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An executable file disguised as a .jpg leads not only to ransomware but also its builder, which can be used to create variants. A malicious spam campaign that informs victims it contains a “critical Windows update” instead leads to the installation of Cyborg ransomware, researchers have found. Further, they were able to access its builder, which can be used to create malware variants. The email-based threat, discovered recently by researchers at Trustwave, is unique in a few ways, researchers unveiled in a blog post on Tuesday. For instance, the attached file purports to be in .jpg format, even though it opens an .exe file. Another unique aspect is that the emails contain a two-sentence subject, “Install Latest Microsoft Windows Update now! Critical Microsoft Windows Update!”— but it has just one sentence in its email body, researchers said. Typically, malicious emails include a longer, socially engineered message intended to lure victims into clicking malicious files. But perhaps the most crucial element of the analysis is that the Cyborg ransomware creators also left a trail from the executable that led researchers to discover the malware builder hosted on the Github developer platform. “The 7Zip file ‘Cyborg Builder Ransomware V 1.0.7z’ from Cyborg-Builder-Ransomware repository was uploaded two days before the Github account misterbtc2020 hosted the Cyborg ransomware executable,” according to the post. “It contains the ransomware builder ‘Cyborg Builder Ransomware V 1.0.exe.'” This adds a new dimension to the attack, Karl Sigler, threat intelligence manager for Trustwave SpiderLabs, told Threatpost in an email interview. “Ransomware has been widely used to attack different organizations and governments and having it and its builder hosted on a software development platform Github is significant,” he told us. “Anyone can grab a hold of it and create their own Cyborg ransomware executable.”  For more turn your browser to OUR FORUM.

Canadian intelligence agencies are divided over whether to ban Chinese tech giant Huawei from its 5G networks and follow the example of the United States and Australia, according to a report in The Globe and Mail. The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) insists on banning Huawei technology, while the Communications Security Centre (CSE), Canada's electronic surveillance agency, believes that rigorous testing and monitoring of 5G equipment manufactured by Huawei will eliminate security threats.
Australia and the United States are the only countries from the Five Eyes (FVEY) intelligence alliance that have decided on an outright Huawei ban. The remaining members - Canada, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand, have yet to decide. However, the Americans are putting pressure on them. Washington has repeatedly stated that if countries permit Huawei’s 5G equipment or any other Chinese manufacturer in their telecommunications infrastructure, the United States will stop sharing intelligence with the country, no matter how close and strategic an ally it is. read more on our Forum

If you’ve been encountering issues during the installation of the Windows 10 cumulative updates, you’re not alone. Over the past few months, several users have reported on forums that Windows 10 updates including the important Patch Tuesday releases and optional updates are failing to install. Windows 10 KB4524570, which is the latest Patch Tuesday update, could also fail to install on PCs with May 2019 Update and November 2019 Update. Users have reported on Microsoft’s community forum that they’re currently unable to install this patch and seeing error codes such as 0x80073701 and 0x8009001d. It’s worth noting that Microsoft acknowledged Windows 10 installation error in late May 2019 and the company reportedly developed a fix. According to the support doc, Microsoft resolved the installation issue on November 12 but some users might still experience issues. “Installation of updates may fail and you may receive the error message, “Updates Failed, There were problems installing some updates, but we’ll try again later” or “Error 0x80073701″ on the Windows Update dialog or within Update history,” the firm noted. “This issue has been resolved for most users,” Microsoft noted. For those who are still having issues, Microsoft posted a workaround guide a few days ago. It’s not clear if these issues are affecting a lot of users right now, but the problem is marked resolved and it’s possible that the firm might not fix it. Get up to date on this by visiting OUR FORUM.

