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Coronavirus-themed emails used by cybercriminals to spread malware, report says – Global News

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Criminal groups are exploiting fears over the recent novel coronavirus outbreak in an email phishing campaign directed at the global shipping industry, according to a report issued Monday by a California-based cybersecurity firm.

Proofpoint said the new campaign uses emails with bogus Microsoft Word attachments that are designed to install a type of malware known as AZORult.


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AZORult has been around since at least 2016 and can be used to install ransomware, which is designed to lock legitimate users out of their computer systems until a ransom is paid.

“In these (coronavirus-related) attacks, we don’t see AZORult downloading ransomware currently,” Proofpoint said.






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“However, because of AZORult’s configurable nature and past use in conjunction with ransomware that remains a real threat.”

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Proofpoint didn’t provide statistics on how many actual coronavirus-themed malicious emails have been detected or how much damage has been caused by coronavirus-themed malicious emails.

The Canadian government’s Centre for Cyber Security said in an email that it was aware of both the AZORult malware and coronavirus-related phishing campaigns but didn’t comment specifically on the Proofpoint report.

“Cyber actors tend to use social engineering and topical subjects to lure their targets to click on a malicious link,” the centre said.


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Its website cyber.gc.ca provides alerts and advice for spotting and dealing with email scams, known as phishing, and more targeted campaigns known as spear-phishing that focus on personal characteristics, interests or lines of work.

“Employees are privy to important and sensitive information, and as a result, often receive malicious emails that are intended to provide cyber intruders access to this information,” the agency says.

The RCMP said it is aware of this latest malware threat, but is not aware of any reported victims.






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“We always urge caution in handling unsolicited email and we suggest recipients avoid opening attachments or clicking links from unknown senders. If you are a victim of cybercrime, report it to your local police and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre,” said spokeswoman Catherine Fortin.

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U.S. cybersecurity firm Sophos said last week that it had learned of a scam that used fake emails pretending to be safety instructions from the World Health Organization.

“Fortunately, at least for fluent speakers of English, the criminals have made numerous spelling and grammatical mistakes that act as warning signs that this is not what it seems,” Sophos said in a blog post dated Feb. 5.


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Proofpoint said in its posting that the narrowly focused campaign it detected seems to originate from Russia and Eastern Europe but there’s no evidence linking the actors to a known criminal group.






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However, it says the attackers seem to be sophisticated and have targeted industries that are susceptible to shipping disruptions including manufacturing, industrial, finance, transportation, pharmaceutical and cosmetic companies.

“A coronavirus-related shipping supply disruption would negatively impact each of the company types listed above and it’s clear these attackers are aware that a major event like coronavirus can have secondary impacts on industries.

“This awareness demonstrates not just technical sophistication, but economic sophistication as well,” Proofpoint said in its article.






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Proofpoint advised workers to exercise caution when presented with coronavirus-themed email messages and attachments, as well as links and websites that could be used by criminals as lures.

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Meanwhile, health officials in Canada have repeatedly stressed that the coronavirus currently poses a low risk to the public in this country. Seven cases have been identified in Canada, while worldwide, the illness known as 2019-nCoV has sickened more than 37,000 people and killed more than 800, nearly all in China.


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Nevertheless, Canadians are being urged to remain vigilant against infection, with medical experts advising good hygiene practices such as washing hands frequently and coughing or sneezing into tissue.

with a file from Cassandra Szklarski in Toronto

© 2020 The Canadian Press

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iPhone 14 Is Coming Soon: Report Points to a Sept. 16 Release Date – CNET

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What’s happening

Apple’s expected iPhone 14 will reportedly go on sale in mid-September after being unveiled during an online launch event.

Why it matters

The iPhone 14 is expected to bring a variety of exciting upgrades, but it’ll face a tough market as people grapple with higher prices on everyday necessities.

What’s next

We’ll be keeping an eye out for official details on a fall event from Apple.

Apple is preparing to announce the iPhone 14 at a launch event on Sept. 7, with sales of the rumored iPhone starting on Sept. 16, according to a report Wednesday from Bloomberg.

Read more: How Much Will the iPhone 14 Cost? Here’s What Rumors Say

That rollout plan would follow Apple’s habit of making new products available about a week or so after they’re unveiled. Apple store employees have been told to prepare for “a major new product release” on Sept. 16, Bloomberg reported.

As it has throughout the pandemic, the company will reportedly stream the launch event online rather than hold it in person. 

