Articles about Security

Security pros lack the necessary tools to thwart cyber attacks

Security attack

A new study from the Ponemon Institute reveals that external cyber attacks cost enterprises $3.5 million a year and that the majority of security and IT professionals lack the necessary resources and infrastructure to deal with these attacks, despite the growing risks and costs associated with them.

A number of threats were examined in the report including executive impersonations, social engineering exploits and branded attacks that occurred outside of a company’s traditional security boundaries. To address these external threats, security professionals cited an ever-growing need for expertise, technology and external services.

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Everything you need to know about ransomware

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Ransomware is one of the most feared security threats today and it is fast becoming one of the most profitable areas of cybercrime for attackers. It allows criminals to monetize their cybercrime efforts quicker than previous tactics allowed. Historically, they would have to steal their target’s data, and then find an avenue to resell that data to make it profitable. With ransomware, criminals are simply stealing a person’s data and selling it back to them for a price.

The victim already owned the data so they will definitely want it back. This therefore means the cybercriminal does not have a hard sell ahead of him. In addition to this, with the rise of anonymous currency, such as Bitcoin, there is even less of a chance of cybercriminals getting caught. Attackers can make hundreds to thousands of dollars per infection and get paid immediately, instead of going through other risky steps to make a profit.

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Google is receiving more government requests for access to user data than ever before

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Transparency reports from the big tech companies always make for interesting reading, and the latest update from Google is no different. Its most recent transparency report covers the period July-August 2015, and shows that the company received a record number of government data requests.

The report shows the number of times governments around the world contacted Google with requests for access to user data. For anyone with an interest in either privacy or security, the marked increase in the number of requests is interesting.

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New platform offers enterprises complete endpoint security

Laptop protection

Endpoint security company Carbon Black already offers application control, incident response, and threat-hunting products. Today it's announced the acquisition of next generation antivirus supplier Confer allowing it to offer a complete endpoint protection platform.

The new platform, called Cb Endpoint Security, provides organizations with the flexibility they need to cope with growing and evolving security needs. Confer's cloud-based analytics engine will become part of a 'Cb Collective Defense Cloud,' adding depth to the platform.

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IT security pros shouldn't try to 'prevent everything'

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A new survey by Countercept by MWR InfoSecurity highlights all the frustrations IT security experts are experiencing as they’re trying their best to protect their company’s assets and employees.

The survey, conducted during Infosecurity Europe, asked 301 IT security professionals about their company’s ability to detect and deter cyber-attacks.

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Beware of Pokemon Go malware in Google Play

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It may be easy to dismiss reports of Android malware as nothing more than fear mongering by clickbait-loving journalists and security companies, but not even apologists can argue with the fact that the threat is real when malware is approved on Google Play.

ESET's security researchers have uncovered a fake lockscreen app, called Pokemon Go Ultimate, which takes advantage of the game's mindblowing popularity to mislead users into installing it ultimately generating revenue by clicking on porn ads.

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No one is safe -- security quo vadis?

security eye

With McAfee looking for a new home, Symantec acquiring Blue Coat, NewGen Unicorns claiming they are the "next best thing" since the invention of the wheel, and years of criticism from analysts and users alike about the loss of efficacy, the Anti-Virus market is being hit from all directions. Into this upheaval, the acquisition of AVG Technologies by rival Avast Software was recently announced.

This mayhem within the AV market highlights two issues: the market is confusingly saturated with security vendors telling similar AV replacement stories, and the AV incumbents know that they need to change or lose. This is leading to an industry-wide trend of accumulating even more solutions to face off the criticism, the newcomers and the loss of market.

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Stampedo ransomware available for just $39

Money hands coins

A new variant of ransomware has been found for sale on the dark web for an incredibly low price that allows its victims 96 hours to pay a fee.

This new piece of ransomware is called Stampedo and it is available for only $39 which includes a lifetime license. Once it has infected a user’s system, a fee must be paid within the allotted time in order to regain access. If a user fails to pay the fee, Stampedo begins to delete random files on their computer within six hour intervals.

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Privacy alert: Maxthon web browser sends private data about users to China

Photo credit: Blablo101 / Shutterstock

In the world of web browsers, there are four or five big names to choose from but no end of smaller alternatives. One such browser is Maxthon, and security researchers have just discovered that this Chinese-produced browser is transmitting a wealth of data about users back to China.

Researchers at Fidelis Cybersecurity and Exatel found that Maxthon frequently sends zip files to Beijing over HTTP and this contains a terrifying amount of data about users' browsing habits. The ueipdata.zip file incudes, among other things, details of the sites visited by users, the applications they have installed, and what searches have been performed.

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Printers can let hackers take control of Windows PCs

Printer printing

Security researchers from Vectra Networks discovered a serious vulnerability in Windows which allows hackers to take control over complete computer networks through vulnerable printers.

The report didn’t say which versions of the operating system are affected, but the patch is already issued and you can find it here and here. Everyone who has a printer attached to their system is strongly advised to patch ASAP.

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Ubuntu Linux forums hacked!

Hacker desk laptop hoodie hacking hooded

There is a common misconception that all things Linux are bulletproof. The fact is, no software is infallible. When news of a Linux vulnerability hits, some Windows and Mac fans like to taunt users of the open source kernel. Sure, it might be in good fun, but it can negatively impact the Linux community's reputation -- a blemish, if you will.

Today, Canonical announces that the Ubuntu forums have been hacked. Keep in mind, this does not mean that the operating system has experienced a vulnerability or weakness. The only thing affected are the online forums that people use to discuss the OS. Still, such a hack is embarrassing, as it was caused by Canonical's failure to install a patch.

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Ransomware victims pay less than they expect

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If you’re a cyber-criminal looking to enter the ransomware game, but not sure how much money you should demand for the unlocking of a victim’s files, don’t worry. Kaspersky Lab has done the research for you.

The security firm, together with B2B International, says people value their smartphone data, on average, at $682. In 39 percent of cases, the figure exceeds $1,000. On the other hand, cyber-criminals which have managed to lock a victim’s device through ransomware, usually demand $300.

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More than half of companies fail to protect privileged credentials

steal_password hacker

Details of privileged accounts represent a major prize for hackers because they unlock the access required to exploit virtually any part of an organization's network and data. Yet according to a new report many companies are failing to adequately protect them.

The study by privileged account management (PAM) specialist Thycotic and research firm Cybersecurity Ventures benchmarked the PAM performance of more than 550 organizations and found that 52 percent received a failing grade.

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Shadow IT responsible for cyber attacks

Exclusive: Widespread security flaw affects hundreds of UK news sites

Shadow IT has always been considered a huge risk to an enterprise’s cyber-security efforts, but now we have a new survey which supports the claim and shows the scope of the problem.

The report, recently released by Tenable Network Security, says that both German and UK-based companies acknowledged shadow IT as a problem, but the former reported more cyber-attacks.

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CryptoDrop can stop ransomware early on in the encryption phase

ransomware_eye

New software, designed by scientists at the University of Florida (UF), just might be the answer to thwarting the ever-growing problem of ransomware.

Ransomware is a form of malware used by cybercriminals to exploit users into paying significant sums of money to retrieve their own files. When an infection happens, the files on a user’s system are encrypted by the virus and the only way to regain access to those files is by paying a ransom to the hackers behind the attack.

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