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What's Eating Internet Security?
July 15, 2014
It's a given that hackers can and do penetrate websites with laughable ease, ranging from those of retailers to those of the United States government. It certainly doesn't help the security-minded to know that the U.S. National Security Agency and other countries' spy agencies, including the UK's GCHQ and the West German intelligence agency, are tapping into online communications at will.
Critical Infrastructure Companies Lack Cyberdefenses
July 11, 2014
Companies providing the world's critical infrastructure are woefully unprepared for cyberattacks despite the increasing threat level, evidenced by the release of the Stuxnet worm and the Shamoon virus in recent years, found a survey conducted by the Ponemon Institute and Unisys. Nearly 70 percent of the 599 surveyed companies in the past 12 months have reported at least one security breach.
Report: Malware Poisons One-Third of World's Computers
July 09, 2014
Nearly one-third of the world's computers could be infected with malware, suggests a report released last week by the Anti-Phishing Working Group. Malicious apps invaded 32.77 percent of the world's computers, a more than 4 percent jump from the previous quarter's 28.39 percent, it estimates. The increase in infected computers has come hand-in-hand with a jump in the appearance of malware samples.
Dragonfly Swoops Down on Energy Firms
July 01, 2014
The energy industry in the United States and Europe is being targeted by a cybercriminal gang that's suspected of being state-sponsored and has links to Russia. Known variously as "Dragonfly" and "Energetic Bear," the group has been operating at least since 2011. Its focus appears to be espionage and persistent access, with a side dish of sabotage as required, Symantec said.
To Pay or Not to Pay - That's the Ransomware Question
June 24, 2014
Ransomware is a growing problem for consumers and businesses alike. In Symantec's most recent quarterly security report, the company's researchers found all targeted attacks -- including ransomware -- grew 91 percent year-over-year. That's raising a big question for those targeted by cyberextortionists: Should the ransom be paid? Security experts generally say no, but some insert a caveat or two.
Heartbleed Flaw Goes Unpatched on 300K Servers: Report
June 23, 2014
Two months after the Heartbleed vulnerability sent frissons of fear down the spines of IT managers everywhere, 300,000 servers still remain vulnerable, Errata Security said. When the flaw was announced in April, Errata found 600,000 servers vulnerable. "The norm is to do no patches at all for some systems, no matter how easy it is to patch," said Errata CEO Robert Graham.
Godzilla Foreshadows Trouble for Internet of Things
June 16, 2014
The Internet of Things has come under attack by pranksters in recent days. The events could signal tumultuous things to come as more and more everyday objects connect to the Internet. Homeland Security has advised the customers of digital sign maker Daktronics to "take defensive measures" following a series of cyberpranks on the company's traffic signs.
Heartbleed-Weary Tech Firms Show OpenSSL a Little Love
May 30, 2014
Remember Heartbleed? Several weeks ago, the exposure of this security bug chilled the Internet, highlighting once again that even the seemingly unbreakable can be hacked. In the case of the Heartbleed vulnerability, encrypted data was at risk of theft. Sites potentially vulnerable to Heartbleed -- from Canada's Revenue Agency to AWS to Yahoo to Reddit -- urged users to change their passwords.
Sony, China Strike PlayStation Deal
May 27, 2014
Japanese electronics giant Sony has inked a deal in China to manufacture and sell PlayStation consoles in the Middle Kingdom. The partnership creates two joint ventures with Shanghai Oriental Pearl, which will enable Sony to operate out of Shanghai's free trade zone. China's early-2014 approval of videogame consoles from foreign companies reversed a years-long ban.
China's Payback for US Hacker Indictments Begins
May 27, 2014
The Department of Justice last week unsealed indictments against five members of the Chinese military who were accused of hacking into the computer systems of U.S. companies to steal everything from trade secrets to confidential corporate correspondence. China's initial response was to deny any wrongdoing and charge that the U.S. had hacked into the systems of Chinese companies.
eBay's In With the Breached Crowd
May 21, 2014
If there's a list of retailers that have not exposed their customers' data to a security breach, it just got shorter. The most recent company to confess to being hacked is eBay, which on Wednesday began sending emails urging customers to change their passwords. eBay announced that a cyberattack had compromised a database containing encrypted passwords and other nonfinancial data.
Anonymous Philippines Harasses China
May 20, 2014
Anonymous Philippines, the Philippines branch of the hacktivist collective Anonymous, defaced more than 200 Chinese websites over a territorial dispute between the two countries. The group announced the move on its Facebook page, offering a detailed list of all websites it had infiltrated. The hacking spree stems from the dustup over Scarborough Shoal, also known as "Huangyan Island."
