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

Security Port

A Security Port Blog
Charter Spectrum Tweeted Out Some Spectacularly Awful Security Advice
02/10/2017

Charter is a major internet service provider, and the conduit between many Americans and their sweet, sweet internet. As such, one would think the company would have a basic grasp of how Wi-Fi security works—specifically, that it would know better than to tell its roughly 31,700 Twitter followers to change their Wi-Fi passwords in support of their favorite sports teams.

Unfortunately, it did just that on Monday afternoon while attempting to celebrate the teams headed to the Super Bowl. The tweet was first noticed by TechCrunch and has since been deleted, presum

IT Security: Why A Disaster Recovery Strategy Must Be Top Of Mind In Todays Environment
02/08/2017

It is no secret that data security is essential to our modern, technology-driven marketplace. With the internet of things and artificial intelligence growing commonplace, the expectations for continued innovation and constant availability are stronger than ever. I don’t know about you, but when I log into Netflix, I expect to watch movies without interruption. Yet I would be pretty upset if Netflix delivered this streaming at the cost of my privacy.

My personal demand for easy accessibility, like everyones, is in constant struggle with security, which tends to slow down user access (think of how login credentials hinder fast banking on your phone). These two immensely important values are challenging for businesses as they try to push innovation forward.

An entire empire has been built on stealing sensitive company data, holding data hostage or releasing scandalous information to the public. This has made cyber attacks the No. 1 threat for businesses, according to data from Business Continuity Institute.

Microsoft is making Windows 10 security easier
02/06/2017

It is easy to mock bad passwords and phishing scam victims, but PC security is hard to grok for the average user. That iswhy Microsoft is introducing the Windows Defender Security Center as part of the Windows 10 Creators Update coming in April. Within a central hub, you'll be able to see settings for threat protection, performance and more at a glance.

People are The Biggest Security Risk
02/03/2017

Social Engineering Is Often Overlooked

Kevin Mitnick is a criminal-turned-security-expert, kind of like a cybersecurity version of Frank Abagnale. He still hacks for a living, but these days it is in the name of legal penetration testing. His number one piece of advice to clients is to never forget that people are the weakest security link.

Protecting your cybersecurity in 2017
02/01/2017

Two weeks ago I made cybersecurity predictions for 2017, and it didn’t take long for one of my predictions to be realized.  In fact, it occurred before 2016 was even over.

Earlier this week federal indictments were brought against three Chinese nationals on charges of hacking into at least seven law firms and stealing inside information about mergers and acquisitions involving clients of the law firm.  Prosecutors say this inside information was used by the hackers to make stock trades before the public was aware of the impending mergers or takeovers and  to make illegal profits of more than four million dollars on the transactions.

This cybercrime is noteworthy not just because it represents a relatively new development in cybercrime but also because it points out that for us as individuals, our own cybersecurity is dependent on the cybersecurity of the many companies and institutions that hold personal information about us.  So, one resolution that you should make for the new year is to limit the companies and governmental agencies to which you provide personal information as much as you can.

Naive employees driving cyber security concerns
01/30/2017

Despite the perception that hackers are an organization’s biggest cyber security threat, insiders, including careless or naive employees, are now viewed as an equally important problem, according to new research conducted by Dimensional Research on behalf of Preempt.

The growing security threat from insiders report found that 49% of IT security professionals surveyed were more concerned about internal threats than external threats, with the majority (87%) most concerned about naive individuals or employees who bend the rules to get their job done. Only 13% were more concerned about malicious insiders who intend to do harm.

Malware unintentionally installed by employees ranked as the top internal security concern with 73% of respondents claiming they were worried about it, ahead of stolen or compromised credentials (66%), snatched data (65%) and abuse of admin privileges (63%).

The Real Cybersecurity Issues Behind the Overhyped Russia Hacks the Grid Story
01/27/2017

Over the past few days, we have seen a story about Russian agents hacking the U.S. power grid spread like wildfire across the internet -- only to be debunked as a wild overstatement of the facts at hand.

Yes, a single laptop belonging to Vermont utility Burlington Electric was found to have visited an IP address cited by the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI as being associated with a Russian hacking operation, dubbed Grizzly Steppe, that also hacked the U.S government during the election.

