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You Can Now Block People from Adding you to Groups Thanks to this New Whatsapp Privacy Feature

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Ever get tired of being added to different Whatsapp groups without your permission? Well Whatsapp is finally rolling out a solution for that problem.
Whatsapp announced on Wednesday the introduction of new privacy features that lets users limit who can add them to group chats.

One notable privacy feature is the introduction of an invite system that basically requires a user’s consent before they can be added to groups. Under this system, users will receive an invite link which carries basic information about the group. Users can choose to join the group via that link; otherwise the link expires in 24 hours.

Whatsapp Now Allows You Block People From Adding You To Groups

Even better, Whatsapp has introduced a feature that allows you to block anyone from being able to add you at all.

With the new privacy feature, you can select who can send you group invites.

Options available include “everyone”, “my contacts” or you can choose to block all invites totally using the “Nobody” option. These options are available under Account > Privacy > Groups in the Whatsapp settings.

Whatsapp announced that the new features are part of updates rolled out beginning on Wednesday. Full global rollout is expected to be completed over the next few weeks.View image on Twitter

View image on Twitter

Kumar Manish@kumarmanish9

😎

Best News of The Day .
Now, You Can Choose To Join #WhatsApp Group .
The new feature lets you prevent people from adding you to their shitty groups. The feature will roll out soon for users in India.234:38 AM – Apr 4, 2019See Kumar Manish’s other TweetsTwitter Ads info and privacy

Whatsapp group is a highly functional and timely feature, but it’s also one of the most abused Whatsapp feature. Without seeking user permission, administrators of different Whatsapp groups annoyingly add users to groups.

Some users immediately choose to leave these groups. But some others may not feel like they can leave. For family groups and groups created by someone they know, users feel guilty leaving or hate it when their exit is announced by Whatsapp. As a result, more Whatsapp users prefer not even joining these groups in the first place.

Whatsapp Using New Groups Privacy Feature To Address Fake News

However beyond this, the latest group restriction plays well in the fight against fake news. In countries like Brazil and India, Whatsapp groups are important points to spread fake and misleading news.

Shashi Tharoor@ShashiTharoor · 14hReplying to @ShashiTharoor

It shows contempt for the voters to seek to exploit their ignorance of the source & context, which in any case was accurate about the past it describes. Unfortunately many are taken in by these lies. BJP is incapable of being ashamed of itself; but why can’t social media act?

Shashi Tharoor@ShashiTharoor

I call on those who run @whatsApp, @Facebook & @Twitter in India&who claim to be concerned about the misuse of their platforms by political fake-news peddlers to make an example of this specimen, to start with. The echo-chamber repeating her lies is part of an organised campaign.1,8588:06 PM – Apr 3, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacy533 people are talking about this

Several reports show that in India, some political parties create groups based on caste, income levels and religion. With this classification, they bombard these groups with different reports designed to influence their thinking and conversations.

To address these issues, Whatsapp has already introduced several features. Some include labeling forwarded messages and limiting the number of times a message can be forwarded to five.

The new group invites system and blocking tools will help protect users even further.

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Findings

MYSTERIOUS HACKERS HID THEIR SWISS ARMY SPYWARE FOR 5 YEARS

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IT’S NOT EVERY day that security researchers discover a new state-sponsored hacking group. Even rarer is the emergence of one whose spyware has 80 distinct components, capable of strange and unique cyberespionage tricks—and who’s kept those tricks under wraps for more than five years.

In a talk at the Kaspersky Security Analyst Summit in Singapore Wednesday, Kaspersky security researcher Alexey Shulmin revealed the security firm’s discovery of a new spyware framework—an adaptable, modular piece of software with a range of plugins for distinct espionage tasks—that it’s calling TajMahal. The TajMahal framework’s 80 modules, Shulmin says, comprise not only the typical keylogging and screengrabbing features of spyware, but also never-before-seen and obscure tricks. It can intercept documents in a printer queue, and keep track of “files of interest,” automatically stealing them if a USB drive is inserted into the infected machine. And that unique spyware toolkit, Kaspersky says, bears none of the fingerprints of any known nation-state hacker group.

