CyberSecurity Pulse 2016-06-23
|“True genius resides in the capacity for evaluation of uncertain, hazardous, and conflicting information.”|
Cryptocurrencies, a Roller Coaster for Feelings
These days the controversy that has surrounded cryptocurrencies has attracted many pages. The proliferation of projects using the Bitcoin technology is increasingly fueling a growing sector in which new ideas are beginning to introduce more general use cases capable of exploiting the distributed approach of the blockchain. This is the case of the Ethereum project (the second cryptocurrency in terms of capitalization at the moment), whose smart contracts are providing a programmatic flexibility that is attracting investors from around the globe with the mind more focused on the technology rather than on its use as a payment method.
Unfortunately, the programming possibilities they offer to include new contracts can also be counterproductive taking into account that the ones who code that are also a fertile ground for security flaws. This event is precisely what has shaken this week the cryptocurrencies ecosystem in general and Ethereum particularly when it was discovered that a currency based on this (The DAO) had a security flaw that made possible to an attacker to receive some units he was not expected to receive. In this kind of deregulated environments in which the particular perception of investors is such an important thing, in the less entrenched projects even the smaller fluctuation can have an impact to consolidate them. In this way, we will see which is the role that Bitcoin will play to settle down the system.
Russian Bill Requires Encryption Backdoors in All Messenger Apps
A new bill in Russian Duma, the country's lower legislative house, proposes to make cryptographic backdoors mandatory in all messaging apps in the country so the Federal Security Service, the successor to the KGB, can obtain special access to all communications within the country. The new Russian legislation, which has already been approved by the Committee on Security, is just the latest such flare up in a global debate over encryption that earned a bright spotlight in the U.S. earlier this year, particularly after the San Bernardino terrorist attack that led the FBI to plead for access to one of the shooter's encrypted iPhones.
China Develops the World's Most Powerful Supercomputer Without US Chips
China has maintained its No. 1 ranking on the 47th edition of the TOP500 list of the world’s top supercomputers. However, this year the Asian country has been able achieve it with a new system built entirely using processors designed and made in China. In this way, Sunway TaihuLight is the new No. 1 system after achieving 93 petaflop/s (quadrillions of calculations per second). The latest list marks the first time since the inception of the TOP500 that the US is not hosting the largest number of systems. With a surge in industrial and research installations registered over the last few years, China leads the list with 167 systems and the US is second with 165.
Rest of the Week´s News
BadTunnel: Vulnerability Affects Every Version of Microsoft's OS
A security researcher from Tencent, China's largest internet service portal, has discovered a critical security flaw in Microsoft's Windows operating system that affects every single version of Windows over the last two decades, from Windows 95 all the way to Windows 10. The flaw, known as BadTunnel, makes it possible for attackers to set up man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks.
Tesco Bank App Won't Run With Tor Installed
Since this weekend, UK supermarket giant Tesco's mobile banking app refuses to run on handsets where the Tor application is also installed. Tesco banking app tells users to remove the Tor Project's anonymizing Android software to access the supermarket's financial services.
T-Mobile Czech Employee Steals and Sells 1.5 Million Users Data
T-Mobile is the latest in the list of recent high-profile data breaches. According to local media, one of the T-Mobile's employees stole more than 1.5 Million customer records at the T-Mobile Czech Republic in order to sell it on for a profit. Nevertheless, T-Mobile Czech Republic managing director Milan Vašina says there was "no actual data leak".