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FBI to Dig Into IRS Data Breach Debacle
May 29, 2015
The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation is looking into a hack of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service that led to personal data being stolen from at least 100,000 taxpayers' accounts of the 200,000 that were hit. The hackers got the data by accessing the Get Transcript application, which lets taxpayers download data they filed with the service, the IRS announced Tuesday.
No Wrongdoing at NCIS, Says Defense Watchdog
May 28, 2015
The U.S. Department of Defense's Inspector General has rejected allegations that the Naval Criminal Investigative Service engaged in questionable domestic intelligence activity. The finding concluded a DoD IG probe spurred by allegations that NCIS was making available to military intelligence agencies its Law Enforcement Information Exchange, a database of 506.3 million law enforcement records.
Linux/Moose Malware Wreaks Havoc on Social Networks
May 27, 2015
Internet security researchers at Eset on Tuesday published a security research paper on Linux/Moose, a major threat to social networks that turns routers into conduits for grabbing users' log-in credentials, employing them for network fraud and to further spread malware to client devices that connect through them to the Internet. The paper, "Dissecting Linux/Moose," details a months-long investigation.
Hush! Everybody's Listening!
May 27, 2015
Americans have been spied on by their own government for far longer than most realized, it turns out, and the United States National Security Agency's surveillance activities are just the tip of the iceberg. The FBI, which repeatedly has expressed dismay at Google and Apple securing their mobile OSes reportedly has become a major player in administering the NSA's warrantless surveillance program.
Are Feds Losing the Cybersecurity Fight?
May 27, 2015
U.S. government agencies have invested time, effort and significant funding in the last several years to meet the challenges of cybersecurity threats, but the payoff has been disappointing, according to a report from the ISC2 Foundation. As part of its seventh Global Information Security Workforce Study, the foundation included a section that involved a survey of 1,800 federal IT professionals.
Hackers Launch Sneak Attacks on Microsoft's Live ID
May 26, 2015
Hackers have been infiltrating Microsoft services by sending emails to targets saying their Live IDs have been used to distribute unsolicited email, and their accounts will be blocked unless they click on an embedded link and fulfill new security requirements, Kaspersky researcher Andrey Kostin reported last week. The hackers take advantage of OAuth's Open Redirect feature.
Spy Agencies Planned to Corrupt Google Play
May 22, 2015
The United States and its leading Western allies, known as the "Five Eyes," reportedly planned to hack into smartphones through their links to Google and Samsung's app stores. They wanted to infect apps with spyware and find ways to send misinformation to targets, according to documents released to the media by National Security Agency whistle-blower Edward Snowden.
Containing the Zombie Malware Outbreak
May 22, 2015
Your computer could be operating as part of a botnet, sending out email spam, stealing confidential information, or furthering the spread of malware at this very moment. Computers can become zombies in many ways, but the most common technique is through a Trojan virus installed via malicious email attachments or drive-by downloads from infected websites.
Americans Hate Surveillance, Love Privacy: Report
May 21, 2015
Americans are deeply troubled by surveillance, data collection and the security of their data that's held by government agencies and private companies. The combined results of two Pew surveys suggest that the vast majority consider it important to be in control of their information. Eighty-eight percent of the respondents didn't want someone to watch or listen to them without their permission.
DoJ Calls On Private Sector to Strengthen Cybersecurity
May 20, 2015
The Justice Department is stepping up its program to engage more actively with the private sector on dealing with cybercrime and cybersecurity breaches. "We in government know that we cannot go it alone in fighting cybercrime. We need a strong partnership with you in the private sector," Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell said at a recent Cybersecurity Industry Roundtable.
Venom Less Toxic Than Heartbleed
May 20, 2015
It was a little over a year ago that the Heartbleed bug shocked the Internet with its potential for mischief. Now another flaw in open source code has sent network administrators into damage control mode. The bug, called "Venom" for "Virtualized Environment Neglected Operations Manipulation," allows an intruder to jump out of a virtual machine and execute malicious code on its host.
The Rampant, Risky Babbling of Android Apps
May 19, 2015
Eurecom researchers recently developed an Android app that can monitor the network traffic of other apps to alert users of suspicious or malicious activity. With more than 1.2 million applications in the Google Play store, there are multiple programs for performing a particular task. That can make choosing an app a chore for users, they noted in a report released last month.
5 IT Security Implementation Myths
May 19, 2015
There's a common perception that implementing comprehensive IT security to protect against today's sophisticated threats and attacks is a difficult and expensive task, and that the benefits of replacing current solutions (even if highly ineffective) are seldom worthwhile. This mindset has resulted in many businesses dealing with a virtual patchwork of disparate systems.
