Hotspot Shield VPN Accused of Sharing Customer Traffic With Online Advertisers

One of the more popular VPN services has been accused of doing one of the things that VPNs are supposed to prevent: sharing your private Internet activity with advertisers for the purpose of improving the ads shown to its users.

The Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT), a US-based privacy group, has filed a complaint with the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), accusing Hotspot Shield VPN’s parent company of deceptive trade practices. In a 14-page complaint, the CDT accuses AnchorFree — the company behind the Hotspot Shield VPN — of breaking promises it made to its users by sharing their private web traffic with online advertisers for the purpose of improving the ads shown to its users.

You can read more in an article by Catalin Cimpanu in the BleepingComputer web site at: http://bit.ly/2vO2B7A.

Microsoft Warns of Emails Bearing Crafty PDF Phishing Scams

Microsoft is warning email users of other crafty schemes, this time involving PDF attachments.

PDF, short for the Portable Document Format pioneered by Adobe, is a popular method of distributing content online. Cyber-attackers are banking on its ubiquity, particularly in the workplace, to ensnare office workers. The latest phishing attempts may slip through an antivirus software’s defenses.

Sometimes spoofing real employees at legitimate companies, one attack involves sending a product or service quote as a file attachment (Quote.pdf). Once opened, the PDF file, crafted to mimic an error message, leads users to an online login page that offers access to the ostensibly confidential information contained in the PDF file.

You can read about it in an article by Pedro Hernandez at https://goo.gl/uu4I5u.

A Massive India Call Center Swindled 15,000 Americans

The Justice Department recently indicted one Indian company for scamming “hundreds of millions of dollars” from over 15,000 victims, placing more than 1.8 million phone calls to Americans. Call center employees would impersonate U.S. Internal Revenue Service officials and would threaten Americans, demanding immediate payment to cover back taxes. In fact, no back taxes were owed.

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Authorities Just Shut Down One of the World’s Largest Malware Networks

One of the largest botnet infrastructures in the world was finally annihilated in a joint effort by law-enforcement authorities and cybersecurity researchers in 30 countries. Over 800,000 domains have been seized, sinkholed or blocked, in “Operation Avalanche,” as the law-enforcement sting was known. A total of 39 servers have been seized, eight of them located in Romania. Another 221 have been put offline.

The German police learned there were millions of computers infected. Victims attacked using the Avalanche infrastructure have lost hundreds of millions of dollars, according to estimates byEuropol, the European Union’s law enforcement agency. Over 40 major financial institutions have been targeted, announced CERT-US.

Details may be found in an article on Motherboard at: https://goo.gl/MqI6lN.

International Authorities Take Down Massive ‘Avalanche’ Botnet

Investigators from the U.S. Department of Justice, the FBI, Eurojust, Europol, and other global partners announced the takedown of a massive botnet named “Avalanche,” estimated to have involved as many as 500,000 infected computers worldwide on a daily basis.

“The monetary losses associated with malware attacks conducted over the Avalanche network are estimated to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars worldwide, although exact calculations are difficult due to the high number of malware families present on the network,” the FBI and DOJ said in their joint statement.

Details may be found at https://goo.gl/aj1YXQ.