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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.
Hundreds of Counterfeit Sites Seized in Cybersting
December 03, 2013
Nearly 700 websites pushing counterfeit products were seized by American and European authorities, according to Europol. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement teamed with European law enforcement agencies to execute the holiday cybersting. It is surely no coincidence that the seizures coincided with Cyber Monday, the online shopping orgy.
Potential for Abuse Stalls Cellphone Kill Switch Debate
November 26, 2013
Law enforcement officials and mobile phone makers last week knocked heads with wireless carriers over planting "kill switches" in smartphones. Led by San Francisco's DA and New York's AG, law enforcement wants smartphones to contain firmware that allows a consumer to "brick" a mobile that's lost or stolen. The largest mobile phone maker in the world, Samsung, is on board with the program.
Global Cyberheist Reels In $45M
November 19, 2013
Six people have been arrested for their involvement in a worldwide ATM heist that resulted in the theft of $45 million from two Middle East banks. Five men and one woman, all from the suburbs of New York City, were charged with being members of a cybercrime outfit that lifted debit card information from MasterCard. The six people were accused of being "cashers" in the crime ring.
Lowlives Once Again Congregating on Silk Road
November 07, 2013
The notorious Silk Road website is back in business a month after federal authorities seized it and arrested its alleged proprietor. The FBI shut it down following a two-and-a-half year investigation, claiming that it served as an underground marketplace for people to trade in contraband materials including narcotics, weapons and false documents -- and even to arrange murders for hire.
IE Gets Top Props for Thwarting Socially Engineered Malware
November 04, 2013
By duping an Internet innocent into making just one errant click, an online bandit can inflict a world of hurt. Socially engineered malware attacks attempt to deceive a user into downloading malicious software, typically through a link to an infected website. The best protections against those attacks are built into Microsoft's Internet Explorer, according to NSS Labs.
Starting the Cyberinsurance Conversation
November 02, 2013
"In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes," wrote Benjamin Franklin in 1789. You have to wonder if Old Ben wouldn't add cyberattacks to that list were he alive today. We live in a world in which hundreds of thousands of new threats are created every day. Nary a day goes by without a new piece of malware or other threat finding its way into a network.
Adobe Hack Victim Count Skyrockets to 38M
October 31, 2013
After initially estimating that a mere 3 million customers had been affected by the security breach it announced at the start of October, Adobe on Wednesday admitted that the actual number now looks to be closer to an eye-popping 38 million. In addition, the breach seems to be more far-reaching than initially thought, extending to the Photoshop family of products as well.
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.
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.
'Paunch' Arrest Puts Blackhole Hackers on Data Diet
October 14, 2013
When Russian authorities nabbed the alleged master hacker behind the Blackhole malware kit last week, they sent a shockwave through the digital underground. As soon as news spread that Blackhole's author, known as "Paunch," and his partners had been arrested, the malware apparently began to suffer. Blackhole, typically updated once or twice a day, wasn't updated for four days.
Microsoft Pays First-Ever $100K Bounty for Windows Bug
October 09, 2013
Microsoft on Tuesday forked out what might be the biggest payment to a bug hunter yet: $100,000. The money went to James Forshaw, head of vulnerability research at Context Information Security, for coming up with a new exploitation technique that affects Windows 8.1 Preview. Microsoft did not disclose details of the mitigation bypass technique Forshaw discovered, and won't do so until it is addressed.
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.
FBI Demolishes Internet's Drug Trafficking Silk Road
October 04, 2013
U.S. law enforcement officials have shut down Silk Road, the online marketplace that allegedly facilitated the anonymous sale of illegal drugs as well as illicit services such as murder for hire. FBI officials also on Tuesday arrested the site's alleged founder, 29-year-old Ross Ulbricht, at a public library in San Francisco. Until the arrest, Ulbricht was known to the public only as "Dread Pirate Roberts."
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.
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.
Symantec Exposes Crackerjack Cybercriminal Group
September 17, 2013
Symantec on Tuesday disclosed the existence of a group of 50 to 100 top-rate hackers. Named "Hidden Lynx," the group is an advanced persistent threat that has skills well ahead of similar organizations in the region, such as APT1, Symantec said. "The Hidden Lynx group is methodical in its approach and leverages zero days quickly," said Vikram Thakur, a researcher at Symantec Security Response.
Web App Firewalls Blunt Attacks
September 16, 2013
Web applications have become attractive targets for hackers because they allow bad actors to maximize the reach of their mischief with a minimum of effort. That's what originally attracted the Internet underworld to programs like Windows and Adobe Acrobat, and it's what continues to attract them to Java. A vulnerability in one of those programs can be exploited in millions of machines.
Needle in a Haystack: Harnessing Big Data for Security
September 14, 2013
The combination of the polymorphic nature of malware, failure of signature-based security tools, and massive amounts of data and traffic flowing in and out of enterprise networks is making threat management using traditional approaches virtually impossible. Until now, security has been based largely on the opinions of researchers who investigate attacks.
Adoptive Parents Use the Web to Throw Children to Wolves
September 10, 2013
An underground system of online chat rooms exists for people to get rid of kids they have adopted, investigative reporters have found. On average, a child was advertised for what's euphemistically being called "re-homing" once a week on one Internet message board watched over a five-year period. Most of the kids were between 6 and 14 years old and had been adopted from abroad.

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