The week in security: malware detection erratic as new defences emerge

A survey on use of unauthorised software found that malware fears are more of a deterrent than the threat of penalties, and with good reason: malware is proving to be particularly problematic as eThreatz testing showed leading malware-detection packages were all over the charts in the first half of the year.

Even as the security dramas of 2014 continued and efforts to recover from the Heartbleed OpenSSL vulnerability began to flag, Google published BoringSSL, its own fork of the OpenSSL encryption system to suit its range of products.

Google wasn't the only company taking a new look at security: with firewalls looking a bit old around the edges, some were looking to an emerging technology called Runtime Application Self-Protection (RASP). A PayPal error revealed problems with two-factor authentication, even as voice recognition was being positioned to improve mobile authentication, while another effort built around the .trust Web domain was gaining momentum.

Gartner was advising IT leaders to find their inner beast in taking on security threats, while an IBM security expert was advising CSOs to stop fearing cloud and mobility and to use their flexibility as a security tool. Hackers are already doing so and many police are following suit, using mobile malware as a monitoring tool. Along similar lines, Websense was also encouraging security practitioners to think differently by exploiting weaknesses in malware code.

Even as figures suggested that many previously-vulnerable NTP servers had been updated to prevent their use in DDoS amplification attacks, hacker group Syrian Electronic Army was at it again, hitting a Reuters advertising partner to post a political message. Web site was compromised and redirecting visitors to other malware-bearing sites, while new Havex malware targeted industrial control systems and SCADA users.

The hacking of the public health department in the US state of Montana may have exposed up to 1.3m records, and researchers are expecting an influx of rootkits targeting 64-bit systems as attacks mature and the breach of two US airports has many warning that skilled security practitioners need to up their games.

The US National Security Agency (NSA) was given more time to collect phone records in bulk, while its former NSA director defended the organisation's data collection practices. This, even as the German government announced plans to drop Verizon because of US government spying. And, for its part, Facebook was finding how hard it can be to get back data after it's been seized – in this case, by the New York County District Attorney's office.

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Tags hackersOpen SSL vulnerabilitiesencryptionvoice recognitionwebsenseRASP (Runtime Application Self-Protection)Gartnermalware detectioneThreatzGooglesecurityHeartbleedcloud mobility

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