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An SMB's Guide to PCI 3.0 Penetration Testing
February 04, 2014
By now, if you're an IT professional and you're in an organization that has PCI-DSS in your scope -- that is, you store, process or transmit credit card data -- you probably already know that an update to the standard, Version 3.0, was released late last year. With this update come a few changes to the technical measures that organizations handling credit card information must implement.
IT Weaknesses Paved the Way for Target Hackers
January 30, 2014
The Target data breach exposed more than 100 million customers, riled up U.S. intelligence agencies, sparked a Justice Department investigation, involved the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the FBI, triggered congressional hearings, and led several banks to re-issue their credit cards. The hacker has variously been identified as a 17-year-old Russian or one or more other cybercriminals.
Slipshod Security, Human Frailty Made @N Ripe for Plucking
January 30, 2014
GoDaddy reportedly has admitted one of its employees handed out customer information to a scammer who carried out a scheme to obtain a prime Twitter account. Naoki Hiroshima, a developer at Echofon, this week detailed how the scammer was able to force him to hand over his prime Twitter account, @N. The scammer used social engineering to accomplish his goal.
Worried Retail Shoppers Bury Heads in Sand
January 28, 2014
Consumers are getting increasingly nervous over retailers' ability to protect their personal data -- yet they are not changing their shopping habits, according to findings from an AP-GfK poll. In the wake of the Target breach, nearly half of those surveyed expressed extreme concern about their personal data while shopping in stores, and 58 percent had deep worries about online spending.
Neiman Marcus Alerts Customers to Hack Attack
January 24, 2014
Neiman Marcus has announced that some 1.1-million customer credit and debit cards may have been exposed in a hack attack. The retailer was first alerted to the intrusion at the beginning of the year. It appears that "sophisticated, self-concealing malware" able to obtain payment card information was active in the company's systems between July 16 and Oct. 30, 2013, CEO Karen Katz said.
Bitcoin's Popularity Attracts Malware Writers
January 22, 2014
Most folks know the value of money, but few know the latest value of a Bitcoin, a virtual currency prone to wide price swings. Those swings haven't deterred those on the digital leading edge from speculating in the currency -- or bad app writers from plotting ways to steal it. "Bitcoins -- and indeed any digital property of any value -- will be a theft target," said Bitcoin developer Jeff Garzik.
Google Axes Adware-Pushing Chrome Extensions
January 20, 2014
Following reports of adware being distributed through extensions for Google's Web browser Chrome, the search giant has removed two applets from it its online store. Pulled from the Chrome Web Store were "Add to Feedly" and "Tweet This Page." Both extensions were mentioned in a Friday report about adware vendors buying popular Chrome extensions and transforming them into advertising hoses.
The Blackphone vs. the NSA
January 20, 2014
Well Linux bloggers have made it plain from the get-go that privacy is among their top concerns for 2014, and recent events have done nothing to shift that focus. President Obama's momentous speech proposing NSA reforms wasn't the only clarion call last week. We also heard from Mozilla, which appealed to security researchers to help keep Firefox source code unadulterated and backdoor-free.
Obama's NSA Reforms Draw Tepid Response
January 18, 2014
In a keenly anticipated speech, President Obama on Friday announced reforms to the NSA's surveillance activities, but his pronouncements failed to please just about everyone. "We heard nothing in his speech or proposal that will repair the damage that has been done to the tech industry and the future of the Internet," said Matt Simons, director of social justice at ThoughtWorks.
Passwords Flow Freely at Starbucks
January 16, 2014
Starbucks has admitted storing users' passwords in plain text on its mobile apps, creating security and privacy risks. Anyone with access to a customer's phone could obtain that person's user name, password and email address by connecting the device to a computer and opening a file. The clear text reportedly also displays a string of geolocation data that could put customer privacy at risk.
Blackphone Aims to Keep Spooks in the Dark
January 15, 2014
Silent Circle and Geeksphone have teamed up to create the Blackphone -- a smartphone designed to truly protect users' privacy. Carrier- and vendor-independent, the Blackphone allows users to make and receive phone calls securely, as well as transfer and store files, swap secure text messages, and conduct video chats without compromising their privacy, the companies claim.
PowerLocker Takes Ransomware to a New Level
January 13, 2014
Up to now, the malware program CryptoLocker has been king of the ransomware roost, but PowerLocker may present a new challenge. "It has some interesting countermeasures to thwart researchers," said Harry Sverdlove, CTO of Bit9. Among those countermeasures are the ability to determine if it's running on a virtual machine -- and if so, to alter its behavior.
Other Shoe Drops in Target Customer Data Breach
January 10, 2014
The security breach that initially appeared to affect as many as 40 million customers may put many more at risk, Target revealed Friday. In addition to accessing those customers' payment card data, hackers stole the names, mailing addresses, phone numbers or email addresses for up to 70 million people. The personal data theft was uncovered in the investigation of the payment card data heist.
All Eyes May Be on Security in Samsung's S5
January 09, 2014
Rumors that Samsung will include iris-recognition technology in its forthcoming Galaxy S5 smartphone, widely expected to be launched in April, were given a boost on Thursday through an interview with Lee Young Hee, executive vice president of Samsung Mobile. People are "fanatical" about iris recognition technology and Samsung is "studying the possibility," Lee said.
New Year's Resolutions: Be More Secure in 2014
January 07, 2014
If you're inclined to make resolutions this time of year and you're concerned about your online and offline security, here are some suggestions that can keep you safer in the days ahead. At the top of the list: You should vow to change the passwords to your important accounts on a frequent basis. Using the same password for many websites is also something you should vow to avoid in 2014.
40 Million Target Customers Fall Prey to Hackers
December 19, 2013
Target on Thursday disclosed that 40 million customer accounts might have been accessed by hackers between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15. Customer names, credit and debit card numbers, card expiration dates and the three-digit security codes on the backs of cards were compromised when they were swiped through machines in stores. The data breach did not extend to online transactions.
Malware Drop, Ransomware Rise Forecast for 2014
December 09, 2013
A malware decline and ransomware rise are in the security crystal ball for 2014. There will be less malware spreading through networks next year as hackers focus on obtaining credentials that allow them to access systems. "Malware will still be important in establishing a foothold in the network, but we don't see malware moving laterally in networks," said Websense's Alex Watson.
Stolen Password Analysis Exposes Foolish Choices
December 06, 2013
Cybercriminals recently stole more than 2 million usernames and passwords from several popular sites including Facebook and Google. Pony, a botnet that logs user keystrokes, captured the information from more than 90,000 websites during the past month and then sent it to a hacker-controlled server. It snagged data from 326,000 Facebook accounts, 60,000 Google accounts and 22,000 Twitter accounts.
Microsoft Cranks Up Security to Lock Out Government Spies
December 05, 2013
Microsoft is taking steps to make its customers' data more secure in the wake of revelations about government spying. The company was implicated in NSA snooping operations after former government contractor Edward Snowden leaked documents related to the agency's activities earlier this year. Government spying on Microsoft's servers constitutes a persistent threat, said General Counsel Brad Smith.
Apple Patents In-Your-Face Technology
December 04, 2013
Facial recognition may be added to fingerprint scanning in Apple's device security repertoire. Apple has been using facial recognition for some time to manage images in its iPhoto app, but a patent awarded to the company on Tuesday combines that tech with facial detection to control a computing device. Apple's facial recognition system could be used to identify the authorized user of a device.

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