Monday, August 17, 2015

NSA and the mobile telephony: Snowden strikes back

This weekend, Snowden has revealed via "The New York Times" a new batch of documents where is shown the close collaboration between the US National Security Agency and the leading telecommunications company in that country, AT & T. We will discuss it as well as two investigations which have revealed, on the one hand, a failure in Bittorrent which makes it useful for DDoS attacks and, on the other hand, that's possible to install "ransomware" in devices of the Internet of Things. Finally we will talk about Kaspersky, accused of sabotaging their rivals.

According to "The New York Times", AT & T would be spying for the NSA the communications of Americans since the eighties. In 2011, AT & T would have begun to serve the agency 1.1 billion call records of mobile phone customers per day. This data is especially bleeding by the fact that the NSA had publicly said that it only spied fixed telephony. Another surprise was for the United Nations, AT & T customers: all communications headquarters were spied in 2012.

BitTorrent failure

We left the world of cyber espionage to comment more mundane things, not less dangerous: a British researcher has discovered a hole present in most BitTorrent clients which allows them to carry out Distributed Denial of Service attacks. Attacks very easy to orchestrate by a single person and able to shoot down large sites.

A virus in the clock

Another interesting hole related to the Internet of Things has been discovered by Symantec researchers: they have shown it is possible to install "ransomware" on a device which works with Android Wear, such as a SmartWatch Moto 360, which was the chosen target by researchers. The virus jumped from an Android smart watch phone via Bluetooth.

Oh, Kaspersky 

We finish with an incident known on Friday afternoon but we thought it's important to be reviewed on Monday: two former employees of Kaspersky Labs antivirus company assured Reuters that Kaspersky sabotaged their rivals spreading false positives on important community sites like Virus Total. Kasperky has denied it reliably and an important part of the community has been on their side. Certainly, someone was poisoning with false positives, but according to the researchers, Kaspersky was not among the suspects.

And so we start Monday. We hope it is the start of a great week for our readers.


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