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5 things we learned at Kaspersky NEXT

5 things we learned at Kaspersky NEXT

This year’s Kaspersky NEXT event showcased research and discussions from some of Europe’s most prominent experts in the field of cybersecurity and artificial intelligence. From machine learning and AI right through to securing the IoT, here are five things we learned about at this year’s event, which took place in Lisbon on October 14.

5oDnd50uJkFZM_cUoJ2IEVX-_YmcMaDb.jpg?s=4ffd386179ca4f44eb8113fe1a9cb67eUsing AI to make the world more fair

Have you ever thought about how many decisions machines have made today? Or how many of those decisions were based on gender, race, or background? Chances are you don’t even realize just how many decisions are made by artificial intelligence instead of a human. Kriti Sharma,...

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Transatlantic Cable podcast, episode 114

Transatlantic Cable podcast, episode 114

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After a two-week hiatus, Dave returns for the 114th installment of the Kaspersky Transatlantic Cable podcast.

We open the episode looking at the latest news on the Facebook front. Unlike most of our podcasts, the focus won’t be on privacy snafus. Instead, we will look at the latest news with Facebook’s Libra. Following up on that, we head across California to Google. In this week’s story, the focus is on the privacy surrounding smart speakers and whether owners should disclose their presence to guests in the house.

The third story has us jumping to a more global scale, where ATM jackpotting is once again in the spotlight. This time, it is Cutlet...

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“Puss in Boots” APT campaign

“Puss in Boots” APT campaign

Have you ever thought about what your answer would be if your precocious child asked, “What’s a politically motivated APT attack?” In fact, it’s straightforward. Just dust off your copy of Charles Perrault’s Puss in Boots and read it together with an eye on the cybersecurity aspects. After all, if we ignore the artistic liberties, such as a talking cat and ogres, the tale represents a marvelous example of a complex multivector APT attack against a (fictional) government. Let’s unpick this cybercrime together.

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The tale opens with a miller posthumously leaving everything to his sons. The youngest son’s share of the inheritance includes the contact details of a...

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Corporate phishing under the guise of performance appraisals

Corporate phishing under the guise of performance appraisals

In pursuit of business account credentials, cybercriminals are devising new ways to trick employees onto phishing sites. Previous spam campaigns have used SharePoint invitations and voice messages as bait.

Recently, our experts uncovered another phishing scheme in which cybercriminals try to mimic the performance appraisal process of the target company. The attack is twofold: Recipients think that the appraisal (a) is mandatory and (b) can lead to a pay raise. It’s worth noting that in some companies such appraisals are a routine part of the salary revision process and that’s why they don’t raise any suspicions.

It all begins,...

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Transatlantic Cable podcast, episode 113

Transatlantic Cable podcast, episode 113

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For episode 113 of the Kaspersky Transatlantic Cable podcast, I fly solo because Dave is still on holiday. We will return to our regularly scheduled programing in next week’s edition.

To kick off the episode, I discuss the latest snafu from Twitter, where verification numbers and e-mails may have been added to the company’s Tailored Audience program.

Twitter is still short on details, but this is a story that’s definitely worth keeping an eye on.

The second story looks at the latest round of Governments vs. Facebook & Encryption. We talk about this topic quite a bit, but it is one that comes back over and over as governments try to find their...

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Protecting public clouds from common vulnerabilities

Protecting public clouds from common vulnerabilities

Many businesses already utilize a cloud environment that consists of on-premises private cloud and public cloud resources — a hybrid cloud. However, when it comes to cybersecurity, companies tend to focus more on protection of physical or virtualized environments, paying much less attention to the part of their infrastructure that resides in public clouds. Some of them are sure that cloud providers should be responsible for the protection; some think that public clouds are secure by design, and so not requiring any additional protection. But both those hypothesis are erroneous: public clouds are as much prone to software vulnerability...

