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DarkVishnya: cyber era’s new style of bank robbery

Eight banks in Eastern Europe have been hacked via devices smuggled into corporate buildings.

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During 2017 and 2018, Kaspersky Lab experts were involved in incident response following a number of cyber-robberies targeting financial organisations in Eastern Europe.

The researchers discovered that in each case the corporate network was breached through an unknown device, controlled by the attackers, which had been smuggled into a company building and connected to the network. To date, at least eight banks in the region have been attacked in this way, with estimated losses running into tens of millions of dollars.

The attackers used three types of devices: a laptop, a Raspberry Pi (a single-board computer size of a credit card) or a Bash Bunny (a specially designed tool for automating and conducting USB attacks), equipped with a GPRS, 3G- or LTE- modem that allowed the attackers to penetrate remotely the corporate network of the financial organisation.

Once the connection was established, the cybercriminals tried to gain access to the web servers to steal the data they needed to run RDP (remote desktop protocol) on a selected computer and then seize funds or data. This fileless method of attack included the use of Impacket, winexesvc.exe, or psexec.exe remote execution toolkits. In the final stage, the attackers used remote control software to maintain access to the infected computer.

“Over the past year and a half, we’ve been observing a completely new type of attacks on banks, quite sophisticated and complex in terms of detection. The entry point to the corporate network remained unknown for a long time, since it could be located in any office in any region. These unknown devices, smuggled in and hidden by intruders, could not be found remotely. Additionally, the threat actor used legitimate utilities, which complicated the incident response even more,” said Sergey Golovanov, security expert at Kaspersky Lab

To protect against this unusual approach to digital robbery, Kaspersky Lab advises financial institutions to:

  • Pay particular attention to the monitoring of connected devices and accessing the corporate network, for example by using Kaspersky Endpoint Security for business.
  • Eliminate security holes altogether, including those involving improper network configurations. For this, the Kaspersky Penetration Testing service is a convenient and highly effective solution, providing not only data on found vulnerabilities, but also advising organisations on how to fix it, further strengthening corporate security.
  • Use a specialised solution against advanced threats that can detect all types of anomalies and scrutinise suspicious activities in a network at a deeper level to reveal, recognise and uncover complex attacks – like Kaspersky Anti Targeted Attack Platform.Kaspersky Endpoint Security for business

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CES: Most useless gadgets

The worst gadgets of CES also deserve their moment of infamy, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK.

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It’s fairly easy to choose the best new gadgets launched at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas last week. Most lists – and there are many – highlight the LG roll-up TV, the Samsung modular TV, the Royole foldable phone, the impossible burger, and the walking car.

But what about the voice assisted bed, the smart baby dining table, the self-driving suitcase and the robot that does nothing? In their current renditions, they sum up what is not only bad about technology, but how technology for its own sake quickly leads us down the rabbit hole of waste and futility.

The following pick of the worst of CES may well be a thinly veneered attempt at mockery, but it is also intended as a caution against getting caught up in hype and justification of pointless technology.

1. DUX voice-assisted bed

The single most useless product launched at CES this year must surely be a bed with Alexa voice control built in. No, not to control the bed itself, but to manage the smart home features with which Alexa and other smart speakers are associated. Or that any smartphone with Siri or Google Assistant could handle. Swedish luxury bedmaker DUX thinks it’s a good idea to manage smart lights, TV, security and air conditioning through the bed itself. Just don’t say Alexa’s “wake word” in your sleep.

2. Smart Baby Dining Table 

Ironically, the runner-up comes from a brand that also makes smart beds: China’s 37 Degree Smart Home. Self-described as “the world’s first smart furniture brand that is transforming technology into furniture”, it outdid itself with a Smart Baby Dining Table. This isa baby feeding table with a removable dining chair that contains a weight detector and adjustable camera, to make children’s weight and temperature visible to parents via the brand’s app. Score one for hands-off parenting.

Click here to read about smart diapers, self-driving suitcases, laundry folders, and bad robot companions.

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CES: Language tech means no more “lost in translation”

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Talking to strangers in foreign countries just got a lot easier with recent advancements in translation technology. Last week, major companies and small startups alike showed the CES technology expo in Las Vegas how well their translation worked at live translation.

Most existing translation apps, like Bixby and Siri Translate, are still in their infancy with live speech translation, which brings about the need for dedicated solutions like these technologies:

Babel’s AIcorrect pocket translator

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The AIcorrect Translator, developed by Beijing-based Babel Technology, attracted attention as the linguistic king of the show. As an advanced application of AI technology in consumer technology, the pocket translator deals with problems in cross-linguistic communication. 

It supports real-time mutual translation in multiple situations between Chinese/English and 30 other languages, including Japanese, Korean, Thai, French, Russian and Spanish. A significant differentiator is that major languages like English being further divided into accents. The translation quality reaches as high as 96%.

It has a touch screen, where transcription and audio translation are shown at the same time. Lei Guan, CEO of Babel Technology, said: “As a Chinese pathfinder in the field of AI, we designed the device in hoping that hundreds of millions of people can have access to it and carry out cross-linguistic communication all barrier-free.” 

Click here to read about the Pilot, Travis, Pocketalk, Google and Zoi translators.

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