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UNICEF won't convert Bitcoin and Ethereum : will accept donations in cryptocurrency


UN's children's agency UNICEF has launched a Cryptocurrency Fund Programme, in this all donations will be made through cryptocurrency- limited to Bitcoin and Ether. According to this new Cryptocurrency Fund Programme, when the organization receives a donation in Bitcoin or Ether, it will not convert it to fiat currency rather distribute it in the same form. This is part of UNICEF's project with blockchain technology and to fund open source technology projects through cryptocurrency.


"This is a new and exciting venture for UNICEF. If digital economies and currencies have the potential to shape the lives of the coming generations, we must explore the opportunities they offer. That's why the creation of our Cryptocurrency Fund is a significant and welcome step forward in humanitarian and development work," Henrietta Fore, Director, UNICEF, said in a statement. This approach by UNICEF, couldn't have come at a better time, as Henrietta Fore, Director UNICEF says, "Humanitarian and development work cannot continue without contributions in whichever format people are most comfortable with".

And this would also assist cryptocurrencies, giving them a positive boost. Cryptocurrency, that is virtual money is the only form of global money presently, and is believed could be the currency of the future. Bitcoin continues to influence the macroeconomy and more and more industries and businesses are incorporating this technology into their functionality. Now, UNICEF is also amongst one such organization with its Cryptocurrency Fund Programme. In this program, UNICEF supports donations in only Bitcoin and Ethereum as these are the leading cryptocurrencies in the global market.

Depending on the success of the program, more currencies would probably be added in due time. The first donation to the UNICEF Cryptocurrency Fund Programme will be made by Ethereum Foundation to fund three grantees of the UNICEF Innovation Fund, as well as a project coordinated by the GIGA Initiative to connect schools to the Internet globally. It is unsure which amounts will change hands but the contribution will be done through the French National Committee for UNICEF. It is a big boon for cryptocurrencies, and collaboration between charitable organizations and cryptocurrency can be a big step forward into the new era of change and technology.

How 5G Network would Change the IoT and the Challenges Ahead



Extremely fast and effective, 5G mobile networks would increase the exposure to attacks as every internet of things (IoT) when connected to fifth-generation technology can potentially become a tempting target for attackers and cybercriminals.

The efficiency would allow for improved interconnectivity and greater control over devices and machines ranging from automobiles to traffic lights and everything in between which have internet-connected sensors embedded in it. The number of such items is reported to rise from 14.2bn to 25bn by 2021, according to global research and advisory firm, Gartner.

Major home appliance company, Whirlpool is all set to have one its factories run on 5G technology. The factory puts to use a lot of metal and as 5G penetrate through walls and doesn't reflect off metal unlike Wi-Fi, Douglas Barnes, Whirlpool's North American regional IT and OT manufacturing infrastructure applications manager, says, "This will allow us to go to truly autonomous vehicles throughout the entire plant, for maintenance, for delivery, for everything that supports the manufacturing operations. That business case carries so much weight and so much in cost savings. The payback for 5G is very favorable."

With encryption of data becoming more secure than ever, 5G technology will massively change the way users communicate over the internet, browse, watch videos and play games. However, the increased speed and effectiveness, low latency, high Gbps data transfer rates, and greater capacity also accompany more security challenges as compared to the current mobile networks. It would mean that threat actors while breaching a machine running on a 5G network, will be able to download and hence steal the data much faster than the current networks allow. It would also make it easier for criminals to execute bigger cyber attacks by utilizing the increased engagement of software required to smoothly run 5G technology.

Did hackers exploit IoT before?

Earlier in 2016, in the "Mirai botnet" cyber attack, where hackers took advantage of vulnerable IoT devices to take down major websites including Reddit, Twitter, Spotify and left much of the internet inaccessible, the incident witnessed the involvement of a large number of routers, cameras, and video recorders to take down a large chunk of the internet for the Eastern coast.

Commenting on the matter, Cesar Cerrudo, chief technology officer at IOActive, a cybersecurity consultancy, said, "I think 5G will be a more tempting target for nation-state actors than . . . hackers, as 5G will be a core communication technology for most countries,” 

An App Helping Scammers Hack into Bank Accounts on the Rise in Bengaluru


An app called AnyDesk, utilized by telecallers pretending to be officials from legitimate banks is clearly on the rise in Bengaluru, helping hackers effectively access to the bank accounts of clueless customers.

AnyDesk is said to be a tool that gives remote access to digital devices and can be downloaded from Google Play and App Store. In February this year, the Reserve Bank of India cautioned of a digital banking fraud that utilizes AnyDesk as the main attack route.

