They say that flying is safer than travelling by road – but you may want to review that following recent research by McAfee.

The firm’s security researchers discovered that someone could essentially buy their way into an international airport’s security system for just $10 on the dark web.

The ‘product’ was being sold through a Russian Remote Desktop Protocol shop, a technology which allows people to control a computer from a different location.

Researchers described how hackers can find login credentials by “simply scanning the internet for systems that accept RDP connections and launching a brute-force attack with popular tools”.

Palming off biometric authentication

Biometric authentication technology has been the talk of security ever since fingerprint sensors began to be incorporated into mobile devices.

However confirming one’s identity via a different part of the hand is set to be introduced into the retail space.

Financial services firm AEON is to begin a trial of a cardless payment system which uses Fujitsu's palm vein biometric authentication system.

Starting in September 2018, the trial will take place in selected convenience stores in Japan.

“As a number of payment methods have been created using smart devices in recent years, AEON Credit Service has been weighing credit card payment methods that customers can use with more convenience and security,” the firm stated.

“Now, from a number of biometric authentication technologies that can identify a person from a part the individual's body, the company has decided to use Fujitsu's palm vein authentication technology for its payment scheme given that it offers high authentication accuracy, and also because it is contactless and sanitary.

“This will enable people to go shopping ‘empty handed’ as credit cards and smart devices will be unnecessary.”

It says authentication using palm veins has high accuracy as there are many veins within the palm of the hand and their arrangement is complex.

Fake phone mast threat to big business

Peter Matthews, CEO of Metro Communications, has outlined the dangers for big business as ‘stingray’ towers drop to just $300 on dark web.

Writing for BusinessCloud, he says: “It’s a scary thought that these fake mobile towers, which work by intercepting information from passing phones, are so low in price that anyone wanting to hack calls and sell data can buy them.

“My worry is that stingray masts will increasingly be used for industrial espionage, for example to eavesdrop on confidential calls between business directors and their lawyers about mergers or acquisitions.

“Hackers could then sell information to competitors or use it for blackmail. Group chats or video calls between fund managers and dealers could also be exposed, potentially affecting share prices.”

Read the full blog here.

Potential boost for countries’ cyber defences

Israeli firm Toka has raised $12.5 million to help nation states strengthen their cyber defences.

The company’s co-founders include former Israeli Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Ehud Barak plus a former chief of Israel’s defence forces cyber staff and experts from several cyber companies. So it probably knows what it is doing.

Toka will help governmental agencies tasked with keeping citizens and government institutions safe transform their cyber-defences.

The firm says its team will “help nations develop strategic capabilities, an operational approach and an ecosystem of software products”.

Employees suffering from ‘cyber stress’

People are facing increased levels of stress at work due to cyber security, according to a new report by Kaspersky Lab.

It says cyber-breaches, the handling of sensitive data and dealing with a variety of passwords all contribute to ‘cyber stress’.

Kaspersky Lab reported that 69 per cent of employees in Germany are stressed by news of data breaches while 73 per cent are stressed by managing passwords and 72 per cent about having to protect their devices.

Two thirds struggle with the handling of sensitive information.

New tech accelerator launches in 'Cyber Valley'

A new technology business accelerator programme has been launched in the UK's 'cyber valley'.

Based at the BetaDen Hub in Malvern Hills Science Park, Worcestershire, the nine-month programme will give ten individuals, SMEs or scale-ups intensive support through technologists, lab spaces, mentors, investment coaching, proof of concept grant funding, events, workshops and commercial meetings.

The scheme will be funded by the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership and supported by local technology and cyber businesses including Titania and DeepSecure, BetaDen.

The area is home to the highest concentration of cyber companies in the UK and will play host to one of the government’s 5G testbed projects as major firms including Worcester Bosch experiment with 5G using robotics, big data analytics and augmented reality.

Fingerprint tech company secures slice of £63m fund

Touch Biometrix has been awarded Technology and Commercial Feasibility funding from the Welsh Government’s £63.4m SMARTCymru programme.

The company, founded in 2017, was recently recognised as one of the sector’s top 20 global key players in a new report.

"We're delighted to have received this support from the Welsh Government and the EU," said Touch Biometrix CEO Dr Mike Cowin.

"This all helps to support our development of a new user authentication experience that eliminates the need for passwords when using smartphones, computers and smart objects."