IT Security News Blast 12-15-2017

Net Neutrality

Net neutrality is gone. Feel the freedom coursing through your veins.
Whenever people tell me that we are on the verge of new, undiscovered freedom for consumers, I always feel a little nervous. “Unprecedented freedom for consumers” is usually what people call it right before placing rabid hedgehogs in the stocking stuffer display. Before, you only had the choice of things you wanted that would make appropriate gifts. Now, you might also get a rabid hedgehog! What a day this is for the consumer.


2 million people—and some dead ones—were impersonated in net neutrality comments
“Millions of fake comments have corrupted the FCC public process—including two million that stole the identities of real people, a crime under New York law,” Schneiderman said in an announcement today. “Yet the FCC is moving full steam ahead with a vote based on this corrupted process, while refusing to cooperate with an investigation.”


State attorneys general line up to sue FCC over net neutrality repeal
Attorneys general from “across the country” will sue the Federal Communications Commission in an attempt to reverse today’s repeal of net neutrality rules. “Today, I am announcing my intention to file a legal challenge to the FCC’s decision to roll back net neutrality, along with attorneys general across the country,” Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson said.


Cyber experts identify new malware targeting critical infrastructure
A hacker used a new type of malware targeting industrial control systems against a critical infrastructure organization in an attack that resulted in operations shutting down, according to cybersecurity experts. […] FireEye provided few details on the victim, but assessed with moderate confidence that the hacker was operating on behalf of a nation state, citing the significant resources needed to carry out the attack and the lack of financial motivation. The researchers believe the hacker’s main goal was to cause physical damage.


The CFO and cybersecurity
In more and more cases, it falls to them to advise other board members on the possible financial impact of a data breach and ensure that sufficient funds are allocated for preventing and containing potential incidents. As data becomes one of the most important assets for many organisations, the CFO must start to actively think about data security.


Retailers facing a raft of cyber security threats
It’s often the case that attackers actually hit their target by compromising providers in the supply chain and then working their way into a retailer’s systems. To counter this, retailers need relationships with third parties that allow a certain degree of oversight to ensure that all the good security criteria such as audits, compliance requirements and security certifications are in place.


Three plead guilty to causing massive US cyber attack
The US Department of Justice charged the men with creating the Mirai botnet, where hundreds of thousands of connected cameras, routers and digital video recorders were used to flood a key infrastructure provider with traffic, taking major sites offline for hours last year.


Cybersecurity market slowdown? Not anytime soon
“IT analyst forecasts are unable to keep pace with the dramatic rise in cybercrime, the ransomware epidemic, the refocusing of malware from PCs and laptops to smartphones and mobile devices, the deployment of billions of under-protected Internet of Things (IoT) devices, the legions of hackers for hire, and the more sophisticated cyber attacks launching at businesses, governments, educational institutions, and consumers globally,” according to the report.


Expect more weaponized malware as hackers focus on cashing in
Healthcare providers are overwhelmingly concerned by the potential threat of a breach caused by email and are making cyber resilience strategies to protect against ransomware and malware a top initiative over the next 12 months, according to a new report from Mimecast and HIMSS Analytics.


Protecting smart technologies and IoT from cyber-kinetic attacks
Consider the consequences of an attack that releases toxic chemicals into a region’s water distribution system or that disables the mechanism that prevents unsafe pressure buildup on a dam or that manipulates pressure in an oil pipeline so it explodes. The attacks described above are real. Only the inexperience of the attackers and the quick work of responders prevented catastrophic damage.


The value of personal data to companies and cyber criminals
There are big differences between values placed on PII data by attackers, security professionals, insurers and regulators. The mean PCV placed on a PII record by cyber criminals is just $39 compared to $1,198 by IT professionals, $3,211 for insurers and $8,118 for regulators. Criminal resale values for PII on the black market are less than five percent of what enterprise security professionals estimate them to be worth. For payment card records for example, security managers over-estimate by 60 times the actual criminal values of data for sale on the black market.


China’s CCTV surveillance network took just 7 minutes to capture BBC reporter
This wasn’t a case of a member of the media being forcibly removed from the country. The chase was a stunt set up to illustrate just how powerful and effective the Chinese government’s surveillance system can be. […] The government also works with facial recognition and AI companies, such as unicorn Face++, which can pour through data to extract meaningful information such as faces, ages, registration plates and more.


“Suspicious” event routes traffic for big-name sites through Russia
Traffic sent to and from Google, Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft was briefly routed through a previously unknown Russian Internet provider Wednesday under circumstances researchers said was suspicious and intentional. The unexplained incident involving the Internet’s Border Gateway Protocol is the latest to raise troubling questions about the trust and reliability of communications sent over the global network.


NATO made one of its biggest policy shifts in decades to send a message to Russia
“This is a marked departure from NATO’s historical stance of using cyber only defensively, mainly to ward off incursions against its own networks,” Ali wrote in Foreign Policy. “The more aggressive approach was intended as a strong message, primarily to Russia, that NATO intends to use the cyber capabilities of its members to deter attacks in the same way it uses land, sea, and air weaponry.”


Permissions Flaw Found on Azure AD Connect
Microsoft didn’t release a patch to fix the bug, rather it made available a PowerShell script that adjusts the permissions of the Active Directory domain accounts to protect customers from the vulnerability. Microsoft also said future versions of affected software (after version 1.1.654.0) would not be impacted by this vulnerability.


Zero-Day Remote ‘Root’ Exploit Disclosed In AT&T DirecTV WVB Devices
The problem is with a core component of the Genie DVR system that’s shipped free of cost with DirecTV and can be easily exploited by hackers to gain root access and take full control of the device, placing millions of people who’ve signed up to DirecTV service at risk. The vulnerability actually resides in WVBR0-25—a Linux-powered wireless video bridge manufactured by Linksys that AT&T provides to its new customers.


Google Details How It Protects Data Within Its Infrastructure
Google has decided to share detailed information on how it protects service-to-service communications within its infrastructure at the application layer and the the system it uses for data protection. Called Application Layer Transport Security (ALTS), the technology was designed to authenticate communication between Google services and keep data protected while in transit. When sent to Google, data is protected using secure communication protocols such as TLS (Transport Layer Security).


#OpIsrael attacks feared in response to U.S. moving embassy to Jerusalem
Anti-American and anti-Israeli factions of the Anonymous collective recently declared that they would be launching attacks against any and all websites deemed to be Israeli- or U.S.-government affiliated in their latest #OpIsrael campaign. […] The most recent actions are in response to President Donald Trump signing a waiver in June 2017 then on December 6, 2017 recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and planning to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.


Cyber attack surface facts, figures and statistics for 2017 to 2022
Cybersecurity Ventures predicts there will be 6 billion internet users by 2022 — and more than 7.5 billion internet users by 2030.
Microsoft frames digital growth with its estimate that data volumes online will be 50 times greater in 2020 than they were in 2016.
“The Big Data Bang” is an IoT world that will explode from 2 billion objects (smart devices that communicate wirelessly) in 2006 to a projected 200 billion by 2020, according to Intel.


The new cold war: how our focus on Russia obscures social media’s real threat
But the new taste for techno-skepticism is unlikely to lead to meaningful reform, for several reasons. One is money. The five biggest tech firms spend twice as much as Wall Street on lobbying Washington. It seems reasonable to assume that this insulates them from anything too painful in a political system as corrupt as ours. But beyond that obstacle lies another: Russia. Without Russia, Washington wouldn’t be talking tough on tech. But Russia is also the worst possible way to understand what’s wrong with the internet, and how we might begin to fix it.

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