CARD PAYMENTS

Stop press! There’s a revolution in plastic payment methods. The very annoyingly named1 Swype promises to be all things to all men, from credit card to clubcard. But is this new? Or is it, y’know, something that was first thought of around 30 years ago?

INFOSEC

On to the big news now and this week we must talk about the GHOST vulnerability. Everyone’s favourite free (well, mostly) OS is in trouble. If you’re running RedHat Enterprise Linux 6 or 7, CentOS 5, 6 or 7, Debian 7, or Ubuntu 12.04 or 12.10, then get please get patching. Whilst this isn’t quite on the Heartbleed scale of catastrophes, it’s still serious and all organisations should take it seriously. It also has the potential to affect yet more systems. With new exploits every week, some of them quite serious (thanks again, Flash) and now GHOST on the cards, it’s not surprising infosec professionals get stressed.

COMMUNICATIONS

Remember the supposedly-NSA proof BlackPhone? The height of mobile comms security, it turns out, could be owned by a simple SMS. Elsewhere, researchers have shown that your identify can be found from metadata. All it takes is a receipt, a tweet and a selfie.

MALWARE

Guess who’s back.... back again... Zeus is back... tell a friend. Rubbish Eminem lyrics aside, banking-malware king ‘Zeus’ is back, having evolved into a yet-more sophisticated strain. It uses a clever control panel to give cybercrooks maximum information and is already doing the rounds in top Canadian banks. Reign2, on the other hand, looks like it has Five-Eyes’ fingerprints all over it, or so says Kaspersky. But in today’s world, is that really such a surprise? Rather worryingly, perhaps not.




1What is it with companies trying to sound cool? Have you ever known it to work? I haven’t. They may as well have called it “TechnoCard 3000”.

1’Reign’, ‘Zeus’; such grand names. What names will they use for the next generation of viruses? A bit like when the media run out of superlatives.