News wrap on trending cyber-attacks; Aptos, Dridex Trojan, Cloudpets, Cloudflare bug

March 2, 2017

Cyber crime is only likely to increase, despite the best efforts of government agencies and cyber security experts. Its growth is being driven by the expanding number of services available online and the increasing sophistication of cyber criminals who are engaged in a cat-and-mouse game with security experts. With the right level of preparation and specialist external assistance, it is possible to control damages, and recover from a cyber breach and its consequences.

Shoppers of 40 online stores have had their bank card numbers and addresses slurped by a malware infection at backend provider Aptos. The security breach occurred late last year when a crook was able to inject spyware into machines Aptos used to host its retail services for online shops. This software nasty was able to access customer payment card numbers and expiration dates, full names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses,.

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Bad news from malware-land after security researchers from IBM reported today they’d discovered the first samples of version 4.0 of the infamous and highly-active Dridex banking trojan. One of the lesser known things about computer viruses is the fact that malware is very similar to normal software, often going through the same development cycles and receiving constant updates.

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If you own a stuffed animal from CloudPets, then you better change your password to the product. The toys — which can receive and send voice messages from children and parents — have been involved in a data breach dealing with more than 800,000 user accounts. The breach, which grabbed headlines on Monday, is drawing concerns from security researchers because it may have given hackers access to voice recordings from the toy’s customers. But the company behind the products, Spiral Toys, is denying that any customers were hacked.

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Big-name websites leaked people’s private session keys and personal information into strangers’ browsers, due to a Cloudflare bug uncovered by Google researchers. As we’ll see, a single character – ‘>’ rather than ‘=’ – in Cloudflare’s software source code sparked the security blunder. Cloudflare helps companies spread their websites and online services across the internet. Due to a programming blunder, for several months Cloudflare’s systems slipped random chunks of server memory into webpages, under certain circumstances.

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Security Threats

In many ways the hackers have more opportunities to attack, given the proliferation of devices being used to access systems and data remotely — all of which can potentially leave the door open and result in vulnerabilities.

New Security Solutions on the Horizon 

  • Passwords will be a thing of the past. They are already becoming unreliable and can be compromised relatively easily in a “brute force attack”.
  • Although already in use, biometric authentication using facial/ iris recognition will become the authorization norm.
  • The latest update of Windows 10 will allow you to not only log on to your machine with facial recognition, but also securely log in to websites and your applications. We will also inevitably see more and more hardware that supports this technology.
  • New technology is now available that works in a different way to traditional anti-virus. Where traditional anti-virus effectively matches against vast databases of known threats, the new solution recognizes suspicious behavior, stops the action and rolls back encrypted files to healthy versions.
  • Businesses need to take disaster recovery or DR more seriously and new solutions are available that effectively offer many of the benefits of replication at price affordable to SMEs. Whilst not specifically aimed at mitigating the impact of a security breach, these technologies offer instant roll-back if the system is targeted.

Intrusions happen, threats emerge and your security operation needs to be at its peak efficiency. Anglo African solutions can quickly intercept threats and thus help in avoiding data breaches. For more information about cyber security kindly contact Anglo African on 2331636 or by e-mail at



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