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Report: Open Source Vulnerabilities Rampant in Popular Projects
March 12, 2020
Open source vulnerabilities rose by nearly 50 percent in 2019 over the previous year, based on a new report. Common vulnerabilities rated as high or critical severity were found in all of the most popular open source projects, according to the WhiteSource 2020 annual report, "The State of Open Source Security Vulnerabilities." The vulnerability rate is expected to continue rising.
COVID-19 and Computer Security, Part 1: Telecommuting Risks
March 12, 2020
The United States Office of Personnel Management last week urged agencies to prepare to allow federal employees to telework -- that is, work remotely.This came on the heels of the Department of Homeland Security closing its facilities in Washington state, after learning an employee had visited the Life Care facility in the city of Kirkland, which is ground zero for the state's COVID-19 outbreak.
The Dark Art of Turning Mountains of Stolen Data Into Cash
February 28, 2020
We're only two months into a new year and already hundreds of millions of personal records have been compromised, including 123 million records from sporting retailer Decathlon and another 10.6 million records from MGM Resorts hotels. These announcements followed fuel and convenience chain Wawa's revelation that it was the victim of a nine-month-long breach of its payment card systems.
Firefox Scrambles DNS to Boost Consumer Privacy
February 26, 2020
Firefox users in the United States are getting an extra measure of privacy protection starting this week, the Mozilla Foundation announced. Firefox Desktop Product Development Vice President Selena Deckelmann heralded the rollout of encrypted DNS over HTTPS, or DoH, by default in Mozilla's browser. The DNS, or Domain Name System, is one of the oldest parts of the Internet.
Linux-Powered Azure IoT Security Platform Arrives
February 25, 2020
After several years of building and testing previews, Microsoft has announced the general availability of its Azure Sphere secure IoT service. Microsoft first introduced Azure Sphere in 2018, opting to use its own version of a Linux operating system instead of Windows 10 to drive its new Azure Sphere OS to securely connect Internet of Things devices.
The Truth About Documents and SMB Security
February 22, 2020
There's a major myth about "going paperless." A paperless office doesn't mean that paper is outright banned. There likely will be a need for physical paper in business for a long time, so don't throw out your printer just yet. Rather, being paperless means being able to embrace a shift from traditional paperwork processes to those that take advantage of documents that can be in a digital state.
Unsigned Firmware Puts Windows, Linux Peripherals at Risk
February 19, 2020
Eclypsium has released research that identifies and confirms unsigned firmware in WiFi adapters, USB hubs, trackpads and cameras used in Windows and Linux computer and server products from Lenovo, Dell, HP and other major manufacturers. Eclypsium also demonstrated a successful attack on a server via a network interface card with unsigned firmware used by each of the big three server manufacturers.
Extortion Artists Prey on AdSense Users
February 19, 2020
A new extortion scheme targets users of Google's AdSense program. The scam threatens to flood a website with bogus traffic until Google suspends the site's AdSense account, unless the owner pays $5,000 in bitcoin to stop the attack, security blogger Brian Krebs reported. The grifters appear to be exploiting a click-fraud crackdown Google launched last summer.
The Clear and Present Ransomware Danger
February 12, 2020
Ransomware hit at least 966 U.S. government agencies, educational establishments and healthcare providers in 2019, at a cost possibly exceeding $7.5 billion. The victims included 113 state and municipal governments and agencies; 764 healthcare providers; and 89 universities, colleges and school districts. Operations at up to 1,233 individual schools potentially were affected.
Cyber Worries Help Push Doomsday Clock Closer to Midnight
February 7, 2020
The hands on the iconic "Doomsday Clock" moved to just 100 seconds to midnight last month. That is the closest they have come to the final hour since its creation in 1947. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists' Science and Security Board, in consultation with the Bulletin's Board of Sponsors, made the unprecedented decision to express the time remaining in seconds rather than minutes.
