Archive for March 31, 2020

WhatsApp’s Latest Feature will Let Users Verify Forwarded Messages on Google


Owing to the lockdown due to the outbreak of the global pandemic Covid-19, people are once again resorting to their go-to messaging app – WhatsApp to spread misinformation in the name of information. Notably, WhatsApp has continued to be the most favorite platform for the circulation of fake news which also caused a number of untoward incidents in India.

It's mainly because of the rampant forwarding of messages created to promote individuals' or organizations' vested interests. While, public fear, unawareness, and lack of knowledge have a huge role to play in the equation of fake news and the consequences it had on the society, WhatsApp has constantly stood up to the issue and ensured to eliminate the flaws in its software.

The app has a massive reach across the globe with more than 2 billion active users and in an attempt to curb this circulation of misinformation, WhatsApp is reportedly working on a new feature that would allow users to verify the forwarded messages, helping them separate authenticated news from the fake ones.

As per sources, the tool will appear as a magnifying glass icon placed beside the forwarded messages on a user's WhatsApp, when the user will tap on the icon, a pop-up will appear asking him if he would like to search the message on the web, it will enable the user to directly upload the forwarded message on Google and verify the authenticity of the news.

“We are working on new features to help empower users to find out more information about the messages they receive that have been forwarded many times. This featuring is currently in testing, and we look forward to rolling it out in the near future.” WhatsApp told.

In a previous update, WhatsApp introduced a 'forwarded' label at the top of forwarded texts to make identification easier for the users.

The new feature by WhatsApp has already been sent out for testing and will be made available shortly for all the Android users and subsequently for the iOS users.

Security Experts say number of network nodes in the Russian Federation accessible via RDP


Positive Technologies experts said that the number of network nodes in the Russian Federation accessible via the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) for three weeks (since the end of February 2020) increased by 9% and reached over 112,000.

It is enough for hackers to send a special RDP request to vulnerable Remote Desktop Services (RDS) to attack. Authentication is not required. If successful, an attacker can install and delete programs on a compromised system, create accounts with the highest level of access, and read and edit confidential information. The vulnerabilities affect Windows 7, Windows Server 2008, and Windows Server 2008 R2 operating systems.

According to Alexey Novikov, director of Positive Technologies security expert center, attacks on the network perimeter of domestic companies have begun to grow. Hackers are trying to get access over servers and get into the local network. This boom is caused by the transfer of employees to remote work.

For a secure remote connection, employees need to use a special gateway. For RDP connections needs a RDG, for VPN requires a VPN Gateway. Experts do not recommend connecting directly to the workplace.

Experts warn that opening access to individual subnets to all VPN users at once significantly reduces the security of the organization and not only gives broad opportunities to an external attacker but also increases the risk of an insider attack. Therefore, IT professionals need to maintain network segmentation and allocate the required number of VPN pools.

Positive Technologies experts emphasize the threat of remote access channels to business-critical networks and systems, for example, production and energy technology networks, ATM management networks or card processing in banks.

In addition, Positive Technologies recommends paying attention to a critical vulnerability (CVE-2019-19781) in Citrix software that is used in corporate networks. The vulnerability in PHP 7 (CVE-2019-11043), which, according to Positive Technologies, was included in the list of the most dangerous by the end of 2019, should be eliminated.

6 Simple Tricks to Prevent your Smartphone from Hackers


If hackers trespass into your smartphones, they can send fake emails, fake alerts using your camera, and even control user activity. According to Denise DeRosa, founder of Cyber Sensible, if even a minute thing in your smartphone is not secured, it makes the device vulnerable to cyber attackers.

The basic problem is that your smartphones are connected to the central hub, where all the data is managed and regulated. If this is ever exposed, your complete digital information is at risk. Regrettably, your smartphone is not safe from all these potential threats, and it is frightening.


But there's no need to worry, follow these six simple steps to ensure the safety of your smartphone.


1. Create a secure password by using a set of random arrangements from different dictionaries. Hackers have always used algorithms to predict the patterns of your password. Experts recommend having at least a 12 character password with capital letters and unique characters. In this way, hackers can never predict your password.

