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Tech News


Consensual Cookies: When No Really Means Yes.

One of the most visible manifestations of the EU General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) is the cookie banner that pops up when you visit many sites for the first time. These are designed to give visitors the opportunity to decide whether they want to be tracked, and if so by whom. Any business operating Internet sites in the EU should theoretically use them or something similar, or risk a GDPR fine of up to 4% of global turnover. Cookie banners may be tiresome, but at least they give users some measure of control over how much they are tracked online. But do they?

Malicious Python libraries discovered in repo

Two Python libraries containing malicious code were recently removed from the Python Package Index (PyPI), Pythons official repository for third-party packages. It is the latest incarnation of a problem faced by many modern software development communities, raising an important question for all developers who rely on open source software: How can you make it possible for people to contribute their own code to a common repository for re-use, without those repos becoming vectors for attacks? By and large, the official third-party library repositories for languages run as open source projects, like Python, are safe. But malicious versions of a library can spread quickly if unchecked. And the fact that most such language repositories are overseen by volunteers means that only so many eyes are on the lookout and contributions do not always get the scrutiny needed.

A Fatal Exception.

Alright HBH its time for a shameless plug for our very own ynori7, long time member and former admin, who has recently published a novel, A Fatal Exception, that includes a lot of security and hacking-related content and additionally a fair bit of IT-related humor. And is available in ebook and paperback format here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07TV8MLHR It is a great story which catches you straight from the get-go with its witty humor and unusual protagonist, the cheeky android detective Seven Sinclair. With its fun humor, fast-paced mystery, and unusually accurate technical details which you can even learn from, A Fatal Exception is definitely worth checking out. You can also find more information and updates on his author page here: https://www.scottfinlayauthor.com/ ----------

New Mirai Uses 18 Exploits to Target IoT Devices

Researchers discovered a Mirai malware variant with 18 exploits targeting embedded internet of things (IoT) devices, including set-top boxes, smart home controllers and even software-defined wide-area networking equipment. Samples of the latest version of the botnet virus, which was first discovered in 2016, were initially disclosed in a blog post published by Palo Alto Networks. Researchers suggested that cybercriminals working with the Linux open-source operating system are trying to take over an increasingly wide range of IoT devices and use them to run distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. Eight of the exploits in the latest Mirai malware variant are new, the researchers added.

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.