Computer Security (general)
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Date Fairness.com Resource Read it at: Sep 10, 2013 New details in how the feds take laptops at border
QUOTE: President Barack Obama and his predecessors have maintained that people crossing into U.S. territory aren't protected by the Fourth Amendment. That policy is intended to allow for intrusive searches that keep drugs, child pornography and other illegal imports out of the country. But it also means the government can target travelers for no reason other than political advocacy if it wants, and obtain electronic documents identifying fellow supporters.
Yahoo News Sep 05, 2013 N.S.A. Foils Much Internet Encryption
QUOTE: The National Security Agency is winning its long-running secret war on encryption, using supercomputers, technical trickery, court orders and behind-the-scenes persuasion to undermine the major tools protecting the privacy of everyday communications in the Internet age, according to newly disclosed documents. The agency has circumvented or cracked much of the encryption, or digital scrambling, that guards global commerce and banking systems, protects sensitive data like trade secrets and medical records, and automatically secures the e-mails, Web searches, Internet chats and phone calls of Americans and others around the world...
New York Times Aug 27, 2013 Feds Back Away From Forced Decryption … For Now
QUOTE: Federal prosecutors have formally dropped demands that a child-porn suspect give up his encryption keys in a closely watched case, but experts warn the issue of forced decryption is very much alive....[an appellate court] eventually found the decryption order breached the Fifth Amendment right against being compelled to testify against oneself.
Wired Aug 02, 2013 A Cheap Spying Tool With a High Creepy Factor
QUOTE: You could spy on your ex-lover, by placing the sensor boxes near the places the person frequents, or your teenage child, or the residents of a particular neighborhood....“I haven’t done a full deployment of this because the United States government has made a practice of prosecuting security researchers,”...
New York Times Jul 30, 2013 Car hacking scientists agree to delay paper that could unlock Porsches University of Birmingham and Dutch university say they will respect injunction from High Court to stop paper that could detail ho
QUOTE: The University of Birmingham says it will defer any publication of an academic paper which reveals secret codes to bypass the security on top-end cars including Porsches and Bentleys following a high court injunction....The Guardian's article has prompted a massive debate about the balancing interests of industry and those of scientists, a debate that has infected all sectors ranging from medicine to car manufacturing.
Guardian Unlimited Jun 27, 2013 NSA collected US email records in bulk for more than two years under Obama
QUOTE: The Obama administration for more than two years permitted the National Security Agency to continue collecting vast amounts of records detailing the email and internet usage of Americans...under the program, launched in 2001, a federal judge sitting on the secret surveillance panel called the Fisa court would approve a bulk collection order for internet metadata "every 90 days"... The collection of these records began under the Bush administration's wide-ranging warrantless surveillance program, collectively known by the NSA codename Stellar Wind.
Guardian Unlimited Mar 28, 2013 Cyberattacks Seem Meant to Destroy, Not Just Disrupt
QUOTE: an intensifying campaign of unusually powerful attacks on American financial institutions that began last September and have taken dozens of them offline intermittently, costing millions of dollars....Corporate leaders have long feared online attacks aimed at financial fraud or economic espionage, but now a new threat has taken hold: attackers, possibly with state backing, who seem bent on destruction.
New York Times Mar 08, 2013 Skype's Been Hijacked in China, and Microsoft Is O.K. With It
QUOTE: a conflict between Microsoft’s advocacy of privacy rights and its role in surveillance....When Internet users in China try to access Skype.com, they’re diverted to the TOM-Skype site. While the Chinese version bears the blue Skype logo—and provides services for online phone calls and text chats—it’s a modified version of the program found elsewhere in the world. The surveillance feature in TOM-Skype conducts the monitoring directly on a user’s computer...
BusinessWeek Mar 01, 2013 Will the “Six Strikes” Copyright Alert System Hurt Consumers And Small Businesses?
QUOTE: On Monday, the Copyright Alert System, or “Six Strikes”, went into affect across the five biggest ISPs in the U.S. The system hopes to catch those pirating content over P2P networks, and send them a notice detailing their infringement. The hope is that those who are caught will start using legal alternatives. To better understand the CAS, we have to look at what the Center for Copyright Information is doing with it. First, there are three tiers to the CAS that consumers should be aware of with each tier having two levels within it. The three tiers are as follows – educational alerts, acknowledgement alerts and mitigation measures.
WebProNews Jun 13, 2012 Owners May Not Be Covered When Hackers Wipe Out A Business Bank Account
QUOTE: Computer security specialists say these crimes, called “corporate account takeovers,” have become increasingly common...most banks do not take responsibility for unauthorized debits from business accounts. Unless the owners have fraud insurance, they must shoulder the losses alone.
