The week in security: Apple users ransomed as some ask 'Is encryption enough?'

Ongoing security problems at eBay kept the company on edge, while some researchers are arguing that revelations of the NSA's security intrusions have pushed security in a dangerous direction over the past year.

Australians are feeling more secure overall but were nervous about the use of biometrics, a Unisys survey found. US prosecutors were pushing for lenient treatment of Lulzsec leader-turned-snitch 'Sabu', who was eventually sentenced to time served.

New malware sneakiness continued to rear its head, with a new online banking Trojan combining Zeus and Carberp and an Iranian hacking group going so far as to create an entire fictitious news organisation as part of a hacking campaign.

Antivirus company Avast took a community forum offline after it suffered a data breach that compromised 400,000 user accounts, while Apple's Find My iPhone service was exploited by hackers who used the service to hold their devices ransom. Apple users were also hit by demands for $100 payments after an apparent iCloud breach; Apple said the problem was the result of password reuse, not an iCloud security breach.

A third-party hack promised to facilitate the continuation of Windows XP patches through 2019, while researchers warned that new methods of attacking systems can 'brick' systems running new Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) technology that can, by accounts, be bypassed.

F5 Networks picked up fledgling anti-DDoS startup Defense.Net, while Google released its VirusTotal uploader to facilitate the submission of Mac malware.

Encryption was in the air as Sophos added file-level encryption to its mobile security software. The makers of open-source encryption program TrueCrypt surprised many by advising users to drop its product and use Microsoft's Bitlocker instead, before eventually shutting down altogether. Meanwhile, a number of technology giants funded the open-source OpenSSL effort as a response to the earlier Heartbleed vulnerability.

AusCERT 2014 saw the usual array of security thinkers, with some warning that even encryption won't save us noting that we may be gambling with TCP/IP, and stepping through a Bitcoin robbery.

Even as customer-service company LivePerson said a planned Australian investment would help ensure privacy protections, small and medium businesses – a natural target market for such systems – need to consider ten IT security risks. Such consideration will be crucial as the high-profile Apple and eBay hacks raise awareness of the requirement to consider consumer security. This may raise awareness of moves such as Google's introduction of 'right to be forgotten' requests in Europe.

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