Authors Posts by Ayush Saraswat

Ayush Saraswat

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Founder and Editor-in-Chief of 'Professional Hackers India'. Technology Evangelist, Security Analyst, Cyber Security Expert, PHP Developer and Part time hacker.

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An Indonesian hacking collective named Indonesian Intelligent Security has defaced multiple websites in past few days. One of them was the famous free code snippets website http://bootsnipp.com. The group posted after hacked http://bootsnipp.com,

“Hello ! We Are The Next Generation. We Are The Againist Security. We Are The Intelegent For Security. We Are Back To Punish You Again. This Just A Speial Fuck For Your Security And Your Self.
#Islam not Terrorism #Free_Palestine #Indonesian Was Here !

We Are: AnoaGhost – ./51N1CH1 – Mr.DreamX196 – Mr.XSecr3t – Mr.Guy – Unknown~X – YaroiDariko – Mr.Syntax_Error”.

Link of targeted website along with its mirror as a proof of hack is available below:

http://www.zone-h.org/mirror/id/25551397

Three Wipro employees in Kolkata have been arrested in connection with a security breach in the customer records of a UK-based telecom client TalkTalk, a development that could have major implications for the IT company.

A TalkTalk spokesperson said it is reviewing its relationship with Wipro. The British media carried the news on Wednesday, given that TalkTalk is a major fixed line broadband and voice telephony services company, with revenue of 1.7 billion pounds.

TalkTalk had suffered a major cyberattack in October that had compromised the personal and financial details, including bank account information, of some 1,57,000 customers.

For Abidali Neemuchwala, who takes over as Wipro CEO on February 1, this would perhaps not be the kind of beginning he had looked forward to. Industry analysts said he would have to tighten internal controls in the BPO operations and may take disciplinary action against senior executives to assuage client concerns. And this at a time when the company needs to focus on improving its growth rate, which has been significantly lagging those of peers.

The criminal acts by the Wipro employees were discovered when TalkTalk conducted a forensic review of all its operations following the October cyberattack. The forensic review was to ensure that all aspects of TalkTalk’s security — including that of its suppliers — were as robust as possible. It had hired defence company BAE Systems to investigate the cyberattack.

“As part of the review, we have been working with Wipro and the local police in Kolkata. Acting on information supplied by TalkTalk, the local police have arrested three individuals who have breached our policies and the terms of our contract with Wipro,” the TalkTalk spokesperson said.

TalkTalk, which competes with British Telecom and Virgin Media, selected Wipro BPO as one of its strategic partners for its outsourced contact centre operations in 2011. Over 1,000 employees at Wipro’s Kolkata centre are involved in providing customer and technical support services for TalkTalk’s broadband and fixed-line telephony. Since 2011, the BPO contract has expanded to cover mobile and IP TV services.

Sources told TOI that the size of deal could be 70 million pounds spread over six years. But this could not be confirmed. TalkTalk spokesperson Isobel Bradshaw said, “Sadly, we cannot comment on the details of our relationship or contract with Wipro, as it is commercially sensitive.”

 

Wipro helped TalkTalk reduce complaints that cause customer churn. Wipro is using analytics to understand customer behaviour with relevant and customized interactions. The partnership with Wipro was expected to help TalkTalk reduce $2 million in cost annually and increase $1 million in its revenue through improved ARPU. Wipro’s 5,000-employee contact centre in Kolkata does work for other clients including Vodafone.
When TOI contacted Wipro on the matter, the company said it is committed to maintaining the integrity and confidentiality of all customer data and has a zero-tolerance policy on security breaches.
“Working with our customer, Wipro reported potential illegal activity to the relevant law enforcement authority in India, as soon as it came to the company’s attention. Wipro is working closely with the customer in the investigation and will continue to extend its full co-operation to the investigating authorities. We are unable to comment on the matter that is currently under investigation,” a statement said.
Infosys’s BPO operations had suffered a similar embarrassment in late 2014 when it was found that several junior and mid-level employees had participated in the overbilling of Apple, a major Infosys client. It led to the exit of the CEO and CFO of the BPO operations.

 

Source : TOI

Researchers examined on a scientific basis whether employers actually use Facebook during a first screening. They sent fictitious application letters in response to genuine vacancies.

Do you have an impressive profile picture on Facebook? It might increase your chances of getting hired, a new study suggests.

