Connect with us

ZDNET

Easy-to-guess default device passwords are a step closer to being banned

New plans designed to protect IoT devices from cyberattacks will ban default passwords and require manufacturers to tell users how long smart devices – including phones – will receive security updates for.

Published

on

Easy-to-guess default passwords will be banned and smart device manufacturers will be required to tell customers how long their new product will receive security updates under plans to protect Internet of Things (IoT) devices and their users from cyberattacks.

Laws will also require manufacturers of smart devices including phones, doorbells, cameras, speakers, TVs and more to provide a public point of contact to make it simpler for security vulnerabilities in the products to be reported – and fixed with software updates.

Households and businesses are increasingly connecting IoT products to their networks – but while they’re being deployed with the aim of providing benefits, insecure IoT devices can be exploited by cyber criminals.

SEE: IoT: Major threats and security tips for devices (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

That can lead to malicious hackers using insecure smart devices as a stepping stone onto corporate or personal networks and using that access as a means of conducting cyberattacks, as well as potentially invading the privacy of users.

In an effort to protect smart devices, the UK government’s department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has announced the the need for IoT devices to be Secure by Design will become law. DCMS had previously proposed the the idea, but now it has moved another step towards actually becoming legislation – and smartphones will be included in the plans.

Under the planned new laws, customers must be informed at the point of sale as to the length of time for which a smart device will receive security software updates in a move designed to encourage people to buy devices that are going to receive security patches for a long time – making them more resilient to cyber threats that exploit new vulnerabilities.

This will also apply to smartphones, which are now going to be included in any legislation designed to boost the defences of connected devices.

The addition of smartphones comes following a government call for views on smart device security in which respondents suggested the amount of personal information on smartphones, and the way they’re so widely used, means they should be included in smart device safety legislation.

Manufacturers will also be banned from using default passwords such as ‘password’ or ‘admin’ in an effort to protect users from opportunistic cyberattacks that take advantage of common or weak passwords to gain control of devices.

The proposed legislation builds on a previously published code of practice for IoT device manufacturers – although now the suggestions would be required, not just recommended.

“Consumers are increasingly reliant on connected products at work and at home. The COVID-19 pandemic has only accelerated this trend and while manufacturers of these devices are improving security practices gradually, it is not yet good enough,” said Ian Levy, technical director at the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC).

“To protect consumers and build trust across the sector, it is vital that manufacturers take responsibility and pay attention to these proposals now,” he added.

SEE: Hackers are actively targeting flaws in these VPN devices. Here’s what you need to do

The NCSC has previously provided advice for consumers on how to keep their IoT devices secure.

There’s currently no indication of when the proposals will be made law, but the government says the legislation will be introduced “as soon as parliamentary time allows” and businesses will be given time to adjust to the laws once they’re introduced.

There’s also no details as yet about how the legislation will be enforced, or what measures will be taken against smart device manufacturers or retailers that aren’t compliant.

MORE ON CYBERSECURITY

SEE: IoT: Major threats and security tips for devices (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Source: https://www.zdnet.com/article/easy-to-guess-default-device-passwords-are-a-step-closer-to-being-banned/

easy-to-guess-default-device-passwords-are-a-step-closer-to-being-banned

ZDNET

National Australia Bank keeping staff connected with Google Pixel rollout

More than 2,000 Google Pixel devices were issued to NAB’s customer contact teams to enable them to support customers remotely.

Published

on

15664-android-nab-blog-v2-max-1000x1000.png Image: Google

When National Australia Bank (NAB) recently revised its device strategy to look at new ways it could support the mobility of its employees and reduce the time and cost of support legacy devices across multiple platforms, the big bank partnered with Google to issue more than 2,000 Pixel devices to its customer contact teams.

Each device, managed with Android enterprise, was rolled out by Vodafone using “zero-touch” enrolment to set up the devices and configure each one with the necessary applications.

“With zero-touch enrolment, each Pixel setup was 20 minutes faster than our previous device enrolments, saving our IT team and colleagues over 500 hours during the initiative. With our communication and collaboration apps available right out of the box, our teams could get to work right away to help customers,” NAB Mobility manager Simon Thoday said.

Another consideration of the rollout was how customer data was going to remain secure, with Thoday pointing out that using Android Enterprise provided the solution to that question.

“Pixel security updates from Google provide a reliable cadence of ongoing protection as threats evolve, and the work profile hits the right balance between security and privacy for our teams,” Thoday said.

“Our contact centre teams use Pixel devices that are fully managed, which allows us to provide the necessary security controls, and wipe and re-enroll them when transferred to a new employee,” he said.

