Is Buying an iPhone 6 Buying Trouble? Or Peace of Mind?

Posted on September 17th, 2014 by Dan Rampe

iPhone6

ThreatMetrix Explores the Pros and Cons of iPhone 6 as They Relate to Privacy and Cyberfrauds’ Shift to Online Channels

When it comes to security, do the “I”s have it? ThreatMetrix takes a hard look at iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, exploring whether some of their newest features will be making their owners more secure or bigger cybercrime targets. (For a quick overview, ThreatMetrix prepared the following infographic on iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus cybersecurity pros and cons.)

“The most recent iPhone has received a ton of buzz, especially regarding some of its latest features such as Apple Pay, which has the potential to revolutionize the way consumers and retailers alike do business,” said Alisdair Faulkner, chief products officer at ThreatMetrix. “However, the fact remains that these features may also potentially make Apple the new prime target for cybercriminals all over the world, as the iPhone 6 increasingly becomes the remote control of its owners’ life.”

By the end of 2014, some 25 million iPhone users will have upgraded their devices. Following ThreatMetrix security experts critique the newest features and how they affect security.

  • Apple Pay a Safer Way– Passbook isn’t an entirely new feature of the iPhone, which previously enabled users to store purchased tickets and other virtual goods. These could then be presented on their iPhones in lieu of tickets, etc. Now, Passbook enables users to register credit cards at the click of a button and access them for secure, one-touch transactions using the iTouch fingerprint reader. The Passbook does not store credit-card details on the actual device or in iCloud. Instead it stores a token on a Secure Element. This means that any malware attempting to intercept a transaction will not be able to get access to the real credit card number. This is a net positive for transaction security.
  • Fraud Pushed from Banks to Online Merchants –Apple supports Near Field Communications (NFC) technology, which prevents store employees from taking copies of card data. In October 2015, EMV payment systems become mandatory in the U.S. and will cause criminal gangs to shift more of their attention to online channels. Modern card terminals typically support both EMV payment systems and NFC, and the new Apple Pay functionality will further drive adoption of these new readers in stores. Now, unlike in-store purchases that are covered by banks, online merchants have to cover the costs of inadvertently accepting fraudulent transactions. The other major impact will be a significant increase in online credit card origination theft. If it’s more difficult to breach data in-store and create counterfeit cards because of EMV payment systems and Apple Pay, criminals will focus more of their efforts online.
  • Increased Account Compromise Risk – iCloud is like a remote control for users’ lives. If hackers gain access to a username and password, which is often shared across sites, they can use the Find My Phone feature to not only disable Apple Pay purchasing from your device, but also get access to backup photos and remotely delete and reset your password as well.“Consumers have the opportunity to upgrade to two-factor authentication for better online protection as account compromise risks increase,” said Julie Conroy, research director at Aite Group. “However, very few consumers will do so due to inconvenience and added effort of such security measures.”
  • Privacy Concerns – Apple has stated that it does not track Apple Pay purchases, and that health data collected by HealthKit will remain encrypted on the phone and not stored on Apple’s servers. However there may be future business pressure to better monetize Apple’s iAd network. While HealthKit App Developers require an iPhone owner’s consent to access health data, consumers do not have good ways of ensuring their data remains protected once it is stored off their phones.
  • Selling and Gifting Older Models – Many consumers will want to get rid of their older iPhone models and this can lead to multiple security risks, such as previously jailbroken devices, devices that have pre-stored malware and unwiped devices that still have personal information stored on them. Before selling or gifting older models, consumers must make sure that they have deleted all content (Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings) and remove the devices from their iCloud accounts.

“The newest iPhone has the potential to be one of the most groundbreaking models to date,” said Faulkner. “However, consumers making the switch should be aware of the pros and cons of doing so, especially if they are in the first round of buyers. Consumers need to be mindful that the data they sync to iCloud is now likely only protected by a weak username and password combination.”

The widespread adoption of the iPhone 6 means there will be new threats to consumers’ sensitive information and privacy. Businesses such as Apple need a way to protect their customers beyond simple username and password combinations. They need a collective, global network. The ThreatMetrix® Global Trust Intelligence Network analyzes more than 850 million monthly transactions and combines device identification, threat assessments, identity and behavioral intelligence to accurately identify cybercriminals without creating friction for good users.

ThreatMetrix builds trust on the Internet by offering market-leading advanced fraud prevention and frictionless context-based security solutions. These solutions authenticate consumer and workforce access to mission critical applications using real-time identity and access analytics that leverage the world’s largest trusted identity network.

ThreatMetrix secures enterprise applications against account takeover, payment fraud, fraudulent account registrations, malware, and data breaches. Underpinning the solution is the ThreatMetrix® Global Trust Intelligence Network, which analyzes over 850 million monthly transactions and protects more than 210 million active user accounts across 3,000 customers and 15,000 websites.

The ThreatMetrix solution is deployed across a variety of industries, including financial services, enterprise, e-commerce, payments, social networks, government and insurance.

