Data Security News Headlines 6th August, 2016

  1. Hack Apple & get paid up to $200,000 bug boundary reward

On Thursday, Apple announced at the Black Hat security conference that the company would be launching a bug bounty program starting this fall to pay outside security researchers and white hat hackers privately disclose security flaws in the company’s products. Head of Apple security team, Ivan Krstic, said the company plans to offer rewards of up to $200,000 (£152,433) to researchers who report critical security vulnerabilities in certain Apple software. While that’s certainly a sizable bounty reward — one of the highest rewards offered in corporate bug bounty programs. Earlier this year, Apple fought a much-publicized battle with the FBI over a court order to access the locked San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone. Perhaps the company is trying to eliminate these lucrative backdoors into its software to make its iOS devices so secure that even the company cannot crack them.

  1. This ATM hack allows crooks to steal money from Chip and Pin cards

Chip-and-PIN cards are just as easy to clone as magnetic stripe cards. It took researchers just a simple chip and pin hack to withdraw up to $50,000 in cash from an ATM in America in under 15 minutes. We have been told that EMV (Europay, MasterCard and Visa) chip-equipped cards provides an extra layer of security which makes these cards more secure and harder to clone than the old magnetic stripe cards. First, the criminals need to add a small device known as a Shimmer to a point-of-sale (POS) machine (here, ATM’s card reader) in order to pull off a man-in-the-middle (MITM) attack against an ATM. The shimmer sits between the victim’s chip and the card reader in the ATM and can record the data on the chip, including PIN, as the ATM reads it. It then transmits this data to the criminals. The criminals then use a smartphone to download this stolen data and recreate the victim’s card in an ATM, instructing it to eject cash constantly.

Cyber Security Tips: Keep watch on your bank statements.

  1. Torrentz.eu shut down forever! End of biggest torrent search engine.

Over two weeks after the shutdown of Kickass Torrents and arrest of its admin in Poland, the world’s biggest BitTorrent meta-search engine Torrentz.eu has apparently shut down its operation. Torrentz.eu was a free, fast and powerful meta-search engine that hosted no torrents of its own, but combined results from dozens of other torrent search engine sites including The Pirate Bay, Kickass Torrents and ExtraTorrent. The meta-search engine has announced “farewell” to its millions of torrent users without much fanfare, suddenly ceasing its operation and disabling its search functionality. Still, it would be fair enough to wait for an official announcement from the site owners.

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