We open this weekly security roundup with a reminder about CryptoWall 4.0. It’s a new strain stemming from the notorious ransomware we first warned you about a month ago. This week, cyber criminals have started using Angler to spread CryptoWall 4.0, proving once again how fast cyber criminals are adapting and understanding the market trends. You can read more about it in our dedicated security alert post.

Security articles of the week

1. Biggest data breaches of 2015

Today, nobody should be fooled into thinking they are immune to cyber attacks. This review of the biggest data breaches from the past year just proves how broad the range of vulnerable digital assets is. Criterias for this list range from the number of records compromised to types of stolen data and potential threats to specific groups. Ashley Madison was one of the most serious data breaches, as more than 37 million customers ended up with compromised data.

2. Inside the massive Vtech Hack

Data breaches became so common that some might not even catch our attention anymore, but the Vtech hack is amongst the most severe. That’s because of the targeted group: children. More than 200.000 affected children, to be more precise. The breached data included photos of them and their parents, their locations, names, genders or birthdates.

3. A woman loses £1.6 million through romance scams

Scams that appeal to people’s emotions will probably never get old. This article explains how an online romance fraud left a woman without £1.6 million, after she met a man on a dating site.

“Romance scams are not the most prevalent fraud but the financial and emotional impact to victims is huge. Many victims borrow money from friends and family to pay the suspects. Victims typically feel embarrassed and ashamed when they realise they have been duped, so they often don’t report what has happened to them or even confide in a friend.”

4. What’s wrong with Zara installing iPad in its changing rooms

Good intentions are sometimes just accidents waiting to happen. Inditex, the giant Spanish company that owns fashion brand Zara, is working hard on bringing fashion closer to clients. They recently installed iPads in the changing rooms of their fashion stores. By using the iPads, clients can scan the items when they enter the changing room, ask for different sizes or visualise other Zara products. What could go wrong, right?

5. More than +37.000 websites shut down due to copyright infringement

Massive take down of websites selling counterfeit merchandise. More than 37 thousand websites were shut down in this law enforcement action led by Europol and over 27 countries. The rights holders represented different industries, from sportswear to electronics, pharmaceutical and luxury goods.

6. Ad fraud costs $8.2B a year in the U.S.

The flaws in the digital advertising supply chain are costing the U.S. digital advertising more than $8.2 billions per year. These are caused by fake ad impressions, generated by bots or malweare, infringed content and malvertising. I.A.B. and Ernst & Young recently published a comprehensive report on how the digital industry should focus on reducing the losses.

7. Chimera Crypto-Ransomware Wants You (As the New Recruit)

There’s a new twist to Chimera, the strain of ransomware that’s been going around in the past month. Its creators are not only going about their daily business, but they’re also seeking to recruit new wrongdoers to join them. In the message displayed, the attackers urge potential recruits to find the contact details in the source code, naming it an “affiliate program”. Thus, ransomware as a service is once again reinforced as a business model in the cyber criminal community.

8. Technology executives explain what to do when you get hacked

How to do damage control if your business got hacked, how to regain your credibility and how to move forward as soon as possibile? Forbes gathered eight technology experts and asked them to share their best advice on this topic.

9. Security predictions for the new year

​Find out what major cyber threats we should look out for in the new year. From hacktivism fueled by the U.S. ellections, to new payment tech and Internet of Things vulnerabilities, here are a few predictions.

10. The Mobile Force Awakens: predicting a year of chaos in 2016

Another list of cyber security predictions for the upcoming year, but this one makes a great parallel on the Star Wars saga.


Tis the season to focus on shopping and buying gifts for our beloved ones. In the meantime, the odds of successful financial malware and ransomware campaigns are increasing. Let’s not let our guard down and lose focus on online protection, as cyber criminals are rapidly finding and adopting new attack tactics.

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