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Helping the victims of Yatron and FortuneCrypt ransomware

Helping the victims of Yatron and FortuneCrypt ransomware

Ransomware has been and remains a big headache for both users and experts alike. It is not a simple task to recover files encrypted by ransomware, and in many cases it’s impossible. But we have good news for the victims of Yatron and FortuneCrypt malware: Kaspersky experts have developed and published decryptors for the files this particular malware encrypts.

amAh1eIoq-7LRPlnMKao2wyxmX12g8uv.jpg?s=f4944a471c4dafce8e56557ac18894e1How to decrypt files encrypted by Yatron

Yatron ransomware is based on another encryptor, Hidden Tear, which has an unusual story. A few years ago, Turkish researcher Utku Sen created this malware for educational and research purposes and uploaded the source code to the...

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What happened to Kaspersky Free antivirus ?

What happened to Kaspersky Free antivirus ?

We’ve answered this one a bunch lately, so we decided to address it in a post. When a user tries to download Kaspersky Free antivirus, they find that they have downloaded  Kaspersky Security Cloud — Free instead. Here’s why.

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Back in 2017, we introduced Kaspersky Free antivirus  , a solution that offered basic protection for  , so that no person would be left unprotected from cyberthreats. Under its hood thrummed the same engine as in our premium security products, which collect the majority of awards from independent test labs each year. And it really was free — no payment required, no third-party ads. And, no surprise, it became quite...

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Machine learning–aided scams

Machine learning–aided scams

New technologies are clearly changing the world, but not the human psyche. As a result, evil geniuses are devising new technological innovations to target vulnerabilities in the human brain. One vivid example is the story of how scammers mimicked the voice of an international CEO to trick the head of a subsidiary into transferring money to shady accounts.

vBrlMUrXBEcUqIRe8ME1aQI0HuiR-bY6.jpg?s=318533500ce8e39c67adb86d2e046387What happened?

The details of the attack are unknown, but the Wall Street Journal, citing insurance firm Euler Hermes Group SA, describes the incident as follows:

  1. Answering a phone call, the CEO of a U.K.-based energy firm thought he was speaking with his boss, the chief executive of the firm’s German...
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Smominru botnet infects 4,700 new PCs daily

Smominru botnet infects 4,700 new PCs daily

Active since 2017, Smominru has now become one of the most rapidly spreading computer malware, according to a publicly available report. In 2019, during August alone, it infected 90,000 machines worldwide, with an infection rate of up to 4,700 сcomputers per day. China, Taiwan, Russia, Brazil, and the US have seen the most attacks, but that doesn’t mean other countries are out of its scope. For example, the largest network Smominru targeted was in Italy, with 65 hosts infected.

6c4FPtc4KFlivj-a-P5ZrGK_2LhDb-Cf.jpg?s=57be994ec5d81dc2b189981c362f469bHow the Smominru botnet propagates

The criminals involved are not too particular about their targets, which range from universities to healthcare providers. However one...

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Transatlantic Cable podcast, episode 112

Transatlantic Cable podcast, episode 112

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For the 112th edition of the Kaspersky Transatlantic Cable podcast, I head to Moscow to discuss privacy with four of my corporate communications colleagues.

During the 20+ minute talk with Julia, Kate, Oksana and Anya, the discussion ranges from how and what we share online to what privacy is, what it is not and who should be regulating privacy on the Internet.

If you enjoy the podcast, consider subscribing and sharing with your friends who need more regular updates on security. For more tips on privacy online, check out the blogposts on the topic below.

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Information security in loss figures

Information security in loss figures

To budget for information security, companies need to consider factors such as average potential losses, preferably by incident type, as well as other businesses’ average outlays on security. Precise data on such questions do not get published, and that’s one reason we conduct an annual survey of employees who make business decisions related to IT security for a variety of companies. And now we are ready to share results of our 2019 survey.

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Compared with the results of last year’s survey, enterprise businesses’ losses have increased. Where previously an incident cost them an average of $1.23 million, now the average loss is...

