The week in security: Cybersecurity strategy enlists private sector; AI to complement human security intelligence

The government's long-awaited cybersecurity policy finally dropped along with a $230m funding commitment and a determination to draw more heavily on academic and private-sector resources.

Braggadocio amongst hackers is nothing new, but the tell-all by the person who compromised Hacking Team's network is being flagged as mandatory reading for all sorts of people who noted the takedown of the notorious hacking team with even a hint of interest.

Equally confident are white-hat hacker teams that are increasingly being employed to test company network defences. One team that has been stepping up its efforts in Australia, says that its members “ always get their man” while startup Verodin's business is based on launching simulated attack on live networks.

Some were wondering whether better security might not come from the combination of artificial intelligence and human intelligence. Similarly, even as researchers warm to the potential for AI to build on the efforts of human analysts, one financial-security specialist believes machine learning can be applied to online payments.

One privacy commentator was considering the privacy implications of widespread drone use, while others were warning of the implications of widespread ransomware and hacktivist attacks on Australia's agricultural sector.

Strategic partnering is increasingly being recognised as a crucial part of closing the technological skills gap, but the social skills gap is proving harder to fix. Palo Alto Networks was working to share threat intelligence more widely, while Viber was working to integrate encryption to prevent sharing of messaging content with unintended audiences.

Even as Google said its approach to publicly shaming Website operators before informing them of a security breach, seemed to be having the desired effect, the company released its annual Android Security Annual Report and said patching remains a weak spot in efforts to maintain device security. This, as there were revelations that a new malvertising attack was infecting old Android devices with ransomware.

Oracle was certainly buying into the patching mantra, releasing 136 security patches for a range of products. No wonder security remains a bugbear for technology companies – with 42 percent of people said to feel uncomfortable with the security of Apple Pay.

Apple was facing heat over an outdated version of Git in its OS X, while the company's decision to kill off QuickTime for Windows raised concerns about the platform's being exploited for nefarious purposes. It also left Adobe users in a state of limbo.

Meanwhile, a researcher looking for bugs in Facebook found a backdoor that had been installed by hackers on a Facebook corporate server. This, as in an infrequent but notable victory for anti-malware forces, the developer of the SpyEye botnet kit was given a long jail term. Just goes to show that crime doesn't pay – although the still-unnamed hackers that helped the FBI break into that notorious iPhone 5c might not agree, with revelations they were paid over $US1m for the exploit. The FBI was growing increasingly confident, with claims it no longer requires Apple's help to unlock another iPhone in a New York drug investigation.

Microsoft was arguing about the logistics of compliance with a trans-national request for information, while lawmakers were arguing for a compromise in the battle between security policy and access to encrypted information.

Even as fraudsters targeted CEOs with increasing intensity, Dropbox was targeting the business community with some extensive security inclusions, while others were turning to identity management.

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Tags GoogleAppleadobePalo AltoattacksquicktimemalvertisingOS XhacktivistsHacking Teamacademicgovernment cybersecurityGitprivate-sectorVerodinsimulated launchBraggadociohuman intelligenceInfected androidwhite-hat hacker

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