Tag: crime

British man in Bitcoin heist

Armed robbers broke into the family home of a city financier turned Bitcoin trader and forced him to transfer the digital currency at gunpoint, in what is believed to be the first heist of its kind in the UK.

Four robbers in balaclavas forced their way into the home of Danny Aston, 30, who runs a digital currency trading firm, before reportedly tying up a woman and forcing Mr Aston to transfer an unknown quantity of the cryptocurrency.

Mr Aston lives in the picturesque village of Moulsford in South Oxfordshire, where episodes of Midsomer Murders have been filmed, in a rented four-bedroom converted barn estimated to be worth at least £700,000 on a private drive.

Police were called at around 9.40am on Monday to attend the home after raiders are reported to have entered the property by kicking down the door.

The Mail on Sunday reported that the men tied up a woman and kept a baby outside in a pram while forcing Mr Aston to transfer the Bitcoin. The value of a single Bitcoin is now around £8,000.

A neighbour confirmed on Sunday the property where the violent burglary took place, but said that Mr Aston and a woman believed to be his partner left Moulsford on Monday to stay with relatives and have not returned.

They said: “I was not here at the time, but I know the couple have left and are staying with relatives, they haven’t been back since.

“We are all obviously a bit shaken up, even though a few days have passed now. It is not what you expect to happen around here.”

Mr Aston – who lives with his 31-year-old business partner Amy Jay, according to the latest Companies House records – previously worked at Trayport, a London-based financial software company that operates a platform for trading energy commodities.

In June 2017, he established his own digital currency firm just before Bitcoin’s huge surge in value in July, according to Companies House.

Both Mr Aston and Ms Jay are listed online as directors of Aston Digital Currencies Ltd, and a company called Butler Hosting, which specialises in “data processing, hosting and related activities”.

A user named Danny Aston has previously been active on trading site Poloniex, which allows users to trade and store digital currency.

A local resident described the victim of the attack as well-known, but suggested that the small village community had been left dazed by the news.

“Everyone is shocked I think,” he said. “We think we live in a safer space, and then this happens and everyone gets scared.”

The village of Moulsford is home to two schools and a girl from Cranford House Prepatory School described how the students were told to get to safety as the armed robbery happened nearby.

She said: “We were all told to get down on the floor and stay in the middle of the schoolroom. All the curtains were closed and the doors locked. No-one knew what was going on but it was scary to say the least.”

Bitcoin is a digital currency that allows users to trade anonymously and securely across the internet without regulation or a central bank

It is understood that although Bitcoin’s secrecy will make the theft in Moulsford much more difficult for the police to investigate, there is a chance that the stolen currency will appear on the market as thieves try to exchange it into conventional money.

In the last 12 months, Bitcoin’s value has risen over 1000 per cent. It hit an all-time high on 17th December, when it was worth over £13,500.

A police spokesman said: “Thames Valley Police is investigating an aggravated burglary which occurred at a property in Moulsford on Monday.

“Officers were called at about 9.40am to a report that offenders had entered a residential property off Reading Road and threatened the occupants. No one was seriously injured during the incident.

“An investigation into the incident is underway and officers attended nearby Moulsford School as a precautionary measure. It is not believed there was a threat to anyone at the school.

“Officers are particularly interested in speaking to anyone travelling through the village on the A329 Reading Road between 7.30am and 10.30am on Monday who has Dashcam footage or anyone with mobile phone footage.

“People in the local community may notice an increased presence of officers in the area while our enquiries are ongoing. The investigation is in its early stages however initial enquiries suggest this may be a targeted incident.

“No arrests have been made at this stage.”

By Tony Diver for The Telegraph 

57-million Uber users hacked

Hackers stole the personal data of 57 million customers and drivers and the ride-hailing company allegedly paid them $100,000 to delete the information and “go away”.

The data was compromised in October 2016, and Uber has managed to conceal the breach for more than a year, according to Bloomberg.

Uber claims they were involved in negotiations with US regulators about separate privacy violations at the time of the breach.

But the company now admits they were legally required to report the hack to regulators and to drivers whose license numbers were taken.

However, Uber reportedly paid the hackers $100,000 to delete the data instead.

