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Security Port
Contains relevant information that pertains to security related issues and solutions.

Security Port

A Security Port Blog
What are the security concerns of your body becoming the password?
11/10/2017

In this day and age, your eyes can be your passport, your fingerprint, can be your ticket to a baseball game, and you can even use your face to unlock an iPhone.

More companies are embracing biometric identification, but its raising privacy and security concerns.

Major cyber-attack will happen soon, warns UKs security boss
11/08/2017

A category one cyber-attack, the most serious tier possible, will happen sometime in the next few years, a director of the National Cybersecurity Centre has warned.

According to the agency, which reports to GCHQ and has responsibly for ensuring the UKs information security, a category one cybersecurity incident requires a national government response.

In the year since the agency was founded, it has covered 500 incidents, according to Ian Levy, the technical director, as well as 470 category three incidents and 30 category two, including the WannaCry ransomworm that took down IT in multiple NHS trusts and bodies.

The security aspects of modernization
11/06/2017

IT modernization has resurfaced as a topic of conversation in the federal government in the past month. On Aug. 30, White House officials issued a draft report on the Trump administration's plan to modernize federal IT. It directs agencies to move more swiftly to the cloud, consolidate networks and prioritize the modernization of high-value, high-risk assets.

The following week, a report by research company Market Connections found that many agencies -- in the opinions of their own managers -- were not as successful in their modernization efforts as they could be.

New passport app at LAX aimed at moving arriving travelers through security quickly
11/03/2017

The addition of a mobile passport app to Los Angeles International Airport will help travelers pass through security checkpoints faster, the airport and U.S. Customs and Border Protection said Thursday.

Mobile Passport Control can now be used at terminals 2, 4, 7 and Tom Bradley International Terminal and is the first authorized app to expedite passenger arrival into the U.S.

Eligible U.S. and Canadian citizens may voluntarily submit their passport information and answers to inspection-related questions to CBP via a smartphone or tablet app prior to arrival for speedier service.

4 Vital Cyber Security Measures Every Safety-Conscious Entrepreneur Needs to Take
11/01/2017

The transition to increased connectivity and quick, seamless, one-click solutions has also given rise to security issues when it comes to the private information held by the institutions leveraging those innovative solutions that optimize business operations.

In their bid to be more connected, businesses have increased the touch points of their organizations across networks, increasing the opportunities cyber criminals have to penetrate: Every time any of us visit Angies List, BestAdvisor (U.K.), Yelp or any other review site to decide on what to purchase, then proceed to Amazon, Walmart or other ecommerce store, whipping out our credit cards and making a purchase, we are releasing vital pieces of personal information.

Things only get worse when we fill out a  detailed form online. This is fodder for the plethora of hackers seeking ways to penetrate personal and corporate firewalls ,to get to the private information they protect. No wonder so many organizations spend so much on security. No wonder we can't ignore the vital role cyber security plays for businesses and individuals.

Five Tips To Improve Your Corporate Security Program
10/30/2017

With the continued proliferation of data breaches and other network security threats, cybersecurity spending is projected to climb to US$90 billion worldwide this year. As such, more companies are looking to build robust IT organizations with enhanced capabilities to combat the ever-evolving cyber threats. Companies are busy upgrading their systems, hiring employees and partnering with third parties to keep up with the pace of change. So, what do IT leaders need to prioritize to be sure their efforts have both an immediate and long-term impact on the integrity of their networks and systems?

The first step is to develop a strategy that brings an organization together to understand WHY cybersecurity is the responsibility of all employees.

Googles Android Oreo
10/27/2017

In addition to the many tweaks and new features in Google’s Android 8.0 Oreo operating system introduced last month, the biggest changes are its security enhancements.

Oreo security additions are meaningful and go far beyond what recent OS updates have brought to the table.

U.S. Homeland Security found SEC had critical cyber weaknesses in January
10/25/2017

It was not clear if the vulnerabilities detected by DHS are directly related to the cyber breach disclosed by the SEC. But it shows that even after the SEC says it patched promptly the software vulnerability after the 2016 hack, critical vulnerabilities still plagued the regulators systems.

