The week in security: Cloud security passes tipping point; Microsoft security circumvented
- 15 June, 2016 13:49
Over half of CISOs believe cloud applications are as secure as on-premises apps, one survey has found – suggesting that we have reached a tipping point in the transition of attitudes around cloud security.
Yet those who have been won onto the benefits of the cloud must remember that security is still their responsibility – a point of which many have lost track. A flaw in Facebook Messenger was revealed – raising questions about whether hackers changed chat logs from the service.
This, even as hackers breached the social-media accounts of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and other celebrities; others proved successful in launching attacks that avoided Microsoft's Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET) – which was designed specifically to stop exploits that propagate ransomware and other nasties.
As if that weren't enough, it was discovered that some attackers were using the Windows Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS) to reinfect computers with malware after they've been cleaned with antivirus products.
And one researcher was warning that Microsoft Office's malware warnings had proven to be less than effective. Lending statistical weight to anecdotal sense that hacker attacks were increasing, new figures from Akamai suggested that DDoS attacks reached record highs during the last quarter; other results suggested that companies were being hit repeatedly in an effort to break through their security boundaries.
Some 32 million Twitter credentials were reportedly hacked, causing the company to notify users and force mass password resets. Meanwhile, those expressing concerns about industrial control system vulnerabilities were warning about the vulnerability of DNS systems and advising caution about domain squatting.
The Victorian government ramped up efforts to modernise child-protection laws, while a survey found that US mobile-phone users were particularly tolerant of carriers that haven't modernised their IT-security defences. With the economic aspect of cyberattacks continuing to escalate, some were considering how to shift the balance in their favour.
Hot security startups were trying new approaches to blocking attacks, with artificial intelligence drawing attention and one Australian startup riding a wave of recognition after it took out its category award in the Silicon Valley Forum's World Cup Tech Challenge.
Google patched serious flaws in Android's hardware drivers and media server, showing action in the wake of a damning report from Bloomberg that highlighted the gaps between the discovery of smartphone flaws and their patching. And, recognising the importance of secure open-source code, Mozilla launched a fund called Secure Open Source that will fund regular security audits of open-source code.