The week in security: Password managers, IT managers under fire over security disconnect

Confirming warnings that password managers are not as secure as you might think, single sign-on provider LastPass shared details of two vulnerabilities it found last year, while Australian retail site CatchOfTheDay was also behind the times as it revealed details of an exploit that occurred back in 2011. Yet it wasn't the only time-delayed security risk: an HP malware researcher found more than he bargained for after buying an Aloha point-of-sale terminal on eBay.

Even as security pundits weighed up the worst security SNAFUs of the first half of the year, hackers were busy exploiting other vulnerabilities as the new 'Kronos' banking malware was advertised on underground forums and some warned about a design flaw in Microsoft's Active Directory.

No wonder many Australian CSOs are disillusioned with the value of IT security investments, and rarely talking about security with executives, according to a new survey. Yet there is some hope in encryption technology from vendors like Tasmanian startup company StratoKey, which won international recognition after its eponymous software was named a finalist in upcoming awards from security firm RSA, with the winners to be announced before month's end. StratoKey's area of interest – encryption – remains of great interest to many, with net neutrality advocates weighing in on the technology.

Hackers were also weighing in on encryption technology, building government-grade encryption into some malware in order to improve their ability to block detection. This trend softened the impact of the US government's bragging about its success in reeling in the Cryptolocker and Gameover Zeus botnet, while the SSL Blacklist project was building a database of certificates used by malware. For its part, vendor A10 was arguing that software-defined networking has become crucial for facilitating a response to the growing threat from DDoS attacks – which were clocking up punishing 100Gbps-plus attacks at a record pace.

On the eve of the humble firewall's 20th anniversary, some were contemplating the future of the now-ubiquitous technology. Games maker EA was fighting claims that its Origin download client secretly collects data from users' machines, while there were other claims that a Chinese businessman had used his aviation firm to steal and sell data on US military aircraft programs.

Statistics suggested that cloud provider Amazon Web Services was leading the world in the hosting of malware. Microsoft followed in the steps of Google by offering Europeans the 'right to be forgotten' by its Bing search engine, while Google was doing its part to boost overall cybercrime response with the establishment of a new security task force and 'big data' loving industries were getting off to a slow start in doing the same. The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) was, however, publishing data protection guidance for businesses to help them get a handle on the security implications of the new and very popular trend.

Speaking of popular trends, a Zscaler analysis found that Android mobiles were asking for more intrusive permissions than most should be comfortable with. With nearly 1 million fake apps trying to sneak malware onto your phone, the mobile security threat is clearly something to consider.

Even Google's Chromecast can be victim, with the 'Rickmote' now able to 'Rickroll' users of the streaming-media device. It's enough to make you long for better security collaboration to block new threats – but there is, some say, value in simplicity as some observers argue that simpler, not more complex, passwords are the best approach for most online accounts.

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