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FTC Issues Warning on QR Code Scams
FTC: Beware of QR Code Scams

FTC: Beware of QR Code Scams

Agency says squares can conceal 'harmful links'

(Newser) - QR codes have become ubiquitous, especially since the pandemic, but the Federal Trade Commission says consumers shouldn't let their guard down. In a blog post , the FTC warns that scammers can use the jumbles of black-and-white squares to hide harmful links and steal personal information. The agency says scammers...

FBI Warning: Beware of Free USB Drives
Free USB Drives
Could Be Costly

Free USB Drives Could Be Costly

Hackers are loading malware and ransomware, hoping to fool users

(Newser) - The gesture seems so thoughtful. A package apparently from the Department of Health and Human Services is sent to a workplace, with a note saying the USB drives inside have important information about COVID-19 guidelines. Or an Amazon "decorative gift box" arrives, containing a thank-you note, a bogus gift...

Cyberpunk 2077 Maker on Hackers' Extortion: We Will Not Negotiate

Ransomware creators steal, threaten to release source code from CD Projekt Red

(Newser) - "You have 48 hours to contact us." That was the ransom note left Monday after a cyberattack against Cyberpunk 2077 maker CD Projekt Red, which has posted the note online and said it's not in the mood for negotiations. The hackers' message indicated that they stole the...

Justice Department Indicts 'Evil Corp'
'Evil Corp'

Feds Indict 'Evil Corp'

No, this is not a Mike Myers movie

(Newser) - The Justice Department has just announced criminal charges and sanctions against a Russian hacking organization named—wait for it—Evil Corp. Yes, really. As NPR reports, Russian nationals are accused of running the group, which federal law enforcement officials say is responsible for the Dridex malware that stole banking information...

For Some, a Missed WhatsApp Call Had Scary Consequences

Company uncovered spyware that could hijack a phone via a missed call

(Newser) - Spyware crafted by a sophisticated group of hackers-for-hire took advantage of a WhatsApp flaw to remotely hijack dozens of phones, the company said late Monday. The Financial Times identified the actor as Israel's NSO Group, and WhatsApp all but confirmed the identification, describing hackers as "a private company...

'Extensive' Porn Browsing Led to Malware on Gov't Network

USGS employee visited 9K adult sites: inspector general's report

(Newser) - Russian malware found infecting a US government network got the in from a US Geological Survey employee who violated agency rules about watching porn on a government-issued computer. That's according to a Oct. 17 report by the Department of the Interior's inspector general, which found the unnamed employee...

Atlanta's Computers Held Hostage, With a $50K Ransom

'This really is an attack on our government,' Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms says of major hack

(Newser) - Atlanta is being held hostage, by computer hackers who want more than $50,000 in bitcoin to stop their siege. "This is much bigger than a ransomware attack, this really is an attack on our government," Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said at a Monday presser about the e-attack,...

US Sanctions Russians, Warns of Cyberthreat to Energy Grid

Mnuchin says US won't tolerate 'malign Russian cyber activity'

(Newser) - The Trump administration is imposing sanctions on 19 Russians for alleged interference in the 2016 election, including 13 indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller. The penalties also include the first use of new powers that Congress passed last year to punish Moscow for election meddling. Those targets include officials working...

Avril Lavigne Is the Most Dangerous Person Online

Bruno Mars is pretty perilous, too

(Newser) - One-time pop-punk princess Avril Lavigne has beaten superstar Beyonce at something, but she may not be totally happy with her victory—she's been named the most dangerous celebrity on the internet. Cybersecurity firm McAfee said Tuesday that Lavigne, whose last album came out in 2013, was the celebrity most...

FBI Arrests 23-Year-Old Who Stopped Global Cyberattack

Marcus Hutchins had traveled to US for security conference

(Newser) - The British security researcher called an "accidental hero" for helping stop the WannaCry global cyberattack has been arrested after traveling to the US for a cybersecurity conference. According to an indictment released by the Department of Justice, 23-year-old Marcus Hutchins is accused of creating and spreading Kronos malware in...

