The week in security: Hacking concerns trump US election leadup; APAC companies lagging on DDoS defences
- 10 October, 2016 11:25
CIOs may not have been focused on cyber security in the past, but that has all changed as once-fanciful threats such as surveillance cameras being hacked and insulin pumps proving to be hackable come to fruition.
But CIOs aren't the only ones on the hook: CSOs also need to be more introspective about their business, one observer has warned. In many cases, business transformation ends up being the real catalyst for cybersecurity spending as CISOs are increasingly invited to the table. Users, too, need to be involved as a new study suggested that 'security fatigue' is driving many to ignore security altogether.
Distributed denial of service (DDoS) perpetrators released the source code for a massive attack that infected hundreds of thousands of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, opening up the destructive attack method for anyone who's interested. With search engines like Shodan scouring the Internet for connected devices, proliferation of DDoS code promises massive problems for Australian and APAC companies that, according to a new report, are proving “inadequate” by world standards in protecting themselves against DDoS attacks.
Also on the malware side, the hackers that stole an arsenal of cyberattacks from the US National Security Agency (NSA) may be struggling to monetise their theft – raising questions as to why an NSA contractor would bother trying to steal the tools, which could well end up dumped to the open market if they have no value in the long term.
This sort of malware proliferation may lend credibility to Donald Trump's call for the US to be prepared to use offensive cyberweapons against attackers. Speaking of credibility and Trump, Symantec may have lent credibility to his claims that the US presidential election will be rigged after it set up a simulated voting station highlighting how e-voting systems might be easily hacked.
That wasn't the only cyberthreat looming over the forthcoming US election: there were suggestions WikiLeaks was planning to dump more sensitive files – allegedly leaked to it by Russian hackers – in the leadup to the election. The US officially blamed Russia for the hacks, leading some to speculate that the country's government may impose sanctions on Russia in retaliation.
Security analysts were recommending ways to improve voting security after contemplating nightmare election hacking scenarios, amidst warnings about the potentially disruptive effect of hacking voter registration databases.
There were suggestions that Yahoo had allowed the US government to search users' emails to help the FBI probe terrorist-related emails. As the privacy vs security debate continued to flare, EU privacy watchdogs had their own questions and Yahoo's rivals rapidly distanced themselves from the alleged activities, which Yahoo strenuously denied.
There were warnings that Google's new Allo app may have implemented end-to-end encryption in a way that endangers private communications, while a Mozilla investigation drove Apple to revoke its trust of digital certificates created by China-based WoSign.
There was the usual array of security attacks and breaches, with Cerber ransomware working to kill processes associated with database servers. Hacker Gufficer 2.0 claimed to have hacked the Clinton Foundation, while there were warnings that the Spotify music player had become the vector for malicious ads that tried to load malware onto PCs and Macs. And UK ISP TalkTalk was fined £400,000 ($A665,000) for a security breach that exposed the personal data of more than 155,000 customers.