Windows 8 a ‘threat’ to China’s security
Microsoft’s Windows 8 has been branded a threat to China’s cybersecurity in a state-backed news report.
China’s CCTV broadcast a strongly critical story in which experts suggested it was being used to grab data about Chinese citizens.
The report comes only days after China banned the use of Windows 8 on many government computers.
Separately, other Chinese media firms called for tech firms that aided US spying to face “severe punishment”.
In the story Prof Yang Min of Fudan University , that Windows 8 posed a “big challenge” to the nation’s cybersecurity efforts,
“Microsoft would no longer open its Windows 8 source code to the Chinese government,” he said. “However the security scheme of the Windows 8 operating system is designed to provide better access for Microsoft to users’ database.”
The report also suggested that Windows 8 was one of the methods the NSA was using to spirit data out of the country. China has been a consistent critic of the wide-ranging surveillance programme carried out by the NSA.
“Your identity, account, contact book, phone numbers, all this data can be put together for big data analysis,” said Ni Guangnan, a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering.
“The data might be a good way for the US to monitor other countries,” he added.
In late May, China issued a notice which stopped Windows 8 machines being procured for government departments. The ban was apparently imposed because of a decree about energy-saving devices. However, many media reports said it was brought in because of fears over the security of the operating system.
Microsoft told CCTV that it was “actively co-operating” with the Chinese government on a review of its products to allay fears about what was being done with user data.
Many US tech companies were also criticised in the Chinese media for the help they have given to the NSA surveillance programme.
Yahoo, Cisco, Facebook, Apple, Google and others were described as “pawns” of the US government that had aided attempts to spy on Chinese citizens and steal secrets. All should be punished for their co-operation, said editorials in state-backed media.
Pax8 and NewCloud Networks Announce New Partnership
Pax8, the best place to buy cloud solutions, today announced a new partnership with NewCloud Networks®, global provider of cloud computing services, to offer cloud storage and compute resources for Veeam® Cloud Connect Backup and Disaster Recovery.
“Pax8 is in the business of simplifying the cloud buying journey for MSPs, and this partnership with NewCloud enables our partners to seamlessly go to market with Veeam-powered backup and disaster recovery cloud solutions,” said Ryan Walsh, Chief Channel Officer at Pax8. “Together, our certified cloud experts will help partners with their cloud deployments in a cost-effective and secure way. This partnership will also save our partner community time because it eliminates the need to report monthly Veeam usage.”
NewCloud Networks is a Platinum level Veeam Cloud and Service Provider (VCSP) with data centers in nine locations across the USA. Pax8 partners can now offer their end users a cloud repository without the hassle of deploying and managing their own data centers, while seamlessly integrating NewCloud Networks’ cloud infrastructure as a backup and disaster recovery target.
Veeam Cloud Connect is a fully integrated feature of Veeam Availability Suite v10. The solution enables MSPs to offer any Veeam customer a modern approach to data protection and business continuity. NewCloud removes the complexity and offers the support MSPs need to sell and install Veeam-powered backup and disaster recovery solutions for their clients.
“We are excited to become a Pax8 vendor partner and to offer our best in breed cloud solutions, powered by Veeam Cloud Connect, to Pax8’s partner ecosystem,” said Sam V. Kumar, NewCloud Networks’ Founder & CEO. “NewCloud’s nationwide ultra-low latency network with data centers in nine locations makes it easy for partners to leverage and scale existing cloud infrastructure, rather than deploy their own. With the help of Pax8, we will expand our MSP network and enable more partners take advantage of monthly recurring revenue through cloud solutions.”
Partner benefits of the Pax8 and NewCloud partnership include:
- Unlimited storage for backup as a service for Workstations and Microsoft 365 backup
- Simplifies the Veeam licensing and eliminates the need for partners to report monthly Veeam usage or commit
- Support for both Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware vSphere virtual environments
- SLA backed Disaster Recovery to help partners meet their end client RPO and RTO needs
- Fully integrated to the Veeam Availability console for simplified management
- Offers simplified management of backup environment
- SOC 2 and HIPAA compliant
- No ingress or egress bandwidth fees
- 24/7 support
Security specialists discovered Over a dozen iPhone apps linked to Golduck malware
Security specialists state they’ve discovered more than a dozen iPhone apps covertly communicating with a server associated with Golduck, a historically Android-focused malware that infects popular classic game apps, according to a report by Techcrunch.
The malware, which was first discovered by Appthority over a year, for infecting classic and retro games on Google Play, by embedding backdoor code that allowed malicious payloads to be silently pushed to the device. At the time, more than 10 million users were affected by the malware, allowing hackers to run malicious commands at the highest privileges, like sending premium SMS messages from a victim’s phone to make money.
Now, the researchers say iPhone apps linked to the malware could also present a risk.
Wandera, an enterprise security firm, said it found 14 apps — all retro-style games — that were communicating with the same command and control server used by the Golduck malware.