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Simjacker: SIM-based phone hacking

Simjacker: SIM-based phone hacking

Recently, experts at AdaptiveMobile Security discovered a method of attack on mobile phones that can be carried out using a normal computer and a dirt-cheap USB modem. Whereas some older methods of cellular surveillance required special equipment and a telecom operating license, this attack, called Simjacker, takes advantage of a vulnerability found in SIM cards.

2BTR-7Eln7oGnjZb8DS3YldfW7FFhYEg.jpg?s=7c5f7043bb1bf680c062bb74bf304786It’s all about S@T Browser

Most SIM cards released since the early 2000s, including eSIM, feature a carrier menu. This menu includes tasks such as Balance Check, Recharge, Technical Support, and sometimes extras such as Weather, or even Horoscope, and so on. Old phones had it right in the main...

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Voicemail as bait

Voicemail as bait

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Recently, we have been tracking a large-scale spam campaign in which scammers send e-mails that appear to be voicemail notifications. The body of the message indicates the time and length of the voice message, as well as a preview in the form of a hanging sentence: “Just checking to remind you in regards to our ….” The phrase is the same for all victims, and is intended only to generate interest.

The recipient is invited to listen to the message by tapping a link. The link brings them to a (phishing) site that looks like the login page of a popular Microsoft service — Outlook, for example, or just a Microsoft account.

Tapping the Sign in button triggers a script that...

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Transatlantic Cable podcast, episode 111

Transatlantic Cable podcast, episode 111

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On this week’s edition of the Kaspersky Transatlantic Cable podcast, Dave and I cross both the Atlantic and Pacific while discussing the week’s stories.

Episode 111 kicks off with a story about Facebook suspending tens of thousands of apps in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

From there, we look at TikTok becoming the latest social media site targeted by dating scams. We then move along to Google announcing it has changed some policies tied to reducing the number of recordings from Google Home that will be listened to by humans.

The next story takes a look at a school in the UK that is starting to leverage AI to identify students who...

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Quantum supremacy is almost uncertainly here

Quantum supremacy is almost uncertainly here

A quantum computer from Google solved a task that the best supercomputer in the world cannot. The news made quite a splash — and then, the report was retracted.

The retraction, which the Financial Times discovered on NASA’s website, only added more suspense to the situation. So, although exactly what task the quantum computer allegedly solved — not to mention how many qubits it deployed, 53 or 72 — remains uncertain, it’s actually very likely that the so-called quantum supremacy has indeed arrived. Bear with me and I’ll explain what makes me think so.

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Last year, impressed by the amount of attention...

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Applied cyberimmunity: What is it?

Applied cyberimmunity: What is it?

What does our concept of cyberimmunity mean in practice? Setting aside copious debate about the future of cybersecurity as an industry and about the possible ways it may develop — the philosophy of cybersecurity — Eugene Kaspersky spoke about the application of cyberimmunity last week at the Kaspersky Industrial Cybersecurity Conference 2019.

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The essence of cyberimmunity is to employ a level of protection such that the cost of an attack on a company exceeds the costs of possible damages. Nowadays, no serious cybersecurity expert can give a 100% protection guarantee. At the current level of information technology development, everything can be “hacked”...

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Tips for keeping children safe online

Tips for keeping children safe online

They’re more withdrawn and quieter than usual. Come to think of it, they’ve been on their phone for a while now, but they finished their homework hours ago.

“What you doing over there?”

No answer.

You try again. “Sweetheart, what are you doing on the phone?”

“Nothing! Leave me alone!” your usually sweet child snaps back.

What’s happening? Did they see something they shouldn’t have? Is someone bullying them? You’re not sure what’s happening, but you know it probably has something to do with something on their device and the Internet. But how can you best get to the bottom of this and tackle this thorny issue?

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The online world is full of education,...