But there is no evidence that this amounted to anything other than a utility employee checking his or her Yahoo email account, as the Washington Post reported Monday in what amounts to an extensive retraction of its Friday story that started the firestorm.

2016 Breaches
01/25/2017

Presidential Election hacks

The last clamorous even of 2016 is the executive order of the President Barack Obama that ejected 35 people in retaliation for the cyber-attacks against the numerous cyber-attacks against politicians involved in the Presidential Election. Russian hackers broke into the systems of the Democratic National Committee, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and Podesta Emails.

Shadow Brokers hacked the NSA-linked group Equation Group

Last summer a mysterious hacker group calling themselves the Shadow Brokers hacked into “Equation Group” arsenal. In February 2015, security researchers at Kaspersky revealed the existence of a hacker group, called Equation Group, that has been active since 2001 and that targeted practically every industry with sophisticated zero-day malware. Researchers linked the Equation Group to the NSA Agency.

YAHOO Data breach

In 2016, security experts discovered two data breaches suffered by Yahoo in 2012 and 2014. The second one occurred in fall 2013 is the biggest one regarding sheer magnitude, experts estimated it has impacted one billion accounts. Personal users’ information was compromised, including names, email addresses, phone numbers, birthdays, hashed passwords, and security questions and answers. No financial data was exposed.

Weaponizing the Internet of Things – The DYN DNS hack

In 2016, we assisted in massive DDoS attacks powered by Internet of Things devices that created serious problems.

Cyber Security
01/23/2017

Last year consumer, corporate, and political targets were hammered by ransomware extortion attempts, phishing excursions, and DDoS attacks. Driven by this slew of high-profile attacks, cybersecurity has rapidly emerged as a priority in 2017 for enterprise companies and SMBs.

To visualize emerging cybersecurity issues, TechRepublic and data firm Affinio sampled and diagrammed social media data from influential communities. TechRepublic previously used Affinio technology to better understand digital business trends, including voter priorities during the 2016 presidential campaign, how tech groups talk about Edward Snowden, and web media related to the Russian cyberattack.

Affinio extracts insights from web, mobile, and social media data. The companys algorithm grabs snapshots of naturally-forming user clumps and communities, then visualizes how each group is connected. For example, unsurprisingly, health care experts tend to communicate online with other health care experts. Affinio analysis shows that health care experts also communicate with information experts, tech news consumers, and digital marketers.

This Wi-Fi router will protect your smart fridge from hackers
01/20/2017

A new batch of routers seeks to ward off hacks that leverage your smart homes computing power for nefarious purposes.

This added protection responds to a growing security threat for households. In October, hackers used a code called Mirai to hijack home devices like DVRs and routers and create a botnet that then took down many popular websites.

Amid the outcry, security firms have seen a need and a market. Multiple devices that offer home protection from hacks are set to hit store shelves beginning in the spring.

The Download on the DNC Hack
01/18/2017

Over the past few days, several longtime readers have asked why I have not written about two stories that have consumed the news media of late: The alleged Russian hacking attacks against the U.S. Democratic National Committee (DNC) and, more recently, the discovery of malware on a laptop at a Vermont power utility that has been attributed to Russian hacker groups.

I have avoided covering these stories mainly because I do not have any original reporting to add to them, and because I generally avoid chasing the story of the day — preferring instead to focus on producing original journalism on cybercrime and computer security.

Your New IT Hard Target: Printer Security
01/16/2017

Printers being hacked is nothing new. It’s even hit the headlines a few times with one being used to store pirated files, then another being programmed to display a paperclip on every page it printed. It seemed harmless at first. But then Columbia University discovered you could actually cause a printer’s fuser to continually heat up, potentially burning up more than your maintenance budget.

The real page turner happened when it was revealed that someone outside your organization could use it as a weak point to attack your network. But that’s not all. Someone invading your printer’s memory can retrieve documents, set it so they’re sent a copy of everything you print and scan, and more.

IoT predictions: IoT security in 2017
01/13/2017

Nobody doubted that IoT security was a disaster when, well, disaster struck — the Mirai botnet took down swaths of the internet through a fairly simple, preventable attack.

