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Friday Five: 1/13 Edition

by Ellen Zhang on Friday January 13, 2017

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It's Friday! Catch up on the latest infosec headlines with our weekly news roundup.

1. WhatsApp backdoor allows snooping on encrypted messages by Manisha Ganguly

WhatsApp, which rolled out full end-to-end encryption on all forms of communication within its app earlier in 2016, is now being slammed for a security backdoor that can allow Facebook, its parent company, and others to intercept and read “encrypted” messages. WhatsApp relies on unique security keys that are traded and verified between users. However, WhatsApp can generate new encryption keys for offline users or make the sender re-encrypt messages with new keys and send them again for messages not marked as delivered. The danger lies in that the recipient is not notified of the change in encryption and the sender is only notified after the message has been sent and only if they’ve opted into encryption warnings. The re-encryption and rebroadcasting of messages allows for WhatsApp to intercept and read users’ messages and entire conversations, which in turn can allow governments to snoop. Read the full article on The Guardian.

2. Suspected NSA tool hackers dump more cyberweapons in farewell by Michael Kan

Shadow Brokers, the hacking group that allegedly stole cyberweapons from the NSA, has dumped an arsenal of tools for hacking Windows and Unix on Thursday as they bid farewell. The dump includes 61 files containing previously unknown exploits. They had originally tried to auction off the tools for bitcoins but were unsuccessful in raising enough money and decided to release a batch for free, although they claim to have more in reserve. For more info, head to ITWorld.

3. Rudy Giuliani to coordinate regular cybersecurity meetings between Trump, tech leaders by Tim Greene

Donald Trump has appointed former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani to be his cyber adviser. Giuliani, who is chairman of the cybersecurity, privacy, and crisis-management practice for the law firm Greenberg Taurig, will be responsible for gathering top cybersecurity leads for regular meetings with the Trump administration to discuss the nation’s cyber defenses. The goal of bringing in leaders from the private sector is to make sure the government is getting all the information available to the private sector to come up with cybersecurity answers that the public sector may not have. Concerns about Giuliani’s appointment have risen following inspection of his own company’s website, which were full of vulnerabilities and “security nightmares”. Read the full article to learn more about this appointment.

4. Crims shut off Ukraine power in wide-ranging anniversary hacks by Darren Pauli

Last December, Ukraine was hit by hackers targeting power supplies. On the anniversary of the attack, this past December, Ukraine was once again hit. Phishing, DDoS, and other malware attacks were used in this four day exploitation that began on December 16th. In addition, earlier that month, the Ministry of Finance, Defense Ministry, and other government departments were victims of cyber-attacks. Though the attackers’ origins were not disclosed, some point the finger at Russia. For more info, read the full article.

5. Who poses the biggest security threat: Insiders or outsiders? by Gordon Hunt

2016 was yet again proof that cyberattacks continue to be on the rise. Traditionally, we think of hackers as outsider threats; however, time and time again data breaches have resulted from people within the company, whether they were acting maliciously or not. Check out Digital Guardian's new infographic on whether insiders or outsiders pose the greatest cybersecurity threat.

Tags:  Security News

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