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'Hacker Madness' Strikes Idaho Judge
October 29, 2013
A federal judge in Idaho appears to have had a fit of hacker madness. In a case involving a former employee and his bosses over software for protecting the nation's critical infrastructure from cyberattacks, federal district court Judge B. Lynn Winmill found that Corey Thuen's privacy rights could be ignored because he was a self-proclaimed hacker.
Federal Cybersecurity Falls Short on User-Friendliness
October 29, 2013
Fending off cybersecurity breaches from external sources is a difficult task -- but when breach problems arise from within an organization, the challenge of protecting information becomes even more difficult. U.S. government agencies have intensified their use of cybersecurity control technologies, but it appears that improved technology will fall short unless the implementation is user-friendly.
Cyberambush on Tunnel Security Blocks Main Israeli Artery
October 28, 2013
Israel last month was hit with a major cyberattack that shut down a key tunnel that forms part of its national road security network. The attack, only being reported now, knocked out key security operations on back-to-back days, resulting in hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage. It reportedly came in the form of a Trojan horse and caused shutdowns on both days.
Deutsche Telekom Pitches NSA-Free German Internet
October 26, 2013
Germany might go off the Internet in response to the United States National Security Agency's recently uncovered surveillance activities. German telecommunications giant Deutsche Telekom, whose motto is "Life is for Sharing," has proposed a national routing scheme that would see all data packets -- including emails -- transmitted only within the country's borders.
Cost Control, Security Top Federal IT Managers' Worry Lists
October 25, 2013
The tough political bargaining over the federal budget underscored by the recent government shutdown portends a continuing emphasis on keeping the cost of government under control. As federal agencies resume full operations after the budget and debt ceiling hiatus, it is clear that the goal of getting more for less" will continue to be a major theme for the IT specialists managing federal budgets.
A Hacker by Any Other Name Might Have Escaped Data Seizure
October 24, 2013
The United States District Court for the District of Idaho has ordered the seizure of data from the computers of white hat hacking firm South Fork Security in response to a lawsuit brought by Battelle. Battelle alleges Southfork's cofounder, Corey Thuen, copied an application called "Sophia" that he helped develop while working at Battelle, and then planned to sell it as an open source product.
Germany Cries Foul Over Merkel Phone Tapping
October 24, 2013
German Chancellor Angela Merkel called President Obama to protest after she received information that U.S. intelligence was perhaps spying on her mobile phone. Obama assured Merkel that the U.S. "is not monitoring and will not monitor" her communications, but the White House reportedly stopped short of denying that it had done so in the past.
NIST Forges Ahead With Critical Infrastructure Security Plan
October 23, 2013
The National Institute of Standards and Technology on Wednesday released a preliminary cybersecurity framework for improving the cybersecurity of the United States' critical infrastructure. The Institute will soon open a 45-day public comment period on the framework, seeking input from reviewers on a series of questions. The dates will be announced in the Federal Register.
German Telecoms See Marketing Opportunity in NSA Fears
October 22, 2013
German telecommunications companies are marketing email services as being National Security Agency-proof, a potentially fruitful ploy in a country where a past marred by sinister data collection has left people yearning for privacy. Deutsche Telekom recently announced plans for a national internal network. The plan calls for emails to be housed entirely on domestic servers.
Strong Encryption, Natural Language Search Make Potent Cocktail
October 22, 2013
Strong encryption and natural language search can be like oil and water. That's because encrypted data can't be digested by your typical search engine. However, CipherCloud announced a solution to that knotty problem last week. The latest version of the 3-year-old company's cloud-based service includes something it's calling "searchable strong encryption."
Germans May Torture Amazon Into Lifting Lowest-Price Rule
October 21, 2013
Germany's antitrust watchdog said Amazon is undermining competition with its rules for third-party merchants and threatened to impose reforms if Amazon doesn't change its ways. The watchdog complains that Amazon's Marketplace obstructs competition, a term that in Germany and Europe refers less to which company wins -- Amazon is obviously winning -- and more to how many companies get to play.
Greenwald to Join Billionaire-Funded Journalism Project
October 17, 2013
Tech billionaire Pierre M. Omidyar, founder and chair of eBay, will team up with Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald -- the first to open Edward Snowden's treasure chest of leaks -- to launch a mass media venture designed to foster top-flight journalism. Omidyar has long supported journalism. He has made grants to independent media outlets in Africa, as well as to government watchdogs in the U.S.
Swartz's Whistleblower Protection Scheme to Carry On
October 16, 2013
The Freedom of the Press Foundation said Tuesday that it would be taking charge of Aaron Swartz's DeadDrop project to protect whistleblowers leaking confidential documents to journalists. FPF will provide in-site installation of the technology, renamed "SecureDrop," as well as support for news organizations that want to securely receive confidential documents.
NSA Helps Itself to Americans' Online Address Books
October 15, 2013
The latest revelations by former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden show the NSA is spying on Americans, despite repeated government assurances that it does not do so. The agency reportedly is collecting hundreds of millions of electronic address books and contact lists from people worldwide. Though it is collecting the data overseas, some of it comes from Americans.
Tor Stands Tall Against the NSA
October 07, 2013
The National Security Agency tried to crack the encryption protecting the Tor network -- known as a bulletproof vehicle for anonymous communication -- but was unable to do so, according to news reports based on revelations provided by former NSA systems administrator Edward Snowden. Undaunted, the agency and its British counterpart, GCHQ, then reportedly used a flaw in older versions of Firefox instead.
Hackers Purloin 2.9M Adobe Customers' Data
October 04, 2013
Adobe on Thursday announced what has become depressingly familiar news to consumers and security experts: It has been hacked, and on a large scale. "Very recently, Adobe's security team discovered sophisticated attacks on our network, involving the illegal access of customer information as well as source code for numerous Adobe products," said Brad Arkin, the company's chief security officer.
Symantec Paws at ZeroAccess Botnet
October 01, 2013
Symantec has removed more than 500,000 infected PCs from the botnet created by the ZeroAccess Trojan, which uses a peer-to-peer mechanism -- the latest technique botnet authors have adopted to avoid having their networks taken down by security experts. Symantec used a DNS sinkhole to fight the ZeroAccess botnet. The attack "made a sizeable dent," said Symantec security researcher Vikram Thakur.
Reengineering Human Behavior Can Foil Phishing
September 30, 2013
Almost all cyberattacks these days require an element of social engineering. Spammers are always looking for that hot button to induce a click on a link or an attachment. Drive-by artists continually experiment with poisoned banner ads designed to steer the curious into an online dark alley. Spearphishers put together persuasive pitches pretending to be friends or a trusted institution.
Brazilian Prez Rebukes US Over NSA
September 25, 2013
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff gave a speech in which she -- well, maybe it's best to just let her say it. "What we have before us, Mr. President, is a serious case of violation of human rights and civil liberties," Rousseff said, addressing the UN General Assembly. The U.S. and NSA were responsible for "invasion and capture of confidential secret information," she asserted.
German Hackers Claim They Cracked iPhone Fingerprint Scanner
September 23, 2013
The Chaos Computing Club, a group of German hackers, claimed to have cracked Apple's new iPhone fingerprint scanner. The scanner is one of the distinguishing features of Apple's new iPhone 5S, which is otherwise quite similar to the iPhone 5. It was not immediately clear whether CCC's claims were true, but two prominent iPhone security experts reportedly verified them.

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