Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Cyber crime doesn't have a father


“I'm a father; that's what matters most. Nothing matters more.” Those are words from the former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Like him, many men see their children as their main reason for living. Today is a day to honor them, to recognize their work, their love and all the efforts given to their offspring.

Unfortunately, cybercriminals have other priorities, so the "Father's Day" is not enough good reason to stop their attacks. In fact, the situation in Crimea has led to a huge increase in cyberwar activity against Ukraine. Dozens of Ukrainian networks and government systems have been infected with spyware or malicious software that provides access and control of networks and databases to hackers. In addition, some servers are being bombarded with DoS and DDoS attacks.


Furthermore, ESET has disclosed the Operation Widingo, whereby it was discovered a group of cybercriminals who infected up to 25,000 Unix servers since 2011 and used them both to infect half a million daily visitors to a number of websites such as to send more than 35 million malware-laden spam messages per day. Of course, one of those emails would not be the best gift for Father's Day.

But not all hackers have malicious aims. For example, the Turkish hacker Ibrahim Balic said he did not expect to crash Google Play while he was testing an app designed by him to test a system’s bug. But he did, twice, so he has apologized for it.

In any case, threats on the Internet are many and varied. For instance, any father should be concerned about the security of his children’s personal data. They are aware of it at Facebook, so they have developed different security policies over the years. Although they do not encrypt all traffic between their off-site data centers, they do on key data streams. Moreover, three years ago they implemented two-step authentication which has already been adopted by one third of their users.

Precisely the extra layer of security provided by two-step authentication is an issue that software engineer Josh Davis is very concerned about. Therefore, he has created a website, twofactorauth.org, wherein any user can check what web services offer this type of identification.

We want to finish giving you fatherly advice: Upgrade your Shockwave Player plug-in to version 12.1.0.150Adobe's just released it to address a vulnerability that could allow an attacker to remotely execute arbitrary code. Happy Father's Day to all of you!

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