The New Version of Kaspersky Security Cloud Strengthens Privacy Control for Apps and Websites

Kaspersky has updated Kaspersky Security Cloud – its account-based … Thus, consumers who already use some of Kaspersky’s software do not have …

Kaspersky has updated Kaspersky Security Cloud – its account-based service with access to the company’s best consumer technologies and tools – with new ways to protect user privacy across multiple devices. Kaspersky Security Cloud now reduces the risk of users’ privacy being violated by warning them about the risks of dangerous and special permissions requested by apps on Android devices. In addition, it notifies users about phishing attempts hidden behind shortened links to websites. Kaspersky’s traditional consumer product line, with Essential-to-Premium solutions, has been further enhanced to offer a better user experience through performance improvements and optimizing the number of notifications.

According to Kaspersky’s report – The true value of digital privacy: are consumers selling themselves short? – it is increasingly common for consumers to protect their digital privacy by checking the settings on their devices and the apps that they use. In fact, more than a third (35%) of consumers regularly follow this practice.

However, as apps today often make suspicious permission requests that could endanger user privacy, confusion reigns. In order to simplify consumers’ control over privacy and save time in managing settings, Kaspersky Security Cloud’s new feature for Android devices enables users to view and manage app permissions in one place, at a glance. This helps identify potentially dangerous or questionable requests made by an app, and explains the risks associated with different types of common permissions.

In addition to suspicious app permissions, there’s another privacy risk that consumers need to be aware of and this has been accounted for in the new version of Kaspersky Security Cloud. In recent years, short URLs have seen widespread adoption due to the limited amount of characters they take up in instant messages or tweets. In fact, many legitimate services now use short URLs to link to desired webpages for sales and marketing purposes. However, while there are benefits, they can be dangerous as users don’t neccessarily know where they lead. This can have serious privacy consequences and has resulted in the increased popularity of short URLs among cybercriminals in recent years. To combat this, users of Kaspersky Security Cloud can take advantage of an improved Anti-Phishing feature to better protect personal information. The service analyzes short URLs and warns if a phishing link is hidden behind them. As part of this process, Kaspersky Security Cloud sends an anti-phishing alert to the user and ensures that the links and websites they access are safe.

“For modern users, it is not enough to just secure their device. Cybercriminals are becoming more interested in obtaining personal information about a specific person – whether it is a piece of financial information or their search history. If this sort of information is exposed, it can bring potential harm to its owner making the issue of digital privacy extremely important. In order to provide more control over personal information regardless of which type of device they use, we have updated Kaspersky Security Cloud. We are helping consumers keep their personal data safe and sound across multiple devices,” comments Marina Titova, Head of Consumer Product Marketing at Kaspersky.

There are three editions of Kaspersky Security Cloud: Free (extended version of Kaspersky Free that now, apart from Windows, supports mobile devices and delivers personalized protection), Personal and Family. Each edition offers a different number of applications, tools and technologies. All Kaspersky Security Cloud subscribers can install its applications and technologies on a PC, Mac and mobile devices. What is more, all customers will receive the new features and updates for free within the subscription period.

To learn more about the new version of Kaspersky Security Cloud, visit https://me.kaspersky.com/security-cloud.

Kaspersky Anti-Virus, Kaspersky Internet Security and Kaspersky Total Security: performance improvements and better user experience

As well as updating Kaspersky Security Cloud, Kaspersky has also refined the interface and key capabilities within Kaspersky Anti-Virus, Kaspersky Internet Security and Kaspersky Total Security. This has improved performance, how consumers receive notifications, and the overall user experience.

Kaspersky has worked on improving its traditional security solutions’ performance for Windows. For example, in order to speed up lengthy file system scans for malware, the restriction on the PC’s resources consumed has been lifted. Furthermore, the latest version can be installed in just half the time and is 15% ‘lighter’ – so there’s less load on the user’s PC.

In addition, security solutions now only alert users about significant events and ensure a frictionless experience. For instance, when a user visits a banking website, they receive a notification from the Safe Money feature, informing them that their session is protected.

Kaspersky has also simplified how credentials and account information is exchanged between the company’s products. Thus, consumers who already use some of Kaspersky’s software do not have to re-enter their credentials whenever they install a new product. Rather, they can manage them all under one My Kaspersky account.

To learn more about the new generation of Kaspersky’s consumer traditional product line, visit https://me.kaspersky.com/home-security#all

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Kaspersky Antivirus left millions of customers open to online tracking

Millions of users of Kaspersky Antivirus may have had their online activity tracked without their permission due to a software security flaw.

