Just 48 percent of those surveyed during the RSA Conference 2014 in San Francisco believe the NSA overstepped boundaries with its widespread spying activities, according to account management company Thycotic Software.
Most of the focus during the conference was on vendors showing off their software and hardware security solutions - but it was inevitable to hear former NSA contractor Edward Snowden's name - and constant conversations around the NSA booth in the Moscone South Expo hall.
"Regardless of where you stand on the issue, the attention around Edward Snowden's alleged disclosures last year has raised major concerns worldwide around the risk posed by insiders who have access to privileged account passwords," said Jonathan Cogley, Thycotic Software founder in CEO, in a press statement. "Regardless of intention, data breaches always have the potential to devastate a company's reputation and create a significant drain on resources."
A computer virus reportedly took down a Formula 1 race team that was supposed to be on the track, helping mechanics and drivers lock things down. Instead, the Marussia team was downed for almost an entire day of driving due to an unexplained computer virus that will be investigated to prevent future issues.
"It started off with the first disaster, which was a computer Trojan-type virus in the racks, which cost us the best part of the day," Marussia team principal John Booth recently told AUTOSPORT. "So that set the tone for the week."
Modern Formula 1 cars have a large amount of electronics, with team managers able to carefully track vehicle performance during practice laps and throughout a race.
Either just bad luck or a cruel practical joke, it turns out the RSA Conference 2014 mobile app designed to help attendees get through the show mistakenly had a security hole potentially exposing user data.
IOActive found that there were two major vulnerabilities in the app, including a flaw that reveals name, surname, job title, employer, and nationality of the mobile app users. The second flaw opened up the door to man-in-the-middle attackers able to inject code into the app's login, so login credentials could be exposed.
"The RSA Conference 2014 application downloads a SQLite DB file that is used to populate the visual portions of the app (such as schedules and speaker information) but, for some bizarre reason, it also contains information of every registered user of the application - including their name, surname, title, employer, and nationality," said Gunter Ollmann, IOActive CTO, in a blog post.
Popular retailer Target is still dealing with continued fallout from a data breach in late 2013 that left more than 70 million customers affected. The malware targeting Target's point-of-sale solutions should have raised immediate alarm bells for other retailers trying to prevent similar attacks.
Target is now being sued by a handful of smaller banks that accuse the store of not doing a good job of protecting customer data.
"So far, seven financial institutions have filed class action suits against Target alleging the retailer didn't adequately protect customer data," according to the Wall Street Journal's Joel Schectman. Other banks could join the class action suit, accusing one of the largest U.S. brick and mortar retailers of not boosting its security defenses when warned of possible malware threats.
Third-party applications are responsible for 76 percent of vulnerabilities now plaguing the 50 most popular programs, according to IT security firm Secunia. The company's research looked at the top 50 programs used on private PCs - including solutions approved and maintained by IT experts - with vulnerabilities largely stemming from non-Microsoft applications.
Of the 1,208 total vulnerabilities found in 2013, 76 percent were sourced to third-party applications - even though they account for just 34 percent of the top 50 programs.
Despite continually improving security, many users still blame Microsoft for a wide variety of security loopholes - but Secunia's research indicates it's these downloaded and installed third-party apps that continue to cause problems.
Alleged British hacker Lauri Love is accused of hacking into US Federal Reserve computers, and his lawyers will "vehemently oppose" all attempts to extradite him. If convicted in the United States, Love faces up to 12 years in federal prison, according to FBI officials anxious to have him land on U.S. soil.
The UK national Crime Agency also is looking into Love's alleged hacking behavior, though the UK court system wants to see the "sophisticated hacker" stay in the UK.
"If there is an extradition request from the United States it will be vehemently opposed," said Karn Todner, Love's legal advisor, in a statement to the BBC. "We believe that if Mr. Love is to face charges that they should be, and will be, in the UK."
RSA 2014 - The bitcoin currency is extremely popular, and has become a great target for cybercriminals trying to steal a quick payday. Targeting Apple's OS X applications, the CoinThief Trojan is designed to steal bitcoins when hidden in pirated versions of mobile apps.
The CoinThief malware was discovered earlier in the month, and works by installing a browser plugin that remotely steals login information used on bitcoin wallet and exchange sites.
There are currently more than 100 forms of bitcoin-stealing malware in the wild, available for purchase starting around $25, according to security experts. Underground forums provide an ideal location for cybercriminals to show their wares - and if you are able to gain access and become a trusted member of the community - it's possible to purchase customized malware for next to nothing.
