January 28, 2023

Norton LifeLock says thousands of customer accounts breached

Gen Digital said it sent notices to about 6,450 customers whose accounts were compromised

Norton LifeLock says thousands of customer accounts breached

The cybersecurity company said the credential stuffing attack may have allowed intruders access to customer-saved passwords.

Thousands of Norton LifeLock customers had their accounts compromised in recent weeks, potentially allowing criminal hackers access to customer password managers, the company revealed in a recent data breach notice.

In a notice to customers, Gen Digital, the parent company of Norton LifeLock, said that the likely culprit was a credential stuffing attack — where previously exposed or breached credentials are used to break into accounts on different sites and services that share the same passwords — rather than a compromise of its systems. It’s why two-factor authentication, which Norton LifeLock offers, is recommended, as it blocks attackers from accessing someone’s account with just their password.

The company said it found that the intruders had compromised accounts as far back as December 1, close to two weeks before its systems detected a “large volume” of failed logins to customer accounts on December 12.

“In accessing your account with your username and password, the unauthorized third party may have viewed your first name, last name, phone number, and mailing address,” the data breach notice said. The notice was sent to customers that it believes use its password manager feature, because the company cannot rule out that the intruders also accessed customers’ saved passwords.

Gen Digital said it sent notices to about 6,450 customers whose accounts were compromised.

Norton LifeLock provides identity protection and cybersecurity services. It’s the latest incident involving the theft of customer passwords of late. Earlier this year, password manager giant LastPass confirmed a data breach in which intruders compromised its cloud storage and stole millions of customers’ encrypted password vaults. In 2021, the company behind a popular enterprise password manager called Passwordstate was hacked to push a tainted software update to its customers, allowing the cybercriminals to steal customers’ passwords.

That said, password managers are still widely recommended by security professionals for generating and storing unique passwords, so long as the appropriate precautions and protections are put in place to limit the fallout in the event of a compromise.

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No visitor records for Biden’s Wilmington home? That strains credulity

There should be visitor records for at least the last 60 days of visitors to President Joe Biden’s Wilmington, Delaware, residence

No visitor records for Biden’s Wilmington home? That strains credulity

An October 2020 Secret Service report notes that “Non-Criminal Protective Investigation Name Check Reports are kept until no longer needed, e.g., cut off at end of the month, and destroyed 30 days after cutoff.” Top line: There should be visitor records for at least the last 60 days of visitors to President Joe Biden’s Wilmington, Delaware, residence.

An October 2020 Secret Service report notes that “Non-Criminal Protective Investigation Name Check Reports are kept until no longer needed, e.g., cut off at end of the month, and destroyed 30 days after cutoff.”

Top line: There should be visitor records for at least the last 60 days of visitors to President Joe Biden’s Wilmington, Delaware, residence. But there should be more than that.

Consider a hypothetical scenario: A building contractor with no criminal record and no listing on a government watch list is provided access to a president’s personal residence to do authorized construction work. A few weeks later, the Secret Service finds an advanced and very carefully hidden listening device in an area the contractor has had access to. But if the Secret Service has no record of who had access to the area in which the device was found, its protective mission fails. The Secret Service adopts a “no fail” mantra for protective security. But in this case, the spy might never be caught. Now imagine if the contractor wasn’t a spy but an explosives expert.

The Secret Service understands this concern, of course, hence why it employs access controls and background checks for those entering protected sites such as the White House, the Naval Observatory, and Biden’s Wilmington residence. Indeed, the Secret Service operates an entire protective intelligence division.

This is relevant in light of Biden’s classified documents scandal. Unlawfully retaining Obama-era classified documents at two different locations, Biden has already gifted his predecessor, Donald Trump, a likely get-out-of-jail-free card . Still, the president’s scandal worsened on Monday with the White House assertion that there are no visitor logs for Biden’s Wilmington residence. A Secret Service spokesman says, “We don’t independently maintain our own visitor logs because it’s a private residence.”

The idea that there are no records for those who have visited Biden’s home strains credibility. More likely: The Secret Service and White House are hiding behind the explicit definition of visitor logs.