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Business data safety: You can’t have too many backups

Business data safety: You can’t have too many backups

Many believe that backing up data to physical media is a relic of the last century. After all, these days we have cloud services. They are affordable and let you make backups automatically and access them anytime, wherever you are. Moreover, the cloud provider ensures security, giving you less to worry about. Right? Not quite. After all, a provider, like any company, can fall victim to an attack.

tDWp1sG6j9Xg5UfiF-E-KAXpJUUsAOJ3.jpg?s=480169d09cd966166434aceb77b43773Attack on backups

That is precisely what happened recently when a US-based firm named PerCSoft, which manages the DDS Safe backup service, was struck by a ransomware attack. The service is used by hundreds of US dental clinics, including for...

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How business e-mail compromise can cost millions

How business e-mail compromise can cost millions

Generally, hijacked accounts are used to distribute spam and bypass filters. However, a hijacked mailbox can be used for far nastier things, such as a business e-mail compromise (BEC) attack. Last month, a subsidiary of Toyota Boshoku Corporation was hit by such a scam, causing an estimated 4 billion yen (more than $37 million) of damage.

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According to the company’s official statement of September 6, as well as comments from news publications, unknown cybercriminals launched a BEC attack. The incident is still being investigated and no details have been released, so it is not clear whether a hijacked mailbox was used or if...

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The Seven Young Goats and multifactor authentication

The Seven Young Goats and multifactor authentication

Our ancestors may not have had computers, but they certainly knew a thing or two about keeping children safe. We’ve already used Little Red Riding Hood as a guide to explaining Man-in-the-Middle attacks, handshakes, and phishing. Now let’s talk about two-factor authentication (2FA) and biometric security. This time, we’ll use a somewhat less-known fairy tale called The Wolf and the Seven Young Goats.

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The concept of authentication is clearly illustrated in the fairy tale The Wolf and the Seven Young Goats. For those unfamiliar with the tale, it involves a family of goats consisting of a mother and...

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Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf-in-the-Middle

Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf-in-the-Middle

How do you explain the concepts of information security to your children? Chances are, you simply don’t. Some give up on making information security relatable and just forbid kids from doing some things online — or even from using the Internet in general. But prohibition without explanation is counterproductive, more likely spurring children to go after the forbidden fruit.

In answer to the question “Why not talk to your children about cyberthreats and how information security works?” parents, who may not have the firmest of grasps on the concepts to begin with, tend to get frustrated and give up, and not necessarily in that order. But...

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Transatlantic Cable podcast, episode 110

Transatlantic Cable podcast, episode 110

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On this week’s edition of the Kaspersky Transatlantic Cable podcast, Dave and I stay Stateside for the majority of our stories.

The first story has us looking at YouTube for the second week in a row. This week, we look at a tale from the BBC of major advertisers seeing their ads landing next to fake cancer cure videos.

Following that story, we take a look at the latest hoops that Equifax is making the victims of the breach jump through to gain their $125. After that, we look into an alleged ransomware attack that has hit terrestrial radio giant Entercom.

The third story focuses on a new proposal for consumer cyberinsurance — and what potential...

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Internet in space: Is there Net on Mars?

Internet in space: Is there Net on Mars?

By now, the Internet has reached basically all corners of the Earth — and not just its surface. Being online onboard an airplane is already old hat, and even the International Space Station has a connection to the Web. Space exploration agencies are getting ready to move on and get other planets in our solar system connected. The space Web is not all about work, either; it helps people far away from mother Earth keep in touch with their homes. This post is about how it works now and how it will develop.

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The International Space Station crew accessed the Web for the first time back in 2010. The access service was provided by NASA....

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Transatlantic Cable podcast, episode 109

Transatlantic Cable podcast, episode 109

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Welcome to the 109th edition of the Kaspersky Transatlantic Cable podcast. This week, Dave and I take a look at some of the security stories you may have missed over the past week.

To kick things off, we take a look at the $107 million fine for YouTube after the service violated child privacy laws.

Following that story, we stay in the States and discuss a recent outage in Tesla’s app that left some unable to start their cars — because with apps, who needs keys? And, in an interesting bucking of trends, New Bedford, Massachusetts, isn’t paying the hackers who hit their systems with ransomware. Instead, the city is using its backups to recover.

To...

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