Users must recognize that they are taking a significant risk when connecting directly to the Internet. The new Menlo Security State of The Web 2016 report reveals that nearly half (46%) of the Internet’s top 1 million web sites, as ranked by Alexa, are risky.
The San Francisco Bay Area was enjoying a US Thanksgiving holiday weekend when ransomware hit its municipal transportation agency, locally known as Muni. Over 900 office computers were affected, with Muni data locked up as the hacker demanded 100 bitcoins, or roughly $73,000, which the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) never considered paying, according to the San Jose Mercury News.
This is intended to be a little tongue in cheek for readers, however it’s been written to provoke discussion on how organizations continue to do the same things they have done for the last 15 years without thinking.
Across the Asia Pacific, cyber security communities are sharing information about malicious actor techniques from other regions, in hopes of avoiding copycat attacks. In one case, data theft from a US government agency exploit was foiled when individual users repeatedly asked IT to have their malware-ridden laptops re-imaged. It turns out, it wasn’t just malware that was the security issue – the malware was a cover up for a sophisticated ring of insider data-stealing activities. Each time the externally-based ring leader thought their data stealing attempts might be discovered, the malware was inflicted on internal users to force a reimage and cover their tracks.
In recent weeks, I’ve been traveling the country speaking to audiences about the two leading enterprise threat vectors: web and email. During these presentations, we spend a significant amount of time discussing ransomware, where Bitcoin is the payment of choice. People want to know why it’s so prevalent, and how they can protect themselves.
In medical terms, Patient Zero is loosely defined as the first human infected by a new or recently discovered viral or bacterial outbreak. The term has found its way into the IT security lexicon where its corollary is the first individual to be infected by a new malware strain, or the first victim in a phishing campaign.
I was in Singapore last week attending GovWare, speaking at the event and also meeting a number of customers and partners. Land of eternal summer, I think the lows were in the high 70's which made my morning runs, huh, interesting. Isolation is not a new concept here in Singapore, as the government pulled out 100,000 computers (de-linked) from the Internet to avoid any malware contamination. The government personnel are given dedicated kiosks (black computers) from which they can access the Internet, but that's about it. This is an extreme form of Isolation, while 100% safe, is also at cross-roads with user experience. But this has been the history of Isolation though. We've always been forced to trade off between security and user experience. Security by shackles.