But experts believe there are going to be more susceptible devices in 2017 than ever — and hackers will be on the lookout.

Sometime during 2017 we should anticipate the release of an automatically propagating IoT worm that installs a small, persistent malicious payload that not only continues to infect and propagate amongst other vulnerable IoT devices, but automatically changes all the passwords necessary to remotely manage the device itself, said Gunter Ollman, CSO at Vectra Networks.

Amazon Alexa is stepping into home security automation with ADT
01/11/2017

At the 2017 CES in Las Vegas, home security company ADT announced that it was adding support for the Amazon Echo and Echo Dot.

ADT customers will soon be able to control their home security system through the Amazon Alexa voice service. On Wednesday, at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), ADT announced that its Pulse ecosystem will now support the Amazon Echo and Echo Dot products.

Pulse gives ADT customers remote access to their security system and offers some home automation features. With the integration of Amazon Alexa, ADT customers will now be able to arm and disarm their security system using voice commands and a secure PIN, according to a press release.

Call to Centralize Security in Germany Broaches a Postwar Taboo
01/09/2017

As Germany struggles to respond to worsening attacks inspired by Islamic terrorists, the country’s top security official on Tuesday strongly advocated consolidating greater intelligence and security powers with the federal government, a taboo since World War II.

Thomas de Maizière, Germanys interior minister and a close ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel, argued that such a step was needed to steel the country against modern threats posed by terrorism, cyberattacks and an increased number of migrants seeking to enter the country.

The federal governments of Germany’s European partners and other established democracies already hold such powers, he noted, stressing that It is time to re-examine Germany’s security setup.

5 easy steps to better online security
01/06/2017

A finger tap is the most common and necessary action we take on our computers and devices. It’s also the most dangerous.

Cybersecurity — the personal behaviors and actions you take to protect yourself in the online world from identity thefts, frauds and other crimes aimed at stealing your personal information and data — is a serious personal issue. So we all need to know how to protect ourselves. Below are five action steps to do it; most take 10 minutes or less. (The book has 13 more.)


Action step 1: Create a secret email address
Estimated completion time: Less than 10 minutes


Creating a secret email address will boost your security by reducing the number of places hackers may find the email you use for your financial accounts.

Email address: Avoid using any personal information about yourself when you create your email address — the portion that comes before the @ sign.

Action step 2: Get a password manager
Estimated completion time: Less than 30 minutes

A password manager will enhance your safety and make your online life easier by eliminating the need to clog your brain remembering weak passwords. It lets you store your passwords in an encrypted file on your computer or in the cloud,

Drones in homes: Flying cameras map security threats, warn homeowners
01/04/2017

Armies of drones could soon help protect homeowners from unwanted visitors as part of a newly-developed smart security plan being mooted at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

A collaborative effort using products designed by Alarm.com and Quallcom Technology Inc, the system involves drones mapping out complex activity patterns of a property and responding to unexpected events such as a home invasion.

The development essentially allows a computer and drones to understand patterns of movement within a building and update people on anomalies that could potentially be a threat.

New Scanners and Conveyors Could Make Airline Security Faster and Safer
12/05/2016

Instead of queuing up in order of arrival, travelers take an open spot alongside a conveyor belt. They then put their shoes, luggage, keys, and other items into tubs and push them onto the belt—skipping past slow pokes having trouble removing their shoes. Suspicious luggage is automatically diverted to a special area so it can be searched without having to stop the conveyor belt.

Do Not Let A Lack of Resources Compromise Your Cyber Security
12/02/2016

For a company with limited resources, employees can be tremendously valuable watch dogs if they’re given the proper tools and education. Very few of us are experts on cyber security, and employees often expect their work files and information to be automatically protected through antivirus or company filters. Providing rudimentary information about cyber safety and best practices – and arming employees with a few quick tips like the following – can help prevent avoidable security incidents.

After DDOS attack, senator seeks industry-led security standards for IoT devices
12/01/2016

U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, (D-Va.) said Thursday that he favors an industry-based approach before seeking some form of government regulation of IoT security.

IoT ought to be an area where industry collaborates and if they can set standards first, that is good, Warner said.



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