Joe Sullivan, Uber’s chief security officer, was fired this week for his role in keeping the hack quiet. One of Sullivan’s deputies was also fired for helping.

Ex-CEO and co-founder, Travis Kalanick, reportedly found out about the hack in November 2016, but at the time Uber had just settled a lawsuit with the New York attorney general over the company’s privacy practices.

Dara Khosrowshahi took over as Uber’s new CEO in September.

‘None of this should have happened, and I will not make excuses for it,’ Khosrowshahi said in a press statement on Tuesday. ‘We are changing the way we do business.’

‘At the time of the incident, we took immediate steps to secure the data and shut down further unauthorized access by the individuals.

‘We subsequently identified the individuals and obtained assurances that the downloaded data had been destroyed. We also implemented security measures to restrict access to and strengthen controls on our cloud-based storage accounts,’ Khosrowshahi said.

The hackers stole names, email addresses, and phone numbers from 50 million Uber riders worldwide, said in the statement.

Personal information from 7 million drivers was also compromised. That figure includes about 600,000 US driver’s license numbers that were stolen.

Uber claims that no one’s Social Security numbers, credit card details, or trip location information was stolen.

The company said they don’t believe the information was ever used. Uber also declined to release the identities of the hackers.

‘While we have not seen evidence of fraud or misuse tied to the incident, we are monitoring the affected accounts and have flagged them for additional fraud protection,’ Khosrowshahi said.

Dara Khosrowshahi took over as Uber’s new CEO in September. ‘None of this should have happened, and I will not make excuses for it,’ Khosrowshahi (pictured last month) said. ‘We are changing the way we do business’ +5
Dara Khosrowshahi took over as Uber’s new CEO in September. ‘None of this should have happened, and I will not make excuses for it,’ Khosrowshahi (pictured last month) said. ‘We are changing the way we do business’

Uber’s hack joins the ranks of other massive hacks such as Yahoo and Equifax. In September, Equifax reported that the hack compromised the sensitive information of 145.5 million people and the Yahoo hack affected three billion +5
Uber’s hack joins the ranks of other massive hacks such as Yahoo and Equifax. In September, Equifax reported that the hack compromised the sensitive information of 145.5 million people and the Yahoo hack affected three billion

According to Bloomberg, Sullivan, who joined Uber in 2015, was the guy who spearheaded the response to the hack last year.

Last month, an investigation was launched into the activities of Sullivan’s security team. During the investigation, the hack and cover-up were discovered.

Uber said two attackers gained access to private GitHub coding site used by Uber software engineers, according to Bloomberg.

From there, the hackers used login credentials they obtained from GitHub to access data stored on an Amazon Web Services account.

The hackers then found an archive of rider and driver information. Once the information was accessed, the attackers asked Uber for money.

Khosrowshahi said he’s bringing on board Matt Olsen, a co-founder of a cybersecurity consulting firm and former general counsel of the National Security Agency and director of the National Counterterrorism Center, for guidance on ‘how best to guide and structure our security teams and processes going forward’.

The company is currently in the process of ‘individually notifying the drivers whose driver’s license numbers were downloaded’. Uber will also provide these drivers with free credit monitoring and identity theft protection.

Uber’s hack joins the ranks of other massive hacks such as Yahoo and Equifax. In September, Equifax reported that the hack compromised the sensitive information of 145.5 million people.

And last month, Yahoo admitted that three billion Yahoo users were affected by the 2013 data theft that the company originally said had only affected 1 billion users.

By Valerie Edwards for Daily Mail

According to Statistics South Africa’s recent Victims of Crime (VOC) survey, more than 42 000 vehicles were stolen or hijacked from April 2016 – March 2017.

And while that is a slight decline from previous years, car theft or hijackings are, of course, still rampant in South Africa.

Understandably, people are usually shocked and traumatised after being a victim of a hijacking, and motorists don’t know what the procedure is should their stolen vehicle be located and retrieved by the police. Law For All has put together a guide to help you through the process.

I have just been hijacked – what do I do now?

