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

Security Port

A Security Port Blog
NSA Releases SE Android
01/26/2012

The National Security Agency has released SE Android, a security-enhanced version of Android, which provides and enforces stricter access-control policies than those found in the popular mobile operating system by default.

SE Android is based on NSAs previous research into mandatory access controls that gave birth to the Security-Enhanced Linux project back in 2000. SE Linux is a collection of Linux kernel security modules and other tools that provide a flexible mechanism for restricting what resources users or applications can access.

Mobile Growth Causing Security Concerns
01/25/2012

An explosion of personal mobile devices on corporate networks is creating new security headaches for the enterprise, according to a survey of IT professionals by a network security vendor.

Many of these devices are carrying a wide range of business and customer information, according to the report, released this week by Check Point Software Technologies. The results found that 71% of companies say mobile devices have contributed to increased security incidents and many of the security problems are traced to employee carelessness or ignorance.

Mexico Security Business is Robust
01/24/2012

While Mexicos merciless drug war has scared off tourists and investment dollars, it has fed one niche industry: private-security services.

During the five years since President Felipe Calderon took power and declared war on drug cartels, Mexico has been shaken by 47,000 drug-related murders as well as rocketing levels of kidnapping and extortion.

Closing Embassy in Syria
01/23/2012

The Obama administration is moving to close the US embassy in Syria and evacuate the remaining American personnel, citing growing concerns about the security situation in Damascus, US officials said Friday.

American diplomats said no formal decision had been made in what could mark an end to the Obama administrations efforts to engage President Bashar al Assad and break his military alliance with Iran.

AVG Files for IPO
01/22/2012

Antivirus and security software developer AVG has filed with U.S. regulators to raise up to $125 million in an initial public offering.

Following on the heels of competitor Avast, security and antivirus developer AVG has announced it has filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to make an initial public offering to raise up to $125 million, which it plans to use to continue and expand its operations‚€”potentially through acquisitions.

Cyber Attacks on Pentagon
01/20/2012

Chinese hackers have deployed a new cyber weapon that is aimed at the Defense Department, the Department of Homeland Security, the State Department and potentially a number of other United States government agencies and businesses, security researchers say.

Researchers at AlienVault, a Campbell, Calif., security company, said on Thursday that they had uncovered a new variant of some malicious software called Sykipot that targets smart cards used by government employees to access restricted servers and networks. Traces of Sykipot malware have been found in cyberattacks dating back to 2006, but AlienVaults researchers say this is the first time Sykipot has compromised smart cards.

The government uses smart cards to supplement employee passwords, which have proven easy to crack. By cracking smart cards, hackers eliminate the final hurdle between themselves and some of the government‚€™s most sensitive information. Mandiant, a security firm, first outlined smart card weaknesses in a January 2011 report and said it had investigated several attacks in which hackers used smart cards to crack into companies.

Google Chrome Browser
01/19/2012

Googles Chrome security team unveiled yesterday its guiding principles on how they build a safer browser.

Do not get in the way.
Design for defense in depth
Security is a team responsibility.
Speed matters.
Be transparent.
Engage the community.
Make the web safer for everyone.

Security Director of Brazil Olympic Games Charged with Fraud
01/18/2012

The security director for the 2016 Olympic Games allegedly committed fraud when he occupied the same position during the Pan American Games held in Rio de Janeiro four years ago, Brazils public prosecutor‚€™s office said Friday.

Homeland Security Monitors Social Buzz
01/17/2012

The U.S. Department of Homeland Securitys command center routinely monitors dozens of popular websites, including Facebook, Twitter, Hulu, WikiLeaks and news and gossip sites including the Huffington Post and Drudge Report, according to a government document.

A privacy compliance review issued by DHS last November says that since at least June 2010, its national operations center has been operating a Social Networking-Media Capability which involves regular monitoring of publicly available online forums, blogs, public websites and message boards.

The purpose of the monitoring, says the government document, is to collect information used in providing situational awareness and establishing a common operating picture.

Assess Android Apps Wisely
01/16/2012

Fears of smartphone viruses are a little overblown. Although you wouldn't know it from panicked stories or press releases from security-software vendors, mobile malware remains a rarity. But since Google does not screen new programs in its Android Market, you should still take a few basic steps to judge the merits of an application before installing it.

