Winners of a security quiz staged by Taiwan’s Criminal Investigation Bureau may be wondering why they tried so hard to do well after some of the USB drives handed out as prizes turned out to be wretched hives of malware and villainy. According to the Taipei Times, the Bureau hosted1 an infosec event in December 2017, and gave 250 drives to people who won a cybersecurity quiz. It’s since emerged that 54 of the 8GB drives were infected by a computer used by an employee of supplier Shawo Hwa Industries Co to transfer an operating system to the drives and test their storage capacity .
While the dongles were manufactured in China, the Taipei Times said there’s no suggestion that espionage was a motive. The good news is that the infection was an old virus Chinese-language site Liberty Times names2 as XtbSeDuA.exe that tries to steal personal data from 32-bit machines. The CIB says stolen data was forwarded to a relay IP address in Poland which in 2015 was associated with 2015 Europol raids on an electronic funds fraud ring .
The police added that the server receiving the data from the latest infections has been shut down.
The prizes were handed out from December 11 to December 12, when complaints from the public started arriving, but 34 of the drives are still in circulation somewhere.
1/41 8 January 2018
Journalist Carrie Gracie speaks to the media outside the BBC in London after she turned down a 45,000 rise, describing the offer as a “botched solution” to the problem of unequal pay at the BBC . Gracie said she told the corporation she wanted equality, rather than more money, and was determined not to help the organisation “perpetuate a failing pay structure by discriminating against women”
2/41 7 January 2018
A man reads a newspaper as he takes part in the annual ‘No Trousers On The Tube Day’ (No Pants Subway Ride) at Liverpool Street Station . Started in 2002 with only seven participants, the day is now marked in over 60 cities around the world . The idea behind “No Pants” is that random passengers board a subway car at separate stops in the middle of winter, without wearing trousers . The participants wear all of the usual winter clothing on their top half such as hats, scarves and gloves and do not acknowledge each other’s similar state of undress. AFP/Getty
3/41 6 January 2018
League Two side Coventry City celebrate victory over Premier League side Stoke in the FA Cup third round
4/41 5 January 2018
A commendation ceremony takes place at Manchester Town Hall to recognise the actions of police and rail staff following the terrorist attack at Manchester Arena in May 2017
5/41 4 January 2018
Stuart (no surname given) with his possessions in a bus stop near Windsor Castle, Berkshire . Prime Minister Theresa May has said she disagrees with Tory council leader Simon Dudley, who called on police to clear rough sleepers from Windsor before the royal wedding
6/41 3 January 2018
Storm Eleanor lashed the UK with violent storm-force winds of up to 100mph
7/41 2 January 2018
Members of National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) hold a demonstration against rail fare increases outside Kings Cross Railway Station, London .
Average rail ticket prices across Britain have risen by 3.4 percent, the biggest increase to rail fares for five years
8/41 1 January 2018
A man takes part in the Mappleton Bridge Jump, an annual unofficial tradition where those willing jump from Okeover bridge on New Years Day into the River Dove
9/41 31 December 2017
Passing clouds creating beautiful colours in Wimbledon on the last sunset of the year
10/41 30 December 2017
One person was taken to hospital after a fire broke out on the ninth floor of a building in Joiner Street in Manchester’s Northern Quarter
11/41 29 December 2017
Heavy snow, rain, thunderstorms and wind have caused disruption across much of Britain as a band of “severe” weather rolled across the country . Travelers were warned of dangerous roads conditions, with Highways England advising road users to pack shovels, food and water if they do venture out . The weather didn’t just affect travel however, camels on a farm near Richmond, North Yorkshire and various other animals are having to deal with the cold weather
12/41 28 December 2017
Alastair Cook celebrates after reaching his double-century during the third day of the fourth Ashes cricket test match
13/41 27 December 2017
Sheep are driven to another field in the Cotswolds after overnight snow caused travel disruptions across parts of the UK
14/41 26 December 2017
Harry Kane celebrates after scoring his third goal, Tottenham’s fifth, during the Boxing day Premier League match against Southampton at Wembley . He broke Alan Shearer s record of 36 Premier League goals in a calendar year, scoring 39 from 36 matches . Kane also finished 2017 as Europe s leading scorer ahead of Barcelona s Lionel Messi, who has 54 goals from 63 appearances in all competitions . Harry Kane has 56 from 52. AFP/Getty
15/41 25 December 2017
Swimmers get out of the water after taking part in the Christmas Day Serpentine swim in Hyde Park, London
16/41 24 December 2017
Stuart Broad of England bowls during a nets session at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Australia .
