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Information Security: New Rules
May 8, 2020
Warren Buffet once said, "Only when the tide goes out do you discover who's been swimming naked." You can cover over a host of sins when times are good, but bad or unsafe practices will be exposed when times are rough. Time and experience have borne out the accuracy of this witticism in the financial arena -- and we're now seeing its applicability to the intersection of infosec and COVID-19.
How to Stay Safe on the Internet, Part 3: Drive the Black Hatters Mad
May 1, 2020
Like conventional criminals, criminal hackers choose easy, lucrative targets. One group in the crosshairs is made up of companies that have data on millions of users, such as private sector entities with a Web presence. Why go after one user at a time when data is collected in one place? Criminal hackers also like to hunt small organizations that have modest capital but weak information security.
UK Rejects Apple-Google Contact Tracing Approach
April 29, 2020
The UK's plans to launch a smartphone application to track potential COVID-19 infections won't include Apple and Google. The country's National Health Service has designed its own mobile software to do contact tracing of people exposed to the coronavirus. The NHS reportedly found that its own tech works "sufficiently well." The NHS chose a centralized model for its data collection and storage.
Study Reveals E-Commerce Shopping Patterns That Hint at New Normal
April 28, 2020
Consumers and companies worldwide have ramped up online ordering for software products and digital goods as they struggle to improve productivity and security while working remotely and spending more time at home. The sharp spike in online commerce aligns with the timing of the current global pandemic. Software-based offerings accounted for the highest levels of growth.
How to Stay Safe on the Internet, Part 2: Take Canaries Into the Data Mine
April 24, 2020
More than any other factor, it is our asset that determines our adversary. For most of us, our asset is the corpus of sensitive personal details used for online transactions. This all comes down to how much data an adversary can glean from you, and how thoroughly it can analyze it. If your data passes through some software or hardware, its developer or maintainer enjoys some measure of control.
Ubuntu 'Focal Fossa' Homes In on Enterprise Security
April 23, 2020
Canonical, the parent company of Ubuntu, has announced the general availability of Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, codenamed "Focal Fossa." This major upgrade places particular emphasis on security and performance. Released once every two years, the new long-term support version provides a platform for enterprise IT infrastructures and workloads across all sectors for five years.
How to Stay Safe on the Internet, Part 1
April 17, 2020
At this point, remarking that people now are more concerned about online privacy than ever before is not a novel observation. What's fascinating, though, is that interest in personal digital security has remained high since the issue exploded about seven years ago. In other words, instead of experiencing a short-lived spike, digital privacy awareness has been sustained. This is encouraging.
Zoom Boosts Security With Pick-Your-Route Feature
April 15, 2020
Zoom's paying customers will be able to choose the region they want to use for their virtual meetings. Paying customers will be able to opt in or out of a specific data center region, although they won't be able to change their default, which for most customers is the United States. Zoom has data centers in the U.S., Canada, Europe, India, Australia, China, Latin America, and Japan/Hong Kong.
Contact Tracing Phone Apps: Health vs. Privacy
April 14, 2020
Google, Apple and MIT have made headlines with announcements of contact tracing mobile apps in the wings. Their purpose is to identify contacts of people who test positive for COVID-19 so appropriate actions can be taken to stem its spread. However, a Cambridge University professor threw some cold water on those apps. The apps proposed by Google, Apple and MIT all have voluntary aspects to them.
How BlackBerry Could Make Voting From Smartphones Secure
April 13, 2020
Some states defaulted to mail-in ballots some time ago, and their elections are unconstrained by the pandemic. However, in many parts of the U.S. the prevailing attitude is that the Web lacks enough security for elections. That seems odd, given that we now use the Internet to manage our finances, our healthcare, our businesses, our travel -- and now our shopping, including for food.
The Pandemic's Toll on Privacy Laws
April 6, 2020
Life as we knew it before the coronavirus is gone forever, and many changes will manifest in the pandemic's aftermath. How will it impact privacy laws around the globe? No one knows for sure, and we will not know until after the coronavirus is behind us. Cybercriminals long have been taking advantage of the Internet, and now the spread of COVID-19 has sped up their evil work.