Users’ Facebook profile picture affects their callback chances about as strongly as the picture on their resume, researchers at Ghent University in Belgium have found.

Employers have very limited information when they make their first selection of applicants for their vacancies. One potential source of information is the social networking website Facebook, researchers said.

Researchers examined on a scientific basis whether employers actually use Facebook during a first screening. They sent fictitious application letters in response to genuine vacancies.

A total of 2,112 job applications were sent out in response to vacancies in various sectors of the Flemish labour market. For each job opening, a pair of male graduates with degrees in commerce, business administration, or applied economics was constructed.

The CVs and motivation letters differed in detail and layout but were similar in productivity-influencing characteristics. The only substantial difference was the candidate’s name or picture. These features were randomly assigned to the application pairs. The photos used were selected for their different scores in attractiveness and personality.

Entering the names of these fictitious job candidates in the Facebook search bar or in Google led exclusively to one of four fictitious Facebook profiles controlled by the research team. Only the Facebook profile picture was publicly visible.

The four photos used varied in terms of physical attractiveness and apparent personality traits.

Researchers then compared the chances of positive responses for applicants with different Facebook profiles. The respective picture was viewable on Facebook but not included in the application letter.

The candidate with the most favourable Facebook profile picture received approximately 21% more positive responses compared to the candidate with the least favourable profile picture. The chances to get an immediate invitation to a job interview even differed by almost 40%.

The results also show that highly educated applicants are more likely to be screened via Facebook than the less educated. Occupations with regular customer contact are not more prone to Facebook screening than others, researchers said.

Given that these strong differences can be driven only by the Facebook profile picture, it is clear that many employers screen via Facebook,” said Stijn Baert from Ghent University.

Dutch Police Say They Can Access Encrypted Emails on PGP Equipped BlackBerrys

Known for their security, BlackBerry handsets use the PGP encryption mail, which makes the phone extremely secure. However, the criminal group are taking advantage of this feature and using BlackBerry devices to carry out attacks since their communication can’t be traced and/or decrypted.

The good news is that the Dutch Police have confirmed to Motherboard that they are able to read encrypted messages sent on PGP BlackBerry phones—custom, security-focused BlackBerry devices that come complete with an encrypted email feature, and which apparently may be used by organized criminal groups.

The news first appeared when Dutch blog “misdaadnieuws.com,” or Crime News, published apparent documents sourced from the NFI (Netherlands Forensic Institute) in December last year, that indicated that deleted messages can be recovered, and encrypted emails read on BlackBerry devices.

Also, Tuscha Essed, a press officer from the NFI (Netherlands Forensic Institute), told Motherboard in an email that “we are capable of obtaining encrypted data from BlackBerry PGP devices.” The NFI is a body that helps law enforcement in forensic evidence retrieval, and which, according to its website, deals with most of the forensic investigations in criminal cases in the Netherlands.

A number of online vendors sell PGP-encrypted BlackBerrys, which are advertised as being mainly more suitable for sensitive communications than the standard models on offer. “We use PGP encoding as protocol for sending and receiving messages,” the site of one vendor, TopPGP, reads. Another seller, called GhostPGP, says that the company “offers the only proven, time-tested means of communicating securely in total anonymity with PGP-encrypted email.”

While NFI did not discuss the exact methods involved to decrypt data sent through BlackBerry devices, it however needs physical access to the actual BlackBerry device.

When asked how the Dutch police can decrypt BlackBerry data, Essed stated that “by answering these we would provide criminals with exactly the information they would need in order to eventually get around our research method.

“We would like to prevent that and therefore have been very reserved with our explanation towards the press.”

However, there is speculation that it is relying on a tool from Cellebrite to get the job done. One possibility is that investigators are guessing the password based on a memory dump, even though that normally requires yanking a memory chip off the phone’s motherboard.

While the NFI says that it has broken the code, it hasn’t been able to do so in every case. According to the Crime News report, in one test, out of 325 encrypted emails, only 279 were cracked by the organization. In addition, the actual BlackBerry device that has the encrypted message needs to be in the possession of the law enforcement group looking to crack the code. This restricts the effectiveness of the method in real-life applications.

The phone used in the test is rumored to be the BlackBerry 9720, a model of BlackBerry that was released in August 2013.

