The week in security: IE shocker, execs 'disappointing' on security

An Internet Explorer (IE) zero-day based on Flash put no less than the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in the rather uncomfortable position of recommending that Internet users stop using the most popular Web browser on Earth.

The attack affects all versions of IE – including those for Windows XP, which will not get a fix after Microsoft recently discontinued support for the outdated operating system. Microsoft did update four key workarounds for the IE 0day attacks, while Adobe rushed out a patch even as hackers were racing to exploit the bug.

Siemens patched a popular SCADA system against the Heartbleed OpenSSL bug, while experts said a claimed bug in a fixed version of OpenSSL was likely to be a scam, while a patch for a critical flaw in the Apache Struts framework was updated as a matter of urgency after the patch itself was found to be incomplete. Facebook researchers identified a new variant of the Sefnit click fraud malware program that uses SSH for command and control.

New specifications around the high-security Blackphone were announced, while Chinese equipment maker Huawei once again denied allegations it was allowing Chinese officials to spy on customers. Yet it is the TDL4 rootkit that poses more of a threat, with Bromium researchers finding that it can be modified to pwn any security product.

New figures from Akamai showed a huge rise in the volume of DDoS attack traffic, while one security expert was warning that the upcoming G20 will pose a complex security situation for foreign visitors. Film studio 20th Century Fox was also working to improve security, by standardising its file transfer systems.

One security researcher was disappointed after survey results suggested "disappointing" executives were ill-informed about the potential financial implications of poor information security, while another said fire-and-forget encryption was making CSOs overconfident. And Google reconsidered its scanning of Gmail messages for customers of its Apps for Education service.

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