Avalanche Botnet Shut Down by International Law Enforcement Action

Today's topics include the international effort to take down the Avalanche Botnet, the launch of Google’s new fuzzing tool software bug testing, the availability of new ebook reading feature in Windows 10 for mobile devices and the release of an updated Identity Suite from CA Technologies.

Law enforcement organizations from around the world have coordinated in an operation to take down the global botnet known as Avalanche.

The operation to take down the Avalanche botnet and its associated criminal infrastructure, was formally revealed on Dec. 1 and involved four years of investigation and cooperation between the U.S Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Europol, as well as prosecutors in over 30 countries.

According to Europol, Avalanche was responsible for malware infections in more than 180 countries and is estimated to have infected up to 500,000 systems globally every day.

Google has launched a new project for continuously testing open source software for security vulnerabilities. The company's new OSS-Fuzz service is available in beta starting this week, but at least initially it will only be available for open source projects that have a very large user base or are critical to global IT infrastructure.

Google developed the program over the past few years along with members of the Core Infrastructure Initiative, a Linux Foundation-organized effort focused on strengthening security within the open source community.

Members include Amazon, Cisco, Google, HP, IBM and Fujitsu. Fuzzing is a frequently used technique for uncovering coding errors and implementation bugs in a software product by barraging it with a large stream of random and malformed data to see if it will crash.

Windows Insiders who take the latest test build of Windows 10 Mobile for a spin can now view EPUB-formatted ebooks on their mobile devices using the Microsoft Edge browser.

This week, Microsoft released Windows 10 build 14977 to the early access program, but exclusively for the mobile version of the operating system.

In a Dec. 1 announcement, Dona Sarkar, head of the Windows Insider program, revealed that a "blocking bug" had forced Microsoft to hold off on issuing its counterpart for Windows PCs.

The flaw can cause apps to fail, defeating the purpose of testing pre-release software. On the other hand, Windows Phone owners can experience Edge's newfound native EPUB ebook functionality, which the company previewed for PC users last month.

CA Technologies announced an update to its CA Identity Suite on Nov. 30, providing enterprises with new deployment, integration and security capabilities.

The new CA Identity Suite version 14 release benefits from recent acquisitions made by CA. The CA Identity Suite provides capabilities for network and data access governance as well as enforcement features, Nick Nikols, SVP and Cybersecurity Business CTO at CA Technologies, told eWEEK.

He added that a goal of the new release is to simplify access governance with a user interface that is easier for business decision makers to use. "Identity isn't about who you are, it's about what you do,” Nikols said.