skip navigation

More signal. Less noise.

Daily briefing.

Against the background noise of Lizard Squad capers and Russian information operations, several vulnerabilities occupy security experts' attention.

A serious Linux flaw, "Ghost," has been found in the glibc library. The bug could allow an attacker to remotely execute malicious code on a vulnerable system. Qualys, which discovered the bug in Linux versions dating back to 2000, providently informed vendors before announcing the flaw publicly, and so patches are available.

Google doesn't dispute Core Security's report that Android Wi-Fi Direct is vulnerable to denial-of-service conditions, but it does dispute the severity of the flaw and doesn't plan to rush a patch.

Australian bug-hunter Mark Dowd has found a privacy hole in the otherwise highly private Blackphone — a specially configured text message can compromise the device.

G-DATA discerns a common hand behind Uroburos and the Project Cobra spyware campaign.

Bitdefender warns of malicious macros in MS Office documents. The documents are circulating via spam.

Apple's OS X update will address Thunderstrike and "evil maid" attacks.

In industry news, social media security start-up ZeroFOX announces its first acquisition: Vulnr — which is expected to enhance ZeroFOX's R&D capability. Darktrace thinks it's got the right metaphor for security — the human immune system — and that it's got the solutions to match the metaphor. IBM says reports of big layoffs are greatly exaggerated. Big Blue is also touting a newly developed cryptographic algorithm for identity protection.

As US cyber legislation works its way through Congress, Quartz suggests Estonia could teach the Americans a thing or two.


Today's issue includes events affecting Australia, Colombia, Estonia, European Union, Finland, France, Germany, India, Malaysia, Russia, Singapore, United Kingdom, United States.

Cyber Attacks, Threats, and Vulnerabilities

Top American Diplomat Decries 'Lies' of Russian Media (Foreign Policy) Victoria Nuland rebuts Russia Today's coverage of the Ukraine crisis and belittles the network's "tiny, tiny" audience in America

Alleged MAS hackers also took down Microsoft, Sony (Star Online) Lizard Squad, the hacker group which claimed responsibility for taking down Malaysia Airlines' (MAS) website on Monday, has also claimed credit in the past for the hacking of Microsoft's Xbox Live and the Sony's PlayStation Network

Linux flaw leaves web infrastructure vulnerable (Telegraph) Vital servers which run the internet, email and other services are vulnerable to malicious code injected by hackers, warns a security expert

The GHOST vulnerability: what you need to know ( Graham Cluley) GHOST is a serious vulnerability that has been discovered in the glibc library

Supposedly clean Office documents download malware (Help Net Security) Bitdefender is warning Microsoft Office users against the emergence of a new spam campaign that is looking to trick antispam filters in order to allow spam to pass freely into mailboxes. The campaign's success is elevated due to the attachment of what appears to be a 'clean' Microsoft document alongside the spam emails

Project Cobra malware attacks large networks (WKRG) G DATA Security experts analyse another digital spyware strain from the developers of Uroburos

No fix in sight for Android Wi-Fi Direct vulnerability (ZDNet) Google and a security company don't see eye-to-eye over a bug that can cause some Android devices to reboot under a remote attacker's orders

Bughunter cracks "absolute privacy" Blackphone — by sending it a text message (Naked Security) Serial Aussie bugfinder Mark Dowd has been at it again

Russian Dating Site Topface Hacked for 20 Million User Names (BloombergBusiness) User names and e-mail addresses of 20 million visitors to a Russia-based online dating service have been hacked and offered for sale on a website, according to fraud-detection software-maker Easy Solutions Inc

Taylor Swift's Twitter and Instagram accounts hacked (Naked Security) On Tuesday, 27 January 2015, hackers briefly got control of the Twitter and Instagram accounts of Taylor Swift, the Grammy-winning American pop-star, creating a stir on social media

Maldrone: Malware which hijacks your personal drone (ZDNet) A backdoor has been discovered in popular consumer drones which can hijack your favorite new flying toy

Java is the biggest vulnerability for US computers (CSO) Oracle's Java poses the single biggest security risk to US desktops, says a new report

