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Porn Site RedTube Transmits Digital STDs

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Malware Bytes has an article detailing the compromise of top tier ad-supported porn site, RedTube. RedTube is one of the most popular free porn sites on the internet, and indeed one of the more popular sites, in general, boasting 300 million visitors per month. That much traffic for any content will eventually attract hackers thirsty for botnets or cash.

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Hackers Had Full Access

pornPorn sites have been hacked before, as in the case xHamster, for the purpose of redirecting users to malware-laden sites via hacked advertisements. In those cases, the malware purveyors did not require direct access to the servers. The case with RedTube is a bit different since the redirection code was coded directly into the website, indicating that hackers gained administrative level access to the website. MalwareBytes, a company that protects Windows end users on the internet from malware “that anti-virus software can’t detect,” put it this way:

The existence of the iFrame in the main page source code is evidence enough to say that RedTube servers were likely hacked by malicious actors who had access to the main page source code, adding the malicious code and then setting it loose on RedTube users.

Many Users Don’t Report These Incidents

Porn users have long been a good target for malware providers and other virtual hucksters since many of them do not want to openly disclose the content they’re viewing. Many Windows users simply ignore malware until it makes their system unusable, and then they take it to Geek Squad or somebody to “fix,” which often enough involves a reinstallation of the operating system but not a realignment of the impulsive behavior that got them into trouble in the first place. To be fair, porn users aren’t any more at risk of getting malware than users of any other popular website. In fact, users of church websites are more vulnerable.

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Anti-Advertising Software is a Remedy

By its own account, AdBlock Plus and solutions like it are a good inoculation against malware delivered via advertising, dubbed “malvertising.” citing a third-party who said as much. Those who prefer quality content on the internet have long argued that the use of such software will inevitably lead to a culture of amateurs trying to entertain and inform each other for free, since professionals can no longer afford to work for web companies.

A good balance might be to find a way to blacklist only those ad networks known to have delivered malvertisements in the past. This would give the benefit of the doubt to others who, in the end, might serve up an advertisement worth your time now and then. It’s safe to say that if the attackers eventually ran out of targets due to AdBlock, they’d find another way. The thing about being secure online is that it is an active process; you have to pay attention, and you cannot rely on software like anti-virus or anti-malware or anti-advertisement. Lulling oneself into a pattern of reliance on these products will inevitably lead to catastrophe.

Malvertising On the Rise in 2015

Malvertisers have had some stunning success in recent times. In addition to RedTube, they malvertised on the even more popular porn website xHamster. But more surprisingly, they managed to compromise Yahoo and AOL for two months last year, netting as much as $25,000 per day in the process.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Infinite Wealth

    February 20, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    Malware on porn sites, who knew! If there is something available for free there is a certainty that it is either to gain access to your technology and daily habits, to gain access to your personal information, or open routes to promote or sell you products based on your digital footprint. It’s more common perhaps than people might think.

  2. Stephan Wrenn

    June 27, 2016 at 7:26 am

    That malvertising so irritating in my internet browser I can’t directly open some link to other site. They automatic open up.

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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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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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Ethereum Prices on Track for 35% Monthly Drop

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It has been a difficult month for ethereum. The world’s No. 2 digital currency has lost a third of its value over the past 30 days following a series of cyber breaches targeting vulnerable wallets and ICOs.

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Ethereum Struggles to Regain Momentum

Ethereum (ETH/USD) was trading near $197.00 Sunday at 6:30 BST, according to Bitfinex. That represents a decline of around 5%. At current values, ethereum’s market cap was $18.4 billion.

The ETH/USD exchange rate has struggled throughout July, with prices briefly falling below $160.00. The decline, which amounted to a 60-day low, lured bargain-hunters back into the market. After surging back toward $250.00, the ETH/USD has consolidated below the $220-mark, which continues to offer strong resistance. On the opposite side of the spectrum, major support is located at $180.00.

A price recovery may prove elusive in the short-term, with the Relative Strength Index (RSI) and Stochastic indicator signalling weak underlying momentum.

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Despite its recent decline, ethereum’s value has surged more than 2,200% this year.

Cyber Attacks, SEC Weigh on Market

The ethereum network suffered a large-scale cyber breach earlier this month resulting in the loss of tens of millions of dollars. A community of ethical hackers quickly banded together to “rescue” hundreds of millions of dollars worth of tokens.

Blockchain-based trading platform Coindash was also hijacked during an initial coin offering (ICO). The breach exposed Coindash’s ether wallet address, resulting in the loss of $7 million worth of ether.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has also taken an interest in the ethereum-based ICO market. Last week, the regulator concluded that a certain multi-million dollar token sale last year violated securities law. Although ICOs have been compared to crowd-sourcing, the SEC maintained that some tokens were in fact securities.

Analysts say the SEC ruling could impact the future of ICOs, although it remains unclear how the regulator is pursuing this market. The SEC’s July 25 press release cautions investors about ICOs in general.

ETH/USD (Bitfinex)


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