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Why machine learning is not enoughSDCSC
Connected technologies are invading our lives more and more fully with each passing day. We may not even notice how natural it’s become to ask Siri or Alexa or Google to interpret more of our human experience, and expect our cars to respond to the rules of the road fast enough to keep our hides intact. Some of us are still bothered by technologies such as public cameras feeding images to facial recognition software, but plenty aren’t.
At this point, it’s easy to laugh at a lot of AI failures because on balance they’re mostly funny (just forget about the potential for fatal outcomes). Well, we think as the machines march on, and as malware continues...
Trojans exploit WAP subscriptions to steal money
Do you remember what WAP is? Didn’t think so! WAP is a rather primitive excuse for mobile Internet. The tiny websites it can access show mostly text, and we visited them back when phones had just learned to transmit data.
Despite the fact that WAP has practically passed into oblivion, parts of the technology are still supported by mobile carriers. For example, some still support WAP billing, which allows users to pay for something right on a website directly from their mobile accounts.WAP billing as a revenue source for cybercriminals
WAP billing has several problems. First of all, it is not quite transparent for the buyer. In theory, a...
Transforming business – from selling solutions to enterprise partnership
Every company that reaches a certain threshold has to face the challenge of transformation. That threshold might be reaching a certain revenue — for example, surpassing eight figures. At this point, technology companies have two ways to go.
The first is to drive average revenue per user upward. When you have reached a customer-base plateau, attracting more customers becomes too costly, so it makes sense to offer more value to existing customers through additional features, options, and so forth. Doing so requires having a good feedback channel; without hearing from your customers it’s impossible to understand...
Technologically advanced phone scams
Readers of this blog will already be familiar with phone scams — you’ve probably even received a shady call or two. But you don’t accept offers from strangers or give up personal info when speaking to them, so you’ll be fine, right?
It turns out that the answer is no, not really. Not long ago, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a warning about an unusual phone scam. Fraudsters call their victims up and ask a seemingly innocent question: “Can you hear me?” The answer “Yes” is all they need. Replaying a recorded affirmative response lets them subscribe their victims to paid services, which will be included in the...
Caring for healthcare
Since the first Geneva Convention was signed, medical workers have been granted special status and hospitals have been recognized as neutral territory. In the future, we will probably need some kind of online counterpart; healthcare companies suffer from cyberattacks no less than other targets do. The big difference is that in the case of public health companies, what’s at stake is not only business, but also human health.
However, even if such a convention comes into force, it will not rid medical companies of the necessity of providing full-fledged protection against cyberthreats. Quite often, malefactors launch “mass destruction” attacks, and as much as...
Not-a-Virus: What is it?
Sometimes, Kaspersky Internet Security pops up a window with a yellow frame and informs the user that “not-a-virus” has been detected on the computer. Of course, any curious user would wonder why, if something is not a virus, an antivirus application would inform them about it.
Actually, your antivirus has reason for concern. Although the object in question is indeed not a malicious program, it’s something you should know about anyhow. Let us delve into the definition of “not-a-virus,” what kind of applications trigger the warning, and what should you do about those applications.
Generally speaking, Kaspersky Internet Security associates...
Six myths about blockchain and Bitcoin: Debunking the effectiveness of the technology
Blockchain: so cool, what a breakthrough — soon almost everything will be based on blockchain technology. If you bought all of that, then I might just disappoint you.
This article will discuss the version of blockchain technology that is used for Bitcoin cryptocurrency. There are other implementations, and they may have eliminated some of the disadvantages of the “classic blockchain,” but usually everything is built around the same principles.About Bitcoin in general
I consider the Bitcoin technology itself revolutionary. Unfortunately, Bitcoin has been used for criminal activities far too often,...
Taxi Trojans are on the way
You’re in a hurry, trying to get to work, a business meeting, a date. So you launch your favorite app for booking a taxi as usual, but this time, it prompts you to enter your credit card number. Does that seem suspicious? It may not — apps forget information, and all you have to do is add your card number again.
However, after some time you notice money disappearing from your account. What happened? You may be the unlucky winner of a mobile Trojan. This kind of malware has been caught recently stealing bank data by impersonating the interfaces of taxi-booking apps.
The Faketoken Trojan has existed for a long time, and it has been upgraded for many...