US Toughens Stance on Chinese Cyberspying With 5 Criminal Indictments
May 20, 2014
The U.S. Justice Department on Monday kicked up a notch the Obama administration's efforts to curb China's economic espionage activity against American businesses. A grand jury indicted five members of the Chinese army on DoJ allegations they conspired to hack into the networks of U.S. companies to steal information that would be useful to their competitors in China.
Hackers Paint Bull's-eyes on Cybercurrencies
May 19, 2014
Another digital currency was brought to its knees last week when the administrators of Doge Vault had to suspend operations after they discovered their online wallet service had been attacked by hackers. Following an investigation of the incident and the reconstruction of some of their damaged information from a backup, the administrators contacted users.
Snapchat Makes FTC Privacy Charges Disappear
May 09, 2014
Snapchat has agreed to a settlement with the United States Federal Trade Commission to resolve privacy issues resulting from a hacker's publication in January of data associated with 4.6 million of its users. The company has not admitted any wrongdoing, but it has agreed to implement a comprehensive privacy program that will be audited by a third party for the next 20 years.
Microsoft Gives XP One last Hug
May 03, 2014
When Microsoft included Windows XP in the Internet Explorer zero-day browser vulnerability patch it issued this week, some industry observers were stunned. Had the company decided to backtrack on its assertion that it would no longer support XP? Had it knuckled under to user protests? Not really. Redmond has not decided to backtrack on killing support for Windows XP; it made a one-time exception.
White House Opens Heart About Vulnerabilities
April 30, 2014
Smarting from speculation that the U.S. intelligence community hoarded knowledge about the Heartbleed bug that's placed millions of servers and devices that access the Internet at risk, the White House Tuesday gave the public some insight into how it decides to release information about computer vulnerabilities. Disclosing them is usually in the national interest, it said.
AOL Users Waiting to Exhale
April 29, 2014
AOL on Monday disclosed that a "significant number" of user accounts had been hacked, confirming rumors swirling around the issue for a week and denying its week-ago statement that users' email accounts were being spoofed. The hackers stole users' email and postal addresses, address book contacts, encrypted passwords and encrypted answers to security questions, and "certain employee information."
Clandestine Fox Nips at Explorer's Heels
April 28, 2014
Microsoft's Internet Explorer Web browser has a flaw that allows hackers to commandeer control of computers, FireEye reported Saturday. Although the never-seen-before vulnerability can be found in all versions of the browser, hackers are targeting IE versions 9 through 11, according to a blog post by the three security researchers who made the discovery.
Banking Trojan Enters Mobiles via Facebook
April 21, 2014
Purveyors of a notorious mobile banking Trojan have started targeting Facebook users to infect Android smartphones. The Net predators use a desktop Trojan to leverage a Facebook socializer to install banking malware on their phone, ESET malware researcher Jean-Ian Boutin discovered last week. The desktop bad app, Win32/Qadars, waits for an infected machine to open a Facebook page.
White Hats Use Heartbleed to Steal Keys
April 14, 2014
The tech industry reeled last week when security researchers discovered a flaw in a key security technology in the Internet's infrastructure. The bug, ghoulishly named "Heartbleed," was found in an open source library, OpenSSL, used by the protocol, SSL, used to encrypt data in transit on the Net. By exploiting the flaw with a specially crafted packet, hackers can extract data from a server's memory in 64K chunks.
Microsoft Touts Privacy Bona Fides to European Customers
April 11, 2014
Having become the first company to formally meet the European Union's data protection rules, Microsoft is trying to turn its trustworthiness into business in privacy-wary Europe. "For customers who care about privacy and compliance, there is no more committed partner than Microsoft," wrote Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith in a Thursday blog post.
XP Users Have a Bad Headache Coming On
April 07, 2014
Money will be the biggest problem users of Windows XP will face when Microsoft officially stops supporting it on Tuesday. As a last resort, Microsoft is offering custom support for Windows XP as a temporary stopgap. That could cost as much as $200 per PC per year, Gartner estimated. The UK government reportedly has paid Microsoft about $9 million to extend Windows XP support for one year.
Yahoo Issues Security Sitrep
April 03, 2014
Yahoo has announced a new effort to upgrade its security, in the wake of a torrent of breaches and hacker attacks over recent months. Yahoo's plans include encryption of data in motion, enabling HTTPS encryption, and implementing the latest in security best practices, said Chief Information Security Officer Alex Stamos, who took over the job in March.

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