  1. If there were other people in the vehicle with you, check if anyone has been hurt or needs medical attention.
  2. Report the hijacking to the police and get a case number (this will also help for your insurance claim, assuming you are covered). If the vehicle isn’t yours, get the owner to do the above immediately.
  3. Activate your vehicle’s tracking device, if one has been fitted.
  4. Your insurance company will send someone to interview you (or the owner) to get more details on what happened, so try and remember as much as you can about the incident.
  5. As mentioned, this can be a very traumatic experience so it might be helpful to seek some sort of counselling to help you deal with the aftermath.

If the SAPS find your vehicle, it’s important to remember that the process doesn’t just end there. The is a specific procedure that needs to be followed for a successful reinstatement of the stolen vehicle and insurance claims.

According to Law for All’s managing director, Adv. Jackie Nagtegaal, if the hijackers are caught you may have to identify them and, if the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) decides to prosecute, be a witness in court.

Nagtegaal says: “This won’t cost a cent, as the Prosecutor is there to assist. Of course, victims can get legal advice from their own lawyer as well, but the lawyer won’t institute legal proceedings”.

Have you ever had your car recovered after you have been hijacked or it has been stolen? Email us and share your stories with us.

What do I do after my vehicle has been recovered?

  • The investigating officer in charge of the case will inform you if your car has been retrieved and you will have to go and identify it at the impound facility.
  • Once you have positively identified the vehicle, you will have to inform your insurance provider that the car has been found.
  • After the investigation has been finalised, the insurer will organise for the car to be taken to the garage/panel beater to get a quote.
  • The insurance assessor will compile a report once the repairs quote has been issued.
  • Once all the damage to the vehicle has been fixed, you will have to take the vehicle to get police clearance.
  • You will have to obtain a printed Request for Police Clearance from a Motor Vehicle Registration office to verify the car’s record.
  • The vehicle will officially be deregistered at the license department.

Read our full guide to obtaining a police clearance certificate after your stolen car has been recovered.

Tips for avoiding a hijacking

  • About 1-2kms from your house, be extra vigilant; turn off the radio and take in your surroundings.
  • As you get closer to your driveway, double check if there are any loiterers or suspicious vehicles hanging around the street.
  • If you suspect that you have been followed as you approach your driveway, do not turn into your house- wait and see if they stop following you or alert the authorities.
  • If your pets do not greet you in your driveway, consider this a warning sign. The perpetrators may have entered your premises and overpowered the animals.
  • Call someone who is likely to be at your house and ask them to double check if the driveway is safe and if they can meet you in the driveway.
  • Be extra vigilant in parking lots when leaving the office.
  • Lastly, it always better to be safe than sorry, so take the extra time to be vigilant and extremely cautious while driving, and make sure that you have vehicle insurance and a tracker in place to help lessen the impact of a hijacking.

Source: Wheels24

Crime stats are down

Police Minister Fikile Mbalula “isn’t feeling” the general 1.8% decrease in crime during the 2016/17 financial year, and has yet again warned violent criminals that they will be dealt with in a “proportional response”.

“Crime is in general down, but when you zoom into the numbers, we have a big problem where violent crime is going up, and there is no time to hide this,” said Mbalula, presenting the crime statistics for 2016/17 to the Portfolio Committee on Police on Tuesday morning.

“Yes, we have a 1.8% drop in crime, I do not feel it, and our people do not feel it, and they are correct. We have a drop in sexual violence, but we have more and more pictures of our women going missing. People must feel the drop in crime where they live.”

Mbalula said South Africans must ask whether they had accepted living side by side with violent criminals.

“Is criminality a South African citizen itself? Our answer must be an emphatic and radical ‘No!’,” he said.

“We must deal with crime in a radical and energetic way – our language must be clear and understood.”

He insisted that he “seriously means” it when he says violent criminals will receive a response proportional to their actions.

“Today, I am saying to criminal gangs, Nilibambe Lingashoni – I am coming for you hard, enough is enough.”

Mbalula didn’t only talk tough on criminals, but was also willing to introspect on the police’s own failings.

‘We have relaunched specialised units’

He slammed the “lazy efforts” of police to curb crimes that were indicative of police effectiveness.

“The crimes that are considered as indicators of the effectiveness of police activities, these are crimes detected as a result of police action, experienced a reversal from a decrease of 0.3% in the preceding financial year to an increase of 9.6%,” said Mbalula.

