The week in security: Snapchat, Dropbox deny culpability for photo, account leaks

Some 100,000 photos taken from Snapchat users weren't the service's fault, although some observers were seizing on the leak to argue for an improvement in security by Snapchat and other online services. Ditto Dropbox, which was also denying it was to blame after hackers published what they claimed were excerpts from 7 million Dropbox credentials; the cloud-storage giant blamed a third-party service for the leak, but security experts were still using the event to push their case for users to adopt two-factor authentication – particularly given that cloud security and ubiquitous identity for cloud services is still over a year away.

European companies have suffered an average of 229 public data breaches per year since 2004, according to new figures. Similar results befell several Hong Kong pro-democracy Web sites, which a US security company said had been rigged to deliver malicious software. Along similar lines, Russian hackers exploited a Windows 0-day flaw to target organizations in the Ukraine and US, while security vendors claimed progress in their work to counter the attacks of a China-based hacking group that had previously targeted Google.

So-called 'Hurricane Panda' hackers used a Microsoft 0-day flaw that was only recently patched by Microsoft. Indeed, that company tackled three critical vulnerabilities in its latest Patch Tuesday effort. Oracle will fix some 155 different bugs in its latest patch, while browser makers were laying down their plans to deal with the high-profile, high-severity POODLE attack that can steal encrypted information and browser cookies. Facebook doubled the bounty it pays for bug reports in its advertising system – reflecting a growing trend to exploit newly changed ad-targeting systems – while a serious security flaw in Drupal was said to [[xref:

Users choosing password-management software need to pick their way through a bevy of options to secure their information, while CSOs may be interested to know about a new system built to help pick through the flood of network events to identify activity by malicious insiders.

They may also be wise in considering their security strategies given the increasing need to build new authentication schemes around mobile devices, two industry groups have argued. Yet many security practitioners will need to expand their definition of 'mobile devices', with healthcare devices rapidly being added to the ranks of the things that need to be better secured. Indeed, nearly anything plugged into the network is now at risk of being turned into a DDoS launch platform as attackers plumb new depths of hacking creativity.

New Intel technology is expected to improve the security of point-of-sale transactions, while there were warnings that a new technique for hiding encrypted malicious Android applications could allow malware authors to plant their nasties inside standard image files. Yet even legitimate apps were coming under fire, with the Whisper sharing app alleged to be tracking the whereabouts of its users even when they ask it not to.

This article is brought to you by Enex TestLab, content directors for CSO Australia.