Weekend wrap-up: Cyber security news from Avast

Here’s your wrap up of security and privacy related news from the June 17 – 27 posts on the Avast blog:


cruise shipIt’s summertime in the Northern Hemisphere and many people are going on or planning their vacation. Beware of fake vacation packages and beautiful rental properties that are not as they seem. These Vacation scams can ruin your holiday, so read up before you become a victim.

samsung_swiftkeyMore than 600 million Samsung phones were reported to be at risk because of a vulnerability found in the keyboard app SwiftKey. The best way to protect yourself is to use a virtual private network (VPN) when using an unsecured Wi-Fi hotspot. If you have a Samsung S6, S5, or S4, you need to read Samsung phones vulnerable to hacker attack via keyboard update.

Hola logoAs we learned from the Hola VPN service revelations, any old VPN service will not do. Hola was selling their users’ bandwidth and installing and running code on their devices without their knowledge or permission. Find out the details in Hola, Hola VPN users, you may have been part of a botnet!, and please share with an Hola user.

1Mobile developer Martin Banas, attended Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco. Besides spending lots of time standing in lines, he enjoyed meeting other developers and hearing the latest news about OS X El Capitan and Apple Pay. Weren’t able to attend, bit wish you could have? Martin’s conference report, Looking back at WWDC 2015, describes the event.

Jennifer Lawrence was victim of iCloud hack

Remember the iCloud celebrity photo hack? There have been many theories bandied about since nude photos of female celebrities were posted on the web. We add our own two cents into the conversation. Avast security researcher Philip Chytry explains what he thinks the origin and motivation behind the hack was in iCloud celebrity photo hack: What’s happening?!

Major cybercrooks get arrested

Major cybercrooks taken down

While the cybercrooks behind the iCloud hack have not been discovered, authorities had big wins this past week in other areas. The author and distributor of Blackshades malware was sentenced to nearly five years in a New York prison. A major cybercriminal organization responsible for banking Trojans Zeus and SpyEye was taken down. Read Businessman hackers brought down in USA and Europe.

Avast CEO Vince StecklerMore from the Edward Snowden files. It was revealed this week that U.S. and U.K. spy agencies were attempting to reverse engineer major antivirus companies software, including Avast’s.  CEO Vince Steckler spoke to RT News about government spying in the computer age. You can read the article, Avast CEO speaks out about U.S. and U.K. spy agencies, and watch the interview here.

Mr Robot TV shows about hackersAnd if the real world of cybercrime is not enough, our favorite new show of the summer Mr. Robot debuted on the USA Network this past week. We excitedly watched the first episode then talked to Avast security expert, Pedram Amini,  to find out Are the hacks on Mr. Robot real? or just Hollywood magic.

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