For more information, visit www.threatmetrix.com or call 1-408-200-5755.

Join the cybersecurity conversation by visiting the ThreatMetrix blogFacebookLinkedIn and Twitter pages.

ThreatMetrix Outlines Cybersecurity Pros and Cons for Consumers Purchasing the New iPhone 6

Posted on September 17th, 2014 by Dan Rampe

As Millions of Consumers Make the Shift to the Newest iPhone, They Must be Aware of Privacy Concerns and Fraud Shifting to Online Channels

San Jose, CA – September 17, 2014 – ThreatMetrix®, the fastest-growing provider of context-based security and advanced fraud prevention solutions, today announced the security pros and cons associated with some of the newest features of the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus, both hitting shelves today.

“The most recent iPhone has received a ton of buzz, especially regarding some of its latest features such as Apple Pay, which has the potential to revolutionize the way consumers and retailers alike do business,” said Alisdair Faulkner, chief products officer at ThreatMetrix. “However, the fact remains that these features may also potentially make Apple the new prime target for cybercriminals all over the world, as the iPhone 6 increasingly becomes the remote control of its owners life.”

With 25 million iPhone users planning to upgrade their devices by the end of 2014, there are a multitude of security pros and cons associated with the features of the latest iPhones that those making the switch should be aware of prior to purchasing. These include:

  • Apple Pay a Safer Way– Passbook isn’t an entirely new feature of the iPhone, which previously enabled users to store purchased tickets and other virtual goods that they could then present on their iPhones in place of its physical counterpart. Now, Passbook enables users to register credit cards at the click of a button and access them for secure, one-touch transactions using the iTouch fingerprint reader. The Passbook does not store credit card details on the actual device or in iCloud. Instead it stores a token on a Secure Element. This means that any malware attempting to intercept a transaction will not be able to get access to the real credit card number. This is a net positive for transaction security.
  • Fraud Pushed from Banks to Online Merchants – With Apple supporting Near Field Communications (NFC) technology, this prevents store employees from taking copies of card data. In addition, when EMV payment systems become mandatory in the U.S. in October 2015, criminal gangs will shift more attention to online channels. Modern card terminals typically support both EMV payment systems and NFC, and the new Apple Pay functionality will further drive adoption of these new readers in stores. Unlike in-store purchases that are covered by banks, online merchants have to cover the costs of inadvertently accepting fraudulent transactions. The other major impact will be a significant increase in online credit card origination theft. If it’s more difficult to breach data in store and create counterfeit cards due to EMV payment systems and Apple Pay, then criminals will focus more efforts online.
  • Increased Account Compromise Risk – iCloud is like a remote control for users’ lives. If a hacker gains access to a username and password, which is often shared across sites, they can use the Find My Phone feature to not only disable Apple Pay purchasing from your device, but also get access to backup photos and remotely delete and reset your password as well. “Consumers have the opportunity to upgrade to two-factor authentication for better online protection as account compromise risks increase,” said Julie Conroy, research director at Aite Group. “However, very few consumers will do so due to inconvenience and added effort of such security measures.”
  • Privacy Concerns – Apple has stated that it does not track Apple Pay purchases, and that health data collected by HealthKit will remain encrypted on the phone and not stored on Apple’s servers, however there may be future business pressure to better monetize Apples iAd network. HealthKit App Developers need consent to access health data, but consumers do not have good ways of ensuring their data remains protected once data is stored off their phone.
  • Selling and Gifting Older Models – Many consumers will want to get rid of their older iPhone models and this can lead to multiple security risks, such as previously jailbroken devices, devices that have pre-stored malware and unwiped devices that still have personal information stored on them. Before selling or gifting older models, consumers must make sure that you have deleted all content (Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings) and remove the devices from their iCloud accounts.

“The newest iPhone has the potential to be one of the most groundbreaking models to date,” said Faulkner. “However, consumers making the switch should be aware of the pros and cons of doing so, especially if they are in the first round of buyers. Consumers need to be mindful that the data they sync to iCloud is now likely only protected by a weak username and password combination.”

In the wake of the new potential threats to consumers’ sensitive information and privacy with the widespread adoption of the iPhone 6, businesses such as Apple need a way to protect their customers beyond simple username and password combinations with a collective, global network. The ThreatMetrix® Global Trust Intelligence Network analyzes more than 500 million monthly transactions and combines device identification, threat assessments, identity and behavioral intelligence to accurately identify cybercriminals without creating friction for good users.

ThreatMetrix Resources

About ThreatMetrix

ThreatMetrix builds trust on the Internet by offering market-leading advanced fraud prevention and frictionless context-based security solutions. These solutions authenticate consumer and workforce access to mission critical applications using real-time identity and access analytics that leverage the world’s largest trusted identity network.

ThreatMetrix secures enterprise applications against account takeover, payment fraud, fraudulent account registrations, malware, and data breaches. Underpinning the solution is the ThreatMetrix® Global Trust Intelligence Network, which analyzes over 850 million monthly transactions and protects more than 210 million active user accounts across 3,000 customers and 15,000 websites.