Bengaluru cyber police have registered 25 cases over the last two months and as per a senior cybercrime investigator people have lost between Rs 15,000 and Rs 2 lakh subsequent to downloading the application.

The fakes talk about complimentary gifts, coupons and limits to draw their exploited people. “They use these to bait people into sharing their pin, and then access OTPs and credit card and CVV numbers saved on their phones,” he says.

The callers essentially persuade the victim to share their pin saying it is important to enact free insurance or extra credit. OTPs are their greatest weapons as they can be utilized to get to photos and recordings as well as personal data, which is now and then used to compromise and blackmail people, the official says.

“They can also see your chats and get passwords you may have stored on your phone,” the officer says. Reasons given by scam telecallers to extract information from the customers:

  1. Your ATM card has expired. 
  2. Your ATM card needs to be reactivated. 
  3. Your reward points need to be upgraded. 
  4. Your reward points can be cashed. 
  5. Your Aadhar and PAN need to be linked to your ATM card.

And so the banks have warned the people to remain cautious regarding certain parameters like:

  1. No bank ever asks you to share your OTP, CVV and Internet banking details over the phone. 
  2. People calling from banks based in Karnataka first speak in Kannada, and not in Hindi or English. Bank employees don’t ask you to deposit money through Google Pay. 
  3. Don’t install any app that allows remote access to your phone.

Bengaluru: Passport offices alerts public against fake websites


Bengaluru: Passport offices throughout the country are apprehensive about the increase in fake websites that masquerade as official portals for passport related services and siphon off applicant's data and money.

The ministry has been issuing advisories and alerts on its social media handles to caution the public against such fraudulent websites. The crime branch, working with the ministry has also started awareness drives in order to prevent passport applicants from being duped by bogus.

 The fake websites that the offices caught were-
 www.indiapassport.org,
 www.online-passportindia.com,
 www.passport-seva.in,
 www.passport-india.in,
 www.passportindiaporlal.in and www.applypassport.org. (Sc.TOI)

Whereas, the official website to apply for a passport is- "www.passportindia.gov.in" and the official mobile application to avail passport related services is - "mPassport Seva".

Victims who were cheated by these bogus websites and mobile applications approached the passport office and filed complaint at the local police station, said Officials at the Regional Passport Office, Bengaluru. Not only websites but mobile applications and brokers outside the passport offices also demand more payment and could be stealing personal data like Adhaar Card, Voter Id, resident proof and birth certificate to partake in more serious crimes like identity theft or selling the data to immigrants.

The officials said they came across websites that charged unwarranted prices for filling up online forms for a new passport and other services and even people who were highly educated fell victim to the fraud. Where the real cost for a passport is Rs.1,500 for normal and Rs.3, 500 for tatkal, these fraudsters are charging from Rs. 4,500 to Rs. 6,000. And money is the lighter concern, the bigger threat is the theft of personal data like Adhar Number, Voter ID and phone connections.

These websites used logos of other government schemes like Swachh Bharat Abhiyan to appear more genuine and true. Even on Google Play Store, at least eight unauthenticated and false applications were found.

This problem is not centrist to Karnataka, as cases from all over the country have been popping up, for instance, NCR and Bhuvaneshwar being two of the areas. Bharath Kumar Kuthati, regional passport officer, Bengaluru, says "they are creating awareness by issuing warnings on social media. It is a pan-India problem and the department is taking steps to counter it."

Blockchain will become a part of the Russian economy


The Ministry of Communications published a document of the new project according to which the introduction of blockchain will bring the state 1635 million rubles (25 million $). This result will be achieved thanks to the fight against counterfeit products and cost savings.

According to the document, "total investments will amount to 23.1 million rubles ($360 000)... Private investors are expected to raise funds in the amount of 50.17 million rubles ($780 000)".

Through the introduction of blockchain, it is planned to reduce the turnover of counterfeit drugs, ensure the security of storage and exchange of personal medical data and increase the availability of financial services for the poorest segments of the population. According to forecasts of the Ministry of communications, 100% of the population will use banking services upon completion of the project.

The project should be implemented by 2024 and the network throughput will be 100 thousand transactions per second. The average throughput of Bitcoin at the moment is 4 transactions per second.

However, the Chairman of the Bank of Russia Elvira Nabiullina argues that investing in cryptocurrency is a casino game, because such investments are risky and not protected by the state. She agreed with the comparison of digital money with the 17th-century tulip fever in Holland and added that everyone knows "how it all ended."