Cyber Security News Roundup: Hackers! Hackers Everywhere!
10/23/2017

The trouble with cyber security is that there is virtually no good press. You don’t make it in the news for fighting off an attempted DDoS attack or for successfully updating and patching your systems. Nobody cares about that stuff. We, as a society, are more interested in the disasters. They may not admit it, but the majority of the people in the stands at a NASCAR race aren’t there to admire the mechanical ingenuity on display, nor are they particularly interested in the beauty of a perfect racing line. They want to see cars go fast and they’ll happily take a crash or two along the way.

Should Apple iPhone X Trust Facial Recognition for Security?
10/20/2017

Your face is the future of smartphone security. Apple made that clear last week when it unveiled the pricey iPhone X, which trades in the familiar home button and TouchID fingerprint scanner for a new camera system that unlocks the device using facial recognition.

The company has repeatedly proved its ability to push emerging technology into the mainstream—but with FaceID, Apple claims to have conquered many of the challenges that have prevented the widespread use of facial biometrics.

In spectacular fail, Adobe security team posts private PGP key on blog
10/18/2017

Having some transparency about security problems with software is great, but Adobe's Product Security Incident Response Team (PSIRT) took that transparency a little too far today when a member of the team posted the PGP keys for PSIRTs e-mail account—both the public and the private keys. The keys have since been taken down, and a new public key has been posted in its stead.

Security barriers put to the test as vehicles become weapons
10/16/2017

Bollards—those usually waist-high pillars that are often made out of a combination of carbon, steel or cement—are being seen just about everywhere these days, from sports arenas to the parking lots of convenience stores.

Calpipe put these types of bollards to the test at Texas A&M’s Transportation Institute. The Now was on the hot concrete of this former Air Force based-turned laboratory in Bryan, Texas, as researchers measured how well the bollards held up with a dummy vehicle going at speeds of 10, 20, and 30 miles per hour.

Homeland Security says election hackers targeted state
10/13/2017

The federal government on Friday told election officials in 21 states — including Connecticut — that hackers targeted their systems last year, although in most cases the systems were not breached.

Cyber Security Regulations
10/11/2017

We claim we are in a new era of cybersecurity threats and that ransomware is the threat du jour, given how WannaCry and Petya continue to make waves. But we are also in an era of a new wave of cybersecurity regulations. When looking at the latest attacks, some would argue that the same old vulnerabilities are to blame, and that is because organizations are dragging their feet in implementing the critical security measures to protect themselves.

High-profile breaches like those that impacted HBO, Target and Home Depot are just three examples -- but there are many others (too many to list for 2017 alone, and we still have roughly four-and-a-half months to go). As a result, we’re now seeing new regulations emerge that are forcing organizations to get their proverbial houses in order.

The Haves And Have-Nots In Cybersecurity: How Your Company Can Level The Playing Field
10/09/2017

Simply put, the nations most-skilled cybersecurity experts want to work on big, interesting problems. Maintaining the firewall for a regional bank in Cleveland, say, or protecting a mid-size law firm does not qualify as interesting. Interesting is protecting trillions of dollars at Goldman Sachs—or going toe-to-toe with Russian, Chinese or North Korean hackers at the CIA or NSA.

Interesting also means getting paid a lot. And most companies have a hard time affording the salaries many top cybersecurity pros demand. According to a recent report from DICE, an IT-focused jobs website, the average Director of Security makes more than $178,000 a year. It is not surprising, given the demand. A report by research firm Frost & Sullivan forecasts that by 2020, 1.5 million cybersecurity jobs will go unfilled.

Cyber Security Help Wanted
10/06/2017

People with Asperger Syndrome have distinct advantages when it comes to combating cyber crime.

Most hackers are atypical. A research document from Scotland Yard last year indicates the majority of hackers in England are Aspergers. Some of them are identified; others do not disclose it.
Aspergers are extremely detailed oriented, which leads to a no stone unturned approach to cybersecurity.
Aspergers are cognitively different, so they are naturally out of the box and find innovative solutions to problems without the usual cognitive Blind spot of non-autistic people.
Aspergers are extremely focused and can have a high level of concentration. They are capable of hyperfocusing and never let go when they are looking for something.
They have a high capacity for analysis. You can find brilliant Asperger people working as Security Operations Center (SOC) analysts, for example.
They have a demonstrated superior capacity to identify patterns. The Israeli army has created an elite squad unit 9900 composed solely of Autistics to deduct with pattern recognition troop movements on satellite images.
It is been scientifically proven that Aspergers are methodological and make more rational decisions (less cognitive biases).
Many Aspergers are optimal problem solvers — they focus on finding the best solutions, not one of the best.
Autistics have what is called Specific Interests: They will read and memorize huge amounts of information in an obsessive way and, therefore, excel in their field of expertise.
People on the spectrum search for intellectual stimulation, complex challenges, and many have the investigator profile, which is highly valuable for forensics and pen testing.

