Threat is greatly reduced, but still present through variant versions
Although Apple "quickly reacted" to a threat emanating from China last month where altered, pirated versions of Xcode found to contain non-threatening spyware were in use that could have been used to launch a greater attack, variant versions of the XcodeGhost malware are still present, and have been found on servers in the US in the enterprise sector. The actual danger is greatly reduced, as the command-and-control networks have mostly been disabled, but there is still some potential risk.
Court orders spyware creator to pay fine, hand over source code
A seller of mobile phone spyware has pleaded guilty to federal charges, the Department of Justice has revealed. Danish citizen Hammad Akbar has been fined $500,000 for the advertisement and sale of the StealthGenie app, which can be used to monitor the calls, texts, and other messaging systems with few in the way of signs to the target that they are being watched.
Open-source scanning tool for Windows searches for surveillance spyware
For those concerned that their computer activities are under the watch of the government, a new free scanning tool is now available to search Windows-based PCs for surveillance spyware. Amnesty International, in a partnership with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Digitale Gesellschaft and Privacy International, launched Detekt today, a free open-source scanning tool used to detect some of the known spyware that government agencies use to monitor activists and journalists.
Software allows for keylogging, remote webcam operation
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has settled with seven rent-to-own companies and software developer DesignerWare charged with using spyware to monitor locations, passwords, and other personal details of more than 420,000 customers leasing computers. A feature of a pre-installed piece of monitoring software allowed monitoring of renters, including location, websites visited, and the ability to remotely turn on the webcam on the leased computer.