"Easily earned money quickly goes away. Here, the state does not protect your investments in cryptocurrencies in any way, unlike investments in banks. But here you risk very much," says Nabiullina.

She added that the people who invested in digital money at the peak of value have now lost a lot. According to the head of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, those who want to "make money very quickly and easily" are investing in a new type of asset.

Earlier, Nabiullina said that the Bank of Russia is studying the sphere of cryptocurrencies, but can’t yet assess the advantage of issuing national digital money. The Chairman of the financial regulator noted that the new type of assets carries a lot of risks.

Cyber Criminals Use New Method To Steal Funds From Bank Customers' Account


According to a report of the Central Bank, this year, Bank fraudsters have a new way of stealing from Bank cards, they pose as Bank employees using the technology to substitute phone numbers. Special IP-telephony services allow them to perform substitution of numbers, or scammers disguise the number using the letters OOO instead of 000 and so on.

It is noted that the two tools help the scammers to commit thefts. The first is access to personal data. Only in the last six months, the Central Bank specialists found 13 thousand ads for buying or selling names and phone numbers. Attackers, who got personal data, can easily simulate a conversation as an employee of a credit institution, insurance company or government agency.

The second tool of scammers is special programs that allow them to disguise as the official number of the Bank. The Central Bank recognised the falsification of Bank numbers as a new massive way of stealing money from the population.

According to the Bank of Russia, this summer the number of fraudulent calls to customers increased dramatically, and in June-August, the regulator sent data to Telecom operators on more than 2.5 thousand numbers from which calls to customers of Banks were received. However, only 200 numbers were blocked.

Experts believe that blocking numbers is not the best way to combat fraud. It would be more correct to stop the leakage of personal data from Banks and other organizations.

Thefts are mostly associated with the substitution of phone numbers, and Telecom operators refer to the lack of norms in the law. We will initiate changes to the law on communications, - said Artem Sychev, the First Deputy Head of the Department of information security of the Central Bank.

Business representatives proposed scheme to legalise eSIM in Russia


Large business representatives proposed a scheme to legalise eSIM in Russia. Innovative virtual SIM cards will be available to Russians next year.

In addition, Russia began work on the creation of remote identification of mobile subscribers by face and voice. This will speed up the implementation of virtual SIM cards (eSIM), which are now being tested by Russian operators. When the system works, it will be possible to register on the network by taking a picture on a computer or phone camera and saying a few words into the microphone. People don’t have to come to the office of a mobile operator with a passport.

eSIM is a module built into the mobile device that allows people to change the tariff and the mobile company without buying and replacing a physical SIM card. People can get a new connection by scanning, for example, a QR code in the operator's personal account.

Deputy Prime Minister Maxim Akimov in early September in an interview on the timing of the implementation of virtual SIM-cards in Russia said: "We will do for sure."

After all, the SIM card is also a small chip. If this chip is a combination of algorithms that can be built into the phone, why it is needed separately, said the Deputy Prime Minister.

Last week, Tele2 resumed eSIM test connections in several of its stores. According to the representative of the mobile operator MegaFon, the company is worried about how to ensure the security of Russian data when using eSIM.

The introduction of eSIM can lead to serious changes in the Russian mobile market, said Konstantin Ankilov, CEO of TMT Consulting.

The use of eSIM will have a positive impact on the Telecom market, as it will lead to the development of competition and, as a result, improve user service, believes the representative of Tele2.

It is interesting to note that since the end of 2018, eSIM technology has been working in the US and European countries. Now there are more than 40 eSIM-supporting operators in the world. The technology is available in new Apple smartphones, Google Pixel devices, Samsung and Apple smartwatches, and iPad tablets

HP Patches a Critical Vulnerability Targeting Windows Pcs


A critical vulnerability that uses unmonitored privilege escalation in the Open Hardware Monitor tool in order to infect Windows PCs that run software's dependent on it was as of late discovered by security research firm SafeBreach.

HP has already issued a patch fixing the said flaw after it came to their notice.

Among others, one of the most commonly discovered bundled software that utilizes the Open Hardware Monitor is HP TouchPoint Analytics, an apparatus that keeps running on many HP laptops and desktops around the world and along these lines putting a similar number of customers in danger.
Since devices, for example, HP TouchPoint Analytics are stacked assigned services and are accordingly whitelisted by numerous 'anti-malware' tools and this is most likely one of the main reasons why the flaw is said to be a 'potentially critical' one.

