Week in review: Shadow IT, crypto-ransomware goes after gamers, and the security of smartwatches

Here’s an overview of some of last week’s most interesting news and articles:

Hack yourself first: How we can take the fight to the black hats
Threats are no longer posed solely by those countries or cybercriminal networks with the financial means to carry out attacks. This both raises the stakes and levels the playing field for attackers and defenders.

Active campaigns deliver old and new ransomware families
The campaigns have been set up to distribute different ransomware families. The most well-known and well-documented of these is TorrentLocker. The other two are called CryptoFortress and BandaChor.

A few small steps for man, a giant leap for online security
The online world is vast. Just follow these straightforward tips, which will make it harder for hackers, and keep you secure.

μTorrent comes bundled with crypto-miner, users are furious
According to users on μTorrent forum, the latest release of the client also installs the Epic Scale cryptocurrency miner without asking users for permission or warning them about it.

Smartwatches and corporate data
Mike Raggo, Security Evangelist at MobileIron, was super excited when his wife got him a smartwatch. In addition to the geeky coolness factor of a smartwatch, being a long-time security professional he was also interested in the security implications in a BYOD or corporate issued device scenario. Would this allow a new way for users to access corporate data? Is it possible to block these devices? And what other implications had he not considered?

Analysis of Equation Group’s espionage platform discovers another link to the NSA
Kaspersky Lab researchers continue to analyze the software and digital artifacts tied to the Equation Group, a nation-state threat actor that has been active for almost twenty years, and to present their discoveries to the public.

The Pentagon is looking to hire 3,000 infosec pros
The US Department of Defense has gotten permission and is aiming to hire 3,000 infosec professionals to work at the US Cyber Command by the end of this year, and is set to make the majority of the members of its Cyber Mission Force (CMF) achieve at least initial operational capability by the end of the 2016 Fiscal Year.

Hacking Nest Thermostat
TrapX confirmed the design flaws discovered in the Nest Learning Thermostat. They validated the attack vector presented at the Black Hat 2014 conference by compromising the device and an entire home network.

Apple issued update for FREAK flaw in OS X and iOS
Apple has released security updates for OS X and iOS which, among other things, fix the FREAK flaw that may allow an attacker to decrypt secure communications between vulnerable clients and servers.

Protecting healthcare records from cyber attacks is a game of cat and mouse
The hacker plays the role of the mouse, constantly trying to sneak past the company’s cat that is guarding information. For years, the cat not only consistently beat the mouse, he would help his fellow cats identify new mice and keep them out of their cupboards too. But as the successful data breaches over the past year demonstrate, including one earlier this year that made headlines after millions of health insurance records were compromised, the mice are now kicking the cats in their tails.

Beware of fake invites for WhatsApp’s Free Voice Calling feature!
Fake WhatsApp invites are actively luring users to sites where they are urged to fill out surveys and download unknown applications.

Cloud security and adoption trends
CloudPassage issued a survey to more than 250,000 members of LinkedIn’s Information Security Group and represents a broad cross section of company sizes, cloud adoption maturity and experiences.

Core Infrastructure Initiative kickstarts OpenSSL audit
Cryptography Services, a team of consultants from several security research firms, have announced that they have been tasked with auditing OpenSSL, the popular and widely used open-source implementation of the SSL and TLS protocols.

Apple Watch scams target Twitter and Facebook users
It didn’t take long for spammers to jump on the Apple Watch bandwagon – they set up a Twitter account named “Apple Giveaways”, and began spamming out messages to random users, telling them they have been “chosen” and urging them to visit the site linked in the message.

Unpatched security vulnerabilities affecting Facebook
A web security researcher from Portugal has discovered several vulnerabilities affecting Facebook that he considers to be serious, but hasn’t had much success convincing the company of that, so he shared the information with the public.

Flaw in Dropbox SDK for Android lets attackers steal data sent to users’ account
Researchers from IBM’s security team have discovered an authentication flaw in the Dropbox Software Development Kit (SDK) for Android that can be exploited to capture new data a user saves to his Dropbox account.

Microsoft patches flaw exploited by Stuxnet – again
Among the vulnerabilities patched by Microsoft in this month’s Patch Tuesday is one that was supposedly patched back in 2010.

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When it comes to patient data privacy, compliance and security differ
Why healthcare organizations – from hospitals, physician groups, pharmacies and others that process healthcare data – haven’t done more on the security front?

New crypto-ransomware encrypts video games files
A new piece of ransomware that (mis)uses the Cryptolocker “brand” has been analyzed by Bromium researchers, and they discovered that aside from the usual assortment of file types that ransomware usually targets, this variant also encrypts file types associated with video games and game related software.

Preventing fraud through enterprise password management
A few simple steps can go a long way to making things much more difficult for individuals to commit fraud.

Facebook worm spreads by leveraging cloud services
The worm, identified as belonging to the Kilim malware family, ends on the victims’ computer after a series of links and redirection. According to Malwarebytes researcher Jerome Segura, it all starts with a message on Facebook linking to scandalous sex photos of teenagers.

Listen to your employees or deal with shadow IT
Data leakage, compliance breaches, business inefficiency and hidden costs are just some of the risks organizations are leaving themselves open to by not meeting the IT demands of their workforce. Speaking at Cloud Expo Europe in London, Tom Homer, the Head of EMEA and the Americas for Telstra Global Enterprise and Services listed these problems as the potential results of shadow IT, the phrase coined for the increasing trend of employees going against their company’s IT policy to implement their own solutions and platforms.

Defending against PoS RAM scrapers
This article seeks to answer these questions by discussing a PoS Defense Model and new technologies that can protect businesses and consumers from PoS RAM attacks.

Critical hole in popular WordPress SEO plugin allows SQLi, site hijacking
Another highly popular WordPress plugin has been found sporting a cross-site request forgery flaw that can be exploited to mount a blind SQL injection attack, and could also lead to an attacker gaining complete control of the site by adding his own administrative user to it.

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