Weekly Axis Of Easy #62
This week’s quote:
Last Week’s Quote was “Show me the incentives and I’ll show you the outcome” — by Charlie Munger. Many got this one, Mike Peric was first.
THE RULES: No Googling the answer, must be posted below in the comments
The Prize: First person to post get their next domain or hosting renewal is on us.
In this issue:
- My life as a stock photo
- Bitcoin volume soars in Turkey as Lira implodes
- Facebook argument turns into real world shooting
- Introducing the FIN7 cybercrime group
- Google tracks your movements even if you explicitly tell it to stop
- FBI warns of impending ATM cash-out attacks
- New Keypass ransomware spreading fast, vector unknown
South African writer Shubnum Khan authored a now viral thread on Twitter “How I ended up with my face on a McDonald’s advert in China: A cautionary tale”, wherein she outlines how years earlier she signed a release when she and some friends let a photographer take their picture portrait for free, and that picture went on to become part of clip art libraries worldwide.
We’ve been hearing from a similar case here, some guy who consented to a television appearance finds he’s been turned into one of those GIF memes. Now it’s on myriad meme sites, one of which is a client here and he’s trying to get them all taken down. Good luck. I think there will be more problems like this in the future: read those releases! Make sure they’re limited in scope to the use you’re expecting.
While the price of Bitcoin and sundry crypto-currencies may be down huge from their Dec/2017 highs, purchase volume in Turkey is soaring as citizens find themselves scrambling to preserve their savings in the face of a crash in the value of the Turkish Lira. Indeed, Turkey may become the second country this year to have their currency destroyed by a hyper-inflation (Venezuela is the other), and in both cases those who can are turning to Bitcoin to survive it.
I am nearly done my review of Jaron Lanier’s “10 Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts”, which I will post soon. One of the arguments is that “Social media turns you into an a**hole” (Lanier’s words, not mine). He is right. This story was sent to me by a friend and mentor of over 20 years, who was one of the original easyDNS customers and perennial evangelist; after he and I got into a fight on Facebook over some b/s political squabble. It was idiotic. Me, him, both of us. Later, after we had both apologized to each other, he emailed me this story saying “well at least neither of us got in our car and drove over and shot the other guy”. The dude below wasn’t as fortunate:
Security firm FireEye put out a lengthy but riveting (I guess if you’re fascinated by this sort of thing) account of a global cybercrime group they’ve dubbed “FIN7”. They’ve been tracking these guys for awhile and they demonstrate a surprising level of sophistication, ranging from daily programming updates to their malware and obfuscation methods, to employing sophisticated and highly targeted (and ingenious) social engineering tactics. The upshot is that emergent organized cybercrime operations like FIN7 “are becoming extremely advanced and are capable of inflicting significant harm on organizations through vast, but carefully orchestrated campaigns.”
You’ve been reading Axis Of Easy for a while, you know you’re being tracked by default and you’re privacy conscious so if you have an android phone, you’ve turned off location history already. Guess what! According a new AP investigation, Google still tracks your movements. Wired has an article on how to stop it (hopefully for realzies this time.)
Brian Krebs relates that the US FBI “is warning banks that cybercriminals are preparing to carry out a highly choreographed, global fraud scheme known as an ‘ATM cash-out,’ in which crooks hack a bank or payment card processor and use cloned cards at cash machines around the world to fraudulently withdraw millions of dollars in just a few hours.”
Once again, this is the handiwork of organized cybercrime gangs who hack or phish their way into banks or payment processors.
A new ransomware variant is spreading globally, and fast. It appears to be a STOP Ransomware variant called KeyPass but at the moment it is inconclusive or unknown exactly how the variant is spreading. Some people think they were infected after downloading cracks like KMSpico, yet others are insistent that they didn’t download anything. Here’s the thread on Bleepingcomputer discussing it.
Moral of the story: don’t download cracks. Also, have backups. We released easyBackup this month which is encrypted, data resides in Canada and blocks ransomeware (it won’t overwrite your backups with ransomware encrypted data). See https://axisofeasy.com/easybackup