Payments networks battle new breed of criminals in cyber attacks – FT.com

Payments networks — whether Swift or the latest peer-to-peer money transfer app — are only as trustworthy as their weakest link. Even if data are encrypted in transit, each bank or individual on a network must be able to reliably prove who they are — and authentication in payments still has a way to go.

Fuente: Payments networks battle new breed of criminals in cyber attacks – FT.com


Cyber criminals lead race to innovate – FT.com

Cyber criminals lead race to innovate – FT.com.

 

Devices to simulate cyber crimes are displayed at Interpol Global Complex for Innovation (IGCI) at its newly built building during the inauguration opening ceremony in Singapore on April 13, 2015. The Interpol Global Centre for Innovation opened its doors with officials hoping it will strengthen global efforts to fight increasingly tech-savvy international criminals. AFP PHOTO / ROSLAN RAHMAN©AFP

Cyber criminals are advancing faster than companies can defend themselves, with denial of service attacks worsening, ransoms on the rise and data breaches targeting more high-profile retailers, according to two widely followed reports from cyber security companies.

Five out of six large companies were targeted by an advanced hacker last year, up 40 per cent from the year before, according to a report compiled by Symantec, the internet security company.

He said the cyber world was similar to the business world, with criminals selling more ways to attack companies to meet demand, and copying their rivals’ most lucrative tactics.Kevin Haley, director of Symantec’s security response product and an author of the report, said the threat continued to rise because criminals had been so successful.

 


Cryptolocker: what you need to know | Technology | theguardian.com

Cryptolocker: what you need to know | Technology | theguardian.com.

What happens when a computer is infected with the malicious software, and what should you do to protect your files?

 

 

Viruses such as Cryptolocker can be attacked by taking down the servers that control them.
Viruses such as Cryptolocker can be attacked by taking down the servers that control them. Photograph: imagebroker/Alamy

 

Cryptolocker is back in the headlines, thanks to a coordinated effort to take down the computers and criminals that run the notorious “ransomware”. But what is it? And how can you fight it?

Cryptolocker is ransomware: malicious software which holds your files to ransom

The software is typically spread through infected attachments to emails, or as a secondary infection on computers which are already affected by viruses which offer a back door for further attacks.

When a computer is infected, it contacts a central server for the information it needs to activate, and then begins encrypting files on the infected computer with that information. Once all the files are encrypted, it posts a message asking for payment to decrypt the files – and threatens to destroy the information if it doesn’t get paid.

The authorities have won users a two-week window of safety

The National Crime Agency (NCA) announced yesterday that the UK public has got a “unique, two-week opportunity to rid and safeguard” themselves from Cryptolocker. The agency didn’t go into more detail, but it seems likely that at least one of the central servers which Cryptolocker speaks to before encrypting files has been taken down.

The NCA has also taken down the control system for a related piece of software, known as GameOver Zeus, which provides criminals with a backdoor into users’ computers. That back door is one of the ways a computer can be infected with Cryptolocker in the first place.

What that means is, until the window is closed – and the virus cycles to new servers – users who are infected with Cryptolocker won’t lose their files to encryption. As a result, these users have the chance to remove the virus before it destroys data, using conventional anti-virus software. In other words, there has never been a better time to update the protection on your computer.

But watch out – while the servers that control Cryptolocker are out of action, it’s possible to be infected with it and not know. If you don’t keep your computer clean, then at the end of the two-week period, you could be in for a nasty surprise.