Because HP's laptops and desktop systems while being utilized for personal use, are additionally broadly utilized in enterprises that manage conceivably very sensitive data. This makes the disclosure considerably more sensitive, since, through this privilege escalation process, attackers could essentially target IT administrator setups, enter specific terminals, introduce 'arbitrary and malicious' DLL files into the framework and access the machines being referred to, and thusly gain access to the high sensitivity data.

For this situation, the HP TouchPoint Analytics tool had high, root-level framework access, and being a whitelisted instrument, enabled attackers to escalate the 'system privilege' to access critical parts of the system. Potential use cases for hackers here incorporate "data theft, undetected tracking of users and critical surveillance activities."

"These types of vulnerabilities are alarming because they indicate the ease with which malicious hackers could mount supply-chain attacks targeting and breaching highly trusted elements of our software ecosystem. This should be a clear signal to security teams that they need to increase their frequency of testing and analysis of their security envelope, in order to match the pace of criminals who are constantly innovating ways to hack into the most vulnerable parts of IT systems," said Itzik Kotler, co-founder and chief technology officer of SafeBreach.

The flaw has since been patched by HP, although SafeBreach warns and makes reference to any other organization utilizing the Open Hardware Monitor tool is still possibly in danger.


Sneaky Android adware hides its own icon to avoid removal – find out how to get rid of it!



Security researchers at SophosLabs have discovered 15 apps in the Play Store that contain a manipulative strain of adware that hides its own icon in the launcher to avoid being uninstalled by making the process unusually difficult for the users, it disguises itself as a harmless system app. There is a possibility of more such apps being present on the Play Store beside these 15 discovered ones. Some apps of similar nature have gone a step further and were found upon opening the phone’s App Settings page, hidden beneath names and icons that make them appear as legitimate system apps.

Some people tend to download an app, without giving its requirement much of a thought or consideration, the habit may have led you into inadvertently downloading these malicious apps such as QR code reading, free calls and messaging, phone finder, backup utilities and image editor apps which have adware embedded in them and serve no purpose at all other than to generate revenues for the developers by displaying intrusive advertisements. To exemplify, Flash on Calls & Messages – aka Free Calls & Messages is one such app, which shows a fake error message when the user launches it, telling the user that it is incompatible with his device. Then the user is directed to the Google Play Store entry for Google Maps, to mislead the user into believing that the Maps app is the reason for the crash, which is not at all true.

On Google Play Store, most of these camouflaged apps receive negative ratings and reviews which highlight the disappointments and the issues faced by users while using the app. More than 13 lakh phones were populated by these malicious apps, according to SophosLabs.

Quoting Andrew Brandt, principal researcher at SophosLabs, "To stay safe when downloading apps from the Google Play Store, users are advised to read reviews and sort them by most recent and filter out the positive four and five-star reviews with no written text,"

"App developers have, for years, embedded ad-code into their apps as a way to help defray the costs of development, but some developers simply use their apps as a borderline-abusive platform solely to launch ads on mobile devices," he added.

How to get rid of adware apps? 

Referencing from the advise given by Andrew Brandt, "If you suspect that an app you recently installed is hiding its icon in the app tray, tap Settings (the gear menu) and then Apps & Notifications. The most recently opened apps appear in a list at the top of this page."

"If any of those apps use the generic Android icon (which looks like a little greenish-blue Android silhouette) and have generic-sounding names (‘Back Up,’ ‘Update,’ ‘Time Zone Service’) tap the generic icon and then tap ‘Force Stop’ followed by ‘Uninstall.’ A real system app will have a button named ‘Disable’ instead of ‘Uninstall’ and you don’t need to bother disabling it."

"To stay safe when downloading apps from the Google Play Store, users are advised to read reviews and sort them by most recent and filter out the positive four and five-star reviews with no written text,"

"If several reviews mention specific undesirable behavior, it's likely best to avoid that particular app," he says. 

Earth-I announces the launch of SEVANT, using satellite for surveillance on Copper Smelters


London: Earth-i has announced to launch a service for traders and miners on October 18, ahead of LME(London Metal Exchange) week to spy over copper smelters through satellite imagery to predict their shut down and boom. The service, sold by Earth-i will keep surveillance over copper smelters as to get beforehand notice of their closures and openings, which could lead to jumps in copper prices.


