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InfoSec News Nuggets 9/3/2019

Facebook is thinking about hiding like counts, too

Facebook might start testing whether it should begin hiding public-facing like counts. App researcher Jane Manchun Wong found code inside Facebook’s Android app that hides the exact amount of likes on a post from everyone but the original poster. Other users will just see a few reaction emoji and a note that it was liked by “[a friend] and others” instead of a specific number of other people. Facebook confirmed to TechCrunch that it’s considering a test that would hide like counts, but that the test hasn’t started running yet.

WordPress sites are being backdoored with rogue admin users

Lock up your WordPress – a recent malvertising campaign targeting vulnerable plugins is now trying to backdoor sites by creating rogue admin accounts. In July when web firewall company WordFence (aka Defiant) first noticed the campaign, it was attempting to hijack sites to push popup ads, tech support scams and malicious Android apps. Plugins targeted included vulnerable versions of Coming Soon Page & Maintenance Mode, which followed attacks in April and May on the Yellow Pencil Visual CSS Style Editor and Blog Designer.

iPhone Hackers Caught By Google Also Targeted Android And Microsoft Windows, Say Sources

The unprecedented attack on Apple iPhones revealed by Google this week was broader than first thought. Multiple sources with knowledge of the situation said that Google’s own Android operating system and Microsoft Windows PCs were also targeted in a campaign that sought to infect the computers and smartphones of the Uighur ethnic group in China. That community has long been targeted by the Chinese government, in particular in the Xinjiang region, where surveillance is pervasive.

Teletext Holidays data breach exposes 212,000 customer call recordings

British travel company Teletext Holidays has suffered a data breach in which some 212,000 customer call audio files were left unprotected on an online server for three years, exposing customer names, email addresses, home addresses, phone numbers and dates of birth. Verdict discovered the files – which have since been removed – on an unsecured Amazon Web Services server. In total, there were 532,000 files. Of those, 212,000 were audio files from Teletext customers calling its India-based call centre.

Hong Kong Protestors Using Mesh Messaging App China Can’t Block: Usage Up 3685%

How do you communicate when the government censors the internet? With a peer-to-peer mesh broadcasting network that doesn’t use the internet. That’s exactly what Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters are doing now, thanks to San Fransisco startup Bridgefy’s Bluetooth-based messaging app. The protesters can communicate with each other — and the public — using no persistent managed network.

NATO sharpens its cyber-lances, prepares for war games with virtual jousting tournament

Fresh from secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg’s repeated promises to hack back at cyber-attackers, NATO is now preparing to run a large-scale cyber exercise to test its infosec defences. NATO’s Exercise Cyber Coalition 19 is intended to bring together doers of all things digital from the alliance’s 27 member countries in order to test them against a realistic scenario where Russia a threat actor with state-level resources starts picking on a NATO country’s next-door neighbour.

Quantum computing market revenue to reach $9.1 billion annually by 2030

The global market for quantum computing is being driven largely by the desire to increase the capability of modeling and simulating complex data, improve the efficiency or optimization of systems or processes, and solve problems with more precision. A quantum system can process and analyze all data simultaneously and then return the best solution, along with thousands of close alternatives – all within microseconds, according to a new report from Tractica. The total enterprise quantum computing market revenue is forecast to reach $9.1 billion annually by 2030, up from $111.6 million in 2018.


Nepalese authorities managed to disrupt a complex hacking operation against some banking networks and ATMs in the country. According to experts in vulnerability testing, Zhu Lianang, a Chinese citizen who was caught trying to withdraw thousands of Nepalese rupees from an ATM using cloned debit cards, was arrested this weekend. The Nepalese authorities confiscated the arrested about 12.5 million Nepali rupees (about $170k USD), $10k USD in cash, plus a hundred cloned Visa cards, 17 legitimate cards, a laptop, six smartphones and a external storage device.

German bank loses €1.5 million in mysterious cashout of EMV cards

Criminals have stolen more than €1.5 million ($1.65 million) from a German bank by cloning customer debit cards and then cashing out user funds across Brazil, despite the original cards being protected by EMV (chip-and-PIN) technology. The thefts happened last week and involved the customers of German bank Oldenburgische Landesbank (OLB). The incident caught the eye of several cyber-security experts who noted the peculiarities of the thefts, which only involved Mastercard debit cards issued by OLB.

Feds Allege Adconion Employees Hijacked IP Addresses for Spamming

Federal prosecutors in California have filed criminal charges against four employees of Adconion Direct, an email advertising firm, alleging they unlawfully hijacked vast swaths of Internet addresses and used them in large-scale spam campaigns. KrebsOnSecurity has learned that the charges are likely just the opening salvo in a much larger, ongoing federal investigation into the company’s commercial email practices.


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