“Celebrating Stephen Hawking” with a 419 scam

The recently departed Stephen Hawking is apparently back from the dead, now a target for scammers wanting to extract some quick cash from the unwary in the form of a vaguely surreal 419 scam. The whole thing begins with an email from, er, Stephen Hawking titled “Celebrating Stephen Hawking.” Click to enlarge The body text is a slightly mangled swipe job from this AP article over on … [Read more...]

The digital entropy of death: link rot

Hot on the heels of a grim blog about digital death comes…another blog about digital death. Except in this case, the recently deceased would be the links that tie the web together, otherwise known as link rot. Link rot is a weird thing. Say I blog for Puppy Chow and I write an article about the best dog shows. For one of my examples, I link to an article with the URL … [Read more...]

The digital entropy of death: what happens to your online accounts when you die

Unless you’re planning on having your mind jammed inside some sort of computer chip, eventually mortality will catch up and you’re going to have to work out what you’ll do with all of your online accounts. When it’s time to shuffle off this mortal coil, you might, theoretically, be slightly annoyed if someone is using your dormant accounts to spam viagra or fake Twitter … [Read more...]

Massive DDoS attack washes over GitHub

There’s been some huge DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks over the years, but we’ve been…lucky?…enough to witness the latest raising of the stakes in the last couple of days. GitHub, an incredibly important code resource for major organisations around the world, fell victim to a colossal DDoS attack on Wednesday—the largest ever on record—helped along by something … [Read more...]

Human Factor Podcast: Jenny Radcliffe and Chris Boyd

A little while ago, I was invited to take part in Jenny Radcliffe’s Human Factor Podcast. With 44 episodes strong (and counting!), Jenny spends an hour or so talking at length with her guests who are professional investigators, security advocates, all-round educators, tireless consultant/conference organisers, and many more besides. In Episode 41, you’ll hear me talk about: [00:01:00]: … [Read more...]

Deepfakes FakeApp tool (briefly) includes cryptominer

A few weeks ago, we took a look at a forum dedicated to Deepfake clips where the site was pushing Coinhive mining scripts in the website’s HTML code. As it turns out, there’s been another mining blow-out in the form of one of the apps used to make the fakes. That’s right—a tool designed to push CPU/GPU hard in order to create movie files also wanted you to push the GPU that much … [Read more...]

Online security tips for Valentine’s Day: how to beat the cheats

Valentine’s Day is upon us once more, and so are lots of dating-friendly security tips. Read on and secure your profile, alongside (one hopes) the love of your life. 1. Not so hot singles in your area Many dating apps have geotagging enabled, regardless of whether you created your profile on a website or through the app itself. Some dating sites base the location you initially enter to serve … [Read more...]

Panic attack: Apple scams apply pressure

We’ve seen a number of Apple-related phishes in circulation over the last few days. While most of them already lead to deactivated phishing sites, we thought it was worth highlighting some of the tricks being used to bait people into handing over payment details at the moment. Fake receipt emails First up, a number of fake “receipt” emails ranging in date from February 2–6. While … [Read more...]

New Deepfakes forum goes mining with Coinhive

You may or may be familiar with the furore over Deepfakes, a relatively new development in pornography involving a tool called FacesApp, which is capable of producing a real porn clip that replaces the original actors’ heads with those of celebrities—or indeed, anyone at all. Online fakes have been around since the early 2000s or possibly even earlier; alongside those old photos, fakers … [Read more...]

Ransomware’s difficult second album

The last year has seen all manner of cybercrime, from scams and social engineering to malvertising and malspam. What’s interesting is that so many “next-gen,” sophisticated malware mainstays like exploits have dropped in popularity, while other more traditional types such as spyware have shot up dramatically —to the tune of an 882 percent increase in UK detections. Meanwhile, … [Read more...]