Thursday, August 21, 2014

UPS, Windows, Android and Stanford University in the crosshairs of cybercrime

In the last century, Canadian philosopher Marshall McLuhan said “money is a poor man's credit card.” Since then, these little pieces of plastic have evolved and have carved out a niche in our pockets. However, the success of bank cards as payment method has also caught the attention of cybercriminals.

In fact, since late 2013, we are constantly witnessing cases of large companies whose outlets have been infected with malware aimed to steal their customers’ card data. Such situations are common especially in the USA, where the proportion of magnetic stripe cards is still very high. Yesterday we learnt of a new case affecting UPS logistics company. In an announcement on its website, it acknowledges that malware has been detected in 51 of its franchised stores in USA, which represent 1% of the total. It also claimed to have recorded 105,000 transactions in the impacted branches, but the number of users affected is unknown.

A different way for paying for your purchases which is gaining popularity is mobile payment. Applications like "BBVA Wallet" allow you to leave your credit cards at home and process the payment just with your phone. However, the user should be careful not to install fake apps. Ruben Velasco from warns that the Windows app store is full of imitations of legitimate applications such as VLC media player or Google Chrome browser. Despite they presumably not contain malware, their performance is usually very poor, have limited functionality or display too many ads.

But Android platform also offers many low quality apps. According to a research by security firm FireEye, which has analyzed 1,000 of the most popular apps running on this operating system, their main security problems come from sloppy programming, poor patching, and unreliable trust engines. This causes SSL vulnerabilities and potential Man-In-The-Middle attacks.

Now to these security gaps we have to add a new ransomware for this operating system, called "Android Locker". It infects users disguised as a fake antivirus software or FlashPlayer through deceptive advertising. It has the ability to encrypt files stored in both external memory and internal memory, prevents the installation of new applications and reactivates itself every time the device is rebooted, among other features. Furthermore, it shows a false Europol’s warning on which it requires the payment of a fine.

Another well-know ransomware, "Reventon" is also on the news since it has been discovered a new version of it that incorporates "Pony", a piece of malware to steal user credentials from 5 digital currency wallets, as warned by security company Avast.

By the way, talking about “reventon”, which means"blowout" in Spanish, a pair of members of Team Nuts Indian hacker group have burst into the prestigious Stanford University’s server and defaced its subdomain On the page they posted they boasted that they were able to compromise such website, even though its security was good.

If you do not want any malicious subject bursting your bank account, your phone, your computer or even your website, it is important to stay well informed. Therefore, we invite you to follow us through our social channels (find the links at the right sidebar) or here on our blog.


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