Philips Hue Vulnerability Shines Light on Possible IoT Security Nightmare
February 6, 2020
A vulnerability in Philips Hue smart lightbulbs and their controller bridges could allow intruders to infiltrate networks with a remote exploit, Check Point Software Technologies has disclosed. The researchers notified the owner of the Philips Hue brand about the vulnerability in November, and it issued a patched firmware version through an automatic update.
Bridging the IoT Innovation-Security Gap
February 4, 2020
There is a problem with the Internet of Things: It's incredibly insecure. This is not a problem that is inherent to the idea of smart devices. Wearables, smart houses, and fitness tracking apps can be made secure -- or at least more secure than they currently are. The problem, instead, is one that largely has been created by the companies that make IoT devices.
From Personal to Planetary: ECT News Roundtable, Episode 4
January 30, 2020
We asked ECT News Network's roundtable of industry insiders to reflect on their own personal tech preferences, to speculate on what popular gadgets may vanish from use in the next decade, to consider the role of wearable health tools -- and then to expand the discussion to the health of the planet, tech advances in traveling on it, and the prospect of leaving it altogether.
Saudi Hack of Bezos' Phone Shines Bright Light on Security Challenges
January 24, 2020
A digital forensic analysis conducted by FTI Consulting concludes with "medium to high confidence" that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' smartphone was hacked through a malicious file sent from the WhatsApp account of Saudi Arabian crown prince Mohammed bin Salman. The malware was in an MP4 file attached to a WhatsApp message. UN special rapporteurs released technical elements of the report.
Grabbing the Cybersecurity and Privacy Problems by the Horns: ECT News Roundtable, Episode 3
January 23, 2020
Cybersecurity and privacy threats aren't confined to the tech world. They've cast their pall on the world in general. Computer viruses, malware and data leaks have become commonplace, personal privacy has become a bad joke, and cyberwar looms like a virtual mushroom cloud. What sometimes gets lost in the gloom are the many ways security professionals have been working to shore up cyberdefenses.
Report: FBI Got Apple to Roll Over on iCloud Encryption
January 23, 2020
Apple shelved plans to give iPhone users control over encrypted backups stored on the company's iCloud service over concerns raised by the FBI and internal sources, according to a report. The company made the decision to retain control over iCloud encryption around two years ago, but it came to light just recently. The plan would have removed Apple's ability to decrypt users' backups.
Is Congress Finally Ready to Take On Cybersecurity?
January 23, 2020
The United States Congress made some significant progress this session when it comes to data privacy, but cybersecurity remains a blind spot for lawmakers. Congress currently is considering a national privacy law that mirrors legislation enacted in the European Union. It would allow people to access, correct and request the deletion of the personal information collected from them.
Google CEO Adds His Voice to AI Regulation Debate
January 21, 2020
Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and parent company Alphabet, called for government regulation of artificial intelligence technology in a speech at Bruegel, a think tank in Brussels, and in an op-ed. There is no question in Pichai's mind that AI should be regulated, he said. The question is what will be the best approach. Sensible regulation should balance potential harm with potential good.
Cybersecurity 2020: A Perilous Landscape
January 17, 2020
Cybersecurity is a very serious issue for 2020 -- and the risks stretch far beyond the alarming spike in ransomware. In addition to the daily concerns of malware, stolen data and the cost of recovering from a business network intrusion, there is the very real danger of nefarious actors using cyberattacks to influence or directly impact the outcome of the 2020 U.S. general election.
Business/Customer Sweet Spots: ECT News Roundtable, Episode 2
January 16, 2020
If you're a small business owner or a key member of an enterprise executive team, you want your firm to succeed. If you're a customer, you want to be treated well. Those goals are not diametrically opposed, but very often it seems that companies and customers are at cross-purposes. ECT News Network recently gathered together five technology experts who did some hard thinking on the subject.
