Archive for May 29, 2014

"Using TrueCrypt is not secure" , End of TrueCrypt Development

Today, security enthusiasts woke up with a shocking news that TrueCrypt has ended its development and warns users that the tool used for encrypting drive is not safe to use.

Users who try to access the official TrueCrypt website are being redirected to the official sourceforge page of Truecrypt(truecrypt.sourceforge.net/).  The page displays the following message:

"WARNING: Using TrueCrypt is not secure as it may contain unfixed security issues"

The message continued "The development of TrueCrypt was ended in 5/2014 after Microsoft terminated support of Windows XP. Windows 8/7/Vista and later offer integrated support for encrypted disks and virtual disk images. Such integrated support is also available on other platforms (click here for more information)."

The page suggests users to migrate any data encrypted by TrueCrypt to encrypted disks supported on their platform.  It also has provided steps for migrating to an encrypted BitLocker drive.

Many, including me, are not able to believe our own eyes.  It is uncertain whether it is official announcement from the development team or some one has hacked the Truecrypt website.

Matthew Green, who teaches cryptography at Johns Hopkins, researcher involved with the TrueCrypt audit, tweeted that he thinks the news is legitimate.

A new binary (Truecrypt v7.2) has been uploaded to sourceforge page in the last 24 hours.  Upon opening this binary, the following error message is being displayed:


The binary is not allowing users to "create new volume".  It only allows you to mount the volumes.  Users are advised not to download this latest version, as it may contain malicious code.

Spotify suffers Data Breach, You should upgrade the android app

Music Streaming Service Spotify is the latest high-profile company to report a Data breach.  Spotify has announced on its blog that it had been hacked.

According to the blog post, the breach affected only one user.  The affect user has been notified about the incident.  The company says the breach did not involve any password, financial or payment information.

"Based on our findings, we are not aware of any increased risk to users as a result of this incident." Oskar Stål, Chief Technology Officer at Spotify said in the blog post.

As an additional security measure, the company also recommends android users to upgrade their spotify application.  iOS and Windows Phone users do not need to take any actions.

"We apologise for any inconvenience this causes, but hope you understand that this is a necessary precaution to safeguard the quality of our service and protect our users." the blog post reads.

Official websites of Taj Mahal and Agra Fort hacked by Pakistani hackers


The Pakistani hackers continue to target Indian Government and other websites.  'Pakistan Haxors Crew' is to be one of the most active groups that targeting Indian websites.

Today, the hacker known as 'H4$N4!N H4XOR' from the group hacked into one of the popular Indian Government websites ; The main page of Taj Mahal website(www.tajmahal.gov.in) is now displaying the Pakistan's flag.

The message posted on the defaced page reads follows:
"Whatever you fail to detect, will cause your downfall..Pakistan Haxors Crew is here to remind you of your Security.. Our fight is not against any individual but the system as whole"

It is not the only website defaced in the recent attack. The group also changed the contents of other popular government websites including Agra Fort official site(agrafort.gov.in) and Fatehpur Sikri site.

While other sites are modified to display the hacker's content in the front page of the site, hackers have placed their defacement page in Fatehpur Sikrisite at "http://fatehpursikri.gov.in/r00t.html"  

At the time of writing, all of the affected websites still display the contents modified by the hackers. 

New Zealand Super Computer FitzRoy Hacked


FitzRoy, one of the fastest supercomputer weighing 18 tonnes, equivalent to 7000 laptops working simultaneously, supplying information on future severe weather, as well as greater world issues such as climate change, has been targeted by a computer hacker assumed to hail from China.

FitzRoy is owned by Niwa and is housed in a specially constructed room at the National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research base at Greta Point, Wellington.

John Morgan chief executive of Niwa confirmed the news on May 23rd that supercomputer's security has been compromised by "an unauthorized person" overnight on Thursday.

He further said- "We immediately isolated the supercomputer, and switched functionality to back-up facilities in Hamilton"

"We are . . . confident the intruder did not get beyond the supercomputer."

FitzRoy provides a Capability Class supercomputer for use by New Zealand scientists working at the forefront of some of the largest scientific challenges faced by the nation. It is the fastest machine of it's kind in the southern hemisphere and comfortably in the world's top 500 supercomputers. It has a peak speed of 34 Tflops which a low latency, high bandwidth interconnect allowing the machine to act as a unified tool to solve the largest scientific problems.

Though it has been confirmed that the attacking IP address is from China still it cannot be confirmed that the attack originated from China, Prime Minister John Key said.“I would be very wary of attributing it to any country,” he says.

Meanwhile Niwa assures that the attack was in vain and FitzRoy has resumed its work normally."After taking a number of mitigation steps, the supercomputer was back online on Saturday evening with all normal services resumed," Niwa says.

Furthermore security expert Dr Paul Buchanan — a former policy analyst for the US Secretary of Defense advising the Pentagon — told NBR the attack followed the Chinese pattern of cyber trawling.He suggests the attack was to look for a back door or weak link, if Fitzroy is connected to other government computers.

But Daniel Ayers, a one-time Ernst & Young computer forensic expert and fraud investigator now private company Special Tactics, has different interpretation.He says-the attack could be used to mount a brute force attack on encryption of the supercomputer."The culprit in this case might have been seeking to establish a ‘botnet’ of super computers to solve a particularly difficult problem — possibly cryptographic. Or they might have suspected that the machine had covert classified uses, and it may do.”-he adds.

On the way we can now be sure that the day is not far when the security of super computer can be interrogated heavily.

Hackers lock iPhones remotely and demanding $100 to unlock it


In recent hours, a number of users from Australia had a nightmare as cyber criminals locked their devices and demanding payment of a ransom.

The locked devices show the following message "Device Hacked by Oleg Pliss" and instructs victims to send $100 dollars to lock404@hotmail.com to unlock their devices.

The cyber attack came to light, after one user from Melbourne shared his experience in Apple support forum and asked help to fix the problem.  Following his post, several users have reported of being affected by this attack.

It appears hackers used stolen Apple IDs and passwords to access iCloud account that allowed them to lock victim's devices and display a message.

What you should do? Don't pay the Ransom !
Affected users are advised to contact Apple directly to regain access to their account.  

Once you have access to your account, change the password immediately and enable two step authentication feature for your account.