News briefs: April 2016

»Apple may not have to build that backdoor into the iPhone after all if the government takes an outspoken security pro up on his offer. McAfee founder John McAfee proposed last month to end the standoff between Apple and federal authorities over the decryption of the San Bernardino shooter's iPhone without a lengthy battle by offering a team to unlock the phone for them, gratis.

»BlackBerry acquired Encription Limited, a U.K.-based cybersecurity and forensic services firm, and announced that the Canadian phone manufacturer is launching a professional cybersecurity services practice.

»Bastille's researchers uncovered a wide-ranging vulnerability in the way non-Bluetooth dongle devices interact with wireless mice and keypads, which could enable a nearby hacker to take over a victim's computer using radio frequency signals. 

»Since 2013, more than 3.6 billion data records have been exposed, according to Gemalto, which has been benchmarking publicly disclosed data breaches since then for its annual Breach Level Index.

»The Acecard Android banking trojan leaves little to chance. The malware is capable of attacking 50 separate online financial applications, bypass Google Play Store security and act as part of a phishing scam

»Ann Barron-DiCamillo, director of the Department of Homeland Security's Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT), is vacating her post to start a cybersecurity venture capital firm.

»Office of Personnel Management CIO Donna Seymour resigned on Feb. 22, just days before she was scheduled to testify before the House panel investigating the massive OPM hack that took place last year. 

»A new survey by The Strawhecker Group of U.S. payment service providers revealed that approximately 37 percent of retailers were ready to process EMV payments by Feb. 1, 2016 — four months after the official deadline for merchants to implement the smart card processing technology.

»A new survey of IT professionals casts light on some of the trust issues that plague the information security marketplace. Absolute Software's U.S. IT Confidential Report studied the security habits and attitudes of information technology and security professionals in the U.S., and found that compliance challenges often begin with the very professionals who tasked with setting these standards.

»Tax preparation software publisher TaxSlayer notified about 8,800 of its customers in February that an unauthorized third party may have gained access to the personal information contained on their tax return. The PII includes all the information contained on a customer's tax form.

»Palo Alto Networks researchers spotted a new, more complex backdoor trojan called the T900 that is targeting Skype users and which can identify and evade the security software found on the victim's computer. The T9000's primary function is to gather information on the victim by capturing encrypted data and take screenshots of applications.

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