Companies should treat cybersecurity as a matter of ethics
10/04/2017

Cybersecurity should not just be a matter of technology but also one of morality. Is it ethical to market and sell technology that leaves consumers and their homes vulnerable to hackers?

Malcolm Harkins thinks these are worthy questions. Harkins spent 24 years at Intel Corp., rising to the position of chief security and privacy officer. Given the increasing number and audacity of hacks, he thinks we have reached a tipping point of sorts where corporations need a fundamental rethink of cybersecurity.

And Harkins really does mean fundamental. He argues that companies should formally classify protecting consumer data and privacy as a social responsibility, akin to combatting climate change, fighting poverty, or promoting diversity. Codifying cybersecurity into a companys ethical DNA is the only way, he argues, to force businesses to weigh consumer safety and privacy risks before creating new products and services.

Windows 10 and Security
10/02/2017

Windows 10 has been out for over two years now, but those who have yet to upgrade have been urged to do so or risk facing a huge security crisis.

Latest Netmarketshare figures have Microsofts Windows as the leading desktop browser, with a staggering 90.70 per cent share.

However, the version of Windows that is most popular is not Microsofts latest OS Windows 10 - but Windows 7, released back in 2009.

While Windows 7s market share is down from 60.75 in August 2015 to 48.43 per cent in August 2017, it is in fact UP on this time last year.

Then, Windows 7 had a 47.25 per cent market share.

Microsoft have already penciled in the end of support for Windows 7, and it is not far away.

January 14 2020 will mark the end of life for Windows 7, which is currently the most popular OS on the planet according to Netmarketshare figures.

And these users will need to update to a more recent versions of Windows, or risk exposing themselves to potential cyber attacks.

Private Security Outnumbers The Police In Most Countries Worldwide
09/29/2017

Whether they are patrolling shopping malls, conducting screening at airports or protecting VIPs, private security guards have become an increasingly common sight across the world. In many countries, they are armed with handguns and even dress in uniforms similar to the police. The sector has experienced huge growth in recent years and today there are an estimated 20 million private security workers worldwide while the industry is worth approximately $180 billion. That is expected to grow even further to $240 billion by 2020, greater than the GDP of 100 countries including Portugal, Romania and Hungary.

Hotel Room Hacking
09/27/2017

A man hacked his way into at least 78 hotel rooms over the course of several years, thanks to a known bug that let him slip in and out like a ghost.

Cybersecurity And You: Does Size Matter?
09/25/2017

We have all been warned to change our passwords regularly, make sure they are not easy to guess, and keep a sharp eye on our credit card statements. And many of us are diligent in doing what we can to keep our information secure.

But the irony of the situation is that most times our personal data is hacked from behind the firewalls of the companies we do business with and not because of a lack of our own personal data hygiene.

Cybersecurity Is Not A One-Time Fix
09/22/2017

Every company has at least one employee who will click on anything , said Brad Smith, Microsoft president and chief legal officer, at a company conference in July.

Although employees may be the weakest link in an organizations cybersecurity front lines, the evolution of malware and cybercrime are putting even the most security-conscious organizations at risk. Traditional approaches to security, which typically focus on keeping the bad guys out, often lead to too many layers and components, and too much complexity.

Androids Oreo Update
09/20/2017

Androids recently released Oreo update packs in plenty of features, including a battery life boost and a notifications rethink. But Oreos most important improvements will happen behind the scenes, with a host of security updates designed to evolve with ever-expanding digital threats. From halting ransomware to blocking malicious apps and easing Androids longstanding fragmentation woes, Oreo tackles some big problems. For the security developers who work behind the scenes, though, it is just one more step on a journey that never really ends.

Three security steps that will help keep your smartphone safe
09/18/2017

The first security step is to set a lock code or fingerprint access so that someone can not just come along and access the data on your misplaced or lost phone.

The second step is to be very careful about what apps you install on the machine. Many of them not only violate your privacy by, for example, accessing your contact list, but they can compromise security in other ways. Notice what permissions the app says it needs when you are installing it. If, for example, a game says it needs access to your phone contacts, do not install it.