The copper market is widely watched and closely studied by analysts and researchers as an indicator of a good economy since the metal is widely used in many ways from construction to manufacturing. To watch over these irregularities of going off and on of copper smelters resulting in a surge in prices, Britain-based Earth-i which uses geo-spatial intelligence in collaboration with Marex Spectron and the European Space Agency is set to launch a ground-breaking product, the SAVANT Global Copper Smelting Index. The dataset will provide key operational status reports of the world's copper plants to subscribers. Most of the surveys on copper miners and smelters are released every month.

Earth-i Chief Technology Officer John Linwood said: "Historically when you look at smelters, the challenge has been getting up-to-date information." Over the last year, the company has been testing SAVANT and conducting trials with financers, traders and managers and also detected a major closedown in Chile, the world's biggest copper-producing country. “SAVANT delivers unique insights, not just to copper producers, traders, and investors, but also to analysts and economists who use metals performance as strong indicators of wider economic activity," says Wolf, Global Head of Market Analytics at Marex Spectron.

Earth-i uses twenty high-resolution satellites along with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning-led analytics working with satellite image processing. They also launched their satellite last year. The SAVANT Global Copper Smelting Index covers and monitors 90% copper smelting around the world. The data will allow users to make informed and timely decisions to tackle jolts in copper prices. "Earth-i will also publish a free monthly global index from 18 October" a statement by earth-i, the index will be free but delayed.

Multiple Vulnerabilities found in SATCOM internet access terminal Cobham EXPLORER 710



CERT/CC researchers found multiple vulnerabilities as they examined Satcom terminal Cobham EXPLORER 710 as an extension of IOActive’s findings in 2014. These new vulnerabilities could affect both the device and firmware.

These frailties could give attackers unauthentic access to sensitive information, control of the device, create or implant backdoor, DoS attack and more.

Cobham EXPLORER 710 is a portable satellite terminal, broadband global area network (bgan) through telephony. The device provides internet connection through satellite communications setting new standards for size, speed and features.

 EXPLORER 710 is a sophisticated communication tool for broadcasting, streaming and other IP based industry applications with a speed of 1 Mbps and higher. It is used in various sectors as Commercial aerospace, military defenses, space systems, SATCOM and more.

 The sat-com terminal, firmware version 1.07 is affected with 6 vulnerabilities listed below-

 • CVE-2019-9529 – Authentication Failure 

This failure arises due to the web portal having no authentication by default, this could lead to any attacker connected to the device to gain access to the portal and perform changes.

 • CVE-2019-9530 – Unrestricted Directory Access

There are no restrictions on access to the webroot directory, creating a liability as hackers can read, access or download any file in the webroot directory.

 • CVE-2019-9531 – Authentication Failure to port 5454 

This vulnerability allows attackers to connect to port 5454 through Telnet and execute 86 Attention (AT) commands, and gain illegal access.

 • CVE-2019-9532 – Text Data Exchange 

The web application portal passes the login password in cleartext, it could easily give way to miscreant to intercept the password.

 • CVE-2019-9533 – Default Login Credentials

The root password is the same for all devices, this could allow to reverse-engineer the password in all available versions.

 • CVE-2019-9534 – Validate Failure

According to CERT/CC researchers, "The device does not validate its firmware image. Development scripts left in the firmware can be used to upload a custom firmware image that the device runs. This could allow an unauthenticated, local attacker to upload their own firmware that could be used to intercept or modify traffic, spoof or intercept GPS traffic, exfiltrate private data, hide a backdoor, or cause a denial-of-service."

Apart from the above gaps in security, the researchers also discovered some configuration issues, missing security headers and problems in default wifi password ( being same as same as serial number) which are gravely dangerous to the device and leave it susceptible to cross-site scripting and clickjacking.

 The researchers said they currently don't have any practical solutions to these problems.

Yandex.Money to reissue customer cards after hacking


The electronic payment service Yandex.Money will re-issue the cards of its customers, the data of which users stored on one of the hacked servers.

Earlier, one of the Telegram channels reported that the attackers took possession of a full dump of the database network of electronic money exchangers. According to the channel, they are trying to sell a dump containing logins, names, addresses, partially decrypted passwords of user ID-wallets, card numbers and their balance for 50 thousand dollars.

According to Yandex Representatives, all information was taken from a third-party server through which users exchanged funds. As a result of verification, Yandex found out that a private website was hacked.

It’s important to note that scammers will not be able to use payment information, since all transactions require a number of actions confirming the operation.

"All wallet transactions require a payment password, card transactions also require 3Ds confirmation, but in any case, we will reissue all cards whose details have been made public," the company said.

