White House hacks and nuclear XP threats: What we learned in security this week

With the RSA conference raging in San Francisco this week we’ve been bombarded with security news.

Breaking stories have included everything from white hat hackers being refused access to planes to fresh revelations about state-sponsored attack campaigns.

Here to make sense of the deluge of news announcements we’ve picked the biggest stories and lessons from the week.

Russian hackers managed to hack into the White House

The White House

Russia’s hacker community has long been thought to be one of the most dangerous in the world.

This week this theory gained fresh traction when an advanced persistent threat (APT) campaign, codenamed CozyDuke, was uncovered targeting the White House with malicious “funny monkey” videos.

The Department of Defense has been hit by the Russians too

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As if this wasn’t bad enough, US secretary of defense Ash Carter revealed¬†Russian hackers had also breached US Department of Defense (DoD) systems by exploiting an unpatched flaw in one of the department’s legacy systems mere days later.

But the DoD isn’t throwing in the towel

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While the breach reports sound bad, the US also announced a wave of reforms designed to help bolster its security chops. The biggest of these is the opening of a DoD cyber security base of operations in Silicon Valley.

The cyber skills gap is as bad as ever

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We’ve heard warnings about the lack of skilled security professionals for many years.

However, this week we found out, despite widespread work by the UK government to plug the gap, numerous leading security companies are still struggling to recruit skilled white hats.

Box wants to help developers secure their apps

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Developers have been in security professionals’ firing line over the past few months, with reports breaking many are following woefully poor patch cycles.

Looking to help fix the situation Box this week launched a Developer Edition that lets app makers integrate the firm’s security features directly into their products.

XP refuses to go the way of the dodo

Microsoft Windows XP boxes on the assembly line in 2001

When Microsoft first cut support for Windows XP, security professionals warned it could lead to a cyber-apocalypse.

This week these warnings gained some ground as reports broke that the Fukushima nuclear plant had been ordered to upgrade 48,000 PCs from Windows XP following security concerns around the OS.

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24 April 2015 | 4:04 pm – Source: v3.co.uk

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