Finally, smartphones are at least as vulnerable to hacking and malware as PCs so, yes, I recommend installing security software.

465K People With Pacemakers Need Security Update
09/14/2017

Is it a recall? Is it a software update? Well, it's actually both. Abbott, the medical device company that produces implantable cardiac pacemakers under the St. Jude’s Medical brand, has issued a corrective action, per the Food and Drug Administration, to mitigate what it calls the risk of patient harm due to potential exploitation of cybersecurity vulnerabilities. That's right, it is asking 465,000 people with certain devices to visit their doctors and get a firmware update so that their implants are not so easy to hack into. They say patients should schedule a visit with their doctor, and that the process will take three minutes start to finish, during which time all essential features will run in backup mode, reports Consumerist. It's unclear how many people in other countries are affected.

Test Messaging Software or Security Companies
09/12/2017

Text messaging is used a variety of ways in the security industry. Some of the industry specific uses for PageGate include:

Security Alerts
Emergency Notifications
Alarm Notification Automation
Dispatch Notifications
Communicate Critical Information Related to a Scene
On-call and Re-call Notifications
Allows for Better Decision Making
Reminders of Payment Due Date
Notification of Received Payments
Notification of Discounts, Deals and Promotions
Routine Employee Communications

Test Messaging Software or Security Companies

350% more cybersecurity pros in Washington, D.C., area than rest of U.S.
09/10/2017

Two entrepreneurs place a big bet on cybersecurity startups along the Capital Beltway.

Silicon Valley is home to the largest population of cybersecurity product companies in the world.

Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park, California, is the epicenter of technology (and cybersecurity) venture capital. Scores of venture capital (VC) firms dotting the Bay Area have made it an attractive HQ location for startups seeking funding.

Investors—especially angels and first round financiers—prefer to be close to their portfolio companies. Simply put, where there are VCs, there will be startups.

China Enforces First Action Under Developing Cyber Security Law
09/08/2017

Chinas Cyber Security Law (the Law) went into effect on June 1. We have now seen the first enforcement action under the Law (news report in Chinese here). Chongqings Public Security Bureau  (PSB) issued a warning to a local Internet data center company for failure to preserve a blog.  The company was ordered to rectify that deficiency within 15 days. While this is a small violation, it marks the first enforcement action under the Law.

10 bad habits cybersecurity professionals must break
09/06/2017

Demand for cybersecurity professionals continues to rise, with the projected talent gap in the field reaching 1.8 million jobs by 2022. Those that take on these roles play a key role in the enterprise, as the average cost of a data breach worldwide is now $3.62 million.

A number of common mistakes arise in the field that can make your job more difficult and put your company at risk. Here are 10 bad habits cybersecurity workers must break to be most effective in their role.

1. Overconfidence
2. Bypassing corporate controls
3. Negligence toward false positives
4. Failing to review the environment as a whole
5. Disregarding the user
6. Letting your skills lapse
7. Not patching immediately
8. Alert fatigue syndrome
9. Relying too heavily on third party vendors
10. Ignoring the business side

Automotive Defense
09/04/2017

Red Balloon Security, a world leader in embedded device security, is announcing the release of a new cybersecurity product to protect automobiles from a wide range of potential cyber attacks. Called Symbiote for Automotive Defense, the new embedded device defense system is officially launching at the escar USA Conference 2017 in Detroit, on June 21.

Best Hacks from BlackHat and DefCon
09/01/2017

Hackers Hijack a Carwash to Cause Vehicle-Destroying Mayhem
Leave it to hackers to turn the wholesome American institution of the carwash into a horrifying death trap.

Chinese Hackers Take Over a Tesla—Again
In September of last year, security researchers at the Keen Labs group of the Chinese tech giant Tencent pulled off an impressive feat of automotive hacking, completely undermining the security of a Tesla S to disable its brakes after it automatically connected to their rogue Wi-Fi hotspot.

Sonic Gun Attack Can Glitch Oculus Headsets or Hoverboards
One group of hackers has modernized the old party trick of the woman singing a high pitched note at the perfect frequency to break a wine glass.

Taking Down the Avalanche Botnet
On Wednesday, FBI Cyber Division Unit Chief Tom Grasso gave a Black Hat audience details of the December Avalanche takedown orchestrated by a group of international law enforcement agencies.

