IT Security News Blast 01-11-2018

Smart Cities

Get ready for unprecedented number of cybersecurity threats in the coming year
·       There will be continuous cyberattacks on organizations, government entities and critical infrastructure, and we will see new types of state-sponsored attacks.
·       A quickly growing and poorly controlled attack surface poses a significant threat to the internet of things, and Congress is unlikely to propose new laws related to IoT security anytime soon. We should expect this poorly regulated surface to continue to grow.


Swiss Finance: Cyber Hacks as Biggest Risk
Major cyber attacks like that on millions of U.S.-based Equifax users last year is a major risk for Switzerland – that is the conclusion from a government panel (in German) of academia and industry. The tiny, export-heavy Swiss economy relies on finance and related money business for as much as 15 percent of its gross domestic product, which means it commands attention at the highest level of government.


FakeBank malware accesses sensitive SMS banking messages
Additionally, Trend Micro found that FakeBank steals data including user phone numbers, installed banking apps, balances on linked bank cards, and location information, and transmits that information to a command-and-control server. To prevent victims from uninstalling the app, Fake Bank prevents users from opening device settings. The malware also impedes victims from opening the targeted bank’s legitimate app, thereby stopping users from modifying links between their bank card numbers and phone numbers.


Advisers Are Apparently Ignoring Cybersecurity Threats
One finding that could be of note for PLANADVISER readers shows only 27% of RIAs surveyed by TD Ameritrade suggest that “cybersecurity issues,” even when very broadly defined, are likely to impact client portfolios during 2018. This lack of concern and action on cybersecurity challenges probably represents wishful thinking and potentially dangerous complacency on the part of RIAs, attorneys and other experts have warned.


Why the cybersecurity industry is failing government
For many on the agency side, enough is getting to be too much. It’s not that these buyers aren’t interested in products tested first in the commercial marketplace – to the contrary, that’s clearly the buying trend in government. But if you are just trying to expand your market share by treating the government as just another customer, save your time. Many of the summit panelists said flat-out that a lack of mission knowledge is a deal-breaker for product purchases.


Idaho governor calls for statewide cybersecurity standards in 2018
In his State of the State address on Monday, Otter called for a plan to standardize Idaho cybersecurity with modern standards. The initiative would assess and centralize the state’s disjointed set of IT security policies and resources. Better security is hoped to increase the state’s capacity to offer modern digital services to residents.


Smart Cities: The Good & The Bad
As cities embrace interconnected and networked technologies, they open the door to new threats. Chief among them is the security of their infrastructure. “Security hasn’t been a massive roadblock yet to the rollout of smart city technology, but it’s potentially the biggest roadblock,” Eric Woods, research director at Navigant Research said. Between poorly designed devices, naive users and an increasing complicated supply chain, keeping smart cities safe from cyber threats is a major challenge.


Cybercriminals turning to smaller providers and health IoT in 2018
“Medical records are the targets of choice, as this data is highly prized to support identity theft and financial fraud. While 2017 was the year of ransomware, we are anticipating this already hard-hit sector will feel the wrath of cybercriminals targeting the hundreds of thousands of IoT devices already deployed in healthcare.”


30,000 Medical Records Stolen Following Phishing Attack
Our research has found that the healthcare sector is targeted by more deceptive email than any other, with 92 per cent of all email domains carrying fraudulent emails. While email security training should be encouraged, with so many malicious emails using deceptive identities, organisations should not be relying on their staff to successfully sort the fakes from legitimate messages.


Pentagon faces slew of cyber challenges in new year
The expected departure of National Security Agency (NSA) Director Mike Rogers this spring has spawned a fresh challenge for the Trump administration. The White House must find someone to replace him who can helm not only the NSA, but also U.S. Cyber Command, the Pentagon’s young offensive cyber unit that became more powerful last year after the president elevated it to a full combatant command.


Cyber veteran joins Special Counsel Mueller’s team
It’s unclear exactly why Mueller wanted a prosecutor with Dickey’s experience in cyber-related crimes, but it’s not unusual in such a wide-ranging investigation. In 2016, Dickey helped prosecute the Romanian hacker known as “Guccifer,” who pleaded guilty to hacking into the emails and social media accounts of numerous high-profile victims.


In space and cyber, China is closing in on the United States
“China continues to increase their research and development investments at an alarming pace and is rapidly closing many of their technology gaps,” Stefanik said. “More and more, we see China using only domestic Chinese firms and creating high market access barriers to support domestic capacity.” This has obvious national security implications, she said, “should they corner the market on advanced technologies critical to national security.”


Russian Cyber-Spies Are Carrying Out Some Pretty Clever Hacks These Days
ESET experts believe that Turla hackers were able to carry out a Man-in-the-Middle attack during the Adobe Flash Player installation process taking place on the victim’s PC, by replaced the legitimate installer with their own, booby-trapped copy. This allowed the file transfer to appear it came from Adobe’s servers, but the actual files were switched somewhere in transit by the Turla hackers.


What the rise of cyber indictments means for 2018
Unfortunately, many of the indictments don’t actually lead to criminal convictions. For instance, the indictments against the PLA members in 2014 ostensibly demarks the first, prominent use of indictments to counter cyber theft and other crimes, but have yet to result in arrests. Nevertheless, there are a number of valuable aspects of this naming and shaming strategy that point to a clearer path for the future cyber policy and crime.


FBI Hacker Says Apple Are ‘Jerks’ and ‘Evil Geniuses’ for Encrypting iPhones
For example, Flatley complained that Apple recently made password guesses slower, changing the hash iterations from 10,000 to 10,000,000. That means, he explained, that “password attempts speed went from 45 passwords a second to one every 18 seconds,” referring to the difficulty of cracking a password using a “brute force” method in which every possible permutation is tried.


COMMISSION IMPLEMENTING DECISION (EU) 2017/2288 of 11 December 2017 on the identification of ICT Technical Specifications for referencing in public procurement
‘SPF-Sender Policy Framework for Authorizing Use of Domains in Email’ (‘SPF’), ‘STARTTLS-SMTP Service Extension for Secure SMTP over Transport Layer Security’ (‘STARTTLS-SMTP’) and ‘DANE-SMTP Security via Opportunistic DNS-Based Authentication of Named Entities Transport Layer Security’ (‘DANE-SMTP’) developed by Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF); ‘Structured Threat Information Expression’ (‘STIX 1.2’) and ‘Trusted Automated Exchange of Indicator Information’ (‘TAXII 1.1’)[.]


Microsoft halts Spectre/Meltdown patch roll out after AMD BSoD issues
The latest problems include a direct conflict between the patches and some AMD processors that has proven severe enough for Microsoft to halt the update roll out along with the company’s statement that it will not roll out the Spectre/Meltdown patches to computers running incompatible antivirus software. In these cases Microsoft is requiring the end user to either change the A/V software, wait for the cybersecurity company to update its product or even edit registry settings on their own, a task beyond the ability of most people.


Taiwanese police give cyber-security quiz winners infected devices
Taiwan’s national police agency said 54 of the flash drives it gave out at an event highlighting a government’s cybercrime crackdown contained malware. The virus, which can steal personal data and has been linked to fraud, was added inadvertently, it said. The Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) apologised for the error and blamed the mishap on a third-party contractor. It said 20 of the drives had been recovered.



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