Monday, February 20, 2017

The day the little bird did not fly away

A year ago, today...

Fashions come and go, this is something known by almost everyone. And if our reference is the most powerful country in the world, we must take it into account with aspects that sooner or later affect all of us: Is their election of presidents, for example, one of these fashions? And even more disturbing, beyond the familiar chatter with Donald Trump: should his "lessons" of safety be imitated? It is paradoxical that one of the most consumer countries in the world is the biggest credit card fraud to have incorporated the 'smart chip' later than most European or African countries.

If we look back, as we do every Monday, and focus on the most relevant news of last year, we would seriously consider what "fashions" we should follow. Beginning with the worldwide crash in Twitter, the microblogging network par excellence, and whose blackout was for many addicts to 140 characters little more or less than the end of the world. It was ironic that the trending topic of that day was #TwitterDown, because during the down it was technically impossible to tweet anything. So, elemental dear Watson, that's what all users talked about as soon as the service was restored. Jokey comments aside, that day the shares of the company fell by no less than 7%. Jokes are not allow in front of such a blackout, and more if we consider that it was caused by a defective program raised to production.

Also by that time there was another "fashion" active whose objective was the platforms of electronic commerce Magento. We talked about a malware that was presented as a patch to solve a security hole of Magento that had been solved a year ago, but that had not been applied by everybody. The malware stole the credentials and credit cards stored on the platform and encrypted them into a .jpg file. How to protect yourself? Patching Magento by downloading the patch from the official site. That is, doing what should have been done at the time, because it was more than just a "fashion".

Another "fashion" of the world today are patents. So much that a year ago we knew as some banks, had increased in three years by 36%, compared to the previous period, the number of patents, to reach a total of 1,192. Why did a sector that traditionally appeared to be reluctant to the same, suddenly jumped on board? The explanation, according to an article in "Bloomberg Business", had to look for it in the great liking to the patents of the companies of Silicon Valley. Let us remember that, not in vain, banks are some of the great actors of our world of our day, that of cybersecurity. Come and read.

And closing with this peculiar Monday fashions show, when a cyber attack has a proven origin, it is easy that we end up finding more examples with the same seal. That was the account of a thorough investigation carried out by the Spanish Jaime Blasco and the Ecuadorian Juan Andrés Guerrero-Saade. The objective of their search was the hackers after the already mythical attack to the company Sony. Were they still active? According to the investigators, they would have detected patterns present in the attack against Sony that would place them in attacks against South Korea. Did this ratify that the attack came from North Korea? They did not want to enter into this aspect because they claimed that their work was not attribution but, somehow, it could be read between the lines.

After giving this review and comparing it with the current news, we can say that attacks on large companies form a fashion that does not cease; and although more cybersecurity measures are being taken, there is still a long way to go and much malware to prevent, patch or eliminate. There is also much to be resolved on fronts that are not so unrelated to us, because in the end they affect us, such as the role in the world of North Korea. Or the US. or that of Russia ... For this reason, cybersecurity professionals have no choice but to broaden their horizons, work hard and investigate new techniques and programs to prevent attacks, to apply to both large and small companies.



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