Tuesday, January 17, 2006

iPod, PSP, Xbox & MacOS in spotlight

Further to various predictions for 2006 and SANS Top-20 reports that threats and attacks will move beyond Microsofts' ubiquitious Windows operating system, we have reports that Cyber-security and computer experts from the government and law enforcement are increasingly concerned with malicious code that runs on Linux and Apple Computer Inc.'s Mac OS X operating systems and threats posed by devices such as iPods, USB sticks, Playstation Portables (PSP's) and Xbox gaming consoles.

Intensive courses on the Mac OS X and Linux operating systems, as well as iPods, were just a few of the offerings at a recent cyber-security conference sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense. Network administrators and cyber-investigators say they are increasingly being called on to investigate compromises of non-Windows operating systems and to analyze portable devices such as iPods, according to interviews with attendees by eWEEK. The annual Cyber Crime Conference draws top cyber-security talent from the U.S. military, federal agencies, and federal, state and local law enforcement to hone their skills and learn about emerging cyber-security threats.

Innocuous devices such as the iPod Shuffle, a small, portable version of the massively popular MP3 player from Apple, are also an underappreciated threat, as demonstrated at a session called "Hacking with iPods and Forensic Analysis" at the conference. Experts said that they believe alternative computing platforms will come to play a bigger role in cyber-crimes and criminal investigations in the years to come. Devices such as the PlayStation Portable, which has a large hard drive and wireless capability, will become more common and more capable of carrying out or being targeted in online attacks.

Governments, as well as enterprises, worried about losing sensitive data need to institute tough policies that bar devices such as iPods, PSP's and USB sticks from their networks. However, technology to enforce those policies, often referred to as endpoint security tools, is still not widely used, they acknowledged.

You know you're at an inflection point when IT Security interects with cultural phenomenons such as the iPod, PSP and Xbox. An wait...the Playstation 3 console will be no different...

CATEGORIES : 1trends, 1endpoint security, 1mobility, 1threats, 1conference
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