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Science
07 Jan 2018

A week into 2018, and four cyber-attacks have already happened

It's been a week into 2018, and already the internet is flooded with reports of major cybersecurity breaches.

From Aadhaar details getting compromised to fake apps stealing banking data, 2018 has presented us with four large scale cyber attacks which potentially affect millions, even billions of people.

Here's what you need to know about the attacks.

In context

2018 has already seen major cybersecurity breaches
Just Rs. 500 for unrestricted access to Aadhaar details

Aadhaar access

Just Rs. 500 for unrestricted access to Aadhaar details

Despite assurances from the government about the security of our Aadhaar details, an investigation by The Tribune revealed that anyone could get unrestricted access to over one billion Aadhaar details for just Rs. 500.

One of The Tribune's journalists purchased unrestricted access to Aadhaar details from an anonymous seller over WhatsApp. After paying via Paytm, it took 10 minutes to get access.

Android trojan

Android trojan steals banking login data

Cyber security firm Quick Heal found an Android banking trojan which it said imitated over 232 banking and cryptocurrency apps, including those offered by Indian banks, and stole user data from the apps.

Known as Android.banker.A2f8a, the malware is being distributed via a fake Flash Player app on third party stores.

Once an app is imitated, it tricks users into giving up login details.

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Researchers find security flaws in modern microchips

Chip flaws

Researchers find security flaws in modern microchips

Researchers with Google's Project Zero, along with academic and industry researchers, discovered two security flaws in modern microchips which puts almost all phones and computers at risk.

The first, called Meltdown, affects Intel chips and has the potential to let hackers read a computer's memory and steal passwords.

The second, called Spectre affects Intel, AMD, and ARM chips, lets hackers steal information from apps.

Fake Uber app

Fake Uber app steals Uber ID and password

Researchers from Symantec discovered a fake Uber app for Android smartphones.

The app shows users a mock-up version of Uber's service which attempts to steal information by asking for users' Uber IDs and passwords.

Later, the fake app tried to cover its tracks - it started showing screens of the legitimate Uber app with a user's location.

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