Strangest news items in the security space | Gallery & slideshow | SC Media

Strangest news items in the security space


  • Who needs GPS devices when the suspects make it this easy?

    Police who were investigating a suspicious person peering into parked vehicles in Bethlehem, Pa., essentially turned himself in when police arrived to question him - only for the man to pull out a stolen GPS unit from his pocket to as how to use it.

  • Talk about a blended threat.

    A 29-year-old Australian pleaded guilty to three counts of unlawful modification of computer data after he hacked into the servers of the internet service provider at which he previously worked. In addition, he admitted to threatening to burn down the company's building and go after his former boss with an ax.

  • Yahoo! dishes out store credit

    Yahoo! shelled out $25 in store credit to a penetration testing firm that alerted it of three XSS flaws that could allow any “” email account to be compromised if a logged-in user clicked a malicious link sent by a saboteur. The reward is only redeemable in Yahoo's company store.

  • Hackers compromise system through Chinese menu

    When hackers were unable to penetrate a big oil company's systems, they got sneaky. The attackers knew the oil company's employees frequently ordered from a local Chinese restaurant, so they infected the restaurant's online menu with malware. When the employees perused food options, they unknowingly downloaded malware onto the company's systems.

  • Twitter account stolen and restored after extortion scheme

    Twitter and other tech companies tend to be hands off when it comes to user disputes, but in early 2014, the company stepped in to help restore a user’s stolen account. Naoki Hiroshima has owned his @N Twitter username since 2007, that is, until a tricky attacker used social engineering to extort Hiroshima. The attacker used social engineering techniques against GoDaddy and PayPal in order to gain control over Hiroshima’s GoDaddy web domains and his Facebook account. Although Hiroshima did hand over the account when faced with the blackmailing attempt, Twitter eventually stepped in to restore the original account.

  • Man turns himself into cops after falling for FBI ‘ransomware’ attack

    A Virginia man who thought a trojan scam on his computer was legitimate turned himself into police earlier this year. The ransomware attack flashed warnings to Jay Riley saying that the FBI knew he had committed an online illegal activity, and, unless he paid a ransom, Riley’s computer would remain locked. Plus, a police investigation would begin. When faced with this possibility, Riley took his computer to the police station and asked if active warrants were out for his arrest. He then allowed police to search his computer, where they found child pornography.

  • Former Vice President Dick Cheney’s heart monitor adjusted to address hacking threat

    In October 2013, former Vice President Dick Cheney revealed that during his term as VP, his heart defibrillator’s wireless feature was disabled over fears of an assassination attempt via a “terrorist” hack. His handlers believe that attackers could send a signal to the device and tell it to shock his heart into cardiac arrest.

Dick Cheney probably wasn’t thinking about hackers when he had his heart defibrillator installed, but the possible threat was later addressed when the defibrillator’s wireless function was disabled. This story, among others, made up some of the strangest in the security space.