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July 18, 2014

Here are the selections Tech Talk Editors George Milner and Teri Wesley have collected from this week's tech news:
  • A call to cyber action
  • NY regulates Bitcoin
  • New cyber task force
  • Cyber cops hit Shylock
  • ZeuS still in the game
  • Sr trojan takes over
  • Safer sign-on solution
  • A mobile-centric workplace
  • The branch of dreams
  • Spam, Scams & Breaches
  • Updates, Patches and Alerts
  • and on the lighter side...
A call to cyber action
Cyber attacks on the financial system compromise market confidence, jeopardize the integrity of data, and pose a threat to financial stability. With increasing threats targeting the financial sector, U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew is urging the industry to adopt the Administration's new voluntary cybersecurity framework for their own systems and as a way to evaluate outside vendors. With some institutions spending as much as $250 million a year on cyber security measures, Lew said more needs to be done, reports The Washinton Post.

NY regulates Bitcoin
The New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) has issued a proposal for regulating businesses that receive or transmit virtual currency on behalf of consumers, or store or control virtual currency for customers. New York is the first state to propose virtual currency regulations. The proposal, which outlines requirements for a special "BitLicense," would include rules for consumer protection, anti-money laundering, and cyber security. CNBC has the details. The proposed regulations will be published next week and open to a 45-day comment period before they become final.

New cyber task force
In a perfect world, users could go online without fear that a criminal or malicious program is exploiting software bugs to infect their system, steal login credentials or monitor their activity. But since that perfect world doesn't exist, Google has established a special task force that will be aimed at significantly reducing these targeted attacks. Networkworld has more details on Google's Project Zero cybercrime task force.

Global cyber cops hit Shylock
A global operation led by the UK's National Crime Agency (NCA) is underway to take down the Shylock banking malware that has infected more than 30,000 systems worldwide. The joint effort by leading authorities around the world has resulted in the seizure of Shylock's command and control servers and control of the domains the malware uses to communicate with infected computers, which could have a significant effect on the malware's infrastructure, reports Finextra.

ZeuS still in the game
Last week the DOJ claimed victory over the Gameover Zeus botnet and Cryptolocker, saying that the threats were "neutralized," reported Networkworld. But it's not game over for the nefarious Gameover ZeuS trojan. Researchers have uncovered a new strain of the malware being spread via malicious spam campaigns disguised as messages from banks. Infosecurity has the details.

Sr trojan takes over
The idiom "like father, like son" is used to express the ideal that sons tend to do what their fathers did before them. In the case of a new banking trojan designed to steal log-in credentials and other financial information, it's the other way around. Using form-grabbing and HTML content-injection techniques, the arrival of this latest malicious malware to hit the underground criminal market comes on the heels of the DOJ's recent takedown of the Gameover ZeuS botnet. Even though a new variant of ZeuS has reportedly surfaced, Kronos (named after Zeus' father in Greek mythology) is designed for users of ZeuS to easily switch over and adapt this latest threat. eSecurity Planet has the details.

Safer sign-on solution
A two-factor authentication method deployed by many banks that includes sending a text message to the users' smartphone with a code thatís entered into a web-based form has become ineffective against increased attacks targeting mobile devices. In partnership with German security technology firm Kobil, a major bank in Turkey is offering its customers a simpler and safer online banking authentication solution. With Kobil's secure communications platform mIDentity, users can safely log in with a single password. Finextra has the details.

A mobile-centric workplace
Mobile devices and applications are permeating all types of enterprises, including the financial sector. A recent study found that 54 percent of workers and IT professionals who participate in BYOD (bring your own device) programs used their mobile devices for business applications beyond phone calls and email. At risk of being easily lost or stolen, data on mobile devices is not only highly vulnerable, organizations have less control over data stored or accessed on mobile devices. Wall Street & Technology has more on meeting the growing demands of the mobile-centric workplace.

The branch of dreams
The philosophy behind "If you build it, they will come" worked well in the feel-good movie Field of Dreams, but may not be sound advice for building the branch of the future. In making the transformation from branch to digital banking, financial institutions need to reevaluate self-service and customer engagement. In their endeavor to build the branch consumers will come to, their best resources are data analytics and, more importantly, feedback and guidance from their customers. Bank Systems & Technology has more on mastering the branch to digital transformation.

Updates, Patches and Alerts...

On the lighter side ...
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