Customers using Kaspersky Antivirus to protect their devices may have had their online activity tracked without their permission, experts have warned.

Millions of Kaspersky users may have had their browsing monitored for several years, a new report has said, with individual machines identified and every page visited recorded.

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Kaspersky Internet Security for Android review: Top notch antivirus for mobile devices

In my tests of the best antivirus software, Kaspersky Internet Security for Android proved to be just as impressive as its desktop security programs in …

I’ve been testing and reviewing antivirus solutions for years, and Kaspersky’s programs have always been some of my favorites. Kaspersky Internet Security for Android (there is an iOS solution, but it isn’t as good) stops threats before they can download to your device. And if you come across a dangerous website or tap a link that leads to one, Kaspersky displays a warning message along with some details about what is lurking there.

I attempted to connect to several phishing schemes, some designed to look like Facebook and PayPal login pages, but Kaspersky blocked me from them. And clicking on malware links online and in personal messages caused Kaspersky to stop the download and display a warning message of precisely what was blocked. If you use a search engine, like Bing or Google, Kaspersky puts a small icon beside each result that lets you know if it is safe to click through or not. Links in social media pages and posts are also tagged as safe or dangerous.

When testing Kaspersky, I used a few different Android devices, including an LG K30 smartphone, a Galaxy Grand Prime cell phone, and a Samsung Galaxy tablet. Kaspersky only used 83.76 MB of memory when installed, and none of them experienced any slowdown. While Kaspersky worked in the background, including performing deep virus scans, I was still able to open and use apps, search online, text, and talk without interruption.

This app lets you block incoming calls, though most cell phones have a way to do this on their own. But Kaspersky also filters text messages and blocks many that are spam or phishing schemes.

Kaspersky protects in real-time, stopping malware before it downloads to your device.

The yearly $12 subscription to Kaspersky Internet Security also gives you access to its VPN. This part of the program is a separate download, but it can be accessed and managed from the main app once installed. This tool hides your location and browser history from adware and other internet snoops. Kaspersky’s mobile app also locks apps that are accessing information on your phone without permission, monitors Wi-Fi connections for any hackers sneaking in and includes anti-theft tools to help you locate and wipe sensitive data from your phone remotely if it is lost or stolen.

If you have other devices that are also protected with Kaspersky’s security solutions, such as multiple mobile devices or your desktop, you can manage them all and change their settings from your online portal. This is also where you remotely access mobile devices.

Is Kaspersky Internet Security for Android safe to use?

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Russia-linked Turla APT revamps arsenal to avoid detection with fileless malware

That’s according to Kaspersky, which has been investigating the way in which … The abuse of installation packs for VPN software that can circumvent …

A Russia-linked hacking group has “revamped its arsenal” by adding new features to minimise detection by security solutions and researchers.

That’s according to Kaspersky, which has been investigating the way in which threat actor Turla launches attacks against government and diplomatic groups.

They claim that the group has revamped its toolset by wrapping its JavaScript KopiLuwak malware in a new dropper called Topinambour to create two similar versions in different languages.

The researchers said that the malware was then distributed via infected installation packs for software that circumvents internet censorship and that these measures are designed to minimise detection and precision target victims.

Researchers first spotted Topinambour at the start of 2019, when it was being used by hackers to target government entities and other diplomatic targets.

The malware, which is named after the vegetable better known as the Jerusalem artichoke, is comprised of a Microsoft .NET file that distributes Turla’s JavaScript KopiLuwak through infected installation packages for VPNs and other forms of software.

“KopiLuwak is designed for cyberespionage and Turla’s latest infection process includes techniques that help the malware to avoid detection,” explained Kaspersky in a media announcement.

“For example, the command and control infrastructure has IPs that appear to mimic ordinary LAN addresses. Further, the malware is almost completely ‘fileless’ – the final stage of infection, an encrypted Trojan for remote administration, is embedded into the computer’s registry for the malware to access when ready.”

Kaspersky added that the two KopiLuwak analogues (the .NET RocketMan Trojan and the PowerShell MiamiBeach Trojan) were also “designed for cyber espionage” and that these versions are “deployed against targets with security software installed to detect KopiLuwak”.

All three versions can:

  • Fingerprint targets, to understand what kind of computer has been infected;
  • Gather information on system and network adapters;
  • Steal files;
  • Download and execute additional malware;
  • MiamiBeach is also able to take screenshots.

