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

Security Port

A Security Port Blog
Big Brother is Growing
08/25/2012

License plate scanners are being deployed by an increasing number of government and law enforcement agencies, but at what privacy cost?

But what are the security and privacy implications of the growing use of such scanners? It is not an exaggeration to say that in ten years there will be ALPRs just about everywhere, making detailed records of every driver's every movement, and storing it for who knows how long, said Kade Crockford, the ACLU of Massachusetts privacy rights coordinator, in a blog post. In some cases, we know that the worst-case scenario--vast databases with records of movements of massive numbers of people--is already happening.

Gen Y Security Tips
08/24/2012

If you are part of Generation Y then your daily life is all about being connected. Tweeting, friending, and googling is routine, but protecting yourself from the various cyber-related issues that will likely pop up should be, too.

According to our research, only 31% of Gen Y ranked security as the most important consideration when making decisions about their computer. In fact, Gen Y was more likely to prioritize entertainment and community than security. This is in spite of the fact that at least half indicated that they had computer security issues in the past two years.

Weak Passwords
08/24/2012

Solving the weak password challenge requires more than having consumers create strong passwords. Many businesses also need to get a clue about what counts as safe, weak, encrypted, or secure.

Iraq and The Next Steps
08/23/2012

The disagreement between Israel and the US seems to be about trust and timing and, more specifically, about whether Israel should attack Iran now or wait and give US President Barack Obama time to do the job on his own.

While both Israel and the US agree that Iran is not yet building a nuclear weapon, Jerusalem argues that if it waits too long it might miss the point when assembly begins and will no longer be able to attack. The US dismisses the argument and believes that it has a strong handle on what is happening in Iran and that missing the point is not an option.

Businesses Unprepared for Targeted IT Attack
08/22/2012

Businesses are ill-prepared to detect and stop advanced, targeted security attacks, according to a survey of information security executives at enterprise organizations with revenue greater than $100 million. The study, sponsored by cyber-attack intelligence and response solutions provider CounterTack and conducted by ResearchNow, showed that nearly half the respondents indicated their organizations were attacked within the past year, and one-third of those attacked said they lack confidence in their organizations readiness and ability to defend against other attacks.

Thirty-six percent of respondents indicated that if an attacker got inside their perimeter defenses and into their networks, they would not be able to see or stop the attack, and respondents gave themselves low marks when asked to grade themselves at discovering in-progress attacks quickly enough to mitigate damage and prevent catastrophic loss. In addition, nearly one-third of security teams said they spend more than 50 hours per month studying existing malware permutations to prevent future attacks.

Security Bug in Apple iOS and SMS
08/21/2012

An Apple iOS security researcher who goes by the handle pod2g has unearthed a bug in Apples iOS platform. The bug, which pod2g says others should know about, is present in all versions of iOS up to and including iOS 6 beta 4. The bug essentially allows hackers to spoof the reply-to number in a text message.

Text messages are of course bits of text sent between cellphones. Americans send billions and billions of them to one another each month. They are such a common form of communication that most people probably never stop to think that they might be insecure.

Copyright Violations Impact Ranking
08/20/2012

When assigning search result rankings, Google will now take reports of copyright violation into account.

The goal is to give better placement to sites that publish content they either own or have legally licensed, and penalize those that use content without permission, the company said in a blog post on Friday.

To gauge how well websites meet this criteria, Google will look at how often the sites have been validly reported to it as violating copyright.

Cloud Computing Security Risk
08/19/2012

The past couple of years have been tough for those defending the security of cloud computing and those trying to establish secure cloud infrastructures for themselves. For the most part, there have been DDOS attacks or defacements designed to embarrass or punish site owners.

Facebook and FTC Agree
08/18/2012

Social networking giant Facebook and the Federal Trade Commission have reached a resolution following charges that the company deceived its consumers by telling them they could keep their information on Facebook private, while repeatedly allowing it to be publicly shared. The agreement requires Facebook to give its users clear and prominent notice and obtain their express consent before sharing personal information beyond the users agreed-to privacy settings.