The fourth Ashes test starts on Boxing Day
17/41 23 December 2017
Staff members console each other as they survey the damage after a fire destroyed a number of buildings at London Zoo . An aardvark has died and four meerkats are missing . Eight zoo workers have been treated by paramedics after a desperate attempt to save the animals from the blaze, which broke out in a petting area.
18/41 22 December 2017
Druids, pagans and revellers gather in the centre of Stonehenge, hoping to see the sun rise, as they take part in a winter solstice ceremony at the ancient neolithic monument of Stonehenge . Despite a forecast for cloud and rain, a large crowd gathered at the famous historic stone circle, to celebrate the sunrise closest to the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year . The event is claimed to be more important in the pagan calendar than the summer solstice, because it marks the ‘re-birth’ of the Sun for the New Year. Getty Images
19/41 21 December 2017
Polish Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz, British Defence Minister Gavin Williamson in the presence of Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May sign a treaty between the Republic of Poland and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland on cooperation in the field of defense and security
20/41 20 December 2017
A protester wears a ‘STOP BREXIT’ hat outside the Palace of Westminster
21/41 19 December 2017
The Choristers of St Paul’s rehearse for a series of services and concerts over the Christmas season at St Paul’s Cathedral in London
22/41 18 December 2017
Joe Root, the England captain is interviewed after Australia regained the Ashes . England lost by an innings and 41 run runs in the third test at the WACA in Perth
23/41 17 December 2017
Photos of Richard Ratcliffe and his wife Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who has been jailed in Iran, on display at their home in north London .
Mr Ratcliffe says he believes there is “still a chance” she may be released from an Iranian prison in time for a dream Christmas together. PA
24/41 16 December 2017
Oxford Street in London is filled with shoppers with 8 shopping days before Christmas
25/41 15 December 2017
Jonny Bairstow of England headbutts his helmet to celebrate his century during day two of the Third Test match in the 2017/18 Ashes Series between Australia and England at the WACA in Perth, Australia . Bairstow was embroiled in controversy at the beginning of the tour after lightly headbutting Australian opening batsman Cameron Bancroft in an exchange in a bar
26/41 14 December 2017
People at the Grenfell Tower National Memorial Service
27/41 13 December 2017
Wax figures of Prime Minister Theresa May and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson wearing a Christmas Jumper at Madame Tussauds
28/41 12 December 2017
Victims and family of victims of the Grenfell Tower fire, Nicholas Burton (left), Sandra Ruiz (second right), Karim Mussilhy (right) and a girl who asked not be named (second left), hand in a petition to Downing Street, asking for an overhaul of the public inquiry. PA
29/41 11 December 2017
A homeless man on the streets of Manchester . Many people are spending the night on the streets in freezing temperatures as the Met Office continues to issue weather warnings across the country .
The Shelter charity has said that more than 300,000 are now homeless across Britain, equating to the population of a city the size of Newcastle
30/41 10 December 2017
Pedestrians walk over the Millennium Bridge with St Paul’s Cathedral pictured in the background as snow falls
31/41 9 December 2017
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, left, and Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani, right, with interpreter at centre, during their meeting in Tehran, Iran . Johnson is expected to discuss the fate of detained British-Iranian woman Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who is serving a five-year prison sentence for allegedly plotting to overthrow Iran’s government. AP
32/41 8 December 2017
British Prime Minister Theresa May (L) and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker address a press conference at the European Commission in Brussels
33/41 7 December 2017
Nick Dunn, one of the so-called Chennai Six is greeted by his sister Lisa as he arrives at Newcastle Airport after being released from India after serving four years in jail on weapons charges. PA
34/41 6 December 2017
Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II (L) greets Nigeria’s ambassador to the United Kingdom, George Adesola Oguntade (C), and his wife, Modupe Oguntade, during a private audience at Buckingham Palace in central London
35/41 5 December 2017
800 abandoned buckets appear at Potters Field Park, London, in a moving tribute to the 800 children who die every day, on average, due to a lack of clean water and sanitation . Just one bucket in the installation, part of WaterAid s #Untapped appeal, could hold almost enough safe drinking water for one child for a week .
Every 1 donated to the #Untapped appeal until 31st January 2018 will be matched by the UK Government.
