IT Security News Blast 8-25-2017

Protecting Financial Data in Cyberspace: Precedent for Further Progress on Cyber Norms?

In terms of norm identification, few issues have proven more problematic than cyber operations targeting data, whether in peace or war. Of particular note are those involving financial data, in large part because of the interdependency of the global financial system. Responding to this situation, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace has urged States to pledge to refrain from conducting cyber operations that “undermine the integrity of data and algorithms of financial institutions in peacetime and wartime,” as well as the availability of critical financial systems, such as clearing houses.

 Cryptocurrencies and blockchain to change the finance trade and more

It’s no wonder then that government agencies across the world are now seeking to use blockchain technology to gain an advantage in the field. The Pentagon, for example, wants to apply blockchain tech to protect the military from hacking, counterintelligence attempts, and other types of cyber-attacks. Since the blockchain is incorruptible and cannot be tampered with, it can be used in a number of sensitive situations such as when sending messages to military personnel or recording transactions in an unmodifiable way.

 Essential elements for a hacker-proof healthcare cybersecurity strategy

Progressive health systems see the value of cybersecurity as providing a competitive advantage and ensuring better patient care, said Rich Curtiss, a managing consultant at Clearwater Compliance who specializes in cybersecurity and health data risk management. “However, considering the healthcare sector is woefully behind in adopting information technology, it is difficult to see a horizon that is able to keep up with the velocity of cybersecurity threats,” Curtiss said. “There are a few areas where health systems should be focused on.”

 This Linux tool could improve the security of IoT devices

The Ubuntu-Core required to integrate Snappy software management system uses 612MB, and snapd, the endpoint software management service needed to interact with Snappy, uses 15MB. The IoT device would need 627MB-plus memory for the IoT app called a snap. Because of memory and computational constraints, it is not a solution for ultra-low-power, small memory microcontroller devices but would work with 32-bit devices like the Raspberry Pi.

 All the Ways US Government Cybersecurity Falls Flat

The analysis of 552 local, state, and federal organizations conducted by risk management firm SecurityScorecard found that the government particularly lags on replacing outdated software, patching current software, individual endpoint defense (particularly when it comes to exposed Internet of Things devices), and IP address reputation—meaning that many IP addresses designated for government use or associated with the government through a third party are blacklisted, or show suspicious activity indicating that they may be compromised.

 Cybersecurity world faces ‘chronic shortage’ of qualified staff

“We are one of the few industries globally experiencing zero-percent unemployment,” said Robert Herjavec, CEO of cybersecurity outfit Herjavec Group. “Unfortunately the pipeline of security talent isn’t where it needs to be to help curb the cybercrime epidemic. Until we can rectify the quality of education and training that our new cyberexperts receive, we will continue to be outpaced by the Black Hats.” John McAfee has also weighed in on the issue, saying that cybersecurity is “the least populated of any field of technology,” and noting that there are two job openings for every qualified applicant.

 Cyberattacks, not North Korea, pose greatest security threat

Nefarious APT activities, conducted by state-sponsored adversaries inside networks can go unnoticed for months without detection. The inability to rapidly detect unauthorized network access is a major security flaw. Enhanced security measures, such as endpoint detection, exist but are sometimes unable to be implemented effectively. Investments should be made to replace antiquated systems, and software program managers must recognize and mitigate this risk to their platforms.

 Elevation of US Cyber Command recognizes its ‘coming of age’

“Previous executive orders have already established NSA’s role in that function,” he said. “It’s fairly easy to unknowingly bump into someone else in cyberspace, and there has to be a deconfliction agent there. NSA still has the predominant capability to be able to do that. I think there will also be a relationship in terms of exchange of personnel, very much the way it is today, where people flow back and forth between an NSA assignment and a DoD assignment. I think it will be a close relationship for years to come.”

 The politics of cyberspace [Book review]

Geography is irrelevant. Old thinking about defending a perimeter makes no sense when the adversary is probably already lurking in your networks. The simpler techniques may be used by all manner of adversaries: criminals and hooligans as well as spies and soldiers. These categories may overlap. Attributing an attack is more difficult. The shift is much bigger than from past changes in military capability—the author highlights the use of submarines, powered flight, tanks, radar or nuclear weapons. Some academic colleagues still maintain that nothing new has really happened; technological change does not fundamentally alter the understanding of warfare. Mr Kello lambasts such sceptics on both practical and theoretical grounds.

