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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.
Clock Counting Down on Windows XP Support
April 01, 2014
As Microsoft prepares to cut off support for Windows XP, hackers are sharpening their knives in anticipation of carving up the operating system's carcass. Web predators will pounce on XP 10 minutes after Microsoft pulls the support plug on the software, predicted one former military computer specialist and network engineer. Indeed, it appears that information highwaymen are stockpiling ammunition.
Rocket the Vote! NASA Asks People to Vote on New Space Threads
March 26, 2014
NASA is asking people to vote on their favorite design for the outer shell of the new Z-2 spacesuit. While the Z-2 models may descend from their Apollo 13-style ancestors, there are some decidedly 21st Century twists. The "Biomimicry" design, for example, has a reptilian flare; "Trends in Society" has a more everyday look -- at least, as far as spacesuits go.
Headless Web Traffic Threatens Internet Economy
March 25, 2014
Bogus web traffic is creating a crisis for advertisers on the Web. Advertisers pay for page views. They assume that those views are tied to living eyeballs. When those views aren't tied to eyeballs, advertisers can get testy. That's what's starting to happen, and a recent comScore estimate of the automated traffic on the Internet -- 36 percent -- isn't helping matters.
Twitter Bags Encryption Program
March 25, 2014
Twitter rose to notoriety by being the place where people spilled the minutiae of their lives, but there are times when its users don't want everyone online to see what they're thinking. For those occasions, there's direct messaging. When direct messages are sent by one tweeter to another, there's a certain expectation of privacy there -- even though little is done to protect those messages.
Microsoft Does Some Scroogling to Catch a Thief
March 24, 2014
Microsoft, which has been mocking Google's searching of Gmail subscribers' emails with its "Scroogled" campaign, is fielding criticism for having itself searched the email of a Hotmail user. The search was conducted after Microsoft found that an employee, Alex Kibkalo, who worked for it in Lebanon, had stolen proprietary code and shared it with the Hotmail user, who is a blogger.
Big Blue Dons Big Data Gloves to Fight Fraud
March 21, 2014
IBM on Thursday launched a set of software and consulting services to help fight fraud and financial crime. The so-called smarter counterfraud initiative draws from more than 500 fraud consulting experts, 290 fraud-related research patents, and the $24 billion IBM has invested in its Big Data and analytics software and services capabilities over the past nine years.
Report: NSA Listens to International Calls From the Past
March 19, 2014
The National Security Agency reportedly possesses a system that enables it to record telephone calls -- all telephone calls -- in a foreign country, and review conversations for up to a month after they took place. The system is said to be akin to a time machine, allowing for retroactive snooping on foreign targets. Billions of calls are stored in a 30-day rolling buffer.
Target Breach Lesson: PCI Compliance Isn't Enough
March 18, 2014
"Target was certified as meeting the standard for the payment card industry in September 2013. Nonetheless, we suffered a data breach." Those words by Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel affirmed what security experts know as gospel: Compliance does not equal security. "Just because you pass a PCI audit does not mean that you're secure," said HyTrust President Eric Chiu.
The Internet of Things: There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow
March 18, 2014
When I was 10 years old, I took my first trip to Disney World. The futuristic rides in Tomorrow Land were my favorites. In particular, I loved "The Carousel of Progress," which, at the time, was an attraction designed by General Electric to showcase its new technologies at the 1964 New York World's Fair. The song, "There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow," played as the curtains opened.
PCI 3.0, Part 2: Defining Your Cardholder Data Environment
March 17, 2014
New compliance guidelines went into effect earlier this year. While e-commerce organizations have until their 2015 audit to transition, the new controls are demanding enough operational and technical changes that smart businesses already have started preparing. If you're wondering where to start, one of your first steps should be to thoroughly define and document your cardholder data environment.
Zuckerberg Bends the President's Ear
March 14, 2014
CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted on Facebook that he called President Obama to complain about NSA surveillance. "The Internet is our shared space," he wrote. Most people "work together to create this secure environment and make our shared space even better for the world. When our engineers work tirelessly to improve security, we imagine we're protecting against criminals, not our own government."
Target Missed Bull's-Eye in Data Breach
March 14, 2014
Target acknowledged Thursday that it put information on a back burner that led to the compromise of more than 100 million customer records. "We learned that after these criminals entered our network, a small amount of their activity was logged and surfaced to our team," said spokesperson Molly Snyder, which "determined that it did not warrant immediate follow up."
Berners-Lee Dreams Impossible Dream
March 13, 2014
Tim Berners-Lee, known as the "father of the Internet," has called for an online bill of rights. Twenty-five years ago, Berners-Lee wrote a proposal for what would become the Internet as we know it today, making the case that it needed to move toward a decentralized, open architecture and away from the proprietary linear structure that was emerging at the time.
How to Encrypt a Windows 8 PC Drive
March 12, 2014
Real-life events -- the disclosures from website WikiLeaks; Edward Snowden's leaks of classified government documents to media outlets; credit card hijacks by the server load; and even Facebook's stumbles over its privacy policy explanation to the masses -- have created a general sense of unease when it comes to privacy these days, even at the consumer level.
2013: A Perilous Year on the Internet
March 11, 2014
Surfing the Internet last year was a dangerous proposition. On average, 200 samples of malicious software were collected every minute by McAfee Labs, the company reported in its threat report for the Q4 2013. All kinds of Internet nastiness increased last year -- from ransomware and suspicious URLs to bogus digital certificates, master boot record attacks, and poisoned mobile apps, the firm said.
Bad Ads Outstrip Porn as Mobile Phone Infection Vectors
March 11, 2014
Trawling porn sites used to be the best way to pick up an electronically transmitted disease on your phone. That's changed. Every one in five times a mobile user is redirected to a malware site online, it's done through a malicious ad, according to a new report. That's three times what it was two years ago. One reason malicious ads have been able to outperform porn is they can get more traffic.
Mt. Gox: Bankrupt, Accused and Hacked, Oh My!
March 10, 2014
The drama surrounding Mt. Gox, once the world's largest Bitcoin exchange, has intensified. The company on Sunday filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the U.S. -- less than two weeks after taking a similar action in Tokyo, where it's based. It apparently made this move to freeze a lawsuit initiated in a federal court in Chicago by a customer seeking $25,000-worth of bitcoins and class action status.
The Increasing Business Risk of Cloud Cyberattacks
March 10, 2014
It is hard to figure out which is growing at a faster pace -- movement to the cloud or cybercrime. Cybercrime is following the data to the cloud, according to reports, to find and steal cloud data of hotel records, credit card information, and maybe even corporate secrets and the client files of lawyers. The concept of managing data for business on a remote computer is actually 50 years old.
Privacy Groups Bring WhatsApp Worries to FTC's Door
March 07, 2014
The consumer privacy backlash stirred up by Facebook's recent deal to purchase WhatsApp for $19 billion is now in full swing. The Electronic Privacy Information Center and the Center for Digital Democracy jointly filed a complaint about the deal with the FTC. Following the announcement of the agreement, both companies offered reassurances that WhatsApp user data would be safe from Facebook.

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