This was a key finding from two new research projects by Check Point Software Technologies, namely the Check Point 2016 Security Report and Exploits at the Endpoint: SANS 2016 Threat Landscape Study. The research reveals critical challenges and key recommendations for IT leaders, as businesses continue to build up protections against evolving cyber threats.
In the company’s fourth annual Security Report, Check Point researchers analysed the activity of more than 31,000 Check Point gateways worldwide, revealing details on what enterprises are encountering in known and unknown malware, attack trends, and the impact of more mobile devices in the enterprise. Additionally, researchers were able to measure the impact successful breaches have had on organisations, and the added expenses that go beyond remediation costs.
In the recent SANS 2016 Threat Landscape Study, conducted in partnership with security education and research group SANS Institute, researchers surveyed more than 300 IT and security professionals across the globe to uncover the threats organisations encounter in the real world; when and how they become incidents; which types of threats had the biggest impact; and the greatest challenges enterprises face in protecting themselves.
“With billions of new connections formed every minute, the world is more globally linked than ever. Innovations like cloud, mobility and IoT are changing the way we deploy, the way we consume, and the way we secure technology,” said Doros Hadjizenonos, Country Manager of Check Point South Africa. “More and more malware is being put into our ecosystem that traditional security techniques are powerless to prevent. Given this, staying a leader requires being one step ahead of things you cannot see, know or control – and preventing attacks before they happen.”
Both the Check Point Security Report and SANS 2016 Threat Landscape Study present a comprehensive view of the entire threat landscape – from the network to the endpoint – offering key findings including:
· Unknown malware continues its exponential and evolutionary growth. Researchers found a nine-fold increase in the amount of unknown malware plaguing businesses. This was fueled by the employees – who downloaded a new unknown malware every four seconds. In total, there were nearly 12 million new malware variants discovered every month, with more new malware discovered in the past two years than in the previous decade.
· Security is lagging behind the speedy, on-the-go mobile device. With smartphones and tablets accounting for 60 percent of digital media time spent, businesses’ mobile devices present both an access curse and a business productivity blessing. While employees do not want to be the cause of a company network breach, one in five will cause one through either mobile malware or malicious Wi-Fi.
· Endpoints represent the starting points for most threats. Among the businesses surveyed, endpoints were the most common cause of breaches and the most critical component in cyber defenses, with attackers leveraging email in 75 percent of cases. Also, 39 percent of endpoint attacks bypassed the network gateway firewalls, and routine operations uncovered 85 percent of threats after they had already gotten inside the enterprise.
Both reports conclude forward-looking security starts with having a best-of-breed architecture in order to address the current and future complexities of securing IT. Researchers found a common theme of advanced threat prevention, mobile device protection and segmenting a network all critical components for the modern enterprise.
To read the full 2016 Check Point Security Report, visit: http://www.checkpoint.com/securityreport/; and to read the full results of Exploits at the Endpoint: SANS 2016 Threat Landscape Survey, visit: https://www.checkpoint.com/webinars/sans-2016-threat-landscape-study/.
Data journalism takes top prize in revamped awards
The entries to the 2018 Vodacom Journalist of the Year Awards were extraordinarily varied and of an excellent standard, with new categories introduced which are based on content as opposed to platforms. This year, the judges decided that two entries were equally worthy of the coveted Vodacom Journalist of the Year Award.
The first co-winning entry, in the new Data Journalism category, is a set of stories by Alastair Otter and Laura Grant of Media Hack which showed how Data Journalism is shaping the future. The second co-winning entrant is Bongani Fuzile of the Daily Dispatch for his articles in the investigative category on how migrant workers were being ripped off by pension deductions (full citations below).
Convenor of the judging panel Ryland Fisher says: “This year we modernised the 12 categories that journalists could enter their work in and the change was embraced by entrants. In a turbulent time for media, the 2018 entries once again proved that there are excellent South African journalists delivering praiseworthy work, and we commend them for finding new and innovative ways to cover the news.”
