Cybersecurity Monthly Round Up

Novmber has seen both ups and downs in the world of cyberscurity. The video gaming service Steam fell victim to a devastating hack, potentially exposing personal information and credit card details of 35 million users. In a similar attck, Norway’s oil, gas, and defence firms was attacked by hackers. Norway’s National Security Agency confirmed that the details of contract negotiations along with industrial secrets had been stolen. The NSM said it was the biggest attack of its kind Norway had experienced with 10 or more businesses affected.

A report published found the UK consumer protection system to be failing to keep up with the digital revolution, leaving people at risk of scams. The result of this is online shoppers being at risk of email scams and fraud, says the Commons Public Accounts Committee. Online security experts also warned that a growing number of malwares are being disguised as seemingly innocent smartphone apps. The malware can send costly messages on the devices without the owner being aware, warn experts.

Facebook hit the headlines more than once, firstly as researchers from the University of British Columbia managed to steal information from the social netwroking site using social bots. The researchers were able to befriend genuine Facebook users, and then steal personal details. The second piece of news from camp Facebook was more positive; the site announced that it is changing the way it amends users’ privacy settings. Facebook will ask users to opt into any changes in the way it uses their personal information has been welcomed by privacy campaigners.

Continuing with more upbeat news, EU and US cybersecurity experts came together to stress-test their response to an online attack. Following a global rise in cybercrime and hacking attacks, Brussels played host to the European and US online security exercise this month. The event was the first time both had come together to role-play an emergency scenario. The beginning of November saw London play host to the London Conference on Cyberspace. The international conference gatherd representatives from 60 nations to discuss how to tackle the increasing levels of cybercrime. The attendees included foreign secretary William Hague, EU Commissioner Neelie Kroes, a variety of leading cybersecurity experts and technology entrepreneurs such as Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, Cisco vice-president Brad Boston and Joanna Shields, a senior executive at Facebook.