Technology Cybersecurity firms form coalition to fight stalkerware

15:15  19 november  2019
15:15  19 november  2019 Source:   cnet.com

Android stalker app cases increase by 373% in 2019

  Android stalker app cases increase by 373% in 2019 Stalkware apps have increased a whopping 373 percent during the first eight months of 2019 when compared to the same period the year before. © Provided by The Next WebThe findings, disclosed by cybersecurity firm Kaspersky, found 37,532 users who encountered such apps at least once, a 35 percent jump year over year.Russia, India, Brazil, and the US emerged as the prominent regions for Android stalkerware globally, while Germany, Italy, and the UK took the top three spots in Europe.

The Cybersecurity Coalition brings together leading companies to help policymakers develop consensus-driven policy solutions. To achieve its mission, the Coalition monitors and addresses interactions and intersections between government entities, researchers, and vendors.

But Galperin points out that fighting stalkerware is one situation where Kaspersky's alleged Kremlin ties aren't relevant. The third and perhaps most dramatic fight Galperin plans to pick in her SAS talk will be with law enforcement. She argues that existing computer crime laws like the Wiretap Act, the

Cybersecurity companies are partnering with domestic violence prevention organizations to take on stalkerware -- tools widely used by abusive partners to track victims without their knowledge. In October, the Federal Trade Commission settled its first case against a stalkerware company, but this new coalition is looking to do more.

a close up of a machine: Seven stalkerware apps that passed through the Google Play store in the past. Avast© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. Seven stalkerware apps that passed through the Google Play store in the past. Avast

On Tuesday, ten groups announced they were creating the Coalition Against Stalkerware, which aims to help affected victims and spread awareness about the stalking tool. The groups include cybersecurity companies like Kaspersky, Malwarebytes, NortonLifeLock, along with organizations like the National Network to End Domestic Violence and Operation Safe Escape.

US seeks to blacklist Chinese artificial intelligence firms

  US seeks to blacklist Chinese artificial intelligence firms WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States is blacklisting a group of Chinese tech companies that develop facial recognition and other artificial intelligence technology that the U.S. says is being used to repress China's Muslim minority groups. A move Monday by the U.S. Commerce Department seeks to put the companies on a so-called Entity List for acting contrary to American foreign policy interests. The blacklist effectively bars U.S. firms from selling technology to the Chinese companies without government approval.The blacklisted companies include Hikvision, a global provider of video surveillance technology.

The new Coalition for Cybersecurity Policy and Law was founded by seven tech industry companies, namely Arbor Networks, Cisco, Intel A group of cybersecurity and enterprise technology firms have formed a new organization focused on helping policymakers create “consensus-driven” policy solutions.

The NYU Cyber Fellows program – designed by NYU Tandon in partnership with these institutions and the New York City Cyber Command (NYC3) – offers scholarships that result in one of the As a New York University faculty member, he helped found the school’s Center for Cybersecurity .

Stalkerware is frequently used by stalkers and abusers who quietly download the tracking apps onto victims' phones. The apps send constant updates like a person's location data, phone calls, text messages, photos and microphone feeds. These apps are often disguised as "family tracking apps," and can slip by antivirus programs and app stores.

Eva Galperin, who heads cybersecurity for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, called for antivirus companies to start flagging stalkerware in April. The coalition announced Tuesday is a collaborative effort toward that end.

"Stalkerware, used for spying on phones and computers in domestic abuse or harassment situations, is a very serious problem, and it often goes hand in hand with other forms of abuse, up to and including physical violence," Galperin said in a statement. "The ubiquity of stalkerware is a complex problem and we need stakeholders from all parts of society in order to fight it effectively."

Stalking software is 'on the rise'

  Stalking software is 'on the rise' Experts warn of a rise in a type of software commonly used by abusive partners to spy on phones."He would drop snippets into conversations, such as knowing about Sarah's baby. Really private things that he shouldn't have known about. If I asked how he knew these things, he'd say I'd told him and accuse me of losing it," she says.