QIWI Technical Director Kirill Ermakov told that the leak does not relate to the compromise of QIWI databases and does not pose a threat to users.

"The data of third-party services that are not related to QIWI were leaked. We take the protection of personal data of our customers very seriously and constantly inform customers that they can not leave their personal data and data to enter your personal account on third-party resources," he said.

Last week, hackers posted information about the sale of data cards of customers of Sberbank. The authors of the announcement stated that their database contains 60 million entries. Initially, the Bank confirmed that the data of 200 customers had leaked, but later Sberbank admitted that the leak affected 5 thousand customers. According to the credit institution, their data is safe. Sberbank found a suspect in the leak, he was an employee of the Bank.

“The ETF Did Not Meet the Necessary Requirements”- SEC


On the contention that the ETF (exchange-traded fund) documenting from Bitwise Asset Management and NYSE Arca didn't meet the fundamental prerequisites, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) dismissed a proposal to list a Bitcoin (BTC) ETF.

The announcement came on Oct. 9, where the regulators expressed that the said applicants didn't meet the vital prerequisites with respect to conceivable market manipulation and illicit activities.

The SEC stated: "Rather, the Commission is disapproving this proposed rule change because, as discussed below, NYSE Arcahas not met its burden under the Exchange Act and the Commission’s Rules of Practice to demonstrate that its proposal is consistent with the requirements of Exchange Act Section6 (b) (5), and, in particular, the requirement that the rules of a national securities exchange be’ designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices.'

The choice by the SEC contradicts the recent remarks from Matt Hougan, managing director and global head of research at Bitwise, who on CNBC on Oct. 7 stated, “We’re closer than we’ve ever been before to getting a Bitcoin ETF approved.”

Hougan had been idealistic about the 'firm's chances to land approval' for a physically-held Bitcoin ETF and he likewise noticed the huge development that has transpired in the crypto space as of late. 

The dismissal of Bitwise's proposition pursues a series of deferrals and solicitations for input from the SEC, and now its decision on the proposition has been additionally delayed by the regulator — together with two other crypto ETF applications — until Oct. 13.

Twitter Used Phone Numbers and Email Addresses Provided for Security to Target Ads


Twitter, on Tuesday, admitted using phone numbers and email addresses of users provided for the purpose of enhancing security via two-factor authentication to serve target ads.

However, sensitive user data has not been shared with the company’s third-party partners and the issue which stemmed the incident has been taken care of; now the phone numbers and email addresses are only asked for security purposes, according to Twitter.

Last year, Facebook was caught for engaging in a similar practice where the phone numbers and email addresses provided by the users to make their accounts more secure were used by the social media giant to target ads, as per the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

In the wake of the breach, Twitter received widespread criticism for compromising its users' privacy. The fact that user security has been violated through a framework that was intended to rather strengthen it, further fuelled the public reproval. Although the company did not intend to use sensitive user data for the purpose of ad targeting, one can’t deny that the platform was practicing the aforementioned without the knowledge of its users. Moreover, it took the company almost a month to disclose the information.

Putting what Twitter called as an 'error' into perspective, it wrote in a post on its Help Center website, “Tailored Audiences is a version of an industry-standard product that allows advertisers to target ads to customers based on the advertiser's own marketing lists (e.g., email addresses or phone numbers they have compiled)."

"When an advertiser uploaded their marketing list, we may have matched people on Twitter to their list based on the email or phone number the Twitter account holder provided for safety and security purposes." The company added.

Remarking data (here) as a liability, Duruk, a human-computer interface expert, wrote “Phone numbers stored for 2FA end up in advertising hellhole. The more you accrue, the more someone inside your org will find a way to abuse it.”

Apologizing for the inadvertent mistake, Twitter further wrote, "We’re very sorry this happened and are taking steps to make sure we don’t make a mistake like this again."

Private Firm Employee arrested for Data Theft in Bengaluru



Bengaluru: Kamin Prajapathi (40), a senior accountant manager in a multinational software company was arrested by the police on Sunday for data theft.

The accused, a resident of Concorde Napa Valley and Kanakapura Road and Bihar stole the data of nearly 300 employees working in the same company, transferring their bank details, credit card details and bank account details to his personal mail.

Prajapathi started working in the company from August 2017 and quit his job in April 2019 though the police said that before resigning he transferred the stolen data to his personal mail with plans to hand the data to another company for a senior-level position. He told the company, he had surplus confidential data that they could use to their advantage and build their business.

