Connect with us

Cybersecurity

XcodeGhost Malware Threatens iOS users, FireEye Warns

Published

on

XcodeGhost malware remains a threat to iOS users, according to FireEye, the Milpitas, Calif.-based cyber security firm. In a Tuesday blog posting, FireEye noted that the threat remains despite the fact that Apple removed apps from the App Store and released more security features. The malware, despite Apple’s quick response, has been modified and the threat persists. iOS users learned of the threat just over a month ago.

// -- Discuss and ask questions in our community on Workplace.

FireEye found that XcodeGhost has entered U.S. enterprises and presents a security risk. The malware’s botnet remains partially active, and a variant called XcodeGhost S has gone undetected.

210 Enterprises Infected

FireEye monitored activity related to the malware for four weeks and found 210 enterprises have XcodeGhost-infected applications active in their networks. This generated over 28,000 attempts to connect to XcodeGhost command and control (CnC) servers. While not under attacker control, these servers remain vulnerable to hijacking.

Figure 1

Figure 1

// -- Become a yearly Platinum Member and save 69 USD and get access to our secret group on Workplace. Click here to change your current membership -- //

FireEye has identified the top five countries the malware attempted to callback in a 4-week period: Netherlands 2%, France 3%, Japan 0.09%, U.S. 33%, and Germany 62%. (See Fig. 1).

The 210 infected enterprises include a range of industries: education, 65%, high-tech, 13%, Other, 9%, manufacturing, 4%, telecom, 2%, e-commerce, 1%, CPG retail, 1%, and financial services, 1%.

Fig. 2: Affected industries.

Fig. 2: Affected industries.

XcodeGhost CnC traffic can be hijacked to distribute apps outside of App Stores, force browse to URL, promote any App Store app by directly launching the download page, and pop-up phishing windows.

Top 20 Infected Apps Identified

FireEye identified the top 20 infected apps out of 152 apps (See figure 3.)

Fig. 3: Infected apps.

Fig. 3: Infected apps.

While most vendors have updated their App Store apps, users are still using infected versions. Distribution of infected apps varies. WeChat version 6.2.5.19 has a 2963 incident count for three weeks. Music 163 has incident counts for the following versions: 3084 for version 2.8.2, 2664 for version 2.8.3, and 1227 for version 2.8.1.

iPhones that are infected run iOS versions 6.x.x. to 9.x.x. FireEye urges its customers to update to the latest iOS 9 as fast as possible, as close to 70% of the victims in its customer base are on older iOS versions.

Figure 5: Distribution of iOS versions running infected apps.

Figure 5: Distribution of iOS versions running infected apps.

Also read: Yispecter Malware Targets All IOS Devices: More Than 100 Apps Are Compromised

Employees Must Update Their Apps

Enterprises have attempted to block the malware’s DNS query within their networks to halt communication among employees’ iPhones and the attackers’ CnC servers. But until the employees update apps and devices, they remain vulnerable to XcodeGhost CnC traffic hijacking. The vulnerability is greater outside of the employees’ corporate networks.
FireEye has worked with Apple to remove XcodeGhost and XcodeGost S samples from the App Store.

The malware is planted in different Xcode versions, including Xcode 7 released for iOS 9 development. XcodeGhost S features have been added to bypass static detection and infect iOS 9.

Figure 6: iOS 9 adoption in XcodeGhost S.

Figure 6: iOS 9 adoption in XcodeGhost S.

Apple introduced the NSAppTransportSecurity approach for iOS 9 to enhance security for client-server connection. iOS9 only allows secure connections. Prior versions of the malware would not connect with the CnC server by using http. But Apple also permits developers to add exceptions in the app’s info plist to permit connection. The XcodeGhost S sample in one case reads the setting of NSAAllowsArbitraryLoads under the NSAppTransportSecurity entry in the info.plist and picks different CnC servers from this setting.

Figure 7: Construct the CnC domain character by character.

Figure 7: Construct the CnC domain character by character.

FireEye advises organizations to alert employees to the malware threat. Users should remove the apps that Apple has taken down and switch to other App Store apps.

Figure 8: An App Store app is infected with XcodeGhost S.

Figure 8: An App Store app is infected with XcodeGhost S.

FireEye provides visibility to customers of FireEye MTP management into the infected mobile devices in their deployment base. FireEye NX customers should review alert logs concerning the malware.

Images from Shutterstock and FireEye.

Important: Never invest money you can't afford to lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here.



Feedback or Requests?

Breaches

Uber Is Paying Hackers to Keep Quiet

Published

on

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.

// -- Discuss and ask questions in our community on Workplace.

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.

// -- Become a yearly Platinum Member and save 69 USD and get access to our secret group on Workplace. Click here to change your current membership -- //

“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. 

Important: Never invest money you can't afford to lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here.



Feedback or Requests?

Continue Reading

Cybersecurity

The Pirate Bay is Hijacking PCs to Stealth-Mine Cryptocurrency

Published

on

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.

// -- Discuss and ask questions in our community on Workplace.

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.

// -- Become a yearly Platinum Member and save 69 USD and get access to our secret group on Workplace. Click here to change your current membership -- //

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.

Important: Never invest money you can't afford to lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here.



Feedback or Requests?

Continue Reading

Breaches

Ethereum Notches Two-Month High as Bitcoin Offspring Triggers Volatility

Published

on

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.

// -- Discuss and ask questions in our community on Workplace.

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.

// -- Become a yearly Platinum Member and save 69 USD and get access to our secret group on Workplace. Click here to change your current membership -- //

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)

Important: Never invest money you can't afford to lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here.



Feedback or Requests?

Continue Reading

Trending