The week in security: 8 in 10 health apps insecure; ISIS sidesteps backdoor debate

The new year is always a good time for new beginnings – and this includes reviewing your security policies to ensure they're up to date with your changing business. CSO offers a range of policy templates and tools to give you best-practice guidance to get you started, while newly-minted security interest Forcepoint was working to equip CSOs with a better metric to track organisational security posture when dealing with the board.

Another key challenge facing CSOs is identification of stolen credentials: security professionals generally have no way to spot them, a new survey found, and most security organisations receive more alerts than they can handle. Indeed, volume is becoming a bigger and bigger problem, one security expert has warned, with underprovisioned security-analytics environments hindering big-data adoption.

Opponents of encryption backdoor efforts lodged a mass petition demanding that governments reject laws mandating back doors, which also became less relevant after it was revealed that ISIS had written its own encrypted communications app.

Governments might need to take a few pointers in app development, with a study suggesting that 8 in 10 government-approved health apps are insecure. Also on the government front, the adequacy of a new grants program supporting Australia's implementation of mandatory data retention was being questioned.

US investigators found that only one make of car radio – from Fiat-Chrysler – was vulnerable to being hacked remotely – while research into Trend Micro security software by a prominent Google researcher highlighted how security tools can introduce their own vulnerabilities – yet even the malware can have its problems, with one form of ransomware implementing scrambling technology wrong with the result that [[xref: |victims' files are completely unrecoverable].

A study of an attack on Ukranian power-company interests suggested malware was not to blame, while also on the international front IBM said the Rovnix Trojan had been redirected and was now focusing] on victims in Japan. While the Angler exploit kit was taking a breather for the beginning of the year, the Russian RIG exploit kit [[xref: . And, after effort by Europol, the gang behind the DD4BC extortion effort was tracked to Bosnia.

The International CES 2016 show wrapped up with all sorts of new connected devices reminding us that the Internet of Things remains a significant threat vector this year and going forward. Yet even more everyday tools were also exposing vulnerabilities, with a patch to Apple's Gatekeeper security mechanism still found to be wanting and OpenSSH patching an information leak that could expose private SSH keys.

Research suggests that a relatively simple phishing attack could be used to compromise the popular LastPass password manager, while further analysis of the Hyatt Hotels security breach suggested hackers were scooping credit cards used at 250 locations in 50 countries.

Drupal developers were working to better secure its update mechanism, while a new and hard-to-detect remote access Trojan called Trochilus was found to be used by a cyberespionage group. And, even as Microsoft fixed critical flaws in a range of products and worked to reduce the world's security exposure to old versions of Internet Explorer, Symantec identified new Android malware that steals one-time banking passcodes. Still other Android malware, SlemBunk, was identified and also flagged as being particularly hard to detect.

Read more: Underprovisioned security-analytics tools, skills hinder big-data adoption, expert warns

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Tags Vulnerabilitiessecurity professionalsTrochilusRovnix TrojanIsishealth appsIoTmalwareForcepointMicrosoftInternet of Thingssecurity-analyticsTrend Micro security softwareencryptiondata retentionbig-dataCSO Australia

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