Ten Big Information Security Stories from 2010

Sunday, January 02, 2011

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CRN has put together one of the more interesting "best of 2010" lists we have seen.

The ensemble does not focus solely on the pop-security issues that made the biggest headlines per se, but is instead a thoughtful examination of some of the stories that will prove to have the biggest impact and long term effects on the information security field as a whole.

A brief summery of CRN's top ten list is as follows:

1. Intel's Surprise McAfee Move: In a blockbuster move Intel in August unveiled plans to buy McAfee for a whopping $7.68 billion, including $48 per share in cash...

2. Google Blindsided By 'Operation Aurora': Kicking off 2010, Google and more than 30 other corporations, including Intel and Adobe, suffered a serious malware attack, considered by some to be the most significant in corporate history. The attack, which appeared to be sourced from China, enabled hackers to infiltrate corporate networks to steal critical assets such as intellectual property...

3. Stuck By Stuxnet: Possibly the biggest malware threat of all time, Stuxnet rocked the security community in September when researchers found traces of malware on Siemens industrial software systems that operated Iran's Bushehr nuclear reactor. The attack, which exploited four zero-day Windows vulnerability, spread via infected USB devices inside the plant...

4. Symantec Buys The Stack: Well, almost. Symantec gave itself a huge leg up in the encryption space when it announced the dual purchase of encryption leader PGP and GuardianEdge in April. Executives contended that the move further solidified Symantec as a competitive player in the data protection and encryption space with access to an array of encryption technologies...

5. Zeus Takedown: Continuing an ongoing investigation that occurred throughout the summer, federal officials issued 37 warrants to individuals for involvement in an international cyber crime ring that used the Zeus botnet to steal millions of dollars from U.S. bank accounts...

6. Security Consolidation Galore: Private equity firms seemed to gobble up security vendors in 2010, kicking off when Sophos announced in May that it was selling the majority of its business to private equity group Apax Partners for $830 million...

7. The Microsoft Waledac War: Microsoft doesn't lose many battles, even against giant global botnets. The software giant helped obliterate the remains of the botnet Waledac in September when a U.S. District Court judge recommended that the court issue a default judgment to permanently transfer ownership of 276 domains to the company in an effort to put a stop to their use by cybercriminals...

8. McAfee DAT File Disaster: McAfee had its hands full in April when a buggy antivirus software update caused big problems for computers running Windows XP. The issue stemmed from an infected McAfee DAT file version 5958, which caused Windows XP systems to somehow mistake a legitimate operating system for malware, causing them to enter a continual reboot cycle and lose network connectivity...

9. iPad Info Hack: Apple was the victim of a data breach in June when hacker group Goatse Security exploited a gaping security hole in AT&T's Web servers and published tens of thousands e-mail addresses of iPad 3G customers who utilize AT&T's data service...

10. Facebook Privacy Dance: It would hardly be a year if Facebook didn't engage in its ongoing privacy mindgame with its 500 million users. In an attempt to make nice with its critics, the social networking giant launched some reforms to the highly controversial "Connections" setting, which exposes users' profile data to search engines and other third-party applications, by giving users an easier way to completely "opt out" of sharing their personal information...

More information on each of these stories can be found at CRN.

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