Optus breach is a wake-up call for secure coding practices

A “coding error” in Optus Mobile's systems led to a massive data breach affecting over nine million customers, sparking a lawsuit from the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

The case, filed under number VID429/2024 in the Federal Court of Australia, highlights the severe consequences of software vulnerabilities in large-scale systems.

The breach, which affected over nine million Optus users, was caused by a seemingly simple coding error—a stark...

Encryption under fire: Signal and rights groups oppose EU law

In a strongly worded statement, Meredith Whittaker, President of Signal, has called out the EU’s latest attempts to weaken end-to-end encryption under the guise of new terminology.

Her comments come in response to ongoing discussions surrounding the EU's chat control legislation, which has seen some European countries pushing for measures that could potentially compromise user privacy.

Whittaker's concerns are echoed by a joint statement issued in May by several...

Hackers are increasingly exploiting packers to spread malware

Cybersecurity researchers from Check Point have uncovered an increasing trend of hackers exploiting commercial packing tools like BoxedApp to conceal and distribute various malware strains. Over the past year, a significant surge in the abuse of BoxedApp products has been observed, particularly in attacks targeting financial institutions and government organisations.

BoxedApp offers a range of commercial packers – including BoxedApp Packer and BxILMerge – which provide...

Sonatype exposes malicious PyPI package ‘pytoileur’

Sonatype has exposed 'pytoileur', a malicious PyPI package designed to download and install trojanised Windows binaries capable of surveillance, commandeering persistence, and stealing cryptocurrency. This discovery is part of a broader, months-long "Cool package" campaign aimed at infiltrating the coding community.

Yesterday, an automated malware detection system operated by Sonatype, known as the Sonatype Repository Firewall, flagged a newly published PyPI package called...

Phylum uncovers targeted malware disguised in Python package

Phylum’s cybersecurity experts have detected a malicious payload embedded within a popular Python package on the PyPI repository. The package, named requests-darwin-lite, is an unauthorised variant of the widely-used requests library.

The requests-darwin-lite package was cleverly designed to emulate its legitimate counterpart but included a Go binary concealed within an oversized image file pretending to be a simple logo. This file – a PNG labelled as a sidebar image –...

Open letter criticises ‘flawed’ CSAM scanning plan

An open letter signed by 270 scientists and researchers across 33 countries has raised major technical concerns about the EU's proposed regulation mandating the scanning of messaging apps for child sexual abuse material (CSAM). The signees argue the techniques are fundamentally flawed and will "completely undermine communications and systems security."

"From a technical standpoint, to be effective, this new proposal will also completely undermine communications and systems...

Google blocked 2M malicious apps from the Play Store in 2023

Google blocked 2.28 million policy-violating apps from being published on the Play Store in 2023, thanks to improved security measures and tighter developer vetting processes. The company rejected or had developers remediate almost 200,000 app submissions to prevent abuse of sensitive permissions like location tracking and SMS access.  

The company says providing a safe and trusted Play Store experience is its top priority, underpinned by principles to "safeguard users",...

GitHub’s 2FA rollout boosts supply chain security

In a push to enhance the security of the software supply chain, GitHub has successfully rolled out mandatory two-factor authentication (2FA) for code contributors on its platform.

GitHub’s 2FA rollout – announced in May 2022 – aimed to address the critical first link in the software supply chain by securing the developers responsible for designing, building, and maintaining the software we all rely on.

The results are in

After a year of meticulous preparation,...

What developers can learn from the largest DDoS attack in history

This past October, Google Cloud disclosed that it had successfully mitigated the largest Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack in history – and that this DDoS attack had been hitting businesses since August.

What made it the worst DDoS to date? It was the volume. At its peak, the attack counted over 398 million requests per second (rps). To compare, the worst recorded DDoS attack up to that point, detected in 2022, reached 46 million rps.

The fall 2023 attack,...

Fortifying app security with the help of Terraform

A staple of DevOps tech stacks, Terraform is an Infrastructure-as-Code (IaC) provisioning and management tool developed by HashiCorp. While Terraform itself is rarely associated with app security and is not directly related to the safety and cyber protection of applications, using it correctly is pivotal in the implementation of security best practices. 

As DevOps continues to morph into DevSecOps, and as supply chain attacks continue to breach enterprise systems,...