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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.
Security Flaw Found in 'Staggering Number' of iOS Apps
October 31, 2013
A flaw found in a "staggering number" of apps for the iPhone and iPad could be exploited to send malicious information to the gadgets, researchers at Skycure reported Tuesday. The vulnerability allows enterprising hackers to redirect an app's communication with its appointed server to one operated by nefarious parties. The flaw could affect other mobile platforms too.
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.
Canadian ATM Turns Bitcoins Into Cash
October 30, 2013
In Vancouver, B.C., three entrepreneurs opened what appears to be the world's first ATM that is able to exchange Bitcoins for official currencies. The machine looks like a normal ATM and resides in a popular coffee shop. It exchanges Canadian dollars for Bitcoins, the virtual and controversial online currency. The transactions can go either way -- cash to Bitcoin, or Bitcoin to cash.
Tobacco Firm Burned for Running Ad in Kids' App
October 29, 2013
British American Tobacco issued an apology after an ad for its e-cigarette brand, Vype, popped up in an iPad app for children. The Vype banner appeared inside the "My Dog My Style HD" game and was spotted by author and educator Graham Brown-Martin, who took to Twitter with a screenshot of the kiddy cig advertisement. British American Tobacco pulled its online advertising for Vype and issued an apology.
'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.

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