Excuse the messy hair… This phone call woke me up from my nap.

This could quite possibly be the most poorly-constructed scam attempt I’ve experienced.

**The number in question is (548) 742-3245.**

They called about 5 times in the past week regarding some “error message” that’s being sent to my computer. Mind you, they never addressed me by my name (nor would I have given them an authentic one). The video above explains the course of the second conversation I had with him (the first one he hung up because I told him to stop raising his voice at me).

**BEWARE OF THIS NUMBER. THEIR DIRECTIONS LEAD YOU TO RELEASE PERSONAL INFORMATION AND GRANT REMOTE ACCESS TO YOUR COMPUTER.**

If you’ve received calls from this number, please spread the word on this terrible attempt to convince a computer geek to give out all of his personal info.

First profiled nearly a year ago, Dyre malware infections are surging around the world, and particularly in Europe and North America. Only 4,000 Dyre infections occurred in the final quarter of 2014 while there were nearly 9,000 infections during the first quarter of 2015, Trend Micro wrote in a blog post. Thirty-nine percent of infections were attributed to European users, and North American users accounted for another 38 percent. Tom Kellermann, chief security officer at Trend Micro, noted in an interview with SCMagazine.com that the traditional cyber attack logic goes that hackers target the “low-hanging fruit.” The opposite is true in this case. “Basically the best hackers in Eastern Europe will try to break into the most solid banks in the world, or the European banks,” he said. “They’re all about if I can take down the top piece of fruit, I can take down the whole tree.”

In 1983, when I started the free software movement, malware was so rare that each case was shocking and scandalous. Now it’s normal.

To be sure, I am not talking about viruses. Malware is the name for a program designed to mistreat its users. Viruses typically are malicious, but software products and software preinstalled in products can also be malicious – and often are, when not free/libre.

In 1983, the software field had become dominated by proprietary (ie nonfree) programs, and users were forbidden to change or redistribute them. I developed the GNU operating system, which is often called Linux, to escape and end that injustice. But proprietary developers in the 1980s still had some ethical standards: they sincerely tried to make programs serve their users, even while denying users control over how they would be served.

How far things have sunk. Developers today shamelessly mistreat users; when caught, they claim that fine print in EULAs (end user licence agreements) makes it ethical. (That might, at most, make it lawful, which is different.) So many cases of proprietary malware have been reported, that we must consider any proprietary program suspect and dangerous. In the 21st century, proprietary software is computing for suckers.

What sorts of wrongs are found in malware? Some programs are designed to snoop on the user. Some are designed to shackle users, such as Digital Rights Management (DRM). Some have back doors for doing remote mischief. Some even impose censorship. Some developers explicitly sabotage their users.

What kinds of programs constitute malware? Operating systems, first of all. Windows snoops on users, shackles users and, on mobiles, censors apps; it also has a universal back door that allows Microsoft to remotely impose software changes. Microsoft sabotages Windows users by showing security holes to the NSA before fixing them.

Apple systems are malware too: MacOS snoops and shackles; iOS snoops, shackles, censors apps and has a back door. Even Android contains malware in a nonfree component: a back door for remote forcible installation or deinstallation of any app.

What about nonfree apps? Plenty of malware there. Even humble flashlight apps for phones were found to be reporting data to companies. A recent study found that QR code scanner apps also snoop.

Apps for streaming services tend to be the worst, since they are designed to shackle users against saving a copy of the data that they receive, as well as making users identify themselves so their viewing and listening habits can be tracked.

The Free Software Foundation reports on many more cases of proprietary malware.

Microsoft tightens privacy policy after admitting to reading journalist’s emails

Read more

What about other digital products? We know about the smart TV and the Barbie doll that transmit conversations remotely. Proprietary software in cars that stops those we used to call “car owners” from fixing “their” cars. If the car itself does not report everywhere you drive, an insurance company may charge you extra to go without a separate tracker. Meanwhile, some GPS navigators save up where you have gone in order to report back when connected to update the maps.

Amazon’s Kindle e-reader reports what page of what book is being read, plus all notes and underlining the user enters; it shackles the user against sharing or even freely giving away or lending the book, and has an Orwellian back door for erasing books.

