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Researchers use ‘fingerprints’ tech to spot Russian hackers

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Researchers use ‘fingerprints’ tech to spot Russian hackers.

Hackers too leave their fingerprints as they attack enterprises and individuals and cyber security researchers have now developed a new technique to “fingerprint” them, spotting two prolific Russian-origin sellers of Windows exploits.

The team from cyber security firm Check Point, when analysing a complicated attack against one of their customers, noticed a very small 64-bit executable that was executed by the malware. The sample contained unusual debug strings that pointed at an attempt to exploit a vulnerability on the victim machine.

Even more importantly, the sample had a leftover programme database (PDB) path. “With the absence of any online resource with this implementation of CVE-2019-0859, we realised that we are not looking at a publicly available PoC, but rather a real-world exploitation tool. This intrigued us to dig deeper,” the researchers said in a blog post on Friday.

Generally, researchers tend to look at the people behind a specific malware family as one unbroken unit.

“It’s easier to envision that each and every component was written by a single person, team, or group. Truth is, writing advanced malware by nation-states or criminals involves different groups of people with various skills,” said Check Point.

A cyber-espionage organisation of a nation-state, is likely to have hundreds or even thousands of employees in different groups and branches. In such an organisation, the workload of writing the common components is broken down among specialised teams, with different ones responsible for the initial access, collecting sensitive data, lateral movement, and more.

The Check Point team looked specifically at the small 64-bit binary from the incident response case. “It made a great candidate for us to fingerprint, as the executable was refined from code written by someone other than the exploit author.

“Moreover, the executable was separated from the main binary of the malware, an infamous crimeware, which made us believe that this exploit wasn’t developed in-house by the malware developers,” the researchers explained.

With a careful analysis of the samples, the team was able to understand which samples exploited which CVE. “At this point, we had more than 10 CVEs that we were able to attribute to the same exploit developer, based on our fingerprinting technique alone and without further intelligence,” Check Point revealed.

Later on, public reports revealed the name of the target exploit seller: Volodya (aka Volodimir), previously known as BuggiCorp. “It seemed we were not the only ones to track this exploit seller, as Kaspersky reported some relevant information about them on several occasions”.

According to Kaspersky, Volodya first made headlines under their “BuggiCorp” nickname, when they advertised a Windows 0-day for sale with a starting price of $95,000.

Across the years, the price went up and some of their Windows LPE 0-day exploits were sold at a price as high as $200,000.

Volodya sold exploits to both crimeware and APT groups. “The fact that we were able to use our technique, repeatedly, to track 16 Windows LPE exploits, written and sold by two different actors, was very surprising”.

“We believe that this research methodology can be used to identify additional exploit writers. We recommend other researchers try our suggested technique and adopt it as an additional tool in their arsenal,” the researchers emphasised.

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Pakistan’s Imran Khan writes to Facebook CEO seeking ban on Islamophobic content- Technology News, Firstpost

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 Pakistans Imran Khan writes to Facebook CEO seeking ban on Islamophobic content

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has written a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg seeking a ban on Islamophobic content on the social networking site, the government said on Sunday.

In the letter, shared by the Pakistani government on Twitter, Khan said that “growing Islamophobia” is encouraging extremism and violence “across the world” – especially through social media platforms such as Facebook.

“I would ask you to place a similar ban on Islamophobia and hate against Islam for Facebook that you have put in place for the Holocaust,” Khan said.

(Reporting by Gibran Peshimam; Editing by Alison Williams)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.



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Week in Tech (Oct 19-25, 2020): iPhone 12 preorders, LG rollable OLED TV launch and more

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Written by Anuj Bhatia
| New Delhi |

Updated: October 25, 2020 9:36:48 pm


iPhone 12, iphone 12 per-orders Indian, iPhone 12 price in india, LG rollable TV, Galaxy S21, ps5, ps5 india price, pS5 india release dateThe iPhone 12 starts at Rs 79,900 for the base model, whereas the iPhone 12 Pro will set you back by Rs 119,900 for the base model

This week, our news team reported on some of the biggest news in tech. The biggest news stories this week included the continuous buzz around the iPhone 12 lineup. For the first time, Apple began taking pre-orders for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro in India. If you are unsure about which iPhone 12 to buy, we broke out the differences, and here’s what consumers should consider.

Meanwhile, Samsung’s unannounced Galaxy S21 flagship smartphone hogged the limelight months ahead of its debut. Renders of the upcoming flagship leaked online, giving users a closer look at what the Galaxy S21 could look like. This week we also saw the arrival of LG’s rollable OLED TVs in South Korea. The 65-inch rollable TV is flexible enough to roll up and down.

We will recap these stories, and we will look ahead to the next week on this edition of our weekly tech news roundup.

Apple begins taking preorders for the iPhone 12 in India

You can now pre-order the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro in India, with the new phones going on sale from October 30. Since Apple now has an online store in India, it is easy to pre-order the iPhone 12 of your choice. Keep in mind that the iPhone 12 lineup could be in short supply due to heavy demand. The iPhone 12 starts at Rs 79,900 for the base model, whereas the iPhone 12 Pro will set you back by Rs 119,900 for the base model. The other two models in the iPhone 12 range — the iPhone 12 Mini and iPhone 12 Max – will not be available for pre-order for another few days. Apple will start taking pre-orders for the iPhone 12 Mini and iPhone 12 Pro Max from November 6.

LG rollable OLED TV RX goes on sale in South Korea

LG is finally selling a rollable OLED TV. After years of teasing, a 65-inch rollable OLED TV is on sale in South Korea for $87,000. That’s a lot of money for a TV, but LG’s signature OLED R isn’t an ordinary TV. The 65-inch OLED screen is rollable in nature, meaning it can be hidden in a base when the TV is turned off. LG display first showed off a prototype rollable display at CES 2018. In the following year, LG demoed a fully functional rollable TV at CES 2019.

PlayStation 5 will get a ton of media streaming apps

Sony this week confirmed that the PlayStation 5 console will launch with a slew of media streaming apps, including Apple TV and Spotify. The PS5 media remote, which will be sold separately, will have shortcut buttons for four prominent services: Netflix, Spotify, Disney+, and YouTube. Additional apps coming to the PS5 include Amazon Prime Video and Hulu. The Japanese giant has already confirmed the price of PS5, but we still don’t know the release date of the next-generation console. In the US, the PS5 will go on sale on November 12.

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Samsung Galaxy S21 renders leaked by insiders months ahead of launch

2020 hasn’t ended, and we already have leaks about next year’s Galaxy S21 lineup in the form of renders. Renders of the upcoming handset show the potential design language of the Galaxy S21, revealing a familiar look from the front. According to leaks, the phone will have a 6.2-inch flat display with an Infinity Edge punch-hole display that will house a selfie camera. Interestingly, Samsung has made changes to the back of the phone with a “wrap-around” triple camera housing prominently visible. As such, take these images with a pinch of salt until Samsung officially announces the Galaxy S21. Rumour has it that the South Korean major plans to launch the Galaxy S21 series in January next year.

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The Week in Business: A Headache for Big Tech

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Welcome to the weirdest (and legitimately scariest) Halloween week ever. Surprisingly, candy sales are up this year — perhaps it’s the stress eating? Here’s what you need to know in business and tech news going into Monday. — Charlotte Cowles

The federal government is finally making good on its threats to crack down on big tech. The Department of Justice announced a major antitrust lawsuit against Google and accused the company of deploying unfair business tactics to squelch its competitors. (The only precedent for a case like this occurred nearly two decades ago, when the government sued Microsoft.) Google rejected the allegations and said the suit would “artificially prop up lower-quality search alternatives, raise phone prices” and hurt consumers. But many consumer advocates say it’s high time to regulate big tech more aggressively. Next up: The Federal Trade Commission is planning to vote on whether to file an antitrust lawsuit against Facebook.

Purdue Pharma, the drugmaker behind the highly addictive painkiller OxyContin, has pleaded guilty to felony charges and will be required to pay more than $8 billion in settlement fees. The company admitted to rewarding doctors for pushing prescriptions for its drugs, thereby contributing to an opioid crisis that has resulted in the deaths of more than 450,000 Americans. It still faces thousands of lawsuits in several states. As for the wealthy Sackler family, who own the company: They’re being held accountable in a separate settlement, to the tune of $225 million in penalties.

It’s been over a year since the financier Jeffrey Epstein died by suicide after being charged with sexually abusing teenage girls, but his case continues to haunt his business and personal associates. His former girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell, remains under arrest and has been silent on charges that she recruited victims for Mr. Epstein. But in a four-year-old deposition, released this past week, she vehemently denied any wrongdoing. Elsewhere, new revelations about financial ties between Mr. Epstein and Leon Black, the founder of the investment firm Apollo Global Management, prompted one pension fund to halt new investments with the firm and others to consider doing the same. Apollo’s board announced that it was investigating Mr. Black’s relationship to Mr. Epstein.

Social media platforms are struggling to fight the spread of misinformation leading up to the election, particularly as Russia and Iran have mounted new interference campaigns to hurt the Democratic presidential candidate, Joseph R. Biden Jr. But nobody’s happy with how it’s going, particularly lawmakers. Now, the Senate has called for the chief executives of Facebook, Google and Twitter (Mark Zuckerberg, Sundar Pichai and Jack Dorsey,) to testify on Wednesday about how they’re handling hate speech, misinformation and privacy. The hearing will focus on a law that shields tech companies from liability over the content posted by their users, while also allowing them to moderate it. President Trump has claimed the rule is unfair, and wants an overhaul.

Like many art institutions, the Brooklyn Museum is struggling to absorb the pandemic’s impact on its revenue. But unlike many of its peers, it has resorted to selling notable pieces from its holdings to pay its staff and care for the rest of its collection. This week, Sotheby’s will auction off a selection of the museum’s Impressionist and modern artworks, including paintings by Henri Matisse and Claude Monet. While de-accessioning is usually prohibited by the Association of Art Museum Directors, the association has made an exception because of the pandemic, and will allow such sales to proceed through 2022.

The first report on the United States’ third-quarter gross domestic product — the broadest assessment of the economy’s health — will be released on Thursday, and is anticipated to show the fastest growth on record. But that’s because it follows a record drop in the second quarter, when many businesses were forced to close under lockdown measures. Either way, don’t get too excited by the numbers. The country’s economy is expected to slow considerably in the fourth quarter, especially as a wave of new infections hampers reopenings and, in some cases, results in more shutdowns.

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