the most versatile gadgets of the era, the high-tech AI companions can do everything from playing music to ordering a meal with just the sound of your voice. They come with virtual assistants ready to answer all your queries, other features include reminding you of appointments, telling about the weather and news along with helping you to control your smart home devices.

Amazon's Echo and Google's Nest are two of the widely employed smart speakers. However, these devices also raise security concerns in regard to the voice captured by the speakers but in order to avail services of a voice assistant that as a matter of fact operates on voice commands, you can't block it from listening to your voice.

To make the experience easier and safer, a new device known as 'Paranoid' is made to enter the tech space, it is designed to block your Amazon Echo or Google Home smart speaker from listening to your voice until you say the word, "Paranoid" which is the device's wake word. After saying the word, the gizmo allows your smart speaker to listen.

Another thing to take notice of is the simplicity in the operations of Paranoid, it's extremely easy to use, it simply needs to be connected to the smart speaker in order to block it from spying upon you –meanwhile,  it still allows the speaker to be voice-activated. In order to activate it, all you have to do is to say "Paranoid" every time before you say "Okay, Google!" or "Alexa!"

The device comes in three different variants, The Home Button, Home Wave, and Home Max. It has no antenna, no SIM card slot, no Bluetooth, no Wi-Fi and no kind of wireless capability. As per its website, the makers claim that their device is "hack-proof".

The Home Button is the simplest model, it is placed on Amazon Echo's mute button and presses it manually. The second one, the Home Wave is designed to jam the microphones on your smart speakers and the most sophisticated one, the Home Max requires you to send your Amazon Echo or Google Home Devices to Paranoid headquarters stationed at Edmonton, Alberta. There, experts will attach your speaker's microphone cable to an external Paranoid device by cutting off the original cable. After the completion of the process, your smart speakers will be sent back to your address.

All the three models of Paranoid can be purchased from its official website; the original charges of the device and services are $49, however, as of now it will cost only $39.

Dutch Government Loses Hard Drive Containing Data of 6.9 Million Donors


Officials from the Dutch Ministry of Health, Wellness, and Sport confirmed this week that the government has lost two external hard disk storage devices that contained electronic copies of all donor forms filled with the Dutch Donor Register between February 1998 to June 2010, it was used to store personal information such as the first and the last name, date of birth, ID card numbers, address while filling the form, gender, copy of signatures and choice of organs being donated of about 6.9 million organ donors.

It was when authorities decided to sweep out old donor registration paper forms and wanted to get rid of electronic copies of all these donor forms, they discovered that the two aforementioned disks are nowhere to be found. There have been no comments made onto the encryption of data, it's not in public knowledge that whether the data was encrypted not.

The disks were last accessed almost four years ago and were put securely inside a safety vault for keeping a record, as per the statements given by the Dutch Donor Register, the hard disks were no longer to be found in the security vault and are still unaccounted for. Reportedly, the data stored into the disks belonged to over 6.9 million Dutch people – a few out of whom may no longer be alive, as per the authorities.

Although there is no proof regarding the data being stolen or misused by anyone, officials claimed that the lost donor forms do not consist of Dutch ID copies and other official documents of the people of Dutch which automatically reduces the likability of fraud or an identity theft taking place amid the incident of lost hard drives. The Minister for Health, Wellness, and Sport confirmed that the event did not affect the Donor Register's ability to deliver accurate donor data.

Financial and Customer Info being Exposed in Slickwraps Data Breach


Slickwraps, a mobile device case retailer that specializes in designing and assembling the most precision-fitted phone cases in the world has suffered a major data breach that exposed the personal information of employees including their API credentials, resumes and much more.



In January 2020, a security researcher named Lynx attempted to gain access to Slickwraps's systems, he acquired full access to the company's website employing a path traversal vulnerability present in a script which is used by them for customizing cases.

After exploiting the vulnerability, Lynx sent emails stating the same to the company and upon receiving no response to those emails, he decided to make public disclosure of the vulnerability and how he exploited it to acquire access to the systems and the data that was compromised.

While giving insights of the incident, Lynx told that it allowed them to acquire access to 9GB of personal customer data that included employee resumes, customers' pictures, API credentials, ZenDesk ticketing system along with more sensitive data such as hashed passwords, transactions, and contact-related information.

As per the reports, multiple attempts made by Lynx to report the data breaches to Slickwraps were blocked by the company. Even though Lynx made it clear that they don't want any bounty and are just trying to get Slickwraps to publicly disclose the breach.

In a post made by Lynx on Medium, he stated, "They had no interest in accepting security advice from me. They simply blocked and ignored me."

