People who store Slack credentials in Github code repositories learned that this a bad idea, as researchers demonstrated the ease with which this information can be gathered without any explicit permissions.
Scary news: computers at a German nuclear reactor facility were found to be loaded with malware. The only thing that prevented miscreants from playing with real nuclear reactors was the fact that these computers are not connected to the Internet.
Crappy security practices led to the theft of user account information (email addresses and poorly-encrypted passwords) from Minecraft community site Lifeboat.
The notorious hacking group known as Hacking Team made the news again, this time with reports of active drive-by exploits affecting Android devices.
The Nuclear exploit kit is still operating, despite recent, partially-successful, efforts to shut it down. Researchers showed that the kit is still being used, and may be involved in recent ransomware infections.
Good news: the two men responsible for the notorious SpyEye banking trojan, recently extradited to the US to face federal prosecution, will be spending nine and fifteen years in prison.
Zero-day exploits are on the rise, doubling from 24 in 2014 to 54 in 2015. A zero-day exploit is a hack that takes advantage of software vulnerabilities before the software’s maintainers have had a chance to develop a fix.
Cisco security researchers identified vulnerabilities in several enterprise software systems, including Red Hat’s JBoss. As many as three million web-facing servers running this software are at risk of being infected with ransomware, and in fact as many as 2100 infected servers were identified.
More good news: the Petya ransomware was found to contain a flaw that allows its victims to decrypt their data without paying any ransom.
The Mumblehard botnet was taken down by ESet researchers, after it infected at least 4000 computers and sent out countless spam emails.
Microsoft announced plans to prevent Flash content from playing automatically in the Windows 10 web browser Edge. All the major browsers appear to be heading in this direction, if they don’t already have the feature, as does Chrome.
April’s issue of the SANS ‘Ouch!’ newsletter is titled “I’m Hacked, Now What?” (PDF) and provides helpful information for the recently-hacked. The newsletter is aimed at regular users, so it may not be particularly useful for IT professionals, except as a means to educate users.
The wildly popular WhatsApp – a messaging application for mobile devices – now has end-to-end encryption. This will make life more difficult for spy agencies who want to know what users are saying to each other. But WhatsApp users should be aware that this does not make their communications invulnerable, since techniques exist to get around full encryption, such as keystroke loggers.
Bad idea: someone at CNBC thought it would be a good idea to ask users to submit their passwords to a web-based system that would test the passwords and report on their relative strength. The service itself was vulnerable, and exposed submitted passwords to network sniffing. The service was taken offline soon after the vulnerability was identified.
The web site for toy maker Maisto International was hacked and serving up ransomware for an unknown amount of time, probably several days or even weeks. The hack was made possible because the site was using outdated Joomla software.