“Such a large set of modules tells us that this APT is extremely complex,” Shulmin wrote in an email interview ahead of his talk, using the industry jargon—short for advanced persistent threat—to refer to a sophisticated hackers who maintain long-term and stealthy access to victim networks. “TajMahal is an extremely rare, technically advanced and sophisticated framework, which includes a number of interesting features we have not previously seen in any other APT activity. Coupled with the fact that this APT has a completely new code base—there are no code similarities with other known APTs and malware—we consider TajMahal to be special and intriguing.”

It’s remarkable how long TajMahal remained undetected.

Kaspersky says it first detected the TajMahal spyware framework last fall, on only a single victim’s network: The embassy of a Central Asian country whose nationality and location Kaspersky declines to name. But given the software’s sophistication, Shulmin says TajMahal has likely been deployed elsewhere. “It seems highly unlikely that such a huge investment would be undertaken for only one victim,” he writes. “This suggests that there are either further victims not yet identified, or additional versions of this malware in the wild, or possibly both.”

Those initial findings may indicate a very cautious and discreet state-sponsored intelligence-gathering operation, says Jake Williams, a former member of the National Security Agency’s elite Tailored Access Operations hacking group. “The extensibility of it requires a large developer team,” Williams notes. He points out also that the ability to avoid detection and the single known victim suggest extreme care in targeting, stealth, and operation security. “There’s all kinds of stuff here that screams opsec and very regimented tasking.”

Shulmin says Kaspersky hasn’t yet been able to connect TajMahal, named for a file the spyware uses to move stolen data off a victim’s machine, to any known hacker groups with the usual methods of code-matching, shared infrastructure, or familiar techniques. Its Central Asian target doesn’t exactly provide any easy clues as to the hackers’ identities either, given the vagueness of that description and the countries with sophisticated hacker teams with Central Asian interests, including China, Iran, Russia and the US. Nor has Kaspersky determined how the hackers behind TajMahal gain initial access to a victim network. But they do note that the group plants an initial backdoor program on machines, which the hackers labelled Tokyo. That backdoor uses the tool PowerShell, often exploited by hackers, to allow the intruders to spread their compromise, connect to the a command-and-control server, and plant TajMahal’s much more multifunctional payload spyware, labelled by the hackers as Yokohama, with its dozens of distinct modules.1

Yokohama’s Swiss Army-style versatility is what stood out most to Kaspersky’s researchers. While it includes many of the usual, powerful capabilities of state-sponsored spies, it also has some more idiosyncratic features: When a USB drive is plugged into an infected PC, it scans its contents and uploads a list of them to the command-and-control server, where the spies behind TajMahal can decide which files they want to exfiltrate. If the USB drive has been removed by the time the hackers have made up their minds, TajMahal can automatically monitor the USB port for the same drive to pull off that file, and upload it the next time it appears. The spyware has other modules that allow it to flag files that have been burned to a CD, or put into a printer queue.

While none of those features are particularly flashy, they signal a careful adversary taking pains to discern which files among the vast and messy contents of a victim’s computer might be worth stealing. “One would not print information, save it to a USB stick, or burn it onto a CD if this information was not important in some way,” Shulmin says.

Considering its sophistication and eclectic features, it’s remarkable how long TajMahal remained undetected. The Central Asian embassy victim, Kaspersky says, had been compromised since at least 2014. But the compile times of various elements of TajMahal—the time stamps that indicate when a piece of it was programmed—indicate it was active both before and long after that date. Some modules dated back to 2013, while others dated as recently as 2018.

“Somehow, it has stayed under the radar for over five years. Whether this is due to relative inactivity or something else is another intriguing question,” Shulmin writes. “It is a reminder to the cybersecurity community that we never really have full visibility of everything that is going on in cyberspace.”

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Security

Microsoft is bringing its Defender antivirus software to the Mac

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Microsoft is bringing its Windows Defender antivirus software to macOS today. The software giant is renaming Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) to Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) as a result. Microsoft has created a dedicated Defender ATP client for Mac, and it offers full virus and threat protection mixed with the usual ability to perform quick or full scans.

A limited preview will be available for businesses to try out the antivirus protection in environments that have a mix of both Windows PCs and Macs. Microsoft is using its AutoUpdate software on macOS to keep the client up to date, and it will be available on devices running macOS Mojave, macOS High Sierra, or macOS Sierra.