Zoom's Soaring Popularity Is a Double-Edged Sword
April 1, 2020
As the coronavirus pandemic worsened in the U.S., Zoom Video Communications offered free access to its videoconferencing platform and demand skyrocketed. "Zoom has quickly become the de facto for teleconferencing during the COVID-19 pandemic," said James McQuiggan, security awareness advocate at KnowBe4. "A lot of organizations are using it to keep in contact with their employees."
Risk Assessment: Buttress Account Security and Foil Fraudsters
March 30, 2020
Under ordinary circumstances, the average consumer can order a latte on the way to the coffee shop, book a last-minute trip to the coast, and come home to find groceries delivered -- all with the click of a button. What makes these transactions so smooth and effortless? It starts with account creation. Consumers increasingly are willing to create accounts with sites they interact with regularly.
Report: E-Commerce Account Takeovers, Shipping Fraud on the Rise
March 25, 2020
E-commerce account takeovers increased 347 percent and shipping fraud jumped 391 percent from 2018 to 2019, a fraud and identity solutions company reported. Fraudsters are gaining access to accounts using credential stuffing, romance scams, social engineering, phishing or hacking. The three-digit rise in account takeovers is connected to the rash of data breaches over the last decade.
Ask Siri if You Have the Coronavirus
March 24, 2020
Apple users wondering if they've caught COVID-19 now can ask digital assistant Siri for advice. The company has rolled out a self-screening feature that allows users to ask, "Hey Siri, do I have the coronavirus?" Siri then takes them through a questionnaire prepared by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and U.S. Public Health Service to determine if they're exhibiting symptoms of the disease.
COVID-19 and Computer Security, Part 2: Shoring Up Systems for Remote Workers
March 19, 2020
As companies send employees home in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19, cybersecurity experts are warning that telecommuting could be putting company assets and data at risk. There are a number of precautions that employees working from home should consider to ensure that sensitive data isn't compromised by cybercriminals taking advantage of the health crisis.
Microsoft Leaves Necurs Botnet in Shambles
March 13, 2020
Microsoft and partners have disrupted the Necurs botnet group blamed for infecting more than 9 million computers globally. There are 11 botnets under the Necurs umbrella, all apparently controlled by a single group, according to Valter Santos, security researcher at Bitsight, which worked with Microsoft on the takedown. Four of those botnets account for about 95 percent of all infections.
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.
VPN, Ad Blocker Provider Caught With Hand in the Data Jar
March 11, 2020
A number of VPN and ad-blocking apps owned by Sensor Tower, a popular analytics platform, have been collecting data from millions of people using the programs on their Android and iOS devices, according to a report. The software involved includes Free and Unlimited VPN, Luna VPN, Mobile Data, Adblock Focus for Android devices, and Adblock Focus and Luna VPN for iOS hardware.
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.
2020: The Year for Custom CX and Privacy
February 24, 2020
With the introduction of the CCPA this year and GDPR in 2018, the age of data privacy has begun, bringing the opportunity for businesses to harness it to gain competitive advantage. There are both challenges and opportunities for those that aim to deliver superior CX while adhering to data privacy regulations. Data privacy protection concerns are driving new regulations around the world.
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.
Some Android Malware Can Break Your Phone When You Delete It
February 21, 2020
Since Android's unveiling in 2007, the platform has stayed true to its commitment to provide open and free source code. The source code is freely available to developers and device manufacturers who can, at their own discretion, install the software without worrying about the hassles of licensing fees. Android not only delivers cheaper smartphones -- it is the largest mobile OS in the world.
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.
ACLU Blasts Clearview's Facial Recognition Accuracy Claims
February 14, 2020
The American Civil Liberties Union has leveled criticisms against facial recognition tool developer Clearview for making misleading claims about the accuracy of its product. Clearview apparently has been telling law enforcement agencies that its technology underwent accuracy testing modeled on the ACLU's 2018 test of Amazon's Rekognition facial recognition tool.
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.
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How important is the availability of curbside service when you consider a physical store to do your shopping?
Critically Important - I will not shop at an establishment that does not provide curbside service.
Quite Important - During the pandemic I prefer not to go inside a physical location. Still, I will consider a business that does not offer curbside service.
Somewhat Important - I like a curbside option, but itís not part of my decision-making process when I choose where to shop.
Not Important - I do not use curbside pickup. When I go out to shop I want to select everything myself.
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