The week in security: FREAKing out as bug joins human, nation-state threats
- 11 March, 2015 09:24
Even as DDoS attacks were outed as the biggest security concern for a range of businesses, the FREAK vulnerability spawned all sorts of puns and had security pundits concerned about the integrity of secure connections between computers and Web sites. CSOs were encouraged to check if they were vulnerable to the bug, while Apple moved quickly to squash it in its latest version of iOS and Microsoft confirmed that Windows is also vulnerable.
The human element of security has been discussed extensively – and one longtime engineer believes it's not entirely the users' fault – but would you know how to spot an employee who had gone rogue? Or – as a distinguished security journalist told the CSO Perspectives 2015 forum – what about a nation-state?
Victims of iPhone or iPad thefts were being tricked into unlocking their devices, while things didn't get any more secure for Android users after Google backflipped on a previously announced plan to mandate the use of encryption on new devices running Android 'Lollipop'. Looks like an opportunity for the long-awaited Blackphone 2 to carve out a secure niche, although it won't be the only one trying to improve device security: geofencing technologies are showing increasing promise for the use of 'geofencing' to add a new layer of security for mobile devices.
Of course, you could always shift to encrypted messaging applications, as communications minister Malcolm Turnbull revealed he is wont to do. It was an unsurprising revelation that gained interesting currency in the midst of the furore over Hilary Clinton's personal emails and controversy over the storage of personal information which will become more prevalent as as new biometric chips become ubiquitous – and, some MPs warn, can create major problems if police powers are left unchecked.
Symantec was offering encouraging news after a survey suggested the number of financial Trojans had fallen by 53 percent in 2014, but Australian institutions were hit 114,000 times last year. And the attacks kept on coming: hotel giant Mandarin Oriental, for one, was cleaning up after a malware infection stole credit card data from some of its US and European hotels.
Even as attackers targeted subdomains of customers of domain services provider GoDaddy, OpenDNS was trialling a system that can speed up the detection of Web sites and domains used for cybercrime by using domain keywords.
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