Black Hat at 20, DefCon at 25: Not just about breaking things
08/30/2017

Where in cyberspace is Norm?

If your job involves protecting sensitive information from prying eyes, or making sure that the right data is available to the right people at the right time, then Black Hat can make you feel burdened and beleaguered. So many threats and so many attack vectors, versus your organizations meagre security resources. Of course, all of that would be less of a problem if cyberspace were populated solely by law abiding digital citizens who abided by civilized norms.

Hackers break into voting machines within 2 hours at Defcon
08/28/2017

After nearly an hour and a half, Carsten Schürmann, an associate professor with IT-University of Copenhagen, successfully cracked into a voting machine at Las Vegas Defcon convention on Friday night, CNET reports.

Top Security Firm May Be Leaking Terabytes of Confidential Data From Fortune 100 Companies
08/26/2017

A leading American security company and purveyor of anti-malware detection services is waking up to a damning report about a massive vulnerability in its flagship product. The report describes an unimaginable leak, the scope of which covers a wide range of confidential data, including customer credentials and financial records, among other sensitive files.

In a blog posted late Tuesday night, information security firm DirectDefense announced the discovery of inherent flaw in a leading anti-malware product offered by Carbon Black, a US-based company that supplies security products to nearly a third of the the largest 100 public and privately held companies in the United States.

Security firm discovers several major security flaws in Xiaomis MIUI
08/24/2017

With a little over six percent market share, Xiaomi re-established itself as one of the top 5 Android smartphone manufacturers in the world. As such, millions of people use the company’s devices, so when Xiaomi’s MIUI Android skin is reported to have several security vulnerabilities, it would be wise for both users and the company to take notice.

Discovered by India-based security firm eScan Antivirus, one of the vulnerabilities centers around the Mi Mover app, which lets you transfer settings and other data from an Android device to a Xiaomi phone.

8 Critical IoT Security Technologies
08/22/2017

The growth of IoT devices coupled with the rise in cyberattacks means that system security cannot be engineered after the design.

A recent report by Gartner predicts that there will be 20.4 billion connected Internet of Things (IoT) devices by 2020, with 5.5 million new things getting connected every day. Furthermore, more than half of major new business processes and systems will include an IoT component by 2020.

These numbers are staggering and suggest that standard PC security and anti-virus solutions will not be able to counter future cybersecurity threats on connected IoT devices.

Hacking in Hollywood: Why the Industry Needs to Shore Up Security
08/20/2017

A  cyber attack at Sony Pictures in 2014 resulted in the release of sensitive internal documents, the eventual ouster of the top executive and multimillion-dollar settlements with employees. Hackers struck again in 2016, this time targeting a post-production vendor of Netflix with a threat to leak unreleased shows if their ransom demand was not met. The latest attack is against HBO, and hackers have upped the ante with a demand for millions of dollars to stop the leak of internal emails, passwords, salary information, stars’ phone numbers and scripts for Game of Thrones.

ITs 9 biggest security threats
08/18/2017

Years ago the typical hacking scenario involved a lone attacker and maybe some buddies working late at night on Mountain Dew, looking for public-facing IP addresses. When they found one, they enumerated the advertising services (Web server, SQL server and so on), broke in using a multitude of vulnerabilities, then explored the compromised company to their heart's content. Often their intent was exploratory. If they did something illegal, it was typically a spur-of-the-moment crime of opportunity.

My, how times have changed.

When describing a typical hacking scenario, these days you must begin well before the hack or even the hacker, with the organization behind the attack. Today, hacking is all crime, all the time, complete with bidding markets for malware, crime syndicates, botnets for hire, state actors, and cyber warfare gone amok.

Threat No. 1: Cyber crime syndicates
Threat No. 2: Small-time cons -- and the money mules and launderers supporting them
Threat No. 3: Hacktivists
Threat No. 4: Intellectual property theft and corporate espionage
Threat No. 5: Malware mercenaries
Threat No. 6: Botnets as a service
Threat No. 7: All-in-one malware
Threat No. 8: The increasingly compromised web
Threat No. 9: Cyber warfare

Study finds evidence of poor computer security practices in DNA sequencing
08/16/2017

A new study from University of Washington (UW) researchers finds evidence of poor computer security practices used in DNA sequencing tools.
By analyzing the security hygiene of common, open-source DNA processing programs, researchers at the University of Washington confirmed that known security gaps could allow unauthorized parties to gain control of computer systems, potentially giving them access to personal information or even the ability to manipulate DNA results.

