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Monday, October 23, 2017

FCC’s awful website crashes on last day for initial net neutrality...

18-year-old system buckles in face of 670,000 comments.

US critical infrastructure unprepared for cyber attack – report

US critical infrastructure is largely unprepared for cyber attack with just 17 per cent of utilities claiming that their IT security programmes are deployed. That is the result of research from Unisys, conducted by the Ponemon Institute. "Fifty per c...

Trend Micro Offers New Security for Microsoft Office 365

At the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC), Trend Micro announced new security features for Microsoft Office 365 and Azure users. WASHINGTON, D.C.—Trend Micro, a provider of security software and solutions, announced new and enhanced security capabilities for Microsoft Office 365. The company's announcement comes a day after Microsoft Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner emphasized security as a new area of focus for Microsoft to key on with partners. Speaking at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) 2014 here, Turner said Microsoft is focused on five major trends: cloud, mobility, social business intelligence, big data and security. "When you think about cyber-security issues, there's never been an issue like this past year," said Turner. "It is a CEO-level decision and issue." Trend Micro's new services are part of the company's strategy to deliver solutions that secure cloud architectures combined with centralized management and protection controls to guard against data loss and advanced malware within Microsoft's existing secure infrastructure. "Our history with Microsoft runs deep, and our combined approach to providing customers with sound security will help users achieve the full benefits and ROI the cloud has to offer," said Partha Panda, vice president of global channels and strategic alliances at Trend Micro, in a statement. "This complementary approach to security will enable Microsoft partners to address their customers' security concerns so they can more effectively close deals. ... We are deeply committed to being innovators in cloud protection as adoption surges across global industries." Trend Micro enhances Microsoft environments with multilayered threat and data protection that encompasses endpoints, Web and email. To better support channel partners' ability to sell Trend Micro's additional security solutions for Microsoft cloud, these centrally managed solutions will be available as part of the Trend Micro Smart Protection Complete suite. This interconnected set of security offerings delivers protection at endpoint, application and network levels to protect users with a broad range of anti-malware capabilities available to thwart attacks such as Citadel, Luuuk, SpyEye and ZeuS. The suite enables organizations to tailor their defense based on their unique business requirements with flexible on-premises, cloud and hybrid deployment models that fit dynamic IT environments as they transition to the cloud. "Being a partner of both Microsoft and Trend Micro allows us to offer powerful solutions that will help our customers' businesses grow by providing user-friendly technology that drives productivity and profitability as securely as possible," said Mike Hogan, Microsoft general manager at En Pointe Technologies, in a statement. "Microsoft's cloud services meet the needs of a wide variety of our customers, and the inclusion of Trend Micro gives us the ability to create an even stronger selling point." At WPC 2014, Trend Micro is highlighting new security offerings for the Microsoft cloud and Office 365, including Trend Micro Cloud App Security and Trend Micro Hosted Email Security. Trend Micro Cloud App Security integrates directly with Office 365 using a Microsoft API for Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business. By providing data at rest encryption with customer-managed keys, customers will have added control of their data while preserving Office 365 functionality. It also reduces risk with advanced malware scanning through sandbox analysis and simplifies compliance with data loss prevention. Customers can access a beta site of the Trend Micro Cloud App Security for Office 365 offering here. Trend Micro Hosted Email Security provides spam and malware filtering for Office 365, protecting users by scanning emails for malicious attachments and URLs, spam and graymail, and phishing attacks. The coming update includes enhanced spear phishing protection and hidden malware detection. Trend Micro offers a range of security solutions for Microsoft environments, including Deep Security, SecureCloud and PortalProtect in support of Azure, SharePoint and Agent Extension. In addition, Trend Micro solutions now support Exchange, SharePoint and Lync servers, on-premises or in the cloud. Trend Micro also is a member of the Microsoft Active Protections Program (MAPP) to protect against zero-day vulnerabilities announced in Microsoft Security Advisories.  