There Is Now a 'Vaccine' for the Latest Global Cyberattack

Experts suspect motive for attack isn't money

(Newser) - Security researchers have been unable to find a "kill switch" for the latest cyberattack hitting systems around the world—but they have developed a vaccine. Researchers say that the Petya ransomware will not encrypt files on computers that have the read-only file "C:\Windows\perfc.dat," the BBC...

Massive Ransomware Attack Spreading Around the World
Massive Ransomware Attack
Spreading Around the World

Massive Ransomware Attack Spreading Around the World

Companies across the globe are reporting system disruptions

(Newser) - A massive cyberattack has hit computer systems around the world, the BBC reports. The ransomware attack, which is believed to be a well-known strain called Petya (the updated version is called Petrwrap), was first reported in Ukraine but has quickly spread to Spain, France, Russia, and other countries. Coverage of...

Chipotle Customers: Examine Your Credit Card Statements

Chain says hackers breached system in March and April

(Newser) - More trouble for Chipotle: The chain said Friday that customer data including credit card information has been breached in a hack affecting most of its stores. According to UPI , the company found malware tracking credit card numbers, expiration dates, and verification codes between March 24 through April 18. Among other...

Microsoft Wants Ransomware Attack to Be 'Wake-Up Call'

Company calls for digital Geneva Convention

(Newser) - The massive ransomware attack still reverberating around the world is the kind of thing that is going to keep happening unless rules like those governing conventional warfare are brought in for cyberspace, Microsoft says. Microsoft president Brad Smith warned in a blog post Sunday that the "stockpiling of vulnerabilities...

Giant Cyberattack May Get Worse on Monday
Giant Cyberattack May Get
Worse on Monday

Giant Cyberattack May Get Worse on Monday

Experts predict chaos as users log back on after weekend

(Newser) - As experts scramble to make heads or tails over WannaCry, a global cyberattack unleashed Friday that’s affected up to 200,000 computers in 150 countries, some fear the worst is yet to come. According to the Wall Street Journal , the spread of attacks has slowed down after a kill...

22-Year-Old Living With Parents Accidentally Stops Cyberattack

Friday's cyberattack affected tens of thousands in 99 countries

(Newser) - The "accidental hero" who inadvertently stopped Friday's massive cyberattack that affected nearly 100 countries is a 22-year-old who lives with his parents, the Guardian reports. The British cybersecurity researcher—who's keeping anonymous to protect himself—found a nonsensical website address in the code for the ransomware holding...

Microsoft Takes Unusual Step After Global Cyberattack

Free fixes for older systems issued

(Newser) - The worldwide cyberextortion attack has prompted Microsoft to take the unusual step of making security fixes available for older Windows systems. Before this, Microsoft had made fixes for older systems, such as 2001's Windows XP, available only to organizations that pay extra for extended support. But millions of individuals...

Leaked NSA Hacking Tool Causing Chaos at Hospitals

Hospitals and more in 99 countries hit by major cyberattack

(Newser) - A cyberattack causing chaos for British healthcare and affecting systems in nearly 100 countries originated with a leaked National Security Agency hacking tool, CNN reports. According to the New York Times , the ransomware, which encrypts data so users can't access it, was disseminated through email Friday, infecting computers in...

Internet Attack Was Strongest of Its Kind by Far

Experts suspect amateur hackers were responsible

(Newser) - The distributed denial of service attack that sent Internet users into a tailspin Friday was the most powerful of its kind by far, say cybersecurity researchers, and they're especially alarmed because it looks to be the work of amateur hackers. Twitter, Netflix, Reddit, and other sites went down as...

Find a Random USB? Don't Plug It In
Find a Random USB?
Don't Plug It In

Find a Random USB? Don't Plug It In

'Harmful' drives found in mailboxes in Australia

(Newser) - If you happen to find a USB drive in your mailbox, don't insert it into your computer. That's the message from Australian police who say unmarked USB sticks "believed to be extremely harmful" have turned up in mailboxes in a suburb of Melbourne. When plugged in, the...

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