I played a board game with my almost-three-year-old daughter a few days ago. Given how much time I spend away from home I tend to be pretty easy to con into just about anything my twins want to do. Bella picked the one with the little pop-up bubble where you press down and the die jumps, and there are pieces that move around the board. I think it was a modern version of Sorry. Remember that from when you were a kid?

My daughter set all the pieces up (which is impressive for an almost-three-year old) and pointed at the bubble when it was my turn to roll the die. Then, the fun started.

As we started playing, I got the sense that these weren’t exactly the rules from the rule book. But since I didn’t have time to read that, and she doesn’t know how to read, I went along with it. The game got more interesting for the next few minutes. I rolled the die, I moved the pieces and she would rearrange them to some other configuration she preferred. She probably watched some of the bigger kids playing by taking turns and moving pieces and decided she would just figure out the rest.

You can safely assume I lost the game. I think.




Data analysis can be used to expose patterns in cybercriminal communication and to detect illicit behavior in the Dark Web, says Christopher Ahlberg, co-founder and CEO at threat intelligence firm Recorded Future.

Ahlberg in November at Black Hat Europe 2016 in London will discuss how security pros can discover these patterns in forum and hacker behavior using techniques like natural language processing, temporal pattern analysis, and social network analysis.


Most companies conducting threat intelligence employ experts who navigate the Dark Web and untangle threats, he explains. However, it's possible to perform data analysis without requiring workers to analyze individual messages and posts.

Recorded Future has 500-700 servers it uses to collect data from about 800 forums across the Dark Web. Forums are organized by geography, language, and sectors like carding, hacking, and reverse engineering.


'Pattern Of Life'

Ahlberg describes the process of chasing bad actors as "pattern of life analysis." This involves tracking an individual, or class of individuals, to paint a picture of their activity and develop a profile on their behavior. 





Ever since Edward Snowden leaked his unprecedented collection of NSA secrets three years ago, tech firms have scrambled to protect their users from the surveillance he revealed, in many cases adding robust encryption to consumer products. But as a new email spying scandal unfolds around Yahoo, it’s clear that the post-Snowden encryption push not only failed to protect the company’s hundreds of millions of email accounts from American intelligence agencies. It also seems to have driven those spies to demand more pervasive access to Yahoo’s systems than ever—and Yahoo complied.

On Tuesday, Reuters broke the news that Yahoo in 2015 created a tool for scanning its trove of user webmail on behalf of the FBI or the NSA, scouring hundreds of millions of arriving emails for specific search terms the agencies provided. The revelation marks the first time this sort of large-scale, real-time email scanning by a tech firm is known to have been done on behalf of surveillance agencies, and the practice reportedly led Yahoo’s chief information security officer at the time, Alex Stamos, to resign over the security and privacy issues it introduced.

The spying scandal is surprising, in part, because it follows years of improvements to Yahoo’s email encryption practices. And from a broader perspective, it shows how law enforcement and intelligence agencies are aggressively responding to the spread of encryption in the services provided by companies like Yahoo, Apple, and perhaps other Silicon Valley stalwarts: When surveillance operations are stymied by uncrackable crypto, they increasingly respond by demanding that tech companies perform intrusive operations themselves. 

A New Prism

“The webmail providers have encrypted everything that comes to them and leaves them,” explains Stewart Baker, a former general counsel for the NSA in a phone call with WIRED. “I expect that what happened here is that the government went to Yahoo and said, ‘we can’t find this particular target anymore, but we believe he’s communicating using your servers, so we’re asking you to do what we used to do when we had access to your traffic.'”



Just when we thought ransomware’s evolution had peaked, a new strain has been discovered that forgoes the encryption of individual files, and instead encrypts a machine’s hard drive.

The malware, called Mamba, has been found on machines in Brazil, the United States and India, according to researchers at Morphus Labs in Brazil. It was discovered by the company in response to an infection at a customer in the energy sector in Brazil with subsidiaries in the U.S. and India. Related Posts Malware Evades Detection with Novel Technique September 22, 2016 , 9:00 am Android Banking Trojan First to Gain Root Privileges September 20, 2016 , 11:40 am FBI Encouraging Ransomware Victims To Report Infections September 16, 2016 , 2:46 pm Renato Marinho, a researcher with Morphus Labs, told Threatpost that the ransomware is likely being spread via phishing emails. Once it infects a machine, it overwrites the existing Master Boot Record with a custom MBR, and from there, encrypts the hard drive.

“Mamba encrypts the whole partitions of the disk,” Marinho said. “It uses a disk-level cryptography and not a traditional strategy of other ransomware that encrypts individual files.” The malware is a Windows threat, and it prevents the infected computer’s operating system from booting up with out a password, which is the decryption key. The victims are presented with a ransom note demanding one Bitcoin per infected host in exchange for the decryption key and it also includes an ID number for the compromised computer, and an email address where to request the key.