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Tech News


Cisco: Patch routers now against massive security hole.

Cisco is warning businesses that use its wireless VPN and firewall routers to install updates immediately due to a critical flaw that remote attackers can exploit to break into a network.  The vulnerability allows any attacker with any browser to execute code of their choice via the web interface used for managing Cisco RV110W Wireless-N VPN Firewall, Cisco RV130W Wireless-N Multifunction VPN Router, and Cisco RV215W Wireless-N VPN Router. The networking giant has assigned the bug, tagged as CVE-2019-1663, with a severity score of 9.8 out of a possible 10 under the Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS).

More Play Store Apps Found To Be Malware

As many as 13 games available to download in the Google Play Store were actually Android malware and downloaded more than 560,000 times. The apps, listed as car and truck simulators and racing games, are no longer on the store, after an Android security researcher found that the games were just a cover to download malware in the background. A Google spokesperson confirmed the apps were removed from the store.  Providing a safe and secure experience for our users is our top priority. We appreciate the researchers report and their efforts to help make Google Play more secure. The apps violated our policies and have been removed from the Play Store. The apps all came from a developer named Luiz O Pinto. A page on app discovery portal Softonic lists all the apps the researcher says were infecting users and that Google has since removed. On that site, every app lists zero downloads. But, if the 560,000 installs is an accurate number, this is one of the biggest breaches the Google Play Store has experienced.

Facial Recognition to Span All Heathrow Airport

Heathrow Airport will start a comprehensive roll out of biometrics technology next summer, bringing facial recognition to each point of the departing passengers journey, from check-in, bag drop and security clearance, to boarding. The £50 million project, touted by the airport as the worlds largest biometrics roll out, looks to cut down on physical documents required to get through the various airport stages and speed up the transition of travellers. The airport will be working with a number of companies for the rollout, including Yoti and camera provider Aurora.  Digital identity supplier Yoti will work with the airport for the system. An initial proof of concept at the airport allowed travellers to use the Yoti app to share both passport and biometrics information, with the option to check in before they arrive at the airport.

UK supermarkets plan facial recognition trials.

Asda, Morrisons and Tesco are in the frame for a facial recognition technology trial at the checkout desk, to enable customers to buy beer and cigarettes, without requiring the intervention of shop staff. The technology will be rolled out at self-service checkouts in 2019 and, if successful, trialled more widely. The pilot project is being led by NCR, one of the worlds largest providers of checkout and self-service technology. Its UK customers include Asda, Morrisons and Tesco. The company will integrate what it describes as an AI-powered camera into the machines, which will be used to estimate the age of shoppers when they buy age restricted items. The aim, of course, is to reduce the need for staff intervention in sales of age-restricted items. Robin Tombs, CEO of digital identity app Yoti, which partnered with NCR on the scheme, told The Telegraph: Waiting for age approval at self-checkouts is a source of frustration for many shoppers, who just want to get home as quickly as possible. Our integration with NCR delivers a frictionless and innovative way for customers to prove their age in seconds. It is a simple process that helps retailers meet the requirements of regulators worldwide. Tombs added that the facial recognition system would not retain any visual information about the shoppers, post-purchase. However, regulars will be able to expedite the purchasing process by uploading their mugshots and providing a form of identity in order to use the Yoti app.

Another Linux distro poisoned with malware

Last time it was Gentoo, a hard-core, source-based Linux distribution that is popular with techies who like to spend hours tweaking their entire operating sytem and rebuilding all their software from scratch. That sort of thing is not for everyone, but it is harmless fun and it does give you loads of insight into how everything fits together. That sets it apart from distros such as ElementaryOS and Mint, which rival and even exceed Windows and macOS for ease of installation and use, but do not leave you with much of a sense of how it all actually works. This time, the malware poisoning happened to Arch Linux, another distro we would characterise as hard-core, though very much more widely used than Gentoo. Three downloadable software packages in the Arch User Respository were found to have been rebuilt so they contained what you might refer to as zombie malware. Bots or zombies are malware programs that call home to fetch instructions from the crooks on what to do next. The hacked packages were: acroread 9.5.5-8, balz 1.20-3 and minergate 8.1-2;  they have all apparently been restored to their pre-infection state.

Biometrics of five million taxpayers taken by HMRC

HMRC has been accused of building a biometric voice database of 5.1 million taxpayers without their explicit consent. The database was built using what HMRC called its Voice ID service, in which callers to the organisations self-assessment helpline were obliged to provide a Voice ID, without being given a clear choice to opt-out. Thats according to privacy group Big Brother Watch, which made the claims in an investigation. While it was possible to avoid opting in to Voice ID by shouting no three times in response to the automated helpline demand, HMRC did not provide any apparent way for taxpayers to opt out, while the nature of the phone line meant that most callers could not simply put the phone down either. Voice ID technology is a form of biometric identification and authentication, as sensitive as a fingerprint, explained Big Brother Watch.