Half Of Enterprises Worldwide Hit By DDoS Attacks, Report Says (Dark Reading) New data illustrates how distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks remain a popular attack weapon — and continue to evolve

Security Patches, Mitigations, and Software Updates

Apple fixes Thunderstrike and 3 Project Zero bugs in OS X 10.10.2 Yosemite (Naked Security) Apple is readying a series of fixes to defend Yosemite, its flagship operating system, from so-called 'evil maid' attacks

Google Engineer Explains Company's Decision not to Patch Bug in Older Android Versions (Threatpost) Google has taken quite a bit of heat in recent weeks for its decision not to patch a vulnerability in the WebView component of Android in older versions, leaving hundreds of millions of users exposed to potential attacks. Now, a Google engineer is explaining the company's reasoning, saying that patching older versions of the OS can be difficult and that users can run patched browsers, even on older versions of Android

Cyber Trends

What does the Internet of Everything mean for security? Cisco chief John Chambers explains (Straits Times) There are two types of companies: those who have been hacked, and those who don't yet know they have been hacked

Employees would sell passwords for $150 (Help Net Security) SailPoint uncovered a widespread level of employee indifference towards protecting sensitive corporate data, including personal information of customers. In fact, an alarming number of employees surveyed admitted they would sell their passwords, some for as little as $150 U.S. dollars. These stats are based on a global survey of 1,000 employees at large organizations

Insider threats changing security spending, report says (SC Magazine) The 2015 Vormetric Insider Threat Report found that a large majority of U.S. companies believe they are vulnerable to insider threats. To guard against insider threats, organizations should focus their attention on securing data rather than endpoints, research revealed in recent report indicated

DoD Official: Government Has Lost its Technological Edge Over Opponents (National Defense) A senior Defense Department official said the government has lost its technological edge and now must rely on industry to overmatch adversaries in the battlefields of the future

Reading the ENISA Threat Landscape 2014 report (Security Affairs) The European Union Agency for Network and Information Security has published the annual report on the cyber threat landscape "ENISA Threat Landscape 2014"


ZeroFOX Acquires Vulnr (ZeroFOX Blog) ZeroFOX recently made its first acquisition, buying stealth-mode mobile security firm Vulnr

Darktrace hopes to profit from window in market (CRN) Cambridge-headquartered security vendor says it uses cyber-defence akin to the human immune system

Watch These Security Software Stocks, Pacific Crest Says (Benzinga) In a report published Sunday, Pacific Crest Securities provided a preview on seven companies reporting across the infrastructure and security software space this week

KEYW Holding Corp. Receives Consensus Rating of "Buy" from Analysts (NASDAQ:KEYW) (Mideast Times) KEYW Holding Corp. logoKEYW Holding Corp. (NASDAQ:KEYW) has received a consensus recommendation of "Buy" from the nine brokerages that are currently covering the company

BitSight Security Ratings Significantly Alter the Cyber Security Status Quo (MarketWired) Company closes 2014, a year of growth, customer momentum and strategic partnerships

IBM disputes report of 112,000 layoffs (CNN Money) Could IBM be preparing for the biggest corporate layoff in history? It depends who you ask

IBM India staff still battle tech blues fearing more layoffs (Economic Times) For employees of IBM India, once considered the jewel in the crown of Big Blue, the coming weeks are expected to bring yet more layoffs and soul-searching about the unsettled nature of working in the software industry which has helped create a new middle in India over the past two decades

Northrop Grumman Awarded Cyber Security Contract by UK Government (CNN Money) Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) is among the companies that have been awarded a contract by the government of the United Kingdom to provide a range of cyber security solutions

CloudPassage Names Robert Thomas Chief Executive Officer (PRNewswire) Industry veteran chosen to Accelerate growth at cloud infrastructure security leader

Products, Services, and Solutions

Sniffing Radio-Frequency Emissions to Secure the Internet of Things (MIT Technology Review) Monitoring the usual behavior of Internet-connected devices could make it possible to detect malicious activity

Meat puppet security sucks… let machines find your flaws (Register) Darktrace: No, no, customers, you've got security all wrong

