Print 4 comment(s) - last by mindless1.. on Mar 5 at 10:29 PM

National governments becoming more aware of cyber threats

A global battle against malware and cyber crime is underway, as governments and researchers look for new methods to defend infrastructure against increasingly organized cyber criminals.
The threat of cyber-based attacks on US infrastructure is so serious that President Obama is expected to finally unveil his executive order on cyber security sometime after his State of the Union address.  
The State of the Union address will take place on Tuesday, February 12 – the order follows on high-profile attacks against the New York Times, other major newspaper outlets, and the US Federal Reserve website.  It appears the attacks originated from China.
Nations that are more proactive in their effort to utilize better cyber security saw the most benefits, with citizens suffering less malware infections, according to research published by Microsoft.  For example, countries that signed the 2001 Council of Europe Cybercrime treaty – or Voluntary Codes of Conduct – had the lowest malware rates, following advice how to keep PCs and servers secure.
“While membership in CoE or LAP alone will not reduce cyber risk, there are steps countries often take to prepare for membership that significantly help to reduce risk,” noted Microsoft in a blog post.  “These steps include having a common policy environment for cybercrime and establishing methods of international cooperation that can evolve with the changing threat landscape. In addition to such policies, countries with the lowest cyber risks had on average more personal computers in use per capita, higher health expenditure per capita, regime stability, and greater broadband penetration. Out of all the highest performing countries, 43 percent were located in Western Europe.”
After years of steady neglect, the US government is investing more time and resources into defending against cyber attacks – from better malware defense to shutting out foreign-based cyber criminals – drastic changes are slowly being rolled out.
Cyber defense isn’t just a US effort, as the European Commission recently released a study, titled ‘An Open, Safe and Secure Cyberspace,’ which focuses on prevention and disaster response to cyber attacks.  To counter these attacks, proper regulation and government transparency are required, as governments and businesses were unsure what steps to take if there was a high-level security breach.    
This is a global effort that requires work from governments, security companies, and better educated end-users aware of the growing complexity of security threats.

Sources: Microsoft, Public Service Europe

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By nomentanus on 2/28/2013 4:08:21 PM , Rating: 2
There are lots of things we should do to create better security. This is just one, but an important one

I want lots of things to autorun. But I encountered an autorun virus on a USB last month, and now I want to control - with a visible hardware switch on every USB - whether that can ever happen. Then outlaw the sale of USBs without that switch.

Yep, false USBs with misleading switches could still be made and dropped at computer conventions, corporate parking lots, etc. But viruses couldn't spread to and then from legit USBs, as they can now, and so migrate on to new networks.

To make everyone still more secure, give the corresponding socket in my computer a projection, if the user wants to install it, that engages that hardware switch so that that USB port can't ever run autorun viruses (from legit USBs at least.) Add a visible hardware switch on every computer that will at least inform the OS not to autorun (I think more than that is possible, but at least that) if that's the user's wish at that moment.

We should be able (and the military and CIA should certainly be able) to buy machines that can't autorun anything.

My initial suggestion is technically doable, and it's not that hard. (The OS looks for the right USB hardware signal as well as its own settings before running anything from a USB, at a minimum.) How about it?

I, and so many others, could ramble on endlessly about the rather simple things we can and should do now to improve security, as a great many others could. We should now be moving sharply forward with many such specific improvements.

I want to hear precisely such things the next time I hear from gov on cyber-security, not more hot air and jazz hands.

By mindless1 on 3/5/2013 10:29:32 PM , Rating: 2
So all of us have to fiddle with switchs on our gear because it's what you want?

What a terribly selfish position to take. NO! If you subjectively want this feature turned off then it should be controlled on your subjectively used system.

Sorry but I am so sick and tired of other people who engage in high risk activity then want to burden us all to save themselves the bother of practicing secure computing.

You do not need USB thumbdrives to autorun and should've have them set to, period. Don't blame a host for reading something from a medium, next thing you know we'd need such a switch on every printer, mouse, etc that someone stuck a flash chip on to infect you.

Control has to come at the host level, that's essentially what a host is.

Yamna Khan.
By Strategicdata456 on 2/17/2013 5:14:19 AM , Rating: 2
Very nice and interested article. I am very impressed.

By Tony Swash on 2/18/2013 2:41:18 PM , Rating: 2
The headline Microsoft Takes a Closer Look at Cyber Security and Malware

Made me think of this headline....

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007

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