Security Researchers Collaborate to Uncover Sony Pictures Hackers

By eWEEK Staff  |  Posted 2016-02-25 Print this article Print

DAILY VIDEO: Security firms join forces to help unmask Sony hackers; Microsoft is buying Xamarin to build a mobile app dev powerhouse; U.S. antitrust regulators approve Dell's deal for EMC; and there's more.


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Today's topics include the joint efforts by competing security firms to unmask the Sony Pictures hackers, Microsoft's buyout of development tool company Xamarin, Dell's proposed $67 billion acquisition of EMC clears a major regulatory hurdle, and Asus settles with the FTC over security of wireless routers.

The cyber-attack against Sony Pictures Entertainment disclosed in November 2014 is one of the highest-profile and yet mysterious security breaches in recent years. Since then, media reports variously placed the blame on North Korean hackers, disgruntled ex-employees and others.

But "Operation Blockbuster," a research project carried out by multiple competing security firms, released a report on Feb. 24 that blames attackers identified as the Lazarus Group and also claims that they are still active.

Among the organizations that participated in the Operation Blockbuster research are Kaspersky Lab, AlienVault and Novetta, with support from Invincea ThreatConnect, Veloxity, Punch Cyber, Trend Micro and Symantec.

In what some observers regarded as a long-anticipated move, Microsoft announced yesterday it has signed an agreement to acquire mobile application development toolmaker Xamarin.

Xamarin provides a popular platform that enables developers to build mobile applications using C# and deliver native mobile app experiences on iOS, Android and Windows devices.

Dell's historic $67 billion bid for data storage giant EMC is beginning to get the approvals from antitrust agencies that it needs to move forward.

The companies have received the OK from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, and reports last week indicate that antitrust regulators in the European Union are prepared to give unconditional approval to the deal.

If it wins final approval, the Dell-EMC merger will be by far the largest in tech industry history and will create a massive company with significant reach in multiple markets.

U.S. regulators are putting the tech industry on notice that security in the age of the Internet of things needs to be a priority.

The Federal Trade Commission has settled charges with computer equipment maker Asus related to complaints of critical security flaws in its wireless routers, issues that regulators said put hundreds of thousands of consumers at risk.

As part of that settlement, Asus agreed to maintain a comprehensive security program requiring that its wireless routers and associated firmware be independently audited every two years for the next 20 years.


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