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Wilfrid Laurier University Information and Communication Technologies
August 31, 2016
Canadian Excellence

Information Security News (Aug-11-2016)

--Pokemon GO CEO linked to Google 'Wi-Spy' privacy scandal--(Aug-10-2016)

Even after quelling the initial privacy issues that arose with the launch of Pokemon Go, Niantic Labs CEO John Hanke has a spotted history when it comes to privacy that may leave some users uneasy.

Hanke was the head of Google's Geo division during the “Wi-Spy” scandal which found Google illegally collected digital traffic from unencrypted home networks including passwords, email messages, medical records, financial information, audio and video files, according to The Intercept.

The division was in charge of the vehicles used to collect the data for what would become Google's Street View feature.

When Niantic broke away from Google, it reportedly brought with it a patent that discusses how a game such as Pokemon Go could be used to collect real-world data from a user without their knowledge, the publication said.

Last month, the Electronic Privacy Information Center wrote a letter to the FTC to investigate the privacy risks of the game citing the games collection of detailed location history and camera access.

--Incomplete version of 'Hitler-Ransonware' discovered--(Aug-10-2016)

A security analyst discovered an unfinished version of a new strain of ransomware. The malware, dubbed Hitler-Ransomware – or actually “Hitler-Ransonware” – appears to be under development.

The malware does not encrypt any files and is likely a test variant, according to BleepingComputer's founder, Lawrence Abrams. In a blog post, Abrams noted that the batch file removes all extensions for files under common computer folders, including Pictures, Documents, Downloads, Music, Videos, Contacts, Links, Desktop, Sample Pictures, Sample Music, and Sample Videos.

“While the ransomware is running it will constantly look for any processes that have the names taskmgr, utilman, sethc, or cmd,” Abrams wrote. “If one of these processes is detected, it will terminate them.”

The ransomware lock screen displays a photo of Adolph Hitler gesturing the Nazi salute and accompanied by the message “Your Files was encrypted!” AVG malware analyst Jakub Kroustek announced his discovery with a snarky tweet mocking the developer's grammar: *sigh* #Hitler #Ransomware. #GrammarNazi.

Plixer Director of IT and Services Thomas Pore said in email correspondence with that the string of German text in the batch file as well as other indicators suggested that “we will likely see a more mature version popping up shortly.”