Thursday, March 19, 2015

Facebook adds a controversial feature: payments between users

Today's a great day for more than a billion people registered on Facebook. The social network has added a novelty to Messenger that allows users to send money to each other. They'll only need to add a credit card number to their account and protect payments with a password or dual factor authentication. But what is great for users is seen as a serious threat to some security experts.

There has always been a double standard on the Internet: the user and those who know how machines work. While users just see graphic design, marketing and social joy of having thousands of friends, experts see Facebook's little security with photos, accounts and generally privacy of those who use the service. We cross our fingers and hope that this time would be different.

Others who play with fire are the leaders of North Korea: its neighbor South Korea ensures that in Decembre this country made several cyber attacks against a nuclear plant: Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Co. Ltd. What a peril! Luckily South Korea did not use the Stuxnet virus, which physically damages nuclear plants, as Israel did in 2010 against Iranian nuclear facilities.

Speaking of the Islamic Republic of Iran, security company Trend Micro has just published a report that uncovers activities of a cybercriminal group called Rocket Kitten. His latest feat known: Operation Woolen Goldfish, whose goals have been political and economic leaders of that country. Criminals sent personalized emails requesting victims to download a PowerPoint file from Microsoft OneDrive. The file contained a spy virus.

We're seeing more and more politically motivated attacks, which sometimes put in a jam companies dedicated to security, as explains an interesting article by Reuters that has consulted the major companies. Some refuse to work with Russians or Chinese not to look like traitors to their Western customers. Others would think long before publishing a cyberwar operation. In words of cryptography expert Bruce Schneier: "I would not be surprised if the NSA went to Symantec and McAfee and asked them not to detect something".

We left it in the air, to encourage our readers to read this interesting article.


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