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    Author Archive - Leo Balante (Technical Communications)




    Sartorial decisions and technology are often considered two separate, distinct items. However, the surge of wearable “smart” devices has blurred the line between the two. Nowadays, it is common to see people accessorized in pieces of equipment that complement their day-to-day activities.

    Some might assume that wearable smart devices are complicated futuristic gadgets. However, they might be surprised to find that a lot of people now own one or two of these devices; smartwatches and fitness trackers are prime examples these..

    According to Senior Threat Researcher David Sancho, wearable devices can be classified under three categories, depending on how they deal with data.

    • “IN” devices – These capture user data via sensors. Fitness trackers are a good example. These capture the number of steps a user has undertaken, distance walked, calorie intake, heartbeat, GPS coordinates, etc. These devices usually store the information locally in the device and synchronize with mobile devices or computers.
    • “OUT” devices – These display data from other gadgets, often from mobile devices. Smartwatches are an example, with their capacity to display texts and other application data.
    •  “IN and OUT” devices – These capture data and use filters to display information in different manners. Display devices, such as Google Glass, are not only capable of capturing data, but they also feed the data to the user by means of retina projection. Simpler devices can also become “IN and OUT” devices by gathering user data (steps, distance, etc.) and by streaming it from their companion mobile phone.

    According to a study, 82% of wearable tech users believe that their quality of living significantly improved with the use of smart devices. And yet, wearable devices can also be a bane. Past examples show that the “smarter” a device has become, the greater the opportunities cybercriminals have on their hands.

    For example, if bad guys manage to compromise the hardware or network protocol of a wearable device, they would gain access to the data stored there and have control of the content being displayed by “OUT” devices. Attackers can also access the user accounts associated with the devices and can abuse the data gathered there.

    Wearables also bring in the issue of privacy and permission. For example, you might not think too much of your smart glasses recording your everyday commute, but the people you run into might find that feature too intrusive. (This scenario might be one of the reasons Google published a Glass etiquette guide that includes the rule, “Ask for permission.”)

    Just like any form of technology, wearables can bring about improvement and enjoyment. However, having wearables doesn’t just mean knowing how to use them; it also means knowing how to secure them. Users should know the ins and outs of their devices, considering most wearable devices are some form of “IN and OUT” devices. Learn more about wearable smart devices in our infographic, The Ins and Outs of Wearable Devices.

     
    Posted in Internet of Everything | Comments Off



    Cybercriminals are well-versed in preying upon anyone curious about world events.  Case in point: the upcoming 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. While the world is waiting for this, cybercriminals are not wasting time and are now launching new threats that turn global followers into victims.

    Search Results Leads to Malware, Adware

    We recently found a file named Jsc Sport Live + Brazil World Cup 2014 HD.rar., which contains the file Brazil World Cup Streaming 2014.exe. This .file is a backdoor identified as BKDR_BLADABIN.AB.

    This particular backdoor is a BLADABINDI variant which is believed to have been created with nJRAT, a known remote access tool. It executes commands from a remote malicious user, effectively compromising the affected system. It can also capture screenshots, which can be used to obtain sensitive information.

    Football gaming fans are also targeted. A World Cup-related search led to a supposed key generator for the game FIFA 14. However, the supposed key generator is actually adware identified as ADW_INSTALLREX.


    Figure 1. Site hosting the fake key generator

    Phishing Attacks Spotted

    World Cup threats are not limited to malware. Last year, we saw phishing emails that used a supposed “FIFA World Cup 2014 Promotional Draw” to convince users to share personal information.

    Recently, we saw a website that tricks users into providing information, including their credit card credentials. As of this writing, the page has been taken down.


    Figure 2. Phishing page

    The Need for Constant Vigilance

    Constant vigilance remains as the biggest shield one can use as defense to such social engineering schemes. From timely spammed messages to suspicious social media posts, cybercriminals know how to bait you into becoming a victim. . Think and verify before you click on the next link that appears on your mail.

    For more tips against social engineering schemes, you may read our Digital Life e-Guide “How Social Engineering Works.”

    The Race to Security hub contains aggregated TrendLabs content on security stories related to major sporting events. We’ll soon be featuring the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

    With additional analysis from Abigail Villarin, Antonio Pangilinan II, Karla Agregado and Rika Gregorio

     
    Posted in Bad Sites, Malware, Spam | Comments Off



    With less than a week to go, Valentine’s Day is definitely around the corner. It has been proven that the holidays are a goldmine for cybercriminals, and there are many activities and threats online that could spoil one of the most anticipated seasons of lovers. This, after all, isn’t just time for chocolates and roses.

    As online shopping has become an easy go-to for most shoppers, there are a number of scams we’ve seen that users should be wary of. These messages persist all year, but become more common near special occasions.

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    Figure 1. Spam Message

    Take particular scam advertises a flower-delivery service. It appears to be a normal promotional e-mail, but the links actually lead to various survey scams.

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    Figure 2. Fake Pharmaceutical Sites

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    Figure 3. Watch Replica Email

    Other common threats during this period include spam messages with links to fake pharmaceutical sites and watch replica sites.

    Malware threats also arrive during this season. We recently found a new attack targeting Canadian users looking for a romantic dinner getaway. The email appears to be about a special Valentine dinner, and has an attachment.

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    Figure 4. Dinner “menu”

    The attachment is actually a malicious .RTF file (detected as TROJ_ARTIEF.VDY) , which opens the decoy dinner menu but also uses a vulnerability (CVE-2012-0158) to drop a backdoor onto the affected system. We detect this backdoor as BKDR_INJECT.VDY.

    Seasonal offers and deals are commonplace, but users should be able to spot what’s malicious and what is not. They should not throw caution to the wind by opening emails and clicking links from unknown sources. The biggest bargains aren’t always the biggest steal. If an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

    The Trend Micro™ Smart Protection Network™ protects users from this threat by blocking the spam mails, as well as related URLs and malware.

     
    Posted in Malware, Spam | Comments Off


     

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