Monday, May 19, 2014

A wide color range of cyberthreats

Green, brown, blue, pink, orange, red, violet... The cyberthreats’ landscape is multicolored and affects a wide range of subjects ranging from large retail chains or ATM’s to satellite communications or even security firms.

Today there is only one way to stay away from the risks of electronic devices and data networks: to live completely isolated and incommunicado. The rest of us actually are and will always be potential victims of the dangers of cyberspace.

If you go to withdraw some money from an ATM, it is possible that cybercriminals get you card details and use them to fleece you without leaving their home. In fact, more and more of them are taking advantage of the bank's wireless networks to hack ATMs without physically accessing them. However, they can also get the details of your credit card infecting the point of sales of the stores where you buy. Therefore, the  U.S. Retail Industry Leadership Association (RILA) along with Lowe's, The Gap, Target and Nike, have launched the Retail Cyber Intelligence Sharing Center (R-CISC) aimed by the objective of sharing information about cyber attacks suffered by each of its members.

However, there are some much more striking possible scenarios. Imagine you are travelling by plane and it loses every communication link due to a hacker’s attack; or moreover the cruise in which you are spending your holidays receives false weather reports so it is forced to change its route. According to the Spanish researcher at IOActive, Ruben Santamarta, all satellite communication products analyzed by him contained hidden backdoors and other forms of hidden access that could represent a serious security risk. Perhaps a exploit-kit, like the one discovered by security company IntelCrawler in the underground market, could eventually exploit theses weaknesses in the future. So far Infinity, which is how it is called, exploits vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer 10 and 11, Opera and Firefox.

We know many of you are aware of these dangers and you do what you can to protect yourselves, right? For example, installing antivirus software on all your devices. Well, you must be careful! Antivirus company Kaspersky has detected fake security apps on both Windows Phone and Android under Kaspersky’s brand. A full-scale fraud.

So... What can we do against such a hostile environment? Fighting. In this regard, we need the best talent, the most motivated young people who are eager to stop cybercriminals. Britain's Government Communications Headquarters and National Crime Agency are looking for this kind of candidates. For this reason, they kicked off the fourth "Cyber Security Challenge," a competition in which young students from universities in UK and the European Union are called to deal with a fictitious cybercriminal organization called Flag Day Associates.


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