Friday, January 12, 2018

"Humor" festival at the beginning of the year

The best of the week in cybersecurity

If it were not for serious issues, many weeks you could think that cybersecurity is a festival of cheap humor if you look back to see what has been in the news for the last days. Something halfway between a hard joke and a tasteless experience, where you find improbable flaws, things with political sarcasm, patches that create problems where there were none, and European laws that beyond Europe even half of the affected don't know. Fortunately, in the meantime, there are who take things seriously and remind us that the security of our data and our information is something crucial for everyone, every day.


If you have not heard of Meltdown and Spectre in recent weeks, lucky you are in your disconnected paradisiacal island. For all the others, these two have been the scariest names of the digital experience, because they told us that nobody was safe. Except from AMD, where they said since the first hour that their microprocessors were secure, but... party was quickly off for the users and customers of the company. During the weekend, the same Microsoft patch that restored peace of mind to users with Intel devices, left the AMDs frozen at the launching of the operating system.
If you think that it deserves a facepalm, it is really nothing compared to the pineapple of the Taiwanese police. In December, they awarded participants in an infosec contest with USB devices... with an unattractive tenant inside. Well, at least it was an "old" malware, called XtbSeDuA.exe, but even that it is not easy to understand a police force disseminating malware without control. And especially in an information security contest.

Is there anyone in the room who knows what that GDPR is? The question is pertinent, since in theory everyone has warned in one way or another that European regulation for data protection in two shakes of a lamb's tail. But it seems that it is not arriving where it must. Or it arrives, but nobody gets it. MediaPro has published a survey that ensures that... half of the US employees have not even heard those four initials in their life: General Data Protection Regulation? "What the hell?".

With one thing and another, the cyber-yard is unruly at this beginning of the year. Luckily we also have the "good guys" doing their job. Like those in AlienVault, thanks to which we know about Monero, a cryptocurrency miner sending the benefits to Kim Jong Un University, that is, the most anachronistic (and perhaps one of the most dangerous) leaders on the face of the planet. Or like those in VirusTotal, which have just launched a powerful graphical interface aimed to malware analysts, so their task is more intuitive, more effective, and more comprehensive.

Beware of this: AlienVault and VirusTotal. Two companies with ten letters each one, and founded... Where? In Spain! At the end it will turn out that bullfighting, paella and flamenco is a cliché, and that some friendly Spaniards are taking the future seriously. Never better said, OLÉ!

Photo: pexels

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