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Ransomware Gang Targets Android Phones
May 13, 2014
The Reveton Gang is at it again. This time, though, they're targeting users of Android phones -- typically visitors to porn sites. The gang that pioneered the idea of locking up a target's computer and demanding a ransom to unlock it has turned its attention to the rapidly growing mobile market. Once Reveton mobile infects a phone, it will display a bogus warning.
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.
John McAfee Makes Dubious Tech Comeback With Chadder Privacy App
May 07, 2014
Future Tense Central and Etransfr have debuted Chadder, an app that sends private encrypted messages. The app is one of a growing number of security products built around encryption technology and touted as secure that hit the market following Edward Snowden's massive data dump revealing the extent of the U.S. government's reach into consumers' digital lives.
Mobile CRM May Widen the Big Data/Privacy Divide
May 06, 2014
The White House last week added to the ongoing national discussion about online privacy and tracking with the release of a review counselor John Podesta conducted on Big Data and privacy issues. Among other things, privacy advocates hope the findings will spotlight the role of mobile in the gathering of consumer data by companies. Mobile technologies have a particularly voracious appetite.
The Tangled Web of IoT Security
May 06, 2014
The Internet of Things, or IoT, consists of "uniquely identifiable objects and their virtual representations in an Internet-like structure," according to Wikipedia. The IoT is "the network of physical objects accessed through the Internet," according to Cisco Systems. In addition to there being no clear definition of the IoT, estimates vary widely about the number of unique devices it includes.
Security Pros Struggle With Cyberthreat Angst
May 05, 2014
As the volume and sophistication of cyberattacks increase, system defenders in the trenches are losing confidence in their ability to protect their organizations' information assets, suggests a survey released last week. The survey of almost 5,000 global IT security pros found that 57 percent felt their organizations were unprotected from sophisticated cyberattacks.
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.
Heartbleed: SaaS' Forbidden Experiment?
May 02, 2014
Have you ever heard the term "The Forbidden Experiment"? If you're not familiar with it, it's a concept originating in the behavioral sciences relating to challenges in understanding human language development. Specifically, the "experiment" in question refers to actually testing empirically what would happen if a child were raised without language.
Feds Weigh In on Cybersharing Antitrust Issues
May 01, 2014
The use and scope of information technology has grown dramatically since 2000 -- and along with that growth have come ever greater cybersecurity threats to businesses, government agencies and consumers. The need to counter actual threats, as well as to prevent potential cybersecurity problems, calls for sharing information among vulnerable parties.
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.
Cybersquatters Prepare for Mischief
April 28, 2014
Cybersquatting is a seedy practice that's as old as dot-com, but the upcoming expansion of domain names could be breathing new life into the practice, while offering seamier elements on the Net an invitation for mischief. In the early days of the Internet, nimble squatters would register domain names of brands, then sell them back to the owners for tidy sums.
The Exploitation of OpenSSL
April 26, 2014
The Web has been abuzz with discussion of the HeartBleed flaw. Security vendors and experts have been falling all over themselves to offer advice on detecting or mitigating the flaw, and consultants have been offering businesses advice on how to deal with the problem. The NSA has been accused of having known about -- and exploited -- the vulnerability.
Verizon Dabbles in Security Reporting
April 23, 2014
Ninety-two percent of more than 100,000 incidents reported by 50 companies over the past 10 years fall into nine basic patterns, according to Verizon's 2014 data breach investigations report. An advance copy was released to the media Tuesday. Point-of-sale intrusions, Web app attacks, cyberespionage and card skimmers cause the most concern for data disclosure, it says.
Popular UK Sports File-Sharing Site Shuttered
April 22, 2014
The Sports Torrent Network, a brazenly named file-sharing site, shut down after UK police threatened to put its operators behind bars for up to 10 years. TSTN was a hotbed for illicit broadcasts of European soccer, the National Hockey League, Formula 1 races and more. The site reportedly had about 20,000 members, making it "possibly the largest site of its type."
Heartbleed and Heartache in FOSS Town
April 21, 2014
Well it's been a wild few weeks here in the Linux blogosphere, thanks not just to XP's demise but also the long-overdue discovery of the all-pervasive Heartbleed bug. That the bug is "catastrophic" appears to be beyond dispute; in fact, "some might argue that it is the worst vulnerability found ... since commercial traffic began to flow on the Internet," as at least one commentator suggested.
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.
Heartbleed's Never-Ending Drip, Drip, Drip
April 21, 2014
The Heartbleed vulnerability in OpenSSL has sent just about everyone who uses the Web for fun or profit gibbering madly in search of a solution, creating fertile ground for spammers, scammers and marketing types. Canada is in an uproar following a disclosure by the Canada Revenue Agency that a hacker had exploited Heartbleed to steal about 900 social insurance numbers from it over a six-hour span.
IT Providers Stew Over Big Data Privacy Regulation
April 18, 2014
With the emergence of the Big Data era, technology developers see major benefits in the ability to manage huge volumes of information. However, with an onslaught of data breaches such as the recent hacking of the Target retail chain, consumers and their representatives in government are increasingly nervous about bigger threats to privacy. The White House is conducting a review of the issue.

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