Reuters — The U.S. government on Tuesday issued a rare alert on the activities of a hacking group it dubbed “Hidden Cobra,” saying the group was part of the North Korean government and that more attacks were likely. The joint alert from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation said […]
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AROUND THE WEB
- U.S. blames North Korean government for cyber attacks since 2009
By Reuters - Tuesday Jun 13, 2017
- North Korea's Cyberattacks Are Chaotic, But Also Make Perfect Sense
By Andy Greenberg - Thursday Jun 15, 2017
As the DHS, FBI, and NSA pin cyberattacks on North Korea, here's how to understand the motivations of the Hermit Kingdom's hackers.
- North Korea Accuses U.S. of ‘Mugging’ Its Diplomats in New York
By CHOE SANG-HUN - Sunday Jun 18, 2017
Officials returning from a United Nations conference were about to board a plane when federal agents seized a package they were carrying.
- Report Reveals In-App Purchase Scams in the App Store
By Tim Hardwick - Monday Jun 12, 2017
An investigation into App Store developer pay-outs has uncovered a scamming trend in which apps advertising fake services are making thousands of dollars a month from in-app purchases.
In a Medium article titled How to Make $80,000 Per Month on the Apple App Store, Johnny Lin describes how he discovered the trend, which works by manipulating search ads to promote dubious apps in the App Store and then preys on unsuspecting users via the in-app purchase mechanism.
I scrolled down the list in the Productivity category and saw apps from well-known companies like Dropbox, Evernote, and Microsoft. That was to be expected. But what's this? The #10 Top Grossing Productivity app (as of June 7th, 2017) was an app called "Mobile protection :Clean & Security VPN".To learn how this could be, Lin installed and ran the app, and was soon prompted to start a "free trial" for an "anti-virus scanner" (iOS does not need anti-virus software thanks to Apple's sandboxing rules for individual apps). Tapping on the trial offer then threw up a Touch ID authentication prompt containing the text "You will pay $99.99 for a 7-day subscription starting Jun 9, 2017".
Given the terrible title of this app (inconsistent capitalization, misplaced colon, and grammatically nonsensical "Clean & Security VPN?"), I was sure this was a bug in the rankings algorithm. So I check Sensor Tower for an estimate of the app's revenue, which showed… $80,000 per month?? That couldn't possibly be right. Now I was really curious.
Lin was one touch away from paying $400 a month for a non-existent service offered by a scammer.
It suddenly made a lot of sense how this app generates $80,000 a month. At $400/month per subscriber, it only needs to scam 200 people to make $80,000/month, or $960,000 a year. Of that amount, Apple takes 30%, or $288,000?—?from just this one app.Lin went on to explain how dishonorable developers are able to take advantage of Apple's App Store search ads product because there's no filtering or approval process involved. Not only that, ads look almost indistinguishable from real results in the store, while some ads take up the entire search result's first page.
Lin dug deeper and found several other similar apps making money off the same scam, suggesting a wider disturbing trend, with scam apps regularly showing up in the App Store's top grossing lists.
It's unclear at this point how these apps managed to make it onto the App Store in the first place given Apple's usually stringent approval process, or whether changes to the search ads system in iOS 11 will prevent this immoral practice from occurring in future. We'll be sure to update this article if we hear more from Apple.
In the meantime, users should report scam apps when they see them and inform less savvy friends of this scamming trend until something is done to eradicate it.
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- Debt Collector Accused Of Taking Money From People Who Didn’t Owe Anything
By Ashlee Kieler - Friday Jun 23, 2017
As part of its ongoing efforts to crack down on unscrupulous debt collectors, the Federal Trade Commission has accused a North Carolina company of running a “phantom” debt collection scheme that went after people for money that they did not actually owe.The FTC announced today that it had filed a complaint accusing ACDI Group LLC and Solutions to Portfolios …
- New York City and James Blake Resolve Excessive-Force Claim
By BENJAMIN MUELLER - Wednesday Jun 21, 2017
As part of the deal with the former pro tennis player, the city will create a new position within the agency that investigates police misconduct.
- A Cyberattack ‘the World Isn’t Ready For’
By NICOLE PERLROTH - Thursday Jun 22, 2017
In May, a so-called ransomware attack hit computers in over 150 countries. But two weeks earlier, one security expert found something a lot worse.
- This Morning with Gordon Deal April 17, 2017
By email@example.com (Compass Media Networks) - Monday Apr 17, 2017
VP Pence says 'era of strategic patience' over with North Korea, manhunt in Cleveland after video of killing posted to Facebook and how running can help you live longer.