Growing North Korean cyber capability

Recent missile launches from the DPRK have received a lot of attention, however their cyber offensives have also been active and are growing in sophistication.

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Cryptojacking boom

Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin have been the focus of acute attention recently. Just about everybody knows someone or has heard of someone making windfall profits from 2017’s spectacular price rises in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The sector has also not escaped attention from cybercriminals with incidents of cryptojacking rapidly escalating. Higher cryptocurrency prices increase the returns from coin mining, making cryptojacking an attractive target of cybercrime. IBM reported a 6-fold increase in cyptocurrency mining attacks between Jan-Aug 2017, and Wandera found a 287% increase on mobile devices between October and November 2017.
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IoT device guidelines

On several occasions I’ve written about insecurities of the Internet of Things – such as here, here, here, here and here. Recently, four US Senators decided to do something about it, and with the help of the Atlantic Council and Harvard University, have drafted a bill outlining minimum security requirements for IoT device purchases by US Federal agencies. The bill is bipartisan, proposed by two Republican Senators – Steve Daines (MT) and Cory Gardner (CO), and two Democrats – Mark Warner (VA) and Ron Wydon (OR). The proposed legislation is to be known as the Internet of Things Cybersecurity Improvement Act of 2017. It is a good start, and examining its provisions provides insight into many IoT device security vulnerabilities and solutions.
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Mac attack

After years of enjoying relative security through obscurity, many attack vectors have recently proved successful on Apple Mac, opening the Mac up to future attack. A refection of this is the final quarter of 2016, when Mac OS malware samples increased by 247% according to McAfee. Even though threats are still much lower than for Windows OS users, Mac users cannot afford to be blissfully complacent as they may have been in the past.

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Securing autonomous vehicles

roborace2

Roborace unveiled the design for their autonomous race car at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week. Without a driver the car is lightweight and high performing. Powered by four 300kW motors which run off a 540kWh battery, the vehicle is capable of speeds up to 200 mph.

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Times are a changin’

At the start of a new year we look ahead to identify broad technological advancements with disruptive potential – and examine likely security implications. I believe there are two trends which will shape IT security in a profound way.

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The changing face of ransomware

2016 saw a rapid rise to prominence of ransomware, with estimates of $1 billion in proceeds going to ransomware threat actors making it a major crime activity. I’ve written before about ransomware (here, here and here) – this post looks at interesting recent developments.
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