The DNA is a system that encodes information in sequences of nucleotides. Rapid improvement in DNA sequencing has sparked a proliferation of medical and genetic tests that promise to reveal everything from one's ancestry to fitness levels to microorganisms that live in ones gut.

However, some open-source software programs used to analyze DNA sequencing data were written in unsafe languages known to be vulnerable to attacks, in part because they were first crafted by small research groups who likely were not expecting much adversarial pressure.

But as the cost of DNA sequencing has plummeted over the last decade, open-source programs have been adopted more widely in medical- and consumer-focused applications.

Terrorists, hackers and scammers: Many enemies as L.A. plans Olympics security
08/14/2017

Come the 2028 Olympic Games, technology will play a much more central role in protecting the games. Modern-day defense is not about a show of force as much as detection, prevention and disruption, Beck and others said.

Terrorists, hackers and more

In the evolving world of terrorism and other threats, a keyboard, a drone or a computer virus could be as deadly as a gun, they say.

The potential targets have also evolved — not just main venues but soft targets where people gather. And violence is just one scenario the 2028 security team will have to consider. Another is hacking.

Cloud Security: 8 Things You Need to Know When Choosing a Storage Service
04/19/2017

When you decide to start using a cloud storage or online backup provider, you may have some worries about security: we have all seen the sensational headlines about starlets having naked pictures of themselves stolen from their online accounts.

However, with proper security measures, your stored files can be just as safe in the cloud as they are on your laptop — if not safer. In this article we’ll talk a little about the most common ways cloud services protect your data.

With cloud storage, you don’t have to worry about the physical security of your data: even if your laptop or tablet gets stolen, you will not have lost your documents and images. Most cloud storage breaches were actually facilitated by users who gave away their passwords, often as the victims of phishing.

complete article

Pope urges EU: Resist false security promised by populists
04/17/2017

Pope Francis urged European leaders on Friday to resist the false forms of security promised by populists who want to wall themselves off and instead bank on a future of greater solidarity and union.

Francis welcomed 27 EU leaders to the Vatican on the eve of a summit to mark the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, the founding charter of the bloc.

The summit falls just days before Britain triggers a procedure to leave the EU and comes amid a wave of anti-EU populist sentiment sweeping the continent that threatens the very essence of the EU.

In his remarks, Francis said Europeans seem to have forgotten the tragedy of the walls and divisions that inspired leaders decades ago to hope for a better future through union.

LastPass security flaw could have let hackers steal passwords through browser extensions
04/15/2017

A LastPass security vulnerability could have allowed malicious attackers to steal users’ passwords, a researcher revealed this week.

A HACKER COULD HAVE ACCESSED OBVIOUSLY BAD LASTPASS COMMANDS

On Monday, Google researcher Tavis Ormandy reported the vulnerability in the popular password management tool. In an outline of the problem, Ormandy explains that a coding flaw allowed anyone to proxy unauthenticated messages to a LastPass browser extension.

Is Privacy Real? The CIA Is Jeopardizing America's Digital Security, Experts Warn
04/13/2017

WikiLeaks released its latest cache of confidential C.I.A. documents Thursday as part of its Vault 7 operation, exposing the U.S. government of its hacking and digital espionage capabilities — this time having to do with iPhones and other smart devices used by hundreds of millions of people across the globe. But there was an issue concerning cyber security experts and computers scientists much more damning then any of the secretive information featured in the new leaks: the C.I.A.'s total disregard of safety measures put in place for discovering these dangerous flaws in smart gadgets.

The federal agency has kept its discovery of many exploits (software tools targeting flaws in products, typically used for malicious hacking purposes) a secret, stockpiling that information rather than reporting it to multinational corporations, throwing millions of Americans into the crosshairs of a dangerous, intergovernmental spying game in the process.

How to improve your digital security
04/11/2017

Want to control your own digital security? There’s a wide array of options for secure messaging apps, email services and browsers that help you do-it-yourself.

4 myths -- and facts -- about online security
04/09/2017

Myth 1. Emails are always secure
Fewer than half -- 46% -- of people said they know email is not always encrypted. Encryption ensures only the sender and recipient are able to access the emails.