While accepting the shortcomings of the company in terms of user security, Jonathan Endicott, Slickwraps CEO, apologized for the data breach and said, "There is nothing we value higher than trust from our users. In fact, our entire business model is dependent on building long-term trust with customers that keep coming back."

"We are reaching out to you because we've made a mistake in violation of that trust. On February 21st, we discovered information in some of our production databases was mistakenly made public via an exploit. During this time, the databases were accessed by an unauthorized party."

"Upon finding out about the public user data, we took immediate action to secure it by closing any database in question. As an additional security measure, we recommend that you reset your Slickwraps account password. Again, no passwords were compromised, but we recommend this as a standard safety measure. Finally, please be watchful for any phishing attempts."

"We are deeply sorry about this oversight. We promise to learn from this mistake and will make improvements going forward. This will include enhancing our security processes, improving the communication of security guidelines to all Slickwraps employees, and making more of our user-requested security features our top priority in the coming months. We are also partnering with a third-party cybersecurity firm to audit and improve our security protocols."

"More details will follow and we appreciate your patience during this process." the statement further read.

SoPo Nonprofit Told, Unknown Number of Clients Affected by Data Breach


A South Australian company, PSL Services, also known as Peregrine Corporation involved in the operation of service stations, convenience retail outlets and tobacconists recently disclosed a data breach to Mainebiz.

The company administered from its head office in Kensington Park, South Australia told that personal data of its employees including their names, email accounts, some medical information along with other sensitive information may have been accessed illegally between December 16 and December 19, 2019. Other information accessed without authorization includes address, DOB, Driving License Number, Social Security Number and Identifying Numbers of clients for participation in Mainecare.

There have been no speculations made by the corporation as to who is behind the public breach of its confidential data, however, the officials told in an email that there are chances that the criminal behind the incident was trying to force the agency in sending funds electronically which they did not.

Post-incident, the company was subjected to back to back investigations and it refused to specify the number of employees being affected. PSL did not provide other details regarding the incident such as whether the individuals were clients, employees, family members or others. As per some news releases, PSL came to know about the breach on 17th December after some suspicious activity was observed in an employee's email account, it immediately reported the same to its information services department.

The corporation told that it had “notified the Office of Civil Rights at U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Maine Attorney General, and prominent news media outlets throughout the state of Maine."

Referencing from the statements given by Lori Sanville, executive director, “The contents of a small number of email accounts were exposed,”

“The number is unknown until the data mining is completed. We will then contact anyone affected.”

In regard of the same incident, PSL also contracted with a cybersecurity vendor to further investigate the matter and come up with security measures, as per Sanville. In addition, she told Mainebiz, “We want our clients and the community to know that we take this matter very seriously and that we remain committed to assisting our clients first and foremost."

Google Releases Chrome 79, Warns Users of Data Breach


Tech giant Google has issued warning of data leak for Indian and global users, after fixing Chrome 79 bug and re-issuing it later this week. Users were being sent notifications by the company via affected websites– through the means of pop-up alerts that started to appear on desktops, mobile phone screens and laptop screens; it forced users into reading the text which said that their passwords may have been exposed and hence they should change it immediately – "Change your password. A data breach on a site or app exposed your password. Chrome recommends changing your password for the site," the warning pop-up read.

As per sources, a bug affected data in select Android applications and Google had put on hold the release of Chrome 79. It was finally this week, Google's Chrome Releases blog confirmed the rollout of Chrome 79 for desktop and mobile platforms; Chrome 79 (79.0.3945.93) for Android comes with a fix for the WebView flaw and an assurance of improved defense against issues revolving around password protection of users.

According to the reports by media, the fix, "Resolves an issue in WebView where some users' app data was not visible within those apps. The app data was not lost and will be made visible in apps with this update."

WebView is a feature which is employed by various third-party applications to open a webpage, it ensures rendering of webpages within applications. However, here, Google Chrome is solely responsible for loading the content. PhoneGap and Twitter Lite are two apps that employ WebView functionality, as per AndroidPolice.

There have been various instances recorded in regard of the matter, nationally and globally, one such incident had a user trying to log into an e-commerce platform named 'Freshtohome' to shop fresh and chemical-free seafood as he received a pop-up warning him about the issue and advising to change his password.

In a similar manner, when one of India's media houses attempted to log into their portal, were faced with disruption and warnings began to pop-up onto the screen advising them the same.

In a public statement issued on Google threads, a Chromium engineer explains, "We are currently discussing the correct strategy for resolving this issue which will be one of: a) continue the migration, moving the missed files into their new locations. b) revert the change by moving migrated files to their old locations. We will let you know which of these two options have been chosen soon."