“This increase is too small and indicative of the lazy efforts by the police to detect such crime, in order to make South Africa a safer place to live in. Police, in this instance, are letting our people down and I am here to stop it.”

He said the “chop and change” of police commissioners – from Bheki Cele to Riah Phiyega, to various acting national commissioners – had affected the focus and direction of the police.

He also expressed his concern about decreasing police numbers and the top-heavy structure.

“Honourable members, this is not just talk. We are strengthening our capacity, we are appointing strategic thinkers in police management and stabilising our Crime Intelligence Division to enable intelligence-led crime prevention and policing.

“We have relaunched specialised units to focus on drugs, rape, violent threats and violent criminals. We are enhancing our technological capacity to match the evolved digital technology arena.”

By Jan Gerber for News24 

South Africa’s most dangerous cities

National crime statistics offer only cursory indicators to understand crime levels. The second State of Urban Safety report, to be released on Wednesday, offers a city-by-city breakdown and seeks to understand why certain crimes thrive in different urban areas. Once again, Cape Town topped most categories of violent crime.

Nelson Mandela Bay and Buffalo City round out the top three in the list of South Africa’s most dangerous cities.

Compared to eight other cities, the City of Cape Town has the highest rates of murder, robbery and property-related crimes in South Africa, says a new report produced by the Urban Safety Reference Group (USRG), working with the South Africa Cities Network (SALC) and the GIZ-Inclusive Violence and Crime Prevention (VCP) Programme.

The key question is, why? “Cape Town’s urbanisation indicators are moderately serious, with a lower rapid population growth than Johannesburg and Tshwane, and a lower population density than Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni. Its marginalisation factors also compare very well to the other cities: Cape Town boasts the lowest level of poverty (as measured by the Human Development Index), the lowest income inequality, and the second lowest youth unemployment rate,” reads the report.

“An answer may lie in the disproportionate access to alcohol, drugs and firearms, which is more than twice that of any other city.”

The 2017 State of Urban Safety Report breaks down crime statistics in the country’s nine largest urban areas and puts them alongside subjective, social, structural and crime prevention strategies to add deeper insight.

Cities are responsible for a disproportionate amount of crime. The nine urban areas covered in the report are home to approximately 40% of the country’s residents, but they account for 77% of carjackings, 74% of vehicle thefts, 64% of aggravated robberies, 58% of residential robberies and 47% of murders. “These statistics show that cities are places not only of opportunity but also of inequality and high levels of violence and crime,” said SACN CEO Sithole Mbanga and GIZ-VCP programme manager Terence Smith.

The report pointed to key problems in Nelson Mandela Bay. Between 2014/15 and 2015/16 the municipality’s short-term increases in crime appeared worse than any other city. If they continue, interpersonal violent crime could reach Cape Town’s levels. Of the nine cities, Nelson Mandela Bay had the second highest murder rate, third highest robbery rate, and was fourth in assault and sexual offences. A key problem might be the city’s youth unemployment, the highest of any of the measured cities.

While residents reported low levels of fear and experience of crime in Mangaung, the city also has key problems. The report found it had the highest rate of sexual offences and second highest level of serious assault and property-related crime. Manguang and Cape Town were the only cities to record increases in the murder rate in the last decade.

Buffalo City has seen general declines in the crime rates over the last decade, like most cities, but it has problems potentially related to its service deprivation, high levels of informal housing, youth unemployment and income inequality. Buffalo City came in first for assault, second for sexual offences and third for murder.

Gauteng metros again faired surprisingly well. “Compared to the other cities, the City of Johannesburg’s crime rates are low to moderate, except for robbery where it ranks second,” said the report, suggesting the city must focus on reducing robbery, in particular carjacking and residential robbery, which Johannesburg had the highest rates of when the numbers were broken down. Despite the city’s reasonable successes on crime, residents still have “moderately high levels of fear of crime”. The report said Johannesburg’s crime issues are largely related to its lead position in rapid population growth and the effects of urbanisation and inequality. The city had the highest level of income inequality among the nine measured.