KS Santosh, founder of a cybersecurity solutions firm 'Group Cyber ID', says these type of data theft are pretty common, “These frauds occur in startups, where former employees steal data from the startup and begin their own firm using the data. Many companies have filed data theft complaints against individuals,” (Sc Indiatimes.com)

Likewise, Prajapathi allegedly hacked into the website of the company where he worked and is suspected that he had been stealing data since 2017 and selling it to other companies. Aside from the bank details of employees and clients, he also collected pivotal data of the company's clients.

The managers from the private firm, where he previously worked lodged a complaint at the cyber-crime police station, and after a probe the police nabbed Prajapathi confiscating his laptop, CPU and mobile phone. The cyber-crime officials also found an account created by Prajapathi on a web-based email service as solid evidence against him.

There has been a significant rise in data theft cases in the last few years as reliance on digital platforms increase. In the city itself, there have been cases where the miscreants hacked into the system using simple hacking techniques, and thus it is crucial to install effective data security solutions to protect the privacy and curtail cybercrime.

The data of almost 9 million customers of Russian mobile operator Beeline was in the public domain


The database of 8.7 million former and current Beeline mobile customers was in the public domain. The test showed that the data is relevant. This database contains data of customers who connected Beeline home Internet. According to the press service of the mobile operator reported that the data leak was recorded in 2017, and the perpetrators were identified. Beeline assured that now most of the information is outdated data.

According to experts, the information in the database is enough for attacks using social engineering methods, and there are still no ways to deal with fraudsters of this kind.

According to the Beeline press service, the company immediately established an operational headquarters to investigate the situation.

"Part of the information in the distributed archive does contain the data of the subscriber base of customers, however, a significant part of the information is outdated and irrelevant," the company said.

They also noted that Beeline’s customer base at the end of the second quarter of 2019 was 2.5 million subscribers, and not eight million, as attackers say.

The company assured that they are making every effort to ensure that this does not happen again.

"We appealed to all file-sharing resources where information about customers was posted. Many of them immediately agreed to remove it," Beeline said.

It is noted that the criminals are trying to re-publish the data, which indicates their desire to discredit the company.

"Our security service is investigating this incident, we will be grateful for any information that will help this work, both from our customers and from colleagues in the market," the press service said.

It also reported that the company is working closely with the competent authorities and agencies to prevent the disclosure of personal data not only of its customers, but also customers of all Telecom operators.

The company assures that outsiders do not have the opportunity to carry out transactions with the accounts and tariffs of their customers.

Sberbank employee confesses he is the culprit behind the customer data leakage


Recall that on Thursday, Sberbank reported a possible leak of credit card accounts, which affects at least 200 customers of the Bank. According to media reports, at the weekend on one of the forums, which was blocked by Roskomnadzor (Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Telecom, Information Technologies and Mass Communications), there were messages about the sale of personal data of Bank customers. The authors of the announcement indicated that they have access to data of 60 million cards.

Sberbank assured that the funds of its customers are safe because credit card accounts that do not have CVV codes, as well as logins and passwords from the Internet Bank were in the public domain. So, fraudsters can not steal money from the cards.

According to German Gref, President of Sberbank, Sberbank employees learned about the incident on the day of the leak, October 2: an ad was found with personal data of employees. After that, the employee of security service of Sberbank contacted an attacker trying to sell the stolen data.

During the conversation, it became clear that we are talking about an internal leak, Gref said.

According to a statement on the Bank’s website, "as a result of the internal investigation, the security service of the Bank in cooperation with law enforcement agencies, on October 4, 2019, identified an employee of the Bank born in 1991, the head of the sector in one of the business units of the Bank, who had access to databases and who tried to steal customer information for selfish purposes," the message on the Bank's website reads. The culprit of the leak faces criminal liability.

The leak indirectly affected the data of 200 cardholders of Sberbank, which have already been reissued, so " the owners have nothing to worry about," Gref said. He noted that the reissue took only two days.

Gref also apologized to customers and thanked them, noting their calmness.

'Yes Bank' registers a complaint against fake news, alleging it of frightening investors


Yes, Bank filed a police complaint against fake news stating that misinformation was posted on social media concerning the bank's finance. The complaint was filed at Mumbai Police's Cyber cell when the investors withdrew their shares, and the capitals at the stock market hit a downfall. The bank's police complaint says that the fake news was scaring away its investors and depositors.



The rise of mobile internet in India has resulted in social tremors, with users falling prey to false information. Due to the lack of digital literacy, people are easily exposed to Fake News.