New York Times Mar 28, 2012 News Corp in fresh storm
QUOTE: The emails, said to be from the hard drive of a former head of security at NDS, a former News Corp subsidiary, appear to show that the company paid computer hackers to work with its "operational security" unit....The Australian Financial Review claimed that NDS's activities in Australia in 1999 caused millions of dollars of damage to Mr Murdoch's rivals in the country's nascent pay-TV market. The business models of Austar, Optus and Foxtel were all damaged by a wave of high-tech piracy at that time.
CNN (Cable News Network) Mar 15, 2012 For Apple, Pressure Builds Over App Store Fraud
QUOTE: as reflected by hundreds of online complaints saying that Apple’s iTunes Store, and in particular its App Store, which the company portrays as the safest of shopping environments, is not so secure....It’s a change for Apple, which was once criticized for its micromanaging of the App Store. Now the problem is not too much control, but too little.
New York Times Feb 17, 2012 Google Accused of Tracking Safari Usage Without Permission
QUOTE: A Stanford University graduate student has released a report that accuses Google and three other ad networks [Vibrant Media, Media Innovation Group, and PointRoll] of side-stepping the privacy settings on Apple's Safari browser to track usage on iPhones and Macs without permission.
PC Magazine Jan 25, 2012 Build Up Your Phone’s Defenses Against Hackers
QUOTE: Technology experts expect breached, infiltrated or otherwise compromised cellphones to be the scourge of 2012. The smartphone security company Lookout Inc. estimates that more than a million phones worldwide have already been affected.
New York Times Jan 23, 2012 MegaUpload: The content cartel strikes back
QUOTE: Like SOPA and PIPA, the bust comes with its own collateral damage. Along with those pirated movies and music, the feds took down noninfringing data from thousands of legit MegaUpload users, who are howling in protest and demanding -- futilely, so far -- the return of their stuff.
InfoWorld Nov 30, 2011 Is your phone telling the carrier everything you do?
QUOTE: the XDA-Developer site noticed that a preinstalled mobile app, named CarrierIQ, was logging all smartphone activities with no way to opt out....Although consumers are buying smartphones — and assume they have ownership — are the handsets theirs to do with as they please, without the carriers or handset makers know what they’re doing?
GigaOM Oct 26, 2011 When Secrets Aren’t Safe With Journalists (Op-Ed)
QUOTE: operational computer security is still not taught in most journalism schools, and poor data security practices remain widespread in news organizations....Until journalists take their security obligations seriously, it will be safer to leak something to WikiLeaks — or groups like it — than to the mainstream press.
New York Times Aug 31, 2011 Hackers may have stolen more than 200 SSL certificates: Source say DigiNotar breach generated fraudulent certs for Mozilla, Yahoo and Tor, not just Google
QUOTE: Hackers may have obtained more than 200 digital certificates from a Dutch company after breaking into its network, including ones for Mozilla, Yahoo and the Tor project....Security researchers now wonder what else DigiNotar hasn't told users.
Computerworld Jul 14, 2011 Hacktivism moves from pranks to problems: Far from being 'sophisticated' attacks, LulzSec and Anonymous are run of the mill, say experts.
QUOTE: a spate of cyber unrest that started last year with attacks by the group Anonymous on companies that took a stand against Wikileaks, a group dedicated to outing government secrets. While companies and government agencies had derided the efforts as pranks, the success that hactivists have had in penetrating networks has increasingly caused concern.
InfoWorld Jun 24, 2011 LulzSec Hackers Make Enemies Online
QUOTE: After six weeks of attacks — and hundreds of sarcastic Twitter posts — a number of people, offended by the exposure of innocent Internet users’ personal information and irritated by the bravado, are working to stop LulzSec by investigating and revealing its members’ identities to the world, and especially to the F.B.I.
New York Times Jun 10, 2011 U.S. Senators Want to Shut Down Bitcoins, Currency of Internet Drug Trade
QUOTE: The tone of the senators' letter comes off as though they themselves don't know what entity they want to destroy or how to go about it. Bitcoins, by nature and general practice, are harmless; they're merely an Internet-based alternative to traditional federal banks. Silk Road is what the U.S. government is really after.
PC World May 31, 2011 Pentagon to Consider Cyberattacks Acts of War
QUOTE: The Pentagon, trying to create a formal strategy to deter cyberattacks on the United States, plans to issue a new strategy soon declaring that a computer attack from a foreign nation can be considered an act of war that may result in a military response.
