Computer and software industry maker HP is in the process of notifying customers about a seemingly harmless security incident in 2010 that nevertheless could prove expensive for the company to fix and present unique support problems for users of its older products.
Ever since news broke that thieves stole more than 40 million debit and credit card accounts from Target using a strain of Point-Of-Sale malware known as BlackPOS, much speculation has swirled around unanswered questions, such as how this malware was introduced into the network, and what mechanisms were used to infect thousands of Target’s cash registers.
Cyber espionage hackers who broke into security firm Bit9 initially breached the company’s defenses in July 2012, according to evidence being gathered by security experts investigating the incident. Bit9 remains reluctant to name customers that were impacted by the intrusion, but the custom-made malicious software used in the attack was deployed last year in highly targeted attacks against U.S. Defense contractors.
Bit9, a company that provides software and network security services to the U.S. government and at least 30 Fortune 100 firms, has suffered an electronic compromise that cuts to the core of its business: helping clients distinguish known “safe” files from computer viruses and other malicious software.
Once or twice each year, some security company trots out a “study” that counts the number of vulnerabilities that were found and fixed in widely used software products over a given period and then pronounces the most profligate offenders in a Top 10 that is supposed to tell us something useful about the relative security of these programs. And nearly without fail, the security press parrots this information as if it were newsworthy.