“We wrote about this years ago. This affects all mobile devices including Android offerings! Weak passwords will always be the weak link. Content protection is on by default for all our units. This has been the case since day one. Without it, the devices are easily cracked. [BlackBerry] devices can still be brute forced via chip-off. It could possibly be that Cellebrite has found a way to brute force without a chip-off: this I have not verified,”-Jay Phillips, encrypted BlackBerry seller SecureMobile.ME

According to claims made by some PGP vendors, their BlackBerry phones remain 100% secure. According to GhostPGP, “We have not been affected. Our services are completely secure and have never been compromised.”

Meanwhile, TopPGP told Motherboard, “We use the latest PGP encryption at this moment that it’s almost impossible to be decrypted. Our customers are very happy with the level of security provided by TopPGP.com.”

The search engine giant Google has removed 13 malicious apps from the Google Play store. The company took this step after it was notified by the security researcher that these apps made unauthorized downloads to the Android devices.
These apps try to get the root privileges and when given they copy numerous device files to the system partition that remains untouched even after factory resetting the device. A security researcher named Chris Dehghanpoor from Lookout disclosed the malicious files. The researcher stated that the apps boosted high download numbers and automatically posted positive reviews on the Play store.

The list of apps removed from the Google Play store includes
  • Honeycomb,
  • Just Fire
  • Cake Blast
  • Crazy Block
  • Drag Box
  • Tiny Puzzle
  • Jump Planet
  • Ninja Hook
  • Piggy Jump
  • Eat Bubble
  • Hit Planet
  • Cake Tower
  • and Crazy Jelly.

Dehghanpoor further stated that the best way to get rid of the malware is to re-flash a ROM supplied by the device’s manufacturer. He further explained that the malware authors made use of different names and techniques to see what app could be published in the Play store while flying under the radar.

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Cyber attacks are getting evil and worst nightmare for companies day-by-day, and the Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack is one of the favorite weapon for hackers to temporarily suspend services of a host connected to the Internet.

Until now, nearly every big website had been a victim of this attack, and the most recent one was conducted against the BBC’s websites and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s main campaign website over this past holiday weekend.

Out of two, the largest DDoS attack in the history was carried out against the BBC website: Over 600 Gbps

Largest DDoS Attack in the History.

The group calling itself New World Hacking claimed responsibility for taking down both the BBC’s global website and Donald Trump’s website last week.
The group targeted all BBC sites, including its iPlayer on-demand service, and took them down for at least three hours on New Year’s Eve.
At the moment, the BBC news organization announced that the outage was caused due to some “technical” fault, but later it stated that “New World Hacking” group had claimed responsibility for launching a DDoS attack against BBC, as a “test of its capabilities.”

BangStresser DDoS Attack Tool

One of the members of the New World Hacking group, identified himself as Ownz, claimed that the group allegedly used their own tool called BangStresser to launch a DDoS attack of up to 602 Gbps on the BBC’s website.

As a proof, the group provided ZDNet a screenshot of a web interface that was allegedly used to attack the BBC website.
Although the authenticity of the screenshot has not been verified, if the attack size is proven true, it would vastly surpass the largest DDoS attack record of 334 Gbps, recorded by Arbor Networks last year.
The recent massive DDoS attack apparently utilizes two Amazon Web Services servers that employ a large number of automated detection and mitigation techniques in order to prevent the misuse of the services, Amazon previously claimed.
“We have our ways of bypassing Amazon,” said Ownz. “The best way to describe it is we tap into a few administrative services that Amazon is use to using. The [sic] simply set our bandwidth limit as unlimited and program our own scripts to hide it.”
More details about the attack have yet not disclosed, but Ownz claimed that their main purpose behind the development of the BangStresser DDoS tool is to unmask ISIS and possibly end its online propaganda.
“We have been taking down ISIS websites in the past,” said Ownz, “this is just the start of a new year.”
A similar group named Lizard Squad, conducted a marketing campaign for promoting their DDoS tool, known as the Lizard Stresser, using which the group took down Sony’s PlayStation Network and Microsoft’s Xbox Live last year on Christmas Eve.

An Indian hacking collective named Indian Black Hats has defaced multiple Pakistani websites. This Kerala-based group has dedicated the attack to the little daughter of a Pathankot terror attack martyr. The group told fossBytes, “Harming is not our aim..but if anyone pick their eyes on our mother India..we stand for it”.