“The [Golduck] domain was on a watchlist we established due to its use in distributing a specific strain of Android malware in the past,” said Michael Covington, Wandera’s vice-president of product. “When we started seeing communication between iOS devices and the known malware domain, we investigated further.”
The affected apps include: Commando Metal: Classic Contra, Super Pentron Adventure: Super Hard, Classic Tank vs Super Bomber, Super Adventure of Maritron, Roy Adventure Troll Game, Trap Dungeons: Super Adventure, Bounce Classic Legend, Block Game, Classic Bomber: Super Legend, Brain It On: Stickman Physics, Bomber Game: Classic Bomberman, Classic Brick – Retro Block, The Climber Brick, and Chicken Shoot Galaxy Invaders.
It was further discovered that the command and control server simply pushes a list of icons in a pocket of ad space in the upper-right corner of the app, When the user opens the game, the server tells the app which icons and links it should serve to the user, according to the enterprise security firm research(Wandera). They did, however, see the apps sending IP address data — and, in some cases, location data — back to the Golduck command and control server.
However, TechCrunch verified their claims, running the apps on a clean iPhone through a proxy, allowing us to see where the data goes. Based on what we saw, the app tells the malicious Golduck server what app, version, device type, and the IP address of the device — including how many ads were displayed on the phone.
As of now, the researchers say that the apps are packed with ads — likely as a way to make a quick buck. But they expressed concern that the communication between the app and the known-to-be-malicious server could open up the app — and the device — to malicious commands down the line.
“The apps themselves are technically not compromised; while they do not contain any malicious code, the backdoor they open presents a risk for exposure that our customers do not want to take.
“A hacker could easily use the secondary advertisement space to display a link that redirects the user and dupes them into installing a provisioning profile or a new certificate that ultimately allows for a more malicious app to be installed,” said the researchers.
One of the iPhone apps, “Classic Bomber,” which was spotted communicating with a malicious command and control server. It’s since been pulled from the U.S. store. (Screenshot: TechCrunch)
That could be said for any game or app, regardless of device maker or software. But the connection to a known malicious server isn’t a good look. Covington said that the company has “observed malicious content being shared from the server,” but that it wasn’t related to the games.
The implication is that if the server is sending malicious payloads to Android users, iPhone users could be next.
TechCrunch sent the list of apps to data insights firm Sensor Tower, which estimated that the 14 apps had been installed close to one million times since they were released — excluding repeated downloads or install across different devices.
When we tried contacting the app makers, many of the App Store links pointed to dead links or to pages with boilerplate privacy policies but no contact information. The registrant on the Golduck domain appears to be fake, along with other domains associated with Golduck, which often have different names and email addresses.
Apple did not comment when reached prior to publication. The apps are appear to still be downloadable from the App Store, but all now say they are “not currently available in the U.S. store.”
Apple’s app stores may have a better rap than Google’s, which every once in a while lets malicious apps slip through the net. In reality, neither store is perfect. Earlier this year, security researchers found a top-tier app in the Mac App Store that was collecting users’ browsing history without permission, and dozens of iPhone apps that were sending user location data to advertisers without explicitly asking first.
For the average user, malicious apps remain the largest and most common threat to mobile users — even with locked down device software and the extensive vetting of apps.
If there’s one lesson, now and always: don’t download what you don’t need, or can’t trust.
Verifying the Authenticity of Websites That Ask for Sign-Up
“Look Up Service” Provides Information on Official Ownership of Domains
WhoisLogin.com is pleased to announce their “Whois” Lookup Service for verifying the domain details of a particular website or company. Almost every website or online portal or an ecommerce site requires the users to register with their site. These sites ask a lot of personal information of the users which includes their personal details, bank details, etc. These details are highly vulnerable to phishing, malicious emails and fraud. Many people are extra cautious before giving away any personal information. This is an absolutely good approach. One of the best ways to verify the authenticity of a website is to check their domain. The “Whois Lookup” feature by whoislogin.comoffers this service for users who want to know everything about the website.
Many websites have privately owned domains. This feature helps users look into details such as name under which the domain is registered, contact details, addresses, email addresses and so on about that particular domain. For businesses and ecommerce sites, one can find the business name as well, along with administrator details, expiry date of domain, etc. Public domains on the other hand are very easy to verify. Users can simply see if they have followed the right registration process for registering or not. One of the most important advantages is that people can identify those parties who are using private information for abusing or using the information illegally to spam the users as well as the domain owners.
There is another catch here. People use login pages to either signup or sign-in. However, they are not aware that all those pages are not hosted by a similar or same domain. The lookup service for domain names will help users search for all available results on the domain name registration of that particular owner. Users can verify the login page ownership. They can match them with the actual service provider. This will help them keep their login credentials from being abused or exposed to other parties or spoofed websites. In simple terms “whois lookup” feature allows people to search the whois lookup database so as to find out the official ownership of any signup or sign-in page online.
To know more visit http://whoislogin.com/.