Items tagged with security

Last month, we reported on something rather concerning: vehicles with Internet connectivity can be broken into, and in same cases, controlled. It didn't take long before we found out that the story wasn't fake - a testament to the fact that vehicle makers are not taking security seriously enough. Would the hackers, Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek, be targeted in a lawsuit for bringing such vulnerabilities to light? Nope - it's instead landed them a job. Companies sure are getting creative with how they hire, aren't they? The company to snatch these blokes up first is Uber, a company that is really... Read more...
If we may impart some words of wisdom to our younger readers out there, it's to choose your role models carefully. It's a piece of advice that comes too late for half a dozen teenagers living in the U.K. who were arrested as part of a sting operation targeting users of hacking group Lizard Squad's Lizard Stresser tool. The Lizard Stresser tool is a piece of software that aids with Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. These attacks typically consist of numerous infected systems pinging a single target with the intent of overwhelming the victim's server. Those arrested for using the tool... Read more...
There have been several high profile security breaches over the last couple of years, and in many instances, cyber thieves were able to extract personal information of their target's customers. Usually this resulted in the company offering a free year of identity theft protection to those affected, though in the future, firms may not get off quite so easily. A lower court ruling from 2014 giving the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) the authority to regulate cyber security was upheld recently by the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia by a 3-0 vote. Following the ruling, the FTC may... Read more...
Last summer, we learned about a super-invasive piece of hardware called "StingRay" which law enforcement can put to use to keep an eye on cellular communications in a given area. Since then, those who make use of StingRay have wanted nothing more than for us to forget about it, and in some cases have tried to deny its existence or use. Thankfully, we're smarter than that. To recap, StingRay is a suitcase-sized device that law enforcement can pack into surveillance vehicles. These vehicles would be able to communicate with real cellular towers in the area, and in effect act as a proxy.... Read more...
Mozilla on Friday announced some major changes coming to the development of add-ons for its Firefox browser. One of the biggest changes is a new extension API called WebExtensions, which isn't all that different from the one used in Chrome and Opera. By switching to WebExtensions, Mozilla is making it easier for developers to make extensions that work in multiple browsers. "Extension code written for Chrome, Opera, or, possibly in the future, Microsoft Edge will run in Firefox with few changes as a WebExtension. This modern and JavaScript-centric API has a number of advantages, including supporting... Read more...
Karma's a dirty little devil, a fact that as many as 37 million unfaithful online users may find that out the hard way. That's because the hackers who infiltrated Ashely Madison, a dating website for married folk to practice infidelity under the tagline "Life is short. Have an affair," published a cache of personal details about its members, including names, email addresses, phone numbers, and credit card information. In total, the data dump was 9.7 gigabytes in size. it was posted to the dark web using a Tor browser and what's called onion routing, which is encryption in the application layer... Read more...
Amid all the praise Windows 10 is receiving around the web, there is one thing that's at the center of most complaints -- automatic updates. Windows 10 Home users generally don't have a choice in the matter, the updates are mandatory and sent out automatically. For some people with limited bandwidth, that policy is causing a problem.According to The Sydney Morning Herald, Windows 10 users in remote locations are getting hit with big bills resulting from forced updates pushing them beyond their data caps. One example is a woman who lives in the Cook Islands, an autonomous region associated with... Read more...
Considering that Android is installed on around eight out 10 smartphones around the world, it was pretty scary to find out about Stagefright, a vulnerability that's present on almost all of them. Even more frightening is that in many cases, the exploit could be triggered with a simple text message. In theory, an attacker could text your handset while you're sleeping, take control of your phone, and wipe any trace of something nefarious taking place so that you'd never be the wiser. That got the attention of Google, which patched the MMS exploit and sent the code to wireless carriers. One by one,... Read more...
If you're keen on not wanting your movements tracked online, Mozilla may have just saved you the need for installing extensions to prevent it. Well, as long as you don't mind using the Developer Edition of Firefox, that is. Mozilla for quite some time has offered robust protection tools, such as Private Browsing mode, where remnants of what you do online are not saved anywhere on your computer (unless, of course, you specifically save content from them), but it's never prohibited tracking. Given that recent concerns have heightened the desire for that, many have turned to third-party extensions.... Read more...
While the NSA had the support of all US telcos with its spying efforts, it's come to light that none offered the level of assistance that AT&T did. Recent documents that are part of the ongoing Snowden leaks show the NSA heaping a bit of praise on its relationship with AT&T, saying it was "highly collaborative" and that the company had an "extreme willingness to help." Beginning in 2003 and leading up to the time Edward Snowden blew the doors off the far-reaching spy efforts, AT&T gave the NSA access to an enormous amount of information through many methods under different legal rules.... Read more...
It's time for another dose of skepticism, because more information has been brought to light over how much data is being sent to Microsoft with its latest operating system. According to an anonymous source on a Czech website (translation available here), key-logged information and even file search results are sent back to Microsoft with Windows 10. This follows on from information regarding data being sent back to Microsoft, even with the various privacy options disabled. The Internet-enabled services like Cortana, OneDrive, News, Weather, etc., can be set to not send information... Read more...
When acquiring a new notebook or desktop, one of the first things many power users do is wipe it clean. No one likes the "junk" that comes preinstalled, and if time is available, sometimes it's just preferable to start fresh. But what if that was easier said than done? What if that preinstalled junk became more like a plague, persisting even through a fresh install of Windows? You might think, "That's crazy. Impossible." Well, it is crazy, but it's definitely not impossible. It seems that installing some asinine malware on customer PCs wasn't enough to satisfy Lenovo's insatiable appetite for intrusion,... Read more...
There are a lot of positive uses for drones and other unmanned aircraft. Amazon envisions a day when packages will be dropped off on your doorstep courtesy of a drone, and Facebook wants to use them to bring wireless broadband to remote regions. Good stuff, though as it goes with just about all technology, somebody's going to find a nefarious use for it. In this case, there may be a day when drones are used to drop malware from the sky. The foundation is already being laid, though not specifically for that purpose. There's a company called Aerial Assault that modded a quadcopter with a Raspberry... Read more...
With the amount of positive hype that surrounded Windows 10 well in advance of its launch, it almost seemed like Microsoft could do no wrong. That was up until the actual release, that is, when multiple caveats were revealed. The biggest one is no doubt the fact that users of the Home edition lack complete control over their updates. In effect, you're getting updated whether you like it or not. And there sure has been a stink raised about that. Well, it just keeps on getting better. Now, it's been revealed that not only are security and feature updates mandatory in the Home edition, but so too... Read more...
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