In response to Pathankot terror attack, an Indian hacking group has attacked multiple Pakistani websites, including Pakistan Bar Council’s website.The hackers have dedicated these attacks to the 18-month old daughter of Pathankot terror attack martyr, National Security Guard (NSG) officer Lieutenant Colonel Niranjan Kumar. This hacking attack was carried out by Indian Black Hats group based in Kerala.

The hacked websites include:

www.csd.gov.pk
www.pakistanbarcouncil.org
www.mona.gov.pk
www.fotile.pk
www.maslamsons.com
www.cpakgulf.org
www.solp.pk

A member of the Indian Black Hats said: “Harming is not our aim..but if anyone pick their eyes on our mother India..we stand for it”.

On the defaced websites, this hacker collective has posted this message

This Attack is dedicated for VismayA, the daughter of NSG Commando Lt Col Niranjan!! A Big Salute from team IBH To the familys of brave soldiers who lost their life in Pathankot Attack!! A Small Tribute to those Brave Soldiers who Laid their Precious Life for our Country and our People!!

RIP Brave Souls of Pathankot !! We Are Proud Of You Guys !! Bharat MaataKi Jai !! Vande Matharam !!

We forgive…

We forget..

Don’t Expect Anything from us.. !!

With F**K FrOm: Ind_Cod3r & L!u M!nyu

When asked about the extent of hacking and access to the database of hacked website

“Yes we have full access to their database through which we had the admin info and get into their server”. – IBH

For those who don’t know, Indian Black Hats (IBH) is an Indian hacking collective that started in 2011 with name Indian Cyber Devils.

Add your views in the comments below. For more updates, stay tuned with Professional India.

Source : FossBytes

On the occasion of New Year, mobile messaging application WhatsApp suffered an outage.

Network tracking sites received more than a thousand reports of the app’s outage as of 10 pm today (Dec 31).

The outage appeared to last slightly more than half an hour.

The website said Whatsapp had been facing issues since 10 pm. At about 10.45 pm, the tracking site received 1,739 reports of network outage. By 11.15 pm, service on Whatsapp seemed to be restored as the tracking site only received two reports of outage.

Some 42 per cent of users on the tracking site reported  problems sending or receiving messages, while another 42 per cent said they had connection problems. Fourteen per cent reported log-in problems.

Whatsapp allows users to send and receive messages, photos, and other information and is widely used among smart phone users as an alternative to SMS.

OS.js is a free and open source operating system that runs in your web browser. Based on Javascript, this operating system comes with a fully-fledged window manager, ability to install applications, access to virtual filesystems and a lot more. Read more to know about the OS in detail.

Did you ever wish to use an operating system that ran just like a website inside your web browser? OS.js, a JavaScript-based open source operating system designed for the cloud, is here to provide you this facility.On its website, OS.js describes itself as a Javascript web desktop implementation for you browser. As a preconceived notion, you might assume that a browser-based operating system won’t be of any use as it would lack some basic functionalities. However, OS.js is here to surprise you. This browser-based OS comes with a fully-fledged window manager, GUI toolkits, filesystem abstraction, and Application APIs.

The simple and neat homepage of the operating system has many complex things going in the backyard. Using drag and drop, multitasking is a smooth process.

OS.js comes with a range of applications to help you write, paint, listen to music and watch videos, play a couple of games, use the calculator, and write emails. Adding new applications through repositories is always an option inOS.js with extra applications like PDF viewer, XMPP Chat, Google Mail, Google Contacts, Tetris, and Wolfenstein3D.

Oh, and also it just takes 3-4 seconds to load.

OS.js is completely free and open source. This means you can add your own contributions and customize it according to your need.  Using the Virtual Filesystem, uploading, downloading, and modifying files using Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive is made possible. The operating system also comes with support for Google API Javascript, and Windows Live API.

Watch the demo video below:

This operating system works in any modern browser and all platforms.

To know more about the OS and for using it right now, visit their website –OS.js

Palo Alto Networks unravels ‘BackStab’ technique which allows criminals to get access and steal your private data, via unprotected phone backups

The security company, Palo Alto Networks has disclosed details of a new “BackStab” that steals local mobile data backups and transfers it to the C&C server. A white paper from the company’s Unit 42 threat intelligence team explains that this data is not taken from mobile devices, but from computers where users create backups for their phones, or where software solutions create automatic backups of their phones whenever they connect it to their computer.