Ekhurhuleni’s challenges mirror Johannesburg’s. It had comparatively low rates of most crimes, but robbery was dominant and the city ranks second to Johannesburg in both population density and income inequality. “The City of Tshwane has the lowest murder, assault and recorded sexual offences rates of all the cities,” said the report. However, it still featured significant rates of robbery and non-violent property crime. Tshwane came in second after Johannesburg in terms of population growth, which could cause crime problems if poorly managed.

Crimes and the experience of crime are not the same within a city and one of the 2017 State of Urban Safety Report’s strongest points is its analysis on three hotspots – Johannesburg’s Hillbrow, eThekwini’s KwaMashu and Cape Town’s Philippi East. Each area has disproportionately high levels of crime compared to their cities and effective strategies in such hotspots could help reduce a city’s overall crime.

One of the most interesting results from interviews in the three hotspot areas is that residents significantly limit their involvement in public life and economic activity because of their fear of crime. In interviews, around 40% of respondents s from Hillbrow, KwaMashu and Philippi east said they are scared of running a business from home, passing forest or bushy areas, or letting their children play outside because of their fear of crime.

Interviews in the three areas revealed there are six core factors across the hotspots that lead to rampant crime:

There’s a lack of people who can deter offenders from committing crimes, such as police, security or community members;
Offenders’ obviously have their own motives;
They can isolate and target a victim;
They have access to weapons or transport to commit a crime;
There’s a dearth of close contacts who can convince someone not to commit a crime;
And, neglected spaces with poor infrastructure are more prone to crime.
“South African cities face a myriad of cross-cutting factors that drive violence and crime, including rapid population growth, social incoherence (family disruption), poverty, income inequality, (youth) unemployment and substance abuse,” reads the report.
It says South African cities do have progressive policies to combat crime, but it makes a number of recommendations.

The report says all city service delivery plans must take into account crime and safety issues. Plans shouldn’t just involve communities but all spheres of government, civil society and the business sector. It recommends that SAPS precincts align their boundaries to municipal demarcations. The level of crime data collected from cities must improve to inform policy planning and cities must allocate sufficient resources to improving safety and leveraging their efficiencies.

By Greg Nicolson for Daily Maverick

Unemployment pressures tempt fraud

With unemployment at its highest level, the youth are anxious, agitated and searching for creative ways to earn a living.

“In this environment, you cannot write off the temptation that confronts young people to commit fraud, when doors slam shut in their faces or do not even open in the first place,” says Manie van Schalkwyk of the South African Fraud Prevention Service.

The obvious temptation is CV doctoring, he says. By adding a few tweaks, candidates may make their application appear more professional than they actually are and increase chances for a job interview.

“Qualification fraud is simple enough to perform and with any luck an applicant may land an interview, even a job offer. But a few months into the job the employer will begin to wonder why the candidate’s skills and abilities do not match up to the qualifications he or she has presented on their CV. Questions will be asked. “When you are exposed as a fraud, you will have a criminal record,” Van Schalkwyk says.

For young people who are employed who wish to apply for store cards, credit cards or any type of credit, there is the temptation to stretch the salary or the length of time spent in a particular work place to increase their chances of credit approval or credit limit. Van Schalkwyk says, “Falsifying this information constitutes fraud.”

At another level, one of the first goals of a newly graduated student is to learn to drive and get a driver’s licence. So, they may be driving around in their parents’ or older sibling’s car, or they may have a car of their own.

In this case, the individual may wish to have car insurance. After phoning some insurance companies they may learn that their premium is higher than expected because of their lack of driving experience. They will persuade their parents to front for the policy, so that the policy is held in the parent’s name. This is falsely representing information as the younger person will be the primary driver of the vehicle being insured.

“A common illustration of this is alternative fact information given about who the regular driver of a vehicle will be,” says Deanne Wood, short term insurance ombudsman. “Older drivers pay significantly lower premiums than younger drivers.” The difference in premium can be significant.

“Certainly, significant enough to encourage consumers to provide inaccurate information about who the regular driver of a vehicle will be,” Wood says.

“Our office sees far too many claims being submitted where, for example, parents have represented that they will be the regular driver of a vehicle when in fact the vehicle was purchased by them for use by their child.

“Paying the lower premium is all well and good until a loss is suffered. Simple desk-top investigations using Facebook or other social media searches can all too easily reveal misrepresentations made by consumers who forget to cover their tracks when making misrepresentations to their insurance companies,” Wood adds.