Takalani Netshitenzhe, Chief Officer for Corporate Affairs at the Vodacom Group, says: “Vodacom is proud of its 17-year association with these prestigious awards, which make an important contribution to our society through the recognition of journalistic excellence. I’d like to congratulate all of tonight’s winners and, as always, I’d like to pay tribute to our hardworking judges. Ryland Fisher, Mathatha Tsedu, Arthur Goldstuck, Collin Nxumalo, Elna Rossouw, Patricia McCracken, Megan Rusi, Mary Papayya, Albe Grobbelaar and Obed Zilwa: thank you for making these awards a continued success.”
Veteran journalist and media stalwart Ms Amina Frense is the winner of the 2018 Vodacom Journalist of the Year Lifetime Achiever Award. She has spent decades in mainstream media both locally and internationally. She is a former Managing Editor: News and Current Affairs at the SA Broadcasting Corporation. She has worked in many countries abroad as a producer and a foreign correspondent, has written two books and is also a founding member of SANEF where she still serves as a council member (full citation below).
The overall winners share the R100 000 main prize. National winners in the various categories are as follows, with each winner taking home R10 000:
The entries in this category were of an exceptionally high standard. One entrant stood out and became the unanimous winner. This journalist showed an exceptional skill for story-telling and for finding unexpected angles and unknown facts. For his stories about Musangwe’s fight for recognition, Age cheating in SA football, and Hansie Cronje revisited, the winner is Ronald Masinda, and the team of Gift Kganyago, Nceba Ntlanganiso and Charles Lombard from eSAT TV.
Cons exploit Telegram ICO
Kaspersky Lab researchers have uncovered dozens of highly convincing fake websites claiming to be investment sites for an initial coin offering (ICO) by the Telegram messaging service. Many of these websites appear to belong to the same group. In one case alone, tens of thousands of US dollars’ worth of cryptocurrency were stolen from victims believing they were investing in ‘Grams’, Telegram’s rumoured new currency. Telegram has not officially confirmed an ICO and has warned people about fraudulent investor sites.
In late 2017, stories started to circulate that the Telegram messaging service was launching an initial coin offering (ICO) to finance a blockchain platform based on its TON (Telegram Open Network) technology. Unverified technical documentation was posted online, but there appears to have been no confirmation from Telegram itself. The resulting confusion seems to have allowed fraudsters to capitalise on investor interest by creating fake sites and stealing vast sums of money.
Kaspersky Lab researchers have discovered dozens of such sites, possibly belonging to the same group, claiming to sell tokens for ‘Grams’ and inviting investors to pay with cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum, lice litecoin, dash and Bitcoin dash. A record of transactions on one site revealed that the scammers were able to steal at least $35,000 US dollars’ worth of Ethereum from investors.
The researchers found that some of the websites were so convincing that even after Telegram and others began to issue warnings, they were still able to recruit potential investors. Most use a secure connection, require registration and generate a unique online wallet for each new victim, making it harder to track the money.
Judging by the content of the fake websites, it appears they may have common ownership. For example, several have the exactly the same ‘Our Team’ section.
“ICOs are a fairly risky investment and many people don’t yet fully understand how they work, so it is not surprising that high quality fake websites, with seemingly reassuring features such as a secure connection and registration are successful at luring people in. People wishing to invest in an ICO would do well to check with the company behind it and make sure they know exactly who they are giving their money to, or they may never see it again,” said Nadezhda Demidova, Lead Web-Content Analyst, Kaspersky Lab.
Kaspersky Lab offers the following advice for users considering investing in an ICO:
- Check for warning signs: for example, some of the fake Telegram ICO websites had the same wrong image next to the name of Telegram’s Chief Product Officer.
- Do your homework: always check with the brand’s official site to verify the legitimacy of the investment site and, if necessary contact the company’s ICO teams before investing any money or currency.
- Use reliable security solutions such as Kaspersky Internet Security and Kaspersky Internet Security for Android, which will warn you if you try to visit fake internet pages.