Articles about Security

MSSP program helps smaller businesses defend against phishing

Phishing lock

Cybercriminals are increasingly recognizing that smaller businesses can be be lucrative targets as they are able to devote less resources to security.

Phishing defense specialist Cofense is launching a new Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) program aimed at providing SMBs with human-driven solutions designed to stop active phishing attacks.

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New Fortnite vulnerabilities put users' privacy at risk

Fortnite logo

Researchers at security firm Check Point have uncovered vulnerabilities in the popular online game Fortnite that would allow attackers to intercept and steal Fortnite users’ login credentials without them being aware of the theft.

The attack manipulates Fortnite's login process to capture usernames and passwords. Armed with these details attackers could view any data stored in the game, buy more V-Bucks in-game currency at users' expense, and access all the user’s in-game contacts as well as listen in on and record conversations taking place during game play.

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SIEM helps enterprises cut number of breaches and detect them sooner

Red and blue security padlock

Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) lets security teams collect and analyze log data from across their IT infrastructure to help detect and combat threats and suspicious activity.

A new report for AlienVault produced by Cybersecurity Insiders reveals three-quarters of cybersecurity professionals believe SIEM is very or extremely important to their organization's security postures.

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Average cost of a cyberattack passes $1 million

Cyber attack

The average cost of a cyberattack is now estimated at $1.1 million, according to a new report from cybersecurity company Radware. For organizations that calculate rather than estimate the cost of an attack, that number increases to $1.67M.

The main impact of cyberattacks, as reported by respondents, is operational/productivity loss (54 percent), followed by negative customer experience (43 percent). What’s more, almost half (45 percent) report that the goal of the attacks they suffered was service disruption. Another third (35 percent) say the goal was data theft.

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Google is kicking apps that ask for SMS or Call Log permissions out of the Play Store

Android dialer

Google has reminded developers that their apps will be removed from the Play Store if they request SMS or Call Log permissions. The policy change was announced last year, and over the next few weeks the app removal process begins.

While these particular permissions have been used to give Android users a choice of dialers and messaging apps, Google says there have also been instances of abuse. The company is introducing far stricter restrictions in the name of privacy and protecting user data.

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Cryptominers still dominate the malware charts

cryptocurrency mining

The latest Global Threat Index from Check Point shows that at the end of last year cryptominers still took the top three places in the malware charts, despite an overall drop in value across all cryptocurrencies in 2018.

Coinhive retained its number one position for the 13th month in a row, impacting 12 percent of organizations worldwide. XMRig was the second most prevalent malware with a global reach of eight percent, closely followed by the JSEcoin miner in third with a global impact of seven percent.

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As the US government shutdown rolls on, numerous TLS certificates expire, leaving sites inaccessible

White House at night

With the US government shutdown in its third week, President Trump continues to try to convince both his own party and the Democrats to agree to fund one of his campaign promises -- a wall on the southern border.

So far, the shutdown has seen national parks and more left unstaffed, and today is the first payday on which hundreds of thousands of federal workers will not receive a paycheck. Another side effect of the shutdown is that numerous government websites are offline as their TLS certificates have expired, and no one is available to renew them.

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Netflix could use AI to clamp down on people sharing their account with friends and family

Netflix on laptop

Netflix has millions of users around the world, but how many of these are actually paying customers? Many of us either know (or are) people who share their Netflix account with friends and family, or leech off the one person they know that's willing to pay for a subscription.

But Netflix free rides could be coming to an end. At CES, UK-based firm Synamedia revealed artificial intelligence software that could be used by Netflix and other companies to detect and block the sharing of account credentials.

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Organizations suffer breaches despite confidence in their security measures

business security

According to a new survey, 85 percent of respondents are either very or somewhat confident in their organization's security program, yet 41 percent say their company has experienced a security breach and 20 percent more are unsure.

The study from big data specialist Syncsort finds the most common type of breaches are virus/malware attacks (76 percent) and phishing (72 percent). Interestingly, virus attacks came from internal sources roughly half the time while phishing usually came from external sources (78 percent).

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In defense of private companies: Creating a cyber risk-aware culture

Risk dial

Each year, the amount of investment organizations -- big and small -- are making to protect their most valuable assets with technological and physical safeguards continues to grow by staggering amounts. Yet, with just one click or touch, an unsuspecting employee can expose a company to cyber spying, ransomware or outright theft.

Private companies are aware of various risks posed to their businesses both from external threat actors (e.g., business/political rivals, organized cyber criminals) and from their own personnel (e.g., disgruntled employees). This year, 38 percent of mid-market and private leaders ranked cybersecurity as a top information technology (IT) investment priority according to Deloitte’s annual mid-market technology trends report. What are they investing in? New information security capabilities, monitoring and detection, and employee education initiatives.

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NSA plans to release tool for reverse-engineering software

Reverse engineering

It feels like it has been a while since we've had any NSA-related news -- interest in mass surveillance has been overtaken by other concerns. After a series of Vault 7 leaks from WikiLeaks about the organization, the NSA is now planning to release its GHIDRA framework, designed to reverse-engineer malware and other software, later in the year.

The framework will be available for Windows, macOS and Linux, and it is set to be demonstrated and publicly released at the RSAConference in March. While it might seem like a bad idea to release a tool that can be used to break down malware and see how it works -- and, therefore, create other similar attack tools -- the idea is actually to help increase security.

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Marriott hack update: attackers accessed fewer user records than first thought, but 5.3 million passport numbers were unencrypted

Marriott Hotel

Back in late November, Marriott International went public with news that its Starwood Hotel reservation database had been hacked. At the time, the company suggested that up to 500 million customer records had been put at risk as a result, but now it has provided an update with a reduced estimate.

The company now says that it believes up to 383 million guests may have been affected; but the news is not all good. Marriott also reveals that over 5 million unencrypted passport numbers were stolen by hackers.

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Windows 10 bug could allow files to be overwritten, researcher shows

Zero Day

A security researcher has released proof-of-concept code for a zero-day exploit in Windows 10. The bug was revealed by SandboxEscaper, a researcher who has exposed Windows vulnerabilities in the past.

The latest bug makes it possible to overwrite files with arbitrary data, and while there are numerous criteria that must be met in order for the vulnerability to be exploited, it is still potentially serious. SandboxEscaper warned Microsoft about the problem on Christmas day, before publishing the PoC a couple of days later.

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Europe to fund bug bounties for 15 open source programs, including VLC, Drupal and Notepad++

Three European flags

Starting in January, the European Commission is going to fund bug bounty programs for a number of open source projects that are used by members of the EU. The initiative is part of the third edition of the Free and Open Source Software Audit (FOSSA) project, which aims to ensure the integrity and reliability of the internet and other infrastructure.

In all, the Commission will fund 15 bug bounty programs, with rewards ranging from €17,000 ($19,400) to €90,000 ($103,000).

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Major US newspapers hit by cyberattack, disrupting printing and distribution

Los Angeles Times

A number of major US newspapers -- including the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Wall Street Journal and New York Times -- have been hit by a cyberattack that is said to originate from another country.

Malware was first detected on Thursday by Tribune Publishing, the owner of some of the affected titles, but unsuccessful attempts at quarantining meant that there was disruption well into Saturday. The Department of Homeland Security is currently investigating the incident which is not thought to have exposed any personal customer details.

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