WaterAid / Ollie Dixon
36/41 4 December 2017
British Prime Minister Theresa May smiles to European Union President Donald Tusk as she attends Brexit negotiations’ meetings
37/41 3 December 2017
The last Supermoon of 2017 sets over Whitley Bay, Northumberland
38/41 2 December 2017
The crowd reacts as England’s Dawid Malan fails to stop a boundary during the first day of the second Ashes test match
39/41 1 December 2017
England manager, Gareth Southgate, jokes with Belgium manager, Roberto Martinez, after their sides were drawn in the same group during the Final Draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia
40/41 30 November 2017
A supporter of Lauri Love, who is accused of hacking into U.S .
government computers, wears a Donald Trump mask as he protests in front of the Royal Courts of Justice in London
41/41 29 November 2017
A sign reading ‘We want our future back’ is displayed in front of Westminster during an Anti-Brexit Demonstration
A US government spokeswoman has said new security screening measures will apply to all flights to America from abroad from Thursday. Lisa Farbstein, a spokeswoman for the US Transportation Security Administration, told The Associated Press1 on Wednesday that affects the approximately 2,100 flights arriving daily to America. She said in a statement that the new security measures may include enhancing passenger screening, heightened screening of electronics and increasing security measures.
She says both US citizens and foreigners will face the same security. The agency s comments come as six global long-haul carriers said they will start asking passengers security questions before they board flights at the request of US officials. The stricter passenger screening is designed to avoid an in-cabin ban on laptops, airlines said.
Airlines contacted by Reuters said the new measures could include short security interviews with passengers at check-in or the boarding gate, sparking concerns over flight delays and extended processing time. They will affect 325,000 airline passengers on about 2,000 commercial flights arriving daily in the United States, on 180 airlines from 280 airports in 105 countries. The United States announced the new rules in June to end its restrictions on carry-on electronic devices on planes coming from 10 airports in eight countries in the Middle East and North Africa in response to unspecified security threats.
Those restrictions were lifted in July, but the Trump administration said it could reimpose measures on a case by case basis if airlines and airports did not boost security. European and US officials said at the time that airlines had 120 days to comply with the measures, including increased passenger screening . The 120-day deadline is Thursday . Airlines had until late July to expand explosive trace detection testing.
We see this as a big issue for China Airlines, Steve Chang, senior vice president of the Taiwanese firm told reporters on Wednesday, adding the airline was trying to consult with the American Institute in the country over the issue. Korean Airlines, South Korea s flagship carrier, also said it had a lot of concerns with the new measures.
We are asking customers to show up at the airport early .. .
It s just inconvenient for the passengers, President and Chief Operating Officer Walter Cho told Reuters in Taipei. Lufthansa Group said on Tuesday the measures would be in place by Thursday and travelers could face short interviews at check-in or at the gate. Economy passengers on Lufthansa s Swiss airline have been asked to check in at least 90 minutes before departure.
Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd said it would suspend in-town check-in and self bag-drop services for passengers booked on direct flights to the United States . The airline said passengers would also have short security interviews and it has advised travelers to arrive three hours before departure. Singapore Airlines Ltd said the security checks could include inspections of personal electronic devices as well as security questioning during check-in and boarding. Airlines for America, a US trade group, said the changes are complex security measures but praised US officials for giving airlines flexibility in meeting the new rules.
Alexandre de Juniac, CEO of the International Air Transport Association, said the industry understoood security threats to aviation were made regularly but in this case the US government had not shared any specific dangers before changing the rules.
What we have seen is very strange, he told reporters in Taipei . Unilateral measures announced without any prior consultation.. . That is something that is very concerning and disturbing. At their annual meeting in Taipei, Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) members passed a resolution calling for security measures to be risk-based, outcome-focused and proportionate to the probable threat.
Unilateral actions taken by individual goverments reacting to emerging threats may result in unneccessary disruption or lead to unintended safety consequences, said the members.
AAPA includes most large Asian airlines but not mainland Chinese carriers.
The risk is other countries make similar demands, AAPA Director General Andrew Herdman said. US authorities in June also increased security around aircraft and in passenger areas, and other places where travellers can be cleared by US officials before they depart. A Transportation Security Administration (TSA) spokeswoman declined to discuss the specific changes but said the United States continues to work with our partners to raise the baseline of global aviation security and keep the entire traveling public safe.
The TSA said in July it was imposing new security rules requiring US domestic airline travellers to remove all electronic items larger than mobile phones such as tablets, e-readers and video game consoles from carry-on baggage for screening.