India

1.3 million credit and debit cards are up for sale on the dark web

Most of them are from India

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Cybersecurity company Group-IB has found a data dump of over 1.3 million credit and debit cards on a dark web site called Joker’s Stash. Researchers are struggling to learn exactly where Joker’s Stash obtained all the card information while noting that the data being sold is rarely seen in this type of database. Most of the info sold are found to be from India.

Joker’s Stash is advertising it under the “INDIA-MIX-NEW-01” heading. The cards belong to multiple Indian banks and are being sold for US$ 100 each, in what security researchers have dubbed one of the biggest cards dumps in recent years.

The website says the stolen info includes both track 1 and track 2 data that’s included on a card’s magnetic strip (name, card number, expiry, and CVV/CSC).

Anyone purchasing the information can create cloned cards to physically use at ATMs or at in-store machines that aren’t chip-enabled; or, they can simply use the information to buy things online.

Joker’s Stash has a long history as one of the dark web’s oldest and biggest online card shops. Group-IB has valued the dump at more than US$ 130 million.

“More than 98 percent belong to Indian banks, 1 percent – to Colombian, and more than 18 percent of the 550K cards that have been analyzed so far belong to a single Indian bank,” the company added.

The diversity of the banks that the cards belong to indicate that the dump is not the result of one bank getting hacked, ZDNet reports. The data could’ve been skimmed from ATM or PoS machines and later consolidated in a single database.

Usually, information is sold in small batches to ensure there are no protective counter actions from banks. However, the dumping of so much information suggests the hackers are in a hurry to monetize their loot.

In February, card details for 2.15 million Americans were put up for sale on Joker’s Stash. Unfortunately, it’s nearly impossible to trace the source or origin of the database. Being on the dark web, law enforcement can rarely take down Joker’s Stash immediately.

India

Realme skyrockets in India mobile market as Samsung falls

Xiaomi continues to hold its spot

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This year Xiaomi and Realme have been constantly fighting each other in the affordable phone segment. Each month we witnessed the launch of a new product, that always ended up killing the competitors previous offering. It’s a never-ending cycle.

However, the sales figures have proven that there’s still no clear winner in sight. According to IDC’s Q3 2019 report, Xiaomi continues to lead the market with a share of 27 percent, followed by Samsung at 18.9 percent. Realme is at the fourth spot with 14.3 percent, just below Vivo.

On the flipside, Realme has registered year-over-year growth of a whopping 400 percent, while Xiaomi grew at a modest 8.5 percent. Unfortunately, Samsung is having a hard time tackling the two younger brands and registered a fall of 8.5 percent.

The average selling price for a smartphone was INR 11,000 (US$ 159). Data also showed that phones under INR 15,000 (US$ 200) still account for 80 percent of the market. But, this segment saw its share drop by five percent on a yearly basis.

The Redmi 7A and Redmi Note 7 Pro were the highest shipped models in the complete market. Realme’s online sales were at 26.5 percent and its shipments were 6.7 million. This also means that number two, three and four smartphone players are closely matched in terms of shipments.

With more than 50 percent share, Apple remained the dominant player in the premium segment, which includes smartphones in the range of US$ 500 and more.

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India

Nokia branded smart TVs will soon be a thing

Coupled with JBL audio

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Nokia TVs are on the horizon.

India’s e-commerce giant Flipkart has announced that it has entered into a strategic partnership with Nokia to launch Nokia-branded Smart TVs. Flipkart will not only distribute the brand’s smart TVs but is also handling the manufacturing in India.

This will mark Nokia’s entry in an extremely crowded market where new players like OnePlus have just recently arrived. Xiaomi has also been doubling down with its wider range of products and incumbents like Samsung, LG, and Panasonic continue to command a huge share of the market.

A launch timeline hasn’t been revealed yet, but we do know the TVs will sport audio by JBL. Besides Nokia, Huawei’s Honor and Motorola recently launched smart TVs in the country.

The company is known for its research and patents in the telecom industry and continues to work on it. On the side, it has licensed the Nokia brand to third parties like HMD Global for smartphones.

Nokia stopped making phones long back, its hardware division was later acquired by Microsoft, and ultimately everything ended. Though, the brand lived, and the Finnish company was far from giving up.

Flipkart was acquired by Walmart sometime back and the platform intends to leverage its online reach in tier 2 and 3 towns. Besides, all the TVs will be assembled in India under the central government’s Make in India campaign. This will help them avoid import duty on finished products as well as enjoy the direct benefits of the scheme.

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Apps

WhatsApp attack let hackers spy on users

Journalists and activists were specifically targeted

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Facebook-owned WhatsApp is one of the most widely used instant messengers and has a huge userbase in India. The app uses end-to-end encryption to protect data from snooping eyes. Unfortunately, hackers were not only able to bypass this security measure, but also separately install malware.

Before India’s General Elections, at least two dozen journalists, lawyers and activists were targeted for surveillance. WhatsApp has officially confirmed the incident and blames Israeli cybersecurity firm NSO for abusing a vulnerability.

WhatsApp has filed a lawsuit against NSO Group, stating it “developed their malware in order to access messages and other communications after they were decrypted” on target devices. 1,400 users were compromised in total and state-of-the-art surveillance was active for at least two weeks before the flaw was detected.

WhatsApp has obviously fixed the vulnerability and directly reached out to the affected users. The lawsuit says that “Pegasus” software was used to hijack smartphones running on iOS, Android, and BlackBerry OS. It described the issue as, “A buffer overflow vulnerability in WhatsApp VOIP stack allowed remote code execution via specially crafted series of RTCP packets sent to a target phone number.”

Reports claim Pegasus is exclusively sold to governments only and has been around for at least three years. It’s extremely sophisticated and attacks are exceedingly difficult to detect.

Clearly, NSO Group has disputed WhatsApp’s claims but we won’t know the full story until the lawsuit goes to trial.

In 2018, a confidant of Jamal Khashoggi was targeted in Canada with a fake package notification. Khashoggi was later tracked down and assassinated at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

India’s IT Ministry has sought a detailed response from WhatsApp before November 4.

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