FTC Promotes Privacy Awareness Week

Original release date: May 08, 2017

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has released an announcement on Privacy Awareness Week, celebrated this week in the U.S. The theme of this year’s initiative is “Share with Care,” and the FTC is offering privacy tips, including how to safeguard your information online, improve your computer security, and limit unwanted emails.

US-CERT encourages users and administrators to review FTC’s post on Privacy Awareness Week and these related resources from US-CERT:


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Microsoft Releases Critical Security Update

Original release date: May 08, 2017

Microsoft has released a critical out-of-band security update addressing a vulnerability in the Microsoft Malware Protection Engine. A remote attacker could exploit this vulnerability to take control of an affected system.

Users and administrators are encouraged to review Microsoft Security Advisory 4022344 for details and apply the necessary update.


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Mac users installing popular DVD ripper get nasty backdoor instead

(credit: Patrick Wardle)

Hackers compromised a download server for a popular media-encoding software named HandBrake and used it to push stealthy malware that stole victims' password keychains, password vaults, and possibly the master credentials that decrypted them, security researchers said Monday.

Over a four-day period ending Saturday, a download mirror located at download.handbrake.fr delivered a version of the DVD ripping and video conversion software that contained a backdoor known as Proton, HandBrake developers warned over the weekend. At the time that the malware was being distributed to unsuspecting Mac users, none of the 55 most widely used antivirus services detected it. That's according to researcher Patrick Wardle, who reported results here and here from the VirusTotal file-scanning service. When the malicious download was opened, it directed users to enter their Mac administrator password, which was then uploaded in plain text to a server controlled by the attackers. Once installed, the malware sent a variety of sensitive user files to the same server.

In a blog post published Monday morning, Thomas Reed, director of Mac offerings at antivirus provider Malwarebytes, wrote:

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Evidence suggests Russia behind hack of French president-elect

Enlarge / A last-minute information operation against French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron did not stop him from winning Sunday's run-off election. But it did have the fingerprints of Russia all over it. (credit: Getty Images/ Chesnot )

Late on May 5 as the two final candidates for the French presidency were about to enter a press blackout in advance of the May 7 election, nine gigabytes of data allegedly from the campaign of Emmanuel Macron were posted on the Internet in torrents and archives. The files, which were initially distributed via links posted on 4Chan and then by WikiLeaks, had forensic metadata suggesting that Russians were behind the breach—and that a Russian government contract employee may have falsified some of the dumped documents.

Even WikiLeaks, which initially publicized the breach and defended its integrity on the organization's Twitter account, has since acknowledged that some of the metadata pointed directly to a Russian company with ties to the government:

Evrika ("Eureka") ZAO is a large information technology company in St. Petersburg that does some work for the Russian government, and the group includes the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB) among its acknowledged customers (as noted in this job listing). The company is a systems integrator, and it builds its own computer equipment and provides "integrated information security systems." The metadata in some Microsoft Office files shows the last person to have edited the files to be "Roshka Georgiy Petrovich," a current or former Evrika ZAO employee.

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