News & Updates

2010 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Sportwagen photographed in Washington, DC, USA. (credit: IFCAR)

This story originally ran October 8, 2015, just a few weeks after it was discovered that new diesel Volkswagens and Audis ran undisclosed software that allowed the cars to cheat on their US federal emissions tests. This week was the two-year anniversary of the explosive news, and we’re resurfacing this story to take another look at the history of automakers gaming regulations. Since this story ran in 2015, Volkswagen agreed to a multi-billion dollar settlement with 2.0L diesel vehicle customers in 2016, and in 2017, researchers were able to get a more detailed look at the code that made the diesels’ driving so dirty.

In mid-September, the US Environmental Protection Agency dropped a bomb on Volkswagen Group, the German company that owns Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, Lamborghini, and other notable car brands. The EPA sent the umbrella company a Notice of Violation, explaining that it discovered “defeat devices” on Volkswagen and Audi diesel passenger cars from 2009 and later.

The defeat devices—actually less a “device” than code on the cars’ electronic control module that detects whether a car is in a lab or on the road—were preventing the cars’ emissions control systems from working properly while the car was operating under normal driving conditions, likely boosting the car’s performance or fuel efficiency rating or both. The EPA said that nearly 500,000 of these diesel cars were caught spewing emissions well in excess of the federal rules, sending the company’s stock into a tailspin.

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Source: http://feeds.arstechnica.com/arstechnica/index/

A VPN server basically acts like a proxy through which you can connect to the Internet. It enables you to send and receive data as if your device was directly connected to the private network. VPNs provide security, in addition to some network management benefits. Many VPNs that are available online either restrict data usage […]

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Looking for ways to restore/recover hard drive data on Mac devices? This post is all about that – the steps that you need to follow to restore and recover hard drive data. When your MacBook Pro, Air, and iMac were brand new, they were amazingly fast with good enough response times. But as days passed by, […]

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Android is an open source operating system with a huge number of users using it on their smartphones. Rooting allows you access to your Android OS to the level where you can make immense changes to it and help you with an even more personalized look and feel of your device. While rooting isn’t for […]

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The Apple iPhone 7 comes with a redesigned home button. Now, it uses haptic feedback, which means a motor simulates the feeling of the button being clicked. The fully customizable Home button uses force sensors and Taptic Engine. The Taptic Engine API allow apps to add more. It feels different too as it doesn’t move […]

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Android devices come with significant storage space. iOS devices do too, but you have to pay a lot more than you would normally do for Android devices. And as you continue to use iOS devices, data tends to get accumulated in the form of cache, junks, temporary files, corrupted files and other stuff. Those hidden […]

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Enlarge / A supporter holds a campaign sign for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump with ‘Pepe the Frog’ drawn on it during a rally in Minneapolis in November 2016. (credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

What can you do when your favorite frog gets away from you?

When Matt Furie drew Pepe the Frog for a short-lived magazine in 2005, he had no way of knowing the character would become a mascot for the so-called “alt-right,” a loose coalition of far-right groups that veer toward white nationalism.

But during the 2016 election cycle, that’s exactly what happened—and that’s what Furie is now trying to undo. Furie has undertaken a campaign to restore Pepe’s image as the gentle, stoner frog he intended, rather than a symbol of hate. He has hired a lawyer to send cease-and-desist letters over uses of Pepe that he didn’t authorize. So far, targets include T-shirts being sold on Amazon and elsewhere, a book by an alt-right blogger “Baked Alaska” called Meme Magic: Secrets Revealed, a video game called Build the Wall, and a video by another alt-right blogger, Mike Cernovich.

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Source: http://feeds.arstechnica.com/arstechnica/index/

Enlarge / This photo, taken on May 31, 2015 near a mine between Lubumbashi and Kolwezi, shows a man carrying a bag of minerals as people separate cobalt from sand and rock in a lake. AFP PHOTO / FEDERICO SCOPPA (credit: Getty Images)

Volkswagen is looking for serious, long-term contracts with cobalt producers, according to a Reuters report on Friday. Cobalt is a common component in lithium-ion rechargeable batteries, and it’s projected to command more and more demand as electric vehicles are adopted in greater numbers. Currently cobalt is trading at about $26 per pound.

Securing reserves of the kinds of materials used in batteries will be key to Volkswagen’s future growth. After the so-called “dieselgate” scandal of 2015, Volkswagen Group pledged to pivot away from diesel to electric vehicles (EVs). The German automaker has said it wants to produce up to 3 million electric vehicles by 2025 and offer 80 electric vehicle models across all 12 brands by 2030. If VW Group succeeds, it would be a considerable feat given that so far there are only about 2 million EVs of any brand on the road worldwide.

