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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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Kaspersky Incident Communications

Kaspersky Incident Communications

I remember that day like it was yesterday: Our CEO called me into his office, asking me to leave my smartphone and laptop at my desk.

“We’ve been hacked,” he said bluntly. “The investigation is still ongoing, but we can confirm that we have an active, extremely sophisticated, nation-state sponsored attacker inside our perimeter.”

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To be honest, this wasn’t totally unexpected. Our specialists had been dealing with our clients’ security breaches for quite a while already, and as a security company, we were a particular target. Yet, it was an unpleasant surprise: Someone had penetrated an information security company’s cyberdefenses. You can read about it Read more...

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All apps on Google Play are safe: Fact or fiction?

All apps on Google Play are safe: Fact or fiction?

We always recommend downloading Android apps from official stores and nowhere else. But that doesn’t mean there are no viruses in the Google Play. It is true, however, that you’ll find fewer of them in the official store than on third-party sites, and they get removed on a regular basis.

7Uyrbk8VjVX9R0BcGqzfPv0uc7QGVjjI.jpg?s=6bd493efb1f7955972605911bf5b00d9How Google monitors the security of Android apps

It is no mean feat for malware to get into Google Play. Before they publish an app, moderators check it for compliance with an extensive list of requirements. If they find a violation, they ban the program from the store.

However, Google Play receives such a vast number of new apps and updates of existing...

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Supply chain as SMB threat

Supply chain as SMB threat

Small business owners may think their companies are too insignificant to become a target for cybercriminals. There is a certain logic in that: Attackers look for maximum profit from minimum effort. But two additional points are important to consider. First, large companies spend solid budgets on defense and therefore are harder to attack. Second, another option may be more attractive — an attack through the supply chain. Malefactors can compromise one company and get to hundreds of small firms.

Nmhl51pvnIK28wnv7-fCCa_93YjCWY3F.jpg?s=10919e0723368beec25001964989b056Attacks through the supply chain

Being attacked through a supply chain typically means that a service or program that you have used for some time has become malicious....

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Keeping e-sports clean

Keeping e-sports clean

When video games were just home entertainment, no one cared if players cheated. Even when multiplayer modes became all the rage, few people sat up and took notice. But with the advent of e-sports, everything has been turned on its head. Now, cheating is a major problem not only for players, but for competition organizers, sponsors, and millions of viewers. Not to mention the betting industry. After all, big prize money may be at stake.

cXOiVL6zl1huWuO9jZjTFEBrxNmw2God.jpg?s=61ee1d307f5214ca46edc3fc867fe9bcWhat could go wrong?

Most games are hosted on servers or in cloud services, so one might expect cheating to have faded away. But as ever, it’s not that straightforward. In many games, the client program receives far more information...

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How browser plugins can leak corporate secrets

How browser plugins can leak corporate secrets

In July 2019, researcher Sam Jadali discovered several extensions for the Chrome and Firefox browsers that collect browsing history and transfer it to a third party. Moreover, he found a platform where such data is bought and sold.

This may not set off any alarms. So what if someone finds out that one of your employees has visited a contractor’s website or even logged in to a corporate account in a social network? All the attackers get is the address. They can’t access any other information, so who cares? Well, these extensions periodically leak internal company data, and here’s how.

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The social networks...

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Transatlantic Cable podcast, episode 108

Transatlantic Cable podcast, episode 108

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Welcome to the 108th edition of the Kaspersky Transatlantic Cable podcast. This week Dave and I jump between sides of the pond to discuss security issues relating to consumers and businesses alike. Our first story lands us in the world of browsers. Instead of focusing on the bad — tracking and the like — we take a look at some good things about the latest edition of Firefox.

From there, we jump back to the physical world. Our stories take us to Germany and an interesting case of banking customers having their chip-and-PIN cards cloned, leading to €1.5 million in charges. The third story takes us across the Atlantic, where hundreds of dental...

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Charity on the Internet: How to identify scammers

Charity on the Internet: How to identify scammers

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Facebook has been experiencing a wave of fake fundraising campaigns. The pattern is familiar: Attackers create groups from scratch to which they add a couple of posts. They provide bank transfer details along with a bunch of tear-jerking comments.

The groups tend to follow a template. The group’s name contains an appeal for help, and the posts provide emotional stories, usually about terminally ill children whose suffering is illustrated by photos and videos that are posted on the page.

Some of the posts are practically word-for-word copies of posts in other fraudulent groups. The only details that differ in each group are the child’s...

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A malicious website can infect my iPhone. Fact or fiction?

A malicious website can infect my iPhone. Fact or fiction?

The idea that iPhones are totally immune to threats has been debunked time after time. In fact, though the Apple smartphones may present a smaller target than Android devices, some say you can pick up all sorts of malware just by opening a dangerous website, without knowingly downloading and installing anything from that site. In this post, we find out whether that is true.