Read moreWhat Could Apple’s iPhone 14 Look Like?

Apple didn’t respond to a request for comment about the possible launch date of the expected iPhone 14 but previous iterations of the iPhone have launched in early September, typically on a Tuesday or Wednesday, with sales starting on the Friday of the following week

Apple’s iPhone 13 event was held on Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021, and the phones went on sale on Friday, Sept. 24. Sept. 7, 2022, is a Wednesday, and Sept. 16, 2022, is a Friday.


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The iPhone 14 is expected to feature the same 6.1-inch size as the iPhone 13, with a 6.7-inch Pro Max model, as well. But Apple is reportedly doing away with the 5.4-inch Mini, due to sluggish sales.

notchless display and a 48-megapixel camera are expected on the Pro model, among other changes. 

The iPhone 14 is also rumored to come with a $100 price hike. There weren’t any price changes between the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13, but the new model comes as Apple’s supply chain has seen cost increases.  

New iPads, Macs and Apple Watches are also expected to launch this fall.

Read on: All the Rumors About the Upcoming iPhone 14 

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Apple warns of security flaw for iPhones, iPads and Macs – CTV News

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SAN FRANCISCO –

Apple disclosed serious security vulnerabilities for iPhones, iPads and Macs that could potentially allow attackers to take complete control of these devices.

The company said it is “aware of a report that this issue may have been actively exploited.”

Apple released two security reports about the issue on Wednesday, although they didn’t receive wide attention outside of tech publications.

Apple’s explanation of the vulnerability means a hacker could get “full admin access” to the device. That would allow intruders to impersonate the device’s owner and subsequently run any software in their name, said Rachel Tobac, CEO of SocialProof Security.

Security experts have advised users to update affected devices — the iPhone6S and later models; several models of the iPad, including the 5th generation and later, all iPad Pro models and the iPad Air 2; and Mac computers running MacOS Monterey. The flaw also affects some iPod models.

Apple did not say in the reports how, where or by whom the vulnerabilities were discovered. In all cases, it cited an anonymous researcher.

Commercial spyware companies such as Israel’s NSO Group are known for identifying and taking advantage of such flaws, exploiting them in malware that surreptitiously infects targets’ smartphones, siphons their contents and surveils the targets in real time.

NSO Group has been blacklisted by the U.S. Commerce Department. Its spyware is known to have been used in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America against journalists, dissidents and human rights activists.

Security researcher Will Strafach said he had seen no technical analysis of the vulnerabilities that Apple has just patched. The company has previously acknowledged similarly serious flaws and, in what Strafach estimated to be perhaps a dozen occasions, has noted that it was aware of reports that such security holes had being exploited.

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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4, Galaxy Z Fold 4 receive 50,000 bookings in just 12 hours! – HT Tech

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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Galaxy Z Fold 4 have received 50,000 bookings in a mere 12 hours. Here is what the company informs.

The recently launched Samsung premium smartphones, Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Galaxy Z Fold 4, have garnered more than 50,000 pre- bookings in less than 12 hours, the company informed. The information was provided by Raju Pullan, Senior Vice President and Head of MX sales at Samsung India. The record figures came on Day 1 of the pre-booking opening for foldables on August 16, according to a report by IANS.

“Samsung is targeting to sell 1.5 times more foldable phones this year. We are confident of meeting our target because the new foldable phones come with huge upgrades as compared to last year,” Pullan told IANS. Meanwhile, according to a report by PTI, Samsung also feels the ongoing worries on inflation are unlikely to dent the demand for mobile phones in India, adding that it sees a healthy double-digit growth in volumes this year.

Aditya Babbar, Samsung’s head of product marketing said, “All our internal estimates show that the market will grow at a healthy number and we will outpace at 2x.” In the premium category alone, it is looking at a 1.5-times growth in sales over the last year, he added.

It can be known that Samsung has launched a total of 16 devices across various customer segments this year with the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Galaxy Z Fold 4 being the latest. According to a report by PTI, the newly-launched phones in the premium segment will be stocked in 10,000 stores and will be available at 12,000 points to aid the overall sales.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 Price

Priced at Rs. 89,999 for the 8GB+128GB variant and Rs. 94,999 for the 8GB+256GB variant, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 is available in several colour options including Bora Purple, Graphite, and Pink Gold colours.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 Price

Priced at Rs. 1,54,999 for the 12GB+256GB variant and Rs. 1,64,999 for the 12GB+512GB variant, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 is available in Graygreen, Beige and Phantom Black colours.

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