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New Open Source Mobile OS Puts Privacy Front and Center
January 5, 2018
A renowned Linux innovator has developed a new mobile operating system, called "Project eelo," in an effort to provide a level of data privacy that traditional Android and iOS devices fail to offer. The new eelo system will allow mobile phone users to regain control over their personal information at a price they can afford, said Gael Duval, who created Mandrake Linux back in 1998.
Ominous Processor Vulnerabilities Could Put Most Computers at Risk
January 4, 2018
Nearly a dozen cybersecurity researchers this week reported two potentially serious exploits of vulnerabilities that exist in most modern processors. Three teams independently discovered and reported the Meltdown exploit. Two teams independently discovered and reported the Spectre exploit. The Meltdown and Spectre exploits could used to capture sensitive information on devices.
Massive Intel Chip Security Flaw Threatens Computers
January 3, 2018
A design flaw in all Intel chips produced in the last decade is responsible for a vulnerability that puts Linux, Windows and macOS-powered computers at risk, according to multiple press reports. The flaw reportedly is in the kernel that controls the chip performance, allowing commonly used programs to access the contents and layout of a computer's protected kernel memory areas.
Consumers Win Some, Lose Some in Privacy Legal Tussles
January 3, 2018
The Walt Disney Company's recent decision to purchase major assets of 21st Century Fox in a transaction valued at $52 billion underscores the huge potential for distributing information and entertainment via the Internet. The deal will allow the company to improve its direct-to-consumer offerings, Disney said when it disclosed the transaction early last month.
5 Ways Etailers Can Fight Chargeback Fraud
December 26, 2017
This holiday selling season may have been a good one for retailers, but every silver lining has a cloud. One shadow will be cast by chargeback fraud, which can occur when shoppers make purchases with a credit card and then request chargebacks from the issuing bank instead of from the merchant. "Merchants bleed $227 for every dollar lost to e-commerce fraud," said NuData's Robert Capps.
Zealot Loads Cryptocurrency Miner on Linux, Windows Machines
December 22, 2017
A new Apache Struts campaign that researchers named "Zealot" has come to light in recent weeks. Zealot loads Windows or Linux-based machines by installing a miner for Monero, which has become one of the hottest cryptocurrencies used in recent malware attacks. Zealot uses NSA-linked EternalBlue and EternalSynergy exploits, according to the F5 Labs researchers who discovered the campaign.
Full Disclosure Applies to Internal Security Too
December 21, 2017
If you've been keeping up with the news, you've probably noticed a few recent reports about companies that may have been a little less than candid about security issues. For example, we recently learned that Uber experienced a breach in 2016. As we've also learned from subsequent press reports, the company may have paid the attacker to remain silent about that breach instead of acknowledging it publicly and openly.
US Fingers North Korea for WannaCry Epidemic
December 20, 2017
The United States on Tuesday accused North Korea of responsibility for a global ransomware attack that locked down more than 300,000 computers in 150 countries earlier this year. The U.S. now has enough evidence to support its assertion that Pyongyang was behind the WannaCry attack in May, Homeland Security Advisor Tom Bossert told reporters at a White House press briefing.
What Amazon's Abuse of Power Foreshadows for 2018
December 18, 2017
Given how many big names have fallen over the last few weeks due to sexual misconduct, abuse and harassment, you'd think I'd name 2017 as the year of power abuse. However, while I know a lot of folks think the issue is dying down, I don't see that at all. There are entire industries that have yet to be hit by this, and Congress hasn't even finished cleaning house or putting in place rules to prevent this activity.
New Open Source Tools Test for VPN Leaks
December 13, 2017
ExpressVPN on Tuesday launched a suite of open source tools that let users test for vulnerabilities that can compromise privacy and security in virtual private networks. Released under an open source MIT License, they are the first-ever public tools to allow automated testing for leaks on VPNs, the company said. The tools are written primarily in Python, and available for download on Github.
