The week in security: Police, Feedly CEO fight malware extortion demands

Even as security pundits warned soccer fans not to get scammed as they get ready for the World Cup, consumer advocacy group Privacy International was pushing businesses to expose government spying.

Even as security pundits warned soccer fans not to get scammed as they get ready for the World Cup, consumer advocacy group Privacy International was pushing businesses to expose government spying.

Also on the data breach front, the eBay postmortem led some to contemplate the future of data breaches and others were warning that the only salvation for banking and other industries lay in better knowledge sharing around security threats. Also valuable will be internal security competencies such as the internal cyber-security intelligence network that the Bank of England has designed to improve understanding of cyber attacks – as it should, since its CISO admits it gets 7 or 8 cyber attacks per week. This, while high-profile hack victim Target finally brought its first CISO onboard.

Some were concerned that corporate applications have been given too much access to the Internet, while others were concerned about the dollar figures put on annual cybercrime losses – some $US400 billion annually, according to the findings of a new study. Little wonder many organisations are pushing towards broader use of encryption technologies – although even then it appears some content may be made accessible to the likes of the NSA.

Even as a US police department found itself in a standoff with ransomware authors and the CEO of the Feedly RSS service vowed not to give into extortion demands from a DDoS group, security managers looked for ways to improve their network lockdown, the usual reminders were being issued about ensuring that people are managed as well as technologies.

Some were warning that it's imperative for organisations to take proactive action against comment spammers, particularly since a small number of spammers appear to be responsible for the lion's share of the comment spam out there.

Apple was doing its own part to reduce spam, designing its iOS 8 mobile operating system to randomise the MAC addresses of its devices in a push to prevent advertisers from tracking their users. Some believe it's a big help around privacy, and it may also be a countermeasure against the kind of things that a group of Russian hackers, now arrested, were doing by hijacking users' Find My iPhone services.

Microsoft pushed out a massive security update for Internet Explorer, while Google appeared to back away from its own browser enhancement – its 'Origin Chip' tool that hides Web addresses from users.

Meanwhile, secure-storage aspirant SoSecure launched a Kickstarter campaign for a solid-state drive that is remotely controlled via smartphone. Also in the new-products arena, reports said the security-focused Blackphone will go on the market in three weeks. Yet it will launch into an overall security market where declining prices are starting to take their toll.

That doesn't mean companies aren't spending on security, though: growth continued overall, with cloud security a new favourite and continuous database monitoring gaining currency as a tool to avoid Target-like compromises. Yet that advice comes a bit late for US telco AT&T, which reported that personal information on an unknown number of customers was accessed by people outside of the company.

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

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