By Arielle Mullen

Headphones that can spy on you?  Proving once again that someone will always build a better mousetrap, researchers at Ben Gurion University in Israel have created a new type of malware that's capable of hijacking laptop speakers or earbuds to record audio. This malware, named "Speake(a)r," essentially converts the speakers into makeshift microphones, capturing the vibrations in the air and modifying them into electromagnetic signals. This tactic of hijacking a computer microphone using malware is becoming increasingly mainstream, with no software available (yet) to guard against this type of attack.

Hackers Hold SF Muni System for RansomOver the weekend following Thanksgiving, citizens of San Francisco arrived at various Municipal Railway stations to find "Out of Service" and "Metro Free" alerts on the electronic ticket machines. The hacker has demanded 100 bitcoin (approximately $73,000), in exchange for not releasing data on the MUNI's employees and customers. MUNI has confirmed the attack, but wouldn't comment any further on whether they plan to pay the ransom. With ransomware popping up more frequently, a solid security defense has become increasingly necessary, even for a seemingly innocuous entity like public transit. 

Safeguarding against holiday scams: Ensure your holiday season goes as smoothly as possible by protecting yourself against potential attacks. Look out for fake purchase invoices or shipping status messages in your inbox (clicking on these emails could install malware or land you on a phishing page), keep an eye on your bank statements (some online stores you purchase from could fall victim to hacking), and beware of fake surveys asking for personal info. To learn more about guarding your system against possible attacks, get in touch with one of our consultants today. 

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