Darktrace and Drax Test ICS Behavioural Security (Computer Business Review) Machines using SCADA to contribute to machine-learning program

Adallom Extends FireEye Threat Analytics Platform With Cloud Visibility (MarketWired) Integration brings together Adallom's cloud application threat insights and alerts with FireEye's threat intelligence and enterprise-wide threat indicators to help protect organizations from attacks

Illumio's new security foundations can enable a new era of agility (ZDNet) Finally some innovation and progress in network security after years of siege mentality - map IT topography, label and write security policy for the modern digital world

Bit9 + Carbon Black Announces Carbon Black 5.0, First Endpoint Threat Detection and Response Solution to Deliver Continuous Recording and Live Response (Nasdaq) Enables incident responders to dramatically reduce malware dwell time with instant intervention and remediation of advanced, targeted attacks

Bitdefender Internet Security 2015 (PC Pro) Bitdefender's latest security package crams in the features, including a hardened browser and a decent selection of privacy tools

Eset Smart Security 8 review (PC Pro) Expert features sit alongside powerful security tools in Eset's latest release

New Collaboration Platform Witkit Introduces Personalized Cryptography to Prevent Data Breaches (Broadway World) Recognizing that security is one of the biggest concerns for consumers and businesses alike, a new platform launching today with $5 million in funding is the first-of-its kind to provide a centralized collaboration platform where users can communicate freely and securely

HP Enhances SureStart Tech to Protect Users From BIOS Attacks (eWeek) SureStart promises a self-healing PC BIOS and an "AirGap" technology, which is separated from the rest of the system to provide improved security

Virtru Announces General Availability of Its Encrypted Email and Digital Privacy Service (MarketWired) Free end-to-end email encryption available forever; advanced control features for businesses now available in Virtru Pro

Gemalto provides Banrisul Bank with Ezio solution for highly secure Mobile Banking (Nasdaq) Gemalto (Euronext NL0000400653 GTO), the world leader in digital security, announces that the Banco do Estado do Rio Grande do Sul (Banrisul) has deployed Gemalto's Ezio® Multi-Channel Authentication Solution to secure its expanding mBanking services. Banrisul is a leading financial institution in Brazil and will enable all of its 3.9 million customers to perform secure banking transactions using their smartphone or tablet with the highly versatile Ezio platform

Sri Lanka Telecom to Offer CYREN Cybersecurity Solution (PRNewswire) CYREN (NASDAQ: CYRN) today announced it signed Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) as one of its latest resellers. SLT will now offer the cloud-based CYREN WebSecurity solution that provides advanced cybersecurity and zero-hour threat protection

Check Point Launches New Industry-Leading Partner Program to Accelerate Security Innovation (CNN Money) The Check Point Stars program emphasizes a simple, flexible, collaborative and ultimately powerful relationship between Check Point and its partners

Siemens launches rugged cellular router to address distributed intelligence needs in harsh environments (CNW) Siemens Ruggedcom RX1400 is a multiprotocol intelligent node which combines Ethernet switching, routing, VPN, and firewall functionality with various WAN connectivity options. The device operates continuously within a −40° C to +85° C temperature range using a fanless design, and is equipped with a rugged metal housing that supports DIN rail, panel, or rack mounting

USPS IG: International mail forwarding, continuity shipping would be boon for business (FierceGovernmentIT) The Postal Service could gain some much-needed revenue with services such as international mail forwarding and continuity shipping, says the agency's watchdog in a report that explores the feasibility of non-postal products

Technologies, Techniques, and Standards

Data Security Fight Requires Alliances (CFO) An IBM systems security executive says organizations must think beyond their own companies and fight hacktivists across entire industry "ecosystems"

Putting Information Sharing into Context (Microsoft Cyber Trust Blog) Putting information sharing into context: new whitepaper offers framework for risk reduction

Companies must act quickly to tackle cyber crime (ComputerWeekly) The security challenge facing organisations is how best to ensure their enterprise security in an interconnected world where employees' ability to communicate anywhere and at any time via multiple devices puts them at greater risk of cyber attack