The Secret Service noted, after all, that it does screen visitors to the residence. The Secret Service’s Protective Intelligence eXchange system allows its employees and other federal law enforcement officials to make secured name checks against an integrated federal watch list. This list includes people who are assessed as having an actual or prospective threat interest in protectees. Secret Service protocols entail the screening of visitors and guests against these watch lists. As noted at the start of this article, even noncriminal records of visitors are retained for a short period: Sometimes, a threat won’t become clear until after the fact.

Moreover, it’s not as if we’re talking about just any Secret Service protectee. Biden was protected by the Secret Service’s Vice Presidential Protective Division between 2009 and 2017. He has been protected by the Presidential Protective Division since Jan. 20, 2021. On an individual protectee basis, these are the two most heavily resourced protective divisions in the Secret Service. Excluding the 2017-2021 period when Biden was a private citizen, Secret Service protocol will have required the checking of any and all visitors to Biden’s residence against watch lists.

Congress should ask questions…

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Is your computer watching you? Cybersecurity expert reveals warning signs of a hacked webcam or smartphone – and how to stop bad actors from infiltrating devices

Cybersecurity expert reveals signs of a hacked webcam or smartphone

A cybersecurity expert reveals three warning signs of a hacked smartphone camera or webcam This includes the device’s battery draining faster than usual The experts said it only takes a small bit of code to gain access to cameras A cybersecurity expert has revealed the tell-tale signs that hackers are using your webcam or smartphone camera to spy on you.

  • A cybersecurity expert reveals three warning signs of a hacked smartphone camera or webcam 
  • This includes the device’s battery draining faster than usual
  • The experts said it only takes a small bit of code to gain access to cameras

A cybersecurity expert has revealed the tell-tale signs that hackers are using your webcam or smartphone camera to spy on you.

Tove Marks from VPNOverview outlined the top three signs to be on the lookout for: An extortionist contacting you, a blinking webcam or camera light and the device’s battery draining faster than usual.

Marks explained that a hacker only needs to implant a small bit of malicious code to gain access to cameras – and users may never know they are under attack. 

And data shows that one in two Americans are unaware that their webcam can be hacked.

Marks also shares tips on lowering your risk of an attack, like using a camera cover and constantly updating your operating system.

‘If there is the slightest gap in the security of your device, a hacker can seep through the cracks and widen this gap to gain full access,’ Marks shared in a statement.

‘With so many types of malware around today, you may never be able to find out where a virus or spyware has come from. Cybercrime is constantly evolving and you’ve got to keep up with all the latest developments to stay safe.’

The first warning sign is a hacker or extortionist contacting you, which Marks states is ‘the worst-case scenario.’

These bad actors claim to have sensitive images of you and plan to release them online if you do not meet their demands.

Marks said the photos were likely taken by the hacker using your camera and the crime is considered sextortion.

Another warning sign is if you see the light on the camera blink.

Most webcams have a small light to the left or right that turns on when the webcam is in use. 

iPhones signal the camera is in use with a green dot on the interface.

Marks said that if the small light on the webcam blinks, then be aware someone may be spying on you. 

For smartphone users, the camera may have been hacked if they see the icon on the screen and your camera is not in use. 

‘Of course, it might not be a hacker at all, but rather an application running in the background that causes this. If you want to be sure, turn off all applications — in your Task Manager if necessary,’ Marks said.

‘If the light is still on, even though you’re not using the webcam, it’s best to do a malware scan to be sure your camera hasn’t been compromised.’

‘Do be aware that even if the light is off, you might be dealing with a hacked webcam. 

‘A webcam hacker might be able to turn off the light, or you might have turned it off yourself in settings.’

The last detail to be on the lookout for is if the device’s battery drains faster than usual, this is caused by the camera eating up power because it is constantly on.

‘If you use a laptop or a smartphone unplugged from a charger, and someone hacked your webcam, you might notice a spike in battery usage,’ said Marks.

‘A battery that gets drained faster than usual can be a sign of a hacked webcam.

‘A good way to check how your battery power is being used is by opening your Task Manager. 

‘If you open your Task Manager, you will see two columns on the far right that display your programs’ power consumption and power consumption over time.’

Marks has also shared tips on stopping hackers in their tracks, including using a good firewall and antivirus, not opening attachments in emails you do not trust and securing your WiFi network.

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