The Center for Humane Technology will focus its efforts on young users, first with a public school ad campaign on the harmful effects of tech and social media.

Our proactive cybersecurity platform includes 24/7 monitoring, employee training, and security services to prevent cyber incidents before they occur and to help mitigate If your employees can't work because a server’s inoperable — that’s a business issue. Coalition protects your entire business.

a screenshot of a cell phone: Seven stalkerware apps that passed through the Google Play store in the past.© CNET

Seven stalkerware apps that passed through the Google Play store in the past.

Companies like Malwarebytes and Symantec, which owns Norton, said they have been acting against stalkerware for years. Kaspersky first announced that it would start taking action against stalkerware in April.

Part of the issue is that even though multiple security companies work to block stalkerware, they can only detect what's within their own networks. Kaspersky noted that in 2018, it detected stalkerware on 58,487 mobile devices, but that's only on phones using its antivirus software.

By working together and sharing resources, information on a new stalkerware variants discovered by Kaspersky can be provided to other cybersecurity companies and automatically blocked, for example.

The Russian cybersecurity company said it has spotted 380 new variants of stalkerware this year, nearly one-third more than the amount it discovered in 2018.

Instagram is shutting down a creepy app that lets you stalk loved ones

  Instagram is shutting down a creepy app that lets you stalk loved ones Like Patrol bills itself as a way to keep tabs on your partner's likes on Instagram. But the social network has sent a cease-and-desist order.In early October, Instagram killed off its "Following" tab, which told people what posts and accounts their friends were interacting with. It would let you know whose posts they liked, and comments they left on other people's feeds. The tab was widely regarded as a stalking tool.

A group of technologists, including former Google and Facebook engineers, have formed the Center for Humane Technology.

The UK is boosting its cybersecurity efforts after government officials learned that ISIS is planning to launch cyber attacks on various infrastructures, such According to Reuters, the nation plans to build "elite cyber offensive forces" to fight off hackers, and it's pouring a lot of money into the project

a screenshot of a cell phone© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc.
An app wanted to bring back Instagram's creepiest feature for stalking loved ones

"In order to counter this issue, it is important for cybersecurity vendors and advocacy organizations to work together," Vyacheslav Zakorzhevsky, Kaspersky's head of anti-malware research, said in a statement. "The IT security industry gives its input by improving detection of stalkerware and better notifying users of this threat to their privacy."

The coalition launched a new website on Tuesday at www.stopstalkerware.org to serve as a resource for victims of stalkerware. It'll have tips on how to check if they've been infected by stalkerware and what steps they should take to protect themselves.

"Studies have shown that 70% of women victims of cyberstalking also experienced at least one form of physical or/and sexualised violence from an intimate partner," Anna McKenzie, communications manager at the European Network for the Work with Perpetrators of Domestic Violence, said in a statement. "We need to stop perpetrators from using their partners' phones for stalking and hold them accountable for their violence."

The coalition had been in the works since late July, said David Ruiz, an online privacy writer for Malwarebytes. For years, security companies had disagreed on what they classify as stalkerware, which meant that some antivirus programs blocked certain apps while others didn't.

The group established a standard definition for stalkerware, focusing on non-consensual tracking of victims' devices. The hope is that more security companies will join the coalition, Ruiz said.

"Working with other cybersecurity companies is pivotal to the success of this group," he said. "We can share detection samples, and we can have an agreement to engage in that kind of information sharing."

Homeland Security's former top cybersecurity official to join Google .
Jeanette Manfra, who lead the DHS's efforts on election security, will be starting with Google Cloud in January.Manfra had lead the DHS's efforts on securing the US elections, helping to coordinate cybersecurity protections for local voting officials across the country. The news was first reported by CyberScoop and confirmed by CNET.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks
usr: 1
This is interesting!