Researcher's Airplane-Hacking Claims May Not Fly
May 19, 2015
A security researcher who last month bragged he'd hacked into a passenger jet's internal computer systems while in flight appears to have performed the act more than a dozen times over a three-year period. Chris Roberts, founder and CTO of One World Labs, told FBI investigators earlier this year that he'd hacked into the flight systems of commercial passenger aircraft from 15-20 times.
FireEye, Microsoft Outsmart Clever Chinese Malware
May 15, 2015
FireEye and Microsoft have scotched a scheme by a group of cybercriminals based in China to use an IT pro forum to hide malicious activity, according to a report released Thursday. The Chinese gang known as "APT17" devised the scheme, which uses forum pages and profiles on Microsoft's TechNet, to cover traffic from machines infected with the group's Black Coffee malware.
Venom Vulnerability Could Violate Virtual Machines
May 14, 2015
Crowdstrike on Wednesday made public its discovery of yet another long-buried Linux vulnerability. "Venom," as it has been dubbed, was unearthed by the firm's senior security researcher, Jason Geffner. It is listed as vulnerability CVE-2015-3456. Venom exists in the virtual floppy drive code used by virtualization platforms based on QEMU, or quick emulator. It has been around since 2004.
Consumer Group Worries Over Safety of Google's Self-Driving Cars
May 14, 2015
Even though Google's self-driving technology was not at fault in any of 11 minor accidents involving the cars over six years of testing, Consumer Watchdog has raised an alarm over the vehicles' safety, even releasing a video that simulates a serious crash in a tech-failure scenario. The group frequently accuses Google of privacy violations and exerting undue influence on the U.S. government.
Feds Value - but Don't Always Use - Big Data Tools for Cybersecurity
May 13, 2015
U.S. government agencies can significantly improve their ability to deal with cybersecurity problems by utilizing big data analytics. However, agencies are finding it difficult to fully benefit from these advanced analytical tools for a variety of reasons -- including dealing with the sheer volume of data. Cyberthreats hide in plain sight, suggests a recent report from MeriTalk.
Big Data Analytics Fights Insider Threats
May 13, 2015
Cyberdefenders for years have adopted Fort Apache strategies to protect their networks. Strong perimeters could prevent attackers from reaching precious data, they reasoned. As technology marched on, however, the idea of an impermeable wall became as quaint as the Maginot Line on the eve of World War II. Firewalls alone no longer were strong enough to keep data safe.
FAA's Next-Generation Air Transportation System Falters
May 11, 2015
The United States Federal Aviation Administration last week came under fire once again for problems with the implementation of its troubled Next Generation Air Transportation System. The NextGen program to overhaul the U.S. national air traffic control system, estimated to cost $29 billion between 2013 and 2030, long has been the target of congressional wrath.
Cyanogen Taps Truecaller in Effort to Build a Better Mobile OS
May 8, 2015
Cyanogen, best known for its FOSS Android-based OS, CyanogenMod, soon will provide caller ID screening and spam blocking directly from the native dialer on Cyanogen OS, the commercial version of its operating system. These capabilities will be provided through the company's global partnership with Truecaller. They will be baked into future smartphone devices preloaded with Cyanogen OS.
Federal Appeals Court Rules NSA's Phone Data-Vacuuming Illegal
May 7, 2015
A U.S. Court of Appeals has ruled, in essence, that the NSA's collection of metadata concerning Americans' communications is illegal. The court vacated U.S. District Judge William Pauley's December 2013 ruling in ACLU v. Clapper, and remanded the case to the lower court. "The Second Circuit found the government incorrect in many of its arguments," said ACLU Staff Attorney Patrick Toomey.
Mumblehard Malware Mugs Linux Servers
May 5, 2015
A family of Linux malware targeting Linux and BSD servers has been lurking around for five years. Dubbed "Linux/Mumblehard," the malware contains a backdoor and a spamming daemon, both written in Perl. The components are mainly Perl scripts encrypted and packed inside an executable and linkable format, or ELF, said Eset. In some cases, one ELF executable with a packer nests inside another.
Report: Top Endpoint Security Packages Perfectly Foil Drive-By Attacks
May 5, 2015
Drive-by attacks on the Internet are a particularly pernicious form of online threat, especially for individual Web surfers. On the corporate level, though, a company with good endpoint protection software can foil the malicious practice. A drive-by occurs when an infected website automatically downloads malware onto a Net traveler's computer. Endpoint solutions can thwart those kinds of attacks.

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Is Microsoft starting to get cool again?
Yes - thanks to Satya Nadella's vision.
Yes - but only in certain areas, like AI and VR.
Maybe - it doesn't seem as stodgy as before.
No - it never was.