Officials at Cnet’s Download.com site have issued a statement apologizing for bundling the popular open source Nmap security audit application with adware that changed users’ search engine and home page to Microsoft properties. Fyodor, the author of Nmap, raised the issue earlier this week, saying that his app was being wrapped in malware on Download.com.
Browsing Category: Social Engineering
Teen pop sensation and Rachel Maddow look-alike, Justin Bieber, was not stabbed outside a Los Angeles nightclub, nor was he stabbed outside a nightclub in New York, as two current Facebook spam campaigns allege.
Dennis Fisher talks with Paul Judge of Barracuda Networks about the company’s Clicks For Meals program, which is aiming to provide 10,000 meals during the holidays through the World Food Programme.
A lot has been said about the Carrier IQ software, the way that it’s used by carriers and whether it’s capable of intercepting calls, texts and data on users’ handsets. It’s still not clear exactly what’s going on, but one lesson that has emerged from all of this is this: The mobile devices people buy and use for personal and sensitive taks every day simply do not belong to them.
Adobe said a previously undisclosed vulnerability in its Reader and Acrobat applications was passed along by defense contractor Lockheed Martin, raising the specter of a targeted attack on the important military supplier.
The controversy over stealthy monitoring software by CarrierIQ has raised important questions about user privacy and business ethics in the Brave New World of smart phones, tablets and the like. In the uproar over CarrierIQ’s surreptitious monitoring of mobile phone users, various tools have appeared that claim to be able to detect the software. However – removing CarrierIQ from your phone is another matter entirely. And,while some sites have offered instructions on doing so, Kaspersky Lab researcher Tim Armstrong said that, for all but a few mobile phone hardware experts, doing a CarrierIQ-pendectomy is a bad idea.
Facebook has fixed a critical flaw in a user feedback feature that allowed any user to access private photos posted in other users accounts. Before it was fixed, the flaw was used to hack the account of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and post photos online.
As the situation involving Carrier IQ continues to evolve and users become more aware of the software and its capabilities, a couple of tools designed to detect the application’s presence on mobile devices have emerged.
Security researchers who have investigated the inner workings of the Carrier IQ software and its capabilities say that the application has some powerful, and potentially worrisome capabilities, but that as it’s currently deployed by carriers it doesn’t have the ability to record SMS messages, phone calls or keystrokes. However, the researchers note that there is still potential for abuse of the information that’s being gathered, whether by the carriers themselves or third parties who can access the data legitimately or through a compromise of a device.
The half life of the CarrierIQ “rootkit” scandal proved to be a little more than a week. That’s about how long it took for Trevor Eckhart, a young, Connecticut-based Android developer to begin raising questions about some stealth software he discovered running on Android phones by HTC and speculation in the media and online to run rampant about what kinds of spying said software might be engaged in. It was time enough for CarrierIQ to issue a lawyer letter threatening to sue the Eckhart and the Electronic Frontier Foundation to come to his defense and even for Congress to get involved – each of which ensured even more news cycles would be taken up with the mini-controversy. And it was time, at long last, for more information to become available about what was really going on with CarrierIQs software, and for cooler heads to prevail on both sides. The question, now, is why incidents like this provoke our anger so – and what we can do to stop them from happening again.