Security Summary – August 2016

We end every month with a security summary. This short monthly review summarises important news and blog posts, which focus on IT security, cloud computing and privacy protection.

1. Growing demand for public service cloud
According to IDC analysts, the revenue for public cloud services will increase to 196 billion US dollars in 2020. This would mean a doubling of the current revenue level. The analysts see the greatest growth potential in the areas of media, telecommunications and sales.

2. The cloud proves helpful with genetic testing
In collaboration with the University of Michigan and The European Academy in Bolzano, researchers in Innsbruck have developed a cloud service that can examine DNA sequences through mathematical calculations. This saves a significant amount of time and costs in the research of hereditary diseases.

3. Malware Locky attacks hospitals
In the past months, cyber criminals have used the malware known as “Locky” to encrypt the data on the computers of their victims. Lately, the attackers have been focussing on hospitals in the US and Asia in order to blackmail these for money. The attackers introduce the malware via personalised emails with malware disguised as innocent attachments.

4. Blackmail Trojans disguised as Pokémon Go game
Behind a fake version of the Pokémon Go app for windows computers hides yet another blackmail Trojan. In the last couple of weeks, the ransomware was found in the Arabic world amongst other places. Anyone who downloads and installs the application loses access to the data of his / her computer.

5. Apple pays up to 200,000 dollars for security vulnerabilities
Newly, Apple pays bounties for the discovery of security vulnerabilities. For the first time, selected security experts are given the opportunity to take part in a bug bounty program of the company.

6. Companies increasingly invest in IT security
Analysis from the market research company Gartner predict an increase in the expenditures of security budgets. This year alone, the analysts expect an increase of 7,9 %. This would mean that a total of 81,6 Billion US dollar would be invested in IT security.

7. Hacker groups have allegedly stolen NSA spyware
Presumably, unknown individuals have successfully stolen hacker software from the NSA. The attackers have claimed that they have gotten hold of different programs. Amongst other capabilities, these programs are said to be able to override defence mechanisms of firewalls.

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