As ATP is limited to businesses, it’s not clear if Microsoft is also planning to bring a consumer version of Microsoft Defender over to the Mac. Defender is currently built into Windows 10, offering antivirus protection by default. Either way, Microsoft is offering a limited preview to Microsoft Defender ATP customers, and you can sign up here.

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Internet

The number of mobile malware attacks doubles in 2018, as cybercriminals sharpen their distribution strategies

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Four African countries made the list in terms of top 10 countries by share of users attacked by mobile malware; Nigeria climbs from fifth place in 2017 to third in 2018.

Kaspersky Lab (www.Kaspersky.co.za) researchers have seen the number of attacks using malicious mobile software nearly double in just a year. In 2018 there were 116.5 million attacks, compared to 66.4 million in 2017, with a significant increase in unique users being affected. Despite more devices being attacked, the number of malware files has decreased, leading researchers to conclude that the quality of mobile malware has become more impactful and precise. These and other findings are unveiled in Kaspersky Lab’s report Mobile malware evolution 2018.

As the world becomes more mobile, the role of smartphones in business processes and day to day life is growing rapidly. In response, cybercriminals are paying more attention to how they are distributing malware and the attack vectors used. The channels through which malware is delivered to users and infects their devices is a key part of the success of a malicious campaign today, taking advantage of those users who do not have any security solutions installed on their phones.

The success of the distribution strategies is demonstrated not only by the increase in attacks, but also the number of unique users that have encountered malware. In 2018 this figure rose by 774,000 on the previous year, to 9,895,774 affected users. Among the threats encountered, the most significant growth was in the use of Trojan-Droppers, whose share almost doubled from 8.63% to 17.21%. This type of malware is designed to bypass system protection and deliver there all sorts of malware, from banking Trojans to ransomware.

“In 2018, mobile device users faced what could have been the fiercest cybercriminal onslaught ever seen. Over the course of the year, we observed both new mobile device infection techniques, such as DNS hijacking (http://bit.do/eKudD), along with an increased focus on enhanced distribution schemes, like SMS spam. This trend demonstrates the growing need for mobile security solutions to be installed on smartphones – to protect users from device infection attempts, regardless of the source,” said Viсtor Chebyshev, security expert at Kaspersky Lab.

Four African countries made the list in terms of top 10 countries by share of users attacked by mobile malware – Nigeria in 3rd place at 37.72%, Algeria in 5th place (35.06%), Tanzania in 8th place (31.34%) and Kenya in 9th place with 29.72%.

Other findings in the mobile malware evolution 2018 report include:

  • In 2018 Kaspersky Lab products protected 80,638 users in 150 countries against mobile ransomware, with 60,176 mobile ransomware Trojans samples detected
  • In 2018, a fivefold increase in attacks using mobile malicious crypto currency miners was observed
  • In 2018, 151,359 installation packages for mobile banking Trojans were detected, which is 1.6 times more than in the previous year

In order to protect your devices, Kaspersky Lab security experts advise the following:

  • Only install mobile applications from official app stores, such as Google Play on Android devices or the App Store on iOS
  • Block the installation of programmes from unknown sources in your smartphone’s settings
  • Do not bypass device restrictions as this might provide cybercriminals with limitless capabilities to carry out their attacks
  • Install system and application updates as soon as they are available — they patch vulnerabilities and keep devices protected. Note that the mobile OS system updates should never be downloaded from external resources (unless you are participating in official beta-testing). Application updates can only be installed through official app stores
  • Use reliable security solutions for comprehensive protection from a wide range of threats, such as Kaspersky Security Cloud(http://bit.do/eKurx)

To learn more about threats to mobile devices, please read the blog post available at Securelist.com. (http://bit.do/eKuiq)

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Kaspersky.

About Kaspersky Lab:
Kaspersky Lab (www.Kaspersky.co.za) is a global cybersecurity company which has been operating in the market for 21 years. Kaspersky Lab’s deep threat intelligence and security expertise is constantly transforming into next generation security solutions and services to protect businesses, critical infrastructure, governments and consumers around the globe. The company’s comprehensive security portfolio includes leading endpoint protection and a number of specialized security solutions and services to fight sophisticated and evolving digital threats. Over 400 million users are protected by Kaspersky Lab technologies and we help 270,000 corporate clients protect what matters most to them. Learn more at www.Kaspersky.co.za.

source: Africanews

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