New York Times May 31, 2011 Web Hackings Rattle Media Companies
QUOTE: latest examples of what security experts call “reputational attacks” on media companies that publish material that the hackers disagree with. Such companies are particularly vulnerable to such attacks because many of them depend on online advertising and subscription revenue from Web sites that can be upended by the clicks of a hacker’s keyboard — and because unlike other targets, like government entities and defense contractors, they are less likely to have state-of-the-art security to thwart attacks.
New York Times May 21, 2011 The Privacy Challenge in Online Prize Contests (Bits)
QUOTE: The Netflix contest was celebrated as a triumph for the company and as a catalyst for bringing new techniques to data analysis. But in 2010, Netflix was forced to cancel a planned second prize because of privacy concerns....Mr. Vengroff, who called the Netflix contest “tremendously valuable” for elevating the field of data analysis, said the privacy model in his contest was far more secure.
New York Times May 06, 2011 ID Theft Tool That Sony Isn’t Using
QUOTE: A surveillance service is reactive. By the time you get an alert from one, thieves may have already done a lot of damage. A security freeze, also known as a credit freeze, is proactive.
New York Times Apr 25, 2011 Email users still running amok despite years of warnings: A survey shows that email remains a major source of corporate data leakage, as users continue to break the rules
QUOTE: Despite years of regulations, fines, corporate policies, and data leakage prevention tools, companies are still remarkably vulnerable when it comes to employees' inappropriate use of email.
InfoWorld Mar 21, 2011 Google says Gmail problems designed by Chinese government
QUOTE: "There is no technical issue on our side. We have checked extensively," said a Google spokesperson. "This is a government blockage carefully designed to look like the problem is with Gmail…” The word "Jasmine" and terms relating to the anti-government protests in the Middle East can no longer be searched for on the country's microblogs. China has also responded by arresting activists, harassing foreign journalists and deploying large police forces to prevent unrest.
InfoWorld Feb 16, 2011 New Hacking Tools Pose Bigger Threats to Wi-Fi Users
QUOTE: But some simple software lets just about anyone sitting next to you at your local coffee shop watch you browse the Web and even assume your identity online... But a free program called Firesheep, released in October, has made it simple to see what other users of an unsecured Wi-Fi network are doing and then log on as them at the sites they visited.
New York Times Jan 15, 2011 Israel Tests on Worm Called Crucial in Iran Nuclear Delay
QUOTE: [experts say that Israel at its Dimona facility] tested the effectiveness of the Stuxnet computer worm, a destructive program that appears to have wiped out roughly a fifth of Iran’s nuclear centrifuges and helped delay, though not destroy, Tehran’s ability to make its first nuclear arms.... Mr. Langner is among the experts who expressed fear that the attack had legitimized a new form of industrial warfare, one to which the United States is also highly vulnerable.
New York Times Jan 06, 2011 Hackers find new way to cheat on Wall Street -- to everyone's peril
QUOTE: 'Side-channel' attack on high-frequency trading networks could net a hacker millions of dollars in just seconds -- and leave everyone else that much poorer
InfoWorld Jan 06, 2011 Software security: Honesty is the best policy
QUOTE: Admitting to flaws in your code can be embarrassing, but OpenBSD's hunt for a backdoor proves the alternative could be much worse
InfoWorld Nov 05, 2010 What happens when Internet Explorer breaks big-time: Much like a bad antivirus signature file, Microsoft's browser is flagging harmless sites and blocking access to them
QUOTE: Much like a bad antivirus signature file, Microsoft's browser is flagging harmless sites and blocking access to them
InfoWorld Oct 27, 2010 Satisfied with Google's promise to restrain Street View, FTC drops privacy-breach probe
QUOTE: The federal government has ended an inquiry into a privacy breach involving Google's Street View service, satisfied with the company's pledge to stop gathering e-mail, passwords and other information from residential WiFi networks as it rolls through neighborhoods.
Washington Post Jul 05, 2010 To Stop Cheats, Colleges Learn Their Trickery (Cheat Sheet)
QUOTE: As the eternal temptation of students to cheat has gone high-tech — not just on exams, but also by cutting and pasting from the Internet and sharing of homework online like music files — educators have responded with their own efforts to crack down.
New York Times Apr 27, 2010 Update: Terry Childs found guilty: The admin who kept San Francisco network passwords now faces a maximum of five years in prison
QUOTE: Terry Childs, the San Francisco network administrator who refused to hand over passwords to his boss, was found guilty of one felony count of denying computer services...
