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37% Computers that Collect Biometric Data Face Hacking Attempts: Report

1 in 3 biometric data computers face hacking attempts

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One in three computers that collect biometric data have faced many hacking attempts. Pixabay

One in three computers (37 per cent) engaged in collecting biometric data globally faced hacking attempts in the third quarter of this year, a new report said on Friday.

The devices — servers and workstations — use to collect, process and store biometric data (such as fingerprints, hand geometry, face, voice and iris templates).

Overall, a significant number of conventional malware samples were blocked, including modern remote-access Trojans (5.4 per cent), malware used in phishing attacks (5.1 per cent), ransomware (1.9 per cent), and Trojan bankers (1.5 per cent), said the team from cybersecurity firm Kaspersky ICS CERT.

“The existing situation with biometric data security is critical and needs to be brought to the attention of industry and government regulators, the community of information security experts, and the general public,” said Kirill Kruglov, senior security expert, Kaspersky ICS CERT.

Biometric data
The existing situation with biometric data security is critical. Pixabay

An analysis of threat sources showed that Internet is the main source of threats for biometric data processing systems — threats with this source were blocked on 14.4 per cent of all biometric data processing systems.

This category includes threats blocked on malicious and phishing websites, along with web-based email services.

“Though we believe our customers are cautious, we need to emphasize that infection caused by the malware we detected and prevented could have negatively affected the integrity and confidentiality of biometric processing systems,” Kruglov added.

Threats blocked in email clients were ranked third (6.1 per cent — in most cases these were typical phishing emails (fake messages on the delivery of goods and services, the payment of invoices, etc.) containing links to malicious websites or attached office documents with malware.

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Like many other technologies that have lately been rapidly evolving, biometric authentication systems have proved to have significant generic drawbacks.

“The key shortcomings of biometric authentication technologies are usually cause by information security issues,” said the report. (IANS)

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Hackers Can Cause Serious Attacks On E-Bikes For Eavesdropping, Says Study

Someone with malicious intent could eavesdrop on these wireless channels and listen to data exchanges between the scooter and riders' smartphone app

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Hackers
Vendors of Micromobility vehicles can also suffer denial-of-service (DoS) attacks and data leaks by hackers, said researchers from University of Texas at San Antonio. Pixabay

As governments including in India plan more e-bikes on roads to help tackle traffic congestion, like any Internet-connected device, hackers can cause a series of attacks in e-scooters, including eavesdropping on users and even spoof GPS systems to direct riders to unintended locations, warn researchers including some of Indian-origin.

Vendors of Micromobility vehicles can also suffer denial-of-service (DoS) attacks and data leaks, said researchers from University of Texas at San Antonio.

“We have identified and outlined a variety of weak points or attack surfaces in the current ride-sharing, or micromobility, ecosystem that could potentially be exploited by malicious adversaries right from inferring the riders’ private data to causing economic losses to service providers and remotely controlling the vehicles’ behaviour and operation,” said Jadliwala.

The micromobility e-scooter analysis was conducted by Jadliwala alongside graduate students Nisha Vinayaga-Sureshkanth, Raveen Wijewickrama and post-doctoral fellow Anindya Maiti.

The global e-Bike market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 9.01 per cent to reach $38.6 billion by 2025 from an estimated $21.1 billion in 2018, according to marketsandmarkets research firm. Computer science experts at the university have published the first review of the security and privacy risks posed by e-scooters and their related software services and applications.

According to the review, to appear in the proceedings of the 2nd ACM Workshop on Automotive and Aerial Vehicle Security (AutoSec 2020), hackers can cause a series of attacks. Some e-scooter models communicate with the rider’s smartphone over a Bluetooth Low Energy channel.

Someone with malicious intent could eavesdrop on these wireless channels and listen to data exchanges between the scooter and riders’ smartphone app by means of easily and cheaply accessible hardware and software tools such as Ubertooth and WireShark.

Those who sign up to use e-scooters also offer up a great deal of personal and sensitive data beyond just billing information.According to the study, providers automatically collect other analytics, such as location and individual vehicle information.

Hackers
As governments including in India plan more e-bikes on roads to help tackle traffic congestion, like any Internet-connected device, hackers can cause a series of attacks in e-scooters, including eavesdropping on users and even spoof GPS systems to direct riders to unintended locations. Pixabay

This data can be pieced together to generate an individual profile that can even include a rider’s preferred route, personal interests, and home and work locations.”Cities are experiencing explosive population growth. Micromobility promises to transport people in a more sustainable, faster and economical fashion,” said Jadliwala.

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To ensure that this industry stays viable, companies should think not only about rider and pedestrian safety but also how to protect consumers and themselves from significant cybersecurity and privacy threats enabled by this new technology,” the authors noted. (IANS)