Lenovo just wrapped up its feverishly anticipated Tech World conference in the Chinese capital. The tech giant headlined its event with a number of innovative products like the nostalgia drenched (but incredibly futuristic) Motorola Razr, a foldable ThinkPad and Lenovo One – a nifty piece of software that allows users to control their phone from their PC. Lenovo didn't stop there though, it also showed off Project Limitless: the world's first 5G laptop. First announced back in May, Limitless is determined to bring blisteringly fast network speeds in a thin and lightweight Yoga shell. The Chinese tech firm once again exhibited the device on-stage. Limitless looks like a typical Yoga laptop from Lenovo, that means it comes with a display that can elegantly swivel around its base allowing you to enjoy superfast 5G in either a traditional laptop or tablet form-factor. Just like it did back in May, Lenovo made a big song and dance about its partnership with American manufacturer Qualcomm that has supplied its Snapdragon X55 5G modem to be fitted under the bonnet of Limitless. As the name suggests, the X55 allows the Lenovo device to support next-generation networks on the go. Qualcomm claims the Snapdragon X55 should not only deliver 5G, but it won't gnaw away at your battery life while it does thanks to a number of efficiency upgrades. Of course, Express.co.uk will have to test this ourselves when we finally get our hands on it. Why is the world's first 5G laptop a huge boost for Windows 10? Well, theoretically it'll allow you to download chunky files, stream pixel-packed 4K content and play online games with low latency when out and about. 5G is already here... in certain cities across the globe at least (including London, Liverpool, Manchester and many more in the UK). Follow this on OUR FORUM.

The Trump administration is set to issue a two-week extension of a license allowing U.S. companies to continue doing business with China’s Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, two sources familiar with the deliberations said. The extension of around two weeks is far shorter than the prior 90-day extension and a longer extension is in the works but has not yet been finalized due to regulatory hurdles, said one source who was briefed on the matter. After adding Huawei to an economic blacklist in May citing national security concerns, the U.S. Commerce Department has allowed it to purchase some American-made goods in a move aimed at minimizing disruption for its customers, many of which operate networks in rural America. The extension will be announced on Monday when the earlier reprieve is set to expire, the sources said, declining to be identified as the extension has not been publicly announced. A spokesman for Huawei, the world’s biggest maker of telecom network equipment, said the company does not comment on rumors and speculation. The Commerce Department declined to comment. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told Fox Business Network on Friday that some rural carriers need the temporary licenses and are dependent on Huawei for 3G and 4G networks. “There are enough problems with telephone service in the rural communities - we don’t want to knock them out. So, one of the main purposes of the temporary general licenses is to let those rural guys continue to operate,” Ross said. Continue reading on OUR FORUM.

Taiwan has suspended sales of three Huawei smartphone models that listed it as "Taiwan, China" for timezones and contacts -- a designation the self-ruled, democratic island bristles at. Starting Thursday, sales of Huawei's P30, P30 Pro and Nova 5T models will be banned until the Chinese tech giant tweaks their operating system, Taiwan's National Communications Commission (NCC) said. How Taiwan is described is a hugely sensitive political issue. Beijing considers Taiwan as part of its territory awaiting reunification, by force if necessary, even though the two sides have been governed separately for the last seven decades. "The labeling in these phones does not reflect the facts and has even hurt the dignity of our country," the NCC said in a statement, adding that the commission had "taken strict measures to maintain national dignity". It also threatened to permanently ban the sales of the three phones if Huawei refuses to change the wording. Local distributor Xunwei Technologies said it was communicating with Huawei over the issue. Beijing has been ramping up diplomatic and economic pressure on Taiwan since President Tsai Ing-wen was elected in 2016 because her party refuses to recognize that the island is part of "one China". The pressure is building as Taiwan heads towards elections in January, with Tsai seeking to defeat an opponent who favors much warmer ties with China. Huawei, the world's number two smartphone producer, has previously come under fire in mainland China for the opposite offense -- not labeling the cities of Taipei, Hong Kong, and Macau as part of China in some Chinese-language settings. International brands have routinely found themselves bowing to Beijing's stance on Taiwan, a much smaller market compared to the lucrative mainland. Learn more by visiting OUR FORUM.

 

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