Pro-ethical hacking group hacked, used as malware front

ethical hacker site hacked ransomware eccouncil
The administrators of the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) program, which looks to spread knowledge and know-how about measures to prevent being hacked, has come under fire from security organizations for its own lax security and its late response to related warnings. Despite being provided with ample notice, the CEH ignored warnings that it was distributing malware to some of its visitors.

Admittedly, the hack in question was an elusive one. According to a FOX IT report, the Angler toolkit which had infected the site would further infect those who visited the site from a major search engine and were using Internet Explorer — likely suggesting a less than stellar knowledge of Internet security.

What’s heartbreaking is that the visitors were themselves clearly trying to learn — they were, after all, looking up courses on improving security.

But unfortunately the very site they visited was the one making the visitors vulnerable. So now a security firm has gone public (via Ars) with the information, in the hopes that it encourages action and discourages people from visiting the site until it’s safe again.

Related: Update: Mac ransomware may have flaws that allow file recovery

The notice states visitors who meet the criteria for infection may find themselves redirected  to the Angler toolkit landing page, which then uses Flash or Silverlight plugins to infect the victim’s local machine with more malware.

Most worrisome is that the malware it then dumps on the user’s system is TeslaCrypt, a ransomware that immediately encrypts the user’s files and demands a 1.5 bitcoin ransom (equal to around $624) to decrypt them — potentially meaning that visitors to the CEH site could lose all of their important and personal files and images.

The malware program is very traditional too, offering just the payment option — unlike others, there is no offer to sign on as an affiliate.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: heat-powered watches, phone cases with reflexes

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

Android Q: Everything we know so far about Google’s next mobile OS

Android Pie recently rolled out, but it's already time to look ahead to Android Q, the next version of Google's mobile OS. We've seen a number of rumors and leaks come out about the operating system -- here's everything we know so far.

Don't spend hundreds on Pro Tools or Logic. Try one of these free alternatives

Believe it or not, Pro Tools isn't the only digital audio workstation worth your time. Check out our picks for the best free recording software, whether you're looking for a lightweight app or a full-blown audio workstation.

Best tax software deals from TurboTax, H&R Block, and more

Do you dread doing your taxes? Luckily for you, there are plenty of tax software options available to guide you through the process. And guess what? Some of them are even on sale today! Check out deals from TurboTax, H&R Block, and…

Chromebook 13 vs. Google Pixelbook: Acer model takes on the king

Acer's Chromebook 13 is throwing tons of speed at the Chrome OS market, to go with a midrange build and traditional clamshell design. Is that enough to challenge the Google Pixelbook?

Data breach compromises 773 million records, 21 million passwords

A security researcher was alerted to a collection of breached data that included more than 773 million compromised records. After digging deeper, the breach was revealed to contain more than 21 million passwords.

Dell teases new XPS laptop with Intel’s 10th-gen Ice Lake for summer 2019

After teasing a mysterious Ice Lake-powered XPS laptop during Intel's keynote, Dell confirmed that it will announce a new 10th-generation Ice Lake-powered XPS laptop this year. The new XPS notebook could debut as early as summer.

Faster new PCIe 5.0 standard leapfrogs the best feature of AMD’s Ryzen 3

PCIe 5.0 will bring even faster data transfers, but it may only be found on HPCs and servers initially. The standard is four times faster than your current PC at transferring data, and new devices could appear later this year.

From Chromebooks to MacBooks, here are the best laptop deals for January 2019

Whether you need a new laptop for school or work or you're just doing some post-holiday shopping, we've got you covered: These are the best laptop deals going right now, from discounted MacBooks to on-the-go gaming PCs.

Keep your laptop battery in tip-top condition with these handy tips

Learn how to care for your laptop's battery, how it works, and what you can do to make sure yours last for years and retains its charge. Check out our handy guide for valuable tips, no matter what type of laptop you have.

Protect your expensive new laptop with the best Macbook cases

If you recently picked up a new MacBook, you’ll want something to protect its gorgeous exterior. Here, we've gathered the best MacBook cases and covers, whether you're looking for style or protection.

Watch out for these top-10 mistakes people make when buying a laptop

Buying a new laptop is exciting, but you need to watch your footing. There are a number of pitfalls you need to avoid and we're here to help. Check out these top-10 laptop buying mistakes and how to avoid them.

Don't spend a fortune on a PC. These are the best laptops under $300

Buying a laptop needn't mean spending a fortune. If you're just looking to browse the internet, answer emails, and watch Netflix, you can pick up a great laptop at a great price. These are the best laptops under $300.

Dell XPS 13 vs. Asus Zenbook 13: In battle of champions, who will be the victor?

The ZenBook 13 UX333 continues Asus's tradition of offering great budget-oriented 13-inch laptop offerings. Does this affordable machine offer enough value to compete with the excellent Dell XPS 13?