 On internet privacy, be very afraid

In the internet era, consumers seem increasingly resigned to giving up fundamental aspects of their privacy for convenience in using their phones and computers, and have grudgingly accepted that being monitored by corporations and even governments is just a fact of modern life. In fact, internet users in the United States have fewer privacy protections than those in other countries. In April, Congress voted to allow internet service providers to collect and sell their customers’ browsing data. By contrast, the European Union hit Google this summer with a $2.7 billion antitrust fine.

 Pediatricians see increase in mental health issues linked to cyber bullying

Now, more than ever, they’re seeing kids coming to them with symptoms related to bullying. Doctors say the increase in bullying is directly correlated to social media. Social media is acting as a catalyst for bullying. If you’re being bullied at school, you can no longer go home and get away because it’s always on that screen. Pediatricians say they’re seeing more clinical depression and other mental health issues than ever before.

 Advancements in Tracking Technology Are Bringing Comfort to Parents

Say, for example, you wanted to know exactly where your child was but calling and asking might make them feel like you don’t trust them. By utilizing tracking solutions like KidGuard or Circle by Disney you could easily check instantly from your phone – all without your child ever realizing it happened at all. Or if you’re worried about cyber bullying, you could quickly search for keywords in their chat or text history – just enough to give yourself the peace-of-mind that comes with knowing when intervention is (or is not) merited.

 Growing Up With Big Brother

In 2010, almost a decade into this secret war with its voracious appetite for information, The Washington Post reported that the national-security state had swelled into a “fourth branch” of the federal government—with 854,000 vetted officials, 263 security organizations, and over 3,000 intelligence units, issuing 50,000 special reports every year. Though stunning, these statistics only skimmed the visible surface of what had become history’s largest and most lethal clandestine apparatus. According to classified documents that Edward Snowden leaked in 2013, the nation’s 16 intelligence agencies alone had 107,035 employees and a combined “black budget” of $52.6 billion, the equivalent of 10 percent of the vast defense budget.

 GDPR and Information Security Arbitrage

The concept of information security arbitrage, much like how financial or tax arbitrage opportunities emerge, is when data privacy and security standards follow the path of least resistance. For example, will global companies in the fear of losing a share of their worldwide revenues establish their base of operations and data centers in lax information security and privacy environments? Similarly, will companies no longer abide by cyber breach reporting requirements, that continue to labor under a culture of obfuscation and occlusion, as we saw with the now infamous Yahoo! breach? Executives must learn that bad information does not improve with time and GDPR ups the stakes substantially.

 Easy come, easy go: Daily Stormer briefly reappears on DreamHost before disappearing again

The Daily Stormer, a white supremacist website that has become a sort of football to be kicked around in the current controversy around hate speech, was briefly reinstated on DreamHost earlier today. Very briefly. The site apparently appeared under the domain around the time we noted that it had been largely forced to rely on Tor for hosting purposes. Only a few minutes afterwards, however, DreamHost was subjected to an extended distributed denial-of-service attack taking down many of its services.

 A Win for Privacy Is a Win for the Web

This morning Chief Judge Morin of the Superior Court of Washington D.C. took the time to examine the DOJ’s initial warrant and their amendment, weighing them against our concerns. We’re pleased that the court further limited the government’s access to this data today. Judge Morin confirmed the validity of the Department of Justice’s amended request, with some changes, and he is enforcing the DOJ’s motion to compel.As a company that operates lawfully in the United States, we are now obligated to comply with the court’s request.

 Judge approves limited search warrant for data on anti-Trump protesters

The ruling by District of Columbia Superior Court Chief Judge Robert E. Morin marked a win for the government, although Morin said he would supervise the government’s use of the data it collects from Web host DreamHost. Chris Ghazarian, general counsel for DreamHost, said the company needed to review the ruling before deciding whether to appeal. He said he was glad Morin acknowledged the company’s 1st Amendment concerns but said the warrant was still “problematic.”

 The subpoena

 Easy-to-Use Apps Allow Anyone to Create Android Ransomware Within Seconds

Security researchers at Antivirus firm Symantec have spotted some Android apps available on hacking forums and through advertisements on a social networking messaging service popular in China, which let any wannabe hacker download and use Trojan Development Kits (TDKs). With an easy-to-use interface, these apps are no different from any other Android app apart from the fact that it allows users to create their custom mobile malware with little to no programming knowledge.


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