British spy agency GCHQ reportedly stole webcam images from millions of Internet users, including sexually graphic images, according to leaks from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
Anywhere from three percent up to 11 percent of the images comprised "undesirable nudity," according to the study.
"Unfortunately, it would appear that a surprising number of people use webcam conversations to show intimate parts of their body to the other person," according to a GCHQ document. "Also, the fact that the Yahoo software allows more than one person to view a webcam stream without necessarily sending a reciprocal stream means that it appears sometimes to be used for broadcasting pornography."
Utility companies are reportedly being denied insurance coverage for cyberattacks because security defenses are seen as too weak, according to a recent report.
Cyber protection is inadequate and until it is improved industrywide, utility providers are going to be forced to pay high premiums - and security still hasn't improved - only dragging out the process further.
"I think what's behind it is the increase in threats and the fact that a lot of these systems were never previously connected to the outside world," Laila Khudari, insurance underwriter at the Kiln Group, in a statement to the BBC.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder believes Congress should make it mandatory for data-breach notification laws to better protect shoppers compromised by data breaches.
"As we've seen - especially in recent years- these crimes are becoming all too common," said U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in a recent video. "And although Justice Department officials are working closely with the FBI and prosecutors across the country to bring cybercriminals to justice, it's time for leaders in Washington to provide the tools we need to do even more: by requiring businesses to notify American consumers and law enforcement in the wake of significant data breaches."
RSA 2014 - Spike Security will now help users prevent browser-based malware attacks, using its AirGap Enterprise software solution outside of the firewall before malware reaches the network.
The company will use physical isolation, connection isolation, session isolation, and malware isolation to help give users multiple layers of security.
"Enterprise organizations are facing a big problem: the productivity tool that could arguably be considered their most important application - the web browser - is also the primary threat vector for cyber attacks," said Branden Spikes, Spikes Security CEO, in a press statement.
Let's face it, whenever you're shopping and using your credit card, you'll have your smartphone on you, too. Well, now MasterCard is working with network company Syniverse in order to reduce fraud when using your credit cards overseas.
The companies are working on tying your credit card to your smartphone, so that the card is only capable of working when your smartphone is near. Hany Fam, president of global strategic alliances at MasterCard explains: "There have been many attempts to help prevent credit card fraud, but this is the first solution that works globally and without the need for new devices or infrastructure".
If you end up using this new system, you won't feel it in everyday use. Your smartphone will just need to be turned on and kept with you. Syniverse acts on the phone operator's side of things, interconnecting between different networks reaching more than 5 billion mobile devices globally. The company is capable of locating users' phones on their signal alone, without mobile data being enabled, or used.
RSA 2014 - EMC-owned RSA came under fire at the end of 2013 for alleged involvement of providing the NSA a security backdoor in exchange for a $10 million contract.
At a time when companies with even rumored ties to the NSA garner criticism, RSA wanted to clear the air - saying that the RSA, while working with the NSA along with other private industry companies, had its trust exploited by the US government.
"Has RSA done work with NSA... yes," said Art Coviello, RSA executive chairman, during his keynote speech on Tuesday morning. "We spoke to this issue, which is hard to do to provide any context for the state of the industry at the time, and the state of evolution of RSA's business."
RSA 2014 - During the 2014 RSA Conference in San Francisco, the non-profit Software Assurance Forum for Excellence in Code (SAFECode) released software security training courses to help drive interest in better cyber security training.
The free training courses are available via webcast and cover a variety of different topics, including SQL injection prevention to cross site request forgery. Each course is designed to help security experts develop their own internal training programs for use by product developers and others concerned about security.
The current course offerings: Product Penetration Testing 101, Cross Site Scripting (XSS) 101, and Secure Java Programming 101 - SAFECode will launch Secure Memory Handling in C 101, and Using Cryptography the Right Way.
RSA 2014 - EMC-owned security company RSA started its security conference in San Francisco by announcing the Managed Security Partner (MSP) program to boost managed security efforts.
The RSA MSP wants to make it easier to quickly detect, investigate, remediate, and manage security incidents and vulnerabilities. For participating partners, it opens the door to rapid adoption to a slew of different RSA products.
