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Other Shoe Drops in Target Customer Data Breach
January 10, 2014
The security breach that initially appeared to affect as many as 40 million customers may put many more at risk, Target revealed Friday. In addition to accessing those customers' payment card data, hackers stole the names, mailing addresses, phone numbers or email addresses for up to 70 million people. The personal data theft was uncovered in the investigation of the payment card data heist.
Snapchat Manages to Cough Up Brief Apology
January 09, 2014
Snapchat on Thursday finally apologized for last month's data breach. A website dubbed "SnapchatDB.info," which went live on New Year's Eve, published the user names and phone numbers of 4.6 million Snapchat accounts. The company now allows users to opt out of the Find Friends functionality that harvested the leaked data. "We are sorry for any problems this issue may have caused you," it said.
New Year's Resolutions: Be More Secure in 2014
January 07, 2014
If you're inclined to make resolutions this time of year and you're concerned about your online and offline security, here are some suggestions that can keep you safer in the days ahead. At the top of the list: You should vow to change the passwords to your important accounts on a frequent basis. Using the same password for many websites is also something you should vow to avoid in 2014.
Security Firm Spills the Beans on Snapchat Vulnerabilities
December 28, 2013
After its discovery of a security hole in Snapchat was ignored for months, Gibson Security earlier this week released the API for the Snapchat application along with two exploits. One exploit lets hackers match phone numbers with Snapchat users' names en masse; the other enables hackers to create huge numbers of fake Snapchat accounts.
Hackers Find Slim Pickings in Washington Post Attack
December 19, 2013
For the third time in three years, computers at The Washington Post came under attack by hackers. The intrusion targeting the usernames and passwords of Post employees was relatively short in duration -- a few days, at most. No subscriber information was accessed. Publishing and email systems were not hacked, and employee personal information was not compromised.
40 Million Target Customers Fall Prey to Hackers
December 19, 2013
Target on Thursday disclosed that 40 million customer accounts might have been accessed by hackers between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15. Customer names, credit and debit card numbers, card expiration dates and the three-digit security codes on the backs of cards were compromised when they were swiped through machines in stores. The data breach did not extend to online transactions.
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.
A Cybersecurity Strategy for Citizens
December 14, 2013
The era of Big Data has scary implications for both personal privacy and national security and puts our society at significant risk. The impact of a cyberattack on a large financial institution or a security breach at a government's secure data house, for example, would have dire consequences. As a result, cybersecurity is one of the greatest challenges facing the world today.
NSA Hackers Help Themselves to Google's Cookies
December 12, 2013
The United States National Security Agency reportedly is using at least one type of Google cookie -- PREF, which stores a user's preferences -- to home in on the PCs of targets it wants to hack. NSA's Special Source Operations division apparently is sharing information with Tailored Access Operations, the agency's cyberwarfare intelligence-gathering unit.
Chinese Supercomputer Gets a Job Forecasting Smog
December 10, 2013
Scientists in China will use the country's Tianhe-1A supercomputer to forecast and analyze smog in major cities. The Tianhe-1A will be used to create a simulation that will collate data from across more than 100 Chinese cities. Theoretically, this will enable scientists to predict the density of smog, how long it will linger, and where it might go next.
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.
How to Encrypt Your Email
December 05, 2013
Some years ago, an antinuclear activist named Phil Zimmermann created a data encryption program for computers. He designed a key-generation and encryption-and-decryption system called "PGP," or Pretty Good Privacy, for the bulletin board systems that were the precursors to forums, email and the Web. This algorithmic scrambling of information has played an important part in the growth of the Internet.
Delivery Drones Could Be Skyjackers' Heaven
December 04, 2013
Following news that Amazon plans to use unmanned drones for rapid delivery of goods to customers, security researcher Samy Kamkar has developed a way to skyjack drones. The hack may resonate with many Americans, who are concerned about the increasing use of drones by law enforcement to conduct surveillance on citizens within the United States' borders.
China Flies Jade Rabbit Rover to the Moon
December 02, 2013
China has launched a rover that is en route to the surface of the moon, marking the first time the Middle Kingdom has embarked on a moon-bound rover mission. The rover, called "Jade Rabbit," is affixed to a rocket that launched at 1:30 a.m. Monday morning local time. If all goes to plan, it is expected to land on the moon in mid-December. China has had two lunar orbit missions.
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.
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.
Space Agency: Pay No Attention to That Plummeting Satellite
November 11, 2013
The European Space Agency has predicted that when its fuel-less, Earth-bound, 2,000-pound research satellite crashes, it will likely crash into the ocean or polar regions. The satellite was expected to crash down some time on Sunday or Monday, according to the agency, which added, "with a very high probability, a re-entry over Europe can be excluded." Good news for Europeans, bad news for polar bears.
Google's Leaked EU Proposal Goes Over Like Lead Balloon
November 07, 2013
Google's rivals are none too impressed with the company's most recent round of proposals designed to appease antitrust concerns and end what is now a 3-year-old case with the European Commission. Google's previous stab at concessions was roundly rejected in April because the changes did next to nothing to rectify Google's abuse of its dominant market position, according to rival companies.
Insecurity and the Internet of Things, Part 2: Dangers Lurk
November 06, 2013
In early September, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission's first action involving security and the Internet of Things came to fruition. The FTC came to a settlement with Trendnet, which makes Internet-connected video cameras, over the firm's lax security practices. The settlement was over intrusions that occurred in January 2012, when hackers posted live feeds from about 700 Trendnet cameras online.

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