The Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities were discovered last year, but only disclosed recently to the public. Both vulnerabilities are of the same family. They fundamentally affect certain CPU designs with around 20-years’ worth of processors and certain upcoming designs cannot be classified totally secure.
The first and so far the only time I was personally involved, (or to be more precise my son who at that time was eleven years old), in a cyber-attack by ransomware was in 2012. The computer of my son was apparently blocked by the Federal Criminal Police Office due to some illegal actions, such as sending spam mails and even worse. At least that’s what appeared on the screen in poor German. Strangely enough a fee of 100 Euros would unblock the computer. Well, I wondered how the 100 Euros would affect the illegal activities, my eleven year old boy had committed but you never know. Even though it was obvious that we didn’t get into trouble with the public authorities, my son was not amused by the fact that his computer was out of order. In fact, he must have felt exactly how the latest cyber attack has been dubbed: WannaCry.
At the end of November, the pre-Christmas season usually starts in Germany. The famous Christmas Markets, such as the Christkindle market in Nuremberg, open in every city and people celebrate the first Advent by lighting the first of four candles of the Advent wreath. Usually, the first Advent is the day when the contemplative time starts. The 27th of November, the first Advent in 2016 was for many people in Germany in a particular way very calm. Round about one million DSL routers, mainly devices from Germany’s biggest telecommunications carrier, fell victim to hacker attacks. (more…)
Since September, several cyber-attacks have targeted a series of entities present in the network (including DNS Internet service providers, numerous webs residing in Liberia and the personal page of an expert in online security). (more…)
Banks are currently one of the primary targets of criminals; quick access to cash or personal bank account information is a juicy haul. Automated teller machines (ATMs) are a security weak point and while bank-located machines usually have cameras and other security measures in place, off-site ATMs installed independently don’t have the same kind of infrastructure. There are plenty of articles on the Internet about ATM skimming, which is when a thief attaches an external device to an ATM to capture a card’s electronic data, including the PIN, in order to recreate an exact copy of the card. See this link to read an article from the North American press on ATM skimming.