New Security at Nuclear Facility
08/17/2012

The security contractor at a Tennessee plant that stores the nations supply of weapons-grade uranium has replaced its general manager almost two weeks after three protesters, including an 82-year-old nun, got into a high-security area.

Security Assistance
08/17/2012

Federal agents are requesting the public's help in identifying an alleged child pornographer. Homeland Security Investigations hopes her identification will help rescue two underage victims.

The unidentified woman is believed to have produced child pornography videos that feature her and an unidentified man performing sexual acts with two minors - a 3- to 5-year-old and a 5- to 7-year-old.

complete article

No Serious Security Issues at Olympics
08/16/2012

In the months and years leading up to the London Olympics, there were some serious concerns about security.  Security, in fact, was a core element of the preparations over a period of seven years. But the Games have been going on for more than two weeks - hundreds of events and millions of spectators in dozens of locations - so far with no serious incidents.

Some days at the Olympic Park there were so many people it was difficult to move around.  That, and the many other venues around London and throughout Britain, might have been an attractive target for terrorists.  

Security Policy Bias
08/15/2012

A second employee at US Immigration and Customs Enforcement is suing Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano over claims his career was curtailed due to anti-male bias at the agency, The Post has learned.

Jason Mount alleges in court papers that he was denied 43 promotions because he’s a white male and that he took a lower-grade job because of how serious the discrimination and retaliation had become.

Protests vs Security
08/14/2012

Mass protests have always been a part of party conventions, and this year’s Democratic convention in Charlotte is no exception: Dozens of groups are planning to take a stand in the North Carolina city while Democrats are in town.

Unlike in Tampa, though, where organizers are cracking down on protests in the area surrounding the site of the Republican convention, city and party officials in Charlotte have actively sought to allow protesters specific sites to protest at and around the convention while still focusing on security.

Cyber Security Failure
08/13/2012

Despite warnings from intelligence officials that the U.S. is ill-prepared to stop a growing wave of cyber attacks against its crucial national infrastructure, the Senate on Thursday failed to pass a watered-down bill that would have set voluntary standards to harden the network defenses of electric utilities, chemical plants and other privately owned facilities.

Columbian Security Misconduct
08/13/2012

Twelve U.S. service members brought prostitutes to their hotel rooms in Colombia prior to an April visit by President Barack Obama, according to a U.S. Southern Command report detailing parts of the investigation into alleged misconduct by military members of the security team for the trip.

Partial details of the report were released Friday by the command, which took the lead in the investigation. The report shows, for the first time, what the service members did while in Cartagena, Colombia.

College Turns to Apps for Security
08/12/2012

Police at the University of New Hampshire this month are rolling out a smartphone app that will allow dispatchers to circle an area on a map, such as a dormitory, and send emergency alerts to everyone in that area who signed up for the app.

Southern New Hampshire University has installed key card access to dorms, covering more than 90 percent of its residential students, to keep out strangers and track who was inside if a crime occurred.

Security Bomb Threat
08/11/2012

Officials say an Olympics security trainee has been charged with making a bomb threat ahead of the games last month.

Police said Saturday that 21-year-old Thomas Hall was due to appear at a hearing at Thames Magistrates Court, in east London, later this month.

Security company G4S identified Hall as a candidate from Bridging the Gap, a government-funded project intended to help youngsters get training and find work in the security industry.

Security Bill
08/10/2012

Senate delay may kill cybersecurity bill: The Senate voted Thursday to end debate on the revised Cybersecurity Act and move toward a final vote, an action which may actually spell the bill's end. That motion passed on a 52-46 but 60 votes are needed to move forward. The Senate is expected to start its incredibly undeserved August recess on Friday, not returning until Sept. 7.

Security Leaks
08/09/2012

F.B.I. agents on a hunt for leakers have interviewed current and former high-level government officials from multiple agencies in recent weeks, casting a distinct chill over press coverage of national security issues as agencies decline routine interview requests and refuse to provide background briefings.

RIM Security
08/08/2012

Research in Motion refuted on Wednesday a new round of Indian media reports, which claim that the BlackBerry maker has granted the government the encryption keys to its secure corporate email and messaging services.