“Branch managers use Pixels with the work profile, separating work and personal applications. This gives employees the ability to use the device in a personal capacity while our IT team manages and ensures data security over the work profile.”

Additionally, with managed Google Play, NAB can assign the apps that are necessary on its managed devices.

“Providing our teams the flexibility to assign apps to the right teams is a major time saver and ensures everyone has the resources they need,” Thoday said.

“Branch managers can look up customer service records or answer a ping more quickly from their Pixel, instead of returning back to their desk and logging back on to their desktop computer. Android Enterprise has been a catalyst in a more mobile and responsive environment for our various teams.”

Earlier this month, the red and black bank completed its transition to TPG to deliver fixed and mobile network services across the bank.

The transition follows a deal struck between the two companies in September for the newly merged telecommunications giant to deliver fixed network services across NAB’s corporate offices, business banking centres, and branches, as well as providing mobile connectivity to the majority of the NAB workforce.

Vodafone delivered the solution to more than 80% of NAB’s mobile fleet across corporate offices and branches in metro and major regional areas. The company said Vodafone, alongside Google, would also be providing those who opt for a company phone with the Pixel 4a.

Related Coverage

Another consideration of the rollout was how customer data was going to remain secure, with Thoday pointing out that using Android Enterprise provided the solution to that question.

Source: https://www.zdnet.com/article/national-australia-bank-keeping-staff-connected-with-google-pixel-roll-out/

national-australia-bank-keeping-staff-connected-with-google-pixel-rollout

Continue Reading

ZDNET

Crackonosh malware abuses Windows Safe mode to quietly mine for cryptocurrency

The malware is thought to have generated millions of dollars in just a few short years.

Published

on

Researchers have discovered a strain of cryptocurrency-mining malware that abuses Windows Safe mode during attacks.

The malware, dubbed Crackonosh by researchers at Avast, spreads through pirated and cracked software, often found through torrents, forums, and “warez” websites.

After finding reports on Reddit of Avast antivirus users querying the sudden loss of the antivirus software from their system files, the team conducted an investigation into the situation, realizing it was due to a malware infection.

Crackonosh has been in circulation since at least June 2018. Once a victim executes a file they believe to be a cracked version of legitimate software, the malware is also deployed.

The infection chain begins with the drop of an installer and a script that modifies the Windows registry to allow the main malware executable to run in Safe mode. The infected system is set to boot in Safe Mode on its next startup.

“While the Windows system is in safe mode antivirus software doesn’t work,” the researchers say. “This can enable the malicious Serviceinstaller.exe to easily disable and delete Windows Defender. It also uses WQL to query all antivirus software installed SELECT * FROM AntiVirusProduct.”

Crackonosh will scan for the existence of antivirus programs — including Avast, Kaspersky, McAfee’s scanner, Norton, and Bitdefender — and will attempt to disable or delete them. Log system files are then wiped to cover its tracks.

In addition, Crackonosh will attempt to stop Windows Update and will replace Windows Security with a fake green tick tray icon.

The final step of the journey is the deployment of XMRig, a cryptocurrency miner that leverages system power and resources to mine the Monero (XMR) cryptocurrency.

Overall, Avast says that Crackonosh has generated at least $2 million for its operators in Monero at today’s prices, with over 9000 XMR coins having been mined.

Approximately 1,000 devices are being hit each day and over 222,000 machines have been infected worldwide.

In total, 30 variants of the malware have been identified, with the latest version being released in November 2020.

“As long as people continue to download cracked software, attacks like these will continue and continue to be profitable for attackers,” Avast says. “The key take-away from this is that you really can’t get something for nothing and when you try to steal software, odds are someone is trying to steal from you.”

Previous and related coverage

Have a tip? Get in touch securely via WhatsApp | Signal at +447713 025 499, or over at Keybase: charlie0

Crackonosh has been in circulation since at least June 2018. Once a victim executes a file they believe to be a cracked version of legitimate software, the malware is also deployed.

Source: https://www.zdnet.com/article/crackonosh-malware-abuses-windows-safe-mode-to-quietly-mine-for-cryptocurrency/

crackonosh-malware-abuses-windows-safe-mode-to-quietly-mine-for-cryptocurrency

Continue Reading

ZDNET

South Australia splashes out on space, defence, and cybersecurity in 2021-22 Budget

The South Australian government believes tech-focused sectors such as defence, space, and cybersecurity will have a key role to play in the state’s future.

Published

on

In taking a forward-looking approach into what the future of South Australia will look like, the South Australian government has announced it will bolster investment in tech-focused sectors such as defence, space, and cybersecurity as it hands down the 2021-22 Budget [PDF].