Shylock banking Trojan network targeted UK users

The UK was the number-one target of the Shylock banking Trojan and botnet, according to analysis by security software specialist Symantec. Key servers supporting the Shylock Trojan were taken down earlier this month in an operation led by the National Crime Agency (NCA) - but only after the criminals behind the malware had stolen several millions of pounds from the accounts of compromised PC users. By focusing on the UK, the Trojan's operators were able to develop their software faster than banks were able to secure against it, according to Symantec. According to Symantec, the Trojan's operators picked the UK because it has a relatively small number of major banks and the country is relatively wealthy - so they could steal thousands at a time. The Shylock malware has been included in five different exploit kits over the past year - Blackhole, Cool, Magnitude, Nuclear and Styx - and is distributed via email with spam bearing ".pdf.exe" attachments about invoices or statements. Perhaps most ominous of all is Symantec's claim that it is capable of circumventing the two-factor authentication regimes used by most banks to overcome the insecurity of passwords. "Shylock employs a technique termed automated-transaction-service (ATS) which can automatically initiate fraudulent transactions in the background," claims Symantec. "Its capabilities include: Grabbing information about user accounts and account balances; Performing fraudulent transactions in the background; Social engineering attacks to trick the user into authenticating a transaction with a Secure Key;  Hiding entries in transaction records and modifying balances;  Adjusting percentages and values of available funds to evade some fraud detection logic. "When a victim logs into their bank on an infected machine, their credentials are sent to the bank and the attackers. This allows the attackers to assume control of the account and initiate fraudulent transactions. "In order to distract the user, a number of diversion tactics are used by the attackers. For example, the diversion tactic used against customers of one is a window pretending to perform additional security checks on the computer." When the Trojan attempts a fraudulent transfer, the malware presents users with a fake message from their bank, before requesting the security code to authorise the fraudulent transfer.  "The Shylock gang is a professional organization which appears to operate out of Eastern Europe. The platform is almost certainly developed in Russia and the developers appear to work a typical nine to five day, from Monday to Friday, indicating that this is a full-time operation. The vast majority of binary compilations occurred on weekdays. "The gang behind Shylock continuously develop new features, react quickly to online banking countermeasures, and use advanced distribution channels to infect the end user. Shylock is without a doubt a finely tuned and profitable enterprise that has continued to grow in 2014," concluded Symantec. 

GCHQ seeks to control the internet with social media manipulation, poll...

The UK's spy agency, GCHQ, has developed its own software tools to infiltrate the internet to shape what people see, with the ability to rig online polls, increase page view counts on specific websites, and psychologically manipulate people on social ...

iPhones not a security threat to China, says Apple

Apple has denied allegations that location-tracking iPhone features pose a threat to China’s national security and could expose state secrets. “Apple does not track users’ locations – Apple has never done so and has no plans to ever do so,” the company said in a posting on its Chinese website. “Apple has never worked with any government agency from any country to create a backdoor in any of our products or services. “We have also never allowed access to our servers. And we never will. It’s something we feel very strongly about,” the statement concluded. The company also noted that Apple gives customers control over collection and use of location data on all devices, and that location services are not enabled by default. Apple was responding to a claim on state-owned television that the iPhone’s location functions can collect data that may result in a leak of state secrets. The claim was made by Ma Ding, head of the online security institute at People’s Public Security University of China. Apple said the iPhone’s "frequent locations" tracking function is used to record frequently visited locations in order to speed up applications that show a user’s location or for driving directions that avoid traffic. The smartphone maker said personal location information is stored only on the iPhone and protected by a user password. The data is not shared with third parties. Apple began selling the iPhone in China in January through the world’s largest mobile phone carrier China Mobile, which has more than 760 million subscribers, reports The Guardian. China Mobile recorded 1.2 million iPhone pre-orders before its release on the network, which Apple chief executive Tim Cook labelled a “watershed moment”, the paper said. Read more on location tracking Beyond location, operators can mine data for context-based services Location-based mobile applications poised to take off Location-based apps bring ease, and privacy concerns, to consumers Location data finds a home in mobile business intelligence apps Email Alerts Register now to receive ComputerWeekly.com IT-related news, guides and more, delivered to your inbox. By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy Read More Related content from ComputerWeekly.com RELATED CONTENT FROM THE TECHTARGET NETWORK

Security industry welcomes £1.1bn government fund to fight terror and cyber...