Security Think Tank: Use vulnerability management for Shellshock (ComputerWeekly) The vulnerability management process is one of the most important, most difficult and most badly implemented. This toxic combination provides for a seemingly endless stream of news headlines about data breaches

With Colocation Security, Never Assume Anything (Data Center Knowledge) British Telecom has gone a long way from the days Britain's General Post Office sanctioned installation of the first telephone in the country in the late 1870s. Better known today as simply BT, it is a multinational giant of telecommunications and every flavor of IT infrastructure outsourcing services with about $27 billion in annual revenue

Thwarting a new breed of cyberattack (FierceCIO) Cybercrime has evolved from simply stealing information for financial gain to ruthlessly infiltrating industries with the goals of destroying intellectual property, damaging reputation and crippling critical operating function

4 tips to make data protection everyone's business (Help Net Security) Most people wrongly assume that the burden of protecting workplace data across laptops, tablets and smartphones falls solely on your IT department

EHR audit catches snooping employee (Healthcare IT News) Electronic health records not only enable faster access to real-time patient data; they also make it a heck of a lot easier to catch snooping employees who inappropriately view patients' confidential information, as one California hospital has observed this past week

Design and Innovation

IBM's sophisticated cryptographic algorithm protects your identity (Help Net Security) IBM researchers revealed plans for a cloud-based technology, called Identity Mixer, that uses a cryptographic algorithm to encrypt the certified identity attributes of a user, such as their age, nationality, address and credit card number in a way that allows the user to reveal only selected pieces to third parties


NSA & Homeland Security Re-Designate Capella University as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cyber Defense (BusinessWire) The online university is currently one of only 50 educational institutions nationwide to receive the designation

Legislation, Policy, and Regulation

The impact of new EU security legislation (Help Net Security) Based on a survey of organizations from the UK, France and Germany, FireEye found that many organizations in Europe are unprepared for and challenged by cost and complexity of compliance with new European Union (EU) security legislation

Singapore ups the ante in cyber security fight (Reuters) Singapore is gearing up for a crackdown on cyber crime with the launch of a central agency and the appointment of a minister in charge of cyber security, the government said on Tuesday, as the wealthy city-state grapples with a rise in online crime

Cybersecurity is a mess, but Obama can learn a few things from Estonia — and Eugene Kaspersky (Quartz) While the spate of recent cyber attacks against Finland, Germany, Ukraine, and U.S. Central Command has governments worrying about how to combat cyberwarfare, Singapore just took a rare radical step towards doing so

Industry to Senate: Cyber bill 'cannot come soon enough' (The Hill) Ahead of the Senate's first 2015 hearing on cybersecurity information sharing, a broad coalition of industry groups pressed the chamber to finally pass a bill on the topic

New Legislation on Threat Intelligence Sharing May Have a Chance (Infosec Island) After years of political wrangling, apprehensions about corporate liability, and a host of data privacy objections, Congress finally moved on the passage of some key cybersecurity legislation in December

Marco Rubio Wants to Permanently Extend NSA Mass Surveillance (National Journal) The Florida Republican and likely White House contender is further separating himself from other 2016 hopefuls in the Senate

No, Mass Surveillance Won't Stop Terrorist Attacks (Reason) The continued use of digital dragnets is a virtual guarantee of more lethal intelligence failures

DOJ fears tech 'zone of lawlessness' (The Hill) Tech companies trying to lock government agents out of people's devices are helping to build a "zone of lawlessness," a top Justice Department official warned on Tuesday

SOFTWARE Act revision 'simplifies' health IT regulation (FierceHealthIT) A revised version of the Sensible Oversight for Technology which Advances Regulatory Efficiency (SOFTWARE) Act, currently circulating through Congress in draft form, takes a more "simple and straightforward" approach than its predecessor to health IT regulation

Feds to clarify HIPAA for mobile health developers (FierceMobileHealthcare) The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office for Civil Rights is working with ACT — The App Association to provide clearer and more accessible regulatory guidance relating to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act rules and address issues and concerns mHealth app developers are facing regarding federal oversight

Cybersecurity savant (The Hill) When weighing his thoughts on cyber policy, the first name that came to Michael Hayden's mind was Jim Lewis

