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  1. A remote access trojan (RAT) is using Dropbox for command and control in a targeted attack against the Taiwanese Government, malware analyst Maersk Menrige says. The upgraded PlugX RAT is the first targeted attack to use Dropbox to update command and control settings, Menrige said, as distinct from other malware and ransomware which used the popular cloud storage platform to fling malicious files at victims. The trojan logs a victim's keystrokes, maps ports and opens remote shells to facilitate further data theft and exploitation. "The use of Dropbox aids in masking the malicious traffic in the network because this is a legitimate website for storing files and documents," Trend Micro's Menrige said. "[The May execution data] is probably done so that users won’t immediately suspect any malicious activities on their systems." Dropbox had been shown by researcher Jake Williams (DropSmack: Using Dropbox to steal files and deliver malware [pdf]) as a workable platform for malware command and control, but Menrige said it was the first time it had been exploited in malicious attacks. PlugX variant II messed with anti-virus systems, contained anti-forensics capabilities and hid behind a fake parked domain until the 5 May go live date. Attackers with command and control links established could migrate laterally within corporate networks using a variety of tools to avoid detection. The code includes tools such as password recovery, network utilities, port scanners and the common HTran reverse proxy tool used to hide command and control. The latter Chinese-built connection bouncer tool was first discovered in 2011 by Dell used in the high profile data breach of security company RSA. PlugX II bore sufficient similarity to version I that enterprise security bods could check for flags on their networks. The first iteration of the malware was detected in 2008 and had since been used in targeted attacks against a unnamed South Korean company and US engineering firm. In February Trend Micro senior security researcher Pavithra Hanchagaiah reportedPlugX was being foisted through a since fixed Adobe Flash exploit. More detail on PlugX could be found on the Trend Micro blog. Source
  2. HTC Desire 700 The HTC Desire 700 is a more affordable alternative to the HTC One, with a bigger 5" screen but a lower resolution, qHD. Just like the One, it packs stereo BoomSound speakers on the front. It's powered by a quad-core Snapdragon chipset (the S400 with four Cortex-A7 cores most likely, details are sparse) and offers 1GB RAM.The Desire 700 has a traditional 8MP camera with a BSI sensor and an f/2.0 aperture, 2.1MP front-facing camera (again with BSI sensor). The main camera can record 1080p video and has HTC Zoe support. The built-in storage is 8GB and there's a microSD card.The HTC Desire 700 is a dual-SIM phone with HSPA support on the first SIM slot and GSM/EDGE on the second SIM slot. Both slots are of the micro variety. The 2,100mAh Li-Po battery (rather small for a phone of this size) is good for nearly 12 hours of 3G calls.The phone is priced NTD 13,900 in Taiwan, which works out to $470. HTC Desire 501If the 700 is a HTC One alternative, then the Desire 501 looks up to the HTC One mini. It has a 4.3" WVGA screen, dual-core 1.15GHz processor (almost certainly not a Krait, maybe it's a Cortex-A6 like the Desire 500).The phone has the same 8MP/2.1MP camera combo as the 700 along with HTC ImageChip, but strangely no Zoe support. There's no stereo speakers on the front either.Still, the Desire 501 is like the 700 in several other aspects, it has 1GB of RAM, 8GB of storage with a microSD expansion slot and a 2,100mAh battery. This gives the phone several weapons over the One mini (card slot, bigger battery) but the screen is no match for the 720p LCD on the mini, nor is the CPU up to par with the Krait-based chipset.The 501 is not a dual-SIM phone, you can look to the very similar HTC Desire 500 for that.The phone will cost NTD 9,900 ($330) in Taiwan. HTC Desire 601(dual-SIM)The HTC Desire 601 is already official, but now it also got a dual-SIM version. The phone is a 4.5" version of the 701, with almost the exact same feature set except that the main camera has been demoted to a 5MP/1080p shooter and the internal storage has been halved to 4GB (the microSD card slot is still in place).There's dual-SIM support, front-facing BoomSound stereo speakers and a dual-core 1.2GHz processor. This one is a bit strange as the single-SIM Desire 601 has a dual-core 1.4GHz processor.This one is priced NTD 10,900 ($370). There's no indication of which (if any) of these phones will be available worldwide and when. Source
  3. The Galaxy J has been officially launched. The phone will be available in red and white colors (the blue variant will remain exclusive to Japan) between mid-December and early January for 21,900 TWD ($740) off-contract, or for 7,990 TWD ($270) on carrier contracts with a 1,343 TWD ($45) fee every month. The Galaxy J sports a Snapdragon 800 CPU, 3GB of RAM, 5-inch 1080p Super AMOLED display, 13-megapixel camera, 32GB of storage and a microSD slot, a 2600 mAh battery, and Android 4.3 Jelly Bean; as we’ve said before, it’s more or less a Galaxy Note 3 inside a Galaxy S4-sized body, and it should be a great buy for those who want a Samsung flagship that’s not too big or unwieldy. A launch in other markets isn’t certain, though we’ll keep our fingers crossed that happens in the near future. Source
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