The week in security: Android apps collecting your location data, home routers hit by drive-by malware

The antivirus field is increasingly competitive, but one Australian vendor is going big guns in its effort to carve out a global niche for its SecuraLive security brand. More options will be a boon for small businesses, who have been given some guidance on security governance through new ISACA publications; other companies will find value in the expertise of Fujitsu Australia, which has leveraged its extensive corporate information-security expertise to build a new consulting and managed-services arm for Australian businesses.

Law-enforcement authorities must integrate cybercrime training into their everyday investigational toolkit, an INTERPOL cybercrime investigator warned. Yet even as Germany proposed a telecommunications data-retention law, FBI figures suggested the world lost $US800m ($A1.05b) to online scammers last year.

Malicious software authors were getting trickier, with many of the latest attacks happening without any outward intervention by the user. A Web-based attack tool has been developed that can hijack specific models of router when users visit compromised Web sites or view malicious advertisements, while USB modems were also said to be vulnerable to drive-by hacking.

A specially crafted email spam is being used to infect point-of-sale terminals, while Synology patched serious flaws in its network-attached storage devices and People Power added new features to a usage model that positions mobile devices as de facto security cameras – tapping a trend in which do-it-yourselfers are increasingly designing their own home-security systems.

If you've ever wondered how much your private information is worth, the sale of a personal-details database said to be from Adult Friend Finder may offer some guidance. The US Internal Revenue Service may also learn this cost the hard way, with news that thieves stole data on 100,000 US taxpayers using the agency's Get Transcript application; coincidentally, the agency has cut its cybersecurity staff by 11 percent over four years.

With cybersecurity now on the agenda for 80 percent of corporate boards, retail giant Woolworths appointed its first CISO – and none too soon, with new figures pegging the cost of a data breach as having increased by 23 percent over the past two years. With new analysis putting a dollar value on each record compromised in a breach, it's well worth wondering why employees are still apparently doing the wrong thing.

United Airlines clarified that its recently announced bug bounty doesn't include its in-flight systems, which were targeted in a worrying incident alleged to have recently happened. Yet airplane systems were only the tip of the iceberg, with analysis suggesting that most Web sites have serious and unfixed vulnerabilities.

Mobile security was in the spotlight again, with warnings that even wiping an Android phone may not delete all of its information. Android was also targeted by scammers who used Minecraft to push Android scareware apps to what is estimated to be up to 3 million users.

Indeed, even as some developers worked to integrate user-friendly security capabilities into their applications, many Android apps were fingered in claims that they're actively collecting information about the geographical location of Wi-Fi access points that can later be used to determine a user's location. The increasingly popular Uber tool is working along similar lines, with new features enabling it to collect information on a rider's location even when they're not using the app.

Read more: Surveillance laws driving companies to limit data collection, developers to boost security

There were new concerns about smartwatch vulnerabilities' effect on personal data, with Mac security also an issue as a dangerous bug emerged in the OSX client for Synology's Cloud Station and there were signs of a class-action settlement over the MacKeeper security program.

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

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Tags United Airlinescyber attackslaw-enforcementISACAcybercrime trainingsecurity governanceAndroid phonemalwareandroid appsmalicious softwareMac securitymobile securitydata collectionMacKeeperCSO AustraliaSecuraLive security

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