As more automakers move to develop EVs, the minerals used to make car batteries will become more and more important. In 2015, Tesla secured two contracts with mining companies Bacanora Minerals and Rare Earth Minerals, as well as Pure Energy Minerals, to explore lithium deposits in northern Nevada and Mexico. Cobalt is often used as a component in electric powertrain batteries because cobalt-based lithium batteries tend to have high energy density (although other materials like nickel and manganese can be used in lithium-ion batteries as well, depending on the battery application).

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Researchers at PhishMe found the names of Game of Thrones show characters and other references into the script used to spread the Locky ransomware.

The fantasy drama television series Game of Thrones has an amazing number of fans, including the authors of the Locky ransomware.

The discovery was made by researchers at security firm PhishMe that found the names of show characters and other references into the source code of the Visual Basic script used by the crooks.

The Visual Basic script is included in the ZIP or RAR archive attached to email spam used in the ransomware campaign. When the victims open the archive and run the VB script contained within, it would download and install the Locky ransomware.

“Lightweight script applications designed to deliver malware often use rotating or pseudorandom variable names to ensure that the malware delivery tools look unique. In this case, many of the variables (some misspelled) referred to characters and events from the globally-popular television fantasy epic Game of Thrones.states Phishme.

Experts discovered in the VB script reference to the TV show such as “Aria,” “SansaStark,” “RobertBaration,” “JohnSnow,” or “HoldTheDoor” .

Locky ransomware Game of thrones

Locky ransomware Game of thrones

According to BleepingComputer, the term “Throne” was used 70 times inside the script.

“The runtime for this script is indifferent to the variable names. The variable names could be anything, including completely random combinations of letters and numbers. However, the criminals responsible for this attack chose a distinctive theme for their variables, thereby revealing their interest in this pop culture phenomenon.” continues PhishMe.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – Locky ransomware, Game of Thrones)

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The post Authors of Locky Ransomware are big fans Game of Thrones series appeared first on Security Affairs.

Source: Security affairs

A new round of the weekly SecurityAffairs newsletter arrived!

The best news of the week with Security Affairs.

Once again thank you!

·      400,000 UK consumers at risk after the Equifax data breach
·      Chrome will label Resources delivered via FTP as Not Secure
·      MAGENTO 2.0.16 and 2.1.9 security update fixes critical flaw in the platform
·      Security Affairs newsletter Round 128 – News of the week
·      US Treasury announced sanctions against seven Iranian nationals and other entities
·      CCleaner supply chain compromised to distribute malware
·      CSE CybSec ZLAB Malware Analysis Report: NotPetya
·      Malware attacks leverage the Hangul Word Processor and PostScript to spread malware
·      The hacker KuroiSH defaced the official Google Brazil domain
·      Hackers exploit an undocumented Word feature for user fingerprinting
·      New Android Banking Trojan Red Alert 2.0 available for sale on crime forums
·      Researchers demonstrate how to steal Bitcoin by exploiting SS7 issues
·      Was Torrent Site The Pirate Bay Being Sneaky or Creative By Tricking Visitors Into Monero Mining
·      Wikileaks Spy File Russia – the surveillance apparatus implemented by firm Peter-Service
·      aIR-Jumper – A malware exfiltrates data via security cameras and infrared
·      Optionsbleed vulnerability can cause Apache servers to leak memory data
·      Viacom left the keys of its digital kingdom on a publicly exposed AWS S3 bucket
·      Experts spotted a login page flaw in Joomla that exposes admin credentials
·      FedEx announces $300m in lost business and response costs after NotPetya attack
·      H1 2017 – Twitter suspended a total of 935,897 accounts for the promotion of terrorism
·      Iranian cyber spies APT33 target aerospace and energy organizations
·      ISPs in at least two countries were involved in delivering surveillance FinFisher Spyware
·      CCleaner hackers targeted tech giants with a second-stage malware
·      Crooks using Linux.ProxyM IoT botnet to send spam messages
·      New Verizon data leak, the second one in a few months
·      SEC announces it was hacked, information may have been used for insider trading
·      CSE CybSec ZLAB Malware Analysis Report: Petya
·      Google released a Chrome 61 update that patches 2 High-Risk Flaws
·      Retefe banking Trojan leverages EternalBlue exploit to infect Swiss users
medianet_width=’300′; medianet_height= ‘250’; medianet_crid=’762221962′;

Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – Newsletter)

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Source: Security affairs