CYBER SECURITY THREATS TO WATCH OUT FOR IN 2015


Cybercriminals will continue to pose threat this 2015 as they are “growing in confidence,” Kaspersky Lab, a leading developer of secure content and threat management, said. Kaspersky said that aside from financial cybercrime, 2015 is also likely to bring even more privacy concerns, security worries about Apple devices and renewed fears about connected devices to prevent hackers using tools like network printers to penetrate corporate networks. Experts at Kaspersky Lab issued security predictions for 2015. CONTINUE READING...

ALSO: PLDT extends free mobile Internet to February 5


Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. is extending a free mobile Internet promotion by one month to February even as the special offer likely hurt revenues in late 2014. The offer, which allows a free 30 megabytes of data per day for all 69 million Smart, Talk ‘N Text and Sun Cellular subscribers, will now end on Feb 5, 2015, according to a PLDT statement released Monday (Jan. 5). The offer was introduced in late September 2014. “The positive response to the Smart Free Internet promo — a real game-changer in the industry in that it introduced mobile Internet to more people than ever before — gave us a very strong indication of Filipinos’ propensity for mobile data use,” Charles Lim, head of wireless consumer business at Smart Communications and Sun Cellular, said in the statement. READ MORE...


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Cyber security threats to watch out for in 2015

MANILA, JANUARY 5, 2015 (INQUIRER) Cybercriminals will continue to pose threat this 2015 as they are “growing in confidence,” Kaspersky Lab, a leading developer of secure content and threat management, said.

Kaspersky said that aside from financial cybercrime, 2015 is also likely to bring even more privacy concerns, security worries about Apple devices and renewed fears about connected devices to prevent hackers using tools like network printers to penetrate corporate networks.

Experts at Kaspersky Lab issued security predictions for 2015.

This year’s insights or what to expect:

Attacks against virtual payment systems, which could be extended to the new Apple Pay Attacks against automated teller machines (ATMs) Malware incidents where banks are breached using methods coming directly from the targeted cyberattack playbook More Internet-bleeding stories: dangerous vulnerabilities appearing in old code, exposing the Internet infrastructure to menacing attacks. In-the-wild attacks against networked printers and other connected devices that can help an advanced attacker to maintain persistence and lateral movement within a corporate network. Malicious software designed for OS X being pushed via torrents and pirated software packages A shift where the bigger, noisy cyberthreat actors splinter into smaller units, operating independently of each other. This in turn will result in a more widespread attack base with more diverse attacks coming from more sources. Vabanque: a groundbreaking change

During a recent investigation, Kaspersky Lab’s experts discovered an attack in which an accountant’s computer was compromised and used to initiate a large transfer with a financial institution.

It represented the emergence of a new trend: targeted attacks directly against banks. Once attackers get into a bank’s network, they siphon enough information to allow them to steal money directly from the bank in several ways:

Remotely commanding ATMs to dispose cash. Performing SWIFT transfers from various customers’ accounts. Manipulating online banking systems to perform transfers in the background. ATMs are vulnerable

Attacks against cash machines (ATMs) seemed to explode last year with several public incidents and a rush by law enforcement authorities globally to respond to this crisis.

As most of these systems are running Windows XP and also suffer from frail physical security, they are incredibly vulnerable by default.

“In 2015, we expect to see further evolution of these ATM attacks with the use of targeted malicious techniques to gain access to the ‘brain’ of cash machines. The next stage will see attackers compromising the networks of banks and using that level of access to manipulate ATMs in real time,” said Alexander Gostev, chief security expert at Global Research and Analysis Team of Kaspersky Lab.

Attacks against virtual payment systems

The team expects criminals to leap at every opportunity to exploit payment systems.

These fears can also be extended to the new Apple Pay, which uses NFC (Near Field Communications) to handle wireless consumer transactions.

This is a ripe market for security research and we expect to the appearance of vulnerability warnings about weaknesses in Apple Pay, virtual wallets and other virtual payment systems.

“The enthusiasm over the new Apple Pay is going to drive adoption through the roof and that will inevitably attract many cybercriminals looking to reap the rewards of these transactions. Apple’s design possesses and increased focus on security (like virtualized transaction data) but we’ll be very curious to see how hackers will exploit the features of this implementation,” Gostev added. NC


FROM THE INQUIRER

PLDT extends free mobile Internet to February 5 Miguel R. Camus @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer 7:10 PM | Monday, January 5th, 2015

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. is extending a free mobile Internet promotion by one month to February even as the special offer likely hurt revenues in late 2014.

The offer, which allows a free 30 megabytes of data per day for all 69 million Smart, Talk ‘N Text and Sun Cellular subscribers, will now end on Feb 5, 2015, according to a PLDT statement released Monday (Jan. 5). The offer was introduced in late September 2014.

“The positive response to the Smart Free Internet promo — a real game-changer in the industry in that it introduced mobile Internet to more people than ever before — gave us a very strong indication of Filipinos’ propensity for mobile data use,” Charles Lim, head of wireless consumer business at Smart Communications and Sun Cellular, said in the statement.

The company did not elaborate further on the reason for the extension of the promo, which was expected to have “tempered” earnings in the fourth quarter of 2014, PLDT president Napoleon Nazareno said last month.

Challenges facing the fast-changing telco landscape were highlighted anew in 2014, when PLDT announced that it was slashing its full-year 2014 profit target by P2.5 billion to P37 billion as it invests more than initially expected to improve data capacity.

Specifically, PLDT said it increased 2014 spending by P2.5 billion to P34.5 billion.

“This capex [ capital spending] is expected to be carried over into 2015, given the market’s continued appetite for data services, as more Filipinos start using smartphones,” PLDT said in its statement on Monday.

PLDT hopes to increase its market share while enticing more of its subscribers to avail of data services despite increasing competition from social media platforms and instant messaging apps.

In the statement on Monday, Smart also announced that its network is ready for the expected surge in mobile data traffic in 2015, as the increasing affordability of smartphones encouraged more Filipinos to acquire devices in the last few weeks of 2014.

Over a fourth of Smart and Sun Cellular’s combined over 69 million subscribers are already using smartphones, helping drive a 112 percent increase in mobile data traffic within the network, the statement showed.

“We can only expect these volumes to increase exponentially in the months ahead,” Lim said in the statement.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi
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