Van Schalkwyk says, “Like all fraud, it’s only a matter to time until the perpetrators will be found out and could face prosecution. Starting out in a career with a criminal record is no way to build a future. I urge youth to stay on the right side of the law despite the many challenges of the current economic climate. Don’t put further obstacles in your path.”

 

Those of us who don’t rent bank safety deposit boxes for our valuables probably imagine the set-up to involve fingerprint-accessed vault-like doors and a cobweb of alarmed beams, as in the movies.

It wasn’t quite like that, said one of the victims of the December 18 First National Bank Randburg branch heist in which 360 boxes were stolen.

“Zai” of Randburg, who did not want to be named, happened to be at the bank yesterday when most of the boxes were returned to the branch by what appeared to be a private security company.

Police found the empty boxes dumped near FNB Stadium in Soweto two days after the heist.

All the valuables, including watches, Krugerrands, and jewellery passed down generations were gone. Only documents such as title deeds were left behind.

Zai’s family had rented the box since about 2004, she said, and at the time of the theft were renting it at R120 a month.

“Ironically, it was quite a big deal for us to access our boxes,” said Zai, who last did so in October.

“You had to make an appointment at least 24 hours in advance.

“Someone would meet you and take you into a room, and lock the door behind you. I’d have to produce my ID, then he’d go into another room, a vault, where the boxes were kept, lock that door behind him and then pass my box to me through a slot in the wall.

“I never saw any of the other boxes. I opened my box with two keys, in my possession, and then I’d be left alone to do what I needed to do, and then I’d phone to say that I was finished, so they could take the box back into the vault.

“It seemed very safe and professional,” she said.

In early December Zai’s husband asked her to collect their six expensive watches from the box to have them serviced.

“But I was too busy and now they are all gone,” she said.

FNB’s safety deposit contract states the bank will not be legally responsible “under any circumstances for any loss or damage that may occur to the contents” and officials have said they had no way of knowing what was in the stolen boxes and urged clients to insure the contents of the boxes.

By Wendy Knowler for Timeslive

Online shopping is a convenient way to find, compare, and purchase items in South Africa.

However, as security breaches increase and attacks grow more sophisticated, buyers need to take greater care with their personal and banking information.

Besides standard security precautions such as keeping your operating system, anti-virus, and browser up-to-date, you should also keep the following security tips in mind.

Watch out for scam specials
If you get a promotional e-mail from a retailer, even one you are familiar with, never click on a link – ever.

That’s the advice from Adam Levin, author of Swiped: How to Protect Yourself in a World Full of Scammers, Phishers, and Identity Thieves.

Levin said two problems could occur:

The destination the link points to could contain malware used to steal your passwords.

You could be directed to a clone site that looks like the retailer’s, which is used to harvest your identity and credit card details.
Levin said shoppers must go directly to a shop’s URL and avoid following links from promotional messages.


Read reviews
Before using a store for the first time, Levin said buyers must read independent reviews to ensure the site is reputable.


Check the security certificate
Shoppers should always check an online store’s security certificate.

This can be done by clicking the lock icon next to the site’s URL in the address bar.

You can also take this a step further and test a site’s Transport Layer Security (TLS) using a tool such as the Qualys SSL Labs server tester.
Using public Wi-Fi or computers
While TLS helps protect against the dangers of unsecure networks such as public Wi-Fi, it is best to avoid shopping over public connections.

Similarly, users don’t know what software might be watching their activity on a public computer, so it is best not to use one when shopping online.
Re-using passwords
Another security mistake is using the same password on two or more Web sites.

This is to guard against an attacker only needing to get hold of a single password to get into multiple websites where you have registered accounts.
Saving billing information
If someone gets their hands on your password for an online shopping site and you have saved your credit card information, they might be able to buy items with your money.

Sites which save card and CVV numbers are prime examples.

Digital voucher codes or gift cards are a popular purchase among attackers in this instance.
Source: www.mybroadband.co.za

Kaspersky Lab experts have detected a new Trojan targeting Android devices that can be compared to Windows-based malware in terms of its complexity. Triada is stealthy, modular, persistent and written by very professional cybercriminals. Devices running the 4.4.4. and earlier versions of the Android OS are at greatest risk.

