Zimperium Blog

Cutting through the Weekly Mobile Security Noise: Defending Data & Managing Risks

As data breaches continue to make headlines, the need for a cyber security solution has become a growing concern for organizations. We’ve learned that early detection and effective response planning is critical to reducing aftermath. This week we’ve been monitoring conversations around a game-streaming hack, Android OS flaws, mobile app vulnerabilities and several stories involving insider threats and security breaches.

Twitch, a game-streaming service owned by Amazon has reportedly been hacked, revealing access to users’ account information, e-mail addresses, passwords and IP addresses. According to a CIO today story, Twitch responded to the issue saying, “We are writing to let you know that there may have been unauthorized access to some Twitch user account information,” The company also said in a blog post, “For your protection Relevant Products/Services, we have expired passwords and stream keys and have disconnected accounts from Twitter and YouTube. As a result, you will be prompted to create a new password the next time you attempt to log into your Twitch account.”

An article in PYMNTS reported that over the next two years cyber attacks are going to get even worse. At Innovation Project 2015 last week, a panel of security experts led a discussion around current security topics such as the integrity of the payments ecosystem, mobile security and new cyber security technologies relating to secure payment and data networks. With the “year of the breaches” (Anthem, Uber, Target, Home Depot, JPMorgan, etc.) behind us, the impacts of insider threats still heavily impact organizations. Their conversation confirmed that investments in cyber security are imperative in order to make a change.

Palo Alto Networks reported an Android flaw exposing nearly half of all devices. The vulnerability replaces apps with malicious software and collects data from user’s phones. “Google, Samsung and Amazon have released patches for their devices, but 49.5 percent of Android users are still vulnerable, according to Palo Alto Networks, which discovered the problem. Google said it has not detected attempts to exploit the flaw.” Zhi Xu, a senior staff engineer at Palo Alto Networks said the malicious app installed a vulnerability called, “Android Installer Hijacking,” which allows full access to a device, including data such as usernames and passwords. The vulnerability only affects applications that are installed from a third-party app store. Security experts generally recommend using caution when downloading apps from those sources.

Help Net Security delivered some interesting insight regarding the Premera data breach last week. The company has been “deemed compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in late November 2014.” The audit was conducted through an independent government agency. The audit discovered several issues such as, “The company lacked some physical security controls to prevent access to its data center and they had a patch management policy, but some patches were not being implemented fast enough.” Despite these findings, the report stated, “Nothing came to our attention that caused us to believe that Premera is not in compliance with the HIPAA security, privacy, and national provider identifier regulations.” While some of these problems have been fixed since the report was published in April 2014, there still is no proof that the hackers took advantage of these findings in May. This story should serve as a reminder that no organization is same from attacks and we must do what we can to educate and prevent future threats.