IT Security News Blast 2-13-2017

Cybersecurity Is a Missing Piece of the Smart City Puzzle (Industry Perspective)

In order to understand more about where these concerns come from, we asked respondents about which smart city initiatives their jurisdictions had actually adopted. The top four responses were public Wi-Fi, surveillance cameras, public lighting and apps for city services. These top four initiatives only partially map to where respondents thought there was the most risk from cyberattacks.

Protecting Small Business from Increasing Cyber Attacks

Small businesses are being targeted based on their:

Level of online presence

Transaction carried out via credit cards

Exchange of information with clients and vendors through e-mail

E-portal for clients or vendors

Policy of bringing your device (BYOD)

By exploring these factors at a deeper level, we can identify major threats[.]

Despite the spiel, we’re still some decades from true anti-malware AI

The appearance of an alternative to AI for anti-malware would suggest that artificial intelligence is an established technique for combating malware. Frankly, I’m skeptical. What I can say for sure is that artificial intelligence has only recently begun reappearing in marketing pitches to tech reporters. The theme has come up before. CA talked about neugents, neural network agents “smarter than a million Albert Einsteins” for a couple of years around the turn of the millennium.

Virally growing attacks on unpatched WordPress sites affect ~2m pages

The growth roughly corresponds to this Google Trends chart, which appears directly below the Wordfence chart. It shows a spike in the number of WordPress site defacements starting around the time the vulnerability was fixed. On Thursday, the total number of WordPress site defacements measured by Google searches had increased to almost 1.5 million. By Friday, that figure had surged to 1.89 million.

Lovely. Now someone’s ported IoT-menacing Mirai to Windows boxes

The Windows build, Trojan.Mirai.1, written in C++, uses lists of IP addresses and passwords to scan networks and attempt to log into devices. If it gets into a Linux machine, via Telnet for example, it downloads and runs Linux.Mirai on the compromised node, which continues the malware’s spread. If Trojan.Mirai.1 finds a Windows box on a network, it attempts to use WMI and IPC to launch a new process on the computer to infect it and continue the spread.

70% Of Firms Report A Cybersecurity Incident: Why Marketers Should Care

Between the regulatory scrutiny and the news headlines, executive management and board members have become more aware of the immediate and long-term impact of a breach.  According to IDG’s 2016 State of the CIO study, cybersecurity is one of the top three business initiatives for CEOs. More and more, Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) and Chief Information Officers (CIOs) are being asked to speak directly to CEOs and boards to help explain the risks to the business resulting from the daily deluge of technical attacks that occur across the infrastructure.

Russian Healthcare Ministry hit by large cyber attack

On Friday night, the healthcare ministry’s information assets were hit by a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack with four million requests per minute at its height. The ministry’s site was not functioning for 14 minutes during the DDoS attack, he said.

Cyber Attacks Split Executives And IT Specialists

Arguably, the most telling findings are these. First, more than 80% of IT teams report that their cyber security spend is part of a comprehensive strategy, but only half of the senior executives believe this to be the case. Second, 41% of senior executives believe the investment is more ad hoc, with 70% of them not confident of their ability to prevent a cyber attack. With 10 to 15% of IT budgets already devoted to combatting cyber attacks and – as we have seen – a widespread intention to increase this spend, this cannot be good enough.

Concerns persist with US military cyber security

According to the report, despite improvements in cyber security – such as a demonstrated ability to provide effective defences against Red Team attacks that are emulating threats with limited cyber capabilities – CCMD missions continue to be vulnerable when under attack from emulated advanced threats, such as those possessed by nation-state adversaries.

Pentagon’s supplier & Tomahawk missiles manufacturer to protect US power utilities from cyberattacks

Announcing their plans to defend America’s electric grid against a potential cyberattack, the largest producer of guided missiles in the world has cited an alleged cyberattack on a power grid in Ukraine two years ago as an example of possible threats to the US. […] Despite no major breach of security having been reported at the US power grid, many Americans were on the verge of panic in December last year when the Washington Post published a story claiming that “Russian hackers penetrated US electric grid” through a utility in Vermont.

White House Withholds Cyber-Security Order for Further Revision

The speculation as to why the order was suddenly pulled revolves around a president who was reportedly angry that the immigration order wasn’t well crafted and who wanted to make sure this one was done right. The new version of the EO does several important things. First, it makes clear that each agency head and each department secretary has the ultimate accountability for cyber-security. This appears to be done to prevent those heads from passing the buck to their subordinates instead of retaining it in their own hands.

Democrats call for probe into White House’s cybersecurity practices

“The current administration, in its short time in office, has shown a shocking disregard for cybersecurity practices,” reads the letter to to Lamar Smith, R-Texas., Darin LaHood, R-Ill., and Barbara Comstock, R-Va. “Given your previous investigations of cybersecurity practices at multiple federal agencies, including the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and Federal Reserve Board, and with respect to former Secretary Clinton’s private email server, we trust you will be equally concerned with any and all careless cybersecurity practices of the Trump Administration.”

Current events highlight need for cybersecurity professionals

“The biggest threat to cybersecurity is that we can’t predict where the threats are going to come from,” says Dr. Vincenzo A. Sainato, City University of Seattle professor and program director for the Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance. “Due to the irregular combination of and multiple types of threats, you have to be prepared for all of them in some manner. So in a way, every organization is facing every type of threat.”

Tor and Its 10 Best Alternatives

The essence of the TOR network is that you can comfortably access the internet as an entirely anonymous entity, overcome all manner of geo-restrictions and even access the content that many search engines do not list in organic searches. However, a couple of years ago, the FBI managed to hack the TOR network and disrupt the operations of the network. Also, in the recent past, some regimes have managed to block TOR in their countries. However, you can still access the internet with a level of privacy similar to what TOR has been providing.

What cyberinsurance gotchas companies must be ready for [Slideshow]

The single biggest challenge faced by insurance companies today is the lack of actuarial data on cyber attacks which makes pricing these cyber insurance policies very difficult. As a result, insurance companies are increasingly resorting to other methods to assist them in more accurately pricing these policies which is good news for them but which will result in a number of challenges for businesses.

American Spies: how we got to mass surveillance without even trying

Modern surveillance is regulated by a confusing patchwork of laws that nevertheless fails to provide meaningful limits on government power, and which therefore invites abuse. After September 11th, laws that should have protected people’s privacy and stopped surveillance abuses were weakened via the USA PATRIOT Act. When technology and economics gave spies vastly more power, rather than have law step up to the challenge of constraining that power, Congress and the courts did nothing, or the laws were softened even further. American spies have flooded into the power vacuum left by powerful technology and weak legal protections.

Ex-FBI man spills on why hackers are winning the security game

“The government is very reactive,” said Jason Truppi, director of endpoint detection and response at security firm Tanium and a former FBI investigator. “Over time we’ve learned it wasn’t working – just being reactive, not proactive.” Truppi said we need to puncture the belief that government and industry are working together to solve online threats. In reality, he says, the commercial sector and government are working to very different agendas and the result is a hopeless mishmash of confusing loyalties.