Friday, September 9, 2016

House taken over by hackers

In the short story ‘House taken over’, by the Argentinian writer Julio Cortázar, a couple of brothers are gradually expelled from their home. Their house has been taken by some strange beings, undefined, and we never know who or what they really are. When the main characters realized, they were in the street, bewildered and sad because of what just had happened.

Cortázar never used the Internet, but that story could easily be a metaphor about cybercrime nowadays. Naked Security website talks about the precautions with the routers we have at home. The article gives a series of recommendations when configuring devices. Otherwise, we open the door to bandits than can spy our computers, extract our passwords and our configuration settings. Moreover, our system should be authenticated so cybercriminals don’t establish an impostor server somewhere between the router and the IP auto-configuration servers. This way we will make sure the device doesn’t send false orders.

Meanwhile, Hacker News website warns about a new cross-platform malware that can attack computers with Windows, Linux and OS X. Stefan Ortloff, researcher from Kaspersky, discovered in January a version of this malware for Windows and Linux platforms. Now it has been confirmed that there is a version for OS X too. This malware could be specialized in capturing audio and video, obtaining keystrokes and screen shots every 30 seconds from the victim’s computer.

If you have already been a victim of a malicious malware attack, you should go to the authorities. That is US Dark Reading website advice. In the article, they advise users to refuse to pay any kind of blackmail and go to the FBI immediately. “We must remember this is a problem that affects a lot of people”, FBI Cyber Division Agent Will Bales assured. “If we accept the extortion, we encourage offenders to continue doing it”.

The house, for many patriots, would begin with the country. Cortázar felt he was a citizen of the world and sometimes more French than Argentinian. What is clear is that, beyond nationality, there are cyberattacks aimed to other countries. That is what Security Affairs mentioned on their website. US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said that Russian hackers attack American networks all the time, and they are focused not just on the Government, but on many other corporations.

Something similar has happened with two hacking teams from China that got access to millions of files from the US Government. According to The Register website, these cybercriminals stole valuable information from more than 22 millions of Americans between 2012 and 2015. The investigation has also shown that they managed to get 5.6 million fingerprint records too.

Original image: Freeimages


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