15 billion stolen logins on dark web

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A new survey by security firm Digital Shadows has revealed that more than 15 billion login pairs (usernames and passwords) have been exposed on the dark web. Of these records, 5 billion were unique, with the credentials coming from 100,000 breaches. The most vulnerable logins were those used for financial services and banking passwords, though gaming and file-sharing credentials were also affected.  

Huawei 5G to be removed from UK

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UK telecoms providers are being banned from purchasing Huawei 5G equipment after 31st December 2020. In addition, the House of Commons has declared that all providers must remove the Chinese firm’s 5G kit from their networks by 2027. Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden said that a review by the National Cyber Security Centre informed the decision, with particular concerns over political tensions, the coronavirus pandemic, and China’s treatment of Hong Kong.   

Cybersecurity pros are “under more pressure”

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A new report has revealed the intense pressure cybersecurity professionals are facing in 2020. The annual ‘State of the Security Profession’ survey, led by the Chartered Institute of Information Security, had more respondents than ever and revealed that 54% of professionals left their roles due to burnout. In addition, 82% were concerned that company budgets were not high enough for 2020 threat levels.

More sign-ups than ever for cyber skills summer courses

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The National Cyber Security Centre has reported a record number of sign-ups for its summer courses, which aim to teach young people key cybersecurity skills. CyberFirst teaches students how to analyse common attacks, crack codes, and defend their devices or networks. The courses, available for 14 to 17-year-olds, had to be moved online, which has proved fortuitous as 1,700 pupils are due to sign up. The scheme is part of efforts to improve diversity in STEM careers.   

World’s most common password revealed

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Results from a recent password analysis into 1 billion leaked credentials have revealed the world’s most common passwords. Turkish computer engineering student Ata Hakçıl researched records of data breaches, and discovered that there were just 169 million unique passwords in a billion. The most common password, used by more than 7 million users, was “123456”. The study also stated that the average password length was nine characters.  

Three quarters of companies to accelerate digital

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Fortune has surveyed the CEOs of the 2020 Fortune 500 list to get their views on life after COVID-19. While more than a quarter said they would “never return to their usual workplace”, an astonishing three quarters said that the crisis will accelerate the pace of technological transformation. Cybersecurity is one of the biggest considerations, particularly for those working from home at this time.  

Remote security working “undermines collaboration”

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Cybersecurity experts are warning that remote work “may not be a good idea” for security teams. Corey Thomas, CEO and chairman of security firm Rapid7, says that security teams that work from home cannot communicate as effectively, nor can they share skills and perform as well as they could in person. He says that while remote working has taught us new skills, we should not underestimate the value of communication for business safety.   

Most vulnerable countries revealed in new survey

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The Cybersecurity Exposure Index 2020 has revealed the countries most susceptible to cyber-attacks. After analysing 108 countries in Europe, America, Asia-Pacific and Africa, the team revealed that Africa has the highest exposure score, with three quarters in the high-risk category. Asia-Pacific had 60% in the high-risk category, while Europe and North America were much safer. Finland topped the ranks for least vulnerable country.

Cybersecurity to become a much deeper legal issue

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Legal departments are preparing to become much more involved with cybersecurity issues as the global workforce continues to work from home. They will be re-evaluating privacy and data protection, while also addressing how they protect their networks. Experts at Law.com warned, however, that many legal departments were “not ready” for the workloads coming towards them as a result of the shift towards remote working.   

World’s popular passwords can be “cracked in under a second”

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Account holders are urged to update their weak passwords to something stronger as it was revealed that brute force hackers can guess the majority of popular passwords in less than one second. Up to 70% were labelled as vulnerable, with consecutive numbers 12345 named as the most popular. Users should turn towards a decentralised password manager instead to protect themselves from these brute force methods.