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Cyber Security News of the Week, April 13, 2014
by Fred F. Farkel, Monday, April 14th, 2014


Guest column by Citadel Information Group

Identity Theft

GAO: IRS has information security control weaknesses: The Internal Revenue Service continues to have weaknesses in information security control that the Government Accountability Office fears could affect the confidentiality, integrity and availability of financial and sensitive taxpayer data. FCW, April 9, 2014

Cyber Threat

Advanced Attacks Are The New Norm, Study Says: According to the Websense 2014 Threat Report, most malicious exploits now are advanced and targeted. DarkReading, April 4, 2014

Cyber Update

Adobe, Microsoft Push Critical Fixes: Adobe and Microsoft each issued updates to fix critical security vulnerabilities in their software today. Adobe patched its Flash Player software and Adobe AIR. Microsoft issued four updates to address at least 11 unique security flaws, including its final batch of fixes for Office 2003 and for systems powered by Windows XP. KrebsOnSecurity, April 8, 2014

Cyber Warning

Microsoft drops Windows XP support: Microsoft ended support of Windows XP on Tuesday, leaving the many still clinging to the outdated software exposed to cyberattacks. CNN, April 8, 2014

Hackers Lurking in Vents and Soda Machines: Unable to breach the computer network at a big oil company, hackers infected with malware the online menu of a Chinese restaurant that was popular with employees. The New York Times, April 7, 2014

Cyber Defense — Heartbleed

Millions of Android Devices Vulnerable to Heartbleed Bug: Millions of smartphones and tablets running Google Inc. (GOOG:US)’s Android operating system have the Heartbleed software bug, in a sign of how broadly the flaw extends beyond the Internet and into consumer devices. BusinessWeek, April 11, 2014

FFIEC Issues Heartbleed Warning; Major Banks Say They’re Protected: As regulators told financial institutions Thursday to figure out fixes to a website software coding error that could put some online and mobile banking applications at risk, banks assured customers that their online sites are fine. A few lingering vulnerabilities may remain, however, in banks’ networks that will take time to find and patch. American Banker, April 11, 2014

Apple’s iOS, OS X don’t have Heartbleed bug but BBM for iOS and Android do: Apple iOS and OS X devices aren’t affected by the Heartbleed bug, but BlackBerry’s BBM and Secure Work Spaces are — and the company says it lacks a fix for the issue. ZDNet, April 11, 2014

Heartbleed Bug hits at heart of many Cisco, Juniper products: Network World – The Heartbleed Bug, a flaw in OpenSSL that would let attackers eavesdrop on Web, e-mail and some VPN communications, is a vulnerability that can be found not just in servers using it but also in network gear from Cisco and Juniper Networks. Both vendors say there’s still a lot they are investigating about how Heartbleed impacts their products, and to expect updated advisories on a rolling basis. NetworkWorld, April 10, 2014

Heartbleed bug: What you need to know: This week it has emerged that a major security flaw at the heart of the internet may have been exposing users’ personal information and passwords to hackers for the past two years. BBC, April 10, 2014

Heartbleed Bug: What Can You Do?: In the wake of widespread media coverage of the Internet security debacle known as the Heartbleed bug, many readers are understandably anxious to know what they can do to protect themselves. Here’s a short primer. KrebsOnSecurity, April 10, 2014

The Heartbleed Hit List: The Passwords You Need to Change Right Now: An encryption flaw called the Heartbleed bug is already being called one of the biggest security threats the Internet has ever seen. The bug has affected many popular websites and services — ones you might use every day, like Gmail and Facebook — and could have quietly exposed your sensitive account information (such as passwords and credit card numbers) over the past two years. Mashable, April 9, 2014