The information security industry has welcomed a government grant of £1.1bn to fund defence initiatives, including fighting cyber threats. The UK’s armed forces must adapt to deal with “unseen enemies,” prime minister David Cameron said in an article written for The Telegraph. “The majority of the money - £800 million – is being spent on intelligence and surveillance equipment. It includes the latest in cyber defence technology,” David Cameron said. Cameron said the investment recognised that "it is not massed tanks on the European mainland we need, but the latest in cyber warfare, unmanned aircraft technology and special forces capability”. He said "plots hatched thousands of miles away" could cause harm in the UK. He said that having a modern, technological, advanced and flexible armed forces was not a national vanity, but a “national necessity”. Cameron said the fund shows the UK is equipping its armed forces for the conflicts of this century, not the last. “The threats we face have changed utterly in 30 years – from the clarity of the Cold War to the complex and shifting challenges of today: Global terrorism, organised crime, hostage taking, the risk of nuclear proliferation, cyber attack and energy security," he said. Rob Cotton, chief executive at global information assurance firm NCC Group, welcomed the government’s acknowledgement that cyber attacks are often used as a weapon. “This new funding should significantly help to predict future attacks and mitigate the risks,” Cotton said. International collaboration While increasing intelligence around these threats is a sensible starting point, Cotton said the UK will hopefully also increase collaboration with other nations to combat this international issue. “We would like to think that there will be a time in the near future when cyber crime is thought of as on a par with other criminal activity,” he said. However, Cotton believes there is still a way to go until businesses and the general public are as aware of the warning signs and impact of cyber threats as they are with other types of crime. “The more we can address this, then the more real chance we will have of preventing future attacks that can be costly on a national level,” he said. Email Alerts Register now to receive ComputerWeekly.com IT-related news, guides and more, delivered to your inbox. By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy Read More Related content from ComputerWeekly.com RELATED CONTENT FROM THE TECHTARGET NETWORK

ICO calls for better funding and more powers

UK privacy watchdog, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), is calling for better funding, greater powers and guaranteed independence. The call comes as the ICO releases its annual report, which reveals the watchdog dealt with a record 15,429 data protection complaints in the past year, up 10% compared with the previous year. According to the report, the number of calls to the ICO’s advice helpline rose by more than 15%, while the ICO issued £1.97m worth of monetary penalties and secured 12 criminal convictions for breaches of the Data Protection Act. In the past year, the ICO has decided on 5,296 freedom of information complaints, a 12% rise on last year’s figure, and received 161,720 reports from people concerned about spam texts and nuisance calls.    At the launch of the report, information commissioner Christopher Graham called for more powers and resources to maintain the ICO’s independence and ensure its ability to act on serious complaints. In the report, he said that in addition to securing compliance with data protection and freedom of information laws, the ICO seeks to empower citizens to assert their rights and enable the development and delivery of new products and services without compromising privacy. "But to be an effective partner in delivering modern and innovative services, the ICO needs stronger powers, a more sustainable funding system and a clearer guarantee of independence," Graham said in the report.  He believes that, as organisations' use of data gets ever more complicated, UK citizens need to know someone is watching over their information, and that a strong regulator is needed if a data breach affects millions of people. ICO seeks increased funding and powers Funding was a central theme in the previous annual report, in which the information commissioner said: “Although the budget we have received for 2013/14 means that we are confident we will be able to meet our objectives, the uncertainty of funding remains a major long-term concern.” For the past five years, the ICO has faced a reduction in its funding for freedom of information work and notification fees for data protection. The proposed EU data protection reforms will also remove the notification fee that funds the ICO’s work under the Data Protection Act. In response to these changes, last year's ICO annual report called for a "wholly new method of funding". In the latest report, Graham said parliament needs to get on with the task of establishing a single, graduated information rights levy to fund the work of the ICO.  "I look to parliament to act to strengthen the commissioner's powers, enable the adequate resourcing of the ICO, and guarantee the commissioner's independence," he said.  Supporting the ICO's call for increased funding, Chris McIntosh, chief executive of ViaSat UK, said the watchdog is still handicapped by its limited resources and powers.  He said the penalties available to the ICO are not enough to deter organisations from flouting data protection rules. With increased funding and powers, the ICO could make its investigations even more thorough, reducing appeals and making sure its judgement is fair and final Chris McIntosh, ViaSat UK McIntosh said monetary penalties are also often not paid due to successful appeals and early payment reductions.  According to the latest ICO annual report, only £872,000 of the total £1.97m monetary penalties was paid. "With increased funding and powers, the ICO could not only make sure that penalties, financial or otherwise, match the severity of an offence, it could make its investigations even more thorough – reducing the chances of appeals and making sure that its eventual judgement is both fair and final," he said.  Changing attitudes to data protection But Simon Eappariello, European senior vice-president at iboss Network Security, said funding is not the whole answer to fixing the data privacy issue.  "While funding will critically give the ICO the manpower to handle the ever-growing number of complaints, personal and industry attitudes towards data need to change," he said.  Eappariello believes the UK needs to tackle the root cause of why so many organisations need to be investigated.   "And that buck does not stop with the ICO. It is something that should be addressed at the board level too," he said. According to Eappariello, every healthcare organisation, retailer and business needs to review how they are protecting personal data.   Email Alerts Register now to receive ComputerWeekly.com IT-related news, guides and more, delivered to your inbox. By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy Read More Related content from ComputerWeekly.com RELATED CONTENT FROM THE TECHTARGET NETWORK