Take a few basic steps to judge the merits of a smartphone application before installing it. You can begin with the obvious indications of an apps quality, its reviews and its permission requests. You should not have to read through too many of the former to see either repeated reports of problems or a suspicious pattern of lookalike approvals. You should also be wary of an app that asks for access to components of your phone, such as its contacts list, call log or GPS receiver, without an obvious connection to its stated job.

Project Shield
01/15/2012

Project Shield was supposed to make citizens safer. But in the end, the $45-million Homeland Security program more resembled a disaster, wasting taxpayers dollars and failing to make a single citizen more secure.

The failed Cook County initiative was replete with equipment that failed to work, missing records and untrained first responders according to a report by the inspector general of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The report, to be released Monday but obtained by The Sun-Times and NBC5 News, found millions of tax dollars may have been wasted.

Under Project Shield, two police squad cars in all 128 Cook County suburbs were to be fitted with cameras capable of feeding live video to a central command. In addition, fixed mounted cameras were to be installed to feed pictures in case of a terrorist attack or emergency in Cook County.

Syria Battles Food Security
01/14/2012

Syria is struggling to afford and secure ample food supplies for its domestic population as the European Unions ban on oil imports puts severe strain on the country's finances.

As officials warn the country is heading towards civil war under the embattled regime of President Bashar Al-Assad, Syrias ability to import wheat at affordable prices from abroad is more crucial than ever, after heavy rains caused the country's production of winter cereal crops to slump.

F-Secure Warnings
01/13/2012

F-Secure has warned that users granting permissions for advertising modules in Android apps can allow malicious activity.

The permissions that users give to Android application packages do not get split between the main modules and possible add-on modules. This means that users can be saying yes to dodgy activities on their devices without knowing it when installing an otherwise legitimate app.

In some cases the advertising module is the only part of the app to use the permissions that the user grants, probably without reading the ins and outs before hand.

Spy Unit
01/12/2012

US authorities are investigating allegations that an Indian government spy unit hacked into emails of an official US commission that monitors economic and security relations between the United States and China, including cyber-security issues.

The request for an investigation came after hackers posted on the Internet what purports to be an Indian military intelligence document on cyber-spying, which discusses plans to target the commission - apparently using technical know-how provided by Western mobile phone manufacturers.

Bank Security Issues in Middle East
01/11/2012

Banks across Saudi Arabia started implementing a series of tight security measures in anticipation of an Israeli retaliatory action following the exposure of credit card details of thousands of Israeli citizens at the hands of a Saudi hacker.

With Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon likening the hacking to a terrorist operation and vowing that no Saudi agency will be immune from the Jewish states revenge, the security systems departments in several Saudi banks embarked on an extensive campaign on Saturday to increase security on their transactions and guarantee wider monitoring of their websites, sources told Al Arabiya.

Blackberry Security
01/10/2012

BlackBerry Messaging service is more secure than text messaging, but it is still relatively easy for anyone with some skill to decrypt those messages, security experts say.

The BlackBerry is said to be the device of choice for members of organized crime because it is thought to be more secure than most other smartphones. BlackBerry messaging, which is free and communicates only with other BlackBerrys, is preferred because the messages are encrypted as soon as they are sent out from the phones. There are, however, limits to BlackBerrys encryption.

2011 Reflections and 2012 Predictions
01/08/2012

No country suffered more than Japan in 2011. Japan was rocked by an 8.9 earthquake, then a tsunami  that was created from the quake, hit the small island. The powerful waves caused damage to a nuclear power plant. The tsunami caused significant damage to one of Japan‚€™s plants making it impossible to properly cool or shutdown the nuclear reactor. The inability to cool the plant resulted in a nuclear melt down, and the escape of radiation.  When the trifecta hit, the Japanese people earned the world‚€™s respect, they managed the tragedy with stoicism and grace. The consequences of this horrible tragedy, and implications of the radiation leaks, into the sea and atmosphere, are still unknown. Japan will bear the scars from 2011 for generations to come.

2011 Reflections and 2012 Predictions

GSM Security
01/07/2012

A German security expert has issued a warning that billions of mobile phone users who depend on GSM networks are vulnerable to having their personal mail hacked. He blames the problem on network operators that use outdated network security. Karsten Nohl, head of Germany's Security Research Labs, a Berlin-based consulting company, was readying his presentation of study findings for a security convention and highlighted his troubling study results.

Facebook Security
01/06/2012

This latest security problem comes one week after Facebook agreed to settle the charges with the FTC that it deceived consumers by telling them they could keep their information on Facebook private, then allowed it to be shared and made public.

