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Hacker who passed US military data to IS arrested

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Washington: A Malaysia-based hacker accused of stealing personal information of US military officials and passing it on to the Islamic State terror group has been arrested, it was reported on Friday.

The US Justice Department said Ardit Ferizi, a Kosovo citizen, was detained in Malaysia on a provisional US arrest warrant alleging he provided material support to the Islamic State and committed computer hacking and identity theft, CNN reported.

According to a criminal complaint, Ferizi hacked into a server and stole names and personally identifiable information of over 1,300 US military and other government personnel — a list that was later posted online in August by a group calling itself the ‘Islamic State Hacking Division’.

The data, including home addresses and photos, was passed on to Junaid Hussein, a British hacker who was active on social media recruiting Westerners to join the Islamic State.

US Assistant Attorney General John Carlin called the case against Ferizi — which combines cybercrime and terror charges — “a first of its kind”.

“This arrest demonstrates our resolve to confront and disrupt IS’ efforts to target Americans, in whatever form and wherever they occur,” Carlin said.

Malaysian Police said the 20-year-old hacker had entered the country in August 2014 to pursue computer science and computer forensics studies at a college in Kuala Lumpur.

(IANS)

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Hackers ditch ransomware attacks, move to cryptojacking: Symantec

Mobile users also face privacy risks from grayware apps that are not completely malicious but can be troublesome

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Russia, North Korea and Iran are the most active in hacking financial institutions, while China is the most active in cyber espionage.
Hackers are usig new techniques to rob users' data and money. Wikimedia Commons
  • Hackers are no more using ransomware attacks
  • They are now cryptojacking
  • India is the second largest Asian country which witness this

When it comes to increased cryptojacking activities, India is second in the Asia-Pacific and Japan (APJ) region and ninth globally as hackers create a highly-profitable, new revenue stream with crypto-mining, cyber security giant Symantec said on Wednesday.

According to Symantec’s “Internet Security Threat Report”, detection of coinminers on endpoint computers increased by a whopping 8,500 per cent in 2017.

cryptocurrency dealer Pluto Exchange on Thursday announced the launch of mobile application for transacting in VC. Wikimedia Commons
Coinmining is taking place in high number. Wikimedia Commons

“Cryptojacking is a rising threat to cyber and personal security,” Tarun Kaura, Director, Enterprise Security Product Management, APJ at Symantec, said in a statement. “The massive profit incentive puts people, devices and organizations at risk of unauthorised coinminers siphoning resources from their systems, further motivating criminals to infiltrate everything from home PCs to giant data centers,” Kaura added.

Cryptojacking is defined as the secret use of a computing device to mine cryptocurrency. With a low barrier of entry cybercriminals are harnessing stolen processing power and cloud CPU usage from consumers and enterprises to mine cryptocurrency. Coinminers can slow devices, overheat batteries and in some cases, render devices unusable. For enterprise organisations, coinminers can put corporate networks at risk of shutdown and inflate cloud CPU usage, adding to the cost.

Also Read: From paper to plastic to Bitcoins: Changing money with time

“Now you could be fighting for resources on your phone, computer or Internet of Things (IoT) device as attackers use them for profit. People need to expand their defenses or they will pay for the price for someone else using their device,” Kaura added.

Symantec found 600 per cent increase in overall IoT attacks in 2017. India today ranks among the top five countries as a source for IoT attacks. The firm also identified a 200 per cent increase in attackers injecting malware implants into the software supply chain in 2017.

Hacking puts a lot of things at risk. VOA

Threats in the mobile space continue to grow year-over-year, including the number of new mobile malware variants which increased by 54 per cent. Mobile users also face privacy risks from grayware apps that are not completely malicious but can be troublesome. Symantec found that 63 per cent of grayware apps leak the device’s phone number.

In 2017, the average ransom cost lowered to $522. “Several cyber criminals may have shifted their focus to coin mining as an alternative to cashing in while cryptocurrency values are high,” the report noted. IANS

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