From malware to cyber-spies, the 15 biggest threats online, ranked | ZDNet

Europe’s computer security agency has set out a list of the top threats in the online world, warning that hacking for profit is one of the biggest trends.

The hackers that never went away: Brace for more state-backed attacks, leaks and copycats this year

The hackers that never went away: Brace for more state-backed attacks, leaks and copycats this year

Attacks on the US presidential election might just be the beginning; expect more hacking and leaking this year across the globe.

“Undoubtedly, optimization of cyber-crime turnover was THE trend observed in 2016. And, as with many of the negative aspects in cyber-space, this trend is here to stay. The development and optimization of badware towards profit will remain the main parameter for attack methods, tools and tactics,” warned the report from the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA).

It said criminals had been using unsecured Internet of Things (IoT) devices to launch giant distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, and have launched extortion attacks against commercial organisations that have “achieved very high levels of ransom and high rates of paying victims”, and demonstrated the ability to affect the outcome of democratic processes like the US presidential elections.

Executive director of ENISA Udo Helmbrecht said: “As we speak, the cyber-threat landscape is receiving significant high-level attention: it is on the agenda of politicians in the biggest industrial countries. This is a direct consequence of ‘cyber’ becoming mainstream, in affecting people’s opinions and influencing the political environment of modern societies.”

Malware tops ENISA’s lists, with over 600 million samples identified per quarter, and mobile malware, ransomware, and information stealers the main areas of criminal malware innovation.

“Equally impressive was the fact that state-sponsored threat actors have launched malware that has had high efficiency by exploiting quite a few zero-day vulnerabilities,” the report said.

It noted that the average lifespan of malware hashes — the unique identification of a malware variant used by malware detection tools — has shrunk so much that a specific malware variant might exist for just one hour.

Source: From malware to cyber-spies, the 15 biggest threats online, ranked | ZDNet

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TV Manufacturer Vizio Spies On Customers Using Advanced Big Data Analytics

US TV manufacturer Vizio’s underhanded Big Data dealing may have just cost it $2.2 million but I think it is something we can unfortunately expect to see a lot more of.

The FTC this week announced that viewing data of individual households was monitored through a built-in spy device which used image recognition technology. Once every second, software in the Vizio TVs would read pixel data from a segment of the screen. This was sent home and compared against a database of film, television and advertising content to determine what was being watched.

The FTC has revealed that Vizio went further than this – matching data on what was being watched with IP addresses, and selling it, along with third party demographic data, to businesses and organizations with a need for audience measurement.

This week we heard that Vizio paid $2.2 million to settle the FTC complaint, agreed to stop collecting viewing data in this way, and to delete the data it had already collected from its servers. That might seem like a comparatively low figure, but this may be, as Vizio point out in their statement, because personally identifiable information wasn’t transmitted.

Source: Shocking: Smart TV Manufacturer Vizio Spies On Customers Using Advanced Big Data Analytics