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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.
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.
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.
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.
'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.
Russia Nabs 'Blackhole' Hacking Suspect
October 11, 2013
Police in Russia have arrested a man suspected of masterminding a pair of famous hacking tools -- the Blackhole and Cool exploit kits, favorites among cybercriminals looking to install malware. Russian authorities have been mum on the situation, but security firms have reported a decline in the programs' use. Also, Alexander Gostev of Kaspersky Lab said anonymous sources confirmed the arrest.
110 Arrested in China for Online Rumors
October 09, 2013
China continues to crack down on online rumors, as 110 people were detained in the northwest China province of Xinjiang. Those arrested are accused of creating and spreading rumors, instigating violence and disseminating religious extremism. Xinjiang, which until the 1940s was not part of China, is notoriously turbulent. There were protests leading up to the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
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.
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.
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.
Twitter Alerts: One Emergency System to Aggregate Them All?
September 26, 2013
Twitter on Wednesday launched Twitter Alerts, a new emergency notification service. The feature "brings us one step closer to helping users get important and accurate information from credible organizations during emergencies, natural disasters or moments when other communications services aren't accessible," explained Gaby Peņa, a product manager with the company.
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.
Heavy Attacks Expected as Microsoft Scrambles to Fix IE Flaw
September 18, 2013
Microsoft revealed Tuesday it was investigating a previously unknown security flaw affecting all versions of its IE Web browser. Hackers have attempted to exploit the vulnerability in targeted attacks on users of versions 8 and 9, it reported in a security advisory. "The vulnerability may corrupt memory in a way that could allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code," the advisory says.
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.
Huawei Blasts US for Illegal NSA Spying
September 13, 2013
Chinese telecommunications firm Huawei is taking a PR victory lap following reports suggesting that the National Security Agency spied on the company. Earlier this week, Brazilian TV network Globo revealed a raft of documents that purportedly came from Edward Snowden. The files implicate the NSA, along with its British snooping ally, GCHQ, in spying on numerous targets.
NSA Breaks Data Encryption, Tech Firms Break Trust
September 07, 2013
News that the U.S. National Security Agency has worked steadily for at least the past decade to systematically undermine security has sparked an uproar on the Internet. The agency -- whose motto is "Defending Our Nation. Securing the Future" -- reportedly has circumvented or cracked much of the encryption used to protect consumer data and communications.
Ministry of Sound Sues Spotify Over Copycat Compilations
September 04, 2013
Ministry of Sound, a London night club and dance music brand, is suing music streaming service Spotify for copyright infringement. Ministry of Sound claims that Spotify has refused to delete users' playlists that copy Ministry of Sound compilation albums, some of which contain "Ministry of Sound" in their titles. The brand is thus seeking damages and costs as well as an injunction.

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