India is one of the Canadian smartphone makers few growing markets, where it is expanding aggressively. The company is facing falling sales elsewhere as customers abandon the BlackBerry in favour of Apple's iPhone and a slew of devices using Google Incs  Android software, leading to RIM's shares falling by more than 50 percent over the past one year.

Yemeni Security Building
08/07/2012

A Yemeni security official says gunmen loyal to ousted Yemeni ruler Ali Abdullah Saleh seized a security building near the Interior Ministry in the capital for a few hours before vacating it.

The official says the gunmen were sent by a former security official and a relative of Saleh. After taking over the building in Sanaa, they blocked off the airport highway where it is located. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press.

Closing a Nuclear Site
08/06/2012

In the early morning on Saturday, July 28, three gray-haired trespassers made their way into a nuclear weapons facility in Tennessee. They were armed with human blood, hammers, candles, flowers, crime-scene tape and a Bible. In the process of their break-in and after, they managed to close down operations at the facility for days on end and raise searching questions about how secure — and how justified — the United States vast nuclear stockpiles really are.

Cyberattacks on the Rise
08/06/2012

The top American military official responsible for defending the United States against cyberattacks said Thursday that there had been a 17-fold increase in computer attacks on American infrastructure between 2009 and 2011, initiated by criminal gangs, hackers and other nations.

Security Pointers
08/05/2012

For those caught up in the chaos and horror of a shooting spree, the Department of Homeland Security has a survival plan.

With seminars, online courses, posters, a booklet and even a pocket card highlighting salient points, the department is educating mall owners, office managers and the public on how to lessen the likelihood of becoming a casualty.

The pointers include yelling at or subduing the shooter in some situations. The online course consists of quizzes and assignments such as telling how to respond during a gunfire assault.

Apple Security
08/04/2012

Apple pitched security measures in its mobile gadgets during its first presentation at a premier gathering of hackers and those intent on thwarting cyber attacks.

The unprecedented talk by Apple head of software platform security Dallas De Atley at the 15th annual Black Hat conference in Las Vegas came as hackers increasingly target smartphones at the heart of Internet Age lifestyles.

Cargo Not Inspected
08/03/2012

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano faced congressional criticism Wednesday for her department’s failure to inspect 100 percent of arriving cargo containers as required by federal law.

Napolitano told the House Committee on Homeland Security that the 100 percent standard was not yet attainable and that she had waived the requirement as permitted by Congress.

Strike Back at Hackers
08/02/2012

As security pros in business and government shore up their cyber defenses and contemplate striking back at hackers, they may find themselves on uncertain legal ground. To avoid costly mistakes, it is important to get legal advice before taking action.

That was the message from Robert Clark, an operations lawyer with the U.S. Army Cyber Command, in an address titled Legal Aspects of Cyberspace Operations, on Thursday at the Black Hat conference in Las Vegas.

NSA Wants to Hire Hackers
08/01/2012

BlackHat draws corporate infosecurity workers in suits. At DefCon, they switch to t-shirts and spend the weekend mingling with cryptographers, script kiddies, security researchers and a liberal smattering of military and law enforcement agents - both in and out of uniform.

Toddler Access Gun Safe
07/31/2012

Gun owners, especially those with small children, are wise to keep their firearms in a safe under lock and key. But in a blog post Friday, Marc Tobias, a physical security specialist, posted videos showing that toddlers could crack safes simply by dropping them on the floor a couple times.

Microsoft Rewards Innovative Hacking
07/30/2012

At the 2011 Black Hat conference Microsoft announced the BlueHat Prize, a contest designed to motivate development of innovative solutions intended to address serious computer security threats. Entrants had months to prepare and submit their research; the judges narrowed those down to three nominees. Last night at a packed Researcher Appreciation Party Microsoft announced the results.
All three of the nominees devised techniques for dealing with the insidious problem of ROP - Return Oriented Programming. ROP is a tough concept to explain.

Malware writers know they will encounter resistance if they try to insert malicious code into a computer that is protected by an antivirus. So instead of sending their own code, they find bits and pieces of existing code that they can assemble into a threat. No code enters the victim system, just a list of addresses, so it is hard to detect.



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