Oops... Some HP Laptops Shipped With Hidden Keylogger
December 12, 2017
Some HP laptops users came with a preinstalled program to capture the keystrokes of users, a security researcher recently discovered. The researcher, Michael Myng aka "ZwClose," discovered the keylogger software while trying to solve a keyboard problem for a friend. The software is turned off by default. After Myng contacted HP about the program, it quickly released a patch to get rid of it.
Feds: Cloud Cybersecurity Benefits Now Outweigh Risks
December 11, 2017
Many federal government IT managers used to be wary of the shortcomings of migrating to cloud technology because of potential data security problems affecting email, business systems, personal data records and, especially, national security operations. However, after the federal "cloud first" initiative's six-year effort, there are signs that federal IT managers have changed their assessment.
The Return of Industrial Espionage and the Building New Wave of Scandals
December 4, 2017
As powerful men drop like flies due to their inability to resist abusing their authority, it's clear that the problem is widespread. Similarly, it's likely that we'll find the problem of alleged industrial espionage is not limited to Uber. You see, when people misuse authority -- and the sexual harassment problem is a massive misuse of authority -- folks typically don't just misuse it in one area.
MacOS High Sierra Flaw Creates High Anxiety
November 29, 2017
Apple has released a security update to fix a serious flaw revealed via Twitter. The patch is available for macOS High Sierra 10.13.1. macOS 10.12.6 and earlier versions aren't affected. "This morning, as of 8 a.m., the update is available for download, and, starting later today, it will be immediately automatically installed on all systems running MacOS High Sierra 10.13.1," Apple said.
Risky Scripts Pose Threat to Web Surfers, Say Researchers
November 28, 2017
A popular technique used by website operators to observe the keystrokes, mouse movements and scrolling behavior of visitors on Web pages is fraught with risk. The technique offered by a number of service providers uses scripts to capture the activity of a visitor on a Web page, store it on the provider's servers, and play it back on demand for a website's operators.
Offsetting Asymmetry With Automation
November 24, 2017
In the security world, there is a truism that defense is harder than offense because it's an asymmetric playing field. The bad guys need only find one path into an environment -- one place where everything hasn't been done exactly "just so" and perfectly -- while those charged with securing that environment need to protect against intrusions everywhere they have a technology footprint.
BlackBerry: The Most Important Mobile Company of the Future?
November 20, 2017
If you are like many, when you saw this headline you likely were surprised BlackBerry was still around. As BlackBerry phones left the market, the company fell out of sight. However, behind the scenes it has been moving into industries like automotive. Also, it remains the leading vendor providing mobile security to our politicians, military personnel and major corporations.
Newly Revealed Flaw Could Subject IoT Devices to Airborne Attacks
November 17, 2017
Billions of voice-activated IoT devices may be subject to external attack due to BlueBorne vulnerabilities, Armis revealed. Hackers could exploit BlueBorne to mount an airborne attack, using Bluetooth to spread malware and access critical data, including sensitive personal information. More than 20 million Amazon Echo and Google Home smart speakers could have been impacted by the flaws.
Fixes MIA for Many Linux Kernel Flaws
November 11, 2017
A Google code security researcher's recent discovery of 14 flaws in Linux kernel USB drivers led to last-minute fixes in the Linux 4.14 release candidate code set for distribution on Sunday. The flaws, which Google researcher Andrey Konovalov disclosed this week, affect the Linux kernel before version 4.13.8. All 14 have available fixes. However, there are other flaws that have not been fixed.
Eavesdropper Vulnerability Exposes Hundreds of Mobile Apps
November 10, 2017
Appthority has warned that up to 700 apps in the enterprise mobile environment, including more than 170 that were live in official app stores, could be at risk to due to the Eavesdropper vulnerability. Affected Android apps already may have been downloaded up to 180 million times, the firm said. The vulnerability has resulted in large-scale data exposure.
Microsoft Partners Up to Boost Windows Defender Threat Detection
November 9, 2017
Microsoft has partnered to integrate threat detection products from Bitdefender, Lookout and Ziften into Windows Defender, extending security to macOS, iOS, Linux and Android devices. No additional infrastructure will be required, Microsoft said. Once the integration is set, new events from onboard macOS, iOS, Android and Linux devices will begin surfacing on the Windows Defender ATP console.
