Security News This Week: An iTunes Bug Let Hackers Spread Ransomware

FBI overreach, hacker payback, and more of the week’s top security news.

bug wearing headphones on pink to blue gradient

The past week brought a heaping helping of not so comforting cybersecurity news, starting with President Donald Trump’s apparent plans to pull out of the Cold War-era Open Skies treaty. We explained why that would be as bad an idea as it sounds. But that’s just for starters.

We also took a look at how planting a spy bug on IT hardware is a lot easier—and cheaper—than you might assume. Also cheap and easy: Russia’s cross-platform disinformation assault during the 2016 election, as comprehensively laid out in a new report from the Senate Intelligence Committee this week. The conclusion is the same as it has been for over a year, but is no less important for it: Russia’s still at it, and the US isn’t doing enough to stop it.

Rogue Android app holds devices to ransom

The dodgy ransom Android app image

An Android phone app that takes a photo of the user and holds their device ransom for $US500 ($A722) has been discovered by a computer security company.

The app, called Adult Player, appears to offer users pornographic images but instead secretly takes pictures with the front facing camera, the security company ZScaler said in a blog post.

The app then holds the phone hostage and forces users to pay a $US500 ransom through PayPal.

The security company says the app will still be on the device after a reboot if the user tries to delete it and has included a step-by-step process to remove it.

To avoid being victim of such ransomware, ZScaler says it is always best to download apps only from trusted app stores, such as Google Play.

This can be enforced by unchecking the option of “Unknown Sources” under the “Security” settings of your device.

AAP and Fairfax Media


Henry Sapiecha