Litigation, Investigation, and Law Enforcement

Cyber threat forces change of tack at DoJ (Financial Times) Assistant attorney-general John Carlin remembers when FBI cyber intelligence specialists sat in a locked room at the US attorney's office in Washington, cut off from criminal prosecutors in the same building

US scrambling to hire enough cyber security agents to protect itself (The Age) With repercussions from the Sony Entertainment hack continuing to echo around the world, the US government has identified cyber security as "the problem of the 21st century" and warned of a lack of hands-on talent to battle online crime

Mixed messages for VA IT (FCW) A five-month independent review found no major threats to the Department of Veterans Affairs' computer servers, and no evidence of theft of VA data. The positive review is welcome news to a department that has previously come under fire for its vulnerabilities in cyberspace

FTC targets online children's game for deceptive mental health claims (FierceMobileHealthcare) A federal agency settlement with a computer software maker regarding deceptive claims tied to a game's ability to help boost children's mental acumen illustrates the complex and overlapping aspect in government oversight regarding healthcare technology and devices

Colombian Presidential Contender Charged with Wiretapping (PanAm Post) Prosecutors: Zuluaga Leaked Army-FARC Cables to Smear Santos

Cyberpol education is the key solution to fighting any global cyber crime (Security Affairs) CYBERPOL announced today that it has refined CYBERPOL's focus arena and will be focusing on three main areas of cyber analytical research namely, Cyber Crime, Cyber threats and Cyber Intelligence CYBINT

Data Breach Notification Law Even Applies to You, California Employer (JDSupra) Months before the well-publicized Sony catastrophe, California passed Assembly Bill 1710, which was signed into law on September 30, 2014, and became effective on January 1, 2015. The most discussed part of this new law applies to all California employers. In the new law, there is a subsection that states

For a complete running list of events, please visit the Event Tracker on the CyberWire website.

Upcoming Events

AppSec California (Santa Monica, California, USA, January 26 - 28, 2015) OWASP's AppSec California goes beyond "security for security?s sake" bringing application security professionals and business experts together with the objective of sharing new information that helps get...

Financial Cryptography and Data Security 2015 (San Juan, Puerto Rico, USA, January 26 - 30, 2015) The goal of the conference is to bring security and cryptography researchers and practitioners together with economists, bankers, implementers and policy-makers. Intimate and colourful by tradition, the...

Cyber Security for Critical Assets: Chemical, Energy, Oil, and Gas Industries (Houston, Texas, USA, January 27 - 28, 2015) Cyber Security for Critical Assets Summit will connect Corporate Security professionals with Process Control professionals and serve to provide a unique networking platform bringing together top executives...

Data Privacy Day San Diego — The Future of IoT and Privacy (San Diego, California, USA, January 28, 2015) Join the Lares Institute, Morrison & Foerster, and the National Cyber Security Alliance for Data Privacy Day in San Diego. DPD San Diego will bring together privacy luminaries to discuss fundamental issues...

CSEAN Cyber Secure Nigeria 2015 Conference (Garki Abuja, Nigeria, January 29, 2015) The vast scope of cyber threats makes a compelling case for a multi-stakeholder collaboration in curbing domestic and International threat. "Cyber Secure Nigeria 2015" conference encapsulates various hot...

Data Connectors Los Angeles 2015 (Los Angeles, California, USA, January 29, 2015) The Los Angeles Tech-Security Conference features 25-30 vendor exhibits and several industry experts discussing current tech-security issues such as email security, VoIP, LAN security, wireless security,...

Transnational Organized Crime as a National Security Threat (Washington, DC, USA, January 29, 2015) United Kingdom's National Crime Agency Director General Keith Bristow will discuss transnational organized crime as a national security threat, focusing on economic and cyber crimes, and digging into the...

ISSA CISO Forum (Atlanta, Georgia, USA, January 29 - 30, 2015) Corporate Information Security and Legal programs must be closely aligned to be successful in today's world. Customer and vendor contracts require strong security language. Response to data breaches are...

NEDForum > London "What we can learn from the Darknet" (London, England, UK, January 30, 2015) The 2nd NED Forum event comes to London on Friday 30th January 2015, the day of the White Hat Ball. The event will focus on the Darknet and where it provides a rich source of learning that can be applied...