Kurt Baumgartner, principal security researcher at Kaspersky, said: “In 2019, Turla emerged with a revamped toolset, introducing a number of new features possibly to minimise detection by security solutions and researchers.

“These include reducing the malware’s digital footprint, and the creation of two different but similar versions of the well-known KopiLuwak malware. The abuse of installation packs for VPN software that can circumvent internet censorship suggests the attackers have clearly defined cyber espionage targets for these tools.”

New FinSpy versions extend surveillance capabilities

According to the researchers, FinSpy is an “extremely effective” software … According to Kaspersky telemetry, “several dozen” mobile devices have …

The latest versions of the advanced malicious surveillance tool FinSpy have been discovered by security researchers at security firm Kaspersky.

The software is produced and sold to governments and law enforcement agencies by Gamma International, which has branches in the UK and Germany.

FinSpy for desktop devices were first described in 2011 by Wikileaks, and mobile implants were discovered in 2012. Since then, Kaspersky has monitored the development of this malware and the emergence of new versions in the wild.

In 2014, Wikileaks revealed that FinSpy, also known as FinFisher, was being used by police in New South Wales, Australia, as well as national police in the Netherlands, Mongolia, Estonia and Singapore, and the secret services of Hungary, Italy, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Former FinSpy licence holders include Belgium, Italy, South Africa, Bahrain, Pakistan, Vietnam, Nigeria, and state security in Slovakia and Qatar.

The latest versions of FinSpy work on both iOS and Android devices, can monitor activity on almost all popular messaging services – including encrypted ones – and hide their traces better than before, according to the Kaspersky researchers.

The surveillance tool allows attackers to spy on all device activities and exfiltrate sensitive data such as GPS location, messages, photos and call information.

To guard against FinSpy, Kaspersky researchers advise users to

  • Not leave your smartphone or tablet unlocked and always make sure nobody is able to see your pin-code when you enter it.
  • Not jailbreak or root your device because it will make an attacker’s job easier.
  • Install only mobile applications from official app stores, such as Google Play.
  • Not follow suspicious links sent from unknown numbers.
  • Block the installation of programs from unknown sources in device settings.
  • Avoid disclosing the password or passcode to mobile devices to anyone.
  • Not store unfamiliar files or applications on device.

According to the researchers, FinSpy is an “extremely effective” software tool for targeted surveillance that has been observed stealing information from international NGOs, governments and law enforcement organisations all over the world. Its operators can tailor the behavior of each malicious FinSpy implant to a specific target or group of targets, the researchers found.

The basic functionality of the malware includes almost unlimited monitoring of the device’s activities: such as geolocation, all incoming and outgoing messages, contacts, media stored on the device, and data from popular messaging services like WhatsApp, Facebook messenger or Viber. All the exfiltrated data is transferred to the attacker via text messages or the HTTP protocol.

The latest known versions of the malware extend this surveillance functionality to additional messaging services, including those considered “secure”, such as Telegram, Signal and Threema.

They are also more adept at covering their tracks, with the versions targeting iOS 11 and older versions now able to hide signs of jailbreaking. The new version for Android contains an exploit capable of gaining root privileges or almost unlimited, complete access to all files and commands on an unrooted device.

However, based on the information available to Kaspersky, to successfully infect both Android and iOS-based devices, attackers need either physical access to the phone or an already jailbroken/rooted device. For jailbroken/rooted phones, there are at least three possible infection vectors: text message, email or push notifications.

Read more about spyware

According to Kaspersky telemetry, “several dozen” mobile devices have been infected with FinSpy in the past year.

“The developers behind FinSpy constantly monitor security updates for mobile platforms and tend to quickly change their malicious programs to avoid their operation being blocked by fixes,” said Alexey Firsh, security researcher at Kaspersky Lab.

“Moreover, they follow trends and implement functionality to exfiltrate data from applications that are currently popular. We observe victims of the FinSpy implants on a daily basis, so it’s worth keeping an eye on the latest platform updates and installing them as soon as they’re released.

“Regardless of how secure the apps you use might be, and how protected your data, once the phone is rooted or jailbroken, it is wide open to spying,” he said.

Up-to-date versions of FinSpy used in the wild were detected in almost 20 countries. “However, assuming the size of Gamma’s customer base, it’s likely that the real number of victims is much higher,” the researchers said.

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