The ThreatMetrix solution is deployed across a variety of industries, including financial services, enterprise, e-commerce, payments, social networks, government and insurance.

For more information, visit www.threatmetrix.com or call 1-408-200-5755.

Join the cybersecurity conversation by visiting the ThreatMetrix blogFacebookLinkedIn and Twitter pages.

© 2014 ThreatMetrix. All rights reserved. ThreatMetrix, TrustDefender ID, TrustDefender Cloud, TrustDefender Mobile, TrustDefender Client, the TrustDefender Cybercrime Protection Platform, ThreatMetrix Labs, and the ThreatMetrix logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of ThreatMetrix in the United States and other countries. All other brand, service or product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies or owners.

Media Contacts
Dan Rampe
ThreatMetrix
Tel: 408-200-5716
Email: drampe@threatmetrix.com

Beth Kempton
WalkerSands Communications
Tel: 312.241.11178
Email: beth.kempton@walkersands.com

 

 

 

No “Silver” Lining in iCloud – Not Even for the Cybercriminals Who Locked Out Users Till a Ransom Was Paid.

Posted on June 9th, 2014 by Dan Rampe

iCloud

This has to be one of the strangest cybercrimes you’ll ever run across. Or perhaps it’s one of the dumbest. Or maybe both.

Some Apple users – primarily in Australia, but also in New Zealand, the UK and U.S. – found themselves locked out of their iCloud accounts unless they paid a $100 (USD) ransom via PayPal.

The only problem was PayPal said no PayPal address is linked to the email address referenced in the scam! In other words, the bad guys apparently got nothing for their efforts. Of course, they might have ripped off personal information that users kept in iCloud. But how bright would that have been? Tipping off users they had gained access to the users’ personal information?

Chris Griffith, senior technology journalist, describes all that’s known about the attack in his piece on theaustralian.com. The following has been edited to fit our format. You can find the complete article by clicking on this link.

The breach, first reported extensively on Apple community blogs, primarily targets Australian users. “I was using my iPad a short while ago when suddenly it locked itself,” one Melbourne user reported.

“I went to check my phone and there was a message on the screen (it’s still there) saying that my device(s) had been hacked”.

“He/she/they demanded $100 USD/EUR (sent by PayPal to lock404(at)hotmail.com) to return them to me.”

If hackers locked phones and iPads by remotely logging into iCloud accounts, they would also have access to users contacts, calendars and email stored with the same iCloud account.

The website http://staysmartonline.com.au is urging affected users not to pay the ransom. Instead they should change their iCloud password, and switch off Lost Mode via iCloud. The site also has recommended that all iCloud users, including those who are unaffected, also change their passwords.

PayPal meanwhile has issued a statement saying they will refund any cash sent to the hackers. “PayPal can assure customers that no PayPal account is linked to the email address referenced in the reported scam,” PayPal said.

“Further, if any PayPal customers have sent money via PayPal in relation to this matter their money will be refunded. This is consistent with PayPal’s policies to protect consumers against fraud.”

Users have reported becoming aware of the malware when accessing Find My iPhone on their iPhone and iPad. “I have gone into iCloud and when I used the ‘find my iPhone’ feature I did indeed see the message and that both the devices were locked,” a user said.

Users say they have remained locked out on devices that are not protected with passcodes. It is understood that malware on iPhones and iPads with existing passcodes can be deactivated by entering the passcode, which renders the device found in ‘Find My iPhone”.

Users without passcodes can either restore their phone to factory settings and use a backup, or visit their local Apple store for help.

Apple is not commenting on the origin of the breach, except to say the iCloud’s own security has not been breached. “Apple takes security very seriously and iCloud was not compromised during this incident. Impacted users should change their Apple ID password as soon as possible and avoid using the same user name and password for multiple services. Any users who need additional help can contact AppleCare or visit their local Apple Retail Store,” Apple said in a statement.

If true, that would leave a phishing attack and identity theft as likely causes.

Users have been encouraged over time not to use the same login credentials for different online services. Two-factor authentication and using Apple’s touch-id fingerprint recognition on the iPhone 5S are other ways to bump-up security.

ThreatMetrix® builds trust on the Internet by offering market-leading advanced fraud prevention and frictionless context-based security solutions. These solutions authenticate consumer and workforce access to mission critical applications using real-time identity and access analytics that leverage the world’s largest trusted identity network.

ThreatMetrix secures enterprise applications against account takeover, payment fraud, fraudulent account registrations, malware, and data breaches. Underpinning the solution is the ThreatMetrix® Global Trust Intelligence Network, which analyzes over 500 million monthly transactions and protects more than 160 million active user accounts across 2,500 customers and 10,000 websites.

The ThreatMetrix solution is deployed across a variety of industries, including financial services, enterprise, e-commerce, payments, social networks, government and insurance.

For more information, visit www.threatmetrix.com or call 1-408-200-5755.

Join the cybersecurity conversation by visiting the ThreatMetrix blogFacebookLinkedIn and Twitter pages.