The week in security: Why scammers and extortionists love Australia; Apple cites US Constitution in FBI fight

The Apple-FBI stoush continued as the FBI claimed it doesn't want to break everyone's iPhone encryption; Facebook weighed in on Apple's side while Google and Microsoft eventually did the same; surveys suggested a majority of Americans support the FBI's position – as does Microsoft founder Bill Gates – and Apple pushed for a government commission to explore the issue – also supported by one US lawmaker – after it claimed software is free speech.

Tech leaders weighed in as Cisco's CEO said both parties would need to compromise in the end, while reports suggested Apple was fighting 12 more similar orders to extract data from iPhones. Apple filed a motion to vacate the FBI's order while the company's CEO, Tim Cook, gave his first TV interview on the topic and argued that the back door is “the software equivalent of cancer” and would set a precedent that is “bad for America”.

Many at the Mobile World Congress were debating the issue and its implications for Europe's tight privacy regulations, while reports suggested Japan's infrastructure had been targeted by a group of cyber attackers. Yet some were fighting back, with one Indian CIO figuring out a way to get ahead in the fight against DDoS attacks.

Such attackers are also increasingly targeting Australia because it's ripe for the picking – and because ransomware extortionists are winning as many companies have no choice but to pay up – but it's also becoming a bigger source of cyber attacks as well.

Concerns about the security of open-source software have made supporters of the model have to proceed with caution, while users of the Tor anonymity network said it was getting harder and harder to use the service for Net access.

The source code for powerful Android banking malware was leaked, while a group of Chinese abused Apple app-testing certificates to find a way to install pirated apps on non-jailbroken devices.

Some were turning to the US CNAP policy as an example of the kind of guidance Australia needs for its forthcoming federal cybersecurity policy. One startup was talking about four-factor authentication for VIP-level access, while Mastercard is apparently working on selfie-based authentication and CloudFlare launched a secure domain-name management service designed to prevent domain hijacking.

Studies showed that many attackers are resorting to old-fashioned methods to infect machines, which apparently worked quite well in a campaign against Russian bank employees. Other research suggested the hackers that hit Sony Pictures years ago have been hitting other organisations from around the world for years.

Expanding mobile-and-security vendor BlackBerry set up a cybersecurity consulting service with a focus on the Internet of Things (IoT) and other areas, while Microsoft added new security capabilities to its cloud offerings.

Read more: ​Maintaining security when migrating from DNS architecture to NFV

Join us at the Read more: US CNAP sets pace as Australian industry continues “holding breath” for overdue cybersecurity policy CSO Perspectives Roadshow in March.

Read more: CSO Insights: 2016 IT Security Strategies Survey – prize terms and conditions
  • Hear from International keynote speakers:Robert Lentz, and Graham Cluley,
  • A Security Awareness stream
  • 18 different interactive Security Exchange discussions
Join CSO for a day of networking with your peers, engaging and discussing topics relevant to you, hearing from some of the top worldwide IT Security leaders in the market and attending the exhibition floor to win some amazing prizes.

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags iPhonesDDoS attacksAppleciscoAustraliagovernmentfbiCSO Australia

More about AppleBillBlackBerryCiscoCSOFacebookFBIGoogleIT SecurityMastercardMicrosoftSony

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by David Braue

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Will your data protection strategy be enough when disaster strikes?

    Speakers: - Paul O’Connor, Engagement leader - Performance Audit Group, Victorian Auditor-General’s Office (VAGO) - Nigel Phair, Managing Director, Centre for Internet Safety - Joshua Stenhouse, Technical Evangelist, Zerto - Anthony Caruana, CSO MC & Moderator

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts

Market Place