“This Budget is our blueprint for a stronger South Australia, creating jobs, building what matters and delivering better services to further secure our growing global reputation as one of the safest and most attractive places in the world to live, work, and raise a family,” Treasurer Rob Lucas said on Tuesday.

Some of the specific funding announcements include AU$20.8 million to upgrade the existing buildings at Lot Fourteen to make way for the expansion of space, digital, hi-tech, and cyber companies, with a particular focus on companies involved in small satellite development.

Separately, AU$6.6 million will be contributed over five years to assist with the SASAT1 Space Services Mission, which will see a local manufacturer launch a small satellite in mid-2022 as well as deliver space-derived services to the state.

South Australia’s Defence and Space Landing Pad program has also received a boost, with the state government saying it will deliver AU$860,000 over three years for the program that is used to support international defence and space companies that bring new, sought-after capability to South Australia.

Local artificial intelligence and health technology companies are set to receive additional support through a AU$1.6 million allocation delivered over four years. Under this investment, AU$985,000 will be used for grants to support AI and health technology companies through matching co-funding for health application pilots, and $589,000 to deliver project support activities, including investment concierge services.

Meanwhile, AU$2.6 million will be earmarked to support small businesses developing digital and cyber security capabilities as well as other capabilities to enter the national market.

The Budget papers also indicated AU$21.1 million over three years will be dedicated towards the implementation of stages three and four of the South Australia Police Shield project, which involves linking South Australia Police’s data and records management system directly with other justice sector agencies. The state government touted the move will improve collaboration and data sharing capabilities.

In a bid to boost bushfire response, the 2021-22 Budget revealed that it will contribute AU$7.7 million over four years towards the ongoing management, support, and maintenance of automatic vehicle location systems (AVL) used by the emergency services sector. AVL provides real time location information of firefighting and other emergency response vehicles during incidents. AVL is expected to be installed in approximately 1,400 vehicles at a total cost of AU$12.7 million.

Additionally, the 2021-22 Budget indicated support for the state government’s commitment to improving digital services for citizens remains ongoing through its AU$120 million Digital Restart Fund, noting that AU$4.3 million in 2021-22 will be put towards the South Australian government’s online services portal, AU$5.5 million over two years for the expansion of the residential aged care enterprise system, AU$1.3 million over two years for the child and family services information systems, and AU$500,000 in 2021-22 for the Safeguarding smartphone app.

Related Coverage

Source: https://www.zdnet.com/article/south-australia-splashes-out-on-space-defence-and-cybersecurity-in-2021-22-budget/

south-australia-splashes-out-on-space,-defence,-and-cybersecurity-in-2021-22-budget

Continue Reading

Title

Techcrunch4 days ago

South Korean antitrust regulator fines Google $177M for abusing market dominance – TechCrunch

The Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) said on Tuesday it fined Google $177 million for abusing its market dominance in...

Cointelegraph7 days ago

El Salvador’s Bitcoin detractors: Opposition groups gather as crypto law rolls out

While President Bukele enjoys widespread popularity, his law that makes Bitcoin legal tender does not.

Ventureburn1 week ago

Startup partners with Telkom to launch translation platform for SA languages

Telkom has partnered with SA startup Enlabeler to launch an AI platform that translates speech into text and provides transcription...

Entrepreneur2 weeks ago

Why You Should Make Twitter Spaces Part of Your Business Strategy

Twitter's latest feature can help businesses grow their presence on the platform.

Bioengineer2 weeks ago

What factors put Philippine birds at risk of extinction?

Credit: Ça?an ?ekercio?lu The lush forests and more than 7,000 islands of the Philippines hold a rich diversity of life,

Reuters3 weeks ago

Chinese social media platforms to “rectify” financial self-media accounts

China's top social media platforms, Wechat, Douyin, Sina Weibo and Kuaishou, said on Saturday they would begin to rectify irregular...

Ventureburn3 weeks ago

South African startups helping to solve the global challenges

A new generation of entrepreneurs are not only incubating solid startups but are contributing to help solve some of the...

Techcrunch3 weeks ago

The SEC and the DOJ just charged this startup founder with fraud, saying he lied to Tiger and others – TechCrunch

Today, both the U.S. Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission charged Manish Lachwani, cofounder of a mobile...

Techcrunch4 weeks ago

Blockchain startup XREX gets $17M to make cross-border trade faster – TechCrunch

A substantial portion of the world’s trade is done in United States dollars, creating problems for businesses in countries with a...

ZDNET4 weeks ago

National Australia Bank keeping staff connected with Google Pixel rollout

More than 2,000 Google Pixel devices were issued to NAB's customer contact teams to enable them to support customers remotely.

Review

    Select language

    Trending