Anglo African weekly news wrap on trending cyber-attacks, to keep you alert

June 7, 2018

People should turn their routers off and back on again to help halt the spread of a dangerous piece of Russian malware, the FBI has said. The software has infected hundreds of thousands of devices. It could use that army of routers under its control to collect information by reading people’s internet activity, or to shut down their internet entirely.

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As much as people enjoy their virtual assistants, sometimes they do things that are downright creepy. Such is the case for a family in Portland who discovered that Amazon Alexa recorded a conversation without permission and sent it to a random person in their contact list. According to KIRO 7, a family from Portland suddenly received a phone call from a person on their contact list telling them to “Unplug your Alexa devices right now, You’re being hacked.”

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US authorities have provided more details of two pieces of malware which, they said, are used by North Korean hackers to infiltrate computer systems and steal passwords and other data.

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Malicious actors are exploiting the upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup to conduct phishing attacks only two weeks before the tournament kicks off. Researchers at cyber security company Kaspersky Lab have detected a spike in the number of phishing pages appearing during match ticket sales, alongside a general rise in the number of football-related spam and World Cup-themed attacks.

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Cyber-crime is one oft-repeated threat, which apparently doesn’t seem like slowing down. However, the only defence to this threat is security vigilance and awareness. A quick way to test the corresponding security measures is by incorporating bug bounty programs which have been on the maps of several companies, for a long time now. Although not all bug bounty programs provide remunerations, others can go as high as $36,000 like Google which recently awarded an Uruguayan teenager for exposing a security flaw.

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