A Review of the Best News of the Week on AI, IoT, & Mobile Security

A New Way to Track Down Bugs Could Help Save IoT (Wired, Jan 18 2018)
Cui’s security company, Red Balloon, will spend the next year studying how its Internet of Things threat-scanning tool performs on the building control systems of Plum Island Animal Disease Center. If successful, the project could provide a critical tool in the fight against vulnerabilities in embedded industrial systems and critical infrastructure.

Infosec expert viewpoint: Google Play malware (Help Net Security, Jan 19 2018)
Here’s what infosec experts think about the security of Google Play, what they think Google should do better, and what users can do in order to protect themselves from malicious apps on the official Android app store.

The future of AI and endpoint security (CSO Online, Jan 18 2018)
Endpoints are the weakest link in your enterprise security chain. Is AI the solution?

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Element.AI opens London outpost with focus on ‘AI for good’ (TechCrunch, Jan 23 2018)
Element.AI — which last year raised $102 million from the likes of Microsoft, Intel, Nvidia and more to build an incubator-meets-consultancy to work with multiple businesses as they launch new services and systems based on artificial intelligence — is entering the next phase of its growth this week.

How AI Would Have Caught the Forever 21 Breach (Dark Reading, Jan 17 2018)
With Forever 21, the encryption technology on the POS devices had failed, but only on some devices. Artificial intelligence (AI) would spot this type of anomaly, even if it had never seen it before, because it learns what normal behavior is over time, using this understanding to recognize suspicious shifts in activity when they arise. In contrast, tools that scan known devices, looking for known viruses or published indicators of compromise, would have missed it.

AI Beat Humans at Reading! Maybe Not (Wired, Jan 18 2018)
Microsoft and Alibaba claimed software could read like a human. There’s more to the story than that.

Some Basic Rules for Securing Your IoT Stuff (Krebs on Security, Jan 17 2018)
Here’s a primer on minimizing the chances that your IoT things become a security liability for you or for the Internet at large.

The State of IoT (In)Security (The State of Security, Jan 17 2018)
TECHNOLOGY LEADERS: Pressure IoT manufacturers to strengthen device security. POLICYMAKERS: Write regulations that makes IoT security the default. EDUCATORS: Draw attention to IoT insecurity.

Big predictions for sensors in the global security and surveillance market (Help Net Security, Jan 22 2018)
– Internet of Things (IoT) is paving the way for industry convergence and enabling machine-to-machine (M2M) communications for better business decisions.
– Development of new communication protocols will ensure interoperability and provide standardization, particularly in applications for perimeter security, intrusion detection, and access control systems
– Retail, healthcare, and finance are all expected to offer considerable growth opportunities for sensors in biometrics.

Satori Botnet Malware Now Can Infect Even More IoT Devices (Dark Reading, Jan 22 2018)
The latest Satori variant, the fourth since the malware first surfaced in Dec. 2017, appears to be the first aimed specifically at ARC chipsets, DDoS attack mitigation vendor Arbor Networks said in an advisory this week.

Israeli IoT cybersecurity co VDOO raises $13m – Globes English (Globes, Jan 23 2018)
VDOO’s IoT security platform provides an automated, end-to-end process that analyzes devices, delivers the right security requirements and implementation guidance based on that analysis, and provides security certification for a full range of connected devices.

GhostTeam Adware can Steal Facebook Credentials (TrendLabs, Jan 18 2018)
TrendMicro uncovered a total of 53 apps on Google Play that can steal Facebook accounts and surreptitiously push ads. Many of these apps, which were published as early as April 2017, seemed to have been put out on Google Play in a wave. Detected by Trend Micro as ANDROIDOS_GHOSTTEAM, many of the samples we analyzed are in Vietnamese, including their descriptions on Google Play.

Want to Avoid Malware on Your Android Phone? Try the F-Droid App Store (Wired, Jan 21 2018)
Opinion: Researchers from Yale Privacy Lab argue that the scourge of trackers in Android apps means users should stop using the Google Play store.

Android Security Ecosystem Investments Pay $112,500 for Pixel Remote Exploit (Google Online Security Blog, Jan 17 2018)
In August 2017, Guang Gong (@oldfresher) of Alpha Team, Qihoo 360 Technology Co. Ltd. submitted the first working remote exploit chain since the ASR program’s expansion. For his detailed report, Gong was awarded $105,000, which is the highest reward in the history of the ASR program and $7500 by Chrome Rewards program for a total of $112,500.

The Google Play “Super Antivirus” that’s not so super at all… (Naked Security – Sophos, Jan 19 2018)
If you paid, the “threats” magically disappeared. Nothing was cleaned up, of course, because the fake anti-virus wouldn’t have known what to do with a virus even if it could have detected it in the first place. All the product did was secretly activate a configuration option that put it into Fake Clean Bill Of Health mode.

Are mobile devices insecure by nature? (WeLiveSecurity, Jan 19 2018)
Whether dealing with ensuring physical or logical access, the authentication of digital identities, platforms for software tokens, or even the use of mobile phones as tools for verifying transactions in desktop computers – shows that mobile devices have by default an equivalent or better security posture than ordinary computers.

Tinder’s Lack of Encryption Lets Strangers Spy on Your Swipes (Wired, Jan 23 2018)
Thanks to Tinder’s patchwork use of HTTPS, researchers found they could reconstruct someone’s entire experience in the app.

Sonic the Hedgehog accused of leaking Android users’ data (Graham Cluley, Jan 23 2018)
Researchers claim some Sega Android games are leaking users’ geolocation and device data.