Wednesday, April 30, 2014

April's cyberthreats

“April is the cruellest month.” Today, the poet and playwright T. S. Eliot - author of the quote - would be very happy. Finally the fourth month of the year is about to end. It has left behind one of the most serious vulnerabilities in recent times, the Heartbleed one in OpenSSL._

But Heartbleed is not the only threat that April brought us. In fact, some researchers have discovered a security issue on Telegram instant messaging app. The flaw lies in the authentication between the client and the server, which could result in an attacker accessing to a user account. Anyway, the vulnerability only affects Telegram unofficial apps. Hopefully its creators will fix this situation soon. For example, as Adobe did releasing an update that covers a serious vulnerability affecting its Flash player for Windows, Mac or Linux.

We wish all online threats in the world were only those. But recently it has been discovered the phishing technique used by an Eastern European cybercriminal ring which spent several years spamming customers of smaller U.S. financial firms with text messages urging them to call a phone number in order to reactivate their credit cards. Once they call, will reach an interactive voice response system via VoIP that will ask them to  say their PIN and bank card number.

Cyberspace is also used by criminals to launder money from illegal activities through online casinos, according to the Intel Security’s "Jackpot! Money Laundering Through Online Gambling" report. Therefore, it is not surprising that the Spanish Secretary of State for Defence, Pedro Argüelles, asserts that "huge returns in efficiency and effectiveness are produced through the network, but also it opens up vulnerabilities that can not be ignored." Therefore, the European Union plans to invest 2,500 million euros in the sector in 2015.

We want to end April with an interesting anecdote. Did you know that part of the computer system that controls the launch of the Minuteman III missiles of the U.S. Air Force is loaded from 8 inch floppy disks? The objective of this outdated technology there is to provide an extra layer of security for the entire system.


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