Visa and Mastercard announce massive data breach, 10 million credit cards compromised

Credit Cards

In the last few days, news has been filtering out that Visa and MasterCard data was compromised by persons unknown. The card issuers have sent private alerts to banks indicating a data breach occurred between January 21, 2012 and February 25, 2012 and official announcements have since been made. After the news broke, payment processor Global Payments Inc. was identified as the compromised party, and we’re now learning that the data theft seems to be extensive.

According to the official alerts sent out by both Visa and MasterCard, so-called Track 1 and 2 data was included in the information stolen. That means the hackers have all the data they need to clone cards from scratch. The banks and credit unions believed to be affected are investigating the breach more thoroughly, and contacting businesses and individuals with potentially compromised accounts. Global Payments has admitted that it did not notice the breach until early March, and some cards have already been used in the wild.

Hard numbers are still difficult to come by, but PSCU, a financial services company dealing with credit unions, has said that 56,455 credit union accounts appear to be involved in the data theft. This might just be the tip of the iceberg, though. A Gartner analyst claims to have spoken with people with Visa and MasterCard who worry the breach could be extremely severe. Early estimates indicate that more than 10 million credit card numbers may have been compromised.

Global Payments is planning to hold a conference call on Monday morning to further explain what happened. We might get more technical details at that time, but things are certainly looking like a mess right now. Best to take a long hard look at that next billing statement.


T-Mobile Amaze 4G And Sensation 4G To Get Android 4.0 Update Soon

T-Mobile has announced that two if its devices the HTC Amaze 4G and the HTC Sensation 4G will soon be getting an update to the latest version of Google’s Android OS, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

The updates were revealed in some updated support documents on T-Mobile’s website, and whilst we don’t’ have an exact date we can apparently expect the updates shortly.

HTC Amaze 4G

LG Optimus Elite For Sprint and Virgin Leaked

It looks like both Sprint and Virgin Mobile are about to get a new budget Android smartphone on their networks in the US, the LG Optimus Elite, which you can see in the photos below.

According to the guys over at PocketNow, the LG Optimus Elite will come with a 3.2 inch HVGA display and a 5 megapixel camera with a built in flash.

LG Optimus Elite

Recycled Vintage Radio iPhone and iPod Speaker Docks

Earlier in the week we showed you some cool iPhone docks made from recycled vintage cameras and now we have a couple more iPhone and iPod docks which have been made using some vintage gadgets.

Relectronics have made a range of cool iPhone and iPod docks using some vintage radios, and the devices come with a set of Sony SRS 50 5 watt speakers so you can listen to you favourite tunes whilst charging your iPhone or iPod.

Recycled iPhone and iPod Docks

iPhone and Android passcodes can be bypassed within seconds

Swedish security firm, Micro Systemation, has demonstrated how simple it is to defeat lock screen passcode mechanisms on both iPhone OS and Android devices. To do it, the company shows off their own security tool called XRY, a utility used by law enforcement, military personnel and even the FBI for this very purpose.

In the demonstration below, the hack takes less than a couple of minutes from getting set up to completion. The actual cracking itself takes only seconds, but the passcode-breaking mechanism is a brute force attack. The pin used in the demonstration is “0000” which is likely to be the first number guessed, thus giving us the quickest possible result. A code like “9945” may take considerably longer.

The software not only cracks passcode locks, but can also extract data from locked phones. It is able to copy and decrypt GPS location history, call logs, contacts, texts and even keystroke logs.

XRY is based on a jailbreak-like method of gaining unsanctioned access to mobile devices. Instead of using official backdoors which are sometimes left by manufacturers, the company exploits security flaws found the OS itself. Leveraging these exploits, the software is able to inject code into the device which gives XRY unfettered access to the system, not unlike jailbreaking tools like ac1dsn0w or redsn0w.

In fact, finding exploits in every mobile OS update is what about half of Micro Systemation’s 75 employees do.

The phone and tablet hacking tool sports a fairly intuitive interface, allowing individuals to use it successfully with minimal training. This sounds particularly useful for law enforcement and other agencies with limited monetary and technical resources.

As we’ve all heard, the legality of jailbreaking is on thin ice. However though, when authorities are using tools like XRY to crack criminal’s smartphones, that seems to raise some red flags.

“If police have a warrant to be in the phone, this is just a way to get access to what they’re legally allowed to,” Fakhoury says of the XRY tool. “But if they’re going to a protest and seizing folks for booking, and immediately running this on their phones and sucking everything out, we’ve got a real problem.”

Source: Forbes

Micro Systemation claims its largest XRY client is the U.S. Military. “When people aren’t wearing uniforms, looking at mobile phones to identify people is quite helpful”, Dickinson explained as potential scenario.

HTC One X, One S And One V Land In Europe April 2nd

HTC announced a new range of smartphones under the ‘One’ name at this years MWC last month, and now the three device will go on sale in Europe next week.

According to the guys over at The Unwired, HTC have confirmed that The HTC One X, HTC One S and the HTC One V will go on sale in Germany, Austria and Switzerland on the 2nd of April.


Android 4.0.4 Update Released For GSM Nexus S, WiFi Xoom And HSPA+ Galaxy Nexus

Google has announced that it has started rolling out the Android 4.0.4 update to multiple devices, which include the GSM Nexus S, the Xoom WiFi and the HSPA+ Galaxy Nexus.

They have also confirmed that the Android 4.0.4 update will be rolled out to other devices over the ‘coming weeks’ although no specific dates or devices were mentioned.

Galaxy Nexus

Macbook Air And Pro Rainbow Keyboard Decals

If you feel your MacBook Air or Pro needs a little more colour, these funky rainbow keyboard decals might be just the thing. They are created from ultra-high resolution pictures, printed on transparent vinyl MPI material from Avery Graphics, which guarantees no residue with 3-5 years outdoor life.

Rainbow Keyboard decal