Security Alerts & News
by Tymoteusz A. Góral

History
#1023 IRS kills e-filing PINs prematurely due to cyberattacks
The IRS was gearing up to kill e-file PINs later this year, but it has decided to speed up its plans after discovering suspicious activity. These electronic filing personal identification numbers, which people could use to authenticate tax returns filed online, are no longer available on IRS.gov or via the agency's toll-free phone number. If you'll recall, identity thieves used malware to steal taxpayers' info from other websites, which was then used to generate 100,000 PINs, back in February. The thieves were actually gunning for 464,000 PINs, but the agency was able to stop them before they got near that number.
#1022 Why you should stop using Telegram right now
Telegram, the supposedly secure messaging app, has over 100 million users. You might even be one of them. If you are, you should probably stop using it right now. Here’s the unfortunate truth about Telegram: it’s not as secure as the company’s marketing campaigns might lead you to believe.

According to interviews with leading encryption and security experts, Telegram has a wide range of security issues and doesn’t live up to its proclamations as a safe and secure messaging application.

One major problem Telegram has is that it doesn’t encrypt chats by default, something the FBI has advocated for. “There are many Telegram users who think they are communicating in an encrypted way, when they’re not because they don’t realize that they have to turn on an additional setting,” Christopher Soghoian, Principal Technologist and Senior Policy Analyst at the American Civil Liberties Union, told Gizmodo. “Telegram has delivered everything that the government wants. Would I prefer that they used a method of encryption that followed industry best practices like WhatsApp and Signal? Certainly. But, if its not turned on by default, it doesn’t matter.”
#1021 Crypto ransomware attacks jump nearly 500%
There appears to be no end in sight to the ransomware epidemic. New stats released by security researchers at Kaspersky Lab show that the number of users who came across crypto ransomware in the last year increased by more than 500 percent over the previous year.

The variety and volume of ransomware being deployed by attackers has continued to grow at an alarming rate in the last year or so, with pioneering strains such as CryptoLocker, CryptoWall, and others being joined by dozens of new variants. It’s difficult to overstate how much of an effect the emergence of ransomware has had on consumers, enterprises, and the security industry itself. The FBI has been warning users about crypto ransomware for some time now, and has consistently advised victims not to pay any ransoms. Security researchers have been publishing decryption tools for specific ransomware variants and law enforcement agencies have had some success in taking down ransomware gangs.
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