Myth 2. Private browsing is always private
Surfing the web in private (or incognito) mode prevents the browser -- like Chrome, Firefox, or Safari -- from collecting data about your activities. But it doesn't prevent an internet service provider, like Comcast, from monitoring your activity.

Myth 3. Turning off GPS means no one can track me
Almost half of people surveyed either didn't know or were unsure whether disabling GPS prevents all tracking. Your phone's built-in location service is just one way data can be collected.

Myth 4. My password is enough to protect me
Strong passwords are good, but security experts also recommend using two-factor authentication for account security. This means you must have a second login, like a security code sent to your phone, to sign into accounts. It prevents hackers from getting into your account, even if they know the password.

Phishing 101 at the School of Hard Knocks
04/07/2017

A recent, massive spike in sophisticated and successful phishing attacks is prompting many universities to speed up timetables for deploying mandatory two-factor authentication (2FA) — requiring a one-time code in addition to a password — for access to student and faculty services online. This is the story of one university that accelerated plans to require 2FA after witnessing nearly twice as many phishing victims in the first two-and-half months of this year than it saw in all of 2015.

Bowling Green State University in Ohio has more than 20,000 students and faculty, and like virtually any other mid-sized state school its Internet users are constantly under attack from scammers trying to phish login credentials for email and online services.

BGSU had planned later this summer to make 2FA mandatory for access to the school’s portal — the primary place where students register for classes, pay bills, and otherwise manage their financial relationship to the university.

That is, until a surge in successful phishing attacks resulted in several students having bank accounts and W-2 tax forms siphoned.

Popular security cam flaw lets burglars disable them
04/05/2017

Nests outdoor indoor Nest Cam, Dropcam and Dropcam Pro have been found to have three vulnerabilities that allow would-be burglars to exploit the cameras via Bluetooth to make them stop recording footage.

These exploits, reported to affect firmware version 5.2.1., were discovered by security researcher Jason Doyle and already alerted Nest about them back in October.

No patches have been issued yet at this time but according to Engadget, Nest is aware of the issue, [has] developed a fix for it, and will roll it out to customers in the coming days.

The first two bugs allow an attacker to trigger a memory buffer overflow in the cameras by sending super-long Wi-Fi data, such as an SSID name parameter or a Wi-Fi password parameter, via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). This overflow causes the cameras to crash and restart.

The third bug lets an attacker trick the cameras to temporarily disconnect from its current Wi-Fi network by sending it a new, non-existent Wi-Fi network SSID to connect to, again via Bluetooth. This causes the cameras to keep attempting to connect to the phantom network then reconnect to the original Wi-Fi network every 90 seconds. This time, the window is vital since Nest cameras depend on the cloud to store their footage. Each disconnection means the cameras temporarily stop recording and saving footage to their internet-based servers.

London Attack Reminds May of Post-Brexit Security Ties Need
04/03/2017

The worst terror attack on British soil since 2005 took place a year to the day after the deadly bombings on Brussels, and exactly one week before Mays government triggers Brexit. The unnamed British-born attacker was investigated by the British intelligence service MI5 some years ago but he was not part of the current intelligence picture, May told lawmakers on Thursday.

Expressions of solidarity and offers of help flooded in from the European Union governments May will be engaging in complex and probably acrimonious negotiations on how to decouple after more than 40 years together.

But for the woman who until eight months ago was in charge of keeping the country safe, the incident serves as a powerful argument to conserve a key aspect of EU cooperation in light of the interdependence of security services and terror plots across European capitals, from Paris to Berlin.

Most Android users running outdated security patches: report
03/31/2017

Most Android phones are do not have the latest security patch -- despite efforts by Google to distribute software fixes monthly via phone carriers -- researchers at Skycure found.

Chances are, your Android phone would be easy pickings for hackers.

That's according to research released Thursday by cybersecurity company Skycure, which found that 71 percent of Android phones on the five major US carriers have not been patched with the latest security updates.

The report highlights the risks posed by not updating smartphones, and the challenges Google faces in delivering security updates to Android users.





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2015 Security Blog Archive
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2014 Security Blog Archive
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2013 Security Blog Archive
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2012 Security Blog Archive
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2011 Security Blog Archive

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2010 Securty Blog Archive
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2009 Securty Blog Archive
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2008 Security Blog Archive
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2007 Security Blog Archive
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2006 Security Blog Archive
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Security Alerts
Locate security alerts, and security feeds via a security rss feed directory.