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KeyRaider Malware Results in World’s Largest iCloud Hijack

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iphone651350_1280In what is seen as the most comprehensive Apple accounts hijack in history, a malware named ‘KeyRaider’ is said to affect over 225,000 jailbroken Apple devices.

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A new iOS malware known as KeyRaider, targeting jailbroken devices, has already claimed private account information from over 225,000 Apple accounts, reports ThreatPost.

A team of Chinese amateur cybersecurity enthusiasts called WeipTech were alerted to a disturbance, immediately alerting security researchers at Palo Alto Networks. Weiptech stumbled upon a database storing a large horde of stolen Apple data after paying heed to multiple reports of users’ Apple accounts being charged with unauthorized purchases. Upon further research, the team found that a ‘tweak’ was installed in these targeted jailbroken devices and user data was being assimilated to a remote server.

The plaintext found in the database located on the server included Apple usernames, passwords, and GUIDs. Significantly, there were over 255,000 entries in the database, making for one mammoth breach.

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While jailbreaking is popular among end-users who tweak their phones, it is a practice scorned upon by Apple. A jailbreak is usually done to facilitate downloads from the Cydia store that distributes pirated applications. The company routinely releases updates to curb any exploits through jailbreaking.

Malware. End Users. Havoc.

Some of the many victims are currently being locked out of their phones and tablets and are forced to give in to ransom demands, reports say.

In a blog post, Claud Xiao of Palo Alto Networks who discovered the hijack wrote in no unclear terms:

We believe this to be the largest known Apple account theft caused by malware.

Crucially, the KeyRaider malware only affects jailbroken Apple devices. Xiao notes that the malware threat is likely to have impacted 18 countries. They include Japan, United States, United Kingdom, Australia, France, China, Russia, Canada, Germany, Israel, Italy, Spain, Singapore and South Korea.

“The purpose of this attack was to make it possible for users of two iOS jailbreak tweaks to download applications from the official App Store and make in-app purchases without actually paying,” Xiao claims.

The malware starts by hooking system processes through MobileSubstrate before stealing “Apple account usernames, passwords and device GUID” by looking into iTunes traffic to and from the device, explains Xiao.

The malware then claims Apple push notification certificates and private keys before sharing Apple’s App Store purchase information. The malware also disables the unlocking of Apple devices, both locally and remotely on iPhones and iPads, completing the hijack altogether.

KeyRaider has successfully stolen over 225,000 valid Apple accounts and thousands of certificates, private keys, and purchasing receipts. The malware uploads stolen data to its command and control (C2) server, which itself contains vulnerabilities that expose user information.

White Hats Doing What They Do

By bundling the malware into several jailbreak tweaks, the malicious hijack is now being distributed on the Weiphone jailbreak forum. A user by the name ‘mischa07’, specializing in cheats and tweaks is behind the suspected hijack.

A Yangzhou University student only known as ‘i_82’ discovered the attack and worked with Xiao in tandem with a group of white hats to look into the exploit. They succeeded in exploiting an SQL injection vulnerability found on the attacker’s server before learning about the hack.

Remarkably, the researchers were able to gain nearly half of the stolen account information before the malicious hacker got wise to the researchers’ exploit.

Users with jailbroken devices can check this website set up by Xiao and his team to find out if they’re among those affected.

Images from Gil C / Shutterstock and Pixabay.

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Breaches

Uber Is Paying Hackers to Keep Quiet

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Uber Technologies Inc. has reportedly paid hackers to delete scores of private data stolen from the company in a security breach that was concealed for over a year. The revelation provides further confirmation that, when it comes to cyber security, crime does pay.

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Massive Data Breach

According to Bloomberg Technology, hackers retrieved the personal data of 57 million Uber customers and drivers at some point last year. Nobody heard about it because the rideshare company paid the hackers $100,000 to keep quiet. A purge at the front office of Uber also ensured that the massive cyber breach was kept under wraps.

The compromised data was from October 2016 and included the names, phone numbers and addressed of 50 million Uber riders globally. About seven million drivers had their personal information accessed as well.

At the time of the cyber attack, Uber was inundated with a slew of legal issues stemming from alleged privacy violations. Rather than shine even more negative spotlight on the company, Uber executives decided to pay hackers to stay quiet.

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“None of this should have happened, and I will not make excuses for it,” Dara Khosrowshahi, who took over as CEO in September, said in a statement that was published by Bloomberg. “We are changing the way we do business.”

Hackers have done a masterful job infiltrating companies and governments in recent years. As a reminder, recent cyber attacks levied against Yahoo!, Target Corp and Equifax Inc. dwarf Uber’s 57 million compromised accounts.

Various reports indicate that cyber attacks are bleeding the global economy dry. One report, issued by the World Economic Forum, suggests that cyber crime cost the world economy $445 billion in 2016. If cyber crime were its own market cap, it would exceed Microsoft Inc., Facebook Inc. and ExxonMobil Corp

The Fall of Uber?

