Home Depot breach a near certainty, yet Backoff remains a question

Home Depot has not yet confirmed that a slew of fraudulent transactions came from a breach of its systems, yet an increasing body of evidence is mounting that points to a massive compromise linked to the home-supply retail chain.

Financial institutions first detected the suspected breach when a wave of fraudulent transactions on cards had been used at Home Depot. On Wednesday, journalist and blogger Brian Krebs, who originally broke the story, analyzed the zip codes of a recent batch of stolen cards offered for sale on the underground and found a 99 percent match with the locations of Home Depot's stores.

Such a correlation is a "smoking gun," Lucas Zaichkowsky, enterprise defense architect at AccessData, a digital forensics and security services firm, said in an e-mail interview. Whether Home Depot has been breached is no longer a question, he said.

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Celeb nude photos now being used as bait by Internet criminals

Temptation to look is once again being used as bait for a variety of malware attacks, thanks in part to the widespread coverage of the recent nude celebrity photos leaks on 4chan and reddit. The old bait-and-switch move, a well-worn social engineering attack on Twitter and other social networking services, has now been updated with promises of intimate photos of Jennifer Lawrence. In reality, the link delivers malware “dropper” software instead.

Researchers at Trend Micro have uncovered a number of new social engineering attacks based on the celebrity photos. One in particular uses Lawrence as the bait, with a shortened URL that the Twitter lure promises will take you to “Jennifer Lawrence Leaked Photos.” The tweet uses hashtags for Jennifer Lawrence both by her full name and by “JLaw” in order to target people actively seeking information about her.

A fraudulent tweet, used as a lure.
Trend Micro Labs

Those who fall for the bait are taken to a website with a “video”—which is in fact a link to fake “Video Converter” software. What really gets delivered is a malware package that Trend Micro calls ADW_BRANTALL, an adware installer that targets Microsoft Windows 7 and earlier Windows versions.

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In case of cyber attack: NATO members ready to pledge mutual defense

The United States and the other 27 members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization plan to aid the defense of any other NATO country in the event of a major cyber attack, according to an agreement that will be ratified this week at a major alliance meeting.

On Thursday, NATO members will meet with 40 partner countries at a major summit in Wales, United Kingdom, to discuss the future security of the region. While the conflict in eastern Ukraine will dominate the meeting, the alliance will also agree to work together to defend its communications network and aid each other against major cyber attacks.

The policy, endorsed by NATO ministers in June, will task NATO countries with sharing information on cyber threats, lending expertise to harden member nations' communications and information systems (CIS), and working with industry partners to improve NATO's ability to respond to cyber attacks.

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