DWDvsuc1ngKWTfMyJXl1lzC4UHYtUV0N.jpg?s=e46e283a71230e893f2c45e6eb6683d2Truth: Malicious websites have been cracking iPhone security mechanisms for more than two years now

Researchers from Google’s Project Zero have discovered several hacked websites that have been attacking iPhones for at least two years now. To achieve that,...

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Our fan club is a teenager already!

Our fan club is a teenager already!

If ever I mention while chatting with someone that Kaspersky has a fan club, I immediately get asked: Why? How come an antivirus company has a fan club? So, here’s why: because it’s been a long time since we just made antivirus protection; because our company is always actively doing fun and interesting stuff; and because people want to participate in what Kaspersky does even if they’re not employees. And, well, it’s just cool to have one.

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All this tomfoolery began, it’s scary to recall, thirteen years ago, back when we cranked out version 6, which was praised throughout the computer security industry. Almost daily we posted new builds on the forum,...

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Student surprise: malware masked as textbooks and essays

Student surprise: malware masked as textbooks and essays

We have written on numerous occasions about how easy it is to inadvertently pick up some nasty stuff when you try to download popular TV shows or game cheats. However, cybercriminals do not just limit themselves to entertainment products. You can also stumble upon a virus when looking for work- or study-related materials. This is particularly important to keep in mind as the academic year starts. That is because the cost of textbooks and other materials for K-12 and college students often leads to many looking for more affordable and free alternatives online.

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We decided to find out...

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VLAN as an additional security layer

VLAN as an additional security layer

Every company has employees who handle large volumes of external e-mail. HR officers, PR managers, and salespeople are a few common examples. In addition to their regular mail, they receive a lot of spam, phishing messages, and malicious attachments. Moreover, the nature of their work requires them to open unverified attachments and click links in unfamiliar e-mails. Information security professionals typically isolate such departments from critically important nodes in the corporate network. But in companies with no dedicated IT security, they pose a major risk to all staff.

lUZA78P6H2lAVhjFXZEB3JswM2ZR2zSD.jpg?s=6c097a935c4f588a77a1f8332e20e835LAN segmentation

One of the most effective ways to safeguard company units...

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Transatlantic Cable podcast, episode 107

Transatlantic Cable podcast, episode 107

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For the latest Kaspersky Transatlantic Cable podcast, Dave and I dive into some of the biggest security stories that may have passed your radar this week. To kick off episode 107, we head to Kazakhstan. A while back, the government asked its citizens to install a certificate so they could monitor all traffic. Now Google, Apple and Mozilla have blocked that tracking in their browsers.

We then head over to the twisting saga of Valve, their bug bounty program and a researcher dropping two zero days. This is an interesting tale and one that seems to encompass some of the issues with current bug bounty programs and what is a bug that is needs to be...

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Money for nothing with smart contracts

Money for nothing with smart contracts

Are you interested in smart contracts? Do you know what integer overflow is? In fact, integer overflow is a problem from the realm of programming, but a smart contract is in essence a program, so you might want to understand what it is all about.

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Simply put, if an unsigned integer is stored in a single, byte-long memory cell, it can take only  those values ranging from 0 to 255. That means, if no further conditions are specified, 255 + 1 = 0. More worrying, 0 – 1 = 255. This is how most modern processors process this data.

In many modern programming languages, the program itself controls whether an overflow has occurred during arithmetic...

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How phishers steal e-mail accounts

How phishers steal e-mail accounts

Good old e-mail isn’t the sexiest offering in the digital world, but amid a whole bunch of newer apps and services — the instant messengers, the social networks — it’s standing its ground as an essential tool for modern-day life. Most of us still have to use e-mail, at the very least to be able to register new accounts for all those services, apps, and social networks out there.

That need is exactly why e-mail logins are a coveted prize for attackers. In this post we’ll explain how some crooks use phishing to get hold of them.

GK66xE78L2FHsofoSAKLjFNAZoEAO38e.jpg?s=2ddf2f73940336a7d2ba291f34542a43Phishing letters — the most common e-mail hacking tactics

The vast majority of scam letters made to steal e-mail login names and...

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Malicious Android app had more than 100 million downloads in Google Play

Malicious Android app had more than 100 million downloads in Google Play

Kaspersky researchers recently found malware in an app called CamScanner, a phone-based PDF creator that includes OCR (optical character recognition) and has more than 100 million downloads in Google Play. Various resources call the app by slightly different names such as CamScanner — Phone PDF Creator and CamScanner-Scanner to scan PDFs.

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Official app stores such as Google Play are usually considered a safe haven for downloading software. Unfortunately, nothing is 100% safe, and from time to time malware distributors manage to sneak their apps into Google Play.

The problem is that even such a powerful company as...