Cyber Threat Intelligence Summit (Washington, DC, USA, February 2 - 9, 2015) Join SANS for this innovative event as we focus on enabling organizations to build effective cyber threat intelligence analysis capabilities

ICSS 2015: International Cyber Security Strategy Congress (Leuven, Belgium, February 4 - 5, 2015) ICSS2015 will present the latest developments and thoughts in the field of cybercrime and cybersecurity and will be a unique gathering of cybercrime experts from all over the world. The objective of the...

Suits and Spooks (Washington, DC, USA, February 4 - 5, 2015) Suits and Spooks DC (Feb 4-5, 2015) is moving to the Ritz Carlton hotel in Pentagon City! We're expanding our attendee capacity to 200 and for the first time will be including space for exhibitors. We...

Nullcon 2015 (Goa, India, February 4 - 7, 2015) Nullcon discusses and showcase the future of information security, next-generation of offensive and defensive security technology as well as unknown threats

Salt Lake City Tech-Security Conference (Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, February 5, 2015) The Salt Lake City Tech-Security Conference features 25-30 vendor exhibits and several industry experts discussing current tech-security issues such as email security, VoIP, LAN security, wireless security,...

ICISSP 2015 (Angers, Loire Valley, France, February 9 - 11, 2015) The International Conference on Information Systems Security and Privacy aims at creating a meeting point of researchers and practitioners that address security and privacy challenges that concern information...

2015 Cyber Risk Insights Conference — London (London, England, UK, February 10, 2015) The cyber threat landscape is undergoing rapid change. Lloyd's and the London market are at the forefront of developing insurance products to address the evolving exposures of organizations throughout...

AFCEA West 2015 (San Diego, California, USA, February 10 - 12, 2015) Showcasing emerging systems, platforms, technologies and networks that will impact all areas of current and future Sea Service operations.

Cybergamut Technical Tuesday: An Hour in the Life of a Cyber Analyst (Hanover, Maryland, USA, February 17, 2015) Workshop Description: This hands-on workshop will demonstrate how easy it is for a breach to occur by analyzing a virtualized web server environment. Participants will use open source tools such as port...

DEFCON | OWASP International Information Security Meet (Lucknow, India, February 22, 2015) Defcon | OWASP Lucknow International Information Security Meet is a combined meet of Defcon and OWASP Lucknow. Defcon Lucknow is a DEF CON registered convention for promoting, demonstrating & spreading...

10th Annual ICS Security Summit (Orlando, Florida, USA, February 22 - March 2, 2015) Attendees come to the Summit to learn and discuss the newest and most challenging cyber security risks to control systems and the most effective defenses. The Summit is designed so you leave with new tools...

Cybersecurity: You Don't Know What You Don't Know (Birmingham, Alabama, USA, February 24 - 25, 2015) What: Connected World Conference in partnership with University of Alabama at Birmingham's Center for Information Assurance and Joint Forensics Research (The Center) have teamed up to bring professionals...

NEDForum: Cyber Network Exploitation and Defence: "Darknet & the Primordial Soup of Cyber Crime" (Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, February 27, 2015) Speakers will cover such topics as: "Fear and loathing on Darknet," (Greg Jones, Managing Consultant, Digital Assurance), "Securing the internet of everything" (Rik Ferguson, Global Vice President Security...

Grow your brand and reach new customers.

Grow your brand and increase your customer base by educating our audience about your products, services, and events by advertising on The CyberWire. We’ve built trust with an influential (and often hard to reach) audience of CISOs, CSOs, and other senior execs in the security space, across a wide array of industry verticals. Learn more.

Be a part of the CyberWire story.

People ask us (a lot) how they can support what we do. We have our sponsorships and services, of course, but those are not always within every supporter's financial reach, or it might just not be the right time for you to do those things. That's why we launched our new Patreon site, where we've created a wider variety of support levels, each with some new benefits. Our patrons are important to our future, and we hope you'll consider becoming one. We invite you to become part of the CyberWire story. Become a patron today.