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Code-signing certificates are selling on the dark web for up to $1,200, making them more expensive than many counterfeit U.S. passports, stolen credit cards and handguns, according to research released Tuesday by key and certificate management company Venafi and the Cyber Security Research Institute (CSRI).
There is a near-consensus among CIOs (86 percent) that the potential value of cryptographic keys and digital certificates to cybercriminals make them the next big online black market, according to the research.
The value of stolen code-signing certificates for enabling man-in-the-middle attacks, hiding in encrypted traffic, malware installation, sensitive data exfiltration, website spoofing, and escalating privileges makes them valuable to malicious actors. The dark web price of $1,200 for a code-signing certificate is roughly the same as a counterfeit U.S. passport, and equivalent to 12 targeted email account hacks or 48 targeted DDoS attacks, Venafi says.
“Our research proves that code signing certificates are lucrative targets for cyber criminals,” said Kevin Bocek, chief security strategist for Venafi. “With stolen code signing certificates, it’s nearly impossible for organizations to detect malicious software. In addition, code signing certificates can be sold many times over before their value begins to diminish, making them huge money makers for hackers and dark web merchants. All of this is fuelling the demand for stolen code signing certificates.”
Venafi notes that Intel predicted in 2014 that the black market for certificates would grow. Dimension Research previously showed a significant increase in certificate usage at 86 percent of organizations, and certificate use growth of 35 percent or more in 2017, while IDC research suggests there will a five-fold increase from 2015 to 2020 in the number of devices needing keys and certificates to more than 30 billion.
Numerous sets of tax returns along with other personally identifiable information were discovered for sale on the dark web for $40 by IBM security researchers earlier this year. The kind of risk that goes along with such marketplaces has led to the development of dark web monitoring tools like Dark Web ID for sale through MSPs.
(Bloomberg) — Shopify Inc. continued its winning streak, beating analysts’ revenue estimates for the tenth quarter in a row and boosting its forecast for the year. But the company was still under the shadow of a report by a renowned shortseller that questioned its sustainability.
The Canadian e-commerce platform had $171.5 million in sales in the quarter ending Sept. 30, topping the average analyst projection of $166.5 million. Shopify also reported adjusted earnings per share of 5 cents, beating estimates for a loss of 2 cents and achieving operating profitability earlier than the company had forecast.
The third-quarter earnings report Tuesday came after an attack by short-selling firm Citron Research that called the company a “get-rich-quick” scheme and said Shopify’s growth is an illusion because so many of its users leave the platform each month. At some point, the company will run out of new users to sign-up and growth will end abruptly, Citron founder Andrew Left argued. Shopify Chief Executive Officer Tobi Lutke has called Left a “troll” and Wall Street analysts have so far almost unanimously stood with the company, but Shopify still hasn’t released new numbers to shore up its argument that growth is sustainable.
Shopify, based in Ottawa, has been the best performing stock on Canada’s benchmark equity index this year, gaining 155 percent. The shares were volatile in early trading, initially dropping almost 5 percent before recovering and gaining as much as 4 percent. The stock was hovering little changed ahead of the company’s earnings call at 8:30 a.m. in New York.
“These are good numbers in our view,” said Kevin Krishnaratne, an analyst at Paradigm Capital said. “We would be buying the stock on any weakness.”
Lutke is expected to address the Citron assertions on the earnings call.
Shopify provides tools for merchants to sell online through their own websites and multiple third-party marketplaces including Amazon.com Inc. and EBay Inc. Its growth comes amid a shift towards online retail spending as brick-and-mortar sales decline. Shopify is also adding new revenue streams, like loans to customers to help them grow, and poaching bigger, more established customers from competitors like privately-held Magento.
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US Congressional Rep. Ro Khanna (D-California) is pointing to data packages on mobile plans in Portugal as a potential outcome for U.S. consumers if net neutrality laws are repealed.
In Portugal, with no net neutrality, internet providers are starting to split the net into packages. pic.twitter.com/TlLYGezmv6
— Ro Khanna (@RoKhanna) October 27, 2017
Portuguese internet service provider MEO began offering data packages for specific bundled packages of zero-rated apps on mobile data plans in April. The plans are grouped by application type such as “messaging” and “music” for €4,99 a month each, as reported by Boing Boing. The report noted a striking similarity to images made by net neutrality advocates in 2014 to demonstrate how ISPs would be allowed to give preferential treatment to incumbent websites and services without it.
The European Union’s net neutrality laws do not explicitly deal with zero-rating, but the practice is used by other telecoms on the continent, including Vodaphone in Spain. The specifics of EU net neutrality rules are still playing out at the national level, with Germany’s telecommunications regulator recently allowing a modified version of Deutsche Telekom’s zero-rated “StreamOn” service.
Khanna, who represents the Silicon Valley area, said the practice “totally ices out startups trying to get in front of people which stifles innovation,” and called for net neutrality to be saved.
Existing U.S. net neutrality rules are under threat both in the courts and at the Federal Communications Commission, which passed a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in May pursuant to repealing the classification of broadband as a utility.