What is HuMachine?
We attribute the effectiveness of our products to the HuMachine Intelligence concept, which is a basis of what we call True Cybersecurity. The essence of HuMachine Intelligence is a fusion of three fundamental things: big data, machine learning, and our analysts’ expertise. But what is behind these words? Let us try to explain this without getting deep into technical details.Big data and threat intelligence
The term big data should not be taken literally, as if it were a large array of information stored somewhere. It is not just a database; it is a combination of technologies that allows for instant processing of large volumes of data in order to extract threat...
Staying safe in 2018 and beyond
Now that the Internet is a commodity, a familiar and ever-present resource, lots of people have gotten casual about its dangers. Others — kids — never knew a time without websites at their fingertips, and no more fear cyberthreats than they fear a television.
Some wags have even put it out there that they don’t think any paid security products are necessary. Just let Microsoft and Apple security do their thing, they say. Don’t pirate movies, go to shady websites, or open unexpected e-mail attachments and you’ll be fine, they say. Ignore the independent expert tests, they do.
In fact, with cybersecurity a complex, multilayered proposition, with...
Attacks on enterprise security: Microsoft services as a weapon
Hackers have gone big with the exploitation of legitimate software. Several reports at the Black Hat 2017 conference demonstrated that Microsoft enterprise solutions could be quite useful in an attacker’s hands.
Companies that use hybrid clouds need to adopt different security considerations than those that use traditional cloud systems. However, in practice they are not updating fast enough, and that results in numerous security blind spots that attackers can exploit, as was demonstrated in July at the hacker conference Black Hat 2017. Studies showed how a typical office infrastructure can actually help attackers remain...
Cybersecurity depends on partnership
In the world of cybersecurity, partnerships are of much importance. Cybersecurity companies partner among themselves to share data and help each other build stronger security solutions that can better protect their users. They also partner with law enforcement agencies to fight cybercrime. Partnerships with software developers are equally important, because security solutions have to work smoothly with other software, especially with operating systems.
That, of course, can be easily achieved if the operating system vendor creates its own, fully compatible security solution. However, having just one security solution for each operating system is not...
Is your encrypted USB drive secure?
How can you be sure the “secure” USB drive you’re using is really secure and the data you store on it can’t be extracted? That’s exactly the question Google’s security researchers Ellie Bursztein, Jean-Michel Picod, and Rémi Audebert addressed in their talk, “Attacking encrypted USB keys the hard(ware) way,” at the recent Black Hat USA 2017.
Researchers say that at present, secure USB drive manufacturers are following the FIPS 140 certification standard, which was developed by NIST (the National Institute of Standards and Technology) for all kinds of cryptography modules, both hardware and software. The certification involves a...
Facebook’s CSO: Security specialists have to start solving real security problems and avoid the fancy ones
During his opening talk at the Black Hat 2017 conference, Alex Stamos, Facebook’s chief security officer, talked about preventing actual damages and being OK with compromises — things that every information security specialist should be doing. This CSO at Facebook is no slouch: His team has been protecting a really complex IT system and 2 billion users’ worth of data.
According to Stamos, the security industry suffers from several adolescent problems, the main one being nihilism. That means specialists prefer to focus on “fancy,” technically complex security problems...
Breaking electronic locks — just like in those hacker movies
What do movie characters typically do when there is a door with an electronic lock on their way? They call a hacker, of course. The hacker connects some sort of contraption to the lock. During the next several seconds, the device picks every possible combination and shows it on its (obligatory, bright) segment display. Voilà! The door is open.
At Black Hat 2017, Colin O’Flynn, who presented a report on breaking electronic door locks, made a joke about the hardest challenge for characters in such a film — coming up with a brilliant line for that moment when the door opens.
To what extent is this consistent with reality?...
Impressive results on the anti-APT front
As we have mentioned before, we consider independent tests not as an indicator of our solutions’ effectiveness, but more as a tool to improve our technologies. Therefore, we rarely publish stories about test success, despite our products’ consistently high performance. However, the Advanced Threat Defense certification, conducted by ICSA Labs test lab is worth highlighting.
Our Kaspersky Anti-Targeted Attack platform participated in this certification for three consecutive quarters and showed an excellent result in the latest — 100% threat detection and 0 false positives. Why is that important for corporate clients, and what is behind these...