Banking Botnet Gang Shows How Cyber-criminals Specialize for Profit

The takedown has disrupted the botnet, but Shylock's development shows that online thieves can profitably narrow their focus on smaller markets. A concerted takedown effort led by the United Kingdom's National Crime Agency has disrupted the Shylock botnet, taking down key servers on July 8 and 9. While the takedown will likely hobble their efforts, the Shylock group's success shows that smaller botnets can still be very profitable, according to security researchers. The cyber-criminals behind the Shylock botnet focused on infecting users in the United Kingdom and staying abreast of countermeasures implemented by banks, which allowed them to steal millions of dollars, security firm Symantec stated in an analysis of the malware and the group behind it. The tactics allowed the botnet operators to evolve faster than defenders' efforts to block the online thievery, Kevin Haley, director of Symantec's Security Response group, told eWEEK. "These guys decided that they are going to really specialize," he said. "They picked a country with a small number of banks, so they could focus on what goes on at those banks, yet [where] the customers were likely to have a good amount of money in their accounts to make it financially worthwhile." Shylock represents a fairly sophisticated piece of malware, controlling a victim's computer to eavesdrop and modify transaction as a "man in the browser." The botnet—named because its code includes couplets from Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice—infected some 30,000 Windows computers worldwide. "Attackers gain control of the victim's browser by exploiting security vulnerabilities to modify the web pages displayed to the victim," Symantec stated in its analysis. "Shylock is also capable of defeating two-factor authentication security mechanisms employed as counter measures at some of these banks." The Shylock program stole information about banking customers' accounts and balances, could surreptitiously conduct and hide fraudulent transactions, and modified account information in the victim's browser to make theft harder to detect. Yet, the real sophistication is in the group behind the malware, who were able to not only target their attacks on a specific country, but create convincing lures to fool banking customers. While cyber-criminals have specialized in different parts of the criminal ecosystem—such as creating tools, managing botnets or focusing on extortion—this represents a further refining of their focus, Haley said. "The more evolved gangs are going to look to specialize in specific geographical areas or technical areas to this extent, because it is going to make them even more successful," he said. The takedown efforts were coordinated by the operations center at Europol's European Cybercrime Center (EC3) in The Hague. Along with the United Kingdom's National Crime Agency, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation and law enforcement agencies from France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and Turkey took part in the international anti-botnet effort, according to a Europol announcement of the takedown.  

Google had one-hour turnaround to counter Facebook’s offers to employees

E-mails show Google was eager to stop Facebook from poaching employees.

Dish Anywhere streaming stays alive, despite Fox’s win over Aereo

Appellate court denies Fox's request to impose a preliminary injunction.

Beware of infected hotel PCs stealing guests’ passwords, feds warn

Recent spate of infections underscores risks of using a public PC.