The week in security: Ransomware hits the NAS as hackers set records

Vendors would have been holding their collective breaths as the Black Hat conference rolled into town and researchers lined up to share their newest vulnerabilities. Some researchers were ready to name the most hackable cars, while others were talking about how to bypass PayPal's two-factor authentication and others were sharing information on how to steal security codes from home alarm systems.

Google began lowering the search ranking of Web sites that don't use encryption to protect their contents, even as security consultancy Checkmarx tried a different tack to educate the world on security with an online game that tests users' knowledge against a crowdsourced database of code.

Playing around somewhat less was CryptoWall ransomware, which had reportedly netted hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of Bitcoins, [[xref: targeted Synology network attached storage devices – reportedly through a vulnerability that was patched back in December – and was demanding 0.6 Bitcoin to decrypt the data. Also new on the malware front was 'Poweliks' malware, which has taken a new tack to avoid detection by running entirely from the system registry without creating any files on disk.

A purported and free fix for the CryptoLocker ransomware circulated even as Mozilla confirmed that its database of registered users was leaking data for about a month, while a pair of researchers were readying a demonstration of how Dropcam video monitoring cameras may also be leaking data. Ditto a number of Cisco Systems products, after the company patched a traffic snooping flaw affecting many of its devices.

As if such leaks weren't bad enough, many organisations aren't being forthcoming with the details; gambling site Paddy Power was criticised after it was revealed it had waited four years to tell 650,000 customers that their data had been compromised back in 2010. This, as the rate of card fraud set new records and reports suggested that Russian hackers had built up a database of 1.2 billion stolen Web credentials. Researchers were scratching their heads on that one, with five unanswered questions about the database that left many guessing and some suggesting that the theft marked the death of the password.

CISOs have different perspectives on security solutions but are unanimous on the importance of quality, while the latest Cisco Systems security statistics suggested that quantity was more of an issue for media and publishing firms. Others warned that companies shouldn't get complacent despite the arrest of the author of the Blackhole malware kit.

The Chinese government was cracking down on foreign security software providers, with Symantec and Kaspersky Lab kicked off that government's approved supplier list. Also in international news, an Israeli security consultancy launched a cyber-security centre of excellence that is intended to foster broader international expansion in the long term.

This article is brought to you by Enex TestLab, content directors for CSO Australia.

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