Opinions & Analysis

Returning to the in the New Year is often an unusual time; your inbox is either stuffed full of alerts that are days out of date, or it is empty waiting for you to take action to start.   In my case, I returned to some pretty major stories surrounding the leak of 4.6 million user details from Snapchat. That company took its time to respond to the criticism, and the problems were not helped...

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Today we’re launching the brand new IT Security Guru website, and we couldn't be happier with how it looks!   From when I started here last year, I began asking people in the industry what they thought of the old site and often the response was "we like the content but it is hard to know what’s your work". Well, we've addressed that and created a site that is easier to navigate and read. Also...

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From my last day at work on the 19th December, the internet has been rather busy with information security news. In an effort to summarise, the holiday period started with the news that security giant RSA was alleged to have a backdoor in its products, which came about after the NSA paid it $10 million. Reuters reported that RSA received the cash in a deal that set the NSA formula as the preferred, or default, method for number...

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One area of 2013 that has really interested me has been around bug bounty payments and the trading With the introduction of the Hacker One programme, Yahoo’s situation regarding payment for a bounty and the dilemma of who you sell a bug too, the story has been prominent throughout this year. A statement from Kaspersky from this year said that it encouraged attention to be paid to “the flourishing, unregulated marketplace where zero-day exploits are traded among agencies with unlimited budgets”; while the Hacker...

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The biggest name in information security in 2013 has made two new appearances in recent days. Firstly, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden praised a legal ruling over the NSA’s collection of American citizens’ phone calls. In a statement published by the New York Times, Snowden said that he believed that that the NSA’s mass surveillance programs would not withstand a constitutional challenge, and that the American public deserved a chance to see these issues determined by open...

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The majority of major botnets have been distrupted in recent years, leaving new start-ups” as those will be next to be taken down.   Last week saw Microsoft, Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3), the FBI and security companies further disrupt the ZeroAccess botnet. Allegedly infecting two million endpoints and costing online advertisers upwards of $2.7 million each month, the botnet targeted major search engines and browsers, where it hijacked search results and directed people to...

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In a recent article, I detailed how businesses should consider a “security evangelist” to enable the IT team to have someone on company floors “preaching” about IT security and gathering feedback on what does not work.   Peter Wood, CEO of First Base Technologies, who first planted the seed with me about this, said that he was keen to create a talking point about this point and during the a week after I posted this...

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It seems that security was not to blame when it came to the glitch that hit NatWest yesterday.   According to BBC News, RBS has said that it is does not know the cause of a major glitch, which apparently saw long lines at cashpoints, but it “was working through a detailed analysis”, and called it “completely unacceptable”. It reported that as well as the queues, many of which were not working, customers were unable to...

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Following the major Adobe breach in October, both Facebook and Evernote have sent notices to users warning about passwords.   In the case of Facebook, it asked those it identified to answer some security questions before granting them access, according to BBC News. Security blogger Brian Krebs reported that a Facebook spokesman said that it “actively look for situations where the accounts of people who use Facebook could be at risk—even if the threat is external...

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When Time magazine announces its “person of the year” for 2013, it could do worse than to follow its two “objects” of 1982’s computer and 1988’s planet earth with the BitCoin.   With stories of hyperinflation to Silk Road, the internet-based currency, the humble BitCoin has had plenty of headlines in 2013 and in the past few days, this has not abated. For example, the Register reported that the soaring price of BitCoin has prompted...

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