Posts tagged hackers
The computer security industry buzzed Thursday with warnings that more than a half-million Macintosh computers may have been infected with a virus targeting Apple machines.
Flashback Trojan malware tailored to slip past “Mac” defenses is a variation on viruses typically aimed at personal computers (PCs) powered by Microsoft’s Windows operating systems.
The infections, spotted “in the wild” by Finland-based computer security firm F-Secure and then quantified by Russian anti-virus program vendor Dr. Web, come as hackers increasingly take aim at Apple computers.
“All the stuff the bad guys have learned for doing attacks in the PC world is now starting to transition to the Mac world,” McAfee Labs director of threat intelligence Dave Marcus told AFP. ”Mac has said for a long time that they are not vulnerable to PC malware, which is true; they are vulnerable to Mac malware.”
Dr. Web determined that more than 600,000 Mac computers may be infected with Flashback, which is designed to let hackers steal potentially valuable information such as passwords or financial account numbers.
Hackers trick Mac users into downloading the virus by disguising it as an update to Adobe Flash video viewing software. Apple has long boasted that Windows machines are more prone to hacking than Macs.
Computer security specialists contend that the reason for the disparity was that since most of the world’s computers were powered by Windows, hackers focused on systems that promised the most prey.
As the popularity of Macs has soared, so has the allure of hacking Apple operating systems, according to Marcus. ”There has been a significant increase in Mac malware in the last several quarters, so what we’ve seen with the Flashback Trojan isn’t particularly surprising,” Marcus said.
“Cybercriminals will attack any operating system with valuable information, and as the popularity of Macs increase, so will attacks on the Mac platform.”
Computer users, no matter their operating systems of choice, need to protect machines with tactics including up-to-date anti-virus programs and avoiding risky habits such as opening files or clicking links from unknown sources. source – Yahoo News
JERUSALEM (AP) — A hacker network that claims to be based in Saudi Arabia paralyzed the websites of Israel’s stock exchange and national airline on Monday, escalating an international cyber war that has jolted this security-obsessed country.
Neither website contains sensitive information and trading and flights were not affected. But the ongoing salvos by hackers who use anti-Israel language in their posts has revealed how vulnerable Israel is to cyber warfare, despite its sophisticated computer security units in the military and advanced high-tech sector.
The attacks began earlier this month when hackers identifying themselves as group-xp, a known Saudi hacking group, claimed on an Israeli sports website to have gained access to 400,000 Israeli credit card accounts. The group called it a “gift to the world for the New Year” designed to “hurt the Zionist pocket.”
Israeli authorities said 15,000 accounts were hacked in that episode and credit card information about 6,000 other Israelis was disclosed online a few days later by the same network.
Last week, an Israeli hacker identifying himself as a soldier in an Israeli intelligence unit retaliated by posting information online about hundreds of Saudis, Egyptians, Syrians and others.
On Monday, El Al Israel Airlines took down its website after hacker OxOmar, who has been linked to the Saudi group, warned that both sites would be targeted by allied pro-Palestinian hackers, a person close to the company said. The source was not authorized to speak to the media and requested anonymity.
The company said in a statement that it was taking security measures to protect the website and that disruptions on the site were to be expected.
Orna Goren, a spokeswoman for the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, said the site was overwhelmed by electronic requests that slowed it down dramatically but it was still operating. Trading was not affected, she said.
Cyber experts say Israel is a common target for online attackers who oppose the Jewish state and its policies toward the Palestinians, but there have been no confirmed reports of sensitive Israeli government sites being hacked.
“Right now, we’re not seeing anything that’s especially interesting or especially dangerous,” said Gadi Evron, former head of Internet security for the Israeli government.
News of the hacking led to a linguistic counterattack at Israel’s state radio. Continuing its decades-long battle against the use of English words in its Hebrew broadcasts, the radio’s linguist insisted that reporters use a Hebrew word, “patzchan,” meaning a person who cracks something open, instead of “hacker.” source – Yahoo News