InfoWorld Mar 24, 2010 Law Enforcement Appliance Subverts SSL
QUOTE: Normally when a user visits a secure website, such as Bank of America, Gmail, PayPal or eBay, the browser examines the website’s certificate to verify its authenticity. At a recent wiretapping convention however, security researcher Chris Soghoian discovered that a small company was marketing internet spying boxes to the feds designed to intercept those communications, without breaking the encryption, by using forged security certificates, instead of the real ones that websites use to verify secure connections.
Wired Mar 02, 2010 Fraudsters hone their attacks with spear phishing
QUOTE: The next generation of phishing messages, which is still prevalent today, strongly resembles legitimate messages from our banks, cable companies, online electronic payment services, and credit card companies. Everything in the emails looks legitimate, including the graphics that originate from the real company's Website.
InfoWorld Feb 11, 2010 Who Owns Your PC? New Anti-Piracy Windows 7 Update "Phones Home" to Microsoft Every 90 Days
QUOTE: The release of Windows 7 "Update for Microsoft Windows (KB971033)" will change the current activation and anti-piracy behavior of Windows 7 by triggering automatic "phone home" operations over the Internet to Microsoft servers, typically for now at intervals of around 90 days. The purpose? To verify that you're not running a pirated copy of Windows, and to take various actions changing the behavior of your PC if the WAT system believes that you are not now properly authenticated and "genuine"...
Lauren Weinstein's Blog Oct 22, 2009 To protect your privacy, hand over your data
QUOTE: [some experts believe] our digital identities will be more secure if they rest on reams of data on our everyday life culled from cellphones, online transactions and the like.
New Scientist Oct 21, 2009 Sequoia e-voting code reveals possible FEC rule violations
QUOTE: Though still in its initial stages, the review [by the Election Defense Alliance] has already uncovered evidence indicating that the [Sequoia] voting machines are programmed in a manner that falls afoul of rules and guidelines established by the Federal Election Commission.
Ars Technica Sep 16, 2009 Cybersecurity - or lack thereof - alarms experts
QUOTE: Government entities and commercial organizations are failing to protect themselves effectively in the areas in which they are most vulnerable.
San Francisco Chronicle Sep 10, 2009 Big Brother bosses: Employers spying on staff
QUOTE: Companies have long kept a close eye on employees to maintain productivity and guard against theft. But the economic downturn has prompted some to redouble their efforts—and advances in technology have given them the means.
Economist Sep 05, 2009 Parental control company sells data on what kids say (Safe and Secure)
QUOTE: A software product sold to protect children from predators, cyberbullying, and visiting inappropriate Web sites is also collecting information about what the kids are saying, and its publisher is selling that data...
CNET Aug 25, 2009 Threat Level Privacy, Crime and Security Online Federal Courts Wary of Document-Sharing Plugin
QUOTE: The federal court system doesn’t seem to like Harlan Yu, or his fellow merry pranksters, who made a tool to free court documents from an unwieldy computer system that has a nasty habit of charging 8 cents a page for public documents.
Wired Aug 25, 2009 Unchain the Office Computers! Why corporate IT should let us browse any way we want.
QUOTE: So why not lock down workplace computers? Here's why: The restrictions infantilize workers—they foster resentment, reduce morale, lock people into inefficient routines, and, worst of all, they kill our incentives to work productively.
Slate Aug 21, 2009 VA Reports Detail Misconduct By IT Officials
QUOTE: Two reports issued by the inspector general of the Department of Veterans Affairs point to a range of misconduct in the agency's IT department in recent years...
InformationWeek Aug 07, 2009 Meet “the world’s most annoying Web site:” Social-networking site Tagged.com has become a target of New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo and the bane of a multitude of customers. (Brainstorm Tech)
QUOTE: New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo says he plans to sue [Tagged.com] for false advertising, deceptive business, and identity theft.
Fortune Aug 06, 2009 5 lessons from the dark side of cloud computing
QUOTE: While many companies are considering moving applications to the cloud, the security of the third-party services still leaves much to be desired, security experts warned attendees at last week's Black Hat Security Conference.
CIO Magazine Aug 05, 2009 Responsible Twittering: The company's security issues are well-known, but users also need to be more responsible about what they tweet.
QUOTE: While this [network hacking] highlights the risks associated with applications in the cloud, it isn't the only security risk associated with Twitter. In addition there are risks with people spoofing other identities, risks of people disclosing sensitive data and people creating risks by talking about some of their activities.
Forbes Aug 02, 2009 Our Privacy, Your Business (Defcon)
QUOTE: Big business,[privacy expert Andrea] Matwyshyn says, needs to do a much better job of keeping customers abreast of how they're dealing with big security threats.
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