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IT Security News Blast – 8-4-2020

Why Data Ethics Is a Growing CISO Priority

In addition to safeguarding systems and information, a good CISO should ensure that the business is also trusted as a good steward of data. "Security needs to be built into the conversation from the beginning," notes Bjorn Townsend, security consultant for CI Security, commenting to Dark Reading on the relationship between data ethics and security. "Without assurance that adequate security measures are in place to defend our personal data, we cannot meaningfully be said to have control of it."


CISA, DOD, FBI expose new Chinese malware strain named Taidoor

Named Taidoor, according to the three agencies, this new malware has versions for 32- and 64-bit systems and is usually installed on a victim's systems as a service dynamic link library (DLL). [...] US Cyber Command has also uploaded four samples of the Taidoor malware on the VirusTotal portal [1, 2, 3, 4], from where cyber-security firms and independent malware analysts can download the files for further analysis and hunt for additional clues.


Covid-19 pandemic: Russian hackers target UK, US and Canadian research

The main approach used is custom malware known as WellMess and WellMail. The NCSC explains that WellMess has been in used since at least 2018; it is a “lightweight malware designed to execute arbitrary shell commands, upload and download files”. WellMail is similarly a lightweight malware, but it runs commands or scripts so that the results are sent to a “hardcoded Command and Control (C2) server”.


Cyber-Criminals Ease Off Travel Industry

The findings were the result of a survey that asked 2,043 business owners across 11 different sectors how many cybercrime threats or attempts they had experienced since making the switch to remote working. Researchers found more than half of all businesses (54%) reported an increase in cyber-attacks while working from home. Despite this, just over half (52%) of businesses, surveyed across all sectors, said that they were mulling over whether to make the switch to remote working for their employees permanent post-COVID.


Securing Smart Cities of the Future

The smart city ecosystem’s security risk is influenced by several factors. The convergence of cyber-systems and operational systems exposes devices and sensors at the edge to become entry points for cyber-criminals. Devices as innocuous as energy-saving automatic lighting or energy meters can become potential entry points. Once hacked and infected with malware, they open up other connected devices to penetration, causing cascading damage throughout the entire infrastructure.


Garmin reportedly paid hackers a multimillion dollar ransom to recover files after a cyberattack that left their services offline for several days last month

  • The GPS company was the victim of a major ransomware attack last month that led to a multi-day outage of its services including its smartwatches and aviation products.
  • Garmin paid the money through cybersecurity firm Arete IR after the first firm they sought out turned down the job due to concerns about dealing with sanctioned individuals, according to Sky News.


Pandemic accelerating security at financial institutions

“Looking ahead, given the tough macroeconomic conditions arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies will likely be taking a hard look at whether they need to cut expenses across the board,” the report stated. “Financial institutions, however, should be particularly judicious before making a reduction in cybersecurity budgets. Given the increased push toward digitization and the challenges raised by new, often remote work environments, as well as an increase in insider threats, cyber risks confronting most organizations are intensifying.”


Malware Author Admits Role in $568m Cyber-Fraud

Under the slogan “In Fraud We Trust,” this internet-based cyber-criminal enterprise engaged in the large-scale acquisition, sale, and dissemination of stolen identities, compromised debit and credit cards, personally identifiable information, financial and banking information, computer malware, and other contraband. [...] Sentencing for Chiochiu has been scheduled take place on December 11.


CMMC Requirements Aim to Fill the Cyber Gaps

While the lower levels will be relatively easy to achieve, levels three to five will introduce the need for auditing firms that certify contractors to the higher requirements, a process that will undoubtedly take time to roll out fully. The length of this process (no doubt worsened by COVID-19) has been cited among other concerns of shortcomings since January’s announcement. In March, several technology industry associations published a series of recommendations for how the CMMC could be improved. Chief among their concerns was an enhanced clarity of the framework’s scope, applicability, and timeline.


Chinese Army's cyber attack unit eyeing information on India's defence and research, warn security agencies

Headquartered in Datong Avenue of Pudong district in China's Shanghai, unit '61398' is witnessing a spurt in these activities, asserted an officer deployed in the central security speaking to Zee Media. "Through unit '61398', China has been engaged in gathering information like cyber, space and geolocation intelligence around the world for a long time. These units are found to be very active against India," said the officer.


Russian hackers stole trade papers from Liam Fox email

Documents on UK-US trade talks, leaked ahead of the 2019 general election, were stolen from an email account belonging to Conservative MP Liam Fox, it has emerged. The papers were published online and used by Labour in the 2019 campaign to claim the NHS would be put at risk. The UK government has said Russians almost certainly sought to interfere in the election through the documents. A criminal inquiry into the leaking of the documents is under way.


Europe's Incertitude in Cyberspace

It is not every day that the U.S. Department of Justice unseals an indictment against state-sponsored Chinese hackers. So it is all the more concerning that, while law enforcement cooperation across the Atlantic is strengthening from case to case, foreign policy cooperation and coordination is walking in the opposite direction. Nevertheless, the EU appears to be following America’s lead on sanctions. As of this writing, EU member states have made a conscious choice in Brussels to impose EU cyber sanctions on Russian, Chinese, and North Korean entities and individuals.


How to hide from drones in the age of surveillance

From startups to major defense contractors, there is a scramble to deny airspace to drones, to hijack drones digitally, to control drones physically, and to shoot drones down. Anti-drone measures range from simple blunt force, 10-gauge shotguns, to the poetic: well-trained hawks. Many of these anti-drone measures are expensive and complicated. Some are illegal. The most affordable – and legal – way to avoid drone technology is hiding.


Amazon says police demands for customer data have gone up

The disclosure came in the company’s latest transparency report, published Thursday. The figures show that Amazon received 23% more subpoenas and search warrants, and a 29% increase in court orders compared to the first half of 2019. That includes data collected from its retail storefront, Amazon Echo devices and its Kindle and Fire tablets. [...] But it’s not clear what caused the rise in U.S. government demands for user data. A spokesperson for Amazon did respond to a request for comment.


Citizens Are Increasingly Worried About How Companies Use Their Data

Companies that have failed to protect people's data, or use that data as part of their products or services, should beware, according to the survey. US citizens are nearly united in their support for more government legislation to protect their rights to data privacy. While 86% of citizens say they must take some responsibility in protecting data, 90% argue that the government should play a role as well. The greatest majority (91%) hold that companies should take responsibility.


New Attack Leverages HTTP/2 for Effective Remote Timing Side-Channel Leaks

The new method, called Timeless Timing Attacks (TTAs) by researchers from DistriNet Research Group and New York University Abu Dhabi, instead leverages multiplexing of network protocols and concurrent execution by applications, thus making the attacks immune to network conditions. "These concurrency-based timing attacks infer a relative timing difference by analyzing the order in which responses are returned, and thus do not rely on any absolute timing information," the researchers said.


A Patriotic Solution to the Cybersecurity Skills Shortage

Craig Newmark, the founder of Craigslist, has made significant donations to multiple nonprofits offering free cybersecurity training for veterans and women, two segments vastly underrepresented in the security industry. Newmark helped fund the first class of the Sacramento-based program "100 Women in 100 Days." That program's creator, Carmen Marsh, had five times that many apply for spots in the program — with half of the spots claimed just hours after she launched.

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