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A honeytrap for malware

A honeytrap for malware

I haven’t seen the sixth Mission Impossible movie, and I don’t think I will. I sat through the fifth — in suitably zombified state, returning home on a long-haul flight after a tough week’s business — but only because one scene in it was shot in our shiny new modern London office. And that was one Mission Impossible installment too many, really. Nope — not for me. Slap, bang, smash, crash, pow, wow. Oof. Nah, I prefer something a little more challenging, thought-provoking and just plain interesting. After all, I have precious little time as it is!

I really am giving Tom Cruise and Co. a major dissing here, aren’t I? But hold on. I have to give them their due for...

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Syrk ransomware lurking in Fortnite cheat pack

Syrk ransomware lurking in Fortnite cheat pack

Cybercriminals try to capitalize on anything enjoying public favor, including popular games. Malware often pretends to be a pirated copy or mobile version of a game, especially if the latter has not been officially released.

Recently, a ransomware encryptor called Syrk emerged. Passed off as a cheat pack for Fortnite — a game that has built a 250-million-strong user base in two years — Syrk promises players two cheats in one package: aimbot (an autoaiming tool) and WH (aka ESP, a cheat for discovering other players’ locations in the game). But what this package really does is encrypt the victim’s files and demand ransom.

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How my iPhone got double-stolen, episode 2

How my iPhone got double-stolen, episode 2

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Almost a year ago, we wrote about a classic phishing scheme aimed at unlinking a stolen iPhone from the victim’s Apple ID account. The purpose was to resell the phone not for spare parts, but as a full-fledged second-hand smartphone that’s way more valuable.

Last time, fortune favored the scammers, who were able to phish out the iCloud username and password they needed. This time around, we’ll investigate a more complex scheme for extracting the confidential data of phone-theft victims, including its Plan B, which is almost bound to catch anyone who manages to dodge Plan A.

Step 1: iPhone theft

It all began ordinarily enough, with my colleague...

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How a simple office prank can lead to serious damage

How a simple office prank can lead to serious damage

Harry had been raising hell for about ten minutes already. He had a habit of finding fault in everything, from the signature in a letter not following the template to papers being stacked improperly. But today, in fairness, his complaints had some merit: John had failed to send a draft report yesterday. Nevertheless, he didn’t have to yell. After all, no one would have been around to open it the previous evening.

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John knew he didn’t have a leg to stand on. After all, Harry had written up the system administrator the previous month for leaving cables lying messily on her desk. He said that everything must be kept orderly! The system...

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Transatlantic Cable podcast, episode 106

Transatlantic Cable podcast, episode 106

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For the 106th edition of the Kaspersky Transatlantic Cable podcast, Dave and I dive into some of the hottest cybersecurity news of the week. To start things off, we take a look at new ransomware targeting players of Fortnite. If you have kids playing the game, or you play it yourself, be on the lookout for some sketchy cheats.

Following the Fortnite news, we examine a story from the UK that discusses how Mercedes is using sensors in leased vehicles to help repo companies take back cars from those who are in arrears with their lease. After that, Dave talks with GReAT’s Brian Bartholomew about the state of health care in North America.

For the...

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The SOC 2 audit: What, how, and why?

The SOC 2 audit: What, how, and why?

As you may already know from Eugene Kaspersky’s blog or our official press release, we recently passed our SOC 2 audit. In case you do not know what that is and why it was necessary, we will fill in the details now.

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The Service and Organization Controls 2 (SOC 2) is an audit of control procedures at IT organizations that provide services. In essence, it is an international reporting standard for cybersecurity risk management systems. This standard, developed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), was updated in March 2018.

This post is about the SOC 2 Type 1 audit (which we passed), which certifies...

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I heard a bug in Kaspersky products could be used for spying. Is that true?

I heard a bug in Kaspersky products could be used for spying. Is that true?

You may have heard that Kaspersky spies on its clients or helps other spy on them. Some such allegations we have already addressed, but recently a new case emerged, saying that Kaspersky exposed users to cross-site tracking. We address the flap in this short post.

FT3XcNFFAP_5yT4M5xQ1BT1rIyUgyJkt.jpg?s=13d79c6eb0ca6dd6fd179ebebcb6b34cWhat happened?

A journalist named Ronald Eikenberg from c’t magazine reported that Kaspersky consumer products used unique identifiers in scripts when users visited sites on the Internet, and that those could’ve potentially been used to identify the users.

The problem (which goes by the name CVE-2019-8286) affected Kaspersky Internet Security 2019,...

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Transatlantic Cable podcast, episode 105

Transatlantic Cable podcast, episode 105

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Welcome to the 105th instalment of the Kaspersky Transatlantic Cable podcast, where Dave and I take a look at some important stories that you may have missed this week.

We begin by looking at recent news on robocall-blocking apps. Although they may try to curb these phantom calls, there is more to them than meets the eye: Some of these apps are actually sharing data with third parties.

After that story, we turn to the latest big business to be caught listening in on supposedly private recordings. This time it is Microsoft, specifically contractors with Skype. From there, we move on to the new security cameras that are using facial recognition in...

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