Half a million widely trusted websites vulnerable to Heartbleed bug: A serious overrun vulnerability in the OpenSSL cryptographic library affects around 17% of SSL web servers which use certificates issued by trusted certificate authorities. Already commonly known as the Heartbleed bug, a missing bounds check in the handling of the TLS heartbeat extension can allow remote attackers to view up to 64 kilobytes of memory on an affected server. This could allow attackers to retrieve private keys and ultimately decrypt the server’s encrypted traffic or even impersonate the server. NetCraft, April 8, 2014

Experts Find a Door Ajar in an Internet Security Method Thought Safe: A flaw has been discovered in one of the Internet’s key security methods, potentially forcing a wide swath of websites to make changes to protect the security of consumers. The New York Times, April 8, 2014

Critical crypto bug exposes Yahoo Mail, other passwords Russian roulette-style: Lest readers think “catastrophic” is too exaggerated a description for the critical defect affecting an estimated two-thirds of the Internet’s Web servers, consider this: at the moment this article was being prepared, the so-called Heartbleed bug was exposing end-user passwords, the contents of confidential e-mails, and other sensitive data belonging to Yahoo Mail and almost certainly countless other services. ars technica, April 8, 2014

Cyber Security Management

Inside the NIST Framework to Improve Cybersecurity: President Obama’s Executive Order 13636, “Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity,” issued a year ago, established U.S. policy for maintaining a cyber environment that encourages “efficiency, innovation, and economic prosperity while promoting safety, security, business confidentiality, privacy, and civil liberties.” The Order calls for a voluntary, risk-based cybersecurity framework. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) recently released the framework, a set of industry standards and best practices to help organizations manage cybersecurity risks. The NIST framework is not intended to replace existing processes, but to complement business and cybersecurity operations. Enterprises can use the framework as part of their processes for identifying, assessing and managing cybersecurity risk. An organization can overlay its current process onto the framework to find “gaps in its current cybersecurity risk approach and to develop a roadmap to improvement.” The framework is a collaboration between industry and government and consists of standards, guidelines and practices. For a copy of the framework, click hereCIO Insight, April 10, 2014

National Cyber Security

NSA Said to Exploit Heartbleed Bug for Intelligence for Years: The U.S. National Security Agency knew for at least two years about a flaw in the way that many websites send sensitive information, now dubbed the Heartbleed bug, and regularly used it to gather critical intelligence, two people familiar with the matter said. Bloomberg, April 11, 2014

Cyber Law

Andrew Auernheimer’s computer hacking conviction is overturned by appeals court: A federal appeals court on Friday overturned the conviction of a prominent computer hacker whose imprisonment had highlighted a growing debate over whether the government is overreaching in its campaign against cybercrime. The Washington Post, April 11, 2014

Judge Says FTC Can Bring Enforcement Actions Regarding Corporate Data Security Practices: In a critically important data security case, a Federal District Court ruling on a motion to dismiss brought by Wyndham hotels, sided with the government in deciding that the Federal Trade Commission has authority under the unfairness prong of the FTC Act to bring enforcement actions to remedy unreasonable data security practices. Forbes, April 8, 2014

Cyber Sunshine

Man behind racketeering, other cybercrime, pleading guilty: A Georgia man agreed to plead guilty to federal racketeering charges associated with the so-called criminal enterprise that trafficked and manufactured stolen and counterfeit credit cards resulting in $50 million in losses globally. Ars Technica, April 9, 2014

Cyber Calendar

ISSA-LA Sixth Annual Information Security Summit, May 16, Universal City Hilton. Speakers include Richard Clarke, former Assistant to the President; Jackie Lacey, Los Angeles County District Attorney;Jeremiah Grossman, Founder & iCEO, WhiteHat SecurityMarcus RanumCSO, Tenable; Marc MaiffretCTO, Beyond Trust; Jim Manico, Secure Coding Instructor and Author, Global OWASP Board of Directors; Ira WinklerISSA International PresidentAndrea HoyISSA International Vice-President. For more information and to register, visit ISSA-LA.

Copyright © 2014 Citadel Information Group. All rights reserved.

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