One of the biggest reasons is that fake news is usually engaging, and frightening which drives people to share them in a flash. It intends to create chaos among the general public. For a few days, some perpetrators are circulating fake news and ill-disposed falsehoods about Yes Bank on social networking sites and WhatsApp to generate fright among the bank's clients. The information seeks to present the bank in bad standing and is aimed to defame the bank's image among its clients, shareholders, and society.

"Yes Bank filed a charge by Mumbai Police and Cyber Cell on the propagation of fake news and advertising of lies about the bank's economic status on different social media platforms such as WhatsApp," said the bank in its report. The bank also asked the authorities to establish a committee of specialists to look over the issue of rumor-mongering and find the convict guilty of spreading fake news over social media platforms, they also requested the experts to find the origin of the fake news.

The bank requests its stakeholders and investors to be aware of false information. 'We assure our client that Yes Bank's financial standing is safe and reliable and would continue to be the same for a long time,' it says. It is no doubt that since the last few years, fake news has become a threat to Indian democracy and the people of India. Misinformation that is aggressively spread or shared through social media platforms causes chaos and distress among the public.

Smominru Botnet Affecting Over 4,000 Windows Systems Every Day


Affecting Windows machines across the globe, Smominru has been labeled as one of the most rapidly spreading botnet malware, as per a report by data center and cloud security company, Guardicore Labs. The infection rate of this computer malware has been detected to be up to 47,000 machines per day and in the month of August alone, it compromised almost 90,000 computers, according to the report.

While attacking, Smominru compromises Windows PCs by using the NSA exploit, EternalBlue and brute-force on various services like RDP, TELNET, MS-SQL, and others. The malware is configured to steal the target's credentials and then install a cryptominer and Trojan module to compromise the network. After establishing a foothold, the malware moves laterally to affect as many systems as it potentially can inside the targeted organization.

Reportedly, the US, Russia, China, Taiwan, and Brazil witnessed the maximum number of attacks, however, other countries remain equally vulnerable to the computer malware which saw an upsurge in recent times. To exemplify, we can look at the largest network targeted and hence compromised by Smominru, which was a healthcare provider in Italy, it left a total of 65 hosts affected.

The unspecified and non-targeted nature of the attacks was notable as the compromised networks ranged from medical firms to higher-education institutions, the victims infected by the malware included cybersecurity companies as well.

It has been discovered that around 85% of the attacks are carried out on Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 systems, while, some others are observed to be taking place on Windows XP, Windows Server 2012, and Windows Server 2003.

Seemingly, the failure of company administrators to timely patch their computer networks and servers is one of the primary reasons for the networks being compromised, although for a lot of organizations, the inability is a result of logistical scarcity, but, for others, it's simply due to negligence and not being regularly updated with the requirements of the sector.

Experts found a fraudulent network that infected about 800 thousand Android phones in the Russian Federation


A large-scale hacker attack was discovered, the victims of which were about 800 thousand smartphones in Russia. Criminals managed to get access to several million Euros in the Bank accounts of Russians.

It is clarified that Avast specialists determined that the Russian smartphones were attacked by a banking botnet that collects information and personal data. The infection has occurred since 2016.

It turned out that all infected devices were connected to Geost. As a result, attackers were able to remotely control the gadget. Hackers could send and receive SMS messages. The dangerous program was disguised as various banking services and social media applications, so it was easy to download it. The main targets of the Trojan were five banks located in Russia and Android devices.

Geost botnet used 13 command and control servers to launch hundreds of malicious domains. It was possible to expose it because of the mistake made by the scammers. They used a proxy network created by the malware HtBot, in which information was not encrypted. So, experts were able to find personal correspondence of criminals, which mentioned money laundering.

According to Avast employee Anna Shirokova, the company managed to gain access to the correspondence of cybercriminals and malware. "We got a really unprecedented idea of how such groups work," Shirokova shares her success. In total, experts studied eight months of correspondence, which was attended by 29 of the attackers.

The exact amount of theft is not called. Avast also did not specify who exactly was involved in the creation of the botnet.

According to researchers, the Geost botnet could control several billion rubles in the accounts of victims.

Earlier, E Hacking News reported that International company Group-IB has recorded a new Android Trojan campaign, the victims of which are customers of 70 banks, payment systems, web-wallets in the Russian Federation and the CIS. The potential damage from the Trojan, called FANTA, amounted to at least 35 million rubles ($547,000). According to the company, the Trojan is aimed, in particular, at users who place purchase and sale advertisements on a Russian classified advertisements website Avito.