According to the recent Kaspersky Lab research on Mobile Virusology, nearly half of the top 20 Trojans in 2015 were malicious programmes with the ability to gain super-user access rights. Super-user privileges give cybercriminals the rights to install applications on the phone without the user’s knowledge.

This type of malware propagates through applications that users download/install from untrusted sources. These apps can sometimes be found in the official Google Play app store, masquerading as a game or entertainment application. They can also be installed during an update of existing popular applications and, are occasionally pre-installed on the mobile device. Those at greatest risk include devices running 4.4.4. and earlier versions of the Android OS.

There are 11 known mobile Trojan families that use root privileges. Three of them – Ztorg, Gorpo and Leech – act in cooperation with each other. Devices infected with these Trojans usually organise themselves into a network, creating a sort of advertising botnet that threat actors can use to install different kinds of adware.

Shortly after rooting on the device, the above-mentioned Trojans download and install a backdoor. This then downloads and activates two modules that have the ability to download, install and launch applications.

The application loader and its installation modules refer to different types of Trojans, but all of them have been added to our antivirus databases under a common name – Triada.

A distinguishing feature of this malware is the use of Zygote – the parent of the application process on an Android device – that contains system libraries and frameworks used by every application installed on the device. In other words, it’s a demon whose purpose is to launch Android applications. This is a standard app process that works for every newly installed application. It means that as soon as the Trojan gets into the system, it becomes part of the app process and will be pre-installed into any application launching on the device and can even change the logic of the application’s operations.

This is the first time technology like this has been seen in the wild.

The stealth capabilities of this malware are very advanced. After getting into the user’s device Triada implements in nearly every working process and continues to exist in the short-term memory. This makes it almost impossible to detect and delete using antimalware solutions. Triada operates silently, meaning that all malicious activities are hidden both from the user and from other applications.

The complexity of the Triada Trojan’s functionality proves the fact that very professional cybercriminals, with a deep understanding of the targeted mobile platform, are behind this malware.

The Triada Trojan can modify outgoing SMS messages sent by other applications. This is now a major functionality of the malware. When a user is making in-app purchases via SMS for Android games, fraudsters are likely to modify the outgoing SMS so that they receive the money instead of the game developers.

“The Triada of Ztrog, Gorpo and Leech marks a new stage in the evolution of Android-based threats. They are the first widespread malware with the potential to escalate their privileges on most devices. The majority of users attacked by the Trojans were located in Russia, India and Ukraine as well as APAC countries. It is hard to underestimate the threat of a malicious application gaining root access to a device. Their main threat, as the example of Triada shows, is in the fact that they provide access to the device for much more advanced and dangerous malicious applications. They also have a well-thought-out architecture developed by cybercriminals who have deep knowledge of the target mobile platform,” says Nikita Buchka, junior malware analyst, Kaspersky Lab.

As it is nearly impossible to uninstall this malware from a device, users face two options to get rid of it. The first is to “root” their device and delete the malicious applications manually. The second option is to jailbreak the Android system on the device.

Kaspersky Lab products detect Triada Trojan components as: Trojan-Downloader.AndroidOS.Triada.a; Trojan-SMS.AndroidOS.Triada.a; Trojan-Banker.AndroidOS.Triada.a; Backdoor.AndroidOS.Triada.

More than 720 litres of liquid methamphetamine have been seized in Australia – believed to be one of largest drug finds in the country’s history. The £620-million (A$1,26-billion) stash was smuggled from China and had been hidden in bottles of glue and inside gel bra inserts.

Police estimate it could have been used to create 500kg of high-grade crystal meth, which equates to about 3,6-million doses.

Some 190 litres of the drug was hidden in boxes of bra pads.

Four suspects from Hong Kong have been charged in Sydney over the import, and face a potential life sentence if convicted. They will appear in court next month.

Michael Keenan, Australia’s justice minister, described the seizure as “a devastating blow for the organised criminal gangs that peddle in ice (crystal meth)”.

The arrests followed a joint operation between the Australian Federal Police and the Chinese Narcotics Control Commission.

Source: www.news.sky.com
Picture: Sky News

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My Office News Ⓒ 2017 - Designed by A Collective


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