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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.
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.
NSA's Radio Spying Could Backfire
January 15, 2014
The United States National Security Agency's surveillance efforts reportedly include radio transmissions from circuit boards and USB cards inserted surreptitiously into computers. This apparently has been going on since 2008. "This is pretty cool," said Jim McGregor, principal analyst at Tirias Research. "You could embed a transmitter in a USB dongle or memory card or mouse plugin or USB plugin."
Ready, Set, Cyberattack!
January 14, 2014
Advanced persistent threats and stealth malware attacks have been making the rounds for years. Now, U-M researchers Robert Axelrod and Rumen Iliev have created a model that, in essence, lays out the best time for nation-states to launch cyberattacks. The model takes into account the stealth and persistence of a cyber-resource -- a means to exploit a vulnerability in a target's computer system.
Foreign Firms Flee US Cloud Services
January 13, 2014
Further proof that the NSA surveillance scandal is impacting the United States IT industry came on Friday with the publication of a study conducted for Canadian Web hosting and cloud services provider Peer1 Hosting. Fully 64 percent of the 300 UK- and Canada-based respondents to the survey hoped to move data from U.S.-based cloud service providers to their own countries within the next five years.
Intrusion Prevention: Keeping the Bad Guys Out
January 13, 2014
By improving the security and availability of services, IT leaders can deliver better experiences and payoffs for businesses and end users alike. In this podcast, we're joined by Jim O'Shea, Network Security Architect for HP Cyber Security Strategy and Infrastructure Engagement. We'll explore the ins and outs of improving enterprise intrusion prevention systems.
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.
Jailbroken Phones Targeted by Hacker Jammers
December 16, 2013
Smartphones hacked to run unauthorized programs or unlock features are being targeted by hackers and can pose a threat to enterprise networks, warned Marble Security. Modifying a smartphone to enable unauthorized behavior -- called "rooting" in the Android world and "jailbreaking" in the iOS realm -- makes the mobile vulnerable to infected jammer software, the firm said.
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.
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.
Akamai Buys Prolexic to Beef Up DDoS Protection
December 02, 2013
Akamai Technologies is buying Prolexic, which offers protection against distributed denial of service attacks. The deal, which is expected to close in the first half of 2014, will cost Akamai about $370 million in cash plus the assumption of outstanding unvested options to purchase Prolexic stock. "Akamai aims to extend its optimization and security solutions," said spokesperson Jeff Young.
NSA's Malware Infection Spree Leaves Network Managers Powerless
November 26, 2013
The United States National Security Agency reportedly has seeded 50,000 networks worldwide with malware designed to steal sensitive information. The report -- the latest in a series of published disclosures based on documents released by Snowden -- is likely to fuel the controversy raging around cybersurveillance by the U.S. and its allies -- the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
97 Percent of Company Mobile Apps Are Insecure
November 19, 2013
Mobile apps for consumers have been criticized for gathering more information from users' devices than they need. It seems, however, that mobile apps from companies fare no better. Ninety-seven percent of some 2,000 mobile apps produced by 600 companies accessed at least one private information source on the device they were installed on, according to a report released Monday by HP.
Securing the Internet of Things: 5 Easy Pieces
November 15, 2013
The Internet of Things has been receiving quite a bit of attention. Definitions vary, but at its core the concept is a simple one: Extend computing and data-processing capability to the physical world around us. The earliest manifestations of this are starting to be seen already in the growth of smart devices: televisions, automobiles, appliances, electric meters, etc.
Brit Spies Spoof LinkedIn Pages to Track Targets
November 11, 2013
British intelligence agency GCHQ reportedly has spoofed LinkedIn profiles of employees at mobile communications companies and mobile billing firms to gain access to their corporate networks. The first known attack was on Belgacom, a telecom firm partly owned by the Belgian government, according to a top secret GCHQ presentation revealed by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.
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.
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."
Oracle Unleashes the Mother of All Security Patches
October 17, 2013
Oracle has released a whopper of a critical patch update for October, with 127 security fixes across several of the company's products. Of these, 51 are fixes for Java SE, and all but one of those will allow remote exploitation of a computer without authentication. Oracle recommends the patch be applied as soon as possible, as many of the vulnerabilities cross product family lines.

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