China Working To Prevent Cyber Attacks
01/05/2012

The Chinese government is working with domestic Internet search engines like Baidu Inc and Sohu.com, and financial institutions to prevent phishing attacks on unsuspecting Chinese web users.

The Ministry of Public Security said on Friday it would work with 10 Chinese search engines to protect the website rankings of financial institutions to lessen the chances that Internet users will be duped by phishing websites.

What is Hot and What is Not in Technology in 2012
01/04/2012

What is Hot and What is Not in Technology for 2012

What is Hot

1. Mushroom Cloud

The virtual cloud is now a mushroom cloud. More and more applications and data is available virtually. Customers are no longer tied to their desktops, data is accessible in the cloud. As long as you have an Internet connection, you have access, regardless of your hardware.

2. Smart Mobility

Mobile phones have become smart devices, they are more than just phones and alarm clocks. By the end of 2012, it will be hard to find a phone that does not run games, support Internet connections and have built in web browser.

What is Hot and What is Not in Technology for 2012

Little Brother Security
01/03/2012

When George Orwell's classic novel 1984 was first published in 1949, it foreshadowed a society with an omnipresent Big Brother watching our every move.

But it did not foresee how technology would allow us to become Little Brothers. Or that so many would be using GPS tracking features in smart phones, webcams in bedrooms and surveillance cameras just about everywhere else to monitor what others are doing at all hours of the day.

Top Cyber-security Issues in 2012
01/02/2012

Privacy and data theft will be the top security issues that organisations need to focus on in the new year, according to PandaLabs, the anti-malware laboratory of cloud security firm Panda Security.

Cyber-espionage and social networking attacks aimed at companies and government agencies will be the predominant threat to safeguard against in 2012, it said in a statement.

2012 Year of Security
01/01/2012

2012 will be the Year of Security if you will do your part by being vigilant, reporting cyber crimes and sending letters to your political representatives. You are either part of the solution or part of the problem.

Anonymous Targets Think Tank
12/31/2011

The loose-knit hacking movement Anonymous claimed Sunday to have stolen thousands of credit card numbers and other personal information belonging to clients of U.S.-based security think tank Stratfor. One hacker said the goal was to pilfer funds from individuals accounts to give away as Christmas donations, and some victims confirmed unauthorized transactions linked to their credit cards.

Arab Monitors to Watch Syria
12/30/2011

The Arab League forged ahead with plans to send teams of monitors into Syria Monday even though President Bashar Assads regime has only intensified its crackdown in the week since agreeing to halt bloodshed, killing several hundred civilians according to activists.

At least 20 more deaths were reported on Monday from intense shelling by government forces in the center of the country, just hours before the monitoring teams were to arrive. Activists said at least 275 civilians have been killed by government forces in the past week and another 150 people died in clashes between army defectors and regime troops ‚€” most of them defectors.

United Nations Lacking Unity
12/29/2011

Growing acrimony among the permanent five members of the U.N. Security Council is jeopardizing action on serious issues including the council's ability to send a strong signal on the situation in Syria. From the United Nations, Margaret Besheer reports 2011 has been a difficult year for the 15-member council and tensions among the permanent five could make consensus-building in 2012 a challenge.

Cyber Espionage
12/28/2011

The security industry expects the number of cyber-espionage attacks to increase in 2012 and the malware used for this purpose to become increasingly sophisticated.

In the past two years there has been a surge in the number of malware-based attacks that resulted in sensitive data being stolen from government agencies, defense contractors, Fortune 500 companies, human rights organizations and other institutions.

TSA Security Travel Tips
12/27/2011

Traveling during the holidays can be stressful. Airports are crowded, people are bringing presents which amounts to more luggage than usual, and everyone always seems to be in a hurry.

Do not wrap gifts.
If a security officer needs to inspect a package they may have to unwrap your gift. Please wrap gifts after arriving at your destination.
  
Apply 3-1-1 to gifts.
3-1-1 is not just about shampoo and toothpaste. Food items such as jams, salsas, sauces, syrups and dips will not be allowed through the checkpoint unless they are in containers three ounces or less and in the passengers one quart zip-top bag.

Iraq Security
12/26/2011

As the last American soldiers leave Iraq, the U.S. State Department assumes the reins of a complex and risky operation, the success or failure of which could determine whether the costly nine-year U.S. engagement with the country finally bears fruit.

Merry Christmas
12/25/2011


Merry Christmas!



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