The week in security: Hackers compromise smartphones, ATMs, voting systems and Mac protections

Australian security specialist firm Redcore was snapped up by global consulting giant Accenture in a move to fill out its security capabilities. Those capabilities are being driven not only by the rush to build out security skills, but by the desire to be more deeply involved in a culture of threat intelligence and sharing that experts believe is helping level the fight against hackers.

Hackers continued their push to compromise platforms that had previously been seen as relatively secure, with smartphone infection rates doubling in the first half of 2016 and malware authors using legitimate Apple developer IDs to embed malware in a malicious version of Mac OS X BitTorrent application Transmission.

The situation has gotten so bad that Finnish authorities are advising people not to take their mobile phones when they travel overseas. Yet even as human security experts contemplated best practices for improving security, one strategist was arguing that artificial intelligence will help self-contained, virtualised application containers become better at proactively managing themselves.

Speakers at the Trend Micro CLOUDSEC conference were warning about the impact of customer-focused strategies on security and weighing up the state of corporate security aspirations.

Even as Romanian hacker Guccifer was sentenced to 52 months in a US prison, the US FBI was warning that hackers are targeting state election databases and had been able to hamper voting by deleting records, while security researchers identified malware that may have been used for ATM thefts in Thailand.

Dropbox may have been enhancing its collaboration capabilities but the company's users faced a major password reset after 68m passwords were compromised – serving as a reminder on the importance of regularly updating passwords.

Also in trouble on the password front was OneLogin, where the compromise of an employee's credentials led to an embarrassing breach. Analysis of data stolen in the 2012 hack suggested hackers had stolen data on 43 million users, while WhatsApp was in the firing line from privacy groups that complained about changes to its privacy policy.

Figures suggested Australian targets were increasingly popular with ransomware perpetrators. New ransomware was found to be deleting files from Linux Web servers, while another strain called FairWare targeted the Redis database and there were warnings that attackers were hijacking HTTPS traffic by deploying rogue proxies.

Reports said that cybercriminals have figured out a way to make skimmers to steal the data from EMV-enabled cards, while startup Keezel was offering a device designed to secure hotel WiFi connections and other providers were lauding the arrival of iris scanning as a means of improving endpoint security.