Your Gmail Account Is At Risk! Researchers Found A Way To Hack Into Gmail With 92% Accuracy

gmail-smartphone-hacked-92%

A team of researchers have discovered a flaw believed to exist in Android, Windows and iOS mobile operating systems that could be used to gain private data from unsuspecting users. They found that it was successful between 82 percent and 92 percent of the time on six of the seven popular Android apps they tested.

This team of researchers, which included an assistant professor at the University of California, Riverside Bourns College of Engineering, identified that among the Android apps they easily hacked were Gmail, CHASE Bank and H&R Block. The researchers started testing these apps because they believed that there may be some security risk with so many apps being created.

Researchers could successfully hack into applications from H&R Block, this app when hacked could allow attackers to steal users’ login details and the social security numbers. The Chase app (with 83 percent success rate) could allow attackers to gain users’ highly sensitive information such as address, name, bank routing number, account number and signature. NewEgg app could be successfully hacked (with 86 percent success rate) and hackers could get users’ credit card number and shipping address. However, Amazon app, with a 48 percent success rate, was the only app researchers found was difficult to hack.

“The assumption has always been that these apps can’t interfere with each other easily,” Qian, assistant professor at UC Riverside said. “We show that assumption is not correct and one app can in fact significantly impact another and result in harmful consequences for the user.”

He added, “By design, Android allows apps to be preempted or hijacked,” “But the thing is you have to do it at the right time so the user doesn’t notice.”

For the attack to take place, the user is enticed to download a malicious app, such as one for background wallpaper on a phone. Once the user downloads the app on his/her Smartphone, the app starts running on the same shared infrastructure, or operating system, which can be accessed without any privileges as well as without user’s knowledge. The hacked information is sent in plain text to the attackers.

However, there are two ways to perform such an attack. Firstly, the attack needs to take place at the exact moment the user is logging into the app or taking the picture. Secondly, the attack needs to be done silently, without the knowledge of the user, by carefully calculating the attack timing, Qian said.

The researchers conducted this test on Android platform but they said the hack will work similarly on iOS and Windows as well.

For a Smartphone user Qian said, “Don’t install untrusted apps.” Moreover, for complete security of your Android Smartphone, install eScan Mobile Security for Android from here: http://www.escanav.com/english/content/products/downloadlink/downloadproduct.asp?pcode=ES-AND-MS

 

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(Español) Se han hackeado los datos personales de 4,5 millones de pacientes en los EEUU.

Sorry, this entry is only available in Español.

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Personal Data Of 4.5 Million Community Health Patients Has Been Hacked

4.5 Million Community Health Patients hacked

Community Health Systems, one of the biggest U.S. hospital groups with 206 hospitals in 29 states, recently said that the personal data, comprising names and addresses, of about 4.5 million patients were stolen by hackers from its computer network, likely in April and June.

The stolen data included patient names, home addresses, birth dates, telephone numbers and Social Security numbers. It did not include any medical or clinical information or any credit card numbers.

Social Security numbers and other sensitive data are usually stolen by cybercriminals for the purpose of selling, which is then used by others in identity theft. It further helps criminals to open bank accounts and credit cards on behalf of these patients, take out loans and ruin their personal credit history.

However, the information was considered protected under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Now that the data is stolen, state attorneys general can sue Community Health Systems for damages. Under state laws, patients themselves can sue the hospital network for negligence.

Community Health Systems said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday, that the attacker was an “Advanced Persistent Threat” group, probably based in China. It used “highly sophisticated technology to attack the company’s network,”

Security experts say that the hacking group, known as “APT 18″ has stolen the data and they may have links to the Chinese government. Moreover, as per experts, “APT 18″ typically targets companies in the aerospace and defense, construction and engineering, technology, financial services and healthcare industry.

On this, the Chinese embassy in Washington said that it wasn’t aware of the attack. “Chinese laws prohibit cybercrimes of all forms and Chinese government has done whatever it can to combat such activities,” Geng Shuang, an embassy spokesman, said in an e-mail. “Making groundless accusations at others is not constructive at all and does not contribute to the solution of the issue.”

The hospital network said that just before the announcement, it managed to wipe the hackers’ malware from its computer systems and employed protections to prevent similar break-ins. Additionally, it is also informing patients about the attack and will be providing identity theft protection services to them.

All said and done, but the reality cannot be ignored that unfortunately, large-scale data breaches like this have become pretty normal these days. And it is the common person who pays for it at the end.

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Vulnerability Summary for the Week of August 11, 2014 – By US-CERT

The US-CERT Cyber Security Bulletin provides a summary of new vulnerabilities that have been recorded by their research department for the Week of August 11, 2014.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have recorded vulnerabilities, which are security weakness found in a program or operating system that can make a system susceptible to malware attacks.

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Common vulnerabilities and their impact recorded by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) National Vulnerability Database (NVD) in the past week are:

  • Vulnerabilities in Adobe Flash Player before 13.0.0.241 and 14.x before 14.0.0.176 on Windows and OS X and before 11.2.202.400 on Linux do not completely restrict discovery of memory addresses, which allows attackers to bypass the ASLR protection mechanism via unspecified vectors. Find out the vulnerable versions of in Adobe Flash Player from here: http://goo.gl/3i9kHm
  • Vulnerabilities in the EnergyWise module in Cisco IOS 12.2, 15.0, 15.1, 15.2, and 15.4 and IOS XE 3.2.xXO, 3.3.xSG, 3.4.xSG, and 3.5.xE before 3.5.3E allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service. Find out other vulnerable versions from here: http://goo.gl/x3tB1r
  • SQL injection vulnerability in game_play.php in the FB Gorilla plugin for WordPress allows hackers to execute arbitrary SQL commands via the id parameter. Find out other vulnerable versions from here: http://goo.gl/LrjeHA
  • Multiple unspecified vulnerabilities in Google Chrome before 36.0.1985.143 allow cyber-criminals to cause a denial of service attack or possibly have other impact via unknown vectors. Find out the vulnerable versions of Google Chrome from here:  http://goo.gl/FL9mti
  • Vulnerabilities in Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 through 11 allow hackers to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service (memory corruption vulnerability) via a crafted website. Find out the vulnerable versions of  Microsoft Internet Explorer from here: http://goo.gl/s1PgDE

There are many such vulnerable software ranked in the division of high, medium, and low severities.

To know more about these vulnerable software and the affected versions read the US-CERT Cyber Security Bulletin from here: http://goo.gl/pCs4AZ

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