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In a world of leaked information and hacking sprees, Australian cloud services provider Macquarie Telecom has been the first ever of its kind to be approved on the government's list of providers thanks to its performance in the security standards testing.
With this accreditation approved by the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD), Macquarie Telecom's Managing Director Aiden Tudehope stated "the ASD was detailed and thorough and Macquarie is proud that out hard work has been recognized in this way." Tudehope added that the motive for this accreditation is quite reasonable as "our analysis shows governments are increasingly looking for a range of cloud computing services for different data classification use cases."
Further privatization of Government services can be good or bad depending on which way the situation is assessed and it's up to you to decide if you're happy with this movement or not. Either way, congratulations Macquarie Telecom for being the first of a kind.
The VENOM vulnerability, which is the Virtualized Environment Neglected Operations Manipulation targeting data center software, allows cybercriminals to exploit remote access on virtual machines. If done, hackers are able to steal data - and gather information about the company's public cloud.
There is a fear that the VENOM puts intellectual property at risk, along with other personal information, so millions of users could be impacted. Although there were initial comparisons between Venom and Heartbleed, the new security flaw isn't quite on the same level.
"At this time, Venom poses the same level of risk as any new remote-code execution vulnerability," said Chad Kahl, Threat Intelligence Team Lead at Solutionary. "It is bad, but readily fixed or mitigated. First off, it only affects certain platforms. While popular, it doesn't span almost the entire Internet like Heartbleed did."
Combination lock users beware, this lock cracker designed by Samy Kamkar takes a mere 30 seconds to bust open your standard combination locks - as long as you've picked the first number manually.
With instructions posted up online on how to print one for yourself, this contraption will set you back around $100 from start to finish - not including the few thousand dollars spent on a 3D Printer.
Although not extremely useful, Samy has helped display the diversity of a 3D printer and also a design flaw that Master locks might want to fix.
It looks like the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) has hacked the Washington Post again, this time taking aim at the news outlet's mobile website. The SEA, which supports Syrian President Bashar Assad, has reportedly launched more than 70 cyberattacks on western media outlets - typically defacing websites, publishing Tweets from hijacked accounts, and proving to be an annoyance.
The Post's mobile website and "some section fronts on the mobile site" were targeted, but nothing else was impacted. "The situation has been resolved and no customer information was impacted," said Shailesh Prakash, chief information officer of the Washington Post.
The Washington Post was hacked by SEA a few times in the past, with the first attack occurring in 2013, when hackers exploited a flaw located in third-party plugins. Another reported attack took place last August pointed Post visitors to the SEA's website.
Trying to directly attack banks and other financial institutions is increasingly difficult, so cybercriminals are finding new ways to cause mayhem.
A popular new method is victimizing the Starbucks mobile payment app and gift cards, as they are able to steal pre-loaded amounts off cards - and then use the auto-reload function to get to victims' debit and credit card accounts.
Hackers are always on the lookout for new vulnerabilities and loopholes that allow them to steal funds from companies and victims. "Fraud is moving away from banks into big e-commerce companies," said Avivah Litan, security analyst at Gartner, in a statement published by NBC News. "Criminals are learning how to turn rewards programs, points and prepaid cards into cash."
An international coalition and ground troops are giving ISIS fits in Iraq and Syria, but the terror group is still finding success online. Using a blend of social media and the Dark Web, the group is able to spread propaganda, recruit new members, and communicate with one another - but the Pentagon is working harder to interrupt ISIS's digital efforts.
For example, DARPA hopes its MEMEX technology, which has the ability to serve as a unique search engine, is able to track down Dark Web sites.
"Everything above the water is what we would call the surface web that can be indexed through Google or you can find through a search engine," said Lillian Ablon, researcher at Rand, in a statement published by CNN. "But below the water that huge iceberg up to 80% times bigger than what's above the water, that's the deep web, that's the part of the web that's not indexed. There is so much of the web that we can't just Google for; it's dark to us, it's dark to Google."
A new form of ransomware infecting users in Australia has been discovered by Symantec, with the "Los Pollos Hermanos" malware encrypting documents, images, videos, and other files on compromised PCs.
The Trojan.Cryptolocker.S demands a payment of almost $800 for the encrypted files to be decrypted, with malware authors pulling information from Breaking Bad protagonist Walter White. Much like other ransomware attacks, it appears social engineering is responsible for infecting users, with a malicious zip file that appears to be from a delivery courier.
"Based on our initial analysis, the threat appears to be using components or similar techniques to an open-source penetration-testing project, which uses Microsoft PowerShell modules," Symantec noted in a blog post. "This allows the attackers to run their own PowerShell script on the compromised computer to operate the crypto ransomware."
The healthcare industry is embracing technology, but isn't properly prepared to keep employee and patient data secure from hackers, according to a report from the Ponemon Institute. Ninety-one percent of healthcare companies that participated in the survey reported at least one data breach in the past two years, according to the "2015 Study on Privacy and Security of Healthcare Data" report.
Not surprisingly, the healthcare industry is paying more than $6 billion per year related to data breaches and associated cybersecurity incidents. Companies must do more to improve their cybersecurity protocols, and should be proactive in discussing any problems with their customers.
"Organizations in the healthcare space are not playing their 'A game' in terms of security and data protection," said Larry Ponemon, founder and CE of the Ponemon Institute, in a statement. "There are some exceptions, but generally speaking, healthcare providers either lack the resources, staff or the technical innovations to meet the changing cyber-threat environment."
The 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan has asked Congress to find a middle ground between national security and citizens' privacy, after saying the National Security Agency's phone surveillance program went too far.
The court's ruling will put added pressure on Congress to either scrap the program entirely, or make major changes. Using the Patriot Act as a front for its massive data collection, the NSA reportedly collected information on almost every call made in the United States - with data entered into a national database. It remained secret until former NSA contractor Edward Snowden unveiled the illegal phone data sweeps.
"In light of the asserted national security interests at stake, we deem it prudent to pause to allow an opportunity for debate in Congress that may (or may not) profoundly alter the legal landscape," said Judge Gerard E. Lynch, as he announced the decision.
Lenovo, the No. 1 PC manufacturer based on units sold, is being accused of a "massive security risk" that allows hackers to utilize a man-in-the-middle attack to download malware onto victims' systems. Security researchers at IOActive say the vulnerability allows hackers to download malware or hijack the systems themselves.
The flaw takes aim at ThinkPad, ThinkStation and ThinkCenter products, and B, E, K, and V-series models. Lenovo was first alerted to the issue in February, and was given time to release a patch - which was made available last month - before IOActive shared the news publicly.
"An attacker can create a fake [certificate authority] and use it to create a code-signing certificate, which can then be used to sign executables," according to the advisory. "Since the System Update failed to properly validate the certificate authority, the System Update will accept the executables signed by the fake certificate and execute them as a privileged user."