Apple, DoJ Grapple Over Cracking Terrorist's iPhones
January 15, 2020
Apple and the U.S. Justice Department are at it again. This time it's over cracking a brace of iPhones owned by the Saudi Air Force cadet who killed three sailors in a shooting spree last month at the naval air station in Pensacola, Florida. At a news conference on the findings of an investigation into the incident, U.S. Attorney General William Barr called out Apple for refusing to help the FBI.
Clock Runs Out for Windows 7 Holdouts: Upgrade or Replace?
January 14, 2020
After 10 years of fully supporting Windows 7, Microsoft ended its official support for the out-of-date Windows operating system on Tuesday. The popular classic Windows 7 OS still runs on some 200 million PCs around the globe, according to industry estimates. Users include small business owners, some larger companies, and hordes of consumers holding onto aging personal computers.
What's in Your Containers? Try an Open Source Tool to Find Out
January 14, 2020
As most security pros know, application containers -- Docker, rkt, etc. -- and the orchestration elements employed to support them, such as Kubernetes, are used increasingly in many organizations. Often the security organization isn't exactly the first stop on the path to deployment of these tools. If it was in your shop, consider yourself one of the lucky ones.
The Most Important Autonomous Car Announcement at CES
January 13, 2020
Getting around Las Vegas during CES is a nightmare. One evening I wanted to go to the In-N-Out Burger place, and even though it was only a mile or two from my hotel, the traffic was so bad that I doubted I'd make there and back before midnight -- and it was only 6 p.m. I used to try to walk CES, but the miles of fast walking on concrete ripped the soles off both my feet one year.
Cybersecurity 2020: The Danger of Ransomware
January 10, 2020
Ransomware tops the list of cybersecurity threats for 2020. While there have been efforts to convince individuals, corporations and municipalities not to pay ransoms, the simple fact is that whenever one is paid, the attack becomes a success that encourages cyberthieves to try again. Ransomware attacks increased 18 percent in 2019, up from an average 12 percent increase over the past five years.
Tech Strides, Tech Worries and Tech Visions: ECT News Roundtable, Episode 1
January 8, 2020
If you're turned off by the mere thought of talking heads vying to speak the loudest or the longest in a TV "discussion" of some pressing issue of the day, read on for a refreshing dose of sanity. ECT News Network recruited five smart people with plenty to say about the state of technology, and we gave them plenty of time to say it. The result is a far-ranging intercourse.
CES 2020: Prepare to Be Amazed
January 6, 2020
Every year I look forward to CES being over. That's not because it isn't interesting -- it is. It's because the place is a nightmare to get around, thanks to some incredibly stupid decisions that turn Las Vegas into a gridlocked mess. Coming right after the holidays, it destroys more family vacations than any other event short of a long driving trip with very young children.
2010 - 2019: Product of the Decade
December 30, 2019
As we get to the end of December, I typically pick my product of the year, but this is also the end of the decade, so I'll go back and look at the prior products of the year, name my pick for this year, and then pick my product of the decade. 2010 was an easy choice as the iPad came out and scared the hell out of the entire PC market. Its release made the whole "PC is Dead" thing real.
Tech Firms Join Forces to Create Smart Home Connectivity Standard
December 19, 2019
Amazon, Apple, Google and the Zigbee Alliance are teaming up on a new Internet Protocol-based standard for smart home device connectivity. Connected Home over IP will be an open source project. A working group will define a specific set of IP-based networking technologies for device certification. The goal is to enable communication across smart home devices, mobile apps and cloud services.
Google's Chrome 79 Puts Heavy Emphasis on Security
December 12, 2019
Google has released an update to its Chrome browser with a slew of new features that are heavy on security. The new version has 51 security fixes. It offers improved password protection over earlier versions, real-time phishing protection, and predictive phishing tools. Google recognizes the issues and has taken steps to fix them, noted James McQuiggan, security awareness advocate at KnowBe4.
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