KIEV — Ukrainian police have seized the servers of one of the largest accounting software firms in the country on Tuesday, after it was suspected that a malware virus which hit dozens of global enterprises last week had spread via its malicious update,a senior police official said.
The servers of Ukraine’s most popular accounting software, M.E.Doc were seized by Ukrainian police Tuesday as part of an investigation into one of the largest recent cyber attacks, Reuters reported, citing the head of Ukraine’s Cyber Police, Sergey Demedyuk.
Cyber Police spokeswoman Yulia Kvitko confirmed an ongoing investigation into M.E.Doc’s offices.
Though they are still trying to establish who was behind last week’s attack, Ukrainian intelligence officials and security firms have said some of the initial infections were spread via a malicious update issued by M.E.Doc, charges the company’s owners deny.
While it is still not clear who inserted a vulnerability into the M.E.Doc program, the Kiev-based firm whose software is used by around 80 percent of companies in Ukraine is under investigation itself and will face criminal charges, Associated Press reported citing Demedyuk.
M.E.Doc’s employees had dismissed repeated warnings about the security of their information technology infrastructure, Demedyuk said in an interview with the news agency.
Premium Service, which says it is an official dealer of M.E.Doc’s software, wrote a post on M.E.Doc’s Facebook page saying masked men were searching M.E.Doc’s offices and that the software firm’s servers and services were down.
Cyber Police spokeswoman Yulia Kvitko said investigative actions were continuing at M.E.Doc’s offices, adding that further comment would be made on Wednesday.
Android apps may be illegally tracking children, study finds
Over 3300 free and popular children’s Android apps available on the Google Play Store could be violating child privacy laws, according to a new, large-scale study, highlighting growing criticism of Silicon Valley’s data collection efforts.
Researchers using an automated testing process have discovered that 3,337 family and child oriented Android apps on Google Play were improperly collecting kids’ data, potentially putting them in violation of the US’ Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, or COPPA law (which limits data collection for kids under 13).
Only a small number were particularly glaring violations, but many apps exhibited behavior that could easily be seen as questionable.
Researchers analyzed nearly 6,000 apps for children and found that 3,337 of them may be in violation of the COPPA, according to the study report. The tested apps collected the personal data of children under age 13 without their parent’s permission, the study found.
“This is a market failure,” said Serge Egelman, a co-author of the study and the director of usable security and privacy research at the International Computer Science Institute at the University of California, Berkeley.
“The rampant potential violations that we have uncovered points out basic enforcement work that needs to be done.”
The researchers are adamant that they’re not showing ‘definitive legal liability.’ These apps may be running afoul of the law, but it’s up to regulators at the FTC to decide if they are. Without iOS data, it’s also unclear how common this problem is across platforms.
The potential violations were abundant and came in several forms, according to the study. More than 1,000 children’s apps collected identifying information from kids using tracking software whose terms explicitly forbid their use for children’s apps, the study found.
The researchers also said that nearly half the apps fail to always use standard security measures to transmit sensitive data over the Web, suggesting a breach of reasonable data security measures mandated by COPPA. Each of the 5,855 apps under review was installed more than 750,000 times, on average, according to the study.
Unfortunately for parents, there’s little consumers can do to protect themselves since the policies and business practices of app developers and ad tracking companies are often opaque, Egelman said.
The study also points to a breakdown of so-called self-regulation by app developers who claim to abide by child privacy laws, as well as by Google, which runs the Android platform, he said.