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Cybersecurity Today With Rik Ferguson @ CLOUDSEC 2015
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Cybersecurity Today With Rik Ferguson @ CLOUDSEC 2015

On the 20th of August 2015, we were invited by Trend Micro to a special media briefing on cybersecurity, as part of the CLOUDSEC 2015 event here in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Trend Micro's Vice President of Security Research, Rik Ferguson was the man of the hour, giving us an incredibly fascinating explanation of how hackers attack companies with targeted cyber attacks. We will share that video with you, including his thoughts on the recent Ashley Madison hack, and ransomware.

Cybersecurity Today With Rik Ferguson @ CLOUDSEC 2015

Check them out below and learn from this 20+ year veteran of the cybersecurity industry. We certainly did!

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Rik Ferguson On Targeted Cyber Attacks

In this video, Rik Ferguson explains how hackers gain access to confidential data through targeted cyber attacks. He points out that just because a company is compliant with security protocols does not mean that it is secure against attacks.

The Lord of the Rings fans will enjoy the part where he pointed out that J.R.R. Tolkien was way ahead of his time when it comes to security architecture. His design for Minas Tirith was a great model to follow in network security, being designed with the assumption that its defences will fail.

Hence, it was designed to not only frustrate an attacker, but also to make it difficult for the attacker to get out after he has penetrated its defences. Adopting such a model in cybersecurity could mean the difference between a hacker just penetrating your defenses, and a hacker penetrating your defenses and getting away with your data.

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Rik Ferguson On The Ashley Madison Hack

We asked Rik Ferguson what he thought about the Ashley Madison hack that resulted in the theft of over 10 GB of compressed data. That data included not only user names and hashed passwords for 33 million accounts, but also their associated credit card data (partial) including first and last names, street names and phone numbers as well as email addresses.

Rik then suggested several things Ashley Madison could have done to detect the hack earlier, as well as prevent all that data from being stolen. As he pointed out earlier, just because Ashley Madison complied with industry cyber security standards does not mean they are adequately protected against cyber attacks.

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Rik Ferguson On Ransomware

Our last cybercrime subject was on ransomware. Interestingly, he revealed that the first ransomware was created in 1988, and delivered to its victims using 5.25" floppy disks! Its creator, Dr. Joseph Popp was arrested for this crime but was let off because he was declared "mentally unfit to stand trial".

Rik then talked about the Reveton ransonware trojan, and how Trend Micro helped law enforcement agencies track down one of the two key guys who created it. He also pointed out how ransomware can be sold as a service, like the Tox ransomware, where the the ransomware creator rents out the ransomware in return for a cut of the ransom payment.

He also points out how ransomware is likely to be used against Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Finally, he had some advice on what we can do to prevent our data from being held hostage by ransomware.

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Expect the Unexpected at CLOUDSEC 2015

Kuala Lumpur, August 20, 2015 – CLOUDSEC, the leading internet security conferences in Asia Pacific and Europe, kicks off its fifth annual edition this year with the theme “Expect the Unexpected”.

The massive cyberattacks of 2014-2015 have revealed the weaknesses of many corporate networks and the shortcomings of corporate IT strategy in overcoming advanced threats and targeted attacks. Organisations need better strategies and solutions to overcome the unexpected security challenges that will come tomorrow. As the leading internet security event in Asia Pacific and Europe, CLOUDSEC 2015 promises to address the questions and issues that are most pervasive in the startling nature of cyberattacks today. Through discussions and shared learnings, CLOUDSEC 2015 aims to help corporations better protect themselves with better strategies and solutions to overcome the unexpected security challenges to come.

Hosted by Trend Micro Incorporated (TYO: 4704; TSE: 4704), CLOUDSEC 2015 will discuss new threats that companies should be vigilant about and countermeasures from around the world today. CLOUDSEC’s attendees will also get to hear world-class keynotes from experts’ about security solutions which can be implemented today in order to fully leverage the benefits when protecting their data.


At CLOUDSEC 2015, attendees will join in the discussion around today’s security landscape which requires a different mindset from yesteryear. With cyberattacks increasing in frequency and intensity, organizations need to accept that they will not be able to keep threats out forever. Addressing the inevitability of being breached, the conference will look at the shifts in mindset that organizations must take and how companies must rethink their IT organizational strategy, as well as finding the right person to plan that strategy. The sessions – consisting of keynote presentations, keynote panels, breakout tracks, workshops and tutorials – will feature global and regional experts in the areas of advanced persistent threats, big data security, cybercrime and forensics, cloud security, data privacy and protection, Internet of Everything, and virtualization and software defined security.

Key Speakers:

  • Rik Ferguson, Vice President, Security Research, Trend Micro, will present a key note for CLOUDSEC 2015
  • Dhanya Thakkar, Managing Director, Asia Pacific, Trend Micro, will present a key note on how cybercrime networks work and operate
  • Norhizam Abdul Kadir, Vice President Infotech Division, Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC) will present a keynote on the state of cloud computing in Malaysia

“Cyberattacks are increasingly rampant and it is vital for organizations to prepare for the unexpected threats and upgrade their security strategies to address new digital challenges better,” said Goh Chee Hoh, Managing Director of Malaysia, Trend Micro Inc. “Data is precious and that is what cyberattackers aim for as they craft different attack methods. This makes a conference platform like CLOUDSEC valuable, as it collates the expertise of the industry’s leaders and delivers it through interesting presentations and discussions, to help attendees understand and respond to the latest cybersecurity issues and challenges better.”

CLOUDSEC 2015 was held in Kuala Lumpur on 20 August 2015 in addition to seven other major cities across the world – Singapore, Hong Kong, Taipei, Bangkok, Mumbai, Seoul, and London.

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