BackStab has been employed by law enforcement and cyberattackers alike to steal SMS and MMS messages, call logs, contacts and address book information, calendars and notes, photos, email, recorded audio and videos, browser bookmarks, web browsing history, cookies from visited websites and geolocation history. The malware exploits the fact that many backup tools don’t implement encryption, so the malicious code easily finds the backups and access data it contains.

As explained by the experts, the BackStab malware doesn’t need to have higher-level privileges or root access to the device or the infected computer.

The whitepaper noted, “iOS devices have been the primary target, as default backup settings in iTunes have left many users backups unencrypted and easily identified, but other mobile platforms are also at risk.”

“While the technique is well-known, a few are aware of the fact that malicious attackers and data collectors have been using malware to execute BackStab in attacks around the world for years.”

Nicolai Solling, technical services director at Help AG, said that, hackers are able to steal private data from their mobile phones by remotely penetrating the unencrypted backup of their device, which is created in iTunes, in iPhone users’ case.

He said the attack targets mainly phones that run on iOS, Apple’s mobile operating system.

Solling further said, “The Backstab attack is quite interesting as it is an attack specific on iOS devices, which historically have seen less malware than other mobile platforms.”

“Backstab therefore highlights the innovation of the attackers by attacking the weakest link, in this case the backup of the iOS device, which is created in ITunes. So the infection or vulnerability is not on the iOS system, rather on how one of the supporting applications iTunes is handling the data.”

“This attack is actually known, but what is interesting is that the attackers are targeting the backup on the client’s machine. It highlights that any person or organisation needs to understand the immediate, as well as possible attack vectors on their IT infrastructure.”

Ryan Olson, director of threat intelligence, Unit 42, Palo Alto Networks said, “Cybersecurity teams must realize, just because an attack technique is well-known, that doesn’t mean it’s no longer a threat. While conducting our research into BackStab attacks, we gathered over 600 malware samples from 30 countries around the world that were used to conduct remote BackStab attacks.”

To protect your mobile phones from getting hacked, follow the below recommendations:

– iOS users should use the iCloud backup system or encrypt their local backups in iTunes and select a safe password.
– Regardless of the make or model of your smartphone, upgrade iOS devices to the latest version, as it creates encrypted backups by default.
– Users should not click the “Trust” button when the dialog box is displayed, while connecting an iOS device to an untrusted computer or charger via a USB cable.
– Never ever root or jailbreak your phone.
– Only install applications you trust.
– Always update the applications on the device.
– Don’t do anything on your device that you don’t want others to see or hear; sharing locations or tracking devices should ideally be kept private.

In a recent interview which was a part of the 60 Minutes segment on Apple, Apple CEO Tim Cook detailed the qualities Apple needs in a candidate. These qualities include a desire to do things differently, a different way of looking at things, and a lot more. Read the article and know everything Apple CEO had to say.

How to get a job at Apple? What qualities does the world’s most valuable brand look for while going through your resume? In the recent 60 Minutes segment focused on Apple, Apple CEO Tim Cook  revealed more about Apple’s hiring process.Talking to veteran journalist Charlie Rose, Cook said that Apple looks for people who work for a different reason and are willing to change the world by working with passion and idealism. Calling the hiring process of Apple tough, Cook said that Apple needs the candidates who don’t take a no for an answer. “People that don’t take no for an answer. People who don’t accept the status quo,” he said. Sounds like Steve Jobs, right?

To be a part of Apple, you must be unsatisfied and know how to look at things differently. “People that can’t be told things are impossible. They can’t accept that,” Cook said.

Apple’s hiring process is very rigorous. To become an Apple employee, one needs to face 10-12 people who interview a candidate to study him/her from different point of views.

Cook says that there are tons of people in Apple who don’t agree with him and present a strong opinion to defend their point of view. According to Apple CEO, this quality inspired them to make things better.

“We’re looking for wicked smart people who have a point of view, and want to debate that point of view, and people that want to change something. People that want to make things better,” Cook said.

Watch the complete video here.

Tim Cook’s definition of a perfect candidate sounds just like Steve Jobs. Over the years, Apple has refined its work culture and hiring process, but some things haven’t changed much.

Add your views on Tim Cook’s interview in the comments below.

Source : FossBytes

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