Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Researchers create a dangerous worm that attacks Macs

It is known that most of viruses attack the Windows operating system, being Apple and Linux relatively safe devices. But this statement is more and more inaccurate and it has just been demolished by two researchers who have created a worm that attacks Macs, virtually undetectable and indestructible. We'll also talk today about how to create a "skimmer" of cards in less than 10 minutes, the abrupt end of the journey of a hitchhiker robot and a journalist pointed as a paranoid until Snowden documents have proved that he was right.

Tomorrow, at the Black Hat conference celebrated in Las Vegas, two researchers will explained in detail how they created Thunderstrike 2, a worm that exploits holes in the firmware of Macs. When any device is connected to the Mac infected, its firmware will be also infected, ready to infect another Macs which are connected to it, without human intervention. When it's installed in the firmware it is very difficult to detect and destroy it because the updates or formattings of the operating system do not reach the firmware. We expect, thinking about the health of the "macers" that Thunderstrike 2 does not come out of his cage.

Homemade Skimmers 

Another conference at Black Hat, presented today: they show how to turn a simple card reader into a "skimmer" to clone them. In the United States become very popular the readers called Square Reader, which are connected to your phone, making it a selling point for small shops, for example. In less than ten minutes with a screwdriver and some glue, they can turn an innocent reader in a card cloner device.

The knocked down robot 

And we leave the Black Hat to tell the story of a robot that has touched our hearts: two Canadian created a hitchBOT, the hitchhiker robot. Drivers who find it could pick it up and take it to some of the places that were pointed in a list. This way, it has traveled 10,000 kilometers across Canada and some in Germany and the Netherlands. But it entered the United States and come up with some vandals who decapitated it, ripped its arms and sent the photo to its creators. Game over.

ECHELON existed

We finish with a document to read calmly. It is an article written by Duncan Campbell, the journalist who in 1988 published an article which explained the existence of Echelon, a satellite spy network of telephone and Internet communications, orchestrated by the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. For many years the authorities pointed it as a conspiracy, until the Snowden documents have shown that ECHELON was real.

We are being monitored since much earlier than we thought. It's very well known by major companies which have lost contracts or their top executives because ECHELON was spying them through the corporations of their owners. Nothing new under the sun this summer.


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