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Malware, viruses, hacks; those are security issues that aren’t exactly new, but unfortunately it seems that some platforms are more affected than most. According to Nokia’s latest Threat Intelligence Report, it seems that they have discovered that Google’s Android platform is by far the most targeted by malware.
As you can see in the pie chart above, it shows the device breakdown for 2017 and based on that, Nokia’s report suggests that Android commands a whopping 68.5% of the chart when it comes to malware infections. The next biggest platform goes to Windows/PCs for 27.96%, while the rest goes to remaining devices such as the iPhone and presumably other platforms like Linux, Unix, Mac, etc.
According to Nokia, they believe Android is easily targeted due to the fact that apps can be easily side-loaded from third-party websites that don’t necessarily have the security measures in place that Google has for the Play Store.
“The main reason that the Android platform is targeted, is the fact that, once side-loading is enabled, Android applications can be downloaded from just about anywhere. Despite the very successful efforts by Google to ensure that the Play Store is malware free, Android users can continue to install apps by clicking on links in text messages and e-mail. In addition, in many regions third-party app stores have become the norm.”
Nokia’s findings seem to be in line with a recent report from Google themselves, who found that Google accounts tend to be hijacked most commonly through phishing. Unfortunately malware is something that will continue to exist, but being aware of what could get you infected probably goes a long way in preventing that.
In-game chats in MMORPGs can be overwhelming. If you’ve ever played an MMORPG before, you know that these chats can be never-ending conversations about all things inane, ranging from insults, political discussions, and of course scam links. As if that wasn’t worrying enough, it seems that malware could be a problem as well.
This is apparently something that was discovered in Korean MMORPG Tera, in which in a post on Reddit revealed that there was a recently discovered exploit in Tera’s in-game chat that could potentially be used to send malware to other players. This is apparently due to the fact that Tera’s chat interface uses HTML, meaning that it could potentially be used to send coded messages that range from silly images to something more malicious, like malware.
In response to these claims, Tera’s publisher En Masse has since announced that they will be disabling in-game chat and taking it offline while they address the problem. In a post on its forums, the publisher wrote, “There are very serious claims floating around of what this vulnerability potentially allows malicious users to do. We are taking these claims very seriously but, as of this time, we have no evidence that the vulnerability is being exploited in these ways or that any player information has been compromised.”
They also stated that the developers have since been made aware of the issue and are looking into a fix, although when exactly that will happen remains to be seen.
As if the recent revelation that WiFi’s security has been hacked wasn’t enough to scare us as far as cyber security threats are concerned, security firm Kaspersky Labs has revealed that there has been a recent vulnerability discovered in Adobe’s Flash platform that allows hackers to plant malware in it that in turn could affect users.
This piece of malware is known as FinSpy or FinFisher and is actually a commercial product that is sold to countries and law enforcement agencies to conduct surveillance, and that in this particular instance a group called BlackOasis managed to plant that malware inside of Flash and has used it to target Middle Easter politicians, UN officials, opposition bloggers, activists, and journalists.
However the good news is that according to Adobe, the company has released a security update that should fix the problem, although if you’re already infected by the malware you will have to find a way to remove it. If anything this issue just highlights how much of a hassle Flash is becoming, and why companies like Mozilla and Google have announced their plans to stop supporting Flash in their browsers.
Adobe themselves have confirmed that they will be putting an end to support for Flash in 2020. As it stands a lot of the web currently relies on HTML5 instead of Flash, although there are still some websites that still use it.
We hear about our smartphones being vulnerable to attacks all the time, and with the rise in popularity in digital voice assistants, it seems that we now have a new avenue to be worried about. A report from FastCompany has revealed that Chinese researchers have discovered a new way that hackers can take control of your smartphone using your voice assistant.
Dubbed the DolphinAttack, this technique was discovered by a team at the Zhejiang University in which it uses normal voice commands that have been transformed into ultrasonic frequencies to communicate with your phone. These frequencies cannot be heard or detected by the human ear, but can be picked up by microphones and voice assistants, which if you have enabled it to be always-on will act on those commands where possible.
This isn’t just limited to smartphones but it works with any device that has an always-on voice assistant software running on it. For example the researchers managed to test it out on a MacBook and an Audi Q3 where they managed to get the car’s navigation system redirected to a new location.
However there is a potential fix and that is all companies need to do is tell their voice assistants to ignore commands that are speaking at 20kHz by using a digital audio filter, although the researchers suggest that in theory, the reason this hasn’t been done is because maybe the voice analyzing software needs every bit of your voice in order to parse the commands. In any case we can only hope that with this knowledge being public that these tech companies will try to come up with some kind of fix for it.