2. Avoid using the same password for different platforms. 
The hacker can have access to all your accounts if you keep the same passwords. For instance, if you visit a malicious website and supply your login credentials, the hacker can steal it.

3. Update every smart device connected to your smartphone. 
It can be an android tv, Alexa, or other smart devices. Use a password manager to keep track of all your passwords. Password managers are helping to keep all your passwords in one place, especially if you have various accounts, which is hard to remember. 

4. Avoid giving privacy permissions to unnecessary apps. 
Every app asks for access permission to user data, gallery, mic, location, and camera. But they don't need all the agreements. 

5. Always use 2 step verification, wherever possible. 
It gives an additional layer of security as the user would then require both the passwords and verification through text, mail or smartphone. 

6. Inform people having access to your account to follow these security measures too. 
Google recommends to set up a family account where the user doesn't need to share his password with other members.

Hackers spy on Corporate networks via emails and FTP


Chinese security firm Qihoo 360 reported that since December 2019, a miscreants group has been hacking into DrayTek enterprise routers to record and spy on FTP ( File Transfer Protocol) and email traffic inside the corporate network.


Netlab the network security division of Qihoo published a report saying, they detected two different groups, each one exploiting a zero-day vulnerability in DrayTek Vigor-
  • Attack Group A - using load-balancing routers and 
  • Attack Group B - using VPN gateways. 

Qihoo did warn DrayTek about their zero-day vulnerability but the message was sent to the incorrect receiver and could not reach DrayTek. 

Although the company did learn about the zero-days but only after group B attacks in January and released the patches on February 10. The attacked models are discontinued routers, still, DrayTek released their patches as soon as they could. 

Qihoo reported the attacked models - DrayTek Vigor 2960, 3900, and 300B and said only 10,000 of these (active number) are running the vulnerable firmware version. 

 The Attack Groups

  • Attack Group A -
Amongst the two groups, Attack group A is quite ahead and advanced. 

It exploited a vulnerability in the RSA-encrypted login mechanism of DrayTek routers to insert malicious code in the username login fields through which the hackers could control the router. 

Now, the hackers could have used this access to launch DDos attacks or more but they used it as a spy device to record traffic coming over FTP and emails.

The recorded scripts were then uploaded to a remote server every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 00:00.Zdnet reports they recorded the data to access the login credentials of FTP and corporate email accounts. 

  •  Attack Group B -
Qihoo named the second group of hackers as "Attack Group B". The second group used a different zero-day vulnerability, first disclosed by Skull Army blog in a 26 Jan post. The bad actors read it from the blog and began exploiting it in mere two days.

Zdnet reports, "Per Qihoo, the hackers used this second zero-day to execute code on vulnerable DrayTek devices by exploiting a bug in the "rtick" process to create backdoor accounts on the hacked routers. What they did with those accounts remains unknown".

Check Point: 56 apps from the Google Play Store hide a new dangerous malware


Check Point experts have identified a new family of malware in the Google Play Store. It was installed in 56 Google Play Store apps that have been downloaded almost a million times by users worldwide. 24 apps among the damaged 56 are children's games, as well as utilities such as calculators, translators, cooking apps and others. As it is specified, applications emulate the behavior of a real user.

Tekya malware uses the MotionEvent mechanism in Android that simulates a click on an ad banner (first discovered in 2019) to simulate user actions and generate clicks.

Imitating the actions of a real person does not allow the program or a third-party observer to understand the presence of fraud. This helps hackers to attack online stores, make fraudulent ads, promote advertising, promote sites in search engine results, and also serve to carry out banking operations and other illegal actions.

During the research, Tekya went unnoticed by the VirusTotal and Google Play Protect programs.
Hackers created copies of official popular apps to attract an audience, mostly children since most apps with Tekya malware are children's games.

However, the good news is that all infected apps have already been removed from the Google Play.
This case shows that malicious app features can still be found in Google Play. Users have access to almost 3 million apps in the Google Play Store, and hundreds of new ones are downloaded daily, making it difficult to check the security of each individual app.

Although Google is taking steps to ensure security and prevent malicious activity on the Google Play Store, hackers are finding ways to access users' devices through the app store. So, in February, the Haken family of malware was installed on more than 50 thousand Android devices through various applications that initially seemed safe.