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Security

Cisco Patches Critical ASA Firewall Flaw

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Cisco Patches Critical ASA Firewall Flaw

Cisco starts releasing security patches for a critical flaw affecting Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) flaws-- one involving an exploit linked to the US National Security Agency (NSA).

Dubbed ExtraBacon, the exploit was recently discovered in networking hardware from Cisco and Fortinet. It is the work of a group called Shadow Brokers, who claims to have stolen "cyber weapons" from the Equation, a group believed to be an elite NSA hacking unit through its use of a 16-character string listed in an NSA manual leaked by Edward Snowden. ExtraBacon is actually just part of the toolset obtained by Shadow Brokers, and the full leaked set is currently available on auction for a million bitcoins.

The exploit affects versions 8.4(4) and earlier of ASA software, although it can be modified to work on newer versions. It involves a buffer overflow vulnerability in the Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) implementation, and allows attackers to remotely execute rogue code in affected devices through traffic sent to the SNMP interface.

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How Many Firms Comply With Privacy Shield?

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How Many Firms Comply With Privacy Shield?

The US government releases a list of firms compliant with Privacy Shield US-EU security agreement-- one showing Microsoft as the only big name in public cloud holding the necessary credentials.

Launched back in 12 July, Privacy Shield is a self-certification process for US companies wanting to deal in the transfer and storage of both HR and non-HR data from the EU. So far just 35 companies have completed the process, most of which are smaller or more specialised players. In fact, apart from Microsoft the biggest names on the list are Salesforce and Workday, while the likes of Google, AWS, Rackspace and Facebook are conspicuously absent.

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Gartner: Information Security Grows Further in 2016

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Gartner: Information Security Grows Further in 2016

Gartner reports global information security spending is set to grow by 7.9% to reach $81.6 billion in 2016, with consulting and IT outsourcing as the largest spending categories.

By end 2020 the highest growth is forecast to come from security testing, IT outsourcing and data loss prevention (DLP). During the same period secure web gateways (SWGs) should maintain growth of 5-10% as organisations focus on detection and response, all while security practitioners retain a buying preference for preventative measures.

"Organisations are increasingly focusing on detection and response, because taking a preventive approach has not been successful in blocking malicious attacks," the analyst says. "We strongly advise businesses to balance their spending to include both."

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Europol Joins Security Companies in No More Ransom

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Europol Joins Security Companies in No More Ransom

The Dutch National Police, Europol, Intel Security and Kaspersky Lab join forces in No More Ransom-- an initiative aimed at informing the public about the dangers of ransomware, as well as helping victims recover their data without paying cybercriminals.

No More Ransom currently offers downloadable tools for the decryption of PCs affected by common ransomware attacks, including CoinVault, Bitcryptor, Cryptxxx 1, 2 and 3. In fact, the launch of the initiative comes about with the takedown of the servers holding the decryption keys of Shade, a ransomware variant with a victim count reaching 160000.

The advice on offer by No More Ransom is basic but decent-- do regular backups, keep software up-to-date, use a solid antivirus, show file extensions by default and trust no one. In case of attack, the initative insists one should not pay the ransom, but to do so one needs to hold regular backups. Some organisations ended up prey to such attacks, including the University of Calgary, which paid $20000 to restore access to systems and data.

Meanwhile a "Crypto Sherrif" section allows the public to help in the effort by uploading malware samples and a description helping identify the kind of ransomware affecting their systems.

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Check Point: HummingBad Infections Total 10 Million

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Check Point: HummingBad Infections Total 10 Million

There is no such thing as a completely secure mobile device, Check Point insists-- according to the security company devices infected with the HummingBad malware already total 10 million globally.

HummingBad is allegedly developed by Yingmob, the highly organised Chinese group behind the Yispector iOS malware. It infects devices through the search of that most basic of needs, pornography, requires very little in terms of technical effort to run and generates revenues worth over $300000 monthly in fraudulent ad clicks.

CheckPoint adds HummingBad represents a disturbing first step for its creators-- emboldened by its success, Yingmob can potentially take mobile malware to entirely new directions, creating powerful botnets to conduct highly-targeted attacks or sell access to devices to the highest bidder.

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