Should you trust an internet of proprietary software things?
Don’t be an ass.

The companies that sell malware are skilled at spinning the malfunctionalities as services to the consumer but they could offer most of these services with freedom and anonymity if they wanted to.

It is fashionable to recognise the viciousness of today’s computing only to declare resistance unthinkable. Many claim that no one could resist gratification for mere freedom and privacy. But it’s not as hard as they say. We can resist:

Individually, by rejecting proprietary software and web services
that snoop or track.

Collectively, by organising to develop free/libre replacement systems and web services that don’t track who uses them.

Democratically, by legislation to criminalise various sorts of malware practices. This presupposes democracy, and democracy requires defeating treaties such as the TPP and TTIP that give companies the power to suppress democracy.

For exhaustive lists and reviews of FOSS (Free and Open-Source Software) Alternatives: osalt.com

We gotta start taking the plunge at some point.

Prevent Your Android Phone From Being Hacked


Prevent Your Android Phone From Being Hacked According to a new cyber security report, almost half of Android devices contain a vulnerability that enables hackers to obtain users’ download data and install malware on their devices. Namely, Palo Alto Networks recently discovered an attack dubbed “…(read more)

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So many cases of proprietary malware have been reported, that we must consider any proprietary program suspect and dangerous. In the 21st century, proprietary software is computing for suckers.

The National Security Agency and its closest allies planned to hijack data links to Google and Samsung app stores to infect smartphones with spyware, a top-secret document reveals.

The surveillance project was launched by a joint electronic eavesdropping unit called the Network Tradecraft Advancement Team, which includes spies from each of the countries in the “Five Eyes” alliance — the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia.

Descoberta nova vulnerabilidade de segurança em alguns computadores Mac

Descoberta nova vulnerabilidade de segurança em alguns computadores Mac

Uma notícia do site Cult of Mac dá conta da descoberta de uma vulnerabilidade zero-day em computadores da Apple que foram lançados antes do segundo semestre de 2014 e que pode permitir a injecção de malware. Um investigador, Pedro Vilaca, revelou através do seu blog que é possível interferir com a UEFI (unified extensible firmware interface) dos computadores Apple. O investigador descobriu que…

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Forget the NSA. FBI Warns of Latest Credit Card Scam

Forget the NSA. FBI Warns of Latest Credit Card Scam

New credit card scam reported by the FBI Think before you swipe that credit card. Do you know about this latest scam reported by the FBI? Bill Gertz reports in the Washington Free Beacon: A recent cyber attack against a restaurant chain’s credit card system prompted the FBI to issue a warning last week that criminal hackers are using new malicious software to steal personal financial data. An…

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Security experts discovered a new njRat campaign using old tactics, making use of compromised websites as a third layer, communication proxy.

A recent post published on http://blog.0x3a.com/ it was described a new njRat campaign using old tactics, making use of compromised websites as a third layer, communication proxy.

Using FakeAV tactics was in vogue some years ago, but it seems that not all of them disappeared, and the last post on http://blog.0x3a.com proves exactly that. The infection can arrive from almost any “corner” of the web, like SPAM emails, Chat messages, SMS, etc. etc., but in the case of this post, it wasn’t given any news about the received method.

You can check the full post by checking the blog here:http://blog.0x3a.com/post/120423677154/unusual-njrat-campaign-originating-from-saudi

About the Author Elsio Pinto Elsio Pinto @high54security ) is at the moment the Lead Mcafee Security Engineer at Swiss Re, but he also as knowledge in the areas of malware research, forensics, ethical hacking. He had previous experiences in major institutions being the European Parliament one of them. He is a security enthusiast and tries his best to pass his knowledge. He also owns his own blog

http://high54security.blogspot.com/

Edited by Pierluigi Paganini

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How to protect your Mac from the 'Dark Jedi' firmware hack

How to protect your Mac from the ‘Dark Jedi’ firmware hack

A new exploit dubbed ‘Dark Jedi’ exists for MacBook systems created before mid-2014, where a hacker can issue a malicious program to overtake the system’s firmware by simply having the system be put in sleep mode. Upon waking from sleep, the firmware on these older Macs is unlocked, which leaves them open to access and modification from applications running in OS X. This contrasts with the recent…

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