Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Playing safe

“An inefficient virus kills its host. A clever virus stays with it” (English scientist James Lovelock). Indeed a large proportion of computer viruses try to live undetected in the victim's computer as long as possible.

If the affected user does not care about installing an antivirus protection, the malware could survive on his device for a long time. Therefore, in the market for security solutions, competition to attract consumer’s attention is fierce and leads to ads as aggressive as today’s video. Security firm Sophos presents an apocalyptic scenario as a result of having their systems protected with McAfee solutions, rather than with their own products.

Microsoft is another company that have an important role in the world of cybersecurity. From Redmond, the creators of Windows proposed to change the strategy in order to eradicate the different families of malware once and for all. To do this, they request coordination and full cooperation across the entire industry, from security companies and emergency centers to anti-fraud organizations and law enforcement.

Another area of concern for Microsoft is the NSA’s surveillance programs. The reputation of the big players of Internet suffered a setback after it was known that they provided personal data from its own user’s accounts to the Agency. In an attempt to clear their name, Microsoft, along with Google, Facebook, Yahoo and LinkedIn, have finally gotten authorization from the U.S. Government to disclose the number of accounts for which they have received requests for information under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. In total, they were about 60,000.

Nobody likes that a company provides his personal information to an intelligence service, even prior court order. But much less than a few hackers take them after an attack on his phone operator’s website, as it happened to 800,000 Orange’s customers in France. Experts warn that such personal details could be used to make highly well-targeted phishing attacks.

The British National Health Service (NHS) website has also been the target of a cyberattack. In this case, a developer’s mistake allowed a hacker to redirect hundreds of NHS website’s pages to advertising and malicious websites.

Returning to the Sophos’ advert, what would the British-American firm think about the malware created as proof of concept (PoC) for iOS and Android devices by Trustwave investigator, Neal Hindocha? It is a piece of malicious software that detects keystrokes on the phone screen so it can record your bank account PIN or email password. We hope Sophos, McAfee and the rest of security companies launch soon some security solutions to protect our mobile devices from such trojans.


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