Week in review: Malicious QR codes, Tor-powered botnet, and Mac users hit with SMS fraud

Here’s an overview of some of last week’s most interesting news, videos and articles:

Motives behind IT budget spend and 2013 cloud trends
A global survey of 550 CIOs, IT Directors, and senior IT managers has confirmed motives behind their IT budget spend in 2012, while revealing the rate of cloud adoption in 2013.

Team GhostShell leaks 1.6M account details
Hacker collective Team GhostShell, which has recently specialized in massive data leaks, has done it again and made public 1.6 million account details allegedly stolen from over 30 websites.

Proprietary platforms to cause complexity in 2013
Citrix predicts that the rise of consumerisation and the Bring-Your-Own (BYO) phenomenon will force IT departments to focus on the challenge of apps and data governance.

Hackers encrypt medical centre’s patient data, ask for ransom
Russian hackers have apparently managed to break into a server where an Australian medical centre keeps its patients’ records, encrypt the data, and are now asking for 4,000 Australian dollars in order to decrypt it and make it available for use again.

Multipurpose Necurs Trojan infects over 83,000 computers
The polivalent Necurs malware family has been wreaking havoc in November by infecting over 83,000 unique computers – and that are only the ones detected by Microsoft’s solutions!

200,000 new malicious programs detected every day
Kaspersky Lab released its annual Kaspersky Security Bulletin, which provides the overall malware and cyber-threat statistics for 2012. The report revealed significant growth of Mac-specific malware and an explosive growth in the number of threats targeting the Android platform.

Video: Smart TV 0-day vulnerability
This video by ReVuln demonstrates a 0-day vulnerability in Smart TV, in this case a Samsung TV LED 3D.

Malicious QR codes pop up on traffic-heavy locations
QR codes are very handy for directing users to specific sites by simply scanning them with their smartphones. But the ease with which this technology works has made it also a favorite of malware peddlers and online crooks.

Bogus hotel websites set up to push a variety of scams
As the end-of-the-year holidays slowly approach, cyber crooks are ramping up their various scammy campaigns. Among these is a relatively new but rather complex combination of scams dubbed “hotel fraud”, which targets a variety of Internet users.

New Reveton ransomware variant speaks to victims
Trend Micro researchers have recently spotted a variant of the Reveton ransomware that not only shows a message claiming that the affected computer has been blocked because of law violations, but also plays a message urging users to pay up in order to get it unblocked.

Cyberwarfare and the developing digital arms race
According to security expert Mikko Hypp?¶nen, we might not be in a cyber war but we are in a cyber arms race, and the governments involved are the James Bond of the cyberhacking world — seemingly unstoppable.

Not all security devices are created equal
Independent test lab Broadband-Testing released a report on its performance validation of IT network firewall solutions from Cisco Systems, NetPilot, SonicWall and WatchGuard.

Facebook helps Feds take down international cybercrime ring
The Department of Justice and the FBI announced the arrests of 10 individuals from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, New Zealand, Peru, the United Kingdom, and the United States and the execution of numerous search warrants and interviews.

Facebook changes privacy policies, scraps user voting
The voting period for the proposed changes to Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities and Data Use Policy has ended on Monday, and despite the email sent out to the users asking them to review the changes and cast their vote, less than one percent of all users have done so.

Custom-made malware is infecting POS terminals
A new type of malware aimed at Point-of-Sale (POS) systems has been spotted on machines belonging to big-name retailers, hotels, restaurants, and parking providers located mostly in Northern America and Western Europe.

Exploit tool hitting Joomla and WordPress sites
Joomla and WordPress sites’ administrators should consider updating to the latest version of their respective content management system as soon as possible since, according to reports, malware peddlers are bent on compromising them with “some tool that’s basically firing a bunch of Joomla and WordPress exploits at a given server and hoping something hits.”

Researchers uncover Tor-powered Skynet botnet
Rapid7 researchers have recently unearthed an unusual piece of malware that turned out to be crucial to the formation of an elusive botnet – dubbed Skynet by the researchers – whose existence has been documented in a very popular Reddit “I Am A” thread.

IT security implications of key technology trends for 2013
Turnkey’s research outlined current technology trends and how they were viewed from a security perspective.

5 cloud myths that will be debunked in 2013
There are a lot of common misconceptions and myths related to cloud computing. Many think of the cloud as less secure and reliable than on premise solutions, when in reality the opposite is actually true. There is also a lot of talk that leads many in the industry to believe that all cloud services are the same. It’s time to start fresh in the new year, and that means busting some of the most common myths about the cloud.

ExploitHub confirms breach
ExploitHub.com, the well-known online marketplace where one can buy exploit code for disclosed vulnerabilities, has confirmed that its web application server was compromised, but that no confidential or sensitive data was stolen during the attack.

Mac users hit with fake installer and SMS fraud
Malicious installers of the Trojan.SMSSend malware family have, until now, targeted Windows users, but researchers from Russian security company Doctor Web have now unearthed a new variant aimed specifically at Mac users.

Company’s industrial heating system hacked via backdoor
An FBI memo circulated internally and shared with New Jersey law enforcement this last summer has recently been published and tells of a compromise of the industrial control system of a New Jersey air conditioning company via a publicly documented backdoor.

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