Amazon Cloud Cam Joins Burgeoning Smart-Home Ecosystem
November 9, 2017
Amazon has begun shipping its latest smart home product, a security camera that works with its Alexa personal assistant and Echo speakers. The Amazon Cloud Cam allows customers to live-stream activity inside their home 24/7. It features 1080p full HD resolution, two-way audio for communicating with family members or pets, night vision technology, and sophisticated identification algorithms.
5 Ways Etailers Can Make Online Shoppers Feel Safe
November 8, 2017
At least 145 million Americans were impacted by a data breach at Equifax that netted thieves personal information such as names, addresses, birthdates, Social Security Numbers and driver's license numbers. That pales in comparison to the earlier Yahoo breaches, which affected more than 1 billion accounts. However, those incidents may be just the tip of a very large iceberg.
Marcher Malware Poses Triple Threat to Android Users
November 7, 2017
A three-pronged banking malware campaign has been infecting Android phones since the beginning of this year, according to Proofpoint. Attackers have been stealing credentials, planting the Marcher banking Trojan on phones, and nicking credit card information. So far, they have targeted customers of BankAustria, Raiffeisen Meine Bank and Sparkasse, but the campaign could spread beyond Vienna.
iPhone X Delivers on Apple's Promises and That's Plenty, Say Reviewers
November 1, 2017
Reviews of Apple's next generation iPhone X have started appearing online, and for the most part, critics have showered praise on the product. "The iPhone X is clearly the best iPhone ever made," wrote Nilay Patel. "It's thin, it's powerful, it has ambitious ideas about what cameras on phones can be used for, and it pushes the design language of phones into a strange new place."
Fake News: Amazon Wants a Key to Your House
October 30, 2017
I'm getting tired of headlines that present something you might want to do as something you'd have to be crazy to do. Last week was a case in point: Headline after headline shouted out that Amazon wanted to get a key to your house. The initial reaction was hell no -- but the reality is far more nuanced. You see, there are a lot of folks who live in places where their front entrance isn't secure.
Amazon to Let Delivery Drivers Open Your Front Door
October 26, 2017
Amazon has announced a new service that will allow Prime members to receive in-home delivery of packages with the help of high-tech smart locks that allow drivers to open their front doors. Amazon Key will launch officially on Nov. 8 in 37 U.S. cities and surrounding communities, with additional locations to be added over time. The service will be available at no extra cost to Prime members.
Apple May Have Fudged iPhone X's Face ID
October 25, 2017
Apple reportedly has reduced the accuracy of the iPhone X Face ID feature to speed up production. It's not clear how much the new specs will reduce Face ID's efficacy, but if the reporting is accurate, there could be problems recognizing changes in facial hair, glasses and other ancillary features, suggested Gerrit Schneemann, senior analyst at IHS Markit. "That would be a real problem."
E-Commerce Firms: Get Ready for New Privacy Laws
October 24, 2017
The Federal Trade Commission regulates privacy in the United States, and under the FTC rules, a website need not have a privacy policy at all. However, a website must comply with and not violate its policy if it has one. ifeLock learned that lesson the hard way when " target="_blank">the FTC sued it for failing to abide by its privacy policy. How do other countries' privacy laws apply to U.S. businesses?
Google Aims to Turbocharge Online Checkout
October 24, 2017
Google on Monday rolled out an online payment service that's designed to accelerate the online checkout process. While the new offering isn't quite Amazon One-Click, it will eliminate many of the annoying steps that can slow down the online purchase process and often result in abandoned shopping carts. Pay with Google uses address and credit or debit card information users provide to Google to speed them through checkout.
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Of the following CES 2018 crowd pleasers, which do you consider the most important or desirable new tech?
Google Assistant -- voice-activated AI on displays everywhere
Helite's Hip'Air - a hip-protecting airbag belt for seniors
HTC Vive Pro - a VR headset with way better resolution and sound
Samsung's 'The Wall' - a modular TV with MicroLED for consumers
Sony's Aibo -- a lovable AI-powered robotic pet dog
Toyota's e-Palette -- a self-driving van for deliveries and more