Uber revolutionized the ride-hailing business over the span of seven years by giving more power to the consumer. Several missteps later, the company finds itself in legal hot water, with its future appearing less certain than it did just one year ago.

The rideshare company faces at least five U.S. probes ranging from bribes to illicit software and right up to unethical pricing schemes. According to another Bloomberg report, Uber is under investigation for violating price transparency regulations, not to mention the alleged theft of documents for Google’s autonomous cars.

Some governments are sensing weakness in the ride-hailing service, and are moving toward banning the Uber app entirely. London is the most prominent example of a city that has taken definitive steps to outlaw the service over a “lack of corporate responsibility.”

Even with its legal troubles, Uber is a revolutionary technology that has influenced a bevy of other innovations aimed at improving the human experience.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. 

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Cybersecurity

The Pirate Bay is Hijacking PCs to Stealth-Mine Cryptocurrency

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For the second time in as many months, The Pirate Bay has been caught mining cryptocurrency on your computer without consent. The torrent platform was actually test-driving cryptocurrency mining in your browser – no doubt a lucrative revenue stream.

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The Pirates Are At It Again

The Pirate Bay has been caught using software called Coinhive, a JavaScript library that essentially serves as a cryptocurrency miner. It basically connects to visitors’ computers to mine Monero, one of the world’s most profitable cryptocurrencies.

The news was later confirmed by Bleeping Computer, which reported that,”The Pirate Bay, the internet’s largest torrent portal, is back at running a cryptocurrency miner after it previously ran a short test in mid-September.”

Estimates indicate that the scheme has earned the pirates a total of $43,000 over a three-week period.

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Users had no way to opt their computers out of being test-driven by the torrent network. Back in September, The Pirate Bay got away by telling people it was just a test. The site’s owners cannot use the same excuse this time around.

CoinHive advises websites to let their visitors  know their browser is being used to mine cryptocurrency.

“We’re a bit saddened to see that some of our customers integrate CoinHive into their pages without disclosing to their users what’s going on, let alone asking for their permission,” the company said.

The good news is most ad-blockers and antivirus programs will block CoinHive, given its recent abuses. That means not all visitors of The Pirate Pay were being used as a conduit for mining Monero.

Monero Joins Global Crypto Rally

The value of Monero (XMR) shot up nearly 8% on Friday, and was last seen trading at $94.17. With more than 15.2 million XMR tokens in circulation, the total market cap for Monero is $1.4 billion, according to CoinMarketCap. That’s enough for ninth on the global cryptocurrency list.

Twelve cryptos have now crossed the $1 billion valuation mark. A handful of others have made their way north of $500 million.

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Breaches

Ethereum Notches Two-Month High as Bitcoin Offspring Triggers Volatility

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Digital currency Ethereum climbed to a two-month high on Monday, taking some of the heat off Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash, which have slumped since the weekend.

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Ethereum Forges Higher Path

Concerns over Bitcoin created a favourable tailwind for Ethereum (ETH/USD), which is the world’s No. 2 digital currency by total assets. Ether’s price topped $340.00 on Monday and later settled at $323.54. That was the highest since June 20.

At its peak, ether was up 10% on the day and 70% for the month of August.

The ETH/USD was last down 2.2% at $315.02, according to Bitfinex. Prices are due for a brisk recovery, based on the daily momentum indicators.

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Fractured Bitcoin Community

Bitcoin and its offshoot, Bitcoin Cash, retreated on Monday following a volatile weekend. The BTC/USD slumped at the start of the week and was down more than 3% on Tuesday, with prices falling below $3,900.00. Just last week, Bitcoin was trading at new records near $4,500.00.

Bitcoin Cash, which emerged after the Aug. 1 hard fork, climbed to new records on Saturday, but has been in free-fall ever since. The BTH was down another 20% on Tuesday to $594.49, according to CoinMarketCap. Its total market value has dropped by several billion over the past two days.

Analysts say that a “fractured” Bitcoin community has made Ethereum a more attractive bet this week. The ether token has shown remarkable poise over the past seven days, despite trading well shy of a new record.

Other drivers behind Ethereum’s advance are steady demand from South Korean investors and growing confidence in a smooth upgrade for the the ETH network. The upgrade, which has been dubbed “Metropolis,” is expected in the next several weeks. Its key benefits include tighter transaction privacy and greater efficiency.

Ethereum Prices Unaffected by ICO Heist

Fin-tech developer Enigma was on the receiving end of a cyber-heist on Monday after hackers took over the company’s website, mailing list and instant messaging platforms. The hack occurred three weeks before Enigma’s planned Initial Coin Offering (ICO) for September 11.

In addition to defacing the company’s website, the hackers pushed a special “pre-sale” ahead of the ICO. While many users realized it was a scam, 1,492 ether tokens – valued at $495,000 – were directed into the hackers’ cryptocurrency wallet by unsuspecting backers.

The irony in all this is that Engima is a cryptography company that prides itself on top-notch security protocols. The company issued a statement that its servers had not been compromised.

ETH/USD (Bitfinex)

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