The security review: VM machines and security, online banking and VTech data breach

The last seven days in information security have been notable to say the least, with VTech experiencing a major data breach and Google being the subject of a complaint over data gathering practices. Read on for more on both these stories, as well as other highlights of the past week.

Moving security to the virtual machine is a positive step forward

Cameron Camp, a malware researcher at ESET, discussed security from a virtual machine point of view, stating that offloading it to the core of server – where power is in abundance – “is smart optimization”. He was keen to point out that in protecting a VM, there is no “single magic bullet”. Instead, he elaborated, “a security posture should include a mix of network and host-based defenses, along with aligning a defensive approach based on the role of the VM you’re protecting”.

Home is where we like to bank online, although Russians don’t mind mobile

online banking

Analysing the findings of a recent survey, Ondrej Kubovic, a security evangelist at ESET, observed how for most nations, the use of home networks for online banking is the most popular way of managing finances. This is especially true for Brits, Americans and Germans. Meanwhile Russians, interestingly, were a lot more adventurous, with a significant number of respondents found to be banking through mobile devices.

UK the ‘most security conscious nation’ when it comes to online banking

In another article based on ESET’s recent survey, Mr. Kubovic noted how the UK is the most security conscious of countries analyzed (which included the US, Germany and Russia) when it comes to online banking. He reported that more than 77% of Brits will have in place some sort of security solution, ensuring that when they are checking their balance, making payments and moving cash around, they do so feeling secure.

VTech becomes the latest high-profile victim of a cyberattack


The specialist electronic toys and technology manufacturer VTech revealed that it had become the latest high-profile victim of a cyberattack. At first it was thought that five million of its customers had been compromised by the data breach, but it was later reported by the company that the number of affected individuals was close to 10 million. Along with personal information including names, email and postal addresses and download history, pictures of both parents and their children were alleged to have been obtained.

TalkTalk cyberattack a reminder that the threat of this type of crime is growing

Using the recent cyberattack on TalkTalk as a case in point, Andrew Lloyd, managing director of Legal Futures, an online news provider specializing in legal matters, explained how this evolving threat has “raised plenty of conversations among lawyers” about internet safety. Mr. Lloyd acknowledged that while cybercriminals are targeting more individuals and organizations than ever before – there is likely to be information of “economic value” present in many enterprises, big and small – by following basic guidelines, a solid level of protection can be achieved by all.

EFF accuses Google of collecting and using data belonging to school children


The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a nonprofit organization that “defends civil liberties in the digital age”, filed a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission in the US, arguing that Google is not only surreptitiously collecting data belonging to school children, which includes their search history, it is also using and sharing this information without permission. Nate Cardozo, staff attorney at the EFF, said: “Minors shouldn’t be tracked or used as guinea pigs, with their data treated as a profit center. If Google wants to use students’ data to ‘improve Google products,’ then it needs to get express consent from parents.”

“Minors shouldn’t be tracked or used as guinea pigs, with their data treated as a profit center.”

Author , ESET

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