Don’t Skype and type
Many of us talk on Skype, Hangouts, WhatsApp, or Viber while using the computer for something else. You already know it’s not very polite, but it can be dangerous as well. Your conversation partner might find out what you are typing.
Click, click, click — almost every person talking on the phone or Skype knows that his or her conversation partner may be chatting or doing something else while conversing. The sound of typing on a physical computer keyboard is rather recognizable.
It turns out that with help from machine learning and a computer it is possible to find out what your conversation partner is typing. Almost every keyboard has a slightly different...
Hacking industrial robots
As unpleasant as it is to see a ransomware message pop up on your monitor, WannaCry or ExPetr/NotPetya are not worst-case scenarios. Researchers demonstrated far more physical cyberattacks at the Black Hat hacking conference.
Thousands of factories around the world employ robots whose mechanical manipulators move boxes around, drill through parts, and perform other actions by following preprogrammed routines. These robots are quite complex, consisting of a computer (used for monitoring by an operator), a controller, and a mechanical manipulator. A program with logical operations, such as “lift the box” or “turn the arm,” is created on the control...
Frequently asked questions about Kaspersky Free
The global launch of our Kaspersky Free antivirus has generated considerable public excitement and prompted many questions. It looks like it is time to sit down and take a look at what concerns people around the world and address everything with frank answers.
Here are the top six questions and myths about Kaspersky Free.1. There is no such thing as a free lunch. What’s the catch?
“No free lunch” is one of our favorite adages; however, there’s also an exception to every rule. Kaspersky Free is a completely free security solution that does not show any third-party advertisements. Kaspersky Free also does not collect your personal...
Big tips for small business
Last week was a big milestone for Kaspersky Lab. The company hosted a huge party to celebrate turning 20. Let that sink in for a minute — consider that when the company started out on its mission to save the world, these were the most popular pieces of technology on the Internet.
During the first two decades of its existence, the company has thrived and also collected a series of best practices and tips from top-level executives. They chronicle the steps and challenges of going from start-up to established global player.
In the guide below, our executives chime in on everything from building a strong corporate culture to calculating risk to collaborating...
Kaspersky Battery Life: A long and happy life
Modern smartphones are fast, powerful, and capable of practically anything. There is one catch, though: Give them a task and the battery charge evaporates. Actually, sometimes the charge vanishes for no apparent reason at all, because even when you are not doing anything, some app in the background can consume a lot of battery power without visibly doing anything. However, this can be prevented.
Not every app needs to be continuously running in the background. Android has its own smart mechanism that helps free up RAM by terminating apps, but unfortunately, the mechanism is not trained to monitor for apps that consume too much battery power,...
Tips to educate your staff on cybersecurity
Over the course of the two-day briefings at Black Hat 2017, a lot of interesting topics were discussed. Perhaps one of the more interesting topic areas was cybersecurity education. In fact, there were at least three panels on the topic.
An interesting point came up during a presentation from Arun Vishwanath of the University at Buffalo. He was discussing the problems with many cybersecurity training programs.
During his talk, Vishwanath focused on the high proportion of employees who fall victim to spear-phishing despite having training in the workplace. He then challenged companies to look more at how they are offering training to employees...
Hacking a car wash?
Just when you think you’ve heard it all when it comes to connected devices being hacked, Black Hat rolls around and makes you reconsider what you thought were the most bizarre things ever hacked.
Thoughts may immediately jump to the latest and greatest connected IoT wearable or something odd like Google Glass — both good guesses — but they’d be wrong. Chances are you would never guess, but we’ll wait while you glance up again at the title of this post.
You see, researchers Billy Rios and Jonathan Butts discovered that car washes could be hacked. OK — I know it does not sound all that exciting, but the researchers also noted that they had possibly...
No More Ransom: A very productive year
A year ago we announced that together with Europol, Dutch police, and McAfee Security, we were starting a project called No More Ransom. We thought that joining forces against ransomware was a good idea, and now we know we were right.
Today No More Ransom celebrates its first anniversary, and for a 1-year-old it has achieved a lot.
Dozens of organizations from both the public and private sectors have joined the project, and so have law-enforcement agencies from countries all over the world. The number of decryption utilities available for free download has increased almost tenfold, and those utilities have helped decrypt files on tens of thousands...