Almost nine out of 10 compromises took only a few hours or less, though 66 percent of cases weren't discovered quickly - and with increasingly sophisticated cyberthreats, it's even more critical to create modernized security solutions.
Cybercriminals enjoy using mobile malware to create vulnerabilities, with around 100,000 new malicious programs introduced in 2013 - more than double the 40,059 samples that went live in 2012.
Russia (40%), India (8%), Vietnam (4%), Ukraine (4%) and the United Kingdom (3%) led the list with users under attack the most, and the majority of mobile malware threats are aimed towards stealing money. Banks and mobile customers are under fire and need to be vigilant, ensuring some type of anti-malware solution is being used to better protect smartphones and tablets.
"Today, the majority of banking Trojan attacks target users in Russia and the CIS, said Victor Chebyshev, Kaspersky Lab Virus Analyst, in a press statement. "However, that is unlikely to last for long: given cybercriminals' keen interest in consumer bank accounts, the activity of mobile banking Trojans is expected to grow in other countries in 2014. We already know of Perkel, an Android Trojan that attacks clients of several European banks, as well as the Korean malicious program Wroba."
RSA 2014 - PC and server maker Hewlett-Packard and security solutions company Trend Micro have teamed up to introduce new software to defend against targeted attacks. The new effort combines Trend Micro's Deep Discovery with HP's TippingPoint, with the new solution aimed at effectively detecting, reporting, and blocking data breaches.
HP relies on software and vendor products to help keep its PCs, servers, and other products protected - and creating custom partnerships will allow for a great opportunity to keep products more secure.
"Cyber criminals are going well beyond traditional malware and conventional attack vectors, and enterprise need protection that keeps pace and adapts faster than the adversaries," said Rob Greer, HP TippingPoint Enterprise Security Products, in a statement. "Collaborating with pioneering security companies like Trend Micro supports our mission to deliver the most comprehensive solutions on the market to block and remediate advanced threats."
Security company CloudFlare announced it has acquired StopTheHacker, a small company specializing in anti-malware software, with the San Francisco company strengthening its own product portfolio.
Financial information about the deal wasn't disclosed.
Due to an increase in malware sophistication, interest in stopping the malicious code has become a bigger action item. For current StopTheHacker customers, CloudFlare promises things will remain normal as the company is absorbed:
To help companies trying to embrace the "bring your own device" craze, Dell has launched its SonicWall mobile security platform for managed and unmanaged tablets and smartphones.
Dell included SonicWall Mobile Connect 3.0 and SonicWall secure remote access (SRA) 7.5 with its latest software update, giving administrators new abilities to ensure their networks are as secure as possible.
"In today's mobile workplace, it is vitally important to enable remote and mobile employees to maintain their productivity without compromising network security," said Patrick Sweeney, Dell Security Products Director of Product Management, in a press statement. "The co-mingling of business and personal applications and data on mobile devise presents an even greater challenge to IT when it comes to providing users with mobile access to everything they need to do their jobs, but still protecting corporate data - in-flight, at rest on the device, and on the network - from the multitude of threats posed by mobile devices."
Hewlett-Packard wants to push the boundaries of cyber threat collaboration, hoping to bring organizations together in an effort to share threat intelligence.
In 2013 alone, companies across the world spent an estimated $46 billion to counter cyberthreats - but the number of attacks actually increased 20 percent - and HP hopes to reduce the number of attacks.
"Collaboration is fueling unprecedented innovation in the criminal marketplace, enabling the ecosystem of adversaries to stay ahead of our defenses," said Art Gilliland, HP Enterprise Security Products SVP, in a press statement. "Crow-sourced threat intelligence from our vast community of customers, partners and researchers is essential in this battle against cyercrime; we need to stop chasing silver bullet technologies and start sharing actionable intelligence through our solutions, expertise and best practices if we are going to compete and win."
Around 80 percent of the top 25 small office/home office (SOHO) wireless routers available on Amazon are susceptible to security vulnerabilities that put users at risk, according to research recently compiled by security and compliance company Tripwire.
The Tripwire Vulnerability and Exposure Research Team (VERT) also found that 34 percent of the top 50 best-selling routers have publicly documented exploits out in the wild.
"Unfortunately, users don't change the default administrator passwords or the default IPs in these devices and this behavior, along with the prevalence of authentication bypass vulnerabilities, opens the door for widespread attacks through malicious web sites, browser plugins, and smartphone applications," said Craig Young, Tripwire security researcher, in a press statement.