Computer Security Updates Week 2 of June 2013

Refer to Computer Security Updates Week 5 of May 2013; in which the biggest news was Twitter beefed up security with two-factor security system.

For this week / last week, here are / were the biggest news.
  • McAfee publishes Q1 2013 threat report.
  • Symantec publishes Internet Security Threat Report v 18 (for 2012 data).
  • Sophos appoints Mavisco Resources as distributor in Malaysia.
  • Evernote introduces three new security features.
  • Kaspersky Lab publishes Q1 2013 security reports.
  • Bit9 blog reported that US electric grids under persistent cyber-attacks.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. / SINGAPORE – June 4, 2012 - McAfee Q1 2013 Threat Report Sees Social Media Worm Resurgence as SPAM Rises Dramatically

According to the McAfee Labs research, the increase in the number and sophistication of targeted advanced persistent threats (APTs) represented the most notable evolution in the threat landscape, as information becomes as valuable as money on the cybercrime landscape.

The following is a summary of key developments that McAfee Labs have identified:·
  • Koobface Trojan - McAfee detected activities despite the fact that Koobface gang were busted by authorities in Jan 2012.
  • Spam Volume
  • Targeted Espionage
  • MBR Attacks
  • Malicious URLs
  • Mobile Malware
  • PC Malware

In the Q1 threat report, these are some of the findings with regards to the South East Asian region:

  • Philippine Cyber Army launched a politically motivated attack on 175 Malaysian sites, including several state-owned pages, in response by earlier attacks from Malaysian hackers.
  • Indonesia has a prevalent amount of Darkmailer botnets.
  • Online banking users in Thailand were assailed by mobile criminals.

Get more details.

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – June 3, 2013 – Symantec Publishes Internet Security Threat Report v 18 (for 2012 data)

Symantec Corp.’s Internet Security Threat Report, Volume 18 - with data based on 2012 - reveals a few key observations and trends.
  • 42% surged in targeted attacks compared to 2011.
  • 31% of these attacks are on SMEs - SMEs are considered to be the weakest links for cyber attackers to penetrate bigger enterprises which the SMEs perform business dealing with.
  • Watering hole techniques have been observed.
  • Malaysia ranked 35 globally on Internet threat activities - up from ranking of 38 on 2011.
  • Mobile trends on the rise.
  • Ransomware on the rise - US $5 million extorted from victims in 2012.
  • Mac malware on the rise.

These trends and observations are paralleled with what we have observed already.

Click link here to the ISTR 18 main report:

Click link here to the ISTR18 appendices:

Get more details.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, June 3, 2013 – Sophos Appoints Mavisco Resources as Distributor in Malaysia

Sophos today announced the appointment of Mavisco Resources as a Distributor in Malaysia, for its complete security product portfolio. A leader in technology distribution and channel services, Mavisco Resources Sdn Bhd will provide strong focus on developing the public sector and SME segments of the Malaysian market for Sophos.

Mavisco will distribute the complete range of Sophos solutions including Endpoint Security, Encryption and Data Loss Prevention (DLP), Web and Email Protection, Mobile Control and Sophos Network Security, and Unified Threat Management (UTM).

Get more details.

May 31, 2013 - Evernote Introduces Three New Security Features

Evernote’s just made three new security features available:
  • Two-Step Verification - multi-factor authentication via text message or, if you prefer, generated by an app that runs on your smart phone, such as Google Authenticator.
  • Access History - this list includes all the versions of Evernote, along with locations and IP addresses. If you ever suspect that your account was accessed without your knowledge, you can check the history.
  • Authorized Applications - allows users to revoke any version of Evernote from your Evernote Web Account Settings. Once revoked, an app will request a password the next time its launched.
Get more details.

Petaling Jaya, May 31, 2013 - IT Threat Evolution in Q1 2013: New Incidents and Old Suspects

Kaspersky Lab publishes Q1 2013 security reports, the followings had emerged.
  • Red October - APT - In October 2012 Kaspersky Lab’s team of experts initiated an investigation following a series of attacks against computer networks targeting international diplomatic service agencies. A large scale cyber-espionage network was revealed and analyzed during the investigation. According to Kaspersky Lab’s analysis report, Operation Red October, called “Rocra” for short, is still active as of January 2013, and has been a sustained campaign dating back as far as 2007.
  • Malware MiniDuke - it leverages on 0-day vulnerability in Adobe Reader (CVE-2013-0640).
  • APT1 - another APT discovered - APT1 appears to be a division of the Chinese army.
  • Discovered targeted attack against Uyghur activists in China, utilizing malware for Android devices.
  • Mobile treats on the rise - detected in excess of 20,000 new mobile malware modifications in Feb, Mar 2013.
  • U.S ranked no 1 in terms of malicious hosting services.

Get more details.

Bit9 Blog, May 30, 2013 - US Electric Grid Under Persistent Cyber-Attacks

Bit9 reported that a dozen of utility companies in the U.S experienced daily APTs.

The author opines that being compliant doesn't guarantee cyber-security. Compliance standard such as North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) compliance standards forbid control systems being connected to consumer-facing or administrative networks - yet there were many incidents of data compromised cases emerged.

Examples of APTs which had attacked the energy sector include Stuxnet, Night Dragon and etc.

The author also opines that solving the problem is not as easy as investing into million dollars security solutions as silver bullet.

Internal IT culture is something which is often overlooked; such as preference of control syste based on Intel 486DX2 running Windows 2000 than Raspberry Pi SELinux platform - the reality is that Windows based system accounted for majority of cyber-attacks.

Get more details.


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