From malware on Google's Android phones to the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency trying to understand how stories or narratives impact security and human behaviour, the security world certainly is never boring. Here we take a look at 20 security stories that have shaped the industry in the past few months.
Anonymous forces HBGary Federal CEO to step down
The hactivist group Anonymous has won for now its skirmish with the CEO of HBGary Federal, the network security firm whose emails were stolen and posted on the internet, leaving the company red-faced over the content as well as the ease with which its network was hacked. CEO Aaron Barr told Threatpost that he's stepping down in order to help the company regain its reputation and to start improving his own. His promise to expose the names of Anonymous members recently drew an attack that yielded more than 50,000 HBGary Federal emails that the group posted on the internet. The group also detailed publicly how it exploited weak passwords and unpatched servers to crack the network, then used information on passwords it gleaned to break into the company's Gmail accounts.
US indicts 27 in Apple product credit-card fraud ring
New York prosecutors indicted 27 people in February as part of a crime ring that bought Apple iPods, iPads and other products with stolen credit card information for resale in the criminal underground. In raids conducted on February 1, agents seized $300,000 in cash, three firearms and ammunition as well as equipment to make fake credit cards from the gang, which split into two operations running from June 2008 through the end of last year.
Cloud services could bolster national cybersecurity
The shift to cloud computing offers an opportunity to better secure the national digital infrastructure by concentrating the burden of cybersecurity among a relatively small number of service providers rather than thousands of individual businesses, according to a report by a foreign policy think tank. "Cloud computing has weaknesses, but it also offers the opportunity to aggregate and automate cyber defence," according to a new report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Will electronic toll systems become terrorist targets?
Weaknesses in 802.11p vehicular wireless networks could make them targets for terrorists seeking to wreak havoc on motorways, according to a presentation at the recent Black Hat DC conference. The technology will someday be used for controlling traffic flow and warning drivers of highway dangers - a system that could be exploited if not implemented properly, says Rob Havelt, director of penetration testing at security vendor Trustwave's SpiderLabs.
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