Week of September 1, 2017


Week of September 1, 2017

Mayweather-McGregor Match Draws Millions to Illegal, Pirated Streams*:

  • Content security specialists identified 239 steams that illegally redistributed the match of those, 67 were provided via traditional pirate streaming websites.
  • There were also 165 social media streams as pirates exploited multiple channels, including Facebook, YouTube, Periscope and Twitch.
  • The match was a highly anticipated premier event, with both boxing (Mayweather) and UFC (McGregor) fans drawn to it.
  • It was offered for an average of $89 to $100 as a pay-per-view event via cable and satellite outlets in the US.
  • The illegal streams reached approximately 2.9 million viewers.
  • There has been an increase in pirates creating professional websites, fooling some consumers into thinking they are accessing a legal service.
  • Irdeto identified 42 advertisements in the week leading up to the fight for illicit streaming devices offering Mayweather vs. McGregor on e-commerce websites, including Amazon, eBay and Alibaba.
  • The most effective strategy in combatting live sports piracy is an intelligence-driven approach with a 360-degree view of piracy.

*Source: Info Security, August 28, 2017


Google's Clever Trick to Protect Your Photos From Theft*:

  • Unauthorised use of photos is frustrating for amateurs and often costly for professionals.
  • Five researchers at Google have published a paper detailing how one of the most popular methods of protecting your content – the visible watermark – can be easily circumvented by simple algorithms.
  • The team also describes how to defeat their own algorithms by designing more secure watermarks which are much more difficult to remove.
  • A visible watermark serves two functions: to make known the owner of the image and to render it unusable without first purchasing a non-watermarked original.
  • The vulnerability occurs when several different images are protected by an identical watermark, such as might occur on a stock photography site; by comparing the watermarked images, the Google team was able to use the watermark pattern to reverse the watermarking process and create a copy of the original picture.
  • This automated process works even when the watermark logo appears at different sizes and in different positions on the image.
  • The best way to make your watermarks secure involves making small changes to the shape of the watermark as applied to each image.
  • These small changes in geometry proved far more effective in foiling the watermark removal process because visual traces of the watermark always remained after processing.

*Source: Forbes, August 28, 2017


FICO Reports a 39 Percent Rise in Debit Cards Compromised at U.S. ATMs and Merchants*:

  • The number of cards compromised at U.S. ATMs and merchants rose 39 percent in the first six months of 2017, compared to the same period in 2016.
  • FICO has also tracked a 21 percent increase in compromises of ATMs and point-of-sale (POS) devices in the US for the same time period.
  • FICO offers these tips for consumers:
    • If an ATM looks odd, or your card doesn’t enter the machine smoothly, consider going somewhere else for your cash.
    • Never approach an ATM if anyone is lingering nearby or engage in conversations around an ATM.
    • If your card is captured inside an ATM, call your card issuer immediately and report it.
    • Ask your card issuer for a new card number if you suspect that your card may have been compromised at a merchant, restaurant, or ATM.
    • Check your card transactions frequently.
    • Ask your card provider if they offer account alert technology in the event that fraudulent activity is suspected on your payment card.
    • Update your address and cell phone information for every card you have, so that you can be reached if there is a situation that requires your immediate attention.
  • FICO previously reported a 30 percent increase in compromised devices for 2016, compared to 2015, and a 70 percent rise in compromised cards for that period.

*Source: PR newswire, August 31, 2017


New Digital Piggy Bank Helps Swiss Kids Save*:

  • In Switzerland, one of the world's wealthiest countries, financial planning starts young.
  • The country's number two bank Credit Suisse, showed off a piggy bank with built-in apps allowing children under 12 to set savings goals, check their balance, and make payments.
  • Credit Suisse cited a recent study showing that 90% of parents in the wealthy Alpine nation want their children to learn how to handle money.
  • Swiss parents have asked questions about how to teach children about money when it increasingly exists in digital form instead of coins and notes.
  • The piggy bank "provides a wide range of options for teaching kids in a simple way how cash and digital money work and how to use them.

*Source: Rappler, August 29, 2017


Hackers Use Thousands of Infected Android Devices in DDoS Attacks*:

  • Hundreds of thousands of home routers, IP cameras and other internet-of-things devices have been infected with malware over the past year and have been used to launch distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.
  • Attackers are now doing the same with Android devices, with the help of malicious applications hosted on Google Play and other third-party app stores.
  • A joint investigation by several security teams has led to the discovery of a large botnet made up of over 100,000 Android devices located in more than 100 countries.
  • The investigation was launched in response to large DDoS attacks that have hit several content providers and content delivery networks over the past few weeks.
  • This particular Android botnet, which has been dubbed WireX, was used to send tens of thousands of HTTP requests that were meant to resemble those coming from legitimate browsers; researchers traced the requests back to malicious Android applications.
  • Some of the applications were available in third-party app stores that came pre-installed on devices, but around 300 of them were hosted on Google Play.
  • Most of the rogue applications requested device administrator permissions during installation, which allowed them to launch attacks even when the applications themselves were not actively used.
  • Google has removed the malicious applications from Google Play and started to remotely remove them from affected devices as well.
  • This is not the first Android-based DDoS botnet ever found, but it is certainly the largest.
  • At the peak of the attacks